MechSE undergrads named Knights of St. Patrick
Two of MechSE’s most accomplished undergraduates, Abby Pakeltis and Kevin Peralta, have been honored as Knights of St. Patrick for 2018.
The Knight of St. Patrick award is one of the highest honors an undergraduate in the College of Engineering can receive. Given out by the college, the award stands to congratulate and recognize students who represent leadership, excellence in character, and exceptional contributions to both their departments and the entire college.
Pakeltis is a senior in mechanical engineering who is primarily involved in the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). Serving on the team-tech committee for two years, her team of female engineers worked with John Deere on a project that won them first place at an annual conference. Now, Pakeltis is the external Vice President of SWE as well as the Women in MechSE club treasurer. Earlier in her undergraduate education she also participated in bio-mechanics research with Professor Liz Hsiao-Wecksler.
According to Pakeltis, the most rewarding thing about the award is knowing the accomplishments of her fellow Knights.
“We had everyone go around and say what they’re involved in and hearing what everyone has done to impact the university and other people, being recognized, and to be a part of that group was the biggest honor for me.”
A junior in mechanical engineering with a Hoeft Technology and Management minor, Peralta has been a committed and active member of the Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) since his freshman year. Initially serving as the first-year-member academic chair, he has moved up to the chapter’s overall academic chair and aspires to be next year’s chapter president. Peralta also spent time involved with the Illini Eco-Concept car team, the MechSE honor society (Pi Tau Sigma), and is an engineering learning assistant (ELA) for the Engineering 100 course.
Peralta said he was equally struck by the work of the other KSP recipients.
“It was sitting in that room and we went around just saying everything we had done, and I just went, “oh my god these people are amazing,” Peralta said. “It was really joining that cohort of not just our class, but of all the past years.”
Complete list of 2018 Knights of St. Patrick
- Lucia Dunderman, ABE
- Sara Kochanski, AE
- Jackie Chen, BioE
- Shreya Santhanam, BioE
- Jackie Letzter, ChBE
- Shannon Strum, CS
- Daniel Johnson, CS, EPhys
- Mrunmayi Deshmukh, ECE
- Devon Goszkowicz, MatSE
- Abby Pakeltis, MechSE
- Kevin Peralta, MechSE