Liberal arts students help shape new Student Engagement Network

Giselle Logan
October 27, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Students making their way through the HUB-Robeson Center over the last few weeks have likely seen the new Engagement Space located on the first floor. Students who visit the Engagement Space, an extension of the Student Engagement Network, are assisted by student engagement ambassadors to help identify extracurricular activities to augment their classroom instruction and expand their learning experiences.

One student who helped create this space is Jessica Malerman, a communication arts and sciences major with a minor in women's studies. The Abington native spent this past summer interning with the Student Engagement Network on campus.

“Helping to develop the Student Engagement Network is very exciting for me,” Malerman. “I am able to see the decision-making processes that makes an organization like this go from concept to reality. Specifically, I did a lot of work within the Grant Program, the Engagement Space, and the network’s website and app.”

Malerman and her fellow interns aided with the transition from planning stages and working behind the scenes to being the face of the network, providing students with guidance and resources. “This experience of transition has given me a holistic view of the ins and outs of higher education. It's an experience I would not have been prepared for without my background in communication arts and sciences,” said Malerman.

“In my class I have obtained a lot of skills and learned a lot of theory surrounding interpersonal communication, rhetoric, deliberation and organizational structure. This internship has given me the opportunity to put those skills and theory into practice. I’ve also been able to utilize my experience within student leadership."

In addition to her involvement with the Student Engagement Network, Malerman is the executive director of the State of State conference. While she is not positive about her future plans, she is very optimistic about the possibility of working full time in higher education and/or student activities in the future.

This internship program is designed to allow students to help their peers enhance their learning experience. Another student who participated in the internship program this summer is Brian Davis, a senior majoring in African American studies.

“My experience with the network has impacted me in a profound way. As an intern, working with an incredible team, I’ve been exposed to many different ways of thinking, ways of engaging, as well as ways of informing,” said the Philadelphia native.

He added, “As an intern, all summer we developed plans and logistics for our vision for the Engagement Space. The biggest thing we had in mind is trying to figure the best way to get students engaged in all areas of activity at Penn State.”

Davis also found that being an intern provided him with even more knowledge on the many different resources at Penn State.

“I’ve created a student resource handbook that has many of the Penn State resources, as well as studied abroad four times,” David said. “Along with these experiences, I’ve had multiple engaged scholarship experiences, so it is easy to point students in the right direction.”

To learn more about the internship program, visit To read more stories about Liberal Arts students interning, studying abroad or completing research, visit

  • Brian Davis at the Lion Shrine

    Brian Davis uses his own knowledge of Penn State resources and his multiple engaged scholarship experiences to help other students at the Engagement Space.

    IMAGE: Brian Davis

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated October 27, 2017