Penn State Harrisburg’s IEEE at the IEEE-USA 50th Anniversary Conference Cruise
TAGS: BahamasChase BrownIEEE USAJeremiah DdumbaKennedy Space CenterMichael VillalonaNASA

October 2023

Recently, the IEEE Student Branch at Penn State Harrisburg had the unique opportunity to participate in the IEEE-USA 50th Anniversary Conference Cruise to the Bahamas from October 16th to 20th, 2023. This experience was made possible through the coordinated efforts of several dedicated individuals and the supportive collaboration with Penn State.

Networking and Learning

The conference served as an excellent platform for networking, offering us the chance to meet and interact with professionals. Many in Electrical Engineering, Artificial Intelligence, Petroleum Engineering, Math, and Computer Science. The informal and friendly atmosphere of the event facilitated engaging conversations and the sharing of insights, which were both educational and inspiring. What many of the students who went realized was that talking to the veterans of the industry with over four decades for a lot of people attending they aren’t hard to talk with quite the opposite, many of them came and talked with us about their industries, why they pursued it, job opportunities, and if we were interested in pursuing after they discussed the industry and if so helped us get connections for internships or full-time employment.

The conference’s ‘Lightning Sessions’ delved into topics like artificial intelligence, tide power generation, cyber healthcare, semiconductors, and automated building construction. These sessions sparked in-depth discussions and enhanced our grasp of contemporary technological trends.

Valuable Interactions

Our dialogues with experienced IEEE members offered a window into the industry’s evolution and future trajectories. These enlightening conversations during daily dinners expanded our understanding of various sectors. We’re thankful for the internship and employment opportunities offered by these seasoned IEEE professionals, who were keen to engage with our unique university group.

Appreciation for Organizational Efforts

We extend our gratitude to Michael Villalona for identifying and coordinating this valuable opportunity with help from both Chase Brown and Jeremiah Ddumba for their roles in organizing the trip. A special mention to Jeremiah Ddumba for his efforts in securing funding from Penn State, which allowed ten student officers, including Michael Villalona, Chase Brown, Jeremiah Ddumba, Kuber Dey, Joyce Buhano, Peter Lee, Steven Carr, Alexander Caylor, Juliana Lenge, and Aaron Olsen, to attend.

A special thanks to Joyce Buhano for introducing us to Donna Cendana, a NASA Systems Safety Engineer. Together, they arranged a memorable private tour of the NASA Kennedy Space Center, enhancing our final day at the conference. This experience broadened our connections with NASA and opened pathways for potential employment.

Looking Ahead

The knowledge and connections we’ve gained are invaluable for our future in electrical engineering, math, and computer science. This conference has fueled our enthusiasm for similar events, recognizing their significance in our professional and academic growth. Currently, we’re excitedly discussing participation in IEEE-USA’s upcoming Alaskan cruise, with Penn State’s backing for this next venture in career exploration and networking.