ASME Military Drive sends care packages overseas

May 9, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) not only works tirelessly to promote the study and application of engineering sciences, but also strives to give back to their community. This semester, the student organization spearheaded a donation drive to support the United States military.

Samuel Rippy, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering, and Matt Semanick, a 2018 mechanical engineering graduate, solicited donations of food and supplies for troops serving overseas. “I know a lot of people in the military and I’ve always felt it was important to reach out and let them know people appreciate their service,” Semanick said.

The students gave the packages a personalized touch, utilizing the 3D printers available to ASME members on campus. They  created a keychain with the Penn State ASME logo and the wording “Thank you for your service”. “We wanted to show Penn State’s worldwide presence,” Semanick said.

After receiving an outpour of donations from fellow ASME members, faculty and staff from the Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering (MNE) and other organizations, the organization boxed up 11 care packages weighing more than 15 pounds to be shipped to service members serving all over the world.

In addition to snacks and toiletries, they made sure to add unconventional items that may be missed by the troops. “We even included little packets of hot sauce,” Semanick said. “We take things like that for granted, but you can really miss them when you’re deployed.”

Donors also included handwritten notes expressing their thanks for all the work the military does home and abroad. “Seeing that community interaction was great,” Semanick said. “Not just receiving the donated items, but we hope getting these notes makes an impact.”

Soliciting and gathering the donations was a big job, but it was one the team was happy to do. “Seeing so many people donate and be invested in philanthropy was a great experience,” Rippy said.

As he prepares to begin his professional career at ExxonMobil, Semanick hopes this initiative continues at MNE. “With this momentum, I think there could definitely be a second annual drive,” he said.

Both of the students credited their ASME chapter with giving them ample opportunities to grow and forge relationships with the engineering community. “It just develops you as a person,” Rippy said. “Through all the networking and connections, you get to enjoy your time here and appreciate Penn State as the diverse community that it is.”

Once the items are received by the deployed troops during the summer, the students hope it makes an impact. “This is about more than just donating items,” Semanick added, “I hope it shows how much Penn State appreciates the sacrifices our military makes.”


Share this story:

facebook linked in twitter email


Erin Cassidy Hendrick



The Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering at Penn State is one of the nation’s largest and most successful engineering departments. We serve more than 1,000 undergraduate students and more than 330 graduate students

We offer B.S. degrees in mechanical engineering and nuclear engineering as well as resident (M.S., Ph.D.) and online (M.S., M.Eng.) graduate degrees in nuclear engineering and mechanical engineering. MNE's strength is in offering hands-on experience in highly relevant research areas, such as energy, homeland security, biomedical devices, and transportation systems.

Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering

137 Reber Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4400

Phone: 814-865-2519