Insightful alum urges students to stoke passions, make connections

Published 10.08.2018

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Pennsylvania College of Technology alumnus Keith L. Jeffcoat recently returned to his roots to share advice and industry experience with the next generation of students.

A 2007 recipient of the college's Alumnus Achievement Award, Jeffcoat talks with students during a late-September return to campus.Jeffcoat, who earned a bachelor’s degree in plastics and polymer engineering technology in 2001, is senior director of technical operations at Merz Device Innovation Center in Mesa, Arizona.

Merz is a specialty health care company dedicated to the development and marketing of innovative quality products for physicians and patients. Its vision is to be the most admired, trusted, and innovative aesthetics and neurotoxins company.

Jeffcoat is introduced by Kirk M. Cantor, professor of plastics technology, one of the alumnus' mentors.“This was an opportunity for me to translate the learnings I’ve had from industry back to students, allowing them to expand their knowledge for their futures,” he said.

Plastics, industrial design, engineering design, innovation and business students interacted with Jeffcoat, thanks to several class visits. He encouraged students to “take advantage of everything you can” while in college as that will “pole vault your career once you get out.”

Jeffcoat has built on his Penn College education with an MBA from Troy University, an executive management certificate in innovation and strategy from the MIT Sloan School of Management and a doctorate in engineering from the George Washington University School of Engineering & Applied Science.

Prior to joining Merz North America in 2016, Jeffcoat held several director-level leadership positions with Johnson & Johnson.

Jeffcoat’s closing advice to students? “Get involved. Get experience. Challenge yourself. Be passionate. Make connections. And continually learn.”