Caroline Tallent has big goals for herself. The mechanical engineering major at Wichita State University hopes to someday become an Air Force pilot or astronaut — perhaps even work at NASA.
She's just a sophomore, so she has plenty of time to dream and plan. But right now, her immediate goal is to put softballs into flight as a first baseman on the WSU softball team. She chose Wichita State after checking into schools with strong engineering and strong softball.
“(Wichita State) is like literally the best place for the aerospace industry,” Tallent said. “Once I found this place, I was like, ‘I really want to go here.’”
Tallent earned a spot on the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll and the Easton/NFCA All-America Scholar-Athlete team with a 4.0 grade-point average as a freshman. The same analytical mind that makes her a good student helped her improve her hitting during her first season in college. She grew up on a farm in Tennessee, where she learned how to use tools and help out. One of her hobbies is making furniture from scrap metal on the farm.
“I remember I was like 10 or 11 and my dad started asking me, ‘How would you fix this, or go fix this,’” she said. “I’d be like, ‘I have some wire and a hammer. How am I supposed to make this fence stay up?’ That process of critical thinking and problem solving – I just love it.”