- High School: Homer, class of 2016
- Major: Engineering Science
Nathan Burroughs learned his most valuable life lesson at a young age while working with his father on the family farm in Homer. “I was given a job which I was struggling with. When I finished I told my father I thought I had done ‘pretty good.’ He said, ‘anything worth doing is worth doing right so do it again.’ Those words have stuck with me in my academics, employment and even relationships. Anything I do I want to do it right.”
Burroughs has lived his father’s advice. He’s an Engineering Science major and member of the college’s chapter of international honor society Phi Theta Kappa. He’s one of only three OCC students to be named distinguished NASA Scholars. In the spring he’ll travel to NASA’s Langley Research Center to participate in the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars onsite experience. “This is a really cool opportunity to learn more. I grew up watching Tom Hanks in Apollo 13. It’s the one VHS movie I remember watching tons and tons of time. I got a telescope when I was little with a night sky atlas. I liked going outside and looking up.”
During Burroughs’ first three semesters on campus he was a member of Student Patrol and an RA. When he signed up for more than 20 credit hours this semester he had to give up both roles. Burroughs only needed 14 credits to earn his degree but the Rochester Institute of Technology advised him to add a class which would transfer with him. He took their advice and added an Electrical Circuit Analysis class plus a Numerical Control Programming class and lab to widen his skillset.
When he’s not on campus Burroughs can be found volunteering at church, helping on the family farm or at Cazenovia Equipment Company, a tractor dealership where he began working in 2014. “I started off as a ‘wash boy’ detailing tractors, scrubbing all of the manure off and making everything nice and shiny. One day in February they pulled out four manure spreaders and said, ‘have fun.’ It was all outside. I had to wash them all. I came inside and my jacket was frozen solid.” Burroughs worked his way up and is now using a laser tape measure while creating floor plans for each of the buildings at Cazenovia Equipment Company’s nine locations.
Burroughs will earn his Engineering Science degree in May. He hopes to transfer to the Rochester Institute of Technology and pursue a master’s in either Mechanical Engineering or Engineering and Management. After he retires he plans to return to the family farm, Cold Brook Dairy.