Balancing coursework with his other interests and activities takes some dexterous juggling, but junior electrical engineering major Nathaniel Goonasekeram wouldn’t have it any other way.
Anyone looking for Nate, an honors student who plays piano and guitar at worship services and is active in various campus organizations, should be ready to move almost as fast as he does. Before you know it, he could be biking to Virginia, or dancing with other members of the student club Swing Kids.
“I keep very busy. What I’ve learned about myself over time is that I don’t like having nothing to do.”
His schedule is packed, but that doesn’t mean he has no time to put others at their ease. He is eager to help his peers feel at home, using skills he practiced last year as an Orientation Assistant, a volunteer tasked with helping first-year students adjust to life on campus. This year, he’ll serve his community as a Resident Assistant (RA).
For the past two summers, he has been a paid intern at the Applied Physics Lab of Johns Hopkins University. He credits the staff of Catholic University’s Center for Academic and Career Success with helping him craft the résumé that opened the door to his internship.
“I’ve been doing stuff with optics, working with something I didn’t know so much about — laser light. I had the privilege of working next to Ph.D.s in the lab, learning tricks and techniques. I could ask questions it didn’t make sense for me to ask in the classes I’ve taken so far.”
Back on campus, when he finds himself stumped and at a momentary standstill, he gets an assist from his younger brother, Sammy.
“My brother’s a straight-A student. I’m really proud of him. He’s also a computer guy. I can text him at any hour of the day with a question about some obscure thing, and he gets back to me in 60 seconds with the answer.”