Student makes his mark through emcee duties during Homecoming

Emma Riglin
October 12, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — While this year’s Penn State Homecoming events are different from past years, one thing hasn’t changed: the positivity and excitement that Homecoming emcee Brett Randby has for the event.

Randby, senior information sciences and technology student, exudes positive energy. Perhaps that’s why he was asked to serve as emcee for the second consecutive year. In this role, his duties are to engage audiences, promote events and essentially be the face of Homecoming.

"Homecoming provides such an amazing sense of community and really makes you feel that you're part of the Penn State family. I couldn't be more thankful that I’m able to give back and be involved in that experience."

— Brett Randby, senior information sciences and technology student at Penn State

“My role, at its core, is to make sure that people are having a good time and feeling the Penn State spirit,” said Randby.

Randby first got involved with Homecoming when he joined the talent relations committee last year. After dancing in THON 2019 as a sophomore for special interest organization HEAL, he realized that he had a talent for engaging crowds and keeping spirits high.

“I think what really inspired me to become emcee was realizing the impact I am able to have on other people,” said Randby. “I’m that person who brings the most energy, enthusiasm and optimism to any kind of environment, so I just wanted to use my skills to give back to the Penn State community.”

Randby applied to be emcee without truly knowing what the job entailed, but he said the rest is history. The role has allowed him to grow his friendships and meet new people. Through his involvement, he realized what Homecoming means to the Penn State community and to him.

“What's so amazing about Penn State's Homecoming is the history and tradition involved with it,” he said. “Last year was the 100th year of Penn State Homecoming, and for me, just being one piece of that extremely large puzzle made me feel like I'm leaving my impact on Penn State.”

Although COVID-19 has posed challenges, student leaders including Randby are determined to make this year’s Homecoming as special as ever. Both in-person and virtual events are being held throughout Homecoming week.

“We're trying to do as much as we can with the resources that we have,” said Randby. “Even though it is virtual, there's so much effort put into it and it's going to be a very high-caliber event. I think it [being virtual] just provides the opportunity to have a lot more fun with it.”

In addition to Homecoming, Randby is also a brother of the Delta Sigma Pi business fraternity, a THON 2021 dancer relations committee member and an IST Diplomat. Randby said he chose the College of IST because he felt that it was the perfect combination of business and technology.

“I have the best of both worlds; I’ve gotten the technical skills and intimate classroom experience from the IST degree, and Homecoming and everything else I've been involved with has given me extremely valuable interpersonal skills and allowed me to come out of my comfort zone and become the person I am today,” he said.

Randby said that his role with Homecoming and the rest of his involvement has been the pinnacle of his college experience.

“There's so much potential to get involved at Penn State,” said Randby. “I think at the end of the day, it's really how much initiative that you take to make your Penn State experience the best it can possibly be.”

He concluded, “Homecoming provides such an amazing sense of community and really makes you feel that you're part of the Penn State family. I couldn't be more thankful that I’m able to give back and be involved in that experience."

Last Updated October 16, 2020