Student Success

Dr. Sam Nutile, assistant professor of biology, left, and Megan Solan, a senior Biology major, discuss Solan’s award-winning poster.

Dr. Sam Nutile, assistant professor of biology, left, and Megan Solan, a senior Biology major, discuss Solan’s award-winning poster.

Credit: Penn State Behrend

Penn State Behrend students succeed in and out of the classroom. Here are just some of the many students whose accomplishments and achievements were remarkable in 2018.

Students Sweep Competition

Behrend Plastics Engineering Technology students swept the awards in the Blow Molded Parts Competition at the 34th Annual Blow Molding Conference in Pittsburgh in the fall. Ryan Bauer and Logan Luzier took first place with their calf hutch. Zachery Ishman and Michael Sterner won second place with their riot shield. Jacob Tingley and Michael Rossi took third place with their plastic blank firing cartridge project.

New Record Set

The student members of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Club set a new record and took first place in the International Supermileage Challenge, held in June 2018 at Eaton Corporation’s Marshall Proving Grounds test track in Michigan. The competition challenges teams to create vehicles that squeeze the most mileage out of a single tank of high-octane gasoline. The Behrend vehicle traveled 3,013 miles on a gallon of gas, which was a new U.S. record. The team also placed second in the Design Report Sub-Competition.

PSU Hackathon

Five of our students placed at PSU Hackathon, a 24-hour computer hacking competition held at Penn State University Park this fall. Morgan Atterholt and Shrey Arora won first place in the JP Morgan Chase Challenge and third place in the Google Cloud Services Challenge. Zihao Zhang, Yilu Dong, Xinpeng Zhao, and Sheng Su won first place in the KCF Technologies Challenge.

Materials Day Poster Winner

Plastics Engineering Technology senior Olivia Dubin won the poster competition at Materials Day at Penn State University Park this past fall. The competition included more than 100 posters, many of which were prepared by graduate students. Dublin presented work she had done with Dr. Alicyn Rhoades, associate professor of engineering; Anne Gohn, engineering researcher; and Dr. Ralph Colby, professor of materials science and engineering and chemical engineering at University Park. Dubin’s winning poster title was: The Effect of Various Molecular Weight Poly (ether ether ketone) on Crystallization Peak Half Times Using Fast Scanning Chip Calorimetry.

Student Managed Fund Grows

The Intrieri Family Student Managed Fund, established in 2011 with an initial $100,000 gift by Vincent Intrieri '84 and his wife, Joanne, and subsequently added to by the Intrieris and other donors, has grown to roughly $700,000, thanks to sharp insights and smart investments by Behrend’s business students in the FIN 362 Student Managed Fund—Associate Analyst, FIN 462 Student Managed Fund—Lead Analyst, and FIN 461 Portfolio Management and Analysis courses.

XXV International Model UN Conference

Behrend’s Model United Nations team placed third at the XXV Lake Erie International Model UN Conference in November. Team members included Mike Campese, Henry Chiapa, Raul Garcia, Merna George, Andrew Hall, Marissa Litzenberg, Carlos Mora, Ricardo Rodriguez, and Frank Ruszkowski. Rodriguez, who represented Australia on the Asia Pacific Economic Partnership, and Hall, who represented Vietnam, won superior delegate awards. Garcia, who represented Australia on the UN Human Rights Council, and Campese, who represented Argentina on the council, won excellent delegate awards.

First-Place Poster

This past fall, senior Biology major Megan Solan won first place for her poster in the undergraduate research division of the 39th Annual National Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Conference in Sacramento, California. Solan studied the effects of road salt products on aquatic insects and compared the toxicity of traditional road salt to other products marketed as being more “eco-friendly.”

Junior Honored With Achievement Award

Paul Hoffman, a junior Accounting major, was chosen as the 2018 Erie Junior Achievement Celebrating Success honoree for helping to educate youth in the community and for starting his own business—Hoffman United, a construction, property management, and real estate development company—in Erie.