Eberly College of Science student marshal named

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Andrew Hanlon, of McMurray, Pa., will be honored as the student marshal for the Eberly College of Science during Penn State’s fall commencement ceremonies on Saturday, Dec. 21, on the University Park campus. Hanlon’s faculty escort for the commencement exercises will be Bratoljub Milosavljevic, a lecturer in chemistry.

Hanlon will graduate with a 3.99 grade-point average and bachelor of science degrees in chemistry and mathematics. He is enrolled in the Penn State Schreyer Honors College and is a recipient of the Braddock Scholarship from Penn State’s Eberly College of Science. Hanlon is also the recipient of several other scholarships, including the George G. Pond Memorial Scholarship given by the Penn State Department of Chemistry; the Anthony J. and Heand Johns Silvestri Scholarship in Chemistry, also given by Penn State’s Department of Chemistry; and the American Mathematical Society Math in Moscow Scholarship.

In addition, Hanlon earned several awards and honors during his time at Penn State, including the Fleming-Meyer Analytical Chemistry Award from the Department of Chemistry for the 2011-12 school year and for the fall of 2013, the Outstanding Exam in Algebra award from Penn State’s Mathematics Advanced Study Semester (MASS) program in the fall of 2012, the Evan Pugh Scholar Award in his junior and senior years, the Leonhard Euler Memorial Award from the Penn State Department of Mathematics in the spring of 2013 and the Society for Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh College Chemistry Award in spring 2013.

While at Penn State, Hanlon conducted research in biomechanics, physical chemistry and mathematics. In biomechanics, Hanlon helped to develop a new analytical method for understanding spinal stability while working at the Allegheny General Hospital in the summer of 2011. He has submitted a paper concerning this method for publication along with Daniel Cook, Matthew Yeager and Boyle Cheng of the Allegheny General Hospital Neurosurgery Spine and Biomechanics Laboratory. In physical chemistry, Hanlon analyzed the molecular kinetics of a fluorescent molecule used to determine protein conformation and to measure molecular distances. This work was published with Bratoljub Milosavljevic of Penn State in the journal Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences. In mathematics, Hanlon’s research in symplectic geometry, supervised by Penn State senior lecturer in mathematics Misha Guysinsky and inspired by Penn State distinguished professor of mathematics Dmitri Burago, solved an open problem involving the topology of spheres and has been published with Daniel Dore of Princeton University in Electronic Research Announcements in the Mathematical Sciences.

While at Penn State, Hanlon was an active member of the Penn State Paintball Club. He has served as the club’s vice president, president and varsity team captain. Hanlon also has represented the Paintball Club as a dancer at the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON) in 2012.

Hanlon said that he is honored to receive the distinction of being named student marshal. He also said that he has developed a passion for mathematics during his time at Penn State that was sparked by his freshman classes with Penn State professor of mathematics Adrian Ocneanu and that discovering this passion was the most impactful part of his time at Penn State. Following graduation, Hanlon will travel to Moscow to participate in the Math in Moscow program. He currently is applying for graduate school in mathematics to work toward his dream of becoming a professor.

Hanlon, a graduate of Peters Township High School, will be accompanied at commencement by his parents, Dennis and Susan Hanlon; his grandparents, Ron and Eleanor Sekinger; his sister, Ellie Hanlon, a current Penn State undergraduate student; his brother, Scott Hanlon, also a Penn State undergraduate; and his brother, Brian Hanlon, a high school student.

Last Updated January 10, 2014