Stories

Learn how engagement has transformed the lives of Penn State students.

The Penn State Center: Engaging Pittsburgh 2015

Community Partner – The City of Pittsburgh | Penn State Partner – Outreach and Online Education

The Pittsburgh Center facilitates community-focused learning, student involvement, and solution-oriented research to help enrich the lives of urban citizens, improve the quality of communities, and enhance the success of businesses in the Greater Pittsburgh area. Program areas include community revitalization, energy, land use, stormwater management, and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).

So many of my projects at school don’t have to deal with real life constraints, so it was great to work in a setting where feasibility is a priority. Additionally, we got the opportunity to help with planting stormwater bioswale tree wells, which increased my understanding of the way that they work. My major is in landscape architecture, and my role here gives me a real look at what the future will hold. I aspire to work with communities to do city improvement projects and community gardens. I really enjoyed the things that took us out of the office: plantings, site visits, and tours all worked to round out the experience and make it as enriching as possible.

Hailey Rohn '15

Landscape Architecture, College of Arts and Architecture

At my summer internship with the Pittsburgh Center, I learned a lot about teamwork and got a real-life perspective on what it will be like if I work with another landscape architect in the future. I loved being involved with community projects; they really boosted my confidence and assured me that I could do this type of work well. There is a lot of diversity when it comes to what you can do with landscape architecture, especially in parks, and I enjoyed discovering the possibilities and exploring what to focus on in the future.

Erik Boyer '15

Landscape Architecture, College of Arts and Architecture

My experience at the Pittsburgh Center has been extremely positive. This internship has given me the ability to get exposure to community development work and to see what community development theories and principles look like in action. This role combined my academic studies in community development with my personal interest in learning more about food security and urban policy-making as it relates to food and public well-being.

Alyssa Gurklis '16

Community, Environment, and Development, International Development Option, College of Agricultural Sciences

My internship with the Pittsburgh Center was definitely a positive experience. I want to work in city landscaping/green infrastructure, and that is exactly what I did this summer. I did stormwater management, worked with local kids, and taught a 4-H program. This internship enriched my college career by giving me hands-on experience. I feel more qualified to enter the workforce after graduation because I have this experience, and I believe that this background will give me a competitive edge as an applicant.

Katie Rose '15

Landscape Contracting, Design Build Option, College of Agricultural Sciences

The Pittsburgh Center offers all of the resources and skills of Penn State’s education and research applied to solving pressing community needs. The Penn State Pittsburgh Center is unique because it works directly with communities to give them a stronger voice, and access to all of the valuable skills and resources that Penn State provides.

Emily Paskewicz '15

Landscape Architecture, College of Arts and Architecture

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