Krystal Duran, a senior engineering student from Kenai, Alaska, has found a home away from home at NNU. Not only has she gained valuable experience in her field, but she has also developed meaningful relationships with friends and professors that have shaped her into the person she is today.
“Attending NNU has encouraged me in my walk with Christ, helped me develop practical skills that will serve me the rest of my life and broadened my knowledge and understanding of matters far beyond the walls of our little campus. NNU has made me, and continues to make me, an all around better person,” Krystal said.
“NNU has made me, and continues to make me, an all around better person.”During her time at NNU, Krystal has gone above and beyond to use every resource available to her, including being involved in a pilot program with Boise State University that will make an individualized focus in civil engineering possible. As a freshman, she was a member of an engineering senior design team that traveled to Papua New Guinea and designed a clean water distribution system for a hospital and residential campus. She has also been involved in NNU’s engineering and physics club, EPiC, where she held the leadership positions of secretary and president. Currently, Krystal is finishing her senior project designing a clean water distribution system for a Bible college campus under construction in Myanmar.
“I love being involved in NNU's engineering department. We are like our own little family inside NNU's family. Each and every one of the professors care about their students, not only on an educational level, but on a personal level as well,” she said.
Krystal’s connections on campus recently led her to a paid internship with the City of Nampa. The city contacted business professor Dr. Pete Crabb looking for students who might be able to help with data collection for the city's transportation master plan. Krystal was in Dr. Crabb’s engineering economics class last year and he thought she would be a great fit. Coincidently, Krystal had a similar internship with the City of Anchorage's Traffic Engineering Department a couple years ago, so she already had prior experience and was perfect for the job.
The main task of her job is to collect data which will aide the engineers at City Hall in creating a master transportation plan for the city. She is currently working on mapping existing and non-existent sidewalks and curb ramps within Nampa's impact area.
“I would have never even known of the position if it weren't for Dr. Crabb, let alone attained the position, so my connections with NNU definitely helped. I love attending a school that has such a great reputation within the community that employers actually reach out to the students there when they need a job done, rather than having potential applicants come to them,” Krystal said.
After the school year, Krystal plans to go home to Alaska to spend time with family, where she hopes to get another engineering-related internship.