Junior technology education major Amanda Young has mapped out a path that includes teaching, coaching football or track -- and pursuing her love of projects, such as building a coffee table for her apartment in Oswego next year.

Where were you born and raised?

Outside of Albany, in Poestenkill.

Growing up, what signaled your future interest in technology or education?

From when I was little, I'd always be outside, building things with my dad. Whenever he was building things, I would try to do it, too. My first real good project was a CD-DVD rack when I was 7 or 8. I was pretty proud of that and it's still standing today. I've always just gone for it, and asked just when I needed help. In high school, I took as many technology classes as I could. I took automotive tech, construction tech and a few others.

How did you end up at SUNY Oswego?

My tech teachers in high school told me about Oswego. I came out here and visited over the summer and really liked it. I like the lake -- I've always loved the water. Between the lake and the technology labs -- they are amazing -- I decided this was the place.

Do you have a top interest among technology fields?

I definitely like the hands-on technology more. Right now I'm in materials processing classes: metals class and woods class. I really enjoy those. I also like the transportation class and the energy and power class. I want to go back to the Albany area and teach there. I'd like to teach one (or more) of those forms of tech, or something like them.

What are you making right now?

In metals class, I'm making a hammer on the lathe. It's going pretty good. In woods class, I'm making a coffee table for my apartment next year. It's supposed to be poplar, but when I went to buy the wood, they sold me a poplar and maple mix. But that's OK; I like the way it looks. (Laughs.)

Do you have a minor?

I'm an athletic coaching minor. I'd like to coach either football or track. I played football in high school on the varsity team. I was mainly a kicker. In the beginning, I played a little bit of wide receiver, too. All the coaches and athletes were great with it. They treated me like any member of the team.

What do you think of your professors at SUNY Oswego?

They're all great. They're always willing to help. They're so much fun, too. They just know so much about new technology and the traditional technology. In all three materials classes in woods, metals and polymers, there is a CNC (computer numerical control) machine, and they know all about that, but they also know everything about the old equipment, too, so you get pretty proficient in each way.

What do you think of your fellow students?

I think they're awesome as a whole. Everybody is willing to help each other. Everybody kind of works together to make sure everyone can get through anything difficult in the classes we have. I have definitely made lifelong friendships here.

What has it been like to be a woman in a field that's still predominantly male?

The professors and students are all great about that. They pretty much treat everybody equally. They don't call you out because you are a woman, and they don't give you extra help just because you're a woman. But no one thinks you don't belong in the field.

What activities here have supported your choice of technology education?

For my education classes, we do one-week observations. I did my first of three of those this past winter. I went to Poestenkill Elementary School, my own school! Seeing it from a teacher's perspective is a big change, but it was neat to go back. I had a great time with that and learned a lot. I was with the library media specialist. The students learned about robotics and some coding. You can draw the path on an iPad and the robots follow right along it. The students really enjoyed that. I got to teach them some block coding -- I got my own little group to work with.

On campus, students who are one semester away from student teaching put on an event called Kids Tech. It's for the lower and higher grades of elementary school. I help with that each semester, and it's gotten me a lot of experience working with children. I'm in the Oswego Technology Student Association (OTSA, formerly the Oswego Technology Education Association). That's how I initially found out about Kids Tech. It's neat to see the kids progress through the week. They planted seeds using different forms of hydroponics. We did some coding last week, some binary coding. We learned about simple systems -- levers and pulleys. That was really cool. They actually built a few of their own simple machines they got to take home -- of course, they like that!

Do you have leadership responsibilities on campus?

I'm secretary as well as treasurer-elect of OTSA. We go on various trips. In the fall, we go to TEECA, down in Virginia Beach; there are competitions. This year, a team we were on did a manufacturing competition. We made (all the materials for) a little game called "Shut the Box." We came in third. It was neat to see what the other teams from all over the East Coast came up with. I'm also on Team Mini (the miniature, radio-controlled "Zambonis" at ice hockey games), and I'm the vice president of that. We teach people how to work on the robots. We work together deciding what to buy for the robots, and we decide who goes out on the ice for the games. I'm also a peer advisor for first-year students. It's neat to help them out, because my peer advisors definitely helped me out with planning what classes to take when. It helps me get to know the freshmen better. I'm planning on doing it next year, as well.

What do you like to do in your down time?

I'm a snowboard instructor at home. I snowboard as much as I can from November to April at Jiminy Peak, just over the New York border in Massachusetts. I like to kayak in the summer. I like to build stuff at home, too.

What else can you tell us about your family?

I'm an only child. My dad is an HVAC mechanic. Sometimes I still go on jobs with him when I'm home. My mom is a dictionary specialist in the pharmaceutical field -- it's complicated, but when you hear drug advertisements on TV and the side effects, she looks through all the studies and the trials and determines what the side effects can be. She works for Vertex Pharmaceuticals.