Penn State Homecoming announces 2019 Guide State Forward winners

October 07, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State Homecoming announced Freddy Purnell and Marlisa Shaw as the 2019 Guide State Forward winners during halftime of the Penn State vs. Purdue football game on Saturday, Oct. 5.

Purnell is a biology major with a minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation: New Media and the Diversity Studies Certificate. He is the president of the LGBTQA Student RoundTable, vice president of Queer and Trans People of Color, and part of the Black Caucus and the Caribbean Student Association. He also serves as the outreach chair of College Democrats. In addition, the issue of sexual assault on Penn State’s campus is very personal and important to him. Purnell also is a peer educator, a member of Men Against Violence, and a Greeks CARE facilitator to help educate students on enthusiastic consent, bystander intervention and supporting survivors. 

Shaw is a biology and psychology major focusing on neuroscience in the Millennium Scholars Program. She is involved in Envisions, a co-captain for the Dark Storm Step Team, and a member of the Parent’s Program Student Ambassador Program. She also is a member of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers and Phi Eta Sigma. Furthermore, Shaw is involved in HealthWorks, Minority Health Initiative, and SAFE & AWARE.   

Last year, Penn State Homecoming eliminated the gendered titles of Homecoming king and queen, as well as the number ratio of male to female representation within the court. In an effort to embrace diversity and gender inclusivity within the Penn State community, it is still the focus of Student Court for the 2019 Homecoming season. The top two members of the Student Court are recognized with the Guide State Forward Award. These two individuals best represent Penn State’s six core values: Integrity, Respect, Responsibility, Discovery, Excellence and Community. After a rigorous application, interview process, student voting, and panel review, Purnell and Shaw have been selected as the two students best representing the six core values of Penn State.

Penn State Homecoming is a student-run organization with aims to celebrate tradition and instill pride in all members of the Penn State family through active engagement of students, alumni, faculty and staff across the community. The organization is comprised of many student volunteers who donate their time to create a multitude of events that make the Homecoming celebration a yearlong event. 

Last Updated October 18, 2019