Student-athlete named College of Education's summer 2013 student marshal

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.— The Penn State College of Education has named Emily Giannotti as the student marshal for summer 2013. She will lead the college’s procession of graduates during the Penn State Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, at the Bryce Jordan Center.

Giannotti, a rehabilitation and human services (RHS) major, said she was honored to be named as student marshal.

“Penn State is full of so many talented, smart, dedicated, ambitious and very deserving people,” said Giannotti. “To be honored to serve as student marshal makes me feel even more excited and proud to be a part of it.”

Giannotti said she attributes part of her success to her parents, Brad and Patty Giannotti, who, along with her sisters, Allison and Natalie, plan to attend the ceremony.

“My mom and dad always stressed the importance of education, but above all, only asked that my sisters and I give our best in everything we did,” said Giannotti. “Long story short, I have the best family in the world, and I owe my success to them.”

Giannotti’s success is well documented. She has made the dean’s list every semester, and she has been named NCAA and Big Ten All-Academic Athlete from 2010-2013 as a member of the Penn State Women’s Cross-Country and Track and Field Team.

During her time at Penn State, Giannotti said she has had numerous mentors who have been instrumental in her development, including coaches, trainers, professors and advisers. Two of those individuals are faculty members in the College of Education: professor James Herbert, who will escort Giannotti as the college’s faculty marshal, and assistant professor Deirdre O’Sullivan, Giannotti’s academic adviser. Giannotti said both Herbert and O’Sullivan played large roles in her success.

Another important mentor to Giannotti is Beth Alford-Sullivan, director and head coach of track and field and cross-country. Alford-Sullivan said Giannotti is a quality person and a great Penn Stater.

“Emily is an amazing athlete who knows how to work hard and have fun,” said Beth Alford-Sullivan. “She is a great example of what it takes to be an outstanding student-athlete.”

“Emily is an amazing athlete who knows how to work hard and have fun,” said Alford-Sullivan. “She is a great example of what it takes to be an outstanding student-athlete.”

Alford-Sullivan added that Giannotti is respected by her teammates, who voted her in by a landslide as team captain. Giannotti enjoys her leadership role in which she has the opportunity to mentor younger athletes.

This summer, Giannotti is completing her senior internship with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Centre County, which she identifies as a standout moment in her undergraduate career at the College of Education.

After graduating in August, Giannotti plans to continue her career in Penn State’s College of Education by pursuing her master’s degree in counselor education. Her emphasis will be in rehabilitation counseling. She has a special interest in counseling victims of trauma and those in a correctional setting. She also intends to complete her final year of eligibility on the University's cross-country and track and field teams.

“I was looking for somewhere I could go to learn about people directly. RHS and the College of Education allowed me to do just that,” said Giannotti. “I am so blessed to be in the field of helping others help themselves.”

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Last Updated August 20, 2013