Andrew Bernstein selected as political science marshal

Michaela Harpster
May 05, 2020

As part of Penn State’s 2020 spring commencement activities, Andrew Bernstein will represent the Department of Political Science 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.


Bernstein, a Paterno Fellow and Schreyer Scholar, will graduate with bachelor of arts degrees in political science and Spanish, with a minor in economics. His faculty marshal is Michael Nelson, Jeffrey L. Hyde and Sharon D. Hyde and Political Science Board of Visitors Early Career Professor in Political Science. 


During his time at Penn State, Bernstein took advantage of several enrichment opportunities. He interned at the Centre County Public Defender’s Office, where he assessed the relationships between dependent youth and their biological parents during child welfare agency meetings. As an intern, he also had the opportunity to shadow the public defender in court. Bernstein also served as an executive board member for Penn State Alternative Breaks. In this role, he conducted thesis research about how the Board of Immigration Appeals makes decisions, helped organize trips surrounding topics of social justice, created new goals for the growth of the organization, and even helped refugees acclimate to the United States by bolstering their English language development. 


When Bernstein studied abroad in Santiago, Chile, he achieved Spanish fluency. All of his classes were taught in Spanish, which helped him immerse himself in the rich culture while learning about politics and social justice. This experience inspired Bernstein to conduct research about inter-branch conflict in South American governments when he returned to campus.


Reflecting on his time at Penn State, Bernstein attributes his acceptance to law school to his liberal arts education. 


“My cross-disciplinary perspective certainly helped to differentiate me from other law school applicants,” he said. “By empowering me to focus on intersectionality in my approach to problem solving, my liberal arts education will continue to benefit me in the future as a critical thinker."


Next year, Bernstein will attend law school seeking a career in the public interest. 


Bernstein offers the following advice to liberal arts first-year students for an enriching experience at Penn State. 


“I would encourage these freshmen to explore the many opportunities that the College of the Liberal Arts has to offer,” he said. “If they can, they should seek to study abroad, research, build relationships with faculty, and get involved in both the Penn State community and the surrounding communities.”


This is the 20th 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 May 05, 2020