By Heather Cass
Publications & Design Coordinator, Penn State Behrend
Major: English, with Professional Writing option
Minors: Management Information Systems
Certificate: Social Media
On choosing Behrend: “It has the resources and prestige that come with being Penn State, but with smaller classes. I was able to not only really get to know my professors—and to have them know me—but also to have the kind of intense discussions in small classes that turn an average learning experience into a profound one.”
On English as a versatile degree: “I always had a knack for writing and I like helping people. With English, specifically with the professional writing option, I can help businesses communicate more effectively. I like solving problems, and ineffective communication is essentially a problem of words; every word we use is a choice, so how can we use words in the most effective way to get our point of view across? English is an exciting major because it’s a major of possibilities!”
On minoring in MIS: “I decided to minor in MIS without any prior technical background. There were times I questioned my ability to do something so different than what I was used to, but I stuck it out and eventually got two MIS-related internships.”
Proudest accomplishment at Behrend: “Any time I help another student succeed. Whether that’s through tutoring (Peszel was the lead writing tutor at the college’s Learning Resource Center) or just giving someone advice, nothing makes me more proud than knowing I helped someone in a positive way.”
Words to live by: “Someone once told me that there is no comfort in the growth zone, but there’s no growth in the comfort zone. I try to remember that when I’m doing something new. If you never get out of your comfort zone and try new things, you don’t give yourself the chance to grow.”
Advice for new students: “People will tell you not to take your electives right away and to ‘save’ them, but if you aren’t sure what you want to major in, take some electives! You won’t know if something is right for you until you try it.”
During her time at Behrend Peszel was a member and officer of Alpha Sigma Tau, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Reality Check. She participated in Alternative Spring Break in 2014, wrote for the Behrend Beacon, and was involved with the Lion Entertainment Board for two years. She also served as the lead writing Tutor of the Learning Resource Center where she honed her skills in technical writing.
Peszel will graduate on Friday, Dec. 19. She has accepted an MIS position at Erie Insurance.