Meet Penn State Behrend Graduate Brianna Scanga

Brianna Scanga

Brianna Scanga

Credit: Contributed Photo

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 been 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 two 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 Sorority, the Behrend Honors Program and Schreyer 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). She also plans to go to graduate school to become a pediatric nurse practitioner.