Graduating with honors Bow masters craft, heads to Stanford

Listen to your mother. Travis Bow did. She told the son she had homeschooled most of his life that he might like mechanical engineering.

He was thinking about majoring in English because he enjoyed writing, but she told him that mechanical engineers got to build things and take them apart to see how they work.

He checked into it and, sure enough, Mom knew best.

“I did listen to her advice, which was also to apply for colleges and scholarships often and early,” he said. 

Travis, who grew up in Reno, Nevada, got the best of both worlds at OC when it came to combining his curiosity about science and the way things work, along with his ability to write well.

He was a National Merit Scholar finalist and was accepted into OC’s writing-intensive Honors Program. Travis says he was blessed to earn a full-tuition scholarship to OC … where he, indeed, majored in mechanical engineering.

Fast forward four years. Cap and gown … worn. Capstone research projects … finished, including the construction of a machine that gyrated intensely to test the strength of metal. (“It was fun,” he said.) His degree … earned with honors.

Travis spent the summer after graduation working at Orthocare Innovations (along with several other OC alumni), a leading research organization in orthotics and prosthetics.

Next step: Stanford University, where Travis was accepted into the prestigious master’s program in mechanical engineering.

His new bride, Laura Oestman Bow, accompanied him to Palo Alto, California. She is an OC electrical engineering graduate who worked for Boeing in Oklahoma City before their move out west. With her academic credentials and experience, Laura’s career opportunities look promising, too.

Travis certainly got the full experience at OC and says he enjoyed every minute of it. He especially liked “polar bearing” – jumping into nearby Lake Arcadia during a snow or ice storm.

Since Oklahoma weather conditions are not favorable to that sport most of the time, Travis says he also let off steam by playing a lot of pool, ping pong and intramural sports.

Back when he was an incoming college freshman, Travis relied on his parents’ guidance and wisdom. His experiences and education at OC helped propel him to be the man, husband and graduate he is today.

He has one piece of advice for anyone considering OC, engineering or the Honors Program: “Do it.” 

By Dawn Shelton