Industrial engineering students receive scholarships for academic excellence


By Miranda Buckheit

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Three industrial engineering students in the Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering (IME) at Penn State have been selected to receive scholarships from the Material Handling Education Foundation Inc. for the 2020-21 academic year.

The students were selected for their individual scholarships based on their commitment to the material handling, logistics and supply chain industry. Applicants must demonstrate this commitment via academic successes such as related coursework, internships, projects, papers and more.

“I am proud that we not only have one student receiving a scholarship, but three,” said Ling Rothrock, interim department head. “Our industrial engineering students go above and beyond in their academics, and their hard work pays off when they are awarded by top industry organizations. I look forward to watching them grow as students and professionals.”

Stephanie Vojtek, a rising senior from Pittsburgh, received the Spanco Inc. Honor Scholarship.

Vojtek is a member of Penn State’s PGN Professional Development Organization and has been involved with Penn State’s THON for the past three years as a committee member. She also served as an engineering peer advising leader during her junior year, where she connected with first- and second-year students to offer low-level academic advising and assistance with Penn State resources. Additionally, Vojtek spent time during 2018 in Penn State’s Visual Attention and Memory Lab under Bradley Wyble, associate professor of psychology, where she worked to construct an experiment to test human’s rotary versus visual skills.

Last summer, Vojtek interned with Lockheed Martin-Missiles and Fire Control, supporting their capacity planning model of their HELLfire Missile Depot in Anniston, Alabama. This summer, she plans to intern with ExxonMobil in their fuels and lubricants sales and marketing division.

Vojtek plans to graduate in May 2021 and said that she is motivated to continue to put her best efforts into achieving her academic goals and employment objectives.

“I am humbled and honored to receive this generous award and to be recognized for the hard work I have put into my studies, extracurriculars and future career,” she said.

Andrew Briglia, a rising senior from Phoenixville, received the Seizmic Inc. of Los Angeles Material Handling Management Society Honor Scholarship.

Briglia has been a THON volunteer for the past three years, and this past year he began leadership involvement in year-round efforts to set up, maintain and tear down the Bryce Jordan Center for Four Diamonds cancer research and patient care fundraising. He is also a member of Penn State’s Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineering (IISE) chapter and the industrial engineering honor society, Alpha Pi Mu.

During the summer of 2019, Briglia worked with TE Connectivity in Hampton, Virginia, as a supply chain and continuous improvement intern, where he learned key process improvement and supply chain techniques to reduce bottlenecks and improve continuous flow of the company’s highest value product line through the plant. This summer, Briglia has plans to intern at Merck in West Point, where he will learn how to drive product strategy across the end-to-end supply chain.

Briglia plans to receive his industrial engineering degree in May 2021 with a minor in entrepreneurship and innovation. He achieved his Six Sigma green belt certification in the fall of 2019 through IISE and hopes to leverage this certificate in the future.

“I am extremely grateful for all the opportunities that the Penn State IME department has connected me with,” Briglia said. “Receiving this award is extremely motivating for me to not only pursue a career path in supply chain, but it gives me the confidence to be able to go into this field and make an impact right away by having a voice at the table.”

Terrence Saylor, a State College native and rising senior, was awarded the Mobile Automation Group Honor Scholarship.

During the 2019-2020 academic year, Saylor served as secretary for Penn State’s chapter of IISE. In December of 2019, he was elected as the vice president of the operational excellence student board for the national chapter of IISE.

Saylor also spends his time with the College of Engineering’s Leonhard Center for Enhancement of Engineering Education as a Leonhard Scholar, where he interacts with other students to help improve the college and its available curriculum. Additionally, Saylor is involved with the College Diabetes Network at Penn State and the Student Leadership Council at the Penn State Applied Research Laboratory (ARL).

During his time at Penn State, he worked at ARL as an engineering intern, where he prototyped Navy and Department of Defense research projects. Using CAD software and the resources available at the College of Engineering’s Bernard M. Gordon Learning Factory, he spent many hours modeling and building communications hardware for ARL.

Last summer, he worked with Steelcase Inc., a furniture manufacturer in Grand Rapids, Michigan, as a quality engineering intern.

Saylor received his Six Sigma green belt certification through IISE in fall 2019 and highly recommends the certification for any engineering student at Penn State. He plans to graduate in May 2021.

“I am truly honored to receive the scholarship,” Saylor said. “Through the generosity of the scholarship sponsor, Ms. Ashley Skidmore, this award gives me the motivation to continue my academic excellence at Penn State and begin a career in the material handling industry. While the academic and professional worlds are facing new uncertainties, this scholarship will serve as an anchor in relieving financial stress from my family and I; a gift that we will forever be grateful for. In the future, I hope to explore research opportunities in the mobile automation field and give back to students who choose to pursue a similar degree or career.”

Established in 1976, the MHEFI is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the study of material handling, logistics and the supply chain. Since then, the organization has awarded more than $2.5 million in scholarships and grants to students at colleges and universities in the United States and Canada.


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Megan Lakatos

headshot of a woman

Stephanie Vojtek. IMAGE: PROVIDED

headshot of a man
Andrew Briglia. IMAGE PROVIDED

headshot of a man
Terrence Saylor. IMAGE PROVIDED