Pitt's 2023 Co-op Student of the Year

ASEE 2024 Co-op Student of the Year Winner

Ben Leslie holding the co-op award

Ben Leslie, Bioengineering

This year, our ELPE Co-op Student of the Year has the additional honor of being named the 2024 National CEED Co-op Student of the Year by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE)!

A senior bioengineering student in his final semester at Swanson, Ben has filled up his time at Pitt, completing a yearlong rotation with Zoll as a Human Factors Co-op, performing research at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine into polymer-based heart valves for children with congenital heart defects, working as a medical assistant at UPMC Shadyside Hospital, and leading Pitt’s hockey team as a full-time student athlete and captain. He has had to learn how to pace himself to balance all of his interests and ambitions. In reflecting on his many activities at Pitt, Ben says “My overall advice is to utilize the time you have as an undergraduate to its fullest extent. There are many opportunities all over the University, but you have to be willing to put yourself out there to pursue them…once you find those few things you genuinely enjoy, do everything you can to explore, grow, and develop in those areas.” 

Finalist: Lena Welker, Chemical Engineering, Avient 

Honorable Mentions:

  • Cara Buck, EE, Volvo Construction Equipment
  • James Clark, CE, Caliber Contracting / Ulliman Schutte
  • Brett Craskey, COE, ALSTOM
  • Chelsea DeSalve, IE, FedEx Ground
  • Sophia Lex, Environmental Engineering, Ulliman Schutte/McKim & Creed
  • Karinna Martin, ME, Conair-IPEG
  • Maxwell Olesen, CE, Independence Excavating / Civil & Environmental Consultants
  • Pocket Pizzutillo, Material Science, TIMET / Stratus Materials
  • George Strish, CE, American Contracting and Environmental Services