Schreyer Scholars participated in Homecoming 2010

By Stephanie Alechman, 2010 Schreyer Honors College college relations intern

Homecoming is that time of year when students, alumni, and fans proudly exhibit their Penn State pride and this year the Schreyer Honors College has 44 reasons to be especially proud.

Schreyer Scholars were cheering, playing and performing during University Park's Homecoming 2010 celebration. This year 33 scholars are members of the Blue Band, three are cheerleaders, one is a member of the Lionettes Dance Team, one is a starting offensive lineman, and six of the 10 students on the Homecoming court are Scholars.

These scholars shoulder demanding course loads and additional commitments to leadership and civic service but still find time to display their pride in the Penn State community.

Homecoming court representative Curran McCready serves as the overall captain of donor and alumni relations for THON and is a Penn State Lion Ambassador. For McCready, election to the Homecoming court is an honor and is representative of all his hard work here at Penn State.

“I think I’m really representing all of the things I’m involved with at Penn State, the honors college being one of them. I’m also heavily involved in THON and I’m a Lion Ambassador so I think all of those things come together and I feel that I’m representing each of them.”

McCready is not the only scholar Homecoming court representative who dedicates significant time to the Penn State community. Marina Johnson, also on this year’s Homecoming court, founded One Stage Revolution, a theatre company on Penn State’s campus, has performed with choirs in France and Rome, and volunteers with the Women’s Help Center, the LGBTA community, and the Council for Commonwealth Student Governments. Johnson applauds all of the Homecoming court scholars and their active role in the community.

“Everyone on the Homecoming court this year is heavily involved, even the people who aren’t scholars and they are so great to meet. They are the most active and involved people I’ve met here and it’s great to be among them. It’s definitely a reward but I’m also humbled by it because there are so many great students here.”

Johnson credits the Schreyer Honors College with helping her to achieve her lofty goals and is proud to represent the honors college.

“I think Schreyer’s definitely had a big impact on me being nominated for Homecoming court because they are always setting the bar for us to do great things and that has pushed me to reach higher goals. And I think that’s something every person here should strive for.”

Each year Homecoming attracts a huge crowd of students, parents, and alumni looking forward to an exciting and entertaining celebration. For many students, Homecoming is not just about the parade or the football game, but is the culmination of weeks and even months of preparation. Scholar Douglas Komandt acknowledges that both the Blue Band and the honors college have helped prepare him for his first Homecoming and the strenuous practice required.

“Being a part of the SHC has most certainly allowed me to realize the importance of balancing my time. I think that this commitment to being a scholar has and will allow me to realize the importance and value in carrying through on long term commitments, which obviously require a lot of time and effort, but will definitely be worthwhile in the end.”

For senior scholar and cheerleader Alyssa Donahue, her last Homecoming as a Penn State student means something bigger to her this year.

“To me Homecoming is a time when current students reunite with alumni, family and friends of Penn State and celebrate the community that Penn State encompasses. It is really quite remarkable celebrating the past, present, and future generations in a time that calls upon tradition,” she said. “In my senior year, I look back on all of the opportunities that I have had and am so appreciative. Such opportunities have not only given me great memories and friendships, but also have prepared me well for my future.”

Whether Homecoming means friends, family, alumni, parade or floats, no one can deny the excitement on Homecoming game day. Cheering from the stands or watching the game from home, you can be sure to find Schreyer Scholar and Academic All-American Stefen Wisniewski on the field. Wisniewski is quick to point out that Penn State football player is not the only label of which he’s proud.

“I feel like as a football player I’m representing the honors college and the team. Because the football team is the face of the University, I’m representing two of the great things about the University: the honors college and the football team. I take pride in that and I try to represent both with honor. Homecoming is a great time to do that.”

Off the field, Wisniewski takes both his academics and civic engagement seriously, volunteering his time with Athletes in Action, Campus Crusade for Christ, and various student teaching organizations. He attributes his hard work and dedication to the opportunities the honors college has afforded him.

Whether these scholars are joining the parade, cheering on the field, playing for the band, or fighting for the win, Homecoming is a time to display their Penn State pride. Their involvement with the Schreyer Honors College as well as the greater Penn State community will make this an extra special weekend for them all!

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Last Updated October 11, 2010