William Lew

My mentor is Professor Peter Drake. He has lots of insight to share about my academics and major, while also encouraging me to engage with different programs and opportunities offered at L&C.

William, sitting on the ground in front of the Manor House, smiling and wearing a blue plaid coll...

Pronouns

he/him

Degree and Class Year

BA ’23

Hometown

San Ramon, California

Major

Computer science

Overseas study

Osaka, Japan

What three words would you use to describe L&C?

Vibrant, Friendly, Eye-opening

What’s your favorite class? How has it expanded your knowledge?

My favorite class I’ve taken so far has to be the screenwriting course I’m taking this semester through the entrepreneurship and leadership program taught by Fernley Phillips. Fernley has so much insight about breaking into the industry and how to write a spec script. Most of the class is focused on writing and workshopping our own screenplays, which includes reading them aloud and discussing them as a class. It’s so much fun to hear everyone’s ideas and see their screenplays come to fruition.

Who is your mentor on campus? Why do you consider this person your mentor?

My mentor on campus is Associate Professor of Computer Science Peter Drake. He is a professor of computer science and my academic advisor. I am also currently working on research with him about how video games can motivate earthquake preparedness. He has lots of insight to share about my academics and major, while also encouraging and supporting me to engage with different programs and opportunities offered at L&C.

What made you want to come to Lewis & Clark?

The main reasons I came to L&C were the liberal arts education and the small size of the school. I wanted to attend a liberal arts school because I was interested in other studies, like music and fiction writing, as well as computer science. I also wanted to come to a small school where I knew that I could have a personal relationship with professors and they would be invested in helping me succeed.

How do you describe the liberal arts?

To me, the liberal arts is all about changing the way you see the world and emphasizing looking at life from all perspectives.

Where do you find community on campus?

I find community on campus in the classroom. Because L&C is a liberal arts school, classes will oftentimes contain people from a wide variety of majors. This makes it feel like I’m always finding new people to meet in my classes, while also seeing a lot of familiar faces in my major-specific classes.

What is/was the best thing about living on campus?

I’ve lived in Howard for the four semesters I’ve been at L&C. Howard is part of the Platt-Howard complex, which is populated by a ton of artists but also really representative of all the diverse types of people here. The best thing about living on campus is definitely being close to your friends all the time. We’re always hanging out, watching movies, or doing homework in each other’s dorms, and it’s great to be only a few minutes walk away from all your friends.

If you went on a New Student Trip with College Outdoors, how did it shape your experience as an incoming student?

My New Student Trip was an amazing experience, and really made me feel a lot more comfortable about transitioning into college. Going on day hikes and paddleboarding with people who were also new students was a great way to relieve the stress of coming to college. I made a bunch of friends, a lot of whom I may not have met otherwise. It is great to see those friendly faces around campus.

If you have studied or will study overseas while at Lewis & Clark, how did you choose your program? What did your overseas study add to your L&C experience so far?

I hope to be studying in Osaka, Japan, next fall. I have always wanted to go to Japan and thought it would be a great place to study abroad. Initially, I was hesitant about going on a language-intensive program, but after taking the Beginning Japanese class, I fell in love with it. The classes are so much more engaging and interesting than my high school language classes were, and the professors here are amazing. I’m super excited to be immersed in the language and culture while I’m abroad and expand my worldview beyond what can be done in the classroom.

Have you had the opportunity to do research with a professor? If so, please describe the project and the experience.

This semester I have been working on the interdisciplinary Earthquake Research Project at L&C. I’m working with Peter Drake and Associate Professor of Geological Science Liz Safran to build video games using the Unity game engine to examine what factors motivate people to prepare for a devastating earthquake. The experience has been great and has allowed me to learn a lot about game development, which is something that isn’t covered in the normal computer science courses. Working with students and professors in other fields has also been fascinating.