Milan Liu selected Earth and Mineral Sciences 2020 summer student marshal

Patricia Craig
August 04, 2020

Milan Liu was selected to represent the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences as the student marshal for Penn State's summer commencement, which will be held virtually at 2 p.m. Aug. 15.

Liu is graduating summa cum laude with a 4.0 grade-point average with a double major in geography and international politics, a minor in Chinese and a certificate in geographic information science. Her faculty marshal is Roger Downs, professor of geography.

“I was incredibly excited when I learned I was selected as the student marshal,” Liu said. Over the past four years, I have truly found a home in the Department of Geography and College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. I feel incredibly honored to be recognized and am thankful to be able to represent the college in this capacity. This achievement certainly would not have been possible without the support of my community during my time at Penn State.”

A Schreyer Honors Scholar, Milan received numerous awards including the Evan Pugh Scholar Award, Geography Alumni Scholars (Outstanding Student) Award, President’s Sparks Award, Usharani C. and C. Channa Reddy Mission Award in the Schreyer Honors College, John H. Ferguson Award, President’s Freshman Award, and Provost’s Award.

Liu also was the recipient of many scholarships including the Schreyer Honors College Academic Excellence Scholarship, G. D. Richardson and Kathy LaSauce Undergraduate Scholarship in Geography in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, and Thomas R. and Joan G. Dye Scholarship in Political Science.

During her college career, Liu was an intern in State College Borough’s Planning and Neighborhood Services Department and a GeoPathways intern with the Federal Geographic Data Committee. She also served as president of the Gamma Theta Upsilon, a geography honor society.

Liu’s honors thesis research examined the impacts of climate change on global geopolitics, focusing on melting permafrost and energy extraction in Siberia, as well as melting sea ice and commercial shipping in the Arctic.  

After graduation, Liu aspires to work in government.

“I hope to work for the federal government in some capacity, using my background in geography and international affairs to confront the challenges our world is facing,” Liu said. “I intend to go back to graduate school in a few years.”

A native of State College, Pennsylvania, Liu is the daughter of Maren Larson and Ying Liu.

In accordance with public health guidelines to minimize large gatherings and maintain social distancing, Penn State will once again livestream a virtual commencement ceremony at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 15, to honor the 2020 class of summer graduates. When it is safe for large gatherings to occur again, graduates and their families will be invited back for in-person celebrations.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated August 04, 2020