Engagement Space launches as flagship of student engagement at Penn State

Vanessa Cardy
October 20, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Engagement Space, an extension of the Student Engagement Network, opened to the public on Monday, Oct. 9, in the HUB-Robeson Center — creating exciting new opportunities for Penn State students to expand their education beyond the classroom.

Students who visit the Engagement Space will be assisted by student engagement ambassadors who will help identify extracurricular activities to augment their classroom instruction and expand their learning experiences. The Space is part of a multi-phase project, and students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members are requested to offer their input and feedback to help build several features and functions through an online survey.

“Something I strongly believe in is the power of the ripple effect,” explained Neha Gupta, a senior pre-medicine Schreyer Scholar. “I believe the Engagement Space provides students with the ability to start their own ripples by connecting with other students and taking action on their ideas. Ultimately, I think the Space will amplify the amount of collaboration and support among students across the University."

Student engagement is one of Penn State President Eric Barron’s six University-wide imperatives for education. The launch of the Engagement Space places Penn State among a growing number of leading universities directing attention toward initiatives that positively affect students’ intellectual, personal, and social development.

"Research has shown that engaged students are healthier, happier and primed for success. The Student Engagement Network will help ensure that all of our students have the opportunity to learn and grow through a variety of out-of-classroom experiences,” said Barron.

“The Engagement Space is important because it’s a physical location for inspiration outside the classroom," said Rhea Sullivan, biochemistry and molecular biology major. "When students become a part of the Student Engagement Network, they broaden their horizons — and the world becomes their classroom. As students, we can use the resources of the network to make our impact to shape communities around the globe."

Mike Zeman, director of the Student Engagement Network, provided opening remarks.

"We’re happy to see the joint effort of the initiative come to life now that the Engagement Space is open. Students can access the Space easily, and will discover resources to help them find new experiences. The interns in the Space are excited to meet with students to discuss the opportunities and impact of engagement," she said.

A number of student leaders at Penn State came to celebrate the launch and included Christina Nyangwenyo, executive director of the Student Programming Association; Andrew Smith, director of THON; Ally Berdan, internal development chair of Homecoming; Tommy Slotcavage, executive vice president of Lion Ambassadors; Fanta Conde, president of the Muslim Students’ Association; Samantha Geisinger, executive director of the Association of Big Ten Students; Brian Davis, author of the Penn State Treasure and SEN intern; Neha Gupta, 2014 International Children's Peace Prize winner and Schreyer Scholar; Tess Feury, member of Penn State’s national-champion women’s rugby team; and Anthony Mitchell, Ally Voegeli and Rhea Sullivan — all participants in the summer 2017 SEN grant program.

The Engagement Space is located on the first floor of the HUB-Robeson Center, and is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday–Friday.

The Student Engagement Network is a joint initiative between Undergraduate Education, Student Affairs, and Outreach and Online Education. The mission of the Student Engagement Network is to advance the power of participation by connecting students with experiences that empower them to make a positive impact as citizens and leaders of the world.

For more information about the Engagement Space, visit engage.psu.edu or contact the Student Engagement Network at engage@psu.edu.

Last Updated May 08, 2019