College of Education presents Undergraduate Student Leadership and Service Award

April 24, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State College of Education is publishing brief profiles of faculty, staff and students who would have been honored at the annual spring appreciation and awards luncheon. 

Faculty, staff and students who have made significant contributions to their fields were selected through nomination letters prompted by their outstanding service and dedication to their job.

Taylor Young

Taylor Young is this year's winner of the Undergraduate Student Leadership and Service Award given by the College of Education.

IMAGE: Jim Carlson

Today’s featured award winner is Taylor Young, who received the college’s Undergraduate Student Leadership and Service Award. 

Young is a 4.0 GPA student in her secondary English education major who also is working on minors in English and education policy studies as well as a certificate in teaching English as a second language. She is a Schreyer Honors College Scholar and she serves on the College of Education Undergraduate Student Council.

“Taylor invests deeply and takes advantage of opportunities; she is all in,” said College of Education Associate Dean Rayne Sperling. “Her positive presence at college events is well known. In a college with thousands of students, the dean, assistant and associate deans and many faculty members know Taylor by name.

“I must also share that Taylor is truly an exceptional person,” Sperling said. “She is always positive. Literally, I have never seen her behave without grace. I have never heard her say anything negative to anyone. Taylor is among the very top few of thousands of students and prospective graduate students I have encountered as a faculty member and administrator.”

Young completed five upper-level undergraduate courses that constitute the Teaching ESL Program Specialist Certificate Program with associate teaching professor Elizabeth Smolcic. 

“Taylor was not only the most curious and engaged student in the group, but I would place her among the top 1% of students that we have worked with over the more than 10 years of the program,” Smolcic said. “I encourage you to get to know her during her remaining time on campus; you will be glad that you were able to experience her enthusiasm and bright mind and spirit.”

Sarah Moryken, the college’s recruitment and retention coordinator, has worked with Young in a variety of capacities and has been extremely impressed.

“Taylor always has a smile on her face and can light up a room with her positive nature,” Moryken said. “Quite simply, it is infectious and refreshing. Taylor makes the College of Education a better community.”

Award winners are:

  • Undergraduate Student Leadership and Service Award: Taylor Young
  • Outstanding Teaching Award: Uju Anya
  • Outstanding Senior Researcher Award: Gerald LeTendre
  • Outstanding Junior Researcher Award: Jennifer Frank
  • Cotterill Leadership Enhancement Award: Ashley Patterson
  • Career Achievement Award: Simon Hooper
  • Climate Enhancement Award: JT Taylor
  • Outstanding Staff Award: Megan Foster and Darlene Kolesar
  • Graduate Student Recognition Award: Kaela Fuentes-Packnick

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated May 06, 2020