MEDIA, Pa. — Joseph Coyle is a freshman engineering major at Penn State Brandywine. As a Jane E. Cooper honors scholar, Coyle used his first semester as a college student to help establish a student-led club, the Honors Student Association (HSA).
Coyle is a member of the club’s executive board, and serves as Vice President. He attended high school with the HSA’s President, Victor Ficarra. The two saw an opening to give the honors program and its students a new point of connection for social and networking opportunities.
“The goal was to have something social for honors students that wasn’t solely school orientated,” Coyle said. “We wanted a way for people to get to know each other.”
The HSA held their first meeting this past September. Coyle explained that for the first month the club mainly focused on gaining members. While numbers were initially low, they now have nearly 35 honors students involved in the HSA.
Coyle and his fellow board members aim to use the HSA as a way to support outings and events for the honors student community. He recognizes that while honors courses allow for close communication among peers, building friendships outside of the classroom is often easier when a group of students has something to work towards.
Coyle and the HSA recently held a Krispy Kreme fundraiser to help supplement the expenses for an end-of-the-semester event they hope to hold. Coyle said the HSA will continue its fundraising efforts and plans to hold a dodgeball tournament on campus.
Apart from the HSA, Coyle plays on the Brandywine soccer team. He chose to major in engineering after his high school courses sparked an interest in the subject.
“I took a lot of engineering classes in high school, and every time I took one I found it increasingly more interesting,” he said.
Coyle plans to take advantage of Penn State’s two and two program and complete his degree at University Park. His goal for the remainder of his college career is to gain as much experience as possible both in and out of the classroom.
“I want to have connections and network well,” he said. “Getting a degree and having good grades isn’t everything; I want to disperse my time and make sure I’m well-rounded, so when it comes to applying for jobs, it makes things a little easier.”
Coyle will continue to serve as Vice President of the HSA. He will transfer to University Park in fall 2019.