Student Spotlight: Ian Goakey

Engineering Major & SGA VP would "love to build his own company"
By UW-Sheboygan

Ian GoakeyUW-Sheboygan’s student spotlight for the month of October is on Ian Goakey, an engineering major and current Vice President of Student Government. A native of Baraboo, Ian recently moved to Sheboygan Falls to take advantage of UW-Sheboygan’s engineering program.

This monthly feature highlights a student’s academic achievement and provides the community with an inside look into campus life and a greater understanding of the diverse profiles and experiences of our students.

Name: Ian Goakey
Age: 25 years
Hometown: Sheboygan Falls
High School: Baraboo High School, 2010
Major: Electrical & Mechanical Engineering
Career Goal: Project management or engineering design, but I'd love to build a company or business on my own some day. I feel I'll never be satisfied with settling into one thing, so whatever is new, exciting, and impactful is what I hope to be doing.

Why did you choose UW-Sheboygan? Seeing that the campus had a brand new engineering wing, small classes with more one-on-one with professors, and plenty of other things to do such as clubs, on campus jobs, and so forth, it got me really excited. Though other campuses have clubs, jobs, and such, this campus had a new engineering wing already built which spoke a lot to me in that they really know how to get something done on this campus. Now for the other campuses that already have an Engineering Wing/Building, this one also has smaller class sizes and study spots that are very secluded so that even though there is a good amount of room, there's little traffic in those areas to distract a student.

Outside of being a college student, what takes up your free time?  I am the Vice President of UW Sheboygan's Student Government Association, a Leader of the Engineering/Rocket Club, and still trying to form a Pool Club (since my first year where my difficulty was in understanding how to form a sport style club). I also work in Student Affairs (UW Sheboygan's Solution Center), with some tutoring in the Student Success Center. I also have a part-time job at Gabe’s Construction, where I work directly under a Civil Engineer on AutoCAD Drawings. We work on telephone pole placements and their designs for various clients. Primarily, I make the small adjustments that are sometimes needed after the design has been completed and revisions are requested/needed. I also help by preparing drawings with maps, filename changes, and title block changes.

Who is your favorite professor or staff member? It's unfair to single any one of these amazing people, seeing how hard custodial works to keep the campus clean and exemplary professors such as Bill Dirienzo, David Louzecky, Thomas Campbell, and others who spend hours of time helping students, teaching them directly, and even supporting /assisting club activities!

What is your favorite class?  Honestly, it's pretty much any Philosophy course that ends up being my favorite - because it gets me to think deeply and see different perspectives.

What do you plan to do after UW-Sheboygan? Working as a Project Manager or a Design Engineer of some sort - if I don't start my own company or something else first.

What is one piece of advice you have for incoming UW-Sheboygan students? Participate, in class, in clubs, in conversation. Not participating just makes classes more difficult and makes life boring and uneventful. Become the person you choose to be by participating in everything that even mildly interests you, to see what it is like. You will guarantee yourself to never be bored.

Additional thoughts on UW-Sheboygan’s student life:  During my first year, I noticed the pool table at UW-Sheboygan was a bit worn out. After a month of research and preparing paperwork to present to the Student Government Association, a brand-new pool table was purchased!  Next year, I participated in a rocket competition and our team placed 5th - with only five points behind first place. This was another achievement that I'm proud of. It's not all about achievements. I've had to retake a couple of courses because I underestimated the difficulty in certain classes and didn't budget my time very well. My learning lesson for budgeting time is that the little gaps of time between activities cannot be considered - because doing homework in less than 15 min. sections of time is not the same as having full sections of 45 min. or hours to work on things. Failing a couple classes wasn't the end of the world. I aced them the second time around. My life philosophy from all this, is that I can be who I want to be. One thing I refuse to do is to give up; but what I try hard to live up to, is to inspire others in my own way.



UW-Sheboygan is located at One University Drive in Sheboygan. For more information about the campus, visit or phone 920-459-6600.                                                                         




Sue Bausch, Regional Director of Communications