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Spotlight on Students: Stwart Pena '17

  • Affiliation: Chemical Engineering
  • Hometown: Amityville, NY

Why Cornell? 

To be honest, I fell in love with the campus at first sight. From the beautiful scenery to the peaceful locations one can go to relax, I truly felt at home on this campus. While visiting for my first time, every student was so friendly and the administration was so approachable and always ready to help. In addition to having one of the best engineering colleges in the world, there was no doubt in my mind that Cornell was truly meant for me. 

Leadership positions held at Cornell:

Leadership positions include ChemE Car Finance/Business Team Executive, senior member of the Cheerleading team, and Junior Officer for Skiing and Snowboarding Club.

Major Accomplishments as a leader:

Accomplishments for the ChemE Car Project Team include winning the AIChE 2015 National Competition; the cheer team won the first Ivy League Championship; and the Skiing and Snowboarding Club went further than ever for club trips, organizing events in Switzerland and obtaining major sponsorship from other companies.

Advice for future student leaders:

My one piece of advice is to never be afraid to make a name for yourself, despite the risk of making mistakes. In order to succeed, you have to let the world know you who are. If you make mistakes along way, learn from them. Those errors are what will make you a wiser person and will truly teach you how to become a better leader.  

Post-graduation goals:

I will be heading to Houston to work as a process designer for ExxonMobil. Once I obtain the necessary experience and networks, I desire to become an entrepreneur in the renewable energy field. 

Favorite Olin Hall/ChemE memory: 

Although the last 4 years were rather difficult in Olin Hall, there is not a singular "best" memory I can recall. What I did truly enjoy were the countless conversations and bonds formed at 3:00 AM in the Scheele undergrad lounge, as we were all trying to finish our problem sets. I will truly miss this place. 

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