Ask a Penn State Student: Menelik Young

Menelik Young in front of a river
We’re always curious about what students think of the technology available at Penn State, so we figured we’d go straight to the source!

Full Name: Menelik S. Young

Major: Mechanical engineering

Year: Junior

Campus: Penn State Berks


What technologies at Penn State do you use the most?

I use Box at Penn State and WebApps as they let me work on my assignments across multiple devices and at different locations. As a commuter with limited on-campus time, I often find myself starting assignments on campus in one of the computer labs and finishing them on my personal computer when I get home. Box at Penn State allows me to quickly back up my assignments and project files online, and WebApps allows me to complete my assignments at home by giving me remote access to software I don’t currently own (like MATLAB or SolidWorks).


What’s your favorite technology service you have access to as a student?

Currently, my favorite service is Canvas, Penn State’s new learning management system. I’m particularly pleased with the app, which is modern and user-friendly. With the Canvas app, I’m able to easily access all of my course information from my smartphone. Also, thanks to Canvas’ push notifications, I’m updated the instant my professors upload grades, assignments, or send out group messages.


What technology resources do you wish you would have known about as an incoming first-year student?

One of the resources that excites me the most as a Penn State student is It’s an amazing online training library that gives Penn State students access to high-quality video tutorials in topics ranging from 3-D animation and computer-aided design to web development. I’ve used it to brush up on video editing skills for my job at the Media Commons at Penn State Berks. It even ties into LinkedIn and offers a great way to show off the skills you’ve acquired to potential employers. I’m surprised at the number of students who have no idea they have access to this resource, so I usually make a point to direct students to it whenever I get asked for tips during my shift at the Media Commons.


What Penn State technologies do you recommend students to take advantage of?

If you have a smartphone, I would recommend downloading the Canvas app to keep track of your courses. It’s a great way to quickly check up on assignments, and its built-in document viewer even lets you view documents the instructor uploads (like PowerPoint lectures and PDFs). I also cannot recommend enough. Students should take full advantage of while they can to learn how to use any multimedia software they’ll need throughout their academic career.


Are there any new technologies available to students? If so, what are they? How do they work?

For students that have multimedia projects, I highly recommend checking out the One Button Studio. It’s a room with a built-in video camera, lighting, and microphone system, as well as a green screen backdrop. It’s basically everything a student needs to record their video projects with the push of a button. And to supplement the One Button Studio, students have access to on-site assistance via the Media Commons and Media Commons hotline.