Alumni discuss engineers' options after graduation

Cate Hansberry
October 03, 2014

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Seven engineering graduates took part in an alumni panel, “How You Can Use Your Engineering Degree,” Oct. 2 in 62 Willard Building.

The volunteers discussed traditional engineering roles, non-traditional engineering career paths and graduate school.

Approximately 75 students attended the session to get career advice and ask questions about what to expect after graduation.

Michael Esterle, a first-year engineering student, said it was helpful to hear from so many experienced alumni.

“It was interesting to learn how you can pursue fields, other than strictly engineering, with an engineering degree,” he said.

Panelist Jane Clampitt, a customer loyalty manager at DuPont, said she and the other alumni wanted to make themselves available to students and reach out to the greater community of students to promote engineering as a profession.

“We want students to be able to interact with alumni to understand what you can do with an engineering degree,” said Clampitt, a 1979 chemical engineering graduate. “It is such a pleasure to be back on campus and have the opportunity to talk to [engineering students].”

Other alumni panelists included Jonathan Dougherty, Katie Kirsch, Chet McQuaide, Casey Moore, Jason Morris and Rich Prewitt.

Dougherty serves as the director of the Corporate Knowledge Center for James G. Davis Construction Corporation. He earned his bachelor's degree and doctorate in architectural engineering in 1999 and 2006, respectively.

Kirsch is a mechanical engineering doctoral candidate working in the Experimental and Computational Convection Laboratory at Penn State. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering in 2011 and 2013, respectively.

McQuaide is president and principal consultant at StraDis Consulting, LLC. He is a 1965 electrical engineering graduate.

Moore is a vice president and principal of McMahon Associates, Inc. He earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1989.

Morris is the founder and CEO of EdFundr, a software company with the mission of removing financial barriers in education. He received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 2012.

Prewitt is a distinguished engineer at IBM. He is a 1984 computer science graduate.

The event was sponsored by the Penn State Engineering Alumni Society (PSEAS), the only all-alumni advisory body in the College of Engineering. PSEAS board members work closely with deans, faculty, staff and students to promote and improve the engineering programs at Penn State.

Last Updated October 03, 2014