Nadine Jansen - Commitment

Though Nadine Jansen began her collegiate career as an architectural engineering major, she couldn’t seem to let go of her passion for mathematics.

She even found herself helping classmates with their math work as her interest in architecture faded.

“Math always fascinated me,” said Jansen, who excitedly changed her major to pure math. “It’s so detailed and precise. It’s not just calculations and numbers anymore. Higher level mathematics is about logically reasoning through an answer. Being precise with details and explanations is essential.”

The constant challenge keeps Jansen on her toes but also focused and committed to reaching her educational goals.

“I define commitment as getting out of bed to go to class when you’ve only slept for a few hours because you were studying all night,” she said. “Commitment is being dedicated to something so much that you'll put yourself aside to make it happen.”

Now a junior, Jansen is the first Aggie to be awarded a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship.

“Winning the Goldwater made all my dreams that much more attainable,” said Jansen, 19. “It’s great to be A&T’s first winner, but I'm more excited about the doors it opens for me.”

Established by Congress in 1986 and named in honor of the late senator who served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman (including 30 years of service in the U.S. Senate), the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program awards scholarships to college students who intend to pursue careers in science, mathematics and engineering.

After obtaining her undergraduate degree, Jansen looks to one day journey abroad to earn a master’s degree in mathematical research. She also hopes to apply for a Rhodes Scholarship and eventually obtain a doctorate in combinatorics.

Ultimately, Jansen aspires to be a college professor and launch a tutoring/teaching business that helps underprivileged children learn math.

“My goals keep me motivated,” she said. “Every semester I strive for a 4.0 (GPA); every test I want an “A.” I have huge dreams and I know that cruising through school won’t help me reach them. I am constantly reminding myself of where I want to be in 10 years and that keeps me going.”

Jansen was born at Fort Bragg, N.C., but came to N.C. A&T from Stoneville, N.C. In her time at the university, she has been an Honors Aggie Success Coach and a member of the North Carolina A&T University Honors Program, Alpha Lambda Delta Freshman Honor Society, Mathematical Association of America, and Golden Key Honor Society. She is also a volunteer tutor to local high school and elementary students and a tutor with the Center for Academic Excellence—a position that she holds dear.

“Tutoring is huge to me,” Jansen said. “I absolutely love my job. People tend to find math scary, but it really isn’t. I love that look when a student finally has their ‘lightbulb moment.’ Everybody deserves the chance to understand. I've been gifted with a way of explaining things to people and I intend to keep using it to help others.”

Points of Pride