Aimee Pizarchik selected as Asian studies student marshal

Amanda Miller
April 27, 2020

As part of Penn State’s 2020 spring commencement activities, Aimee Pizarchik will represent the Department of Asian Studies in the College of the Liberal Arts as the department’s student marshal.

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.

Pizarchik, a Paterno Fellow and Schreyer Scholar, will graduate with bachelor of arts degrees in Asian studies and Chinese and a bachelor of science degree in security risk analysis. Her faculty marshal is Ying Feng Kline, lecturer in Chinese. 

During her time at Penn State, Pizarchik engaged in several opportunities to advance her studies in Chinese. During her first year, she participated in the Penn State-Nanjing Exchange Program. As part of Penn State’s cooperative with Nanjing University, Pizarchik was an exchange partner and hosted exchange students during the fall semester before traveling to Nanjing in the spring. She spent a year in Kunming, China after she received two Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships. The fellowship supported her intensive language study of Chinese, and she completed a rigorous language study program with a Mandarin language pledge in Yunnan, China. Her honors thesis explores the region she studied abroad in, and in her research she compiled a localized regional history of the Sino-Vietnamese border town Hekou in Yunnan, China from the late Qing dynasty to the mid-twentieth century. 

In addition to her study abroad experiences, Pizarchik served as a resident assistant in the Information Science and Technology (IST) Special Living Option and worked at the Paterno Library’s Interlibrary Loan Office. Last summer, Pizarchik interned at Security Risk Advisors, a cybersecurity consulting firm in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As a Governance, Risk, and Compliance Intern, she conducted cybersecurity maturity assessments and developed an internal cybersecurity policy framework. She was a recipient of the Virginia Todd Chapel Executive Internship Program award to support her internship experience.  

Next year, Pizarchik will pursue a doctoral degree in history at the University of Chicago and plans to focus her research on Southwest China during the early Republic period. As she prepares for the next step, she reflects on the importance of her liberal arts education. “My Penn State education has afforded me a competitive edge as I enter the next stage of my academic journey. The College of the Liberal Arts' strong interdisciplinary core has prepared me to contribute to intellectual conversations within and beyond my field of study.”

To current liberal arts students, Pizarchik offers the following advice. “A liberal arts degree can be as multifaceted as you choose to make it. Be prepared to take advantage of the college's extensive resources to tailor your degree to fit your own needs and interests.”

This is the 10th in a series of stories on the 24 student marshals representing the College of the Liberal Arts during the spring 2020 commencement activities.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated April 27, 2020