March 19, 2008
For Brett Olson, running and studying go hand in hand.
A member of the Rice cross-country and track team, Olson runs an average of 70 miles per week. The Valedictorian from Flower Mound, Texas holds a 3.92 GPA as a Civil and Environmental Engineering major.
During the school year, Olson organizes study sessions and tutors students in introductory physics as an Academic Fellow for his residential college, Will Rice.
He also serves as Treasurer for the American Society of Civil Engineers. His responsibilities include writing all checks and reporting income and expenditures.
"I chose to come to Rice because I felt this was an ideal environment to succeed academically and athletically. It was important to me to compete well in track without compromising any of my academic ambitions. The college system was also an important factor in my decision. I like living and socializing in a small, friendly environment within the larger university." Olson said.
Olson spent six weeks in Germany in 2006 as a part of the IH Freiburg Study Abroad Program, a language intensive program taught in German approximately five hours per day. The following summer, Olson interned with Pate Engineers in Houston. His focus included projects in the Woodlands and Iowa Colony, TX. Olson worked on cost estimations, ditch grade and drainage calculations, metes and bounds, and utility layouts. He also developed a model with Pipe 2000 to determine water line pressures in a Municipal Utility District.
"I thought the internship was a good experience and taught me a lot about the Land Development aspect of civil engineering." Olson said.
Olson was named Rice's 2007 Scholar Athlete of the Year Award for his combination of athletic and academic excellence. He recently won the award for a second consecutive year for his unmatched achievement. Further, Olson was presented with the 2007 Hubert E. Bray Scholar Athlete of the Year Award as the male athlete with the highest GPA of any of Rice's Scholar Athletes. Olson was also awarded the C-USA Commissioner's Academic Medal and named to the Commissioner's Honor Roll and was an ESPN Academic All-District VI that same year.
"After I get my undergraduate degree, I plan on getting my masters degree at Rice. I would also like to do lots of traveling and plan to start competing in Triathlons once I am finished running for Rice. When I'm old, I plan on getting more involved in the community, especially advocating for more parks and pedestrian friendly paths within cities." said Olson, who is a member of Rice's Outdoors Club.
Olson is destined to be one of Tomorrow's Leaders.