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Penn State student Zack Springer awarded Cooperative Education Student Achievement Award

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24 March 2017

nullZack 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. The award recognizes an undergraduate student for their outstanding achievement during a cooperative or internship experience and will be presented at the 2017 CEIA National Conference in Denver in April.

Springer graduated from the Penn State Eberly College of Science in 2016 and is currently pursuing an MBA at the Penn State Smeal College of Business. He completed a six-month research and development cooperative experience with Johnson & Johnson (formerly McNeil Consumer Healthcare) in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, in 2015. Springer primarily contributed to a project investigating a new formula for a topical pain-relief drug. “Over time I became a trusted member of the team,” he said, “and helped to make long-term strategic decisions about product ingredients and experimental design.” Springer was also awarded a Gold-Level Encore Award by Johnson & Johnson for his work on the project.

Springer attributes his comfort in the cooperative environment to his involvement in the combined laboratories of J. Martin Bollinger and Carsten Krebs, professors of chemistry and of biochemistry and molecular biology at Penn State, where he completed his undergraduate honors thesis. “The Penn State Eberly College of Science really gave me the academic background to succeed in this position,” said Springer.

Members of the Science BS/MBA program participate in at least two cooperative education work experiences during their undergraduate studies. During the summers of 2014 and 2016, Springer completed a cooperative experience with Thar Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in Pittsburgh, PA as a market research intern. He will complete an MBA Supply Chain Operations Planning internship with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals in Rensselaer, NY this summer.

Springer believes his experience at Johnson & Johnson was an important learning opportunity, and not only for technical skills. “I enjoyed having the opportunity to lead a team, to make decisions, and to figure out how to communicate with others effectively when you are managing them.” After completing his MBA, Springer plans to pursue a career in a strategy role at a pharmaceutical company.

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