An outstanding student in academics and athletics, Erin Collins of Bethesda, Md., will be the student marshal representing the College of the Liberal Arts at Penn State's fall commencement ceremony on Dec. 17, on the University Park campus. A Schreyer Honors College Scholar, she will receive bachelor of art degrees in three majors: German, French and Francophone Studies, and International Studies, plus two minors: Middle East Studies and Arabic Language. She also will earn a concurrent master of arts degree in German. Her faculty marshal escort will be Willa Silverman, professor of French and Jewish studies.
For the undergraduate and graduate degrees, Collins has earned overall GPAs of 4.0. Her honors thesis is titled “Islamkunde in North Rhine-Westphalia: A Source of Integration or Division?” She has completed several study abroad programs at American University in Cairo, Mohammed University in Morocco, Humboldt University in Germany, Sorbonne University in France, and Arabic Language Institute in Morocco. This summer, Collins served as a cultural assistant at the Center for Arabic Study Abroad in Cairo, Egypt; previously, she was a graduate teaching assistant for German language courses at Penn State and a volunteer English and German instructor to women and youth in Egypt and Morocco.
Over the course of her time at Penn State, Collins has received numerous awards and honors, including the Stanley R. Townsend Award for outstanding student in German, a German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) German Studies Grant, a Boren Scholarship from National Security Education Program, and a Center for Arabic Study Abroad Fellowship. She also received the Margaret and Stanley Paulson Scholarship. Collins was a member of the Women’s Rugby Team at Penn State, which won the Division I National Championship in 2010.