Madasyn Pettersen

Engineering Futures Scholar

Around Madasyn Pettersen’s 17th birthday, she developed a walking and standing disability that made her nearly immobile. It took over three years to receive her diagnosis of Crohn’s disease and spondylarthritis.

“During my medical journey, I realized how many people are affected by autoimmune disorders like mine,” Pettersen said. “This inspired me to learn more about immunology and medicinal engineering.”

As a first-generation student on her father’s side, Petterson is now a rising junior and has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout her engineering studies. Her academic goals for the coming years are to master new engineering software.

“Engineering has been stressful and tiring at times, but the gratitude felt after doing well on an exam or learning a new, advanced skill is fulfilling. The challenge college brings has made me hard working and disciplined which will prepare me to be a responsible engineer,” Petterson said.

Her recipe for success at ASU engineering is developing a strict daily routine. For Pettersen, this involves knowing what to study each day of the week, getting enough sleep, and completing homework in advance. 

Not only does Pettersen stress the importance of structure to succeed, but also self-confidence. 

“Most engineering students will go through times where they doubt themselves and wonder if engineering is too hard for them,” she explained. “In the end, they will realize a class just took a little extra work, and they will come out more confident in themselves.”

Pettersen believes that the world we live in can be constantly improved and that engineers are the ones to induce that change.

“Although we have come so far in new technology, medicine, and agriculture, we still have much to improve on. By entering into engineering, we can participate in this improvement,” she said.

By Danya Gainor, Science and Technology Writer, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering
August 13, 2020