Josiah Burkett

My proudest accomplishment while being at Behrend is the connections I’ve made with so many people—friendships, mentorships, and meeting people who are now family to me.

Major: Elementary and Early Childhood Education

Minor: Special Education

Hometown: Edinboro, Pennsylvania

Scholarships: The Provost Award, PNC Leadership Scholarship

On choosing Behrend: I chose Behrend because I wanted to go to Penn State while being closer to home.

On choosing his major: I chose my major because I believe that, through education, anything is possible. Giving back to students and their communities through education is something I strive for.

His proudest accomplishment at Behrend: My proudest accomplishment while being at Behrend is the connections I’ve made with so many people—friendships, mentorships, and meeting people who are now family to me.

Campus involvement: I was a Welcome Week guide, then leader, then director. I was a member of THON and Lion Ambassadors, and I worked as a Lion Scout. I am also a leadership scholar and the treasurer for the student PSEA (Pennsylvania State Education Association). During the summers, I was a mentor for Upward Bound Math and Science through Behrend’s K-12 Youth Education Outreach program.

What makes him unique: I believe my work ethic is unmatched, and my competitiveness helps me to strive toward being the best version of myself. Also, I can play the drums and tell you obscure football statistics that most people don’t know.

Student teaching: I did my student teaching at Klein Elementary in Harborcreek where I taught 4th grade. I loved it.

What you’d be surprised to know about him: A lot of people at Behrend would be surprised to learn that I am a very relaxed person most of the time. On campus, especially during Welcome Week, I tend to be excited and loud. However, I prefer to be more relaxed and in quiet environments.

His other identity: I was often asked to be the Behrend Lion mascot for campus events and photo opportunities. It was always super fun interacting with students and kids who visited, and seeing the looks on their faces when I’d come around. It was kind of fun to know all of the people around me while they had no clue it was me in the costume.

His definition of living a good life: A good life to me is a happy life — one that is filled with doing things that you enjoy. As someone going into education, I chose my field because I genuinely love teaching and learning. So, for me, doing things you love with the people you love is a good life.

His passions: I am passionate about having more classroom educators in decisive positions to truly make a change in education. I am also passionate about learning. I consider myself a life-long learner and enjoy learning about anything and everything. It makes me a more well-rounded person.

Advice for first-year students: Take advantage of every opportunity you are presented with.

Josiah plans to work as an elementary education teacher while also pursuing a master’s degree in education.