College of the Liberal Arts selects spring 2020 student marshals

April 08, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — As part of Penn State’s 2020 spring commencement activities, 24 students will represent the College of the Liberal Arts as student marshals.

In response to the growing coronavirus pandemic, orders from the state government and recommendations from global public health organizations, Penn State will hold its spring 2020 commencement ceremony via livestream on May 9. The virtual ceremony will recognize all Penn State undergraduate students and all graduate students in the Penn State Graduate School.

Student marshals are chosen to represent the college on the basis of outstanding academic achievement and their contributions to liberal arts student life. The college and its units will recognize the marshals in the college's commencement program and plan to honor their accomplishments in various ways in the upcoming year.

Paterno Fellow and Schreyer Scholar Awaly Diallo is the college student marshal. Her faculty marshal is Molly Martin, associate professor of sociology and demography. Diallo is the daughter of Fatimata Ly of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is graduating with bachelor of arts degrees in sociology and African American studies. Diallo was recognized as a Liberal Arts Change Maker for serving as the executive director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Student Committee and for her legal internships at the Northeastern School of Law's Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project and the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia. She studied abroad in Curaçao and was recognized as a Rock Ethics Institute Stand Up Award winner. After graduation, Diallo plans to work and volunteer with human rights organizations before attending law school.

Keep reading to learn more about the student marshals selected to represent the College of the Liberal Arts.

AFRICAN STUDIES

Noelia Ortiz-Landazabal is the daughter of Marie-Dominique and Francisco Ortiz-Landazabal of Wayne, Pennsylvania. A Paterno Fellow and Schreyer Scholar, she is graduating with bachelor of arts degrees in African studies and political science and a minor in women’s studies. Ortiz-Landazabal was recognized as a Liberal Arts Change Maker for founding Days for Girls at Penn State, an organization that engages communities to empower and break down barriers for women and girls worldwide through sustainable menstrual care and health education. After graduation, Ortiz-Landazabal will join Ernst & Young in Washington, D.C., as a performance improvement analyst.

ANTHROPOLOGY

Audrey Arner is the daughter of Maria and Shawn Arner of Stafford, Virginia. A Paterno Fellow and Schreyer Scholar, she is graduating with bachelor of science degrees in biological anthropology and biology. She was a member of the Presidential Leadership Academy and the fourth cohort of Millennium Scholars and conducted research in the Perry Anthropological Genomics Lab at Penn State. Arner participated in research experiences at the University of Tübingen and Kansas State University and studied abroad in Tanzania and Costa Rica. After graduation, Arner plans to work as a research technician before pursuing a doctoral degree in anthropology.

ASIAN STUDIES

Aimee Pizarchik is the daughter of Lisa and Rainer Pizarchik of Apollo, Pennsylvania. A Paterno Fellow and Schreyer Scholar, she is graduating with bachelor of arts degrees in Asian studies and Chinese as well as a bachelor of science degree in security and risk analysis. Pizarchik was a Chapel Executive Intern and worked for University Libraries; she was also a resident assistant for the Information Sciences and Technology Special Living Option. Pizarchik completed an intensive language program in Kunming, China, and served as a cultural ambassador for the Penn State-Nanjing Exchange Program. Next year, Pizarchik will attend the University of Chicago to pursue a doctoral degree in history.

CLASSICS AND ANCIENT MEDITERRANEAN STUDIES

Charissa Skoutelas is the daughter of Daphne Skoutelas of Glen Mills, Pennsylvania. A Paterno Fellow and Schreyer Scholar, she is graduating with a bachelor of arts degree in Classics and ancient Mediterranean studies and a bachelor of science degree in global and international studies, with minors in Greek, geography, and religious studies. She was a peer adviser in the Education Abroad Office and studied abroad in Athens, Greece. Skoutelas interned with the Brandywine River Museum of Art and the Museum Collections at the Chester County Historical Society. She was also a member of the Pride of the Lions Pep Band. After graduation, Skoutelas plans to pursue a master’s degree in Classics.

COMMUNICATION ARTS AND SCIENCES

Daniel Zahn is the son of Bruce and Alicia Zahn of Allentown, Pennsylvania. A Paterno Fellow and Schreyer Scholar, he is graduating with bachelor of arts degrees in communication arts and sciences, English, and philosophy, and minors in French, history, rhetoric, Jewish studies, and linguistics. He was recognized as a Liberal Arts Change Maker for co-founding Future Opportunities Reached by Mentorship Consulting. Zahn was a member of the Presidential Leadership Academy and also served as president and captain of the Penn State Mock Trial Association. He interned with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, completed research in Benin, and studied abroad in London, England; Dublin, Ireland; and Besançon, France. After graduation, Zahn will attend law school or participate in a Fulbright Fellowship.

COMPARATIVE LITERATURE

Siobhan Leonard is the daughter of Sue Doney and Edward Leonard of Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. A Paterno Fellow and Schreyer Scholar, she is graduating with bachelor of arts degrees in comparative literature and global and international studies. She served as a teaching assistant for an environmental science course and studied abroad in Dublin, Ireland, and Nanjing, China. Leonard interned with Hanbidge Law, Pennsylvania State Representative Elizabeth Hanbidge, and the Eastern European Centre for Multiparty Democracy. She is also a member of the Dressage Club. In the fall, Leonard will pursue a master’s degree at New York University.

CRIMINOLOGY

Erin Doolin is the daughter of Bridget and Todd Doolin of Orange County, California. A Paterno Fellow and Schreyer Scholar, she is graduating with bachelor of arts degrees in criminology and political science and a minor in Spanish. She was captain and public relations chair for the Penn State Mock Trial Association and president of Planned Parenthood Generation Action at Penn State. Doolin studied abroad in London and Madrid; she also interned with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C., and the Penn State Justice and Safety Institute. After graduation, Doolin plans to work for the federal government in Washington, D.C.

ECONOMICS

Evan Toomey is the son of Paula and David Toomey of Millersville, Pennsylvania. A Paterno Fellow and Schreyer Scholar, he is graduating with bachelor of science degrees in economics and finance. Toomey was president of the Penn State Economics Association and a teaching assistant for the Department of Economics. He interned with Vanguard and Emerald Asset Management, and he was one of four students selected to represent Penn State at the Rotman International Trading Competition at the University of Toronto. After graduation, Toomey will work as a data service analyst at BlackRock in Wilmington, Delaware.

ENGLISH

Caitlin Conway is the daughter of Karen and James Conway of Clarence Center, New York. A Paterno Fellow and Schreyer Scholar, she is graduating with bachelor of arts degrees in English and political science. Conway was a team captain for the Penn State Mock Trial Association and interned with the Penn State Committee for Early Modern Studies, the Family Justice Center in Buffalo, New York, and the Honorable Amy Martoche of the Buffalo City Court. After graduation, Conway plans to attend law school.

FRENCH AND FRANCOPHONE STUDIES

Loren Baseler is the daughter of Heather and Curtis Hamelly of Grove City, Pennsylvania. A Paterno Fellow and Schreyer Scholar, she is graduating with bachelor of arts degrees in French and francophone studies and English. Baseler was the editor-in-chief of the literary magazine ABSENCE at Penn State Greater Allegheny. She interned with the American Shakespeare Center and studied abroad in Montpellier, France, taking classes at the Université Paul Valéry. After graduation, Baseler hopes to serve as an English teaching assistant and cultural ambassador through the French government’s Teaching Assistant Program in France.

GERMANIC AND SLAVIC LANGUAGES AND LITERATURES

Maria Badanova is the daughter of Olga Badanova and Dmitry Zhmurkin of Boise, Idaho. A Paterno Fellow and Schreyer Scholar, she is graduating with bachelor of arts degrees in Russian and psychology. Badanova served as secretary and vice president of the Russian Club and co-authored a book of translated prose and poetry with Dr. Michael Naydan. She was a research assistant in the Penn State Language and Aging Lab and completed research in Krakow, Poland, and Tübingen, Germany. In the fall, Badanova will pursue a doctoral degree at the Max Planck School of Cognition in Berlin, Germany. 

GLOBAL AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES

Erin Baumgartner is the daughter of Lisa and Hans Baumgartner of State College, Pennsylvania. A Paterno Fellow and Schreyer Scholar, she is graduating with bachelor of arts degrees in global and international studies and international politics, with minors in Spanish and German. Baumgartner had the opportunity to study abroad in both Spain and Chile and participated in the Penn State UNESCO Youth as Researchers Program. She also participated in Outdoor School through Shaver's Creek Environmental Center. After graduation, Baumgartner hopes to pursue opportunities related to social justice and nonprofit work in the D.C. area.

HISTORY

Aileen McKinstry is the daughter of Susan Troiler-McKinstry and Herb McKinstry of State College, Pennsylvania. A Paterno Fellow and Schreyer Scholar, she is graduating with bachelor of arts degrees in history and English and a minor in music performance. McKinstry was a member of the Penn State Philharmonic and Concert Choir. She studied abroad in London and worked as a writing tutor at the Penn State Learning Center. In the fall, McKinstry will pursue her master’s degree in American history.

INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

Panini Pandya is the daughter of Darshini and Chaitanya Pandya of Allentown, Pennsylvania. A Paterno Fellow and Schreyer Scholar, she is graduating with bachelor of arts degrees in international politics, Spanish, and history and a minor in geography. Pandya was a coder for the McCourtney Institute for Democracy, as well as the 2019 Donor and Alumni Relations Chair for Springfield Benefiting THON. After serving on the executive board of State of State for three years, she became its executive director for 2020. After graduation, Pandya will complete a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Fellowship in Colombia.

LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT RELATIONS

Cory Steinle is the son of Leanne and Brett Steinle of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. A Paterno Fellow and Schreyer Scholar, he is graduating with bachelor of science degrees in labor and employment relations and communication arts and sciences, a master of science degree in human resources and employee relations, and minors in business and the liberal arts and English. In addition to being a member of the Presidential Leadership Academy, Steinle was a graduate teaching fellow and a research assistant. He traveled to six different countries throughout his college experience. After graduation, Steinle will join Deloitte as a human capital analyst in Rosslyn, Virginia.

PHILOSOPHY

David Witmer is the son of Mark and Cindy Witmer of Ephrata, Pennsylvania. He is graduating with a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy and minors in Jewish studies, English, and religious studies. Prior to Penn State, Witmer was an electronics maintenance technician with the U.S. Marine Corps. As a student, he worked for the Penn State Office of Veterans Programs. He was a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Novel Club at Penn State. Witmer participated in the Penn State Choir and Campus Choir and volunteered with Out in the Cold Homeless Ministry and the Altoona VA Medical Center. After graduation, Witmer will work for Target as an executive team leader.

POLITICAL SCIENCE

Andrew Bernstein is the son of Karen and Mark Bernstein of Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. A Paterno Fellow and Schreyer Scholar, he is graduating with bachelor of arts degrees in political science and Spanish and a minor in economics. Bernstein served as an executive board member for Penn State Alternative Breaks and studied abroad in Santiago, Chile. He also interned at the Centre County Public Defender’s Office, focusing on child welfare law. After graduation, Bernstein will attend law school seeking a career in the public interest.

PSYCHOLOGY

Lena Becker is the daughter of Regina and Michael Becker of Elysburg, Pennsylvania. A Paterno Fellow and Schreyer Scholar, she is graduating with a bachelor of science degree in psychology and a bachelor of arts degree in Spanish. Becker was a lab manager and clinical interviewer for the Personality, Psychopathology, and Psychotherapy Lab and studied abroad in Puebla, Mexico. She interned with the Yale-New Haven Hospital Department of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology. In addition, she volunteered with Centre County PAWS. After graduation, Becker will be a researcher and diagnostician at Brown University’s Medical School.

ROTC

August Pasquale is the son of August and Lori Pasquale of Severna Park, Maryland. He is graduating with a bachelor of arts degree in political science and a bachelor of science degree in finance. Pasquale studied abroad in Italy and England; he also interned with U.S. Representative Andy Harris and with Northrop Grumman, an aerospace and defense company. Pasquale was a flight commander in the Air Force ROTC at Penn State and a reporter for The Daily Collegian. After graduation, Pasquale will serve as an acquisitions officer in the United States Air Force.

SOCIOLOGY

Leah DeLancey is the daughter of Douglas and Toni DeLancey of Arlington, Virginia. She is graduating with bachelor of arts degrees in sociology and political science. DeLancey was a teaching assistant and undergraduate research assistant in the college. She also was a Panhellenic recruitment counselor and the policy and standards board chair for Pi Beta Phi. DeLancey interned with the Student Engagement Network, the U.S. House of Representatives, and Huntington Ingalls Industries. After graduation, DeLancey plans to work in politics in Washington, D.C., before pursuing a master’s degree in national defense.

SPANISH, ITALIAN, AND PORTUGUESE

Christopher Abraham is the son of Lori and Todd Abraham of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A Paterno Fellow and Schreyer Scholar, he is graduating with bachelor of arts degrees in Spanish and English. Abraham was the president of the Spanish Immersion Club and earned his Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages certificate from Penn State while studying abroad in Ecuador. He volunteered with Young Life. After graduation, Abraham will serve as a literacy coordinator in the Dominican Republic through the Peace Corps.

WOMEN’S, GENDER, AND SEXUALITY STUDIES

Clara Miller is the daughter of Julie and Michael Miller of Tully, New York. She is graduating with a bachelor of science degree in women’s studies and a minor in plant pathology. She was the service chair for Triota and the president of the Blooms and Shrooms Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology organization. Miller was also an undergraduate researcher for the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences and the College of Agricultural Sciences. After graduation, Miller will work in disability support services while applying to graduate school.

WORLD CAMPUS

Matt Solovey is the husband of Jade Kelly Solovey and the father of Jayden Solovey and Arianna Miletta. He is graduating with a bachelor of science degree in organizational leadership. Solovey is an experienced communications professional, writer, and editor in healthcare, academia, and print journalism. He is currently the director of communication for the Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute. Through World Campus, Solovey was a student ambassador and smart track student mentor. He also participated in a summer leadership conference on behalf of World Campus.

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Last Updated April 08, 2020