'Suspenders and Skechers' in style for THON Mr. Engineer pageant

Cate Hansberry
February 13, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Pocket protectors and glasses were in style for one night only at the 12th annual Mr. Engineer contest at the HUB-Robeson Center on Feb. 9.

The mock beauty pageant, hosted by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), benefits the Penn State Interfraternity Council/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON).

Six male contestants competed for the overall title of Mr. Engineer and category titles Mr. Professional, Mr. Smartypants, Mr. Charm and People's Choice.

Each contestant had to compete in three categories to win this year's pageant – professional wear, "nerdy wear" and a talent competition.

The first segment, professional wear, allowed contestants to show off their Career-Fair best. They wore business attire and answered both serious and comedic interview questions.

Meanwhile, the "nerdy wear" competition required the men to don "suspenders and Skechers," poking fun at the stereotypical engineering nerd. Costumes ranged from Comic Con-level superheroes to the traditional "nerd" glasses and tucked-in shirt.

The talent competition was one of the most exciting parts of the night, with performances varying from a dancing couple, juggling soccer balls and performing songs.

Contestant Cody Mitchell, a first-year aspiring engineer, won both the crowd and the crown with his talent portion. He performed dance and lip sync covers of hits like "Since U Been Gone."

After his performance, Mitchell was named Mr. Engineer by the panel of judges, which included director of the Women in Engineering Program and SWE counselor Cheryl Knobloch; SWE President Katrina Malaski, a chemical engineering senior; SWE adviser Stephanie Velegol, instructor in environmental engineering; and Chandra Yoder, the mother of SWE's THON child.

Other contestants included Jeremy Barnhart, junior, mechanical engineering; Abraham Benguigui, fourth-year architectural engineer; Fernando Fuentes, senior, energy engineering; Scott Tustin, first-year engineering student; and Grady Weinheimer, first-year chemical engineering student.

Kaylyn Hannon, a senior in bioengineering and SWE secretary, said she was glad the night was a success.

"It was a lot of work," she said. "I'm really happy with how it went."

The event raised approximately $330 for THON.

  • Cody Mitchell, Mr. Engineer 2015

    His competition behind him, Cody Mitchell waves to the crowd after being named Mr. Engineer 2015.

    IMAGE: Cate Hansberry
Last Updated February 13, 2015