Valued Major and Community

  • Karina Gomez-Franco

    Karina Gomez-Franco found the major she was seeking at IUP—Safety, Health, and Environmental Applied Sciences.

    She also found the community and the experiences she needed to succeed.

    “One thing I valued so much at IUP is the closeness with faculty. When I talked with other students at other schools, they didn’t know their faculty. IUP professors really care about you, get to know you as a person, and do everything they can to encourage you. I felt like I could go to any one of my professors and talk with them about classes or planning for my future,” she said.

    She also had the opportunity to dig into her field through a co-op experience (which is much like an internship) at General Motors, where she worked as a real member of the safety team, participating in safety meetings every morning, working on audits, and helping to identify potential hazards.

    Often, co-op experiences lead to employment, and partway through her co-op, she was invited to return to General Motors for a second summer and stayed on for permanent employment.

    “IUP has been one of the best decisions in my life,” she said.