Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

Behind the Major with Bear Bright: creating a foundation for all


Bear Bright is a senior at West Texas A&M University pursuing a bachelor of science in civil engineering. Bright is from Borger and enjoys the intricacies of his major.

Bright is open-minded to the career he chooses to pursue.

“I’m interested in becoming either a structural engineer, a town civil engineer for just city design, or wastewater,” Bright said. “There’s more that I’m interested in. Right now, I’m pretty open to most fields dealing with civil engineering.”

After playing a video game, Bright knew a career in civil engineering would be his occupation.

“It’s really funny, but a video game called ‘Cities: Skylines’ interested me in civil engineering,” Bright said. “It was a city design planner, but it was a lot more in-depth than most of the other games that I played. You had to manage resources, but you designed an entire city. It was that game that made me decide to choose civil engineering over other areas of engineering such as architecture.”

Bright believes the work of civil engineers supports everyone.

“It’s kind of the foundation of all the infrastructure of the roads, the bridges, the sewer systems, the sewer lines, making sure buildings continue standing and more,” Bright said. “Everyone is benefiting from what civil engineers have done every single day.”

Due to the high demand for the majors, engineering students often find it challenging to manage academics, jobs, extracurriculars, and personal lives.

“It’s like I have a mountain of boxes, and every once in a while, one keeps falling down, and I have to pick one up, but another one falls down,” Bright said.

One of Bright’s favorite parts of pursuing a civil engineering degree is taking many mathematics courses.

“I really enjoy the math classes,” Bright said. “Among all the ones that I have taken, I would have to say Calculus Three was my favorite. It was hard, but I really liked some of the stuff that was introduced to me.”

After graduating from WT, Bright plans to move to Wisconsin to embrace the cheese extravaganza and live in a city he favors.

“I am planning to move to Wisconsin,” Bright said. “My first goal is to seek a job and work there for a few years. If my job offers to pay me to go to graduate school, then that’s what I will do.”

WT was the right university for Bright for a few reasons.

“It wasn’t too far away from home,” Bright said. “It was considerably cheaper, and it was one of the few schools that let me get into the major I wanted.”

While at WT, Bright has been given several unique opportunities.

“Since the College of Engineering is an ABET accredited school, that already gave me a much wider base of options compared to other universities as well as research opportunities that I’ve been able to pursue,” Bright said. “I did research under Dr. Howell in aquaponics. I also received a grant from the school to pursue my own research in recycling coffee grounds into concrete.”

Among all of WT, Bright favors the engineering professors.

“I really enjoy the engineering professors,” Bright said. “They’re very personable; it’s easy to go talk to them, ask for help and get to know them, especially dealing with a major as hard as engineering. They’ve just been really understanding and supportive to like a lot of their students.”

Around campus, Bright is the president of WT Spectrum and vice president of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Outside academics, Bright enjoys playing games, spending time with his cat and seeing family.

Bright believes you shouldn’t let academics overtake your personal time.

“Take some time for yourself,” Bright said. “School is important, but so are you.”

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About the Contributor
Kaelin Collar
Kaelin Collar, Junior Reporter, Associate Editor-in-Chief
Hi everyone! My name is Kaelin Collar, and I'm a sophomore majoring in biology on a pre-medical track from Oregon. I've been with The Prairie News for one year and am the current Associate Editor. Although I'm not pursuing a career in journalism, The Prairie News continues to improve my interpersonal, interviewing, writing, research and leadership skills that will benefit me in my future career. My career goal is to work in the surgical field, with neurology as my specialty. Aside from academics, I love to read, hike, work, go plant shopping, spend time with friends and family and be on the water. 

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