Global Impact Award

The Global Impact Award, administered by the Center for Global Engineering Engagement, honors a Global Engineering Fellow who reflects the College of Engineering’s commitment to inspire change and impact tomorrow. The recipient of this award is selected based on their contributions to further global engagement beyond the already rigorous requirements of the Global Engineering Fellows program. The annual awardee not only demonstrates extraordinary personal growth and dedication during their tenure at Penn State, but also leaves an indelible mark on the lives of others, and undoubtedly will continue to expand their global impact after graduation.

While each Global Engineering Fellow makes significant contributions, the Center for Global Engineering Engagement recognizes one exceptional individual who truly embodies the mission and values of the program. This honor is awarded each year to one graduating Global Engineering Fellow.

Eligibility: A current full-time Global Engineering Fellow at Penn State, who has an ongoing record of international activities in the College of Engineering and who has regularly gone above and beyond as a Global Engineering Fellow.

Such activities may include, but are not limited, to:

  • Furthering the cause of international education in a significant way through outstanding commitment and contributions to study abroad
  • Establishing noteworthy bridge building between cultures, facilitating international understanding through international activities, and producing a positive effect on international understanding through presentations or other cultural activities
  • Promoting student involvement in global activities
  • Serving as a Global Engineering Fellow for at least two years

2022 Awardee: Luke Medich

Luke Medich headshot

Degree program: Bachelor of science in chemical engineering; environmental engineering minor

Study abroad experience: Nantes, France | Summer 2019

While Luke Medich is only the second Fellow in the history of the program to begin his studies outside of University Park, his exceptionally positive attitude, willingness to pitch in, resilience, and glowing smile make him stand out the most. As a Fellow, Luke experienced great personal growth, which is a major goal of the Global Engineering Fellows program.

He came into the program as an unassuming student with great potential and emerged as a true leader, generating global momentum for the College. Luke was firmly committed to improving his presentation skills and working relentlessly to fine-tune them. Luke became one of the most active program volunteers, delivering countless presentations to undergraduate engineering students. He impacted hundreds of peers as he encouraged them to pursue transformational experiences abroad. Luke also represented Global Engineering Engagement at numerous events and fairs and volunteered to help College of Engineering international students acclimate to life at Penn State.

Luke assumed a leadership role by becoming a Global Engineering Fellows’ Mentor in the fall of 2021, coaching new Fellows on how to give impactful presentations, and guiding them as they built on their global experiences. Beyond his service as a Global Engineering Fellow, Luke participated in the Penn State chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, THON, and served as an undergraduate representative for the Academic Integrity Committee.

Previous Awardees

 Joshua Forrest

2021: Joshua Forrest

Degree programs: Bachelor of science in aerospace engineering; information science and technology minor

Study abroad experience: Melbourne, Australia | Spring 2019

Joshua Forrest has served as a Global Engineering Fellow since 2019. During his tenure with the program, he has exceeded the expectations and consistently volunteered for additional events, beyond meeting the program requirement to fulfill office hours and participate in activities and speaking engagements. For the 2020-21 academic year, Josh was selected as a Global Engineering Fellow Mentor. In this position, he has proven to be an approachable and confident leader, encouraging countless College of Engineering students to pursue global experiences.

Josh participated in multiple undergraduate research positions throughout his undergraduate career, served as an ambassador to help welcome incoming international students, and presented his work with the Penn State Wind Energy Club at Penn State’s Center for Global Engineering Engagement’s inaugural student-centered spring conference, Engineering Your Global Experiences: Building Global Competencies for the Future Engineering Workforce. Josh led a discussion on how the student organization can rework its goals with a focus on the global and humanitarian impacts of wind energy as framed within the United Nation Sustainable Development Goals.

In addition, Josh dedicated significant time to design a more efficient search system and timeline tool to assist students as they consider their study abroad options.

Kayli Rentzel

2020: Kayli Rentzel

Degree programs: Bachelor of science in mechanical engineering; bachelor of arts in Spanish; certificate in international engineering

Study abroad experience: Buenos Aires, Argentina | Spring 2018

As a Global Engineering Fellow, Kayli Rentzel embodied the program’s drive to create a global movement as she had championed her peers to engage in international education. Her leadership focused on educational values, global engagement, and professional development. Additionally, in her position as the president of the Society of Women Engineers, she created a global outreach director role.

Michaella Caruso

2019: Michaella Caruso

Degree program: Bachelor of science in engineering science; engineering leadership development minor

Study abroad experience: China | Summer 2016; Lyon, France | Summer 2017; Kenya | Summer 2018

During her time as a Global Engineering Fellow, Michaella Caruso helped build bridges between cultures, produced a significantly positive effect on international understanding through presentations, cultural activities, and in leadership roles.



The mission of Global Engineering Engagement is to create an environment that embraces the values of international education, where access to global exposure and opportunities to develop cross-cultural competence is pervasive. We believe that it is within our reach to ensure that all engineering students can become internationally engaged.

Global Engineering Engagement

College of Engineering

The Pennsylvania State University

208 Hammond Building

University Park, PA 16802