Tyler Leatherwood is in his second year working on laser weapons at Penn State's Electro-Optics Center (EOC). He'll be working at the center for at least two more years as he helps design, test and build components for the high-powered defense systems used by the United States military. By the way, he is a full-time sophomore in the engineering program at Penn State New Kensington.
Last year, as a freshman, Leatherwood was selected as the charter member of a new campus program, GREAT (Growing Regional Engineering through Academics and Training). A collaboration of the New Kensington campus, Electro-Optics Center and industries in the region, GREAT establishes internships at local companies for engineering students. Whereas most internships are geared to juniors and seniors, GREAT interns can begin as soon as their first year in college.