Thomas Frokedal

Thomas Frokedal Photo
Troy, NY
Mechanical Engineering Technology

Tommy joined the 49ers as a Hudson Valley Community College transfer student from Troy in upstate New York. When he learned there was no school close by that offered a four year degree in the program of his choice, Mechanical Engineering Technology, he decided to travel to his dream location to make it happen – Charlotte, NC! If he was going to have to travel for college, he knew he wanted to take the leap while living in a place he always wanted to be.

When asked about the best part of his journey so far at UNC Charlotte, he commented:

“The best part about my journey is finding a solid group of fellow students (most of them older than average college age) with a similar passion for mechanics, a solid work ethic, and similar interests in career paths.”

Tommy added that his transition from the community college to the University was a wake-up call. He explained how at the University level, expectations can be greater. However, that didn’t stop him from working very hard to attain his educational goals and become very successful. He was able to work hard enough to make his GPA soar above a 3.0, and attributes that to hard work and a little help from those around him. His teachers and classmates all pushed him hard to shape him into the student and man he is today.

“By giving me recognition, it felt wonderful to be recognized as a demographic.  Although I do not have a family, and was not in the military, I have been given a second chance in life to pursue my dreams.”

When asked about a word of advice he would offer to adult students enrolled or considering enrolling in the University, he stated:

“Give yourself enough time, take the loans, and focus on your education full time.  It is an investment in your future.  Trying to straddle a job and an education both full time [can lead to] doing a mediocre job at both.”

Currently, Tommy has been interning at SteelFab Inc. right here in Charlotte, NC.  He has done everything from welding, to operating a giant band saw, to doing intense mathematical calculations and estimating the costs of future projects.  He is happy to say that after graduation this upcoming May 2016, he has accepted a full time position to train for a year to become a plant manager in the future!

The OASES team sends our congratulations to you Tommy, and wishes him the best of luck after graduation in his dream job!! We hope you’ve enjoyed reading more about one of our many talented adult student engineers, Tommy! If you are interested in sharing your journey or success story with us, please visit: to learn how.