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 Briana Young.
Briana with the 2004 Mini Cooper she restored.
Hometown: Port Allegany, Pennsylvania
On choosing her major: My high school physics teacher had a poster in his classroom that listed a bunch of careers you can pursue with a physics degree. I love understanding how everything works, and I knew I’d never be bored with physics.
Scholarships: I have been the lucky recipient of the LORD Corporation Scholarship and the National Science Foundation STEM Scholarship.
Proudest accomplishment at Behrend? I have two. The first is when I got an internship with LORD Corporation the summer before my sophomore year. The second is when I was asked to present my undergraduate research work at the American Physical Society conference in Los Angeles this spring.
Campus involvement: I have been involved with an array of organizations on campus. In my first two years, I was involved with International Student Organization where I was able to meet so many people that I never would have met in my small town. In my sophomore year, I was accepted into Lambda Sigma Honor Society and into Pi Mu Epsilon, a national math honor society, in my junior year. I have also been part of Campus Health and Fitness, which is a new club on campus.
What makes her unique: I have a handful of hobbies. I am very into art and I have my own Etsy account. I love cooking, hiking, and camping. I also have completed two half marathons while in college.
What you would be surprised to know about her: My car is a 2004 Mini Cooper that I bought as a wreck and fixed up. I learned how to do it from my dad who has done body work on cars his entire life.
On being a champion for Women in Physics: The longer I have been in school the more involved I have gotten with Women in Physics. In January, I attended a Women in Physics conference that made me realize there would be a lot more of us in this field if it weren’t for self-doubt. I am passionate about encouraging other generations of girls to get excited about physics.
On giving back: I want to involve myself with outreach and teaching kids in the community the importance of science. (Editor’s note: No doubt she’ll have that chance at LORD, as they are an avid supporter of Penn State Behrend’s K-12 Outreach programs, often allowing their engineers to help lead events and each workshops for young students.)
Inspiration at home: My parents inspire me every day. They both work hard for their own success and still manage to dedicate a great deal of their time to helping others. They are both involved in different programs to help troubled kids and they inspire me to not only work hard for myself and my family, but also to actively help others.
Advice for new students: There are no shortcuts to get to where you want to be. It’ll be hard and frustrating, but keep your eyes on your ultimate goals. And don’t forget to take care of both your body and your mind.
Briana has accepted a position as a quality engineer at LORD Corporation following her graduation in May.