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Faces of New Paltz

Ryan Kelly - Electrical Engineering

Past Faces of New Paltz
Miriam Ward
Digital Media/History/
Honors Program
Corinne Boughton
Political Science

Hometown: Farmingdale, NY
Major: Electrical Engineering
Anticipated Graduation Date: May 2015

  • Co-captain, New Paltz Men’s Rugby Club
  • Secretary, Eta Kappa Nu, Kappa Omicron Chapter (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers [IEEE] Honor Society)
  • Volunteer firefighter
  • Former teaching assistant, Intro to Engineering Sciences
  • Former student worker, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department


  • National Grid

How did you end up at New Paltz?
I had no idea where I wanted to go or what I wanted to major in. I’d always been good in math and science in high school, so my mom suggested engineering. We visited New Paltz one day, and it was the fourth or fifth school I’d checked out. I went to an open house at the engineering building, and it seemed like I would love the program. I walked around campus for a while and I thought it was beautiful. I just decided that this would be the place.

What drew you to the engineering program?
The thing that attracted me to it was the size. It’s a very small program. When I went to the open house, I got to speak to a few current students. They said they have great contact with all their professors, they’re on a first-name basis with each of them, and they always get help where it’s needed. Whereas, I checked out Binghamton, and that program is huge. They told us some of our classes could have 75 people in them. Here, my average class has 11 to 20 people, which is great. So far, it’s been a great experience. It’s difficult at times, but it’s worth the hard work.

How was your internship experience with National Grid this past summer?
It went great. Since it’s such a large company, I was able to get a taste of all the different fields of engineering I could possibly get into. There’s so much that can be done as an engineer, which I learned at my internship. Working for a utility definitely seemed like something that would be nice, but I still don’t know. I have a lot of options and a lot of time.

Which professors or mentors have you connected with on campus?
Mike Otis was a big help to me whenever I needed it, and he’s a great professor. He makes teaching things very fun and easy.  And Judy DePuy – she’s the secretary of the engineering department. I worked with her in the office last year. She always gives a huge helping hand to any student in need.

What do you get out of volunteering?
When I’m home, I volunteer at my local fire department. It’s a good feeling being able to help someone who’s in need. On the rugby team, we just think it’s good to give back. It’s not only a good feeling for us, but we let the community know that we like to get involved. We’ve done blood drives, and had a very successful one last year. We participated in St. Baldrick’s and raised over $8,000. We all shaved our heads – and we had a few people on our team who had very long hair!

What’s your favorite thing about New Paltz?
I really don’t know. There’s not much I don’t like. I love it all.

Know any outstanding students, faculty/staff members, or alumni? Let us know!