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Two ECE scholar-athletes honored

GordonZuccaWhen it comes to juggling academics, personal life and family, being in college can often feel like a balancing act. 

That's why Ohio State University Electrical and Computer Engineering majors, John Zucca and Ray Gordon, deserve special accolades for showing how it's done right. The swimmer and wrestler, respectively, were just named to the Academic All-Big Ten team. 

In all, 735 winter sports student-athletes were recognized across the conference from basketball, gymnastics, men's ice hockey, swimming and diving and wrestling. Among those, seven are enrolled in the College of Engineering. To be eligible for Academic All-Big Ten selection, student-athletes must be letterwinners who are in at least their second academic year at their institution and carry a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.

Zucca took a moment this week to answer some questions from the ECE, offerring advice to other students trying to find that greater balance between academics and athletics.

ECE: How has it been balancing your dedication to swimming with your EE studies? Any advice for freshmen wanting to pursue a similar path?

Zucca: Balancing a sport with Electrical Engineering has required a lot of time-management and determination. The advisers in ECE, as well as SASSO, did a great job working with me to find class schedules where I could minimize my class conflicts with swimming, but still get into all of the classes that I wanted to take. My advice to anyone pursuing the same path would be not to shy away from taking large course loads in their first couple years. Once you also have to balance in a couple of labs with several technical courses and 3-4 hours of practice every day, your schedule will become hectic and difficult to balance.

ECE: Why did you choose EE as a major, what are your future plans?

Zucca: In high school I knew that I wanted to do some kind of engineering. I was drawn to Electrical Engineering by the electricity and magnetism presented by a high school physics class. Once I looked into the ECE department at Ohio State and saw that some of the areas they taught really interested me, I made my decision.

After I graduate in May, I will be working with Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems in Baltimore, MD. I do plan to go back to school in order to earn my MBA as well.

ECE: As a senior, you must be getting ready for graduation soon. How do you think your years at OSU have shaped you as a person?​

My experiences at OSU have taught me valuable lessons in time-management and using all of my resources efficiently. I have learned how to take charge on a team, as well as follow a leader and make contributions to the team's goals.