Benjamin Coler

The experiences I have gained from being at Behrend have shaped the person I am today.

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Hometown: Clarksville, Maryland

Scholarships and awards: I received the Penn State Discover Award, Behrend Excellence Award, and STEM Leaders Scholarship. I was also in the Behrend Honors Program.

On choosing Behrend: After touring the Behrend campus, I immediately fell in love with it. I loved the small feel and the low student-to-faculty ratio, which meant I could get to know each of my professors, and they could get to know me.

On choosing his major: Since a very young age, I have been intrigued by how things function and would often try to design and create my own inventions. I had a middle school tech teacher who fueled my passion for engineering by helping me build a robot that I designed.

His proudest accomplishment at Behrend: I am proud of who I am today; I am proud of the things I’ve done, the people I’ve helped, and the bonds that I have made. I am proud of what I’ve learned from being at Behrend and of the knowledge that I have passed along to others. The experiences I have gained from being at Behrend have shaped the person I am today.

Campus involvement: I was most involved with Alpha Phi Omega, a co-ed service fraternity.

Friend to all: I am a people person. I love meeting new people and getting to know who they are, and I have the ability to connect with anyone I meet regardless of any social, political, and/or ethical based differences. I am able to remain unbiased and stay open-minded, and this has allowed me to connect with all kinds of people and understand their differences.

His definition of living a good life: Living a good life is finding satisfaction in your experiences. There is no set path or objectives that fit everyone. Each person is different, and what makes their definition of a good life is unique. To find satisfaction in all these experiences is where you will find the most happiness.

His passions: I love playing guitar and have been teaching myself for nearly a year. I practice almost every day.

Advice for first-year students: This stage in your life is so valuable. During this time, you will learn so much more than what you learn in your classes. You will learn who you are and what you want to do (both professionally and personally). Two pieces of advice: Failure is good, even if it doesn’t feel that way in the beginning, and every once in a while, look back at where you started and feel proud of what you have achieved, whether that was passing a class, taking on a new challenge, or putting yourself in situations that you normally don’t put yourself in. Don’t compare yourself to others because your journey through college is your own; your accomplishments and experiences are unique to you.

Parting thoughts: Be a friend; be of service; and be a leader.

Ben has accepted a position at Parker Lord Corp in Erie.