• YEAR: Senior
  • MAJOR: Atmospheric Science
  • HOMETOWN: Bath, Ohio

James Parish

Some people have favorite musicians. Some have favorite authors. James Parish has favorite meteorologists.

For this atmospheric science major, the forecast is clear — James plans a meteorology career, starting at a local news station and making his way to The Weather Channel or "Good Morning America." For now, he delivers weather news on "Fast Track," Purdue's student-produced television news. Not one to limit his exposure, James was invited to join an elite choir when he was in second grade (but opted instead to play sports), has worked as a DJ for WCCR at Cary Quad and wouldn't mind, someday, hosting his own radio talk show. And that's a wrap.

Honorable mention

He sure knows how to lend a helping hand. If you were to take all of the honors James received during high school and put them on rolling credits on a newscast, there would be little time left for the news.

Those honors include Golden Key International Honor Society member, Sigma Alpha Lambda National Leadership and Honors Organization member, the Prudential Spirit Community Award for being one of the top young volunteers in Ohio, and the President's Call to Service Award. And the list goes on.

Serving others

Following the philosophy of Albert Einstein, who said that "only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile," James has built community playgrounds, tutored multi-handicapped children, served meals to the homeless and helped school children in Akron, Ohio. During his sophomore year, he was an Undergraduate Studies Program (USP) student council member and a USP representative for Purdue Student Government. "You need to take action if you want to make a change - that's why I became involved," he says.

Learning by doing

In addition to working for Fast Track, over the past two summers, James has interned with two chief meteorologists in Cleveland: Mark Johnson of WEWS Channel 5 and Jeff Tanchak of WOIO Channel 19. "It was because of these two opportunities that I am committed to becoming one of the best meteorologists in the business," James says. He admires Jim Cantore, Mike Seidel and Greg Forbes from The Weather Channel and hopes to join their ranks someday. But it's not all about being on camera for this young man. He is an undergraduate teaching assistant in atmospheric science and has done research on climate change and heat stress.

On fun, food, (furry) friends and forecasts

James would be happy sitting on a beach, eating crab legs and chicken wings. If stranded, he'd be content with his iPod, computer and cat, Sprinkles. For this news maker, the forecast is sunny skies and a clear horizon.