Wyatt Witemeyer, a double major in computer science and mathematics from Abilene, Texas was named as one of two University scholars for the School of Information Computing and Technology this spring. To qualify as a University Scholar, students must maintain a 3.5 GPA or higher and show a demonstration of knowledge and skill in the research of their appropriate field. Students are nominated by faculty across the university and presented for selection to the Faculty Senate for the final decision. We asked Wyatt to share his feelings about ending a great academic career and beginning the next chapter of life. Congratulations, Wyatt!
Being named a University Scholar is a great honor! What was your first reaction when you received the news?
I was very excited and honored to receive the news that I was being named a University Scholar. I’ve learned a great deal and had many great experiences at ACU the past four years, and to also be named a University Scholar is truly exciting and encouraging!
What extracurricular activities/student orgs were you involved with on campus?
I was involved in a lot of different areas on campus.
I was in ACU’s University Chorale my freshman year and the A Cappella Choir my sophomore year. Though I didn’t continue in ACU Choirs past that point, I had a great experience there and made many friends.
Beginning second semester of freshman year, I joined the ACU Esports club on campus as part of the Hearthstone team. My sophomore year, I was made Captain of the ACU Esports Hearthstone Team, and continue in this role to present day. Leading and competing in Esports on behalf of ACU was a fantastic experience where I made lots of memories with great friends, even making the playoffs of several big tournaments along the way!
After COVID hit, and chapels were starting back up (my junior year), my fiance McKenna Towell and I started a “small” group chapel on campus: VeggieTales Chapel. The chapel doubled in size on a weekly basis until we hit around 80-100 students attending regularly, and we’ve kept the chapel going to present day. It’s been a great blessing to lead this chapel with McKenna, speaking in front of many ACU students on a weekly basis about the spiritual lessons presented in VeggieTales.
For most of my four years at ACU, I worked for both the Mathematics and Computer Science departments in a variety of roles, including being a tutor, teaching assistant (TA), and helping with research. In particular, I am currently in my 5th semester as a TA for Dr. Hendricks’ Calculus Lab course.
After working a summer at ACU’s NEXT Lab, I presented the research I did at the Undergraduate Research Festival, winning the “Outstanding Zoom Presentations” award. I then continued this research in my Math Capstone class and the poster I made about the research is currently up in the Onstead Science Center.
I served as Vice President of Mu Sigma, ACU’s Math Club, for one year and the next two years I was elected and re-elected as President of the club. Organizing events, making Mu Sigma shirts, celebrating Pi Day, and the whole experience has been a great blessing.
What are some of your favorite memories/experiences in your department?
For the Math department, I will always remember our trip to the MAA Math conference (before COVID hit), where we were able to attend several interesting Math talks, competed in their Calculus Bowl, and played lots of Spicy Uno with several fellow Math majors. Pi Day was also always a blast with the Math department, and I was blessed to help organize it as part of Mu Sigma.
For the Computer Science department, I will never forget being one of the three total students to survive Dr. Arisoa’s Operating Systems class, which was such a prestigious accomplishment that they gave each of us a certificate signed by Dr. Homer.
What has grown you as an individual the most in your time at ACU?
Along with leading VeggieTales Chapel, this past year I was hired by my church, Hamby Church of Christ, as the College Minister. Along with the several other responsibilities, preparing weekly lessons for class on Sunday morning, and for VeggieTales Chapel really helped me grow significantly as a Christian in my knowledge of the Bible, and in my own abilities to speak and lead discussions in front of large groups of people.
What is your favorite thing about ACU?
My favorite thing about ACU is definitely the excellent professors that I have been so blessed to have worked for as a student in class and as a student employee. It is so encouraging to have incredibly intelligent people being so willing to teach others while simultaneously caring deeply about your own personal progress as a student, both academically and spiritually.
Do you have any advice for future students?
My main piece of advice is to interact with your professors! Ask them questions and learn from them, both regarding your academics and your spirituality. ACU has fantastic professors that have great knowledge, and they care deeply about their students.
What will you be doing after graduation?
The week after I graduate I will be getting married, then in July, I will start my work in a remote position for the UnitedHealth Group.