Texas A&M Statement of Purpose
When I entered my undergraduate studies here at RPI, there were two things I wanted to learn: the proper theory behind being a nuclear engineer, and how to cook. My grades have shown the proficiency I have gained in the former, and I'm sure anyone reading has seen my transcript as part of my application, but none of my teachers have seen any of my cakes. I've made my fair share of mistakes in the kitchen (there are apparently multiple kinds of sugar, including one that makes once-sturdy baked goods crumble like the Berlin Wall), but I have learned much over time. The first lesson I learned was that there are three things needed in any successful culinary endeavor: good ingredients, a solid recipe, and well-made equipment. If any are lacking, the food will be put to waste.
Getting interested in food isn't surprising. After all, we eat it every day. As for Health Physics, I believe we use that every day as well. Radiation is all around us, and a natural part of the environment. When I took Radiological Engineering under Dr. XXXXXXX here at RPI, I learned practical methods of radiation detection and the effects of radiation on the body. It got me interested in the subject of internal and external radiation dosimetry and the effects of radiation on living tissue, and how that can be used to aid people. That interest was redoubled when I found out that my father was diagnosed with cancer and radioactive seed therapy was used to cure him. He is alive today based partly on the work of Health Physicists. They do important work because, be it food or radiation, you need to be careful just what goes into your body.
If something is worth eating, it is worth putting time and effort into it. Part of that effort is finding the best ingredients available to go into what you're making. I feel that, if accepted, I will be of great benefit to your University. I have been accepted into Tau Beta Pi, which holds a strict academic and character-based admittance policy. Anyone applying to this course of study will have taken at least a class or two in the subject, but I bring to the table a strong multidisciplinary skill set, having my undergraduate degree in both Nuclear and Mechanical Engineering, as well as minors in both management and economics. I also bring a fierce desire to learn, and to aid in research. My biggest regret in my undergraduate work was that I spent a lot of time taking classes and not enough doing research, which I hope to correct in my graduate work.
All work, regardless of the goal, must have a plan to succeed. In this, a well-written recipe is a masterpiece to behold. The previous cook explored new territory and was able to share his thoughts, successes and failures with those whom he preceded. When looked at in this way, the recipe is reminiscent of professors. They are sensei - those who came before. There are many professors that I'd like to meet or work under at Texas A&M, including Drs. XXXXXX and XXXX. I read their latest paper ".........." and the practicality is appealing. Maintaining public calm and assuring scientific / economic quality of the response is a focus, although it branches out into topics and recommendations for agencies at federal and international levels. The professors that I have read about at A&M have an insight that I would appreciate the opportunity to work and learn under.
Part of what makes their work great is the tools that they are able to use. You can't make a cheesecake without an oven (although if you don't have a grater for the lemon zest, a potato peeler and garlic press will yield pretty good results). Likewise, the facilities at A&M are some of the best in the world. Furthermore, there is a good program in place for studying Health Physics. The environment itself facilitates a good education and solid work. Although I haven't been to the campus yet, the equipment lists on the department website are very well stocked. The specialty buildings are very intriguing, like the Micro-beam Cell Irradiation Facility. I am interested in studying the effects of low-dose ionizing radiation on tissue, as it still remains one of the few things that is a worse poison than my chicken dishes.
I'm still no master cook, but I am very glad to say that some friends of mine have taken pity on me and force down whatever I manage to whip up. That's the last and best thing about cooking: somebody to share it with. I've spoken with a few Aggies and they love everything about the university. I can usually find something wrong with every place, but the only "complaint" I've heard from Texans is that it gets hot in the summer. As I write this from the frozen north, that seems more of a draw. The community is unbelievably genial, and I hope to spend more time with them in the coming academic year. Thank you for considering me.