Name: Samuel Bernsen

Year: Junior (2024)

Major: Computer Engineering

Extracurriculars and Involvements: Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow (SURF)


  1. Where do you usually spend most of your time on campus?

I usually spend most of my time in Swenson Hall. I have a group of friends who like to take up a lot of space in the corner area, so we usually spend some time there during breaks. Sometimes, I go to Argyros Forum, but only when Chipotle isn’t open and I have to go to Qdoba.

  1. What were some of your achievements this past year?

SURF was a big thing. I was really happy I got to do it with one of my good friends. Usually, SURF is supposed to be an individual project where you work with a mentor, but because my friend and I both submitted different parts of the same project, we were able to make it one cohesive project. It was nice to spend time with him doing that project. I think outside of SURF, I went to a research conference at Pepperdine with my research group, which involved four other people. That was cool.

  1. Why did you choose Computer Engineering?

I wanted to do Electrical Engineering, but when I applied to Chapman, there was no Electrical Engineering program yet. So, I applied as a Computer Engineering major, hoping I could switch to Electrical Engineering. But then I ended up taking Computer Science courses, which I really liked. I ended up getting the best of both worlds for Computer Science and Electrical Engineering.

  1. Who has been your favorite professor so far?

I really liked Data Structures with Dr. Rahul, although he’s gone now, which is unfortunate. Out of the professors still at Chapman, I liked most of my Engineering classes. I would say my favorite class has been with my mentor, Dr. Maryam Etezad. I took Electrical Engineering 300 and that was a great course. 

  1. What advice do you have for Fowler students?

Figure out what you want to do for your minor or themed inquiry earlier rather than later. For me, I didn’t realize I came in with enough credits to make me junior standing during my Spring semester of sophomore year. I was supposed to declare my minor during my sophomore year, but I actually declared it over the summer before my junior year. So, I was behind in getting some of those classes. That wasn’t great for me, but I’ll still graduate on time. And don’t be afraid to take GEs that sound really interesting. You don’t have to take the cookie cutter GEs for English or Social and Ethics Inquiry. I really liked my Ethics class, but I wish I took more of the obscure ones, like Philosophy. Take at least one fun class a year.