Peter Hohman to represent science as Student Marshal at Spring Commencement 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Peter Hohman of Erie, Pennsylvania, will be honored as the student marshal for the Eberly College of Science during Penn State University's Spring Commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 8, on the University Park campus. Hohman's faculty escort for the commencement exercises will be Eric Feigelson, professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State.

Hohman will graduate with a 3.99 grade point average and bachelor of science degrees in physics, in mathematics, and in astronomy and astrophysics. He was the recipient of a President's Freshman Award in 2012, a Bert Elsbach Honors Scholarship in Physics in 2012 and 2014, and an Evan Pugh Scholar Award in 2014 and 2015.

While at Penn State, Hohman conducted research in Feigelson's lab with graduate student Gabe Caceres using statistical models, which originally had been designed to model fluctuations in the economy, to describe variation in the brightness of stars that can indicate the presence of an orbiting planet. Hohman's main contribution to the research, which used information collected by NASA's Kepler Mission, was to investigate the effect of increasing the complexity of the statistical models on the strength of the signals from potential planets.

In addition to his academic achievements, Hohman was an active member of the Newman Club and the Astronomy Club. He was a writer and designer for Phroth, a student-run humor magazine at Penn State. He is also a musician who composes, perform, and records music on his own and as a member of several bands. Hohman is a founding member of "The Selection Committee," which he describes as "an organization dedicated to making brackets."

"I was sincerely honored by my selection and felt surprised and grateful that my efforts to get good grades in college were not unnoticed," said Hohman. "I know some of the past few years' marshals and it is an honor to be in their company, just as it is an honor to represent Penn State in some small way."

The most important lesson he learned at Penn State was that "problem solving, just like life, is as much about knowing what you are doing as it is about knowing whose company to keep," Hohman said, "namely, a trustworthy, supportive, diverse group of people who all bring something unique to the table and who are all mutually willing to help out wherever they can."

Following graduation, Hohman plans to work as an actuarial analyst at Erie Insurance and to pursue certification as a full actuary. Additionally, he is pursuing his goal of becoming a screenwriter and has written a script that he hopes to see produced.

Hohman, a graduate of Harbor Creek High School, will be accompanied at commencement by his mother, Mary Hohman (Penn State '83); his father, Joseph Hohman (Penn State '82, '86); and his sister Elizabeth Hohman.

Last Updated April 30, 2015