As a member of the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics’ Class of 2021, Summer Kehl, an operations management major with minors in Spanish and international business from Honey Brook, Pennsylvania has not had the typical final year or commencement at UD due to the coronavirus pandemic. Kehl, and her entire class, have shown incredible resilience, maturity and spirit while adjusting to the many unexpected changes that they have encountered.
Kehl was nominated for this series by UD Assistant Professor of Operations Management Caroline Swift, who said, “Summer excelled in everything she did in my class. She not only mastered course theory but also made insightful and relevant ties to her own business experiences.”
In this profile, Kehl shared her favorite UD memories, how she has changed during her time at UD and her plans following graduation.
Lerner: How do you think you have changed from your first semester at UD to now?
Kehl: At the beginning of freshman year, I didn’t have an exact idea of what I wanted to do, from what I wanted to major in to where I wanted to work after graduation. My classes as well as various programs and events held by Lerner have been crucial in determining not only my career path but also my goals and passions.
Lerner: What is your favorite place at UD?
Kehl: My favorite place at UD is the Green. Over the years I’ve spent so much time walking through the landscape to classes and events, sitting by the fountain to study or relax, and playing outdoor games with my fraternity brothers in Alpha Kappa Psi. I have so many memories from time spent on the Green and it’s absolutely beautiful, so it would have to be my favorite place at UD.
Lerner: What is the most memorable course that you took at Lerner?
Kehl: The most memorable course I’ve taken is BUAD110, Introduction to Business. This class is so different from all of the others at Lerner as it functions to welcome students to the business school and the business world. I’ve taken classes with my peers from my BUAD110 section ever since first-semester freshman year and it has been so much fun getting to know a core group of individuals taking the same courses as I have. My BUAD110 project team and I also went to the Pitch Finals in Trabant which was an intense but valuable experience to have as a new student on campus. Lastly, Julia Bayuk is one of the best professors at UD and she was my professor for this class – connecting me to her was just one of the reasons BUAD110 was so memorable and since then, I have been a teaching assistant and peer mentor for the course and it has been so much fun to see it grow and be a part of it.
Lerner: What was your favorite signature UD experience?
Kehl: My favorite signature UD experiences were joining the professional business fraternity, Alpha Kappa Psi, the first semester of my freshman year, and studying abroad in Australia and New Zealand during the Winter 2020 session. Becoming a brother in Alpha Kappa Psi truly shaped my college experience as it gave me a home away from home right from the beginning as well as a core group of like-minded individuals that have challenged me to be the best version of myself. Studying abroad was an experience like no other and allowed me to learn not just about finance and marketing, but also about culture and even myself.
Lerner: What does being a “Lifelong Lerner” mean to you?
Kehl: To me, being a Lifelong Lerner means always striving for excellence and being open to change and new experiences. It’s important to be open-minded because it allows you to achieve things that you may not have thought possible but equally important to do your absolute best so that you can achieve your full potential.
Lerner: What are your plans following graduation?
Kehl: Following graduation I will be working at my family’s wholesale tree nursery, Wm. F. Hammell Nurseries, in my hometown of Honey Brook, Pennsylvania. I also plan on pursuing my passions for teaching, traveling and cut flower production.