ΦKΦ Member Spotlight

Marla Elsea
Apr 27, 2022

After growing up in Wagoner, Oklahoma, Patrick Curley headed to Lubbock, Texas, to attend Texas Tech University. There he joined the football team, earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and was initiated into Phi Kappa Phi. This year, he's continuing his stint at Texas Tech to work on an MBA and spend one more year on the football field as a Red Raider.

Though his time as a student-athlete has presented challenges through injuries and the pandemic, he has continued to succeed. While maintaining a 4.0 GPA in mechanical engineering with a minor in mathematics, he was selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America as First-Team Academic All-District and landed a spot in the Big 12 Conference as First-Team Academic All-Big 12. He has also earned the Dr. Gerald Lage Academic Achievement Award which is the Big 12 Conference's highest academic achievement award.

Outside of the library and the football field, he stays involved with the community – both on and off campus. He has served as the president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and organized career development and community engagement opportunities for his peers. He also spent time volunteering at food banks, elementary schools, an animal shelter and the Salvation Army. "I initially volunteered in hopes of impacting the community, but I soon realized that they were actually the ones having the most significant impact on my life," he said.

Let's get to know Patrick!

Why did you accept the invitation to join Phi Kappa Phi?
I had become edified of the honor and integrity of Phi Kappa Phi early in my academic journey. Therefore, when I received the invitation to join, I was elated and could not act quickly enough. Phi Kappa Phi means so much more to me than just academic recognition. It is even more than a well-established historical honor society. As cliché as it may sound, it is a family.

What kind of music do you prefer?
As a native of rural northeast Oklahoma, I love listening to country music and gospel. It has even been argued that we very well may have learned the songs of Blake Shelton or Toby Keith before our ABCs.

Who is your favorite sports hero?
Tim Tebow, an incredible athlete but an even better man. A selfless leader who displayed what true character is – on and off the field.

What do you enjoy most about engineering?
Engineering to me is the opportunity to leave the world a better place than when you arrived. Everything today in modern-day society contains a marvel of engineering. Most of all, the protection and longevity of our great planet depends on breakthroughs in science and engineering, and it is up to myself and all fellow engineers across the globe to act now.

What has been your most significant success in life?
I believe that I have been extraordinarily blessed with many successes. However, if I were to choose my most defining success, I would ultimately choose graduating at the top of my class with a 4.0, all while studying one of the most challenging majors at the university, competing full-time as a student-athlete, completing multiple internships, leading a student organization and completing over 80+ hours of volunteering.

What have you learned about teamwork from your experiences on teams?
Teamwork that is executed effectively is truly an art form – deeply rooted and reliant upon communication, selflessness and a common goal. It has revealed the gift of comradery, the power of friendship and the fulfillment of serving a much bigger purpose than any one person. Teamwork has taught me not to think less of myself but think of myself less.

What do you hope to accomplish professionally in the next five years?
In the next five years, I hope to overachieve my expectations for myself. I hope I consistently surpass goals that are followed by higher standards. But most of all, I hope to make a difference in the world – for the better.

Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of sports?
I am a sucker for poetry. It began as fascination and appreciation for such eloquently placed words but was soon followed by an innocent mimicry and passion-filled poems.

What is your favorite podcast?
I am not sure if it qualifies as a podcast, but I like to use Headspace periodically throughout the week – for focusing, letting go of stress or just winding down!

What is your favorite subject in school?
I suppose if I were honest, I would reveal my nerdiness, but on second thought, it has probably already been exposed at this point. Therefore, I would say math and science are my favorite subjects. I enjoyed these most due to the logic that was associated with them. Something about how I am wired allowed the subjects to "click" in my brain.

To learn more about Patrick and connect, visit his profile within our online member community, here.

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