Q&A with Ethan R. King ’27

Q&A with Ethan R. King ’27

This optics major, a capella performer, and recipient of the Rick and Terri Rashid Endowed Scholarship in Engineering excels in the classroom and in the campus community

Ethan R. King ’27 in front of a University of Rochester building on River Campus.

Ethan R. King ’27

What are your academic/career goals? Was there a life experience that sparked your interest in what you’re studying or have planned for a career?

I want to design/invent new products and technologies. As a kid growing up in a very rural area, I often entertained myself by going outside and building structures or contraptions in the woods like catapults and bridges. In my house (much to my mother’s dismay), I would build incredibly complex chain reaction contraptions in my room composed of KNEX, Legos, marbles, cardboard tubes, the fan on my ceiling, and any other creative ways I could transfer energy. As an adult, I knew I wanted to be on the front line of creating groundbreaking technologies, and the rapidly growing field of optics was the best choice.

What are your favorite ways to engage with UR’s campus community outside of the classroom?

I am a member of the Yellowjackets a cappella group and am frequently involved with the chess club and spike ball club. I can often be found practicing my saxophone or singing in the acoustically sealed practice rooms that are provided to us on campus. I was recently elected to be the music director for the Yellowjackets, so I will be spending extra time arranging music and organizing the group in the coming semesters. 

What internship, research project, study abroad, or work opportunities have you been involved in recently? What skills are you taking away from the experience(s)?

For my first optics course (OPT 101), my group and I completed a very professional research poster to wrap up the semester. The poster was based on a lab study we completed with Professor Cotrufo, and demonstrated different light transmission properties of a material as we heated and cooled it.

As the project lead, I learned a great deal about the material on the poster and overcame many of the difficulties associated with working in a group. In the end, my group and I presented a poster that we are very proud of, and I finished with a 4.0 GPA in that class. I’m hoping to do more professional research in the future and am extremely grateful to have had this experience so early on in my college career.

In what ways do you feel scholarship support impacts your experience at the University?

As a student graduating from a high school in a relatively poor rural area, I am incredibly proud to be attending the University of Rochester and am thoroughly enjoying my college experience so far. I cannot possibly express how appreciative I am of the donors that help fund the scholarships that make it possible for me and other students to afford going to such an amazing school. I feel as though I am getting a versatile and beneficial education for my future, and the Rick and Terri Rashid Endowed Scholarship in Engineering allows the University to continue providing a quality education for engineering majors such as me.

The ripple effect of generosity

In 2016, Rick Rashid ’80 (PhD), ’15 (Honorary), retired senior vice president of research at Microsoft, and his wife, Terri Rashid, established the Rick and Terri Rashid Endowed Scholarship in Engineering. Their generous gift was enhanced by the Bennett and Davielle Keiser Scholarship Challenge Fund, which was created by Bennett Keiser ’75, senior executive vice president of Tioga Pipe, and added incremental funding to 16 endowed scholarships established between 2013 and 2016.

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Spring 2024