Standout Seniors: Meet Brianna Scanga (Nursing)

Penn State Behrend’s class of 2022 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 of 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 Brianna Scanga: 

Briana Scanga

Major: Nursing

Hometown: Vandergrift, Pennsylvania

Scholarships: Dr. and Mrs. Arthur W. Phillips Scholarship for Schreyer Scholars; Council of Fellows Leadership Scholarship; Audrey Herbert Sweny Scholarship for Nursing; Behrend Academic Excellence Award; and Irvin Kochel Lion Ambassador Fund.

On choosing Behrend: It was one of the most beautiful campuses I have ever seen. Also, it was far enough, but not too far from home and I liked the professor–to-student ratio. I got to know my professors well and they got to know me, too. I felt like I was part of a family here.

On choosing her major: From personal experience, I’ve seen the impact that nurses have in people’s lives. It inspired me to want to be like them. I have always enjoyed taking care of children, and I believe being a pediatric nurse is what I was destined to do.

Proudest accomplishment at Behrend: Maintaining a GPA above 3.9 while also taking on multiple leadership positions, participating in a variety of clubs, and working on and off campus.

Campus involvement: I was a member of Behrend Benefitting THON for 2 years and traveled to THON at University Park. I have been a Lion Ambassador since my first year and serve as Treasurer for the group. I’m a member of Alpha Sigma Alpha Sorority, the Behrend Honors Program and Schreyers Honors College, and the Student Nurses Association of Pennsylvania. I have been a tutor with the Learning Resource Center and a Resident Assistant for three years. This year, I was finally able to participate in Welcome Week as a guide. It was so much fun!

Awards and recognitions: President’s Freshman Award for maintaining a 4.0 GPA my first year at Behrend and the Irvin H. Kochel Award for outstanding involvement, and I’ve been on the Dean’s List every semester.

What makes her unique: I was adopted from China when I was nine months old and brought to the United States. I am forever grateful for my parents, family, and friends who I have loved growing up, and I wouldn’t change my life for anything. I was given such a great life, and I have learned to never take what I have for granted. I have not been back to China since, but I do wish to visit my hometown when the pandemic is over.

Sunny side up: I am pretty good at staying positive and keeping morale up when things go bad. I always try to see the good in people and in situations.

Her definition of the good life: Living a life without regret. Try new things. Do things that scare you and do not let fear get in the way of your dreams.

Advice for first-year students: Join as many clubs as you can and attend lots of social events on campus. I loved attending the Lion Entertainment Board (LEB) events and the Lion Ambassador’s Midnight Bingo. I made some of my best friends in college this way.

Brianna has accepted a position at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh in the Pediatric ICU (PICU) after her graduation in May. She also plans to go back to graduate school to become a pediatric nurse practitioner.

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