Penn State Engineering Ambassador Kasey Elkin width=
Kasey Elkin

Chemical Engineering
Class of 2017

Hometown: Wexford, PA

High School: Pine-Richland High School

Extracurricular Activities: Engineering Ambassadors, Alumni Relations Captain for Penn State Homecoming, Alpha Xi Delta Sorority, Order of Omega

Internship/Co-op/Research Experience: Research Assistant for Janna Maranas Research Group

Why did you choose to come to Penn State? Initially I did not want to attend Penn State, because my father and my grandfather both came here to study science and engineering. But after applying, I came to visit the campus and experienced for myself the warm, welcoming atmosphere, and heard how proud the students were when they called themselves Penn Staters, and I realized there was a reason families came here generation after generation. So here I am--third generation represent!

What has been your best memory as an engineering student? My best memory as an engineering student was finishing my first project for my research. I work in a lab that creates cosmetic products, and when I poured the final black, sticky product into the mascara tube--after researching, designing, and concocting this final recipe--it was an amazing feeling. We won't talk about how that very first batch looked on my actual eyelashes...but you get the idea.

What advice would you give a first-year engineer? I would tell a first-year engineer to explore their passions, inside and outside of the realm engineering. Unique experiences and interests set you apart from people with similar academic qualifications, and figuring out what you are passionate about early on will help guide your career direction toward a place where you can be truly successful. Passion, enthusiasm, and success all go hand in hand.

What do you plan to do after graduation? After graduation, I plan to work in industry. I am not sure which industry I want to work in, or where I would like to work just yet, but I am so excited to gain experience and explore the wide variety of career options available for chemical engineers.

What has been your best experience outside of engineering at Penn State? My best experience outside of engineering has been getting involved in Penn State Homecoming. As a captain this year, and committee member last year, I have had the opportunity to work with many current students and alumni who all share my passion for this university and its rich history (including 2015 Grand Marshal, Keegan-Michael Key!). Through these experiences, I have grown personally and professionally, and made some lifelong friends (engineering and non-engineering) along the way.