Jason N. Keatseangsilp, AZ A ’17, grew up in Tucson, Arizona an avid tennis player and brilliant student. During his senior year of high school, he was in a rappelling accident that injured his spinal cord. He began to use a wheelchair and during his rehabilitation period, decided he wanted to pursue an engineering degree.
Keatseangsilp enrolled in the University of Arizona, majoring in biomedical engineering. During his time in college, he played a bit in a wheelchair tennis league but mainly focused on his studies. In 2017, he was initiated into the Arizona Alpha chapter of Tau Beta Pi and graduated with a degree in biomedical engineering. Post-graduation, he became more passionate about wheelchair tennis and decided to pursue the sport competitively. In 2018, he joined the Team USA wheelchair tennis team.
When recently asked by an interviewer, “Do you have any advice for people considering starting college after a major injury or illness?” Keatseangsilp responded with solid insight:
“Make sure you’re healthy before starting college. I rushed back to school after my spinal cord injury, which was a mistake. Physically, I wasn’t ready to take on college at the time, which resulted in physical and mental setbacks. I ended up needing to medically withdraw for one semester to solely focus on my health. After I was healthy again, I returned to school and was fine from there.”(University of Arizona College of Engineering)
Right now, he is the No. 2 ranked player in the United States and the No. 55 ranked player on the global stage in the world singles category. Keatseangsilp says he wanted to put everything into playing competitively before finding a full-time engineering job and he is grateful that it’s worked out so far.
Although he is pursuing tennis as his career path, he still uses his engineering skills to tutor college students at the University of Arizona SALT Center when he has free time. Keatseangsilp also has just accepted a place in the Johns Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering Engineer Management Masters Program. It is part-time and online, so he can continue to tutor and train for tennis full time.
His goals for the near future include qualifying for the Paralympics within the next year and a half; however, in the long-term Keatseangsilp sees himself getting back into engineering on the business management side of production.
University of Arizona College of Engineering. “Q&A: Alum Climbs World Rankings in Wheelchair Tennis.” News, 27 Jan. 2022, https://news.engineering.arizona.edu/news/qa-alum-climbs-world- rankings-wheelchair-tennis?utm_source-firstbell&utm_medium=banner&utm_campaign=wheelchairtennis&utm_content=wheelchairtenni