York resident named liberal arts, EMS student marshal

Laura Newcomer of York has been selected as the student marshal to represent both the College of the Liberal Arts and the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences at Penn State’s Fall 2009 commencement.

Newcomer, who is completing English and geography majors, will lead the procession of graduates at two baccalaureate ceremonies on Saturday, Dec. 19, in the Bryce Jordan Center on the University Park campus.

Her faculty marshal for the College of the Liberal Arts will be Jon Olson, director of the Center for Writing Excellence in the Department of English; and her faculty marshal for the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences will be Lorraine Dowler, associate professor of geography and women’s studies.

Newcomer earned a perfect 4.0 major grade point average and was named to the dean’s list consistently throughout her college career. As an Evan Pugh Scholar -- the title noting an academic honor given to students in the top half-percent of their class -- she also is a member of the honor societies Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi, and the geography honor society, Gamma Theta Upsilon. She received The Denny Family Scholarship in English, the John and Elizabeth Holmes Teas Scholarship, the Edward J. Nichols Memorial Award for Writing and a Liberal Arts Scholarship.

A daughter of Lawrence Newcomer and Deirdre Folkers of York, Pa., Newcomer studied internationally at the National University of Ireland in Galway and at the Centro Bilingue Amerindia intensive language study in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.

Her extracurricular activities include serving as an acquisition intern at the Penn State Press, a peer tutor of writing at the Center for Excellence in Writing and an editorial staff member for the nonfiction section of Kalliope, a student-run literary journal at Penn State. In the past she was an intern assistant to the executive director for Teen Voices magazine in Boston, and a science and health staff reporter for the Daily Collegian, Penn State’s student newspaper.

She also serves as a volunteer at the Rape Crisis and Domestic Violence Hotline in State College and a program ambassador at the Education Abroad Office, and volunteers with various Habitat for Humanity, Big Brothers/Big Sisters and many environmental conservation projects.

Her writing has been published in Kalliope, Voices of Central Pennsylvania, The Southgate Society and the Sharp Review in Galway, Ireland.

After graduation she plans to pursue a career as a writer, either working for a publication as a professional writer or as a freelance writer. She also plans to work for nonprofit organizations, particularly those involved in literacy outreach and social justice, and eventually to teach high school English.

Last Updated December 07, 2009