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Kylee Bennett ’24 pursues engineering physics degree through Randolph’s Dual Degree Program

Kylee Bennett ’24

Kylee Bennett ’24 was already planning to apply to Randolph College when she first heard about the Dual Degree Program.

The unique opportunity allows Randolph students to major in engineering physics, earning two degrees in the time it normally takes to get one.

Students spend three years at Randolph, taking engineering, physics, chemistry, math, and computer science courses. They then have the option to apply to an associated engineering school to complete their program over two more years.

Randolph has agreements with Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Virginia for guaranteed admission, but students can complete their engineering degree anywhere; the College currently also has students at Virginia Tech and the University of Rochester.

“I knew I wanted to study engineering and once I visited the Randolph campus, I knew I had to go there,” said Bennett, who started the first of her two years at Washington University this fall.

She’ll graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics from Randolph and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from WashU.

“The Dual Degree Program at Randolph allowed me to get a good grasp on the conceptual knowledge of what I would need to know for my time at WashU,” said Bennett, who is majoring in electrical engineering and minoring in computer science there. “I also believe Randolph allowed me to succeed and thrive in classes that would otherwise be weeded out classes in larger schools.”

Bennett stayed busy at Randolph; she was a member of the volleyball team, as well as the Society of Physics Students and Student Government, and served as a Davenport Leader, resident assistant, and SciFest intern.

She also completed internships with outside organizations.

Last spring, she was a student member of NASA’s L’SPACE Academy, an online, interactive experience for STEM students interested in pursuing a career with NASA or other space organizations.

Students learn NASA mission procedures and protocols from scientists and engineers while collaborating with team members to complete mission-related projects.

“I played the role of the electrical engineer, assistant project manager and the chief scientist,” said Bennett, who worked on power calculations for a rover and its life on Mars. “It taught me a lot about time management and how to work well with others that have varying schedules. It also taught me a lot about the different electrical aspects that need to be taken into consideration when it comes to rovers.”

Bennett spent last summer in Georgia, working as an electrical engineer intern with the lighting manufacturing company Signify.

“I was also involved in various projects where I acted as an engineer, contributing to project progression,” she said. “My time at Signify allowed me to delve into new product development, understand the complexities of lighting fixture development, and master calculations for different LEDs.”

Now settled in St. Louis, Bennett is planning her next steps. She might pursue her master’s, which can also be earned as part of the Dual Degree Program, and hopes to eventually work in the electrical, agricultural, or defense industries.

“I’m very passionate about new product development,” she said, “and I see myself hopefully having a very hands-on job.”

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