Jumpin’ into Case
A Junior-Senior Scholarship is helping Brandon Ferraro to make the most of his college years.
Coming out of high school in suburban Philadelphia, Brandon Ferraro knew only that he wanted to join a campus of STEM enthusiasts, people like himself, and see where it might take him.
He thought he could find his path at a place like the Case School of Engineering. He has not been disappointed.
The third-year student from Yardley, Pennsylvania, identified his major at Case—mechanical engineering. He found a way to pursue an uncommon passion, competitive jump roping. And he discovered that he likes diving into research.
All three pursuits were made easier by a Junior Senior Scholarship from the Case Alumni Foundation.
“To have that scholarship really helped me to shift my focus to research,” he said, noting it freed him from a 20-hour a week work study program.
As a research assistant in the Computational Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Ferraro is using software to simulate solid burning fuel, which could give researchers deeper insight into fire dynamics. While “dead set” on majoring in mechanical engineering, he’s considering adding physics to create a double major.
“The lab course I’m taking is a little brutal,” he said, “but I’m actually really enjoying it.”
So are many of his classmates. That’s what he loves about Case.
“There’s a real STEM atmosphere here,” Ferraro said. “Having that kind of community has been really helpful, especially since I didn’t know what I wanted to do.”
It’s allowed him to express himself more fully.
Last year, Ferraro founded the CWRU Jump Rope team, and there’s probably no one better. A jump roper since Kindergarten, he won the U.S. National Jump Rope Championship in 2019 and 2021. You might see him and his teammates practicing at the Veale Athletic Center or in front of the Kelvin Smith Library.
He’s also treasurer of oSTEM@CWRU, a pre-professional organization for LGBTQ+ students in STEM. The groups was founded at CWRU just two years ago and Ferraro is trying to help it grow its membership.
Meanwhile, as cultural lead for the student group Engineers Without Borders, he researches the cultural and health characteristics of communities the group is trying to assist.
As far as a career, he’s still undecided. Maybe industry. Maybe academia. But he’s confident he’s headed in the right direction.
“Again, that’s the great thing about Case,” he said. “You have this flexibility to explore so many things.”
To learn more about Junior-Senior Scholarships, or to offer your support, please contact Janna Greer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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