Penn State Engineering Ambassador Kandice Pettaway width=
Kandice Pettaway

Industrial Engineering
Class of 2019

Hometown: Washington, D.C.

High School: Elizabeth Seton High School

Extracurricular Activities: Presidential Leadership Academy, Engineering Ambassadors, Women of Color Empowerment Group, National Society of Black Engineers, Women in Engineering Program

Internship/Co-op/Research Experience: Ohio State University's Summer Research Opportunities Program (Summer 2016): Using CRISPR/Cas9 to Genetically Mutate Taraxacum kok-saghyz for Herbicide Resistance

Why did you choose to come to Penn State? I chose Penn State because it reflected me as a person. I am a scholar who likes to have fun. I take my academics very seriously, but I also love football and dancing. Penn State has it all. It is one of the best engineering schools and has undergraduate research, while having D1 sports and an amazing social environment.

What has been your best memory as an engineering student? My best memory as an engineering student was meeting Dr. Harriet Nembhard my freshman year. She is an African-American woman with her Phd in industrial engineering. She became my mentor and gave me the inspiration to pursue IE.

What advice would you give a first-year engineer? "My biggest advice for a first-year engineer is to have persistence, but also have fun. Being an engineering major can be challenging and time consuming. Always believe in yourself and know that the tough courses are only temporary. In addition to staying focused, have fun in college. If you are so stressed that you have absolutely no fun in college, then your time management skills are off. Join clubs and organizations, go to parties, organize events, etc. Find the balance between school work and fun time and your college experience will be amazing! "

What do you plan to do after graduation? After graduation, I plan to attend graduate school and attain my PhD. After grad school, I will most likely go into industry (and possibly become the CEO of a company).

What has been your best experience outside of engineering at Penn State? My best experience outside of engineering is living with my best friends. I truly have a strong support system at PSU and I love it!