Jeffrey Oliver of Newark, Delaware, will be honored as the student marshal for the Eberly College of Science during Penn State's summer commencement ceremonies on Saturday, Aug. 16, on the University Park campus. Oliver's faculty escort for the commencement exercises will be Leana Topper, a lecturer in biology.
Oliver will graduate with a 4.0 grade point average and a bachelor of science degree in science. He is currently in his third year of medical school at Thomas Jefferson University's Sidney Kimmel Medical College in Philadelphia as part of Penn State's six-year Accelerated Premedical-Medical Program. While at Penn State, Oliver earned the President's Award for freshmen in 2011. In 2012, he earned the President Sparks Award, the Ruth E. Duffy Premedicine Endowment, and membership in the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. He also received the four-year Paul C. Brucker Scholarship, which is given to one student in each graduating class of the Premedical-Medical Program.
As part of the Premedical-Medical Program, Oliver has conducted research at Thomas Jefferson University in orthopaedics and sports medicine. He worked with Javad Parvizi, clinical research professor of orthopaedic surgery at Jefferson, on a project studying some of the outcomes and complications of total hip or total knee replacement in patients with bowel disease. He presented this work at a national conference on orthopaedics. He also worked with Jeremy Close, instructor in family and community medicine, and David Shipon, instructor in cardiology, reviewing the use of electrocardiogram and echocardiogram tests in pre-participation screenings for middle-school and high-school student athletes.
In addition to his academic achievements, Oliver has been highly involved in community service at Penn State. In 2012, he traveled to Port-au-Prince, Haiti as part of the World in Conversation Project. During a month in Haiti, Oliver worked at King's Hospital on a project studying financial stability and backup-generator power at the hospital, a business incubator that provided microloans to Haitian entrepreneurs, and a hospital ministry that visited and provided care to patients at hospitals across Port-au-Prince. He was a member of the service organization, Students Engaging Students, acting as their 2012 Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON) family-relations chair and recruitment chair. He was also a member of PRIDE, Penn State's sportsmanship team, serving as their vice-president in 2012. Oliver also tutored Penn State student athletes in organic chemistry, physiology, and statistics at the Morgan Academic Support Center for Student Athletes.
At Thomas Jefferson University, Oliver has worked as a teaching assistant for anatomy labs. He also continued his community-service contributions at JeffHOPE (Health Opportunities, Prevention, and Education), a weekly clinic providing free health care services to Philadelphia's homeless population.
Oliver said that he is surprised and humbled to be selected as student marshal. "This honor really belongs to the wonderful faculty, advisers, mentors, family and friends who helped set me up for success during my years at Penn State," he said. Studying at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia for the last two years, Oliver said that the Penn State experience does not end when you leave State College. "Being a part of one of the most extensive alumni networks in the world allows you to maintain your connection to this fantastic community full of welcoming people," Oliver said.
After completing the medical program at Thomas Jefferson University's Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Oliver hopes to join a residency program to continue pursuing his goal of becoming a clinician. In addition, he hopes to continue to make medical education a part of his life.
Oliver, a graduate of Caravel Academy in Bear, Delaware, will be accompanied at commencement by his mother, Gail Oliver (Penn State class of 1986) of State College, Pennsylvania; his father, Kris Oliver of Twins Falls, Idaho; his brothers, Matthew and Michael Oliver; and his grandfather, Daniel Bernitt, senior research associate emeritus at Penn State.