Class of 2017: Meet Alex Laffey (Mechanical Engineering)

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 Alex Laffey

Alex Laffey - first choice

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Hometown: Pittsburgh

Home Sweet Second Home: I know it sounds cliché, but the moment I stepped onto campus at Behrend, I knew it was the only place that would feel like home to me.

On choosing to major in Mechanical Engineering: I loved math and science in high school, so I figured engineering would be a great fit for me.

Campus involvement: I am currently serving as president of Reality Check. I am also involved in Gamma Sigma Sigma and THON. I’m a Lion Scout and I played on the varsity tennis team my first three years of college.

On helping others: I’m passionate about helping others. I love to volunteer in my free time. I try to be the kind of person who people can lean on if they need help.

Off to Africa: I’m leaving in July to serve for two years in the Peace Corps as a secondary math education teacher in Sierra Leone, Africa!

Proudest accomplishment at Behrend: Being selected to dance in THON 2015 was one of my happiest moments. It was an honor to stand for 46 hours for people who can’t. The event is a cherished memory I’ll hold with me forever.

Scholarships and Awards: I received the Irvin Kochel Lion Ambassador Award and the Council of Fellows Leadership Scholarship.

A voracious bookworm: I have the ability to ignore anything and everything when I’m reading a good book. During summer break, I usually read at least twenty books.

And an adventurous eater: I love food. I love trying new foods and I’m willing to try anything that’s edible. When I visited India this summer, everyone was surprised at how quickly I became comfortable with all the different foods there.

What you’d be surprised to know about her: I’m afraid to go into a car wash. When I was five, I was in the car with my grandpa when he got stuck in one and I haven’t been back in one since!

Wicked racket skills: I won the AMCC Athlete of the year for tennis my first year at Penn State Behrend.

Advice for current students: Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. There are so many opportunities for you at Behrend! You don’t have to join all the same clubs and do all the same activities you did in high school. Try many things until you find the right fit for you. You’re going to change a lot in college, and that’s a good thing!

After her graduation in May, Alex is joining the Peace Corps and going to Sierra Leone, Africa, to serve as a secondary math education teacher for two years.

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