Class of 2016: Meet John Galla (Mechanical Engineering)

By Heather Cass
Publications & Design Coordinator, Penn State Behrend

Penn State Behrend’s class of 2016 is ready to make its mark on the world!  We’re proud of our students and the things they’ve accomplished and learned while here at Behrend.  We sat down to talk to some remarkable seniors before they left school and we’d like to a few of our students who have overcome challenges, pioneered new technology, participated in important research projects, and left an impression at Penn State Behrend.

Today, we’d like you to meet  John Galla:

John Galla

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Hometown: Erie

On choosing Behrend: I started college as an economics major at Pitt, but wanted a smaller campus. I also wanted to switch to engineering, and haven’t regretted the decision. I have great relationships with most of my professors because Behrend is a personal school.

Engineering as seen on TV: I had a fantastic summer internship at FMC Technologies in Houston. One R&D project required my mentor and me to build a dipping machine that would consistently coat specimens. But we didn’t have any budget to build it, so we improvised and built a working machine from parts that were lying around, including a television stand and coffee stirrers. It was a real example of MacGyver-ing.

Student as teacher: I teach the computer lab, which is part of Introduction to Engineering Design. I show first-year engineering students how to use Autodesk Inventor, Excel, and Mathcad. I’m pretty good at teaching and explaining things to other students and have been tutoring and teaching almost constantly since high school. It’s been a great opportunity to give back to the school that has given me an excellent education.

What you would be surprised to know about him: I’m a good public speaker and presenter. I am a shy and introverted person, yet I never really get nervous speaking in front of a crowd.

Advice for current students: Sweat the small stuff and be persistent. Building good habits early makes it much easier when the answers aren’t in the back of the book. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s the easiest way to get to know your professors and coworkers. A relationship with your professors and coworkers is one of the best reasons to stay motivated and do good work. You don’t want to disappoint a professor you like, or embarrass yourself.

John has accepted a position at Cummins a product validation engineer at the company’s Jamestown Engine Plant.  

 

Class of 2016: Meet Lola Soniregun (Interdisciplinary Business with Engineering Studies)

By Heather Cass
Publications & Design Coordinator, Penn State Behrend

Penn State Behrend’s class of 2016 is ready to make its mark on the world!  We’re proud of our students and the things they’ve accomplished and learned while here at Behrend.  We sat down to talk to some remarkable seniors before they left school and we’d like to a few of our students who have overcome challenges, pioneered new technology, participated in important research projects, and left an impression at Penn State Behrend.

Today, we’d like you to meet Lola Soniregun

Lola Soniregun1

Degree: Interdisciplinary Business with Engineering Studies

Hometown: Silver Spring, Maryland

On choosing to major in IBE: During high school, I participated in Project Lead the Way and The National Academy of Finance, which are programs created to introduce students to engineering and business. After having that initial introduction and enjoying both fields of study, I decided to pursue the mix of the two disciplines through the IBE program.

Proudest accomplishment at Behrend: The internships and experiences that I’ve been able to acquire.

Campus involvement: Over the years, I’ve been involved with several campus organizations, including Lambda Sigma, the Multi-Cultural Council, the Penn State Behrend Dance Team, and the National Society of Black Engineers.

Dance, dance, dance: I joined the Dance Team during my first year at Behrend. It taught me a lot about commitment, character, and confidence. The team gave me a home away from home and I learned as much about dancing as I did about life during my three years on the team. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Let your light shine: Every student here has a function, a purpose, something that you can contribute to the college that will make you feel feel valued and important and motivate you to achieve great things.

Advice for current students: You are blessed to be at Penn State Behrend and you have a lot of resources at your disposal. Take time to explore those resources and take advantage of them because you will never again have so many opportunities available to you all at once. You are now a member of one of the most powerful universities in the world!

Class of 2016: Meet Angela Zorn (Industrial Engineering)

By Heather Cass
Publications & Design Coordinator, Penn State Behrend

Penn State Behrend’s class of 2016 is ready to make its mark on the world!  We’re proud of our students and the things they’ve accomplished and learned while here at Behrend.  We sat down to talk to some remarkable seniors before they left school and we’d like to a few of our students who have overcome challenges, pioneered new technology, participated in important research projects, and left an impression at Penn State Behrend.

Today, we’d like you to meet Angela Lynn Zorn:

Angela Zorn1

Major: Industrial Engineering

Hometown: Meadville, Pennsylvania

On choosing to major in Industrial Engineering: I started my freshman year intending to pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering, but I decided it wasn’t for me. I met with my advisor, Dr. Russ Warley, who suggested I look at Industrial Engineering. I researched the field and actually landed an internship in industrial engineering the summer before my sophomore year. I.E. has been a good fit for my interests.

On gaining plenty of real-world experience: I’ve done three internships at AccuSpec Electronics, GE Transportation, and TE Connectivity, and I had a research experience at Saint Vincent Hospital.

What you’d be surprised to know about her: I never missed a single day of school from elementary through high school.

Advice for current students: Don’t be afraid to change your major early if you don’t like your initial choice. It could be the best decision you make. It was for me.

Angela has accepted a position in the Lean Manufacturing Engineering Leadership Program at Parker Hannifin, a Cleveland-based company that specializes in motion and control technologies.

 

Class of 2016: Meet Lillie Gabreski (Political Science)

By Heather Cass
Publications & Design Coordinator, Penn State Behrend

Penn State Behrend’s class of 2016 is ready to make its mark on the world!  We’re proud of our students and the things they’ve accomplished and learned while here at Behrend.  Over the next couple months, we’ll be introducing you to a few of our remarkable seniors who have overcome challenges, pioneered new technology, participated in important research projects, and left an impression at Penn State Behrend.

Today, we’d like you to meet Lillie Gabreski:

Lillie Gabreski

Major: Political Science

Minor(s): Women’s Studies, History

Hometown: Jamestown, New York

On choosing to major in Political Science: When I was a senior in high school, I volunteered for a candidate for U.S. Congress and learned a lot about how campaigns work and the issues involved. Although the candidate I worked for didn’t win, the experience motivated me to pursue a career in which I could study and shape policies that could help people and improve their lives.

Proudest accomplishment at Behrend: At Behrend, I learned not just how to be a good student, but how to be a good teacher. I work at least once a week helping students pursue their goals in college, whether through tutoring or coordinating events through the organizations that I’m involved in.

Summer in South Africa: Last summer, I studied abroad at the University of Cape Town. The experience was fully funded by a grant from Penn State Behrend to complete my research in international and constitutional law. While I was there, I participated in the Students’ Health and Welfare Centres Organisation (SHAWCO) Education program and spent 20 hours a week volunteering in the township of Manenberg teaching English and Math to middle schoolers.

On giving back: It feels good to give back, that’s why I enjoy volunteering, teaching, and mentoring. I feel like I’m making a positive impact.

Campus involvement: I have worked as a writing tutor in the LRC and as a student assistant to the Behrend Honors Program. I have also served as the president of Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority and the campus chapter of College Democrats. I’m a member of both the Student Activity Fee and Student Integrity committees.

Good under pressure: I’ve become very good at solving problems under pressure. There are a lot of instances in college when you have a deadline and people with dissenting opinions working on the project with you. I’ve learned how to take chaos and work towards order and how to listen to people on get everyone the same page so that we can come to a resolution.

What you’d be surprised to know about her: I almost pursued music as a major, but in the end, my passion for politics won out. I was able to channel my love for music by participating in the campus choir and musicals.

A very hungry bookworm: I love to read and learn about the world around me. I could spend all day wandering around a bookstore.

Advice for current students: Study abroad! It really helped me find my direction, and I credit the postgraduate opportunities I’ve been afforded in part to my experiences in Canada and South Africa.

Following her graduation in May, Lillie plans to attend Cornell University where she received a fellowship covering half of her tuition to pursue a Master’s in Public Administration degree.

Excellence runs in Schupp family, twice chosen to Marshal

By Christine Palattella
Marketing Communications Specialist, Penn State Behrend

Kelsey Schupp (3)

Student Marshal Kelsey Schupp

On Friday night, Student Marshal Kelsey Schupp ’16 will lead her fellow Black School of Business commencement candidates into Erie Insurance Arena just as her sister, Brooke ʼ14, did two years ago.

Only five Student Marshals are chosen for a commencement ceremony, one representing each of Penn State Behrend’s four academic schools plus an Honors candidate to lead the college’s Schreyer Scholars. To recognize their outstanding academic achievements, Student Marshals are given the honor of carrying the banners that precede each of the five candidate groups onto the arena floor.

Kelsey will receive concurrent degrees in Accounting and Finance and soon will begin working as a proposal analyst associate at Lockheed Martin’s Missile and Fire Control division in Orlando. Brooke joined GE Transportation after graduating with a degree in Interdisciplinary Business with Engineering Studies; this fall she completes her fourth and final rotation in GE’s Operations Management Leadership Program.

Was being named Marshal a goal for you, Kelsey?

I wouldn’t necessarily say being Marshal was a specific goal I made, but I knew there was a good chance of it happening because my personal goal was graduating with a cumulative 4.0 GPA.

Was Brooke an inspiration? Are you two competitive?

Brooke graduated with a 4.0 GPA too. I’ve always wanted to do my very best in school purely for my own satisfaction, but Brooke’s performance at Behrend pushed me to try even harder. She definitely left me some big shoes to fill.

In my junior year I started a game with myself –I decided to see how much more I could take on while maintaining my GPA. This is when I started working at internships during the school year and participating in academic competitions like the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute Research Challenge. I was captain of the team that reached the global semi-finals, ending as the 21st team out of over 1,000 competing.

I think Brooke and I are more competitive with ourselves than each other. But we do sometimes push each other, to make each other a better person, of course.

Looking back, Brooke, what did the Marshal experience mean to you?

Kelsey summarized it right when she said we are more competitive with ourselves than we are with each other. Being a Marshal allowed me to see that my parents had done an amazing job creating self-motivating adults capable of anything we put our minds to – even a 4.0 in college – a trait I hope I can someday pass on to those around me.

Brooke Schupp (2)

Brooke Schupp, Kelsey’s sister and a 2014 Marshal

How do you feel about Kelsey following in your footsteps?

In college I mainly focused on my coursework, working to prove to myself that a 4.0 wasn’t impossible. Kelsey took that to the next level by being extremely active in other groups and competitions, for example taking her team to Nationals for the CFA Institute Research Challenge competition! The dedication, time management, and leadership she was able to muster over her senior year is beyond incredible to me and proof that my little sister isn’t so little anymore.

Penn State Behrend’s 2016 spring commencement will be held on Friday, May 6, in Erie Insurance Arena, 809 French St. The ceremony begins at 6:30 p.m. and will be streamed live at behrend.psu.edu.