When Kemelbek Urmat Uulu arrived at Penn State Abington, he was nothing short of awed by the “everlasting opportunities” open to students. So he jumped into everything he could handle - plus a little more just to make life interesting.
“College helps you discover who you are and how you will leave your mark in the world,” he explained. “Abington is where I took full possession of my success, and I became the person I always wanted to be.”
Kem became that person through co-editing the college newspaper, playing on the tennis team, and holding leadership positions in organizations including the entertainment and programming board and Community Outreach Workers. Through a faculty connection, he also wrote for a local news website.
“College helps you discover who you are. Abington is where I took full possession of my success, and I became the person I always wanted to be."
-- Kem Urmat, 2014 Penn State graduate
With his co-curricular involvement and his part-time jobs - delivering pizza and working security at Philadelphia Eagles games - did Kem make time for academics? The answer was a resounding "yes," and it was on public display last month when he walked away from Abington commencement with three - yes, three - degrees.
The bachelor of science degree will come in handy when Kem enrolls in medical school, the first step toward pursuing a career as a radiologist. But the additional bachelor’s in English and the associate’s in letters, arts and sciences fulfilled an inner need.
“At first, I was only going to go for my science degree,” he said. “But my love for literature and writing urged me to get an English degree.”
Kem encourages everyone to explore the opportunities and options at Abington despite the challenges.
“College is one of the hardest things a person can go through in life, the homework and the lack of sleep, but it can also be your greatest reward," he said. "You become mature, gain a substantial amount of widespread knowledge and prepare for real life.”