AboutOur PeopleBenjamin Sailors
Fellow, Class of 2025

Benjamin Sailors

Materials Science and Engineering
Bellefontaine, Ohio

Ben is a student in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, with an interest in the intersection between science and public policy. Prior to attending Penn, Ben was an active member of civically minded groups from local nonprofit organizations to state advisory boards and national policy programs. These opportunities allowed Ben to develop his understanding of the policymaking process at multiple levels, as well as engage with active civic leaders.

“One of my greatest experiences so far was my involvement in the United States Senate Youth Program. Through this opportunity, I had the great chance to work with federal officials on both sides of the aisle, as well as two delegates from each state of the country. In such a highly talented and driven group of people, tempers could flare high, and arguments spanned some of the most controversial topics facing us today. However, by utilizing proper discourse, we were able to overcome our ideological differences. At the end of the program, we emerged as the closest friends and allies. Whether liberal, moderate, conservative, or else, our facilitation of dialogue across differences allowed us to learn new perspectives and refine our own beliefs.”

Ben has continued this commitment to good citizenship at Penn by serving on Penn’s 2025 Class Board and Undergraduate Assembly and engaging with other groups across a variety of disciplines. He looks forward to developing his critical leadership skills through participation in the SNF Paideia Fellows Program, the SNF Paideia designated courses, and co-curricular activities. Ben appreciates the important roles dialogue and interpersonal communication play in both public and private aspects of life. Ben is interested in fostering a more inclusive community on campus while practicing his commitment to civic engagement and wellness.

As a Materials Science and Engineering major, Ben sees dialogue as an essential component of scientific advancement. The scientific method is predicated on disagreements and peer review, trusting others, and collaboration. As a scientist, he believes learning to engage in effective discourse is a crucial skill of the trade. Ben is especially interested in nanotechnology and its multiple applications in energy and sustainable technologies. Through constant innovation, like developing new ways to purify water or produce power, engineers can give back to their communities and serve the greater good.