33 students selected to serve as new 2017-18 engineering ambassadors

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Following a highly competitive selection process, the Penn State Engineering Ambassadors (EA) program announced the selection of 33 new students who will serve as ambassadors for the 2017-18 academic year.

Since 2009, Penn State Engineering Ambassadors have connected with middle- and high-school students, prospective students and their families, alumni, industry partners and the community, in order to create awareness of opportunities in Penn State’s College of Engineering and in the engineering field as a whole.

Erik Orient, director of the Engineering Ambassadors program, said the 2016-17 cohort of EAs have organized 17 events for current students, 42 events for prospective students and 31 outreach events, totaling more than 3,500 service hours and reaching approximately 14,000 different people.

He added that the number of students who apply for the EA program has increased steadily every year, noting that 125 students applied this spring to fill a maximum of 35 vacant positions. Many applicants, he said, are referred by past or current EAs.

Ambassadors are selected for face-to-face interviews based on their resumes and essays that explain why they want to be an engineering ambassador. During the interview process, current engineering ambassadors help Orient select new ambassadors following a presentation they deliver about a predetermined topic.

“This year, we asked applicants to explain a technical topic in a way that’s interesting and understandable to the audience,” said Orient. “The EAs go into middle schools and high schools, and they have to be able to effectively communicate what they know to students in those age ranges, using language that those students will be able to understand.”

Once students are selected for the program they have the option to remain engineering ambassadors throughout their undergraduate careers.

The new 2017-18 engineering ambassadors are:

-Seniors (as of fall 2017): Katie Corridoni, chemical engineering; David Masteller, mechanical engineering; Chloe Melnick, engineering science; and Avery Varhade, computer science.

-Juniors (as of fall 2017): Jessica Buchanan, industrial engineering; Lauryn Blum, industrial engineering; Tanner DeCrapio, architectural engineering; Nate Donaher, engineering science; Morgan Flynn, architectural engineering; Lisa Gardner, mechanical engineering; Emma Hedrick, chemical engineering; Katie Heininger, industrial engineering; Julianne Heinzmann, computer science; Christina Kreamer, architectural engineering; Alexander LoRusso, industrial engineering; Torin Martutartus, aerospace engineering; Erica Murphy, electrical engineering; Jeremy Mysliwiec, engineering science; Emily Nix, industrial engineering; Corey Palmer, mechanical engineering; Jacqueline Trautman, mechanical engineering; and Spencer Wallace, chemical engineering.

-Sophomores (as of fall 2017): Ritiwk Biswas, Joseph Dallas, Emma Frost, Ben Hartleb, Laura Hinkle, Kelsie McElroy, Amanda Sgro, John Taltavall, Ben Thoma, Alyssa Jo Tice and Cristina Youwakim.

The new Engineering Ambassadors will join 42 returning students, for a total of 75 ambassadors for the 2017-18 academic year.

As part of the program, the ambassadors will receive advanced communications and leadership training and work with representatives from a number of Penn State EA industry partners.

Karen Thole, head of the Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering and co-founder of Penn State’s Engineering Ambassadors program, said she is pleased to see the program, which had two ambassadors its first year, continue to grow and thrive.

“We are so happy to welcome the 2017-18 class of engineering ambassadors who will help us spread the word on the excitement about engineering,” said Thole. “Engineers positively impact the health, happiness and safety of society. Having these new students tell that story is critical to our success in recruiting the next generation of talented engineers who bring diversity of thought to society’s challenges.”

More information about the engineering ambassadors is available on their website.

Media Contacts: 
Last Updated April 18, 2017