Penn State Behrend’s Class of 2023 is ready to make its mark on the world! We’re proud of our students and all that they have learned and accomplished here at Behrend. Over the next several weeks, we’ll introduce you to a few of our remarkable seniors who have overcome challenges, pioneered new technologies, participated in important research projects, and made their mark at Penn State Behrend.
Today, we’d like you to meet Savanna Carr.
Major: Industrial Engineering
Hometown: Accident, Maryland
On choosing Behrend: I originally wanted to be an aerospace engineer, and the only university that offers aerospace engineering in Pennsylvania is Penn State. I ran cross-country and track in high school and after talking to the head cross-country coach, Coach Greg Cooper, I decided to start at Behrend and transfer to University Park after two years. After my first semester, I knew I wasn’t going anywhere. I knew Behrend was where I was going to be the most successful.
On choosing her major: When I decided to stay at Behrend, I changed my major to Mechanical Engineering. I’ve always loved the methods and process of manufacturing but not always the design part of engineering. During the pandemic, I did some soul-searching and realized that Industrial Engineering was a better fit for me. I switched my major again, and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Her proudest accomplishment at Behrend: There have been a lot of things I am proud of during my time at Behrend, but if I were to pick one, I would say that it is how much I have grown as a person. My freshman year, all I could think of was running fast and making it to nationals. While I’d still love to do that, I’ve realized that there is more to college than that. I took a semester off to do a co-op at Rand Machine where I helped grow their new Program Management department. I’ve never been the best student, but once I started taking major classes, I started making the Dean’s List. Though it has not been easy, Behrend has helped me grow tremendously and I am proud of the person I am today.
Campus involvement: I am a member of the cross-country and track teams as well as Phi Sigma Rho, an engineering sorority.
Awards: I’ve been the AMCC cross-country runner of the year four times, an academic all-American, and the 2019-2020 Behrend Athlete of the Year, and I received the 2020 Herb Lauffer Leadership and Scholarship Award.
What makes her unique: I’m determined. My coach told me that when he needs a relay to do well or someone to score points in an event, he’ll put me in it because he knows I’ll get the job done.
What you might be surprised to know about her: I love to downhill and water ski.
She’s writing her own story: I’ve always felt pressure to be the best in the classroom, the fastest person on the team, and involved in everything. During college, I realized that while I could have everything, I wasn’t able to achieve everything. And it took me a while to realize that it is okay. I define what makes me successful, and I define what is a good life. So, I try to wake up every day grateful for the opportunities I have been given and to be a better person than I was yesterday.
Improvement is her passion. I am passionate about improvement, from the manufacturing process to personal goals. It’s amazing what someone can accomplish when they put their mind to it.
Advice for first-year students: Something I’ve come to realize is that when you set a goal to climb a mountain, you only spend a fraction of the time at the summit compared to the long trek up. Enjoy the climb.
Parting thanks: I’d like to thank everyone who has helped me through the journey, especially my parents, Jay and Johnna, who I am so blessed to have supporting me, and Coach Greg Cooper who talked me into coming to Behrend.
After her graduation in December, Savannah plans to find work as an industrial engineer.