Student Spotlight: Maddie Wieland

maddiewielandOn June 15, Maddie Wieland will walk across the stage at Centralia College’s commencement ceremony, having earned her associate degree in Diesel Technology. But, Maddie isn’t done. Not by a long shot.

“I always planned to get my bachelor’s degree. That’s why I came to Centralia College,” she said. “I wanted to stay close to home and earn my degree. I didn’t want to move my whole life.”

Maddie will start Centralia College’s bachelor of applied science degree program in Diesel Technology this summer. In the meantime, she’s hoping to find an internship this summer and work part-time in the field during her last two years of school.

“My plan is to work in a shop for 10-15 years and then go into management,” she said.

Maddie, who lives in Olympia, has always known she wanted a hands-on career. She started working on cars with her dad at a young age; she loved fixing things and knowing how they work. She took automotive classes in high school and enjoyed them, but wanted an additional challenge. When she learned about the Diesel Technology program at Centralia College, she knew it would be a good fit.

However, she did experience some jitters, especially for her Engines 1 class.

“You have to tear an engine down to the block and put it back together, and it has to run,” she described. “It was pretty stressful. But, the instructors are awesome. They’re so helpful. It wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be.”

Maddie has been able to get involved on campus, as well. She is a member of the Diesel Club on campus and was president of the Car Show Club, which plans an annual car show at the college every May.

Overall, she said Centralia College has been a great choice for her.

“All of the instructors are great. They really go into depth on things. They all have different styles of teaching, so it helps you learn,” she said. “And, I get to work on a variety of things. I like the fact I’m able to say I work on cool machinery.”

For more information on the Diesel Technology program at Centralia College, contact Tyson Lucas at 360-623-8479 or

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