Student Spotlight

Switching the Tassle

When Jan walked across the stage last week to receive his undergraduate diploma, he had more than one set of parents cheering him on.

Jan’s road to graduation from the Colorado School of Mines began almost six years ago, in 2008, just outside of Hamburg, Germany. A German high school student, he decided to study in the U.S. for a year to work on his English and experience a new culture. He arrived as an Aspect student in August 2008, eager for his exchange year.

Jan quickly enjoyed the freedom in his American high school curriculum, appreciating the opportunity to pick classes based on his interests and aspirations. “I like languages,” he explained, “but I prefer problems. I love math.” After his exchange experience, he set his sights on returning for college.


Jan, the proud graduate, with his former host mom, Susan.

“I got into [Colorado School of Mines], and for my major it’s a lot better than anything I could do back home,” Jan explained. Now, a single exchange year has turned into six. “He’s just been really successful,” beamed Susan, Jan’s former host mom and Aspect Regional Manager. “He’s just wonderful.”

Jan received his B.A. in Petroleum Engineering from Colorado School of Mines last Friday. And, like any graduation, there was family cheering him on — his parents from both Germany and Colorado.

“We’re all very, very close after six years,” said Susan. “It’s so wonderful to see him be so successful. It’s just been a really huge experience for all of us.”


Jan’s parents made the trip from Germany to celebrate his graduation from Colorado School of Mines.