News and Events
Meet Nathan Vislosky, '17
Graduation Year: 2017
Hometown: Gibsonia, Pa.
Now living in: State College, Pa.
Currently Pursuing: Bachelor of Science, Chemical Engineering at Penn State University
Nathan Vislosky, '17, a freshman chemical engineering major at Penn State University, was recently awarded a $5,000 scholarship by BP Oil, in addition to a $500 scholarship as a part of the BP STEP (Shaping Talent, Energy and Potential) Program. Beyond that, Nathan received a $1,000 scholarship from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and a $1,000 scholarship from the American Association of Drilling Engineers.
As part of his extra-curricular activities at Penn State, Nathan was recently elected to the Collegiate Council for ASME (American Association for Mechanical Engineers), serving as a representative for the petroleum industry, one of 20 students selected from across the nation to advance the work of the petroleum industry from an engineering standpoint. Career-wise, Nathan was an engineering intern at NASA working at the Goddard Space Flight center and was also recently awarded his second summer engineering internship for 2018 with Chevron Oil and Energy last month. At Chevron, Nathan will be working as a drilling engineering intern out of their San Ramon, Ca. offices, but will be based in Moon Township, Pa.
What activities were you involved in at Central Catholic?
I was a four-time Letterman on the inline hockey team and a two-time Letterman on the ice hockey team. In ice hockey, I was a four year selection to play in the Pennsylvania State Games, earning a bronze medal my freshman year. With that, I was lucky enough to be selected by the USA Olympic Committee to play in the Junior Olympics inline hockey team and also selected twice to play on Team USA’s national team - competing in the World Championships in Italy and China representing Central and the USA.
In addition to hockey, along with Mrs. Maxwell, I helped to found the first FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) at Central Catholic. After starting the club, I was elected president of the region for FBLA and was leading the FBLA efforts for 10 different schools in the region.
What is your favorite high school memory?
All of the teachers, coaches, clergy and guidance counselors were very special to me, but some of my most interesting and enjoyable experiences happened during Honors Chemistry with Mr. Michael Traficante. Fun, yet tough teacher, and like all of my instructors at Central Catholic, he taught me to think.
Tell us about your internship last summer with NASA.
I was fortunate enough to land an internship with NASA at the Goddard Space Flight Center before graduating high school and before I started college. In my role, I was working for the Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) Facility, working on design proposals promoting the scope of the IV&V program to other NASA and aerospace enterprises, marketing the capabilities to engineer systems with the excellent safety protocols for mission critical software design. This was fun in that I was able to engage with nearly every department of the Space Flight center, then present my results to the Directors at NASA in Washington D.C.
Why did you choose to pursue a degree in chemical engineering? What are your future goals?
When I was participating in the Westinghouse Honors Institute during my sophomore year at Central, I was exposed to the discipline of engineering, specifically getting to meet with a Chemical Engineer, understanding the role and career path. This program provided hands-on interaction with all major types of engineering as well as face-to-face meetings with actual engineers in these fields. This program included a visit from engineers that worked in the Marcellus Shale fields, extracting oil and gas from western Pennsylvania reserves. As someone who enjoyed science, chemistry, and building things, it was an obvious choice as a post-secondary degree.
Long term, I would be working as a process engineer, most likely in a chemical manufacturing operation. Beyond that, leading a business in the chemical industry would be my goal 10 years from now.
Tell us about your upcoming internship at Chevron.
First of all, I am very blessed and lucky to land this internship. Chevron takes on very few freshman college students, so I will be one of the younger interns. Beyond that, my responsibility will be working in oil and gas extraction, drilling and production, learning all aspects of the operations and preparing me for a full time role. Chevron is considered a ‘major’ producer, and is the second-largest oil company after Exxon in the U.S.
How did Central Catholic prepare you for the future?
Central helped me prepare for college by providing me with an independent, results oriented learning experience. I was placed in dynamic, hands on learning situations with like-minded students and given the latitude to succeed and learn from instances where I did not succeed. I cannot say enough about the teachers, coaches, and guidance staff that helped me mature into person that is of integrity, respects service, justice and peace.
What advice would you give to the Class of 2018?
Get involved with as much as you can to create a solid background that colleges and employers will pursue you for. Beyond that, take time to enjoy the amazing learning experience you have at one of the best high schools in the world…all too soon, it will be over and you will miss this great place!
Any final thoughts?