Penn State Engineering Ambassador Lisa Gardner width=
Lisa Gardner

Mechanical Engineering
Class of 2019

Hometown: Wynnewood, PA

High School: Lower Merion High School

Extracurricular Activities: President of Triathlon Club, Open Design Lab, Teaching Assistant at The Learning Factory, Schreyer Honors Orientation Mentor

Internship/Co-op/Research Experience: Accolade Clinical Operations Intern (2016), Joulez Inc. Mechanical Engineering Product Design Intern (2017), Newell Brands Inc. Design Engineer Intern (2018), Health and Human Development Design for Impact Lab (2016-present)

Why did you choose to come to Penn State? "You can make a big school small, but you can't make a small school big." You may have heard this cliché before on a college tour (maybe it was one of ours!), but this has definitely been true of my experience and is one of the reasons I picked PSU. I wanted a school with limitless resources and caring professors that help students take advantage of all the university's opportunities. Penn State has done exactly that! I have studied abroad in short-term programs 4 times, conducted research, had internship experience, and made countless friends in classes and clubs.

What has been your best memory as an engineering student? My best memory as a PSU engineering student was traveling to Sinagpore with a Summers by Design course in May 2017. We spent three weeks in Singapore designing products to help make the cleaning process more sustainable in the world's cleanest country. In our free time, we explored the food, culture, and history of Singapore. I came out of this experience with new knowledge of how to design products for an international audience, friends from the National University of Singapore, and passion for human-centered design.

What advice would you give a first-year engineer? It's 100% okay to not know what you're doing. I started my college career in the Division of Undergraduate Studies because I had no idea what I wanted to major in. I joined 3-4 clubs first semester and quit all of them the next semester. Keep trying new things and narrowing down your interests. It's easy to look at friends who seem to have it together, but no one really knows what they are doing. Now that I'm farther into my college career, I have discovered a passion for engineering and found friends and clubs to support my interests. And you will too!

What do you plan to do after graduation? I am undecided between going into industry and pursuing a graduate degree in Engineering Design. I know that no matter what I do, I want to be solving problems that help make people's everyday lives better.

What has been your best experience outside of engineering at Penn State? My involvement with the Penn State Triathlon Club has been such a rewarding experience. I absolutely love my teammates who consistently push me to be a better athlete and person. One of the highlights has been representing Penn State at the National Collegiate Triathlon Competition in April 2017 in Tuscaloosa, AL. It was rewarding to see all of our training pay off and to support each other. There's no other group of people I would want to spend 30 hours in a car with!