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Katie Wojke
Interim Vice President
Office of Institutional Advancement
Saint Martin's University
800-220-7722 or 360-438-4366

Student Spotlight:

Student Spotlight: Caleb Stromstad

Caleb Stromstad '12
Lacey, WA

After being in the Marines for four years, with two deployments to Iraq, Caleb was wondering what was next. Trying to find his way, he went to Costa Rica to help his aunt and uncle who run an orphanage there. While in Costa Rica he met Engineers Without Borders and saw them developing clean water projects for the city. It was then that he realized what he wanted to do with his life.

Caleb says that while he was in Costa Rica, “The Lord restored my heart and purpose for living.” He was “motivated to live again” and prayed about where he should live.That day he received an email from his aunt saying, “Come live with me. I’ve got a job for you. “

Caleb returned back to the U.S. to live with his aunt and began going to school at South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC) while working part time at a landscape supply company. He attended SPSCC for two years, and during that time took some engineering courses at Saint Martin’s University, which partners with SPSCC.

Caleb loved Saint Martin’s with its small class sizes and access to professors, which he feels is an advantage over larger universities. “From day one I knew my professor,” says Caleb. The “big kicker” was that he got into the GI program through SMU’s Yellow Ribbon Program, and was able to get a full ride scholarship to continue his engineering studies.

Today, Caleb is married with two children. During his senior year he worked 20 hours a week at Skillings Connolly, Inc., with the promise of a full time job when he graduated. He also meets with a local engineer to design water systems for underprivileged communities globally.

Even though he graduated this spring, Caleb is excited about the new engineering building, with its exposed beams and solar panels and other features from which students can learn. Caleb notes, “The new lab facilities will be amazing from the technical standpoint. Saint Martin’s has a top-of-the-line engineering department. It’s known for putting out good engineering students. But they need access to competitive facilities.For the hydraulics lab we have a couple of new things [in Cebula Hall], but it’s not to the level.It’s lacking an up-to-date practical lab. It will complete the curriculum here.”