Eberly College of Science names student marshall for summer 2011

July 25, 2011

University Park, Pa. -- Carly Diana Comer of Abington, Pa., will be honored as the student marshal for the Eberly College of Science during Penn State's summer commencement ceremonies on Saturday, Aug. 13, at the University Park campus. Comer's faculty escort for the commencement exercises will be Stephen Schaeffer of the Department of Biology.

Comer will graduate from Penn State with a 3.98 grade-point average and a bachelor's degree in biology with a vertebrate physiology option, as well as a minor in business. In addition, she is enrolled in the Schreyer Honors College. She is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa National Honors Society, and she has served as vice president of the Penn State chapter's student organization, Phi Beta Kappa Lambda. Comer's other achievements include an Evan Pugh Scholar Senior Award, membership in the Golden Key International Honors Society, a Schreyer Honors College Academic Excellence Scholarship, and a Schreyer Honors College Ambassador Travel Grant to participate in the Schreyer Honors College London Study Tour program. She also has been on the Dean's List every semester during her years at Penn State.

Comer said she is flattered to have been selected as a student marshal. "My time at Penn State has been unforgettable, providing me with the opportunity to learn and grow through experiences both in and out of the classroom. Every student creates his or her own path while at Penn State, and yet, at the same time, there is the everlasting sense of tradition and pride that links past, present, and future students to the University. It is this feeling of camaraderie and family found in Happy Valley that is unique to Penn State."

Since 2009, Comer has conducted research in the Penn State Vascular Aging and Exercise Laboratory under the direction of David Proctor, a Penn State professor of kinesiology. In the lab, she assisted with data collection and analysis on the elastic properties of peripheral muscular arteries in women during and immediately following the menopausal transition. For her honors thesis, she compared the stiffness of peripheral muscular arteries in healthy younger and older men and women. She also observed the effects of supplementation with tetrahydrobiopterin -- a substance that increases the bioavailability of nitric oxide, which helps to dilate blood vessels. Comer will be receiving interdisciplinary honors in kinesiology and biology for her work.

During the summers of 2009 and 2010, Comer participated in a one-week Pediatric Orthopaedic Observership program at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. In addition, she participated in Penn State's Externship program in 2008, where she shadowed a physician of sports medicine and an orthopaedic surgeon at Premier Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, a musculoskeletal care facility in Upland, Pa. She also was a medical embryology teaching assistant during her spring 2011 semester at Penn State, and she continues to volunteer in the Emergency Department at Mount Nittany Medical Center in State College, Pa.

In her free time, Comer has participated in many extracurricular activities at Penn State. She is a member of the Penn State Lion Ambassadors (Penn State's Student Alumni Corps) and, in 2010, she served as a co-chair for an event held the evening before the beginning of every fall semester, Be A Part From The Start, which is designed to welcome Penn State freshmen. She also is a member of Phi Gamma Nu Professional Business Fraternity and she has been actively involved in the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, THON. In 2010, she served as a THON Hospitality Committee member and in 2011, as a THON Morale Committee member.

After she graduates, Comer will work as a research technician at the Penn State Prevention Research Center's Alcohol and Skin Cancer Projects Laboratory. She also will work as a Hebrew School teacher at Congregation Brit Shalom in State College. She plans to apply to medical school next year and then to travel before continuing her studies.

Comer, a graduate of Abington Senior High School, will be accompanied at commencement by her father, Scott Comer, who graduated from Penn State in 1979 with a bachelor's degree in marketing; her mother, Nadine Comer, who graduated from Penn State in 1982 with a bachelor's degree in accounting; her sister, Jillian Comer, a sophomore at the University of Maryland; and her grandmother, Claire Goldstein.

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Last Updated January 10, 2014