Rising SGA Senator tells personal story


My name is Makayla Torrey. I’m a first-year civilian student at Norwich. I’m from a small town called Windsor in Massachusetts. My hobbies include snowboarding and snowmobiling. I’ve been doing both since I was very young. At Norwich, I’m the Public Relations Officer for the Ballroom Dancing Club and a rising Senator for SGA.  

My major is different from others I know on campus. Others I know enjoy saying “nursing” or “CJ.” I, however, have a more complex, yet oddly specific, major. Its official title is BS in engineering, with a concentration in architecture. On top of that, I’m pursuing an English minor. The cherry on top is that although technically my major is general engineering, I take civil engineering classes. According to the faculty in the engineering department, I’m the only student on campus pursuing this particular major. The story behind my major is about as complicated as mine. When I first began applying to colleges a year or so ago, I did so with the idea that I would pursue a degree in architectural engineering. I looked at schools such as the University of Florida, and PennState, both of which offered me that major. I was accepted into both, but when choosing a school, I picked Norwich. The only issue was that Norwich doesn’t offer an architectural engineering degree. For the first two months, I was a mechanical engineering major. I didn’t like mechanical engineering much, so finally, I sat down with my advisor and said, “this is what I want to do,” and so my complicated major was declared.  

I discovered Norwich from one of my mom’s customers at her job, who happened to be an engineer. I walked into work one day, and she told me she was just on the phone with a guy who went to Norwich and whose father also attended Norwich. At the time, I wanted to be a pilot in the Air Force, which she’d told him while they were talking, and he said to her that I should look into Norwich. My mother and I are huge snowmobilers. When she found out Norwich was in Vermont and that it was for the military (she’s also very patriotic), she fell in love with it and was convinced it was the school for me. So we looked into it, but then I changed what I wanted to do, the dream changed, and I became convinced that Norwich was not for me. I fell in love with this other school, the University of Florida. Fortunately for me, I got accepted. Unfortunately for me, it was too expensive for a student from Windsor, Massachusetts, the same as all the other schools. Norwich offered me the best scholarships, so I chose Norwich. It’s close to home, affordable, and has a good engineering program, so I decided on it.  

My expected graduation year is 2026. My post-graduation goal is to move to Florida to become an engineer for Walt Disney Imagineering. Honestly, on this campus, it is not something you hear every day. But this is a dream I’ve been chasing since middle school, and Disney is one of the most significant parts of my life. Only temporarily did I get off the Disney Dream, as I mentioned previously. I’d say that this is both my set career and my dream career, which I embark on journeying towards this summer during my participation in the Disney College Program.