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Amy Zimmermann

DIFF 510 Total Talent Portfolio

Student: Keith
Age: 22
I. Status information
A. Abilities
High school: Medina High School, 1 Mustang Drive, Medina NY 14103
Average class size: 19 students
Ethnicity: 0% American Indian or Alaskan Native, 4% Black, 7% Hispanic or Latino, 0% Asian
or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, 83% White, 5% Multiracial
Eligible for free or reduced lunch: 37%
Graduation rate: 85%
Mission: All students of the Medina Central School District will reach their full
individual potential: academically, emotionally, physically, and socially.

College: Clarkson University, 10 Clarkson Ave, Potsdam NY 13699

School type: private, co-ed college
Setting: rural
Acceptance rate: 64%
2015 Best Colleges Rating: 121
Mission: Clarkson University is an independent, nationally recognized technological university
whose faculty of teacher-scholars aspires to offer superior instruction and engage in high-quality
research and scholarship in engineering, business, science, health, and liberal arts. Our primary
mission is to educate talented and motivated men and women to become successful professionals

through quality pre-collegiate, undergraduate, graduate, and professional continuing education

programs, with particular emphasis on the undergraduate experience. Our community and
campus settings enhance the quality of student life and afford students access to and interaction
with their faculty. We value the diversity of our University community, and we strive to attune
ourselves and our programs to our global, pluralistic society. We share the belief that humane and
environmentally sound economic and social development derive from the expansion, diffusion,
and application of knowledge.
Family Characteristics
Keith grew up in a very loving and supporting family environment. He is the middle child,
between two brothers. All the boys in the family are competitive in both academics and sports.
Growing up, Keiths family had dinner together every night. As he and his siblings have gotten
older, they sit down for dinners together whenever possible. Keith says that as a child, his
brothers were his best friends. His mother was a stay-at-home mom, but began teaching
elementary school when Keith was 15 years old. His father works full time at his heating,
ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) company. The family has always resided at the same
large house in the country.
1) Course grades
Cumulative High School GPA: about 98/100
AP classes (Chemistry, Calculus, European History, US Government): 95-100 for all classes
Cumulative College GPA: 3.85/4.0 (Double Major: Mechanical Engineering/Physics)
Lowest class in college: B (3.0) in freshman English class
2) Test scores
Regents Tests - Chemistry: 98 / Math B: 98 / English: 93 / US History: 98
AP - Chemistry: 5 / Calculus: 3 / European History: 3 / US history: 4 / US Government: 5
SAT - 1270 (Math - 680 / Reading - 590 / Writing - 590)
SAT subject - Chemistry - 700 / Math level 1 - 600
ACT - 31 (English 30 / Math 32 / Reading 26 / Science 34)

3) Observations
Keith is completing an internship at Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd. which is a supplier of
machinery for injection molding of plastics. At work, Keith is always busy. He is responsible
for testing, analysis, and writing up documents. Whether a certain project is being completed by
himself or another engineer, Keith understands most of the concepts behind the engineering work
done at Husky. He does sometimes have trouble explaining things though. He often leaves basic
ideas out of presentations which can lead to confusion for his audience, especially if they are not
Keith is a hard and responsible worker and always completes his assigned tasks. If he is unable
to finish on time, he seeks help or asks for an extension. Keith is admittedly shy though and
sometimes will wait too long before asking for help. He believes that his quiet personality
deducts from his social interactions and has contributed to negative implications on past projects.
Keith generally enjoys his work, coming across bad days just like anyone else. His best days are
ones in which he accomplishes a long term project hes been working on or if he learns
something new or exciting.
B. Social/emotional behavior
1) Scales for Rating the Behavioral Characteristics of Superior Students
(SRBCSS): attached below
The scores of Keiths SRBCSS are consistent with my observations and knowledge of the
student. His highest scores were in planning (81), mathematics (54), learning (52), motivation
(50), and technology (45). These characteristics contribute to his success in school and in the
Keiths lowest scores were in expressive communication (13), reading (23), and leadership (28).
These scores are also consistent with my observations, knowledge of the students, and
conversations with the student. He is a self-proclaimed shy individual. This may contribute to
his low communication and leadership scores. His low score in reading is consistent with his

previous scores in college classes, regent exams, SAT scores, and ACT scores. Its evident that
Keiths strengths are more technical and less literary.
2) Observations
When Keith is in a group of friends he is very talkative and goofy. He appears to be at ease and
he fits in well. Keith often initiates activities with friends such as hiking, skiing, or frisbee.
In new social situations, Keith is often shy. Hell keep in hands in his pockets and remains fairly
quiet until he begins to feel comfortable.
I was able to have a conversation with Keiths girlfriend who assured me that he was very
gentlemanly and respectful in her company.
C. Interests
1) Interest-A-Lyzer : attached below
I found Keiths Interest-A-Lyzer to be quite interesting because, as opposed to the other tests, he
was able to answer interview-type questions using his own words. He demonstrates typical
characteristics of a young man by saying that hed like to invite 21 Pilots to play at a school
concert and that he would add his iPhone and a frisbee to a time capsule. His exceptional
intelligence was seen when he answered questions such as What new course offering would you
have liked to see in your high school? (Computer Aided Design) and If you could interview
one man you admire, past or present, who would you choose? (Neil deGrass Tyson an
American astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, and science communicator). His connection to
his family was seen when Keith answered that hed take a picture of his family if he only had
one photo left on a roll of film, and when he picked his mother when asked to choose a woman
to interview.
D. Style Preferences
1) Learning environment
Keith enjoys working independently and with his peers. He is confident in his abilities as a
student and as an intern. This confidence enables him to work alone and produce exceptional

results. When working with peers, Keith is able to work as part of a team. He seeks out advice,
consults the people with whom hes working, and considers the goal of the group. When
producing results, the opinions of the people around him matter a lot.
Keiths ability to work at an exceptional level in different formats attests to his success in school
and the workplace.
2) Thinking
Keith participated in a thinking styles questionnaire which measures 13 different styles of
thinking. It is meant to examine a persons intellectual style by presenting questions about the
different strategies they use to solve problems, carry out tasks or projects, and to make decisions.
Keiths average scores were highest in legislative and hierarchic thinking, putting him in the 90
percentile of college students for these categories.
Individuals who score high in the legislative category generally enjoy creating, formulating, and
planning for problem solution. They tend to be people who (a) like to create their own rules, (b)
enjoy doing things their own way, (c) prefer problems that are not prestructured or prefabricated,
(d) like to build structure as well as content in deciding how to approach a problem, (e) prefer
creative and constructive planning based activities, such as designing projects or creating new
business systems, (f) and enter occupations that enable them to utilize their legislative style,
such as creative writer, scientist, artist, sculptor, investment banker, policy-maker, and architect.
Individuals preferring a hierarchic style tend to be motivated by the hierarchy of goals, with the
recognition that not all goals can be fulfilled equally well and that some goals are more important
than others. They tend to (a) take a balanced approach to problems, (b) to believe that the ends
do not justify the means, (c) to view competing goals as acceptable, but sometimes have trouble
if the priorities come too close to each other and thus do not allow for formation of hierarchy, (d)
to seek complexity and to be self aware, tolerant, and be relatively flexible, (e) to have a good
sense of priorities, (f) usually to be decisive, unless priority-setting becomes a substitute for
decision or action, and (g) to be systematic in their solution to problems and in their decision
making. Thus, Keith may be well suited to face hierarchic problems, these being ones requiring
fulfillment of multiple goals, with the goals assigned differing weights or priorities. Some

examples would be choosing a career, selecting a college or job, finding a mate, and planning a
3) Expression
According to a multiple intelligences test from the Birmingham Grid for Learning, Keith has
strong levels in visual/spatial, logical, and intrapersonal intelligence.
People with a string visual/spatial intelligence think in terms of physical space. They are very
aware of their environments. They like to draw, do jigsaw puzzles, read maps, and daydream.
They can be taught through drawings and physical imagery.
Logical intelligence is associated with reasoning and calculating. These people think
conceptually, abstractly, and are able to see and explore patterns and relationships. They like to
experiment, solve puzzles, and ask cosmic question. They can be taught through logic games
and investigations. People with a strong logical intelligence often need to learn and form
concepts before they are able to deal with the details.
Keiths strong intrapersonal intelligence demonstrates his understanding of his own interests and
goals. These learners often tend to shy away from others. Theyre in tune with their inner
feelings. They have wisdom, intuition, and motivation. Possession of a strong will and
confidence are characteristic of people with high intrapersonal intelligence. These people can be
taught through independent study and introspection. They are the most independent of the
II. Student work products
A. Completed works:
Work 1: Keith built his desktop computer which is a significant accomplishment of a long-term
goal. To complete the project, Keith had to conduct a great deal of research to find, for example,
which components were best, how to place fans for optimal cooling, how to install everything
properly, how to overclock the CPU, and what order to plug things in.

Work 2: As a class project in college, Keith responded to a design challenge in which he was to
build a vehicle that could climb up two fastened PVC pipes that were set at a 20 degree angle.
The only energy source that he was allowed to use was the potential energy from two rubber
bands. Stipulations for design process were put into place that included drafting the vehicle on
the computer, doing basic physics analysis on the vehicle, making multiple designs, building, and
testing. Keith was then required to present his design to his class.
B. Works in progress:
Keith is presently working for a company that does not allow him to discuss his projects as it is
top secret information. So, he has provided me with two projects that he plans to begin after his
work is finished.
Project 1: He would like to completely disassemble his old 10 speed bike, paint it, fix up all the
mechanical aspects of it, get new tires, and convert it to a single speed bike. He is expecting that
it will be a long term project, as he has never taken apart a bike before.
Project 2: He is going to do some work on his car which will include putting new speakers in it,
and painting up some of the rust.
III. Student goal

Keith would like to attend graduate school at a top 25 engineering school; without having to pay
for it. He has the grades for it, but needs excellent letters of recommendation and appropriate
research experience.
IV. Action plan
Ive provided several resources for Keith to look over including; (a) top 25 graduate engineering
schools in the US, (b) grant, scholarship, and fellowship opportunities, (c) research opportunities,
and (d) tips for obtaining letters of recommendation. I also encourage Keith to look into the top
25 schools to see if they offer tuition assistance for their graduate students. I provided a
suggested timeline for each subheading, but Keith is capable of determining his own desired
course of study and path towards career advancement.
Link to top 25 graduate engineering schools in the United States:

Grants, scholarships, and fellowships

Timeline: Begin looking now. These programs have different requirements and deadlines to follow. Most
require essays and letters of recommendation which should be started early.
ASME Foundation Scholarships
A scholarship is considered by ASME to be a grant made to a student to enable or assist the student in
pursuing an educational program in mechanical engineering or mechanical engineering technology at the
undergraduate or graduate level. Up to $6,000.
GEM MS Engineering Fellowship Program
The objective of this program is to promote the benefits of a masters degree within industry. GEM
Fellows are provided practical engineering summer work experiences through an employer sponsor and a
portable academic year fellowship of tuition, fees, and a stipend which may be used at any participating
GEM Member University where the GEM Fellow is admitted. GEM MS Engineering Fellows receive:

$4,000 living stipend per full-time semester up to 4 semesters ($8K per academic
year 3 quarters)

up to two paid summer internships with a GEM Employer Member

full tuition and fees provided by a GEM University Member
The Science, Mathematics And Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship for Service Program
is an opportunity for students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in Science, Technology,
Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines to receive a full scholarship and be gainfully
employed upon degree completion.
Participants In The SMART Scholarship For Service Program Receive;

Full tuition and education related fees (does not include items such as meal plans, housing, or

Stipend paid at a rate of $25,000 - $38,000 depending on degree pursuing (may be prorated
depending on award length)

Summer research internships

Health Insurance allowance up to $1,200 per calendar year

Miscellaneous Supplies Allowance of $1,000 per academic year


Employment placement after graduation
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program
The purpose of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is to help ensure the vitality and
diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce of the United States. The program recognizes and
supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees in
science and engineering. The GRFP provides three years of support for the graduate education of
individuals who have demonstrated their potential for significant achievements in science and

National Physical Science Consortium

Graduate fellowships in science and engineering. The charge to the employer for each student supported
is $26,000 annually, of which $20,000 is the fellow's expense allowance and $6,000 is NPSC's fee to
support its operations.

Research Opportunities
Timeline: Begin looking now. Some programs are offered in the summer while others are offered year
round. All require applications which should be started as early as possible.
RISE (Research Internships in Science and Engineering)
RISE is a summer internship program for undergraduate students from the United States, Canada and the
UK in the fields of biology, chemistry, physics, earth sciences and engineering. RISE offers unique
opportunities for Bachelor students to work with research groups at universities and top research
institutions across Germany for a period of 2 to 3 months during the summer. RISE interns are matched
with doctoral students whom they assist and who serve as their mentors. The working language will be
English. All scholarship holders receive stipends from the DAAD to help cover living expenses, while
partner universities & research institutes provide housing assistance.
NASA Graduate Student Researchers Project
The NASA Graduate Student Researchers Project awards fellowships for graduate study leading to
masters or doctoral degrees, related to NASA research and development, in the fields of science,
mathematics and engineering. This 12-month award includes a required internship at the NASA center

affiliated with the NASA-sponsored research. The award may be renewed annually, for a maximum of
three years.
The Naval Research Enterprise Internship Program (NREIP)
Provides an opportunity for students to participate in research at a Department of Navy (DoN) laboratory
during the summer.
The goals of NREIP are to encourage participating students to pursue science and engineering careers, to
further education via mentoring by laboratory personnel and their participation in research, and to make
them aware of DoN research and technology efforts, which can lead to employment within the DoN.
NREIP provides competitive research internships to approximately 275 college students (200
undergraduate students and 75 graduate students) each year. Participating students spend ten weeks during
the summer conducting research at approximately 29 DoN laboratories.

Letters of Recommendation
Timeline: Begin now! In my experience, letters of recommendation can be difficult to ask for because
you dont want to bother someone about writing it. The trick is to start early and give your recommender
ample time (three weeks) to write the letter. Then, you will have the letters come submission time.
Definitely check out:
Requesting a Letter of Recommendation Tip Sheet from the University of Utah