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Student Achievements and Program News

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See what Nature says about Careers in Science and Business in their Career Changes: Open for Business article. Yasar Awan and Drew Rattigan were quoted and Dr. Gardner was interviewed for various information in the article.

Penn State student Zack Springer awarded Cooperative Education Student Achievement Award

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Zack Springer, a member of the Science BS/MBA dual degree program at Penn State, was awarded the Cooperative Education Student Achievement Award by the Cooperative Education & Internship Association

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Emily Very to Represent Penn State's Eberly College of Science as Student Marshal at Fall Commencement 2016

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Emily Very of Murrysville, Pennsylvania, will be honored as the student marshal for the Eberly College of Science during Penn State University's fall commencement ceremonies on Saturday, December 17, 2016, on the University Park campus. Very’s faculty escort for the commencement exercises will be Aimin Liu, associate professor of biology.

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Victor Cotton to Represent Penn State's Eberly College of Science as Student Marshal at Fall Commencement 2014

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Victor Cotton of Hershey, Pennsylvania will be honored as the student marshal for the Eberly College of Science during Penn State University's fall commencement ceremonies on Saturday, 20 December 2014 on the University Park campus. Cotton's faculty escort for the commencement exercises will be James Strauss, senior lecturer in biology.

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Matthew Lee: Gaining Real Experience in the Business World

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To gain some real-world business experience, Matthew decided to apply for a co-op within the Global Strategic Sourcing (GSS) department in the Product Supply Organization (PSO) at the Clorox Company in Atlanta, Georgia. He chose Clorox in particular because of the company culture.

He had the opportunity to work on a diverse number of project management tasks, data management projects, and personnel projects. Within GSS, he worked with a team on multimillion-dollar cost-savings projects, organized and managed Clorox E-sourcing events, and even helped with Clorox’s college recruiting efforts. He developed a wide range of technical skills that he most likely would not have had a chance to learn in his classes through these types of projects.

Read the entire story on the Science Journal site

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Daniel Matasic Receives CEIA 2010 Co-op Student of the Year Award

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Daniel Matasic, of West Chester, Pennsylvania, received the 2010 Cooperative Education and Internship Association (CEIA) Co-op Student of the Year award. This national award recognizes students’ academic achievements and contributions to their co-op employers, the University, the community, and the field of cooperative education. The CEIA presented this award to Dan at their national conference in San Antonio, Texas in April 2011.

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Externships Give Insight to Possible Careers

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As a freshman, it’s easy to feel lost while adjusting to college life. Science underclassmen shouldn’t stress about not knowing exactly what they want to do after graduation - even some seniors aren’t sure! But there are ways students can put themselves ahead of the crowd, and applying for an externship is one of the best.

An externship is a job-shadowing program with Penn State alumni. At the end of the academic year, underclassmen can participate in an externship that will allow them a firsthand glimpse of the life of a professional in an industry in which they are interested. It takes place for a short span of time, as soon as spring semester comes to an end in May and is close to the students’ homes.  Program dates and times vary, but the experiences are all equally rewarding.

Emily Bryer, a premedicine major, participated in an externship at Chesapeake Neurosurgery in Maryland. The experience Bryer gained in just a few days was unforgettable.
“I scrubbed into the OR with one of the best of the best surgeons,” she said. “I had scrubbed in before but never anything with the brain or spinal cord, so it was really cool to see something a little different.”

Bryer shadowed Doctor Jeremiah Altman, who described the externship at Chesapeake Neurosurgery as “on-the-job type experience with a mix between office and OR duties.”
“The first day is observation of patient appointments,” Altman said. “Students get to see complaints of low back and neck pain and things like brain tumors. The operative day begins with a proper medical history before they enter the operating room. It’s not hands-on, but I try to give them a holistic approach because I want them to see what it’s like from beginning to end.”

Carla Golden, who also did an externship under Altman, applied to the program to help her decide whether she wants to apply to medical school or graduate school after graduation. She noted that Altman was extremely helpful and very open to answering questions.
“I learned what the hospital is like from the other side, as opposed to being a patient,” Golden said. “Surgery is tedious, and I think I would rather experiment than treat. It’s weird when people are sedated; it’s scarier than watching people being cut during surgery.”

For Anja Kinaszczuk, medicine was also a part of externing, but her patients were a bit younger. Kinaszczuk participated in an externship at the Children’s Health Center of Reading Hospital. This was her first choice, and she found it rewarding because of the type of children the hospital is prone to receiving.

“There were a lot of welfare patients and underprivileged families,” Kinaszczuk said. “I got a different perspective on how to care for those kinds of patients. Some parents are really concerned, but others haven’t been able to take their children for a checkup in six years. It was a really good introduction to the field to see if I would like it. Pediatrics is great because you get to see the kids grow up.”

Kinaszczuk worked with Karen Wang for a full week at the hospital. Wang sees the externship program as very beneficial to students, as she didn’t get the opportunity when she was an undergrad and thinks it’s really helpful to introduce college students who are interested to the work she does and loves.

“They literally shadow me for the week- hang out with me seeing patients, meet other people in the office like social workers, other doctors, and students in residence,” Wang said. “They see what a regular week is like for a general pediatrician. I take care of a population of patients that’s socially really interesting. There are instances of child abuse and other similar situations, and the students get to see all of that- I don’t exclude them from it. I also give them the opportunity to stay in touch with me later, if they have questions, or if they’re applying to school.”

Lonnie Luscavage from Eye to Eye Ophthalmology in Chadds Ford, takes a similar approach to handling her externs.

“The externs shadowed me, came in the room with patients, and observed anything I did,” Luscavage said. “The students get to see whatever patients we get, and we can’t tell what that’s going to be until they get here.”

Lindsay Glace, who now works at GlaxoSmithKline, also thinks the externship program is a great way for students to see what she does. Glace works with protein assays and likes to show students how a real lab operates in the industry because she loves her job and wants to share it with others who might be interested too.

“They’ve already been taught and are familiar with things in a lab, which is good because we’re not starting from scratch,” Glace said. “Going to see the batch reactors is a highlight because they’re really big and not something you would see in a lab at Penn State. It looks like a mad scientist kind of lab.”

Throughout the busy day planned for externs at GlaxoSmithKline, there are visits to various labs and stages of the production process.

“Externs went to go see the way a drug is formulated,” Glace said. “They get to see how a drug is produced and can be used for marketing to doctors and patients.”

Participants of the GlaxoSmithKline externship program have a jam-packed one-day schedule that allows them to get a feel for the industry. Adam Clemens, who participated, liked the drug development aspect of the program because that is his area of interest.

“I was a little unsure before and had some interest,” Clemens said. “But that made me think more seriously about pursuing it. It made me see that even though I’m only in one major, there are so many different things I can do with it. Now, I’m looking for an internship with either a plant biotech company or a pharmaceutical company.”

The wide array of externship opportunities offered fulfills the many different interests of science students, even interest in chocolate!

Lynn Swiech of The Hershey Company has participated in the program for one year and likes to take the opportunity to host young students who are interested in science and give them a chance to see some of the options that are available to them after graduation.

“In four days, we gave our extern a broad range of activities,” Swiech said. “She saw what it was like to work in the lab and test samples, visited the pilot plant, sat in on project meetings, and did a little bit of literature research. It’s pretty rare for students to get that kind of view into a company. So seeing things like the pilot plant that the public doesn’t get to see- it’s special. They can see where Hershey products are manufactured before they’re sold around the world.”

From the OR to the doctor’s office to a chocolate haven, the opportunities are many, but it doesn’t stop there. Students like Mark Bundschuh had the chance to experience a night in the emergency room of Lehigh Valley Hospital.

“I was looking for a good experience for med school and deciding what professions I would like to do,” Bundschuh said. “I learned about how hectic a job like being an ER doctor can be and how to handle all that pressure.”

In only one night, Bundschuh learned about various treatments and diseases, witnessed a stroke victim, a motorcycle crash trauma case, saw people at risk for heart attacks, and a child with a horrible allergic reaction.

Dr. Eric Bruno, the host of the program at Lehigh Valley Hospital, doesn’t hold back from letting students in on everything that can happen in the unpredictable ER.

“I tell all of the students who shadow me that I will do my best to give them as realistic an experience as possible,” Bruno said. “I think it’s important to see the good with the bad patients to make an informed decision. People come in who are critically ill, there is pediatrics, and sometimes I have to deliver really bad news like, ‘you have cancer.’”
Sarah Halstead learned a lot about the lifestyle that’s associated with being an ER doctor and a lot about the work environment.

“I saw the inner workings of the profession and decided I really, really like it, and that’s what I want to end up doing,” Halstead said. “You can read as much as you want about a profession, but you don’t really know what it’s like until you are immersed in it- the personalities of the people you’ll be working with, the color of the profession and what it’s really like.”
Through some externships, it’s also easy to see that not all medical science begins with humans. Lee Martin of Johns Hopkins University is a host who shows his externs how to work with animal models and neurological disease.

“The students are shown the approaches to work with and investigate the cell process,” Martin said. “Using mice, a human disease-causing gene is studied. I think the externs really were delighted with watching me do a surgical procedure that was relatively long and included very detailed brain surgical procedures on a mouse.”

Dr. David Lanar of Walter Reed Army Institute of Research also noted the externs’ chance to observe mouse experiments as a memorable part of the program.

“A highlight is the getting to the lab,” Lanar said. “To put on a lab coat and watch the mouse work is great because the students are side-by-side with the scientist. Classroom science is not real science. I think it’s very important to have internships and externships. You learn how everything fits together.”

In a program with Andrew Patterson at the National Institutes of Health, a combination of activities that could include some basic mouse work as well as more complicated data analysis, compose the externship experience. Patterson noted how much the researchers enjoy having Penn State students come to observe.

“The nice thing about it is that there’s a younger person presence. It’s not really an academic environment. There are no classes; it’s strictly research. But they’re trying to bring in young people to freshen the community. The sky is the limit here; it’s a nice place to experiment and do things you want to investigate.”

There are also less science-centric options for those who have interests concerning areas such as business, like David DeFelice. DeFelice spent two days in Delaware at Agilent Technologies, Inc.

“I have gained a fuller sense of the science industry by observing how products are marketed, customers are satisfied, and efficiency is maximized,” DeFelice said. “Agilent Technologies combines business and science in a manner consistent with the goals of the BS/MBA program and is on the cutting edge of measurement innovation. Hearing the Online Technical Support Manager talk about his journey to his job and how his philosophy on life guided him at crucial decision points was invaluable. I would highly recommend this program.”

The program’s host, Dave Hubley, noted that DeFelice came at a very important time for Agilent.

“It was an interesting time when David joined us because we were completing the largest acquisition in the company’s history,” Hubley said. “We were preparing for the close of that, and David got to see the whole process of the closure. Because it wasn’t complete, we decided to do our second day together after the close.”

DeFelice even got to actively participate in meetings, as Hubley and his colleagues asked him if he thought what they were planning on doing made sense.

It’s easy to see not all externships are the same because hosts want to provide the best possible experiences for their students. They develop timeframes and schedules that will create a scenario with the highest value, and students complete their externships with more than just an asset to add to their resumes. They spend a day, three days, a week, submerged in the life of a professional and are provided with a powerful tool to help them decide where they want or do not want to take their futures, and there’s nothing more valuable than that.

For more information about externship opportunities, please visit the website scienceengagement.psu.edu, make an appointment with the Career and International Education office in 108 Whitmore, or email us at careers@science.psu.edu.

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Science BS/MBA Student Succeeds On and Off the Ice

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While one Penn State Icers player may have made a science out of scoring, it was his lifelong interest in the field of science that brought him to Penn State to study both science and business while playing for the Penn State ice hockey team. Marek Polidor, a junior from Imperial, Pennsylvania, is one of the top leading scorers for the Penn State Icers. In addition to playing hockey and taking two classes, Marek has a full-time business co-op at Innovation Park where he is gaining experience to eventually enter a corporate setting of a science-based business.

Marek has been plaMarek Polidor_hockeyying hockey since he was six years old. Although he first attempted the goalie position, he now plays the forward position in every game. “I’ve been going to ice rinks since before I could walk,” Marek said. He comes from a huge hockey family, including his older brother who played for the Air Force Academy. In addition to his hockey interest at a young age, Marek has also liked science since he was a child.  He said science has just always clicked with him, which is why he came to Penn State to study it. “Science is what I find interesting. I didn’t think twice about it,” Marek said.

Marek is part of a unique five-year program called the Science BS/MBA Program, in which he will earn a science degree with a graduate degree in business administration.  Along with taking classes to fulfill the program’s requirements, his responsibilities at his business internship include writing digital stories about the companies and people at Innovation Park and creating videos that showcase the companies. “I recently did a story about Salimetrics,” Marek said, “It is a new idea where companies can test saliva instead of doing blood work.”

Marek said he has been meeting a lot of interesting people along the way, “One person even took me up in his red bi-wing stunt airplane, and I got to do barrel rolls stalls high above State College.”

Since Marek fills his days with his full-time co-op, classes, and at least 20 hours of hockey during the season, he said time management is second nature to him. “I feel like I don’t get as stressed as other people do when things start piling up,” he said, ”It honestly comes natural to me because I’ve been balancing hockey and school since I was young.”
Growing up, Marek played for many teams in leagues all around New England because his focus was on travel hockey.  Even in middle school and high school, he was constantly traveling to Detroit, Chicago, Buffalo and Toronto, just to name a few, with his elite AAA Hockey team, The Pittsburgh Hornets. After graduating high school, Marek went straight to the Eastern Junior Hockey League to play for the Green Mountain Glades of Vermont, which also frequently traveled to games.

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Traveling has been a major part of Marek’s life since he was a child through playing hockey, visiting family in Prague almost every summer growing up, and going many other places across the world. He said he could also see traveling in his future. “I’ve backpacked in Europe for a month and have been to a lot of countries,” Marek said, “While I’m young, I think I’d enjoy traveling for business and working internationally.”

Although Marek had been gaining experience in hockey on various teams since he was six, he faced some adversity when he came to Penn State following one year of junior hockey. “I got cut my freshman year, and it was kind of rough. I didn’t really know if should try out again,” Marek said. “One thing led to another, and I tried out again. Now I’m in the line up every game and getting a lot of ice time.”

Marek said his number one goal was to commit to preparing to try out again, which included working out and practicing his hockey skills. He said it took a lot of hard work in the summer, but it all was worth it to make the team. He said throughout his life, his work ethic has been the main reason for both his hockey and academic successes. He said, “Work ethic is huge. It definitely carries over on both sides.”

Get more information on the Penn State Science BS/MBA program here.


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Schultz Selected as Science Student Marshal for Penn State Fall Commencement

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Jon W. Schultz, of North East, Pennsylvania, will be honored as the Eberly College of Science student marshal during Penn State's fall commencement ceremonies on 19 December 2009 at the University Park campus. Schultz, who is completing a bachelor's degree in science, has a 3.88 grade-point average. He won the Schreyer Honors College Academic Excellence Scholarship, and he was part of the Balog Scholar Science BS/MBA Program from 2006 to 2009.

Jon W. Schultz, of North East, Pennsylvania, will be honored as the Eberly College of Science student marshal during Penn State's fall commencement ceremonies on 19 December 2009 at the University Park campus.  Schultz, who is completing a bachelor's degree in science, has a 3.88 grade-point average.  He won the Schreyer Honors College Academic Excellence Scholarship, and he was part of the Balog Scholar Science BS/MBA Program from 2006 to 2009.


In addition to his classroom activities, Schultz conducted research under the supervision of Professor of Astronomy Steinn Sigurdsson.  His honors thesis investigates the use and importance of player and team statistics in determining the most important factor in a soccer player's contribution to a team.  Schultz' statistical analyses include such factors as goals, assists, games played, height, weight, and position.  His ultimate goal is for the statistics to be useful in building a winning team.


Schultz has selected James R. Gardner, Professor and Executive in Residence, to be his escort for the commencement exercises.  Gardner points out that, "All the students in the elite Science BS/MBA Program are extraordinarily smart and competent — or they wouldn't be in it.  However, even in that special crowd, Jon Schultz stands out."  Gardner attributes Jon's success to three things — focus, commitment, and personal balance — resulting in an "enviable record of stellar grades, corporate internships, and undergraduate research — plus the respect of his peers and faculty alike."


Schultz also found ways to give back to his hometown community by maintaining a fairly active role in the Boy Scouts of America.  He served as junior assistant scoutmaster for the same scouting troop from which he, his father, and his older brother had risen through the ranks to become Eagle Scouts.  He and his troop have completed projects ranging from park renovations — including building picnic tables and pavilions and doing landscaping — to planting over 1000 trees at a local reservoir as part of a reforestation project.  Schultz also competed in Penn State intramural football, basketball, and soccer, and explored the areas surrounding the University Park campus by camping and fishing.

While at Penn State, Schultz said that he learned the importance of taking advantage of the vast opportunities and numerous people of the University as well as of the opportunities that will present themselves throughout his future.  Jon took part in two cooperative education programs during his Penn State career, working for Lockheed Martin, in the Business Development Department of Maritime Systems & Sensors in Moorestown, NJ.  He worked there during the summer of 2008 and from January to June in 2009.

When he was notified of his selection as student marshal, Schultz said he felt extremely surprised and honored.  "One of my first thoughts was amazement," he said, "especially considering how large the student body is at Penn State."

Upon graduating, Schultz plans to attend graduate school with the goal of attaining a master's degree in business administration with a concentration in finance.

Schultz is a graduate of North East High School in North East, Pennsylvania.  He will be accompanied at commencement by his mother and father, Kathryn and Roger Schultz, both alumni of Penn State.

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Technology Developed at Penn State Licensed to Pharmaceutical Company

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Davis Ng, assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, has developed technology that has the potential to revolutionize the production of drugs to make them more affordable and available to the consumer.

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