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Goodnight Spotlight: Krystyn Hewett

Meet Krystyn Hewett, a Goodnight Scholar in the transfer class of 2024! Learn more about her major, experience at NC State, and her love for wildlife.

Tell us about yourself!

I am Krystyn Hewett. I enjoy hiking, and have a weird goal of visiting as many federal and state parks as possible. I try to look out for new birds on my hikes as I love wildlife, and actively maintain feeders at home. I also previously worked in the pet care industry and have a dog, a cat, and keep fish. At various points in my life I have kept reptiles and birds as well. As a child I was obsessed with Steve Irwin, and ultimately thought I would work with animals as an adult. Having explored that avenue, I realized most of the things people will pay you to do with animals are not enjoyable for any party involved. As such, I changed my tack a bit towards sustainability and renewable resources.

What’s your major and why did you choose it?

I am a materials science and engineering major. I chose it initially as I felt it would be a good avenue to sustainable materials or renewables research. Having participated in the program for a while, I have found I enjoy the multidisciplinary aspect of the field. It is a bit of a jack-of-all trades engineer, where chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and more meet. Materials are everything in engineering, and changing even one small aspect can present unique challenges or alter an entire project, for better or for worse.

What is your favorite part about the Goodnight Scholars program?

I enjoy the Goodnight Explorers! The Halloween House was my favorite last year (probably because of the costume requirement). I also found the mental health series programming events to be impactful in my daily life. I attended one for first generation college students that provided insight into some of the issues I was dealing with personally that I hadn’t realized stemmed from my status as a first generation college student. 

Are you involved in any extracurriculars that you could speak on?

I have a student work position with the materials science administration team. We wear many hats on our team, from IT support and communications, to lab safety and facilities projects. I get to see the soft white underbelly of university staffing. You’d be surprised at what faculty will say when an IT person is there to work on their computer. I have also participated in undergraduate research. The lab I work in is multidisciplinary, while technically in the electrical engineering department it employs two postdoctoral researchers with degrees in mechanical and biomedical engineering. I enjoy research, but it would be impossible without the expertise of my mentors in the lab. It really highlights your strengths and weaknesses as an engineer.

Do you have any plans after your undergraduate degree?

I have a hard time seeing past the cap and gown ceremony, getting this far is honestly a humbling experience. I am unsure if I would like to pursue graduate school, as materials science requires you to choose an area of study to focus on (like electronic materials, composites, ceramics, polymers, and so on. It’s too hard to choose one!). Currently, my plan is to enter industry to ensure I choose an area of study that interests me and aligns with my goals of creating a sustainable future. Unrelated to my academic endeavors, I hope to work with children in foster care as a CASA (court appointed special advocate), or as a foster parent. This has been a long-term goal of mine for a very long time, but one that I have not had the resources to work toward yet.