Initially drawn to SUNY Poly for the small class sizes, Kaylee Walsh knew it was the place for her after speaking with professors in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department for the first time.
“They actually wanted to get to know you,” she said. “The relationships that I have with my professors now … I will probably stay in contact with them forever. They want to see where we all are. And I’m just so glad that I did choose SUNY Poly.”
The Center Moriches (Long Island) native graduated this past May and recently relocated to Virginia to work as an engineer in the Electromagnetic and Sensors Division of the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren. Walsh said the teamwork aspect instilled in her engineering classes, as well as the communication skills developed, are serving her well in the new role.
She also came to SUNY Poly with a passion for mathematics, eventually becoming a tutor in the learning center for Calculus I and II, as well as Physics 201.
“During my freshman year, the math classes were challenging, in a rewarding way, because high school math was so easy for me. Once I got here, I thought the classes were great, and I loved all my math professors too,” said Walsh, who added Applied Mathematics as a second major. “I think it really helped me along with my engineering classes. It was like I had one up on everybody because I already knew the math portion. It was very beneficial.”
Walsh was able to learn a lot about machines through two internships during her collegiate career. She credits Associate Professor Dr. Daniel Benincasa with helping her get an internship with the Air Force Research Lab after her sophomore year, which was a remote experience due to the pandemic. She also completed an in-person internship at SRC Inc. in Syracuse during the summer leading into her senior year.
Outside of the classroom, Walsh served as the Vice President of the IEEE Club.
“It was a way to make the connections necessary for a successful engineering career,” she said. “We hosted guest speakers who shared their experiences and ways for us as students and those entering the work field to get involved in projects and internships that are right in the Utica-Rome area. We also toured two local facilities, Danfoss and Griffiss Institute (AFRL), that gave my peers and I an idea of what the day-to-day work life could possibly look like.”
Offering some advice to future and current SUNY Poly students, Walsh stressed the importance of building relationships and not being afraid to approach professors with questions.
“My professors were more than willing to listen to what you had to say and work with you,” said Walsh. “I didn’t come out of my shell until probably my sophomore or junior year. I was extremely nervous as a freshman. But as soon as I realized how easy it was to approach the professors at SUNY Poly, I was going to their office hours all the time. So, I definitely recommend going to office hours constantly because it helped me so much.”