Financial literacy program to expand staff, gear up for fall

Sean Yoder
June 11, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Sokolov-Miller Family Financial and Life Skills Center will be expanding its staff and programming in the coming months as it gears up for the fall 2018 semester.

Daad Rizk, director of the center, and her team have been working over the last six years to provide knowledge of financial literacy and wellness through private sessions to groups that request presentations, open online webinars, and no-cost public sessions.

Rizk’s office received a boost this spring — as well as a name change for the center — through gifts from Rick and Susan Sokolov. Rick Sokolov is the chair of the University’s current fundraising campaign, “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence.” The office was formerly known as the Financial Literacy and Wellness Center.

“The funds will allow the center to widen the reach of the financial literacy program and to provide students with the resources they need to make informed decisions regarding their money management,” Rizk said.

The center supports the University’s mission of access and affordability by providing students the tools and knowledge for managing their money and building sustainable financial practices in their personal lives. Their services are also open to the entire Penn State community.

“Susan and I are excited by the strategic vision of the ‘Greater Penn State’ campaign, and through this gift we hope to advance the campaign’s imperatives while also reflecting our personal commitment to financial literacy and life skills,” Rick Sokolov said.

The gift was announced at the 2018 Penn State All-Volunteer Summit on April 20.

Sokolov is the president and COO of Simon Property Group, the largest publicly traded retail real estate company in North America. He is a 1974 graduate of Penn State with a bachelor of arts in psychology. He holds a juris doctor from Georgetown University Law School. The businessman and philanthropist has held numerous positions throughout Penn State’s history of giving. He was the former Intercollegiate Athletics chair in “For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students,” and served on the ICA committee during the “Grand Destiny” campaign. Susan Sokolov holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from the College of Education (1971 and 1972, respectively). The Sokolovs are members of the President’s Club, the Atherton Society, and the Laurel Circle of the Mount Nittany Society. They have three daughters, Lisa, Anne and Kate. Lisa is a 2003 graduate of the College of Communications.

This gift will advance “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” a focused campaign that seeks to elevate Penn State’s position as a leading public university in a world defined by rapid change and global connections. With the support of alumni and friends, “A Greater Penn State” seeks to fulfill the three key imperatives of a twenty-first-century public university: keeping the doors to higher education open to hardworking students regardless of financial well-being; creating transformative experiences that go beyond the classroom; and impacting the world by fueling discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship. To learn more about “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” visit

The Sokolov-Miller Family Financial and Life Skills Center offers services to the entire Penn State community and is part of Penn State Undergraduate Education, the academic administrative unit that provides leadership and coordination for University-wide programs and initiatives in support of undergraduate teaching and learning at Penn State. Learn more about Undergraduate Education at

Last Updated June 27, 2018