Will Garrison considers himself an innovator. A missile systems engineer with Boeing’s U.S. Missile Defense Program, Garrison is part of a visionary team working to develop new products and technologies to enhance U.S. national security measures.
Though Garrison’s academic experiences as a double major in physics and mathematics at Emory & Henry provided a solid technical foundation for his career, Garrison credits the College’s liberal arts approach—with a focus on developing critical thinking, communication and problem-solving skills—as key to his success.
After graduating from Emory & Henry, Garrison enrolled in the graduate program at Georgia Tech’s Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory. He felt well prepared to collaborate with classmates on projects such as constructing aircraft flight simulators, designing conceptual hypersonic missiles and working with GE engineers to design the next-generation Smart Grid.
"To compete on the world stage, we must learn to push boundaries, develop new and unexpected solutions to problems, and communicate what we learn to others,” says Garrison, who earned his master’s degree in 2011 and is now pursuing a Ph.D. from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. “We must become better thinkers. Emory & Henry is in the business of training bright minds to think, and I believe that I received excellent training.”
Hometown: Abingdon, Va.
Current City: Huntsville, Ala.
Occupation: Missile Systems Engineer at Boeing
Advanced education: Master of Science Degree from Georgia Tech’s Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory, 2011; Currently pursuing a Ph.D. in modeling & simulation at the University of Alabama in Huntsville
Advice for prospective students: “If you want to become a part of an exceptional place, where you will grow in ways you never thought possible, build friendships that last a lifetime and develop the tools and abilities to change the world, then check out Emory & Henry. The size of the college gives each student the ability to really be a significant part of campus life, while small classes give opportunities to really engage with and learn from professors.”