Caleb Leaser, IDEAS (Mechanical Engineering and Product Design):

"I knew it was going to be important to have real-world experiences to complement my degree. With the co-op program, I took classes the summer before my junior year so I could work full time at Crayola that fall. I returned to the company the summer before my senior year.

While working at Crayola, I contributed to design engineering projects primarily through 3-D printing and injection molding of marker and toy parts. I assisted both the quality assurance and product design departments. After using the 3-D modeling software Solidworks in the professional setting (as opposed to in the classroom), I realized I love design engineering, and that’s the field I’ve decided to pursue."

IDEAS (Integrated Degree in Engineering, Arts and Sciences) is a four-year honors program where students design their own bachelor's degree, with concentrations in the Rossin College and Lehigh's College of Arts and Sciences.

"What I loved most about working at Crayola were the team projects where I got to sit with a designer and figure out, 'What do we want in this pen or marker, and how can we make it happen?' The co-op experience has helped me realize that I’d like to work for a smaller company, because I really enjoy the personal impact I can have on products. When I see things in a store that I helped engineer to life, I know that I brought a little more color and creativity to people. I'm so happy that I had the opportunity to discover what I'm truly passionate about while still an undergraduate student. Because the co-op experience ended before my senior year, I was able to tailor my classes to better align with my design engineering interests. Now, I'll be able to make myself even more of an asset to a future employer."