Chan, Lacy, McCloskey, Shockley, Zhou named 2018 Oswald Award winners

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Five Penn State students in their respective areas of leadership have been honored with the 2018 John W. Oswald Award. Awards were given in the following fields: Jaime Chan, creative and performing arts; Adriana Lacy, journalism, speech and the mass media; Megan McCloskey, athletics; Alexander Shockley, social services, religious activities and student government; and Chen Zhou, scholarship.

The John W. Oswald Award, established in 1983, annually recognizes graduating seniors who have provided outstanding leadership in at least one of several areas of activity at the University. The award consists of a medallion honoring John W. Oswald, president of the University from 1970 to 1983.

Athletics

McCloskey, who is majoring in advertising and public relations in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications, was one of 20 Penn State students selected in 2017 to the Parmi Nous honor and tradition society. Students are selected for exceptional involvement with the University.

She is team captain of the varsity track and field team where she was twice selected as academic All-American, Big Ten Scholar, Big Ten Conference Championship High Jump Medalist and NCAA Championship Qualifier.

As president and events coordinator for the Fit for Fritz fundraiser, McCloskey was responsible for planning, promoting and executing an event that raised more than $40,000 in four years. The event honors assistant coach Fritz Spence and assists people battling cancer.

McCloskey was a marketing intern in 2017 for SEI Investments Company and in 2016 for Chartwell Investment Partners.

Her leadership opportunities include:

● NCAA student-athlete voting representative for the Big Ten Conference

● President and special events and outreach chair for the Penn State Student Athlete Advisory Board

● President of Penn State Athletes Take Action, a group that works with middle school students to enforce the importance of positive communication at an early age

“Megan has the gift of communication, leadership and team-building, and she has chosen to share those gifts with Penn State and those around her,” a nominator said. “She is the person I think of when I hear people talk about Penn State’s inspired doers. Megan will surely go on to do great things in her career and life. And she will continue to be a fine representative of the very best of Penn State.”

Creative and performing arts

Chan, who is majoring in film-video in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications, already has several work-related experiences under her belt. During a 2017 internship, she was a talent production assistant for the television show “Project Runway.” There, she managed the talent on and off the set at various shooting locations and worked with the talent producer and others to ensure smooth shoots.

At The Daily Collegian, Penn State’s student-run newspaper, she writes and illustrates the comic strip “SOUP!” and designs online and print advertisements. Working with management, she meets client expectations and deadlines.

Chan has directed and produced several short films, including “What We Are,” which premiered at the 2017 Blue-White Festival and “Somnolence,” which premiered at the 2016 Blue-White Festival. The film, which Chan also helped write, won third place at the Broadcast Education Association Super Regional Creative Works Competition.

She was a video animator and producer of a cooking show on PSU’s Food Network and will be interning at Nickelodeon in Los Angeles.

“Chan is a rare combination of outstanding student and a person of exceptional character with genuine modesty,” a nominator said. “As a student she is regularly at the top of her class and is a pleasure to both mentor and interact with. She shares many friends and is a valued contributor to the major. She is also one of the most creatively gifted students I have encountered in my 25 years of college teaching.”

Journalism, speech and mass media

Lacy, who is majoring in journalism in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications and African-American studies in the College of the Liberal Arts, was collegiate events coordinator for The New York Times. She was responsible for promoting the brand to more than 40,000 students. She planned, promoted and scheduled “Get With The Times” campus watch parties, partnered with campus organizations to spread awareness for the news outlet and its events and marketed events on social media platforms while promoting press coverage.

Since 2015, Lacy has been editor-in-chief of The Underground, an alternative media site at Penn State that she founded, which focuses on untold stories on race, identity and politics. She manages a staff of 35 writers, editors, photographers and marketing members.

“Adriana’s vision in starting a website that highlights the Penn State multicultural experience was just the needed addition and has helped to diversify the college media scene,” a nominator said. “Her leadership does not end there. She’s a tour guide for SMART (Student Minority Advisory and Recruitment Team), a group that looks to recruit and retain minority students. She also serves on the leadership board FastStart, a program out of Penn State’s Alumni Association, with the goal of helping first-year students from diverse backgrounds have a successful year at the University. Her work through internships with Penn State Athletics has shown her commitment not only to this University but to making it diverse and inclusive.”

Lacy, who is earning a certificate in the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism, is editorial intern at Roar Lions Roar. She writes weekly content for the site on various aspects of Penn State athletics. She attends games, practices and press conferences, generating photos and video coverage for the website.

Lacy was also social media intern at Axios Media and Penn State Athletics. At Axios, Chan increased week-over-week follower growth by 193 percent. At Penn State Athletics, she increased engagement, followers and impressions by more than 10 percent.

Scholarship

Zhou, who is majoring in electrical engineering in the College of Engineering, has a perfect 4.0 GPA in a demanding curriculum. His professors say he’s a promising researcher, too.

Chen participated in the College of Engineering Research Experiences for Undergraduates program on a project to use a machine learning approach to diagnose the health conditions of plants based on the unique features measured in plant leaves. He presented this research at two campus events.

“What impresses me most is Chen’s drive to learn new knowledge, his independence, self-motivation, creativity and outstanding work ethic,” a nominator said. It’s remarkable to see the progress that he is able to achieve in such a short period of time.”

Chen also participated in Energy Innovation Leadership Experience at the Navy Yard in 2017. While interning at ProtoGen Energy, Chen worked with various companies and research teams to strengthen partnerships between industrial and academic partners. Chen collaborated with participants from 11 other countries for measures to improve the environment.

Social services, religious activities and student government

Shockley, who is majoring in hospitality management in the College of Health and Human Development, is University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA) student body vice president and a committee representative on Penn State’s Board of Trustees.

As a member of UPUA, Shockley speaks on behalf of more than 40,000 undergraduate students. He fosters discussion with administrators and implements plans to better student life. Additionally, he leads in advocacy, outreach and implementation of plans to benefit the student body.

As a member of the Board of Trustees, he represents students on matters related to tuition costs, campus renovations and the hiring of senior administration. There, he serves on the governance and long range planning committees, assisting with changes to the board and its structure.

Shockley’s numerous contributions to bettering student life include helping the University shift to a tobacco-free campus and expanding the Responsible Action Protocol, allowing for conduct amnesty for students involved in alcohol and drug overdoses -- when a student seeks medical assistance for himself,  when a student seeks medical assistance for a peer, or for a suffering student when another student seeks the assistance. This shift is designed to encourage students to seek medical assistance without fear of retribution.

“Given his prior success, Alex continues to work closely with Faculty Senate and others involved in the academic life of the University,” a nominator said. “He works diligently to put students’ concerns in front of academic decision-makers and his work has had an impact. He has represented student concerns on issues including LionPath, diversity and inclusion and mental health.”

Last Updated April 13, 2018