What would be your dream job and how did EMS put you closer to this goal?
My dream job is to create virtual and augmented reality experiences to enhance people’s lives. My work and research at the university and in Dr. Klippel’s Immersive Experiences Labs within the Department of Geography helped me start to explore how to create immersive environments and apply them to educational experiences.
What made you choose your major?
Geography is what people call a “discovery major.” A lot of people (like myself) come into college with a lot of diverse interests like sustainability, computer science, emerging technology, statistical analysis, climate change, and social science. What they may not realize, is that all of these things fit within the Department of Geography. I chose geography because I loved how customizable the major is and because I had the opportunity to do undergraduate research with virtual and augmented reality through this department.
What is the best class you’ve taken at Penn State and why?
I’ve loved so many of my classes at Penn State, but one that completely shaped my Penn State experience was my first-year seminar (EMSC 100), which is a course all freshman take in EMS. This course first introduced me to emerging technology like 3D printing, robots, VR, AR, and maker culture in a lab called The Dreamery. A few months later, I applied for a job there, and I’ve worked with them to find creative ways to use technology in classrooms at Penn State ever since. (I even got to share one of my VR experiences with the President of Penn State: Eric Baron)!
What is the one Penn State activity that everyone should participate in, and why?
Everyone should participate in IM sports (my favorite is Ultimate Frisbee)! It’s such a fun way to meet people, and the College of EMS Student Council pays for students to play. We’ve won quite a few championship games as a college.
What opportunities has Penn State provided for you so far?
Penn State has provided me with so many incredible opportunities: participating in research, working in jobs I love, leading clubs, and traveling around the world. I started getting involved in research my sophomore year with the Department of Geography. During my junior year, I joined the Schreyer Honors College and now I’m working on researching Zoom lecture accommodations for students who are hard-of-hearing for my honors thesis. I have also worked every semester through the university as both a Teaching Assistant and as a Part-Time Information Technology Support Specialist. I’ve also been elected to multiple executive boards including EMS THON and EMS Ambassadors. Finally, I studied sustainability and green energy in Colorado with the EMS CAUSE Program, conservation biology and coral reef health in Australia, and cultural geography in Spain.