Parent's of graduating electrical engineering student, Frances and Ruperd Wilson Sr. reflect on their son's time at BCOE.
Q: What inspired Ruperd to attend UCR and become an Electrical Engineer?
Frances Wilson: Ruperd always enjoyed building things, figuring out how things worked and watching Jimmy Neutron as a child. His Dad exposed him to the field of engineering throughout his childhood and he was part of an Engineering Academy and Robotics team in high school. These experiences helped him decide to pursue Electrical Engineering as a career path as a junior/senior in high school. Ruperd was inspired to attend UCR because of the high ranking of the Electrical Engineering program and he was impressed with the small class size which he felt would give him the opportunity to know his classmates and professors on a more personal level. Ruperd was also encouraged by the overall diversity of the student body at UCR and the high percentage of African American students that graduated from UCR.
Ruperd Wilson Sr.: Ruperd was in the robotics club in high school and he was always interested in motors and even programming and the fact that BCOE has Wintson Chung Global Energy Center, Ruperd was excited that you guys were kind of out of the box
Q: From your perspective as parents, what was the best part of Ruperd’s experience at the Bourns College of Engineering?
Frances Wilson: I think one of the best parts of Ruperd’s experience was working on his senior project. He worked with two other classmates and created an amazing project. They created a machine that had the ability to detect strokes in patients by comparing brain waves and then when the stroke was detected it was able to send a text message! He worked hard and diligently and when all the pieces came together and it actually worked he was really excited.
Ruperd Wilson Sr.: Ruperd enjoyed actually being a part of the main crowd - he enjoyed the engineer clubs, the social aspect of the engineer in society on the campus. He loves to talk to people and he is a trailblazer he has had ideas of his on since he was in high school, so I think he likes to share his ideas and listen to other people ideas.
Q: In what ways has Ruperd changed since becoming a student at BCOE?
Frances Wilson: I think the biggest change I have noticed in Ruperd is that he has developed a conviction to use the knowledge he has acquired to help others. His motivation for writing a book was to give incoming freshman information that he wished he had known when he was first starting out in electrical engineering to help them be more successful.
Ruperd Wilson Sr.: Ruperd is much more organized and he’s a lot more diligent with his studying. He has also become more diversified in what he wants to do for a living.
Q: You’ve been annual supporters of the college for several years, what motivates your giving to BCOE.
Frances Wilson: When we went on a tour of BCOE, we learned about so many of the innovative ideas and research projects that were going on and they were significant things that had the potential to make a major impact on the way we live in a positive way. Giving annually makes me feel like we are doing our small part to help to sustain and support these efforts.
Ruperd Wilson Sr.: The school is awesome and I think it helps minorities more than other to actually be a part of the campus inner and outer workings.
Q: What advice would you share with parents of BCOE students who will be seniors next
Frances Wilson: Ruperd had a job lined up by the beginning of his senior year which took a lot of pressure off of him and I believe made his senior year more enjoyable. I would encourage parents to encourage their students to start looking and applying for jobs and/or graduate programs now.
Ruperd Wilson Sr.: I would tell parents to tell their all-most seniors to actually get involved in some of the engineer societies and get involved in the community in some type of way.
Q: How do you feel about being the parents of a soon-to graduate Electrical Engineer?
Frances Wilson: I feel blessed and humbled to have a soon-to- graduate of Electrical Engineering
Ruperd Wilson Sr.: I am happy and humbled by the fact that my son is such an intelligent person and has a good attitude and is still humble in heart
Q: What do you plan to say to Ruperd after he walks across the stage to receive his diploma?
Frances Wilson: Ruperd knows that the first thing I will say is “Hallelujah!!!!” Then I will tell him “I am so proud of you and all that you have accomplished. I am most proud though of your character and the man you are becoming. You care about people, are kind, thoughtful ,fun to be around and are an overall great person. I know that you are going to continue to do great things and I know that the world will be a better place because you lived. I am honored to be your Mom and I love you very much.
Ruperd Wilson Sr.: I will probably cry for us, he knows I’m a crier because I love him so much and I’ll probably just tell him I love him and humbled and proud of his hard work. He reminds me a lot of my dad and his ambition and to never get puffed up or arrogant and to always stand up for him-self and never forget God gave him all his talent and always help his Mom because she took him and his sister to the library every week starting at three years old.