Campus Highlight: Penn State Erie, The Behrend College

Our “Campus Highlight” series allows us to share posts about Penn State campuses, straight from the campuses themselves. In each post, staff and students from the campus answer a few provided questions, so you can learn about what makes each of Penn State’s campuses unique and read information about them that you might not find anywhere else! Next up, Penn State Erie.

Penn State Erie, The Behrend College

What are some of the unique academic and/or research opportunities at Behrend?
Erie-EntranceYou can have it all at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College! As well as being part of the Penn State system, we offer 38 baccalaureate and associate degree programs, including several unique academic programs that are breaking the traditional molds of college degrees. Our interdisciplinary degrees offer students the opportunity to receive a well-rounded education that is highly marketable in today’s economy. Behrend’s B.A. in Arts Administration prepares graduates to integrate their knowledge of the arts with business know-how to establish professionally and personally rewarding careers. Our Interdisciplinary Business with Engineering Studies program is one of the first and only of its kind in the country, and the only one in the Penn State system. Also, Behrend is the only Penn State campus that offers a B.F.A. in Creative Writing, as well as programs in Plastics Engineering Technology and Software Engineering. In addition to these unique degrees, students can supplement their education with 24 different certificate programs, including Game Development, Social Media, Entrepreneurship, Consumer Psychology, and more.

Behrend students can earn certificates in 24 programs, including Game Development.

Behrend students can earn certificates in 24 programs, including Game Development.

Many opportunities for student research are offered. Annually, the college provides nearly $350,000 of support for undergraduate research. The Penn State Behrend-Sigma Xi Undergraduate Research and Creative Accomplishment Conference provides an opportunity for students to present their research and creative accomplishment results in a public setting. The 2013 Conference, held on April 13, featured 139 posters and oral presentations involving 106 faculty members and 226 students representing eleven colleges in Pennsylvania. Engineering students have an additional opportunity to showcase their design projects during the annual Richard J. Fasenmyer Engineering Design Conference.

What is your favorite place on campus, and why?
We’ll let one of our students answer that for you. Meilyng Gonzalez Adams, a senior from Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, is completing a dual major in International Business and Accounting. She is involved in the Alpha Sigma Tau sorority, and she is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society, Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society, and Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. Meilyng also works on campus as a tutor and completed her accounting internship last spring at Hill, Barth, and King, LLC. Meilyng works closely with the Admissions Office as a Lion Scout, so if you visit the campus, you might be fortunate to have Meilyng as your campus tour guide!

My favorite place on campus is definitely the residence halls! I love the community that is built there and meeting new people is always a fun thing to do! My favorite thing to do in the residence halls, other than sleep, is actually spend time in the lobby and do homework or watch TV with all of the other residents.

Meilyng has been a resident assistant (RA) for three years. RA’s serve as the primary resource and aide for student residents, and they are carefully selected, trained, and work closely with our professional residence life staff.

Please share a unique historical aspect of or a fun fact about Behrend.
As Pennsylvania’s only lake port, Erie played an important role in the War of 1812. In recognition of the Battle of Lake Erie, all campus residence hall buildings are named in honor of individuals and ships that served to establish American independence from Great Britain. Additionally, we are the only Penn State campus from which you can see a foreign country – Canada, on a clear day.

What is the favorite hang out of students? What is their favorite off-campus activity?
Erie-GalleyA favorite hang out for students, when it’s warm, is the patio outside of our convenience store, The Galley. It overlooks the walking paths and it’s very nicely located near food so that you can sit down and hang out with friends, do homework, or just read a book if you want.

My favorite thing to do off campus is going to the movies (when I have money!). It is very easy to get there thanks to the Erie bus system. Students ride for free! It’s just a great way to spend some time with friends. -Meilyng

What activities are students involved in at Behrend? What are some of the highlights of the organizations?

There are many opportunities to get involved on this campus! With over 110 clubs and organizations, I was able to join things such as honor societies, a sorority, club sports, etc. A lot of these organizations also put on annual events such as TRIGON’s Drag Show, the Lion Ambassador’s Midnight Bingo, and the Organization of Latin American Student’s “Ven Bailalo” event. What’s truly amazing about these programs is that they get all of the students involved and everyone is more than welcome. –Meilyng

Students also have to opportunity to put the skills they learn in the classroom to great use. The Penn State Behrend Supermileage Team has won the Society of Automotive Engineers’ International Supermileage Challenge for the second year in a row. This year the team’s carbon-fiber test car got 1,290 miles from a single gallon of gas during the competition. The 2012 entry did even better. That car got more than 1,400 mpg — enough to get from Erie to Denver on a single gallon of gas!

The Behrend Supermileage Team has won the Society of Automotive Engineers' International Supermileage Challenge two years in a row!

The Behrend Supermileage Team has won the Society of Automotive Engineers’ International Supermileage Challenge two years in a row!

Who do you consider a “Campus Face to Know” and why?
Andrew Watters, Associate Director of the Academic and Career Planning Center (ACPC), and Courtney Steding, Internship Coordinator, are Penn State Behrend’s “Campus Faces to Know.” As part of the ACPC staff, they are available to be a helping hand to students while they explore careers and as they prepare to graduate. They assist students in finding internships and full-time employment, a process that can sometimes feel overwhelming for a student. They also help prepare students for entering the job market or graduate school by providing useful sessions on resume writing, interviewing preparation, and networking. Many students say if it wasn’t for Andrew, Courtney, and the dedicated ACPC staff, graduating from Behrend would have been a much scarier and complicated experience.

In addition to individual career counseling, Penn State Behrend hosts an annual Career and Internship Fair that is open to all Penn State students and alumni. Last fall, the fair drew 157 companies and over 800 students together to discuss full-time, part-time, internship and co-op opportunities.

Thank you Penn State Behrend!

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