New Kensington engineering student earns scholarship

Jacob Guerrini named 2024 Frederick Berger Scholarship winner through Tau Alpha Pi honors society
Student stands next to lion statue

Jacob Guerrini, a junior electro-mechanical engineering technology student at Penn State New Kensington, stands next to the campus' lion shrine. Guerrini was named the 2024 Frederick Berger Scholarship winner through the Tau Alpha Pi honors society.

Credit: Rebecca Dietrich

NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. — A love for math, problem solving, working on cars and motorcycles, and having a future in-demand career led Jacob Guerrini to a major in engineering. Now, as he finishes his third year in Penn State New Kensington’s electro-mechanical engineering technology (EMET) program, he is one step closer to reaching his goals thanks to being named the 2024 recipient of Tau Alpha Pi’s Frederick J. Berger award and scholarship. 

“I am extremely honored and proud of myself to have received the scholarship,” said Guerrini. 

The award is given to a student who has shown leadership qualities and has made significant contributions to engineering education within their respective accredited institution. It was founded and named after Frederick Berger, who endowed the award at Penn State, in 1990.    

In addition to working hard in the classroom toward earning his EMET degree, Guerrini has a full schedule. He is a member and captain of the campus’ men’s soccer team and a member of Tau Alpha Pi. He works two jobs and will begin an academic internship this May. In his free time, he enjoys tinkering in his garage, riding motorcycles and being outdoors.  

"Jake balances his engineering education with being a student-athlete, while also maintaining a high level of academic achievement," said Joseph Cuiffi, associate teaching professor and program coordinator of New Kensington's EMET program. "It's great to see him win this award, representing excellence in the engineering technology community!"

His tendency to stay busy, while also harnessing opportunities, is part of the reason why he chose to be a student at the New Kensington campus for the EMET program. 

“I love the size and location of the campus because it suits me perfectly,” explained Guerrini. “I can stay focused on my schoolwork and be close to home. We also get to know our professors, and they are always willing to give us one-on-one help whenever we need it. I also love the other students at this campus; everyone you meet here is willing to help you or willing to have a conversation.” 

After he graduates, Guerrini hopes to attain full-time employment in the engineering field. 

Tau Alpha Pi was founded in 1953 by Berger, an engineering technology educator and is open to top-performing associate- or bachelor-degree seeking students in engineering technology programs. Local chapters of the organization must nominate eligible students. In 1993, the American Society for Engineering Education began administering the society, which is also a member of the Association of College Honor Societies.