Standout Seniors: Demetrius Green

By Heather Cass
Publications Manager, Office of Strategic Communications,  Penn State Behrend

Penn State Behrend’s class of 2018 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 Demetrius Green:
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Demetrius Green

Major: Digital Media, Arts, and Technology

Minor: Management Information Systems

Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Scholarships: Council of Fellows Leadership Scholarship

On choosing Behrend: I liked the location because it wasn’t too far or too close to home. I also love big bodies of water, and Lake Erie is beautiful.

On choosing his major: I wanted to bridge the gap between creativity and technology. I have a background in communications, so I wanted to continue that, while adding technology to my expertise.

Campus involvement: I am historian for the Behrend chapter of the Association of Black Collegians. I’m also a member of the Organization of African and Caribbean Students, and the Multi-Cultural Council.

What you’d be surprised to know about him: I love to sing, all day. It starts to annoy people after a while.

Confidence counts: My definition of living a good life is being so confident and carefree that if you wanted to, you could walk into Walmart singing your favorite song at the top of your lungs, and not care who is watching or who can hear you.

On a life of service: I’m passionate about helping others. My motto is: If I can, I will. I love to put a smile on another person’s face.

What inspires him: My future inspires me. I’ve been waiting for this moment for years, and I’m excited to start seeing things come to fruition. I know there are great things waiting for me, and I just have to keep working and be diligent in pursuing those things.

Advice for new students: Check in with your adviser. Get involved. Leave the campus and explore Erie and Presque Isle. Ask questions.

After his graduation in May, Demetrius plans to start his career as an MIS technology professional.

 

Standout Seniors: Nicole Overby

By Heather Cass
Publications Manager, Office of Strategic Communications,  Penn State Behrend

Penn State Behrend’s seniors are ready to make their 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 Nicole Overby:
 Nicole Overby

Major: Accounting

Minor: Management Information Systems

Graduation date: December 2017

Hometown: Nazareth, Pennsylvania

Scholarship: I received the National Bank of North East Leadership Scholarship, the Lawrence and Elizabeth Held Scholarship, the Behrend Faculty and Staff Scholarship, and the Edward P. and Barbara F. Junker Scholarship.

On choosing her major: I was drawn to numbers in high school, and I knew early on that I wanted a business degree. After I took some accounting classes, I realized it was a perfect fit for me.

Proudest accomplishment at Behrend: I was the student marshal at commencement. It meant so much to me and my family that I was selected by faculty members to represent the Black School of Business.

Campus involvement: I was involved in Circle K, Business Analytics Team, Accounting Club, Athena, Phi Kappa Phi, and the Behrend Beacon, and I helped produce and write the Black School of Business program newsletters.

What you’d be surprised to know about her: I have a twin sister

What she’s passionate about: Spreading goodness. This is a broad statement, but that is why I love it. Whether it is doing community service or simply smiling and saying hello to strangers, I think it is important to spread joy every day. I am a stronger believer in positivity. Not only will it make you feel better, but it will have a positive impact on everyone you come in contact with.

Advice for new students: Set goals, but be flexible. If you are too set on one path, you might miss another one that is best for you.

Nicole graduated from Penn State Behrend in December of 2017. She will return to the college in August to begin earning a Master of Professional Accounting degree. She plans to work in public accounting.

 

 

 

Puerto Rico Trip Sheds Light on Island Still Recovering from Hurricane

Andrea Konkol, associate director of admissions at Penn State Behrend, recently returned from Puerto Rico, an island still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Maria, which tore through the Caribbean six months ago. Hurricane Maria was the worst natural disaster to ever hit Puerto Rico and is responsible for at least 112 confirmed deaths. Some people are still missing. The death toll in Puerto Rico is believed to be much higher than reported, possibly more than 1,000. The hurricane wrought catastrophic damage to the island, with much of the housing and infrastructure beyond repair. Total losses from the hurricane are estimated at upwards of $91.61 billion. We asked Konkol to share what she saw while she was in Puerto Rico attending College Week in the Caribbean.

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By Andrea Konkol

Associate director of admissions, Penn State Behrend

College Week in the Caribbean is a weeklong series of high school visits and college fairs coordinated by the Caribbean Counselor Association (CCA), a group of college and school counselors based in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I traveled with representatives from twelve other college and universities. This was my twelfth College Week since 2011. Students in Puerto Rico have only a few options for college on the island and many are looking to go to the mainland United States to pursue new and different opportunities.

I was apprehensive about traveling this year because I wondered what the condition of the islands would be like post-Hurricane Maria.

I was surprised by how green everything was when I looked out over the landscape. If you saw pictures of Puerto Rico after the hurricane, you know that the landscape and trees were stripped bare and appeared totally brown. Mother Nature can regenerate at fantastic rate! (Check out this slideshow with then and now photos of Puerto Rico).

There are certainly bruises on the infrastructure, though. Buildings with boarded-up windows, twisted and bent street signs, and the occasional out-of-order street light were all things I witnessed.

For the most part, though, life seems to be back to somewhat normal conditions. People go to work and to school. Life has gone on. As I reflect on my week, I am struck by one thought: the people living on these islands are incredibly resilient!

I should say that our travels did not take us directly into the hardest hit areas that are, by many accounts, still without water or power. I was mostly in the San Juan metro area.

However, we did spend one day traveling southwest of San Juan, to Ponce. The drive took us through the central mountains of the island. It was hard to miss the telltale bright blue FEMA tarps that dotted the hillsides and marked homes damaged by the storm. Again, the greenness of the mountains was astonishing! Both people and nature were hard at work rebuilding.

My hotel appeared to be serving as some kind of logistics center for the island’s power restoration efforts. Early in the morning and late in the evening, the elevators were filled with electrical line workers. I spoke with one gentleman from Con Edison who lived in New Jersey. He had been on the island for more than a month and was also on the island for the month of November. He asked if I was on vacation. I wish! When I told him I was a recruiter for Penn State, he told me he had a 17-year-old looking at colleges. “Keep Penn State in mind!” I said as he exited the elevator. As admissions recruiters we are always working to recruit our next student, even in elevators!

We visited eighteen schools in Puerto Rico and two in St. Thomas during our five days of recruiting. School counselors consistently told us it was a tough year. Maria hit just as students were applying to colleges for fall admission. Yet, they told stories of students and neighbors helping each other. They shared a few scarce Wi-Fi hot spots with friends so they could complete their college applications. Several schools greeted us with cheers when we arrived. Students in Puerto Rico are hungry for college information.

My time in Puerto Rico often reminds me why I love my job. I like to think higher education is the business of changing lives. While I hope some of the students I spoke with will explore Penn State further, perhaps the most important thing they learn from College Week is that a college education is possible and opportunities abound.

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Andrea Konkol, right, at the the big public college fair. The other woman in the picture with Konkol is Glendalys Millan, mother of one of our current students Paola Maldonado-Millan.  Konkol said Millan graciously volunteered to help her at the fair because the Penn State table tends to be so busy.

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Students at Academy San Jose.

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The San Juan skyline.

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Oustside the American Military Academy in Puerto Rico.

 

Standout Seniors: Meet Anthony Walker

By Heather Cass
Publications Manager, Office of Strategic Communications,  Penn State Behrend

Penn State Behrend’s class of 2018 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 Anthony Walker:

Anthony Walker

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Minor: Computer Science

Hometown: Carmichaels, Pennsylvania

Scholarships: I have received the Frank S. Palkovic Trustee Scholarship.

On choosing to major in Mechanical Engineering: I have always been interested in the STEM fields. Mechanical Engineering seemed to be the broadest major that would allow me to have the most options in the field of engineering.

Proudest accomplishment at Behrend: Writing an angle optimization code for an aerodynamics project.

What makes him unique: Most students in my major don’t love computer science, but I enjoy it so much that I decided to minor in it. I have even taken on personal projects outside of academia that involve computer science.

Who inspires him: Dr. Amir Danesh-Yazdi, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, puts a tremendous amount of effort into his teaching. His classes have pushed me to do more and inspired my interest in computer science. I’m also inspired by my mother, father, stepfather, and Edward Maison, who has been my closest friend for nearly a decade and supports all of my endeavors.

After his graduation in May, Anthony plans to work in his field and eventually obtain his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering.

Standout Seniors: Meet Brittni Merenick

By Heather Cass
Publications Manager, Office of Strategic Communications,  Penn State Behrend

Penn State Behrend’s class of 2018 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 Brittni Merenick:

brittani merenick1

Major: Elementary and Early Childhood Education

Hometown: Warren, Pennsylvania

On choosing Behrend: When I was growing up, I often came to Behrend for basketball camps and fell in love with the campus. Once I did an official college tour, I knew I wanted to attend Behrend.

On choosing her major: I love working with children. It may sound cliché, but I really want to make an impact on my students’ lives. I like that I get to teach my students something new every day. The great thing is that while I’m teaching them, I am also learning and growing professionally.

Proudest accomplishment at Behrend: Earning a 4.0 GPA two semesters in a row while taking 15 credits and working sixteen-hour weeks. This was on top of field placements, trying to have a social life, and sleeping!

Campus involvement: I was a member of the Student Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) and served as president of the club last year and as a representative on the regional Political Action Committee for Education. I also participated in the PennLake National Writing Project.

What you would be surprised to know about her: I have a fraternal twin sister, but most people say my younger sister and I look more like twins.

Advice for new students: Enjoy your college experience while you can because it is over quicker than you can imagine. Make new friends, and don’t be afraid to try new things.

After her graduation in May, Brittni hopes to find a teaching position in Pennsylvania. She plans to begin working on a graduate degree in the fall as well.

 

 

 

Standout Seniors: Meet Dylan Langharst

By Heather Cass
Publications Manager, Office of Strategic Communications,  Penn State Behrend

Penn State Behrend’s class of 2018 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 Dylan Langharst:

Dylan Langharst

Majors: Concurrent majors in Physics and Mathematics

Minors: Concurrent minors in Astronomy and Political Science

Hometown: Sarver, Pennsylvania

Scholarships: I’ve received the Anonymous Friend Trustee Fund Scholarship multiple times, a School of Science scholarship, the Lake Erie Trustee Scholarship at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, the McMannis Educational Trust Fund Scholarship, and the Dr. and Mrs. Arthur W. Phillips Scholarship for Schreyer Scholars.

On choosing his majors: In high school, I was really interested in understanding the physical world and decided to major in physics. However, during my time here at Behrend, I fell in love with mathematics, due in part to the faculty members in the department.

Proudest accomplishment at Behrend: I studied abroad in Germany during the summer of 2015, and during the summer of 2017, I was employed by the Department of Energy doing quantum computing. However, these are not my proudest accomplishments. My proudest accomplishment is when I was contacted by one of the students I tutored/taught through the Learning Resource Center who said that, without my help, he wouldn’t have passed Physics 211 or had such a solid start for Physics 212. This was my proudest moment.

Campus involvement: President of the Physics Club, vice president of the Math Club, and vice president of Behrend’s branch of Pi Mu Epsilon, the national math honor society.

Hidden talent: I am almost fluent in German.

What you would be surprised to know about him: I have a big interest in history, especially medieval history. I almost majored in history instead of physics.

Who inspires him: Faculty members inspire me, especially Dr. Chuck Yeung, Dr. Blair Tuttle, Dr. Darren Williams, Dr. Bruce Wittmershaus, Paul Becker, Dr. Antonella Cupillari, Dr. Daniel Galiffa and Dr. Amos Ong. They are always willing to answer any questions I have, even if my questions have nothing to do with material we are learning in class. Also, Dr. John Gamble, distinguished professor of political science and international law, who has been a life mentor since I started college.

Advice for new students: Pick a field of study that you genuinely enjoy learning about or classes will be difficult.

After his graduation in December, Dylan plans to attend graduate school for a master’s degree in mathematics. He then wants to obtain a Ph.D. and, eventually, teach at the college level.

 

Standout Seniors: Meet Angelia Clear

By Heather Cass
Publications Manager, Office of Strategic Communications,  Penn State Behrend

Penn State Behrend’s class of 2018 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 Angelia Clear:

Angelia Clear.jpg

Majors: Concurrent major in Marketing and International Business

Hometown: Lower Burrell, Pennsylvania

On choosing her majors: I love the international aspect of business, but marketing is so versatile and interesting to me, so I decided to dual major.

Scholarships: I received the Presidential Scholarship, the Addison Gibson Foundation Grant, and the John K. Henne Scholarship for International Study.

Proudest accomplishment at Behrend? Receiving and accepting an invitation to join Beta Gamma Sigma, an academic honor society, while balancing a heavy course load and working full time.

Campus involvement: I have attended the School of Business spring business trips and I am a Black School of Business Ambassador. I am very involved in the Marketing Club and also enjoy playing intramural soccer when I can. I’ve studied abroad and I am a member of Beta Gamma Sigma.

Multitasking master: I am someone who has to have a lot of things going on all the time. I enjoy managing my time and being busy!

What you’d be surprised to know about her: I am a very observant person who can be shy at first, but I honestly enjoy learning about different people and cultures and immersing myself in new experiences.

Advice for new students: Time management is huge in college. Students need to get organized from the beginning because it is easy to fall behind. Also, get involved and do things that you really enjoy. College is not just about academics; it is about you. You get out of it what you put into it.

Following her graduation in May, Angelia plans to start her career in business.