Josiah Helmer - Chemical Engineering

Josiah Helmer is originally from Hershey, Pennsylvania where he grew up with his parents and five siblings. While looking for the right college during his senior year of high school, he shadowed several engineers in his area. One of them was a chemical engineer at The Hershey Company. Josiah says, “Seeing what she got to do really helped me decide what type of engineering I want to do. Chemical engineering was a side of the food industry that I had never really thought about and it seems really interesting.” Shadowing this engineer helped him decide that he eventually wants to work at The Hershey Company or a similar food distributor as a chemical engineer.

Josiah HelmerNow that he knew what he wanted to do, Josiah had to a choose where to learn how to do it. He narrowed his choice of college down to two. Penn State’s main campus has over 96,000 enrolled students, and Geneva College has around 1,200 students. Penn State is a state institution while Geneva College is a private Christian college. He heard about Geneva from a college search website, and it stuck out to him because of the strong engineering programs. He was accepted to both schools and ultimately chose Geneva—the atmosphere, education and co-curricular opportunities at Geneva won him over. “Penn State and Geneva both have strong engineering majors, but I eventually decided I wanted to go to a school with a good program and a connected community.”

The cross country and track programs at Geneva particularly appealed to Josiah when he came to visit the campus. Being able to run for his college was important to him. He says, “Going to school somewhere I could run on a team with people who I enjoy being with was definitely a reason I chose Geneva.” Josiah also loves the competition of racing, both during cross country and track season. Aside from running, he is also able to be a part of the musical culture of Geneva. He joined the Geneva College Jazz Band where he plays the upright base, and this will be the first spring he plays with them.

The overall atmosphere and culture of Geneva was the most notable factor in Josiah’s decision to attend Geneva. Josiah loves that there are quiet corners on campus where he can go to focus on homework, and places like the Brig where he is able to do homework and chat with friends who walk by. Geneva is the perfect mixture of academic rigor and co-curricular activities that he was looking for and he continues to believe this is the right place for him.  

Josiah enjoys his engineering classes, which are part of a nationally recognized program that focuses on the academic learning and practices of engineers while integrating Christian faith into its philosophy and coursework. Josiah says his class for engineering learning and transition, a class all first-year engineering majors take, helped to frame all the work he does in engineering through a reformed view of the Bible. While each class does approach the subject from a biblical perspective, this class was intensely focused on the way an education and profession in engineering works from a biblical standpoint. Josiah confirms his choice to come to Geneva as the best for him. The atmosphere, education, music and athletics are all aspects of Geneva that he loves. 

~Jessica Wilson '20