CPSPE Staff Spotlight: Sarah Thorley


thorleyCPSPE faculty and staff are a vital part to the success of the college. Recently, we asked Sarah Thorley, Department of Polymer Engineering Coordinator of Academic Programs to share her experience working at CPSPE. Here are her responses:

What is your role in CPSPE?

I am the Coordinator of Academic Programs in Polymer Engineering. My primary focus is to recruit talented students into our M.S. and Ph.D. programs, work with current students already in these programs, and maintain and strengthen relationships with alumni. I also connect with industry partners for internships and job opportunities for our students and alumni.

What do you enjoy about being a part of CPSPE?

Hands down, the most enjoyable part of my position is working with students. It is so rewarding to observe how they change during their time with us and mature into confident and professional researchers. As alumni, many of them continue to correspond with me about their personal milestones, including marriages, new babies, and individual achievements (think running a marathon!). I also enjoy the recruitment process and speaking to students at national scientific and diversity conferences and graduate fairs about our programs. Many of these students are both unaware of our university and the fact that we offer an entire college devoted to polymer study and research. It is quite gratifying to see these students become excited as they learn more about The University of Akron.

Do you have any news about yourself and/or your family you’d like to share?

For the past 11 years, I have been an active member of the National Association of Graduate Admissions Professionals (NAGAP) and currently sit on the Board for the Midwest chapter, MAGAP, which serves 14 different states. Both the national organization and chapter offer tremendous opportunities for professional development and networking with colleagues in similar professions and job roles who face the same issues in graduate education.