Kristine Kelly has always preferred to be outdoors, using both her mind and her hands to solve problems. Those qualities drew her to SUNY Broome’s Civil Engineering Technology program, and to a change in career.
It’s not her first attempt at college; she earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Mansfield University some years ago. She was working for a local electrical contractor when she realized that she enjoyed something more than the business side, and decided to enroll at SUNY Broome part-time.
“I had never taken classes here before. They want to help you,” she said of the program’s faculty and staff. “Originally, when I got the idea in my head, I reached out to Mr. DeAngelo and he responded in a day with all the things you can do.”
Joseph DeAngelo has become a favorite professor, along with Tom Sullivan and Tom Myers. Not only do they have experience in the classroom, they also worked in the field, giving them an added layer of professional expertise that students can draw on as they forge their own career paths.
Granted, her second time at college is different from her first; Kristine – in her 30s – is older now, and has a house and other responsibilities. Originally a part-time student when she began in 2017, she is now full-time and will finish her degree in Spring 2020. When she isn’t studying, she works at her family’s campground in Afton.
It’s not unusual to have older students in Engineering Technologies programs, and Kristine’s professors have been willing to accommodate students who work full-time. For example, a lab in surveying was scheduled on a Saturday so students could complete their required field work, she said.
This semester, her courses include materials testing, strength and materials, and hydrology – a particular point of interest.
“It’s a lot of math, but I have always liked math,” she said.
A degree in Civil Engineering Technology leads to many different opportunities, and Kristine is currently finding her focus. One exciting possibility: possibly becoming an entrepreneur. There are special certifications available for women- and minority-owned business, who receive a percentage of state projects, she noted. (Fun fact: SUNY Broome’s Entrepreneurial Assistance Center helps clients with the certification process.)
Kristine Kelly is still working on the blueprints for her future, but the final structure is coming together. And if you’re contemplating a change in career or surveying the possibilities, or even have a question after class, SUNY Broome faculty and class are eager to answer.
“They’re very willing to help if you have any questions,” Kristine said.