Liberal Arts student marshal finds success by leaning on faith and academics

Brynn Boehler
April 19, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State Schreyer Scholar Matthew Dabiero will receive a bachelor of arts degree in communication arts and sciences and has been selected to represent his department as a student marshal at the spring commencement ceremony on May 4.

Dabiero has made both faith and academics high priorities in his life. His story could be one about balancing religion and academics to earn high honors in both places. Though the story of Dabiero’s accomplishments does involve the pursuit of both areas, to him, they fit together perfectly. Excelling in his communications-related coursework has only helped to further prepare him for his future work in ministry, he explained.

During his time at Penn State, Dabiero has been involved with many organizations. He participated in Club Cross Country, volunteered at Watermarke Christian Church and Saint Paul’s Community Soup Kitchen, danced in THON 2018, worked as a public speaking mentor for the Undergraduate Speaking Center, and more. However, one particular experience is what will help him transition into the future, he said — Dabiero has been involved in many roles, including as president, for Penn State’s chapter of Reformed University Fellowship. 

With Penn State Reformed University Fellowship, Dabiero helped lead Bible study and attended multiple mission trips across the country. He has accepted an offer to be a Reformed University Fellowship intern at Millersville University, after graduation. There, Dabiero not only will lead small group study, but also will work alongside a campus pastor to build religious community and foster relationships among Millersville students. As part of the two-year program, Dabiero will also work to fundraise his own salary and complete a challenging program of study.

As he is tasked with building community in his future internship, Dabiero also advised incoming Penn State students to do the same in their time here. He emphasized fostering meaningful relationships not only to improve a student’s own situation, but also to help others.

“Whether you're learning how to listen to and better understand people who are different, how to resolve interpersonal conflicts, or how to think critically about our day's greatest challenges, I encourage you to look for ways to use these classroom skills to bless the community around you," he said.

Dabiero also advised students to be creative in applying the knowledge they gain in academic programs. Any opportunity to relate or communicate with others can be transferred into practical experiences in the future. As to his chosen path in communication arts and sciences, Dabiero said, “After completing courses on speech writing, speech delivery, small group communication, and organizational communication, my degree has equipped me with the technical skills and practical experience I need to do ministry.”

This is the third in a series of stories on the 22 student marshals representing the College of the Liberal Arts at the spring 2019 commencement ceremony.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated April 19, 2019