Speakers highlight school's impact

Dec 9, 2005

The Undergraduate and Graduate speakers for Commencement tell why they chose Kettering.

For Grzegorz Piotr Slota and Connie Marie Fullerton, there is no mystery regarding why they chose Kettering University as the place to earn their degrees.

"The combination of academics and real-world experience did it for me," explained Slota, who earned his Mechanical Engineering undergraduate degree from Kettering in 2002 and will receive his master's degree in Engineering this year as well from the institution. "I hope." He added, "to build on the classroom and corporate experiences obtained at Kettering, and develop a solid career as a mechanical engineer."

Slota, who hails from Sterling Heights, Mich., enjoyed a productive academic career. During his undergraduate and graduate studies, he said he found "innumerable new ways of challenging myself." For example, he studied abroad one term in Sydney, Australia, and achieved several academic honors, including membership in Kappa Mu Epsilon, a national Mechanical Engineering honor society. This year, he served as the graduate student speaker at Commencement Saturday, Dec. 10. His sister also graduated from the institution in 2001 with a bachelor's of science in Management.

Connie Marie Fullerton of Ypsilanti, Mich., also believes Kettering was key to jump starting her engineering career. The Mechanical Engineering graduate and this year's undergraduate commencement speaker chose Kettering because of the co-op program as well.

"I thought it was original and it would be a huge benefit to getting real world work experience," she said.

Currently, Fullerton works at the Nissan Technical Center for North America in Farmington Hills, Michigan. During her undergraduate studies, she participated in the exchange program and attended one term at Fachhochschule Ulm University of Applied Sciences in Germany. She also earned recognition for her academic endeavors through inclusion on the Dean's List. Additionally, she won Kettering's President's Medal, bestowed upon graduating seniors who excel in scholarship, professionalism in the job and community efforts, and she is a member of Kappa Mu Epsilon, Phi Tau Sigma, Tau Beta Pi and Sigma Phi Iota honor societies.

The most gratifying aspect of her Kettering education include "all the challenges that I overcame, learning of my potential through my experiences and being able to learn so much from my colleagues," she said.

Her future plans include working as an engineer for a few years and then returning to school to pursue her MBA degree. "Kettering's co-op program has given me the experience to successfully perform in whatever future career I choose," she said.

Written by Gary J. Erwin