Ting, Newman named to Undergraduate Education directorships

Sean Yoder
November 05, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Two people were recently appointed to director positions within the Office of Undergraduate Education at Penn State, with Caitlin Ting taking the post at the University Fellowships Office, and Kerry Newman in the Office of Communications.

Both women expressed their excitement for the opportunity to work with University programs that directly impact students.

Ting had been interim director of the fellowships office since May 2017. In her time in the role, she successfully implemented the Spark program in order to attract undergraduate students to academic and professional engagement opportunities outside of the classroom earlier in their academic careers. Spark bears the same name as its inspiration program at University of Buffalo, Ting said, that she discovered when participating in the 2017 National Association of Fellowships Advisors’ conference.

The fellowships office worked with Penn State University Libraries to import the program to Penn State, and already Ting said they are seeing results through increased student engagement with fellowship and scholarship offerings early on.

Dr. Caitlin Ting headshot

Caitlin Ting

IMAGE: Steve Tressler

“I am excited to see the visibility of fellowship opportunities start to increase around the community,” Ting said. “The Spark program has taken off. We’ve had two really successful semesters at University Park already and there’s talk of Spark being implemented at Commonwealth Campuses.”

Ting was also a driving force behind a Big 10 Academic Alliance fellowships advising meeting in Chicago in 2018. There, Ting said those involved in fellowships advising talked about defining their audiences and the successful means of reaching them. Those discussions fostered more collaboration between the various universities.

“Now we have a much more open dialogue among the directors of the different offices,” Ting said.

The Penn State alumna has worked closely with students since she was a tutor while pursuing bachelor’s degrees in Spanish and psychology. She earned a doctorate degree in psychology and language science and was a lecturer before becoming interim director of the fellowships office. She succeeded Tanya Furman, who led the office from December 2015 to May 2017.

Ting said the position allows her to help students realize opportunities and pursue them in a way that makes use of their entire experience as a student.

“It’s a pleasure to be working with students from the different backgrounds and programs,” she said. “We’re reaching a wider audience and helping more of the community understand what fellowship opportunities are and these wonderful opportunities aren’t just for after graduation.”

Newman said the closer proximity to students drew her to the Undergraduate Education position. Once a Penn State undergraduate and master’s student herself, Newman has been a lecturer within the Department of English since 2003 on top of her 20 years of experience in University marketing and communications.

“I’ve always enjoyed teaching and having that connection with students and understanding what is important to them and what drives them,” Newman said. “It’s really valuable. It’s why we’re here."

Kerry Newman

Kerry Newman

IMAGE: Michelle Bixby

Most recently Newman was the manager of partner marketing within the Department of University Marketing where she managed a creative team, developed relationships with communicators across Penn State and oversaw advertising contracts and management of projects.

She said she sees herself as a connector, and credits the relationships forged with colleagues and peers at Penn State for the successful implementations of projects.

“I’m most proud of the relationships I’ve developed with people over the years,” she said. “I enjoy being a resource for people, someone they know that they can contact, ask questions of, get information from and be someone that connects people together."

The Office of Communications and University Fellowships Office are a 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 undergrad.psu.edu.

Last Updated November 05, 2018