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Opportunities growing in STEM studies noted during Penn State Fayette program

| Saturday, March 2, 2013, 8:12 p.m.
Speaker Kelly Campitell, Director of Project Management for Arenadesign, outlined how she achieved her goals to students at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus, referring to her climb as the “House of Kelly.” MARILYN FORBES I FOR THE TRIBUNE-REVIEW

Encouraging young women to explore fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics or what is commonly referred to as STEM studies, former Penn State Fayette graduate Kelly Campitell addressed several young women on the vast opportunities now available in those fields.

Campitell, who is the director of Project Management for Arenadesign Services of Windber, was invited to speak at the campus as part of National Engineering Week

Campus associate professor of engineering David Meredith invited Campitell to address the group on the opportunities that are offered.

“They are going to learn about the career opportunities that are out there,” Meredith said. “There are experiences available that are way beyond what we ever thought.”

About 20 students attended the talk, ranging from middle school-aged girls to adult males.

“I wanted to come because I have always been interested in math, and I'd like to be an engineer,” said Kelsey Coldren, 17, of Connellsville. “My uncle was an engineer, and I want to learn more about it.”

Campitell explained her courses of study and her career background, while stressing to the group of opportunities that are now available that weren't only a few years ago.

“The types of opportunities that you have now did not exist when I was in middle school or even high school for that matter,” Campitell said, stating that she took advantage of what was offered and built on her education that she received from Penn State. “Coming here taught me that I could reach any goal that I set for myself.”

Campitell urged the group to explore any fields of interest, regardless of their nature or their stigma.

“Don't be afraid to explore other fields of study even if it takes you out of your comfort zone of being a girl,” Campitell said, adding that intuition is something that should not be ignored .”I'm a very firm believer in intuition. Girls are born with an extra special intuition that continues to grow and grow. Pay attention to thoughts that silently propel you into different directions.”

Meredith ended the presentation with additional advice for the students.

“You can come out of high school knowing that you can do something related to STEM or something completely different,” Meredith said. “Now is the time for you to explore your opportunities, when you are in middle school and high school. Technology is ever changing, but remember that the future for you is very bright.”

Marilyn Forbes is a freelance writer.

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