Justin Mason confident his curiosity will lead to a career in engineering

Justin Mason


Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Justin Mason, and I am from Hot Springs. I am a junior pursuing an engineering and physics degree. I have always been interested in how things work, in both mechanics and the universe, and have decided to make that curiosity my career.

Are you a first-generation college student?

I am not a first-generation college student, however, I am a second generation Reddie, as my mother both studied and graduated from Henderson. According to her, it was a given that I was to go to college after high school.

What inspired you to major in engineering?

I wanted to know the why’s and how’s of the world. Why does a bridge not collapse? Why does a car speed up when you press the gas pedal? Why do some materials work good for one application, and not another? I want to be able to answer these types of questions and use their answers to build and create things of my own.

Why did you choose Henderson to pursue your degree?

Henderson is relatively close to home and is one of the more affordable colleges around. Further, it was my mother’s Alma Mater, so her praise of the campus and faculty heavily influenced my decision to attend here.

What has been your favorite class so far, and why?

My favorite class for my degree has been Dynamics. The class is somewhat advanced physics, and has allowed me to better visualize and understand the forces and motions of what I am studying.  

Are you involved in any clubs, organizations, or extracurricular activities on campus?

I am involved in a smattering of clubs here on campus. I am involved in Reddie Rockets. This is a club that focuses on building rockets and launching them. This is a great way to help learn some things, as well as is a terrific way to reinforce/apply what you have already learned. I am also involved in robotics. This is a club that similarly focuses on building and learning things. In Robotics, we plan, code, fabricate, and make the things necessary to build a robot. If you don’t know how to do something, we can all learn together. I am also part of SPS, The Society of Physics Students. SPS focuses on more social aspects of a club while also doing projects/events around campus and in the Reynolds science building. These clubs have led me to projects that reinforce what I have learned, as well as led me to learn new things and meet many new people here on campus.

What advice would you give to incoming students to make the most of their experience at Henderson?

Don’t be afraid to be involved with people or organizations. They are here for your benefit and to help you better yourself and your studies.

Is there anything you wish you had known when you first started college?

I wish I had known, or realized, that the faculty is here to help you. Ask them your questions, and they will be more than happy to help. I have had a few professors that gave the class access to their personal cell phone number, and simply asked us to not call them in the middle of the night, unless we really needed to. They are here to help, and sincerely want to.

What are your career aspirations or plans after graduation?

I’m not quite sure what I want to do after graduation. I want a job that is both enjoyable and interesting that pays well. I may dive off into the workforce, or I may continue my education and pursue master’s degrees. I’m simply not sure yet.

Please share something about yourself that would surprise most people, including your friends.

I find it funny, and I am sure those who know me would too, that I was very close to pursuing a “full ride” in culinary school. I do enjoy cooking, and was very tempted to make it my career.

If you could have lunch with any historical figure, who would it be?

If I had to pick someone, I would have to go the physics route. It would have to be Einstein or Neil deGrasse Tyson. I would love to simply pick their minds about the workings of the universe and the things within it, from atoms to galaxies.