Today’s students will one day join a talent pool and workforce that includes thousands of CSU graduates who have been influencing and advancing society’s collective good for the better part of 50 years.

Thriving in the unknown

Chris Chajon shuns monotony, enjoying the challenge of embracing rapid and progressive change. That’s why when you ask the...

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Becoming a valedictorian

When CSU senior Ellen Rea got word that she had landed a job at GE Aviation as an aerospace engineer after graduation, it was the realization of a pursuit that she’d worked hard to achieve.

“I was so happy when I found out,” she beamed.

As a child, the engineering major would fit her dolls with parachutes and drop them off the roof to determine how to minimize damage. And in high school, when she shadowed a mechanical engineer, she was certain what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.

And that became a singular focus for her.

She took classes at CSU as a post-secondary student but wasn’t sold on attending the school for college. A little encouragement from her mother, however, helped her to make her decision.

“I picked CSU and I am so happy that I did.”

Ellen was awarded a scholarship from both the Mandel Honors College and the Washkewicz College of Engineering covering all of her tuition.

“Once I was in school, because I had the scholarships, I was able to focus 100 percent of my energy on becoming a great engineer.”

After her freshman year, she took the unconventional route of pursuing her first co-op, typically reserved for engineering students’ sophomore year.

“I was like ‘No, I think I’m ready,’ so I found a place that would have me.”

She followed that rotation the next year at a company where she’d spend two summers, learning management styles and rubbing shoulders with higher ups.

The following fall, her senior year, she learned that all her work had finally paid off when she got the job at GE Aviation in a suburb of Cincinnati.

“Everything I did here [at CSU] was focused on getting a good job,” she said.

“I was able to do that without worrying about paying tuition…”

Ellen capped her time at CSU leading the CSU Fluid Power Vehicle team to a national championship, working with an engineering professor to build a virtual weather drone and earning the distinction of being named the university valedictorian.

“CSU has given me a lot of opportunities I wouldn’t have anywhere else,” she laughs.

“I love this school.”

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