Standout Seniors: Meet Kyle Lambing

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 Kyle A. Lambing:

Kyle lambing (6).JPG

Major: Communication

Minor: Sustainability Leadership

Certificate: Public Relations

Hometown: Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania

Scholarships: I received the Joseph and Isabel Prischak Trustee Scholarship, the John K. Henne Scholarship for International Study, and the Council of Fellows Leadership Scholarship.

On choosing Behrend: I liked the faculty-to-student ratio and the location, with Erie being two hours from Cleveland, Buffalo, and Pittsburgh.

On choosing his major: I wanted to do more than research environmental, political, or cultural issues. I wanted to learn how to promote, publicize, and educate.

Proudest accomplishment at Behrend: Meeting and becoming friends with students from across the globe. I’m also proud of getting involved and connected with the Behrend community and the Erie community, in particular the Erie Community Foundation, Erie County United, and PA Student Power Network.

Campus involvement: I was a member of Greener Behrend, the Multi-Cultural Council, Trigon, Veg Club, College Dems, the Political Science Society, and Weed Warriors.

How he recharges: I have a classic case of wanderlust. Music and the outdoors are my cure for all that ails me.

A good life, defined: Follow your passions, not just your wallet.

Advice for new students: Don’t just come to Behrend to earn a degree. Apply that degree to the community and use the power of your education to effect positive change.

After his graduation in May, Kyle is going on a study abroad trip to Spain. In July, he will be moving to Yangzhou, China, where he will teach English at Shane English School.

Standout Seniors: Meet Chantel Drake

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 Chantel Sade Drake:

Chantel Drake

Major: Political Science

Hometown: Glendale, Wisconsin

On choosing Behrend: I wanted to attend a school that challenged me but also made me feel at home. I found what I was looking for at Behrend. I met some great friends that I now consider family. My professors helped me gain the knowledge I needed, not just in the field of political science but in life, too.

On choosing her major: I knew that I wanted to work within the government, but I could not define what I wanted my career to be and who I wanted to be. Now that I’m graduating, I know I found the right field for me.

Campus involvement: I was a member of International Model African Union in 2017. I am now a member of Harvard Model United Nations and Sigma Alpha Pi, the National Honor Society of Leadership and Success.

What you’d be surprised to know about her: I’m a contemporary dancer. I’ve been working up the guts to try out for So You Think You Can Dance. Maybe one day I will.

Avid bookworm: I love to read. I used to go to the library at home and check out about thirty books and read them in a week. James Patterson is one of my favorite authors.

Puzzling hobby: I work on 1,000-piece puzzles with my boyfriend, who is also a Penn State Behrend student. It’s a great stress reliever.

Who inspires her: I’m inspired by every person who has believed in me. My family has had to make a lot of sacrifices for me. I am the first person in my household to go to college and I could not have done it without the love and support of my family.

Advice for new students: Believe in yourself. The hardest thing you will go through will not just be exams, homework, or difficult classes, but the growth of oneself. The only person who can push you forward is you. The only person who can push you back is you.

After her graduation in May, Chantel plans to attend graduate school to earn a master of arts degree in international relations.

 

 

 

 

 

Game on: Students Make Connections at Conference

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

GDC 20182

For the past five years, students enrolled in GAME 495: Senior Internship have had the opportunity to attend the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco. Eight Penn State Behrend students and two faculty members recently returned from this year’s conference which was held in late March.

GDC is the world’s largest professional game industry event. There, students join game designers, programmers, artists, producers, and business professionals for five days of education, inspiration, and networking in the global game development community.

“Students are exposed to the game industry from the inside, get a chance to talk to professionals, and make connections that are invaluable as they set course for their own career in the game industry,” said Dr. Heather Lum, assistant professor of psychology.

Students who attended the GDC were not only from the School of Engineering, but also Psychology majors from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences who are in the human factors track, which focuses on user interface and user experience.

Lum was a GDC trip leader along with Dr. Richard Zhao, assistant professor of computer science and software engineering.

“The students who went to the GDC are enrolled in the interdisciplinary minor in Game Development,” Zhao said. “While we can teach students the technical and artistic skills needed to design and develop games in other classes, GAME 495 provides students the opportunity to showcase their product and interact with the world in a way that a traditional classroom is never able to.”

One good example: face-to-face networking with industry insiders at the GDC.

“I met a user experience analyst, which is my chosen field, from my favorite gaming company, Blizzard,” said Tiffany Eichler, a senior Psychology major. “We have been e-mailing since the conference and it has been so enlightening. I have learned a lot about the industry and why psychology has a place in it. He shared with me the best time to apply for an internship with Blizzard, so I am biding my time until I can get my name in there.”

“Students who have attended GDC in previous years have gotten internships and job offers from companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and others,” Lum said.

Prior to the trip, students in GAME 495 write and practice their elevator pitches, create resumes and business cards, and learn how to get noticed and have a meaningful conversation with professional contacts, including alumni.

“We had a chance to meet up with some Penn State Behrend graduates who are now working on the west coast,” Lum said.

Students who attended the GDC trip included, Computer Science majors: Cole Trexler, Matt Benkart, Jordon Torunian, and Morgan Farabaugh; Software Engineering majors, Frank Corso, Joe Craig, and Richard Shultz; and Psychology majors, Tiffany Eichler and Donald Fromknecht.

GDC 20181

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:
Demetrius green - best shot

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: 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.

 

 

 

Class of 2018: Meet Echo Seiersen

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 Echo Seiersen:

echo Seiersen - best one

Majors: Concurrent majors in Communication and Political Science

Hometown: Corry, Pennsylvania

On majoring in Communication: Originally, I pursued a communication path because I am fascinated by the science behind interpersonal interactions and the differences that exist in communication between cultures. Political science came in when I started to get more involved in politics and discovered a real passion for rhetoric and social issues. I have found that politics intersects with communication in many ways.

Scholarships: I have received the Joseph A. and Berit I. Benacci Family Scholarship and the Coombes-Leahey Trustee Scholarship.

Proudest accomplishment at Behrrend: My proudest accomplishment has been working with Dr. Colleen Kelley (associate professor of speech communication) as a research assistant on her book—A Rhetoric of Divisive Partisanship: The 2016 American Presidential Campaign Discourse of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, which was published in February. I am also proud of the work I did with Dr. Robert Speel (associate professor of political science). I helped him with research he presented to Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper about the efficacy and success of Day Reporting Centers in reducing recidivism rates throughout Pennsylvania and in other counties similar to Erie County.

Campus involvement: I have been a writing tutor with the Learning Resource Center for more than two years.

What makes her unique: I write poetry and like to paint, and I am actually working on publishing a book of poetry now.

What you’d be surprised to know about her: I have fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis. The former is a medical condition in which you experience chronic muscle pain and tenderness throughout your body, either constantly or when touched, along with fatigue and cognitive issues (often called “fibro fog”). Psoriatic arthritis is a form of inflammatory arthritis that damages joints, tendons, and ligaments, and sometimes the organs. It mostly causes pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints. Long story short, I am in constant pain every single day, and I also sometimes struggle with fatigue and memory or concentration problems. I try really hard not to let these conditions impact my academic work or social life, so I think a lot of people would be surprised to know about them.

Her definition of a good life: Having a home where you feel comfortable, supported, and safe, and surrounding yourself with people who love, challenge, encourage, and inspire you. Also, I believe with total sincerity that having a lot of cats is vital to maintaining happiness.

Advice for new students: Listen more. We all have something important to learn from other people, even those we disagree with. And after you have listened, speak out with courage and certainty.

On the loves of her life: I could not have made it through this journey without my boyfriend, Tanner Hanson. He gives me endless and unconditional love and support. I also have two cats that bring much joy to my life. I have an American shorthair named Isabella and a Maine Coon named Enzo.

After her graduation in May, Echo plans to attend graduate school. She hopes to obtain a Ph.D. and become a researcher and professor of political communication.

 

Holiday gift ideas from Behrend faculty and staff members

By Steve Orbanek
Marketing Communications Specialist, Penn State Behrend

It’s crunch time. The holidays are nearly here and there’s only so much time left to grab the perfect gift.

Still need some help? No worries, Penn State Behrend’s faculty and staff members are here for you.

Here are some suggestions for gifts that are both fun and educational:

Idea provided by Tom Noyes, professor of English and Creative Writing

2018 Pushcart Prize XLII. The annual Pushcart Prize anthology gathers the best fiction, nonfiction and poetry published in America’s literary magazines and small presses over the course of the previous year, making it an ideal gift for any book lover on your list. The newest edition, 2018 Pushcart Prize XLII, contains a special treat. The poem “Praying Mantis in My Husband’s Salad” by Laura Kasischke was chosen from the pages of Lake Effect, Penn State Behrend’s award-winning literary journal. $13

Idea provided by Mary-Ellen Madigan, director of enrollment management

BRIXO. Enjoy LEGOs? Then you’ll love BRIXO, which is similar but with even more customization. Some of the things that young people can create include vehicles, wacky lamps, remote-controlled lighthouses and motorized quadcopters. If someone on your list has a big imagination, this gift is for them. Prices vary.

Ideas provided by Tracy Halmi, assistant teaching professor of chemistry

Bath Bombs. It’s a chance to bring chemistry to the tub. Bath bombs are hard-packed mixtures of dry ingredients and give off bubbles when wet. They can be purchased from the web, or young chemists can use this Bath Bombs guide to make their own. $19

Amigurumi Chemistry Set Pattern. This crochet chemistry set pattern is perfect for the person on your list who is crafty but loves science, too. $14

Organic Compounds Cutting Board. Know someone who likes to cook with spices? This cutting board displays all the molecules that add the fragrance to spices. $38.50

Reactions: An Illustrated Exploration of Elements, Molecules, and Change in the Universe. The third and final installment in the trilogy of visual books developed by Theodore Gray, this book details chemical reactions with a set of stunning pictures and stories. $30

Ideas provided by Richard Zhao, assistant professor of computer science and software engineering

Amazon Echo Dot or Google Home Mini. Who wouldn’t want a personal assistant that can tell the weather, order pizza, play music, control home appliances and more? These home automation gadgets from Amazon or Google are also on sale this holiday season. $30

Themed Night Lights. While this makes a nice holiday gift, the lights can actually be used as a home decoration all year round. Prices vary.

Catan. Able to be played by up to four players, this popular board game can be enjoyed by both family members and friends. It’s also easy to learn and fun to play. $49