Extraordinary Engineer: Garrett Stigall

Garrett Stigall

Garrett Stigall

Richmond Hill, GA

High School
Richmond Hill High School

Degree Major
B.S., Civil Engineering

Expected Graduation
May 2024

What is your favorite thing about being a student at UGA?

The camaraderie between students and professors, regardless of their field of study, is truly special. The atmosphere at the University of Georgia is something truly distinctive, something you can not encounter elsewhere. It’s a constant source of inspiration, reminding me of the pride that comes with being a Georgia Bulldog.

Why did you choose engineering?

At the heart of engineering is our mission to create practical solutions for real-life problems. Knowing that our designs directly impact society is what drew me to this field. Engineering is the backbone of progress and innovation in every community, and I’m excited to be a part of that forward momentum.

Why is it important for the university to have a diverse community?

In a community lacking diversity, progress would be stagnant. Without progress, there’s no recognition that things can continually grow and improve. The presence of a diverse community within the university is what fosters the vibrant environment necessary for society’s ongoing evolution.

What has been the greatest challenge you have faced while at UGA, and how did you overcome it?

Recognizing that meaningful change is a gradual process, not something that occurs in the blink of an eye, has been a valuable lesson. Personally, I tend to operate at a quick pace, so when confronted with situations that demand a more methodical approach, it’s akin to suddenly slamming the brakes on a speeding car. Over this past year, I’ve honed my ability to navigate such scenarios. Engaging in conversations with friends, seeking guidance from trusted professors, and affording myself the necessary time to recalibrate has proven to be incredibly beneficial.

What have you learned that has made a difference for you? 

It’s important to recognize that failure is often the stepping stone to success. The achievements we witness today are often constructed upon a foundation of past failures. In our current era, there seems to be a pervasive fear of failure. However, as long as there’s a chance to learn and grow from a setback, you’re on the path towards your ultimate objective.

Who has helped you become a successful student at UGA?

I am very fortunate and lucky enough to say that there are too many clubs, organizations, and professors that have impacted me during my time here to name them all. Just thank you to all of the professors at the College of Engineering, the advisors at Studio 225, the mentors at the Innovation Hub, and the students at all of the above that have impacted me.

What is your favorite spot on campus and why?

One of my go-to spots is definitely Lake Herrick and the IM Fields. I find solace at Lake Herrick, which offers a tranquil escape from the daily school grind, and it’s conveniently nearby. The IM Fields hold a special charm for me, as they’re a place where fellow students unwind, take a break from academic rigors, and simply savor each other’s company while getting to play fun games.

What has been your favorite class at UGA?

My standout class has been Engineering Entrepreneurship (ENGR 4545). It provided me with invaluable insight into the crucial link that must exist between engineers, businesses, and consumers. This course underscored the importance of effective communication in bringing a concept or solution to fruition. It became evident that no matter how brilliant an idea or solution may be, its impact hinges on the ability to convey results effectively to end consumers.

What has been your best memory at UGA?

On a rainy day football game, like the UGA vs Tennessee match in 2022, it’s the fans who stick it out through the downpour that truly show their dedication. This level of commitment amplifies the stadium’s atmosphere, creating an electrifying effect. This feeling is what I will continue to remember as I progress through life.

What advice do you have for younger students who wish to pursue engineering?

While engineering is certainly valuable, it’s crucial to diversify your coursework beyond the specific engineering realm. As engineers, effective communication of our findings and ideas to those outside the science and tech sphere is essential. The key to successful communication lies in understanding different perspectives and learning styles, which can only be achieved by delving into courses aligned with their areas of study. This holistic approach enhances our ability to connect with a broader audience, which is needed as engineers.

How do you hope to impact society with your engineering degree?

I hope to provide innovative solutions to society’s problems at an affordable cost to the consumer. At the end of the day, the impacts I will hopefully make, will have the end user be the everyday joe, and I want their life to become easier and/or better with my solutions.

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