- Bachelor's in ECET
John C. Lerner, of DeMotte, was still a student at Purdue University North Central when he was hired as a clinical engineer with St. Anthony Memorial Health Center in Michigan City.
“I love it,” said Lerner of his job. He thanks Christopher Smith, associate professor of Electrical And Computer Engineering Technology (ECET), with recommending him for the job when the Sisters of St. Francis Health Services asked if there was a PNC student or graduate qualified for the job.
“This proves one thing - your instructors may be the best contacts you have for job opportunities,” said Lerner.
Lerner earned his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology as a member of the Class of 2009.
He came to PNC in 2005 shortly after completing his stint in the Air Force. Like many adults, Lerner realized that he needed a degree to pursue his dream career, so he made the decision to attend Purdue to study Electrical Engineering.
Being married, working full time, attending school full time and raising a family, Lerner certainly had a lot on his plate. But he wanted to earn his degree to begin working in his chosen career, so decided to attend school year-round. He took as many as five classes a semester (including some with labs) and finished his degree a year early. His grades placed him on the semester honors lists and earned him membership in the Alpha Sigma Lambda Scholastic Honor Society which requires its members earn a 3.7 GPA or better.
Lerner admits that at times keeping up this hectic pace was “especially difficult” but is quick to add, “My wife Elaine helped with everything. Without her, I would not be where I am right now.”
He found his class work challenging and at times, fun. “I was part of many in-class projects with other engineers. We worked on things like making the world’s most annoying alarm clock – intended to decrease snooze time - and an automated can crusher.
“At PNC I could work closely with my instructors. This greatly enhances the learning experience because instructors can help you and ensure you learn all you can,” he said.
“I had many classes where the teacher told us to use what we knew and make something. No set of questions from any book can match the lessons learned from designing something from scratch, working out the bugs and presenting a working device that highlights what you learned.”
Once Lerner had some time on the job at St. Anthony Memorial, he helped to coordinate the donation of bedside patient monitoring equipment to the PNC ECET and Nursing programs.
These monitors will allow Nursing students to work with sophisticated hospital equipment and help to lay the groundwork for future biomedical engineering classes by allowing students to work with the equipment used in today’s hospitals.
He promises to help the ECET students at PNC whenever and however he can. He also freely dispenses advice to anyone considering PNC.
“Do what you love, keep your options open and don’t be afraid to try. When I graduated high school, I never thought I could even go to college. With encouragement I tried, endured and prevailed. You will never succeed if you don’t try and risk something first. Never forget those that make today possible. Thank them; help them and do whatever it takes to ensure they know they are appreciated.
“Be sure to check for campus closings on the website before you leave home or work, the cafeteria has great sandwiches and you only get out of your time at PNC what you put in.”
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