Penn State Behrend’s Highlights of 2014

By Steve Orbanek
Marketing Communications Specialist, Penn State Behrend

Where did the year go?

Can you believe we are less than ten days away from saying goodbye to 2014?

At Penn State Behrend, the year was an eventful one. We welcomed our largest freshman class ever, introduced a number of new academic programs, and began construction on a new Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Center.

Please join us to revisit some of these highlights in the video above.

Happy New Year, and here’s to a great 2015!

Meet Standout Senior Kelly English-James

By Heather Cass
Publications & Design Coordinator, Penn State Behrend

kelly english-james dec. 14 2

Kelly English-James

Major: Management Information Systems

Minors: Marketing, Operations and Supply Chain Management

On choosing her major: “Originally, I was a Marketing major. I was always a creative person and enjoyed making things that would be visually appealing to others. I was introduced to coding, web design, and data bases in an introductory level MIS course and immediately fell in love. I learned that I’d rather be the person working on the system than in the system. Choosing MIS has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life thus far.”

Involved to the nth degree: English-James certainly made the most of her time at Behrend. She was a Lion Ambassador, president of the Human Relations Programming Council, member of the Management Information Systems Club, member of the National Society of Black Engineers, member of the Association for Black collegians, Member of the Multicultural Council, member of the Organization of African and Caribbean students, member of the Organization of Latin American students, member of Women Today, and member of the International Student Organization. Pheww….

On motivation and drive: “I have an outstanding drive and motivation. When I set my mind to things I’m truly unstoppable.”

Embracing differences: “I am most engaged and attracted to people who are intelligent and have unique mindsets. I am very excited when I discover that someone thinks completely different from others. It truly inspires me.”

Advice for new students: “Be open minded and always plan ahead. Plan your next two semesters of courses in advance. If you don’t plan, you may find yourself in a difficult academic situation!”

English-James will graduate on Friday, December 19. She has accepted an MIS position in Rhode Island.

Meet Standout Senior Kristina Peszel

By Heather Cass
Publications & Design Coordinator, Penn State Behrend

kristina peszel

Kristina Peszel

Major: English, with Professional Writing option

Minors: Management Information Systems

Certificate: Social Media

On choosing Behrend: “It has the resources and prestige that come with being Penn State, but with smaller classes. I was able to not only really get to know my professors—and to have them know me—but also to have the kind of intense discussions in small classes that turn an average learning experience into a profound one.”

On English as a versatile degree: “I always had a knack for writing and I like helping people. With English, specifically with the professional writing option, I can help businesses communicate more effectively. I like solving problems, and ineffective communication is essentially a problem of words; every word we use is a choice, so how can we use words in the most effective way to get our point of view across? English is an exciting major because it’s a major of possibilities!”

On minoring in MIS: “I decided to minor in MIS without any prior technical background. There were times I questioned my ability to do something so different than what I was used to, but I stuck it out and eventually got two MIS-related internships.”

Proudest accomplishment at Behrend: “Any time I help another student succeed. Whether that’s through tutoring (Peszel was the lead writing tutor at the college’s Learning Resource Center) or just giving someone advice, nothing makes me more proud than knowing I helped someone in a positive way.”

Words to live by: “Someone once told me that there is no comfort in the growth zone, but there’s no growth in the comfort zone. I try to remember that when I’m doing something new. If you never get out of your comfort zone and try new things, you don’t give yourself the chance to grow.”

Advice for new students: “People will tell you not to take your electives right away and to ‘save’ them, but if you aren’t sure what you want to major in, take some electives! You won’t know if something is right for you until you try it.”

During her time at Behrend Peszel was a member and officer of Alpha Sigma Tau, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Reality Check. She participated in Alternative Spring Break in 2014, wrote for the Behrend Beacon, and was involved with the Lion Entertainment Board for two years. She also served as the lead writing Tutor of the Learning Resource Center where she honed her skills in technical writing.

Peszel will graduate on Friday, Dec. 19. She has accepted an MIS position at Erie Insurance.