By Heather Cass
Publications Manager, Office of Strategic Communications, Penn State Behrend
Penn State Behrend’s class of 2017 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 Krystal Elliott.
Major: Software Engineering
Minor: Computer Science
Hometown: Staten Island, N.Y.
On choosing to major in Software Engineering: It allows me to engage with a few of my passions—language learning and creativity—in a lucrative way.
On second chances and the power of positivity: This is my second degree. I came to Behrend after deciding the first career I had chosen (English) was not for me. I have endured a lot of struggle along the way in both my personal and academic life, but I don’t let failures or setbacks keep me down. I’m a positive person and I turn every challenge into an opportunity to do or be better.
On cheerleading: I enjoy spreading my optimism around. My talent is challenging people to grow and helping them believe that they can.
Her definition of the good life: Doing something that allows me to positively impact the world around me. I think this is why I love front-end development so much. People are directly interacting with whatever I develop. If I can make it a stress-free interface, I’m making their lives better in some small way.
On global perspectives: I was fortunate to have experienced studying abroad in Limerick, Ireland, in my junior year and it really widened my view of the world. I want to continue traveling, engaging, and learning from the places and people around me.
On a little (or a lot) of help from friends of the college: I’m fortunate to have had support from several donors. I received the Lindsay Anne Graygo Trustee Scholarship, the John K. Henne Endowment for International Study, the Charles and Lillian Binder Foreign Studies Grant-in-Aid, and the Black Family and Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation Trustee Scholarship. I can’t even express how grateful I am. It has really helped to ease my financial stresses and allow me to focus on my studies.
What you’d be surprised to know about her: I’m intensely shy! I’m very good at socializing, though, so people can’t usually tell that it’s difficult for me.
Advice for current students: Seek mentors, both personal and professional. Also, try new things, don’t fear failure, study abroad, express sincere gratitude for those who help you, and don’t limit yourself to the things you can do well; nothing is beyond your reach if you’re willing to work hard at it!
After her graduation in May, Krystal plans to move to Austin, Texas, to be near her family. She plans to look for an engineering position in front-end software or web development.