State College, Pa. -- Culinary arts, baking and pastry, restaurant management, dietary management, and time spent owning a restaurant.
These are all the degrees and accomplishments DeeDee Spaniel has earned and she isn’t slowing down any time soon.
In her second to last year at Penn State and her ninth year of college in general, 29-year-old Spaniel is pursuing an undergraduate degree in agriculture business management.
It isn’t the typical route to take, especially for someone Spaniel’s age, but it’s one she does doesn’t regret.
“I think everything happens the way it’s supposed to happen, and I think, especially in my life, I just kind of fall into things,” Spaniel said.
Along the way, Spaniel has met a plethora of people, with whom she was able to establish close relationships.
“I consider myself a social capitalist. So some people like to collect money, but I love collecting people. So I love networking and just getting to know people’s stories,” Spaniel said.
Spaniel’s found friends in many different facets of Penn State culture.
Whether it has been through SPA, a student organization that programs events with whom she’s been a part of since early in her Penn State career, or through her role as the executive director for TedxEx, Spaniel has seen a lot of people come and go.
Though her passion for human connection has played a significant role in her time at Penn State, it’s really her love for food that keeps her Nittany Lion narrative open.
Through an entrepreneurship minor, Spaniel was presented with a research opportunity from her professor as it related to her number one passion.
“He approached me in the hallway and asked me ‘How do you feel about potato chips and I said, ‘I don’t know what you mean.’”
Spaniel was paid ten dollars an hour to try and build a University run business that takes colored potatoes and pair them together with other colors to create sports-themed potato chips.
As it turns out, the University wasn’t interested after Spaniel’s semester of research.
Spaniel however was and has since turned it into her own business, Roy Biv. She left out the G because green potatoes are toxic.
It’s just another of example of how Spaniel “falls into things”.
And now, she’s ready to accomplish her next goal; selling in stores.
Is she excited?
“It’s a lot of work,” Spaniel said.