Student Stories - Undergraduate Certificate in Weather Forecasting - Philip Lutzak
Philip Lutzak's fascination with the weather began when he was 6, after his neighborhood was severely damaged by a hurricane. When another storm threatened the area 6 years later, Philip started reading everything he could to find out why such weather occurred. And he's still learning.
Philip chose Penn State's online certificate program in weather forecasting "because there were no universities with a truly superior department of meteorology near New York City" and as a financial analyst for the New York City Department of Education, he did not have the time to attend classes on a university campus. "I would highly recommend the World Campus Weather Forecasting program to anyone who has a keen interest in weather," he says. "The teachers and course materials are extremely high caliber…and the professors were very kind and helpful while remaining extremely professional in their approach to the material."
Most notably, through his own research, Philip earned respect from the meteorology community by writing a paper on a special type of gravity waves in the Gulf of Mexico, leading to an article in the American Meteorological Society's journal, Weather and Forecasting. He also started an online weather discussion board with two other alumnae from his program, and he maintains his own website where he posts his research articles.
Philip credits his professors with providing the encouragement that has helped to bring about so many opportunities. "I especially wanted to thank Professor Lee Grenci for all he has done to help me remain a lifelong learner… His assistance with our graduate website and his help in getting the National Weather Service to review my paper have been extraordinary. Lee is the definition of a great teacher."
"Due to the results I got from the program, especially my online discussion group and my growing ability to write serious technical research papers, I have developed a permanent connection to the professional meteorological community," says Philip. "The future I once only dreamed about has become reality, and I owe that to the Penn State program."