The Pennsylvania State University-Schreyer Honors College


Collaboration, commitment, excellence, and enterprise are addressed in the values statement developed and adopted by the Schreyer Honors College’s administrative staff. When you visit the college's offices in Atherton Hall, you will see our values prominently displayed. More importantly, you will see staff members working together to put our values into action in all that we do on behalf of the Schreyer Honors College.

Dr. Christian M. M. Brady Dean

Dean Brady came to the Schreyer Honors College in August 2006 from Tulane University, where he directed the honors program and previously had led the university’s Jewish studies program. Dr. Brady holds two advanced degrees from the University of Oxford, a graduate diploma in Jewish studies and a doctorate in Oriental studies with a concentration in ancient Hebrew and Jewish literature, the former obtained simultaneously while completing a master’s degree in biblical and theological studies from Wheaton College. His baccalaureate degree, in Near Eastern studies and history, is from Cornell University. Dr. Brady possesses a unique blend of dynamic teaching, focused academic research, and broad administrative experience. When asked about his plans for the honors college, he replies, “Schreyer Scholars will become the standard of undergraduate excellence in intellect, character, moral fortitude, and leadership. Any high school student in Pennsylvania and the United States who wants to become a leader in any field or industry will look to the Schreyer Honors College and Penn State.”

Upon looking into Dr. Brady’s office, one can immediately see his many academic interests, as demonstrated by bookshelves full of much-loved books, with vintage Macintosh computers used as bookends. His connection with students is evidenced by a Jelly Belly machine given to him by a former student. The video "Conversation with the Dean" offers insights into how the dean puts students first.

Dr. Brady enjoys living in State College with his wife Elizabeth and daughter Isabel (Izzy).

He encourages Scholars and alumni to contact him any time via email at Follow him on Twitter @shcdean or find him on Facebook.

For the dean’s latest thoughts on life at the Schreyer Honors College, see his dynamic blog and podcasts. The podcasts feature engaging conversations with Scholars, his State of the College address, and his vision for the future of the honors college.

Dr. Nichola Gutgold Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

Dr. Gutgold joined the Schreyer Honors College in July 2013. Dr. Gutgold has been a part of Penn State since 1990. Before coming to the SHC, she enjoyed teaching speech at Penn State Lehigh Valley where she won numerous awards, led student groups through Europe and China, and was promoted to professor of communication arts and sciences in 2013. She has authored or co-authored six books on women's rhetoric in male-dominated fields including "The Rhetoric of Supreme Court Women: From Obstacles to Options" and "Gender and the American Presidency: Nine Presidential Women and the Barriers They Faced," which were both published in 2012. She is the recipient of the Pennsylvania Communication Association's Donald H. Ecroyd Award for Research. Her other research interests include the pedagogy of speech and technology integration in the classroom.

Dr. Gutgold works with all curricular and academic aspects of the Schreyer Honors College, including course scheduling, thesis coordination, the Integrated Undergraduate-Graduate Program, the Distinguished Honors Faculty Program, and many other facets of the college.

Dr. Gutgold earned her Ph.D. in speech communication from Penn State, her M.A. in speech communication from Bloomsburg University, and graduated at age 20 from King's College where she earned a double major in mass communications and English. Her motto is: "Speak up and speak well!"

Join her conversations on Twitter @SHCAcademicDean. Dr. Gutgold can be reached via e-mail at

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Dr. Michele "Mitch" Kirsch Associate Dean for Student Affairs

Dr. Kirsch joined the SHC in August 2005. Dr. Kirsch is responsible for the management and operations of the college as well as recruiting and marketing. She brings a wealth of experience to this position, having served as the MBA admissions director at both Penn State and Indiana University. Dr. Kirsch received her B.A. in history and a teaching certificate from Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pa., M.S. in education from Indiana University in Bloomington, and doctoral degree in counseling and personnel from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. You may reach Dr. Kirsch at

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Chris Arbutina College Relations Assistant

Chris has been a member of the SHC staff since February 2007. Prior to joining the honors college, Chris worked at Penn State Outreach in Continuing Education and with Penn State Public Broadcasting. Her background also includes journalism (she was the features editor at the Centre Daily Times) and nonprofit marketing and volunteer management. In the SHC, Chris' role is to promote the college to prospective students and their families and regularly update alumni and friends of the college's news and activities.

Chris is a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, weed whacks her perennial gardens each fall in the hopes that lush blooming plants will follow in the spring, enjoys knitting (but can't yet purl), and can make apple strudel from scratch. She enjoys many outdoor activities, including kayaking and cross-country skiing. You can contact Chris with questions at

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Jenny Blew Administrative Support Assistant, Admissions

Jenny joined the Schreyer Honors College in January 2010. Jenny’s responsibilities include assisting with the planning and production of admissions events, processing of applications, and managing the faculty readers. She also works behind the scenes on many projects to keep the admissions process running smoothly.

Jenny lives in State College and enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She is a 1984 graduate of Penn State and is part of four generations to attend PSU. You can contact Jenny with questions at

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Lisa Breon Administrative Support Assistant, Presidential Leadership Academy

Lisa joined the Schreyer Honors College and the Presidential Leadership Academy in March 2009. She is responsible for providing support to the Academy's director and the Schreyer Honors College's college relations coordinator. Before coming to the Presidential Leadership Academy, Lisa worked in the College of Communications.

Originally from North Carolina, Lisa lives in Aaronsburg with her husband. When she is not at work she enjoys baking, quilting, making jewelry, or spending warm afternoons by the pool. You can reach Lisa at

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Corinna Bressler Business Manager

Corinna began her career at Penn State in 1992 in the College of Agricultural Sciences. Throughout her tenure, she has worked in various colleges on the University Park campus. Her responsibilities include managing the SHC’s financial records and scholarships. You can contact Corinna with financial questions at

Liz Brown headshot

Liz Brown Graduate Assistant

Liz joined the SHC team in August 2012. Liz is currently pursuing a M.Ed. in college student affairs at Penn State. Liz works with the SHC staff on a variety of special projects dedicated to enhancing the undergraduate student experience for Scholars at Penn State. Liz will graduate with master's degrees in public administration and education in spring 2014. A Wyoming native, Liz earned her undergraduate degree in political science and was a graduate of the Honors Program at the University of Wyoming.

In her free time, Liz enjoys reading and traveling - particularly road trips! You can contact Liz with questions at

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Melissa Doberstein Director, Presidential Leadership Academy Diversity Coordinator

Melissa has been the Schreyer Honors College Diversity Coordinator since September 2012. Melissa is also the Director of the Presidential Leadership Academy. Previously, Melissa worked as a coordinator in the Office of Residence Life and as the student volunteer coordinator in the Undergraduate Admissions Office at Penn State. A Long Island native, she earned her undergraduate degree in political science and her master’s degree in higher education administration at The State University of New York at Buffalo.

Melissa enjoys spending time with her husband, two Siberian Huskies, and a cat. She is also a Penn State Fitness instructor.

If you have questions about diversity programming, feel free to contact Melissa at

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Dan Hansel IT Consultant

Dan joined the Schreyer Honors College in April 2009. Dan graduated with a bachelor of science degree from Penn State's College of Information Sciences and Technology in 2007 with certificates in security and risk analysis and information technology consulting. Dan's primary responsibilities are network and server administration, support for the general technology needs of SHC, and other projects critical to the SHC's success.

Dan is an outdoorsman, enjoys sports, is an avid archery hunter, and loves to play summer men's softball. You can reach Dan at

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Tom Harrington Web Programmer

Tom joined the Schreyer Honors College in September 2013. Born and raised in central Pennsylvania, Tom graduated from Penn State with a B.S. in meteorology with a concentration in weather communications. He furthered his education after graduation by obtaining a master's certificate in web design from Sessions Online School of Design. In his time working at Penn State, Tom has been involved in a wide variety of projects, including the redesign of the Schedule of Courses, eLion, and FTCAP websites.

Tom lives in Pleasant Gap with his wife and daughter. He is a die-hard sports fan, lover of music, and craft beer connoisseur. You can contact Tom at

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Whitney Hinze Graduate Assistant, Presidential Leadership Academy

Whitney joined the Presidential Leadership Academy in August of 2013. She assists with student blogs, classes, programming, mentoring, and assessment.

Previously, Whitney attended Texas A&M University where she graduated with a B.S. in agricultural business and certificates in international business and international trade and agriculture.

When she’s away from her desk, Whitney enjoys travelling, being outdoors, playing/watching sports, listening to music, saying "Y’all," and spending time with family and friends. You can reach Whitney at

Jessica Hoffman headshot

Jessica Hoffman Alumni Relations Coordinator

Jessica joined the Schreyer Honors College in July 2012. Hoffman works in the Development and Alumni Relations office providing support to the director and associate director of development, coordinating events, and striving to engage Scholar alumni with the College and with each other.

Hoffman came to Penn State as a graduate student, then became a staff member in the Office of the Vice President for Research in September 2010. She graduated with her master of education in higher education in May 2013. Hoffman's graduate research focused on access to and aspirations for postsecondary education for rural Pennsylvania students. Hoffman is a 2010 graduate of the Cook Honors College at Indiana University of Pennsylvania with bachelor of arts degrees in English and theater.

When outside of the office, Hoffman enjoys spending time with her husband and Jack Russell terrier on their family farm in Karthaus, Pa. You can reach Jessica at

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Lisa Kerchinski Coordinator of Career Development

Lisa is responsible for career and professional programming as well as counseling and advising Scholars regarding internships, scholarships, graduate school applications, and job searches. Lisa joined Penn State in 2003 as a graduate program coordinator and continuing education instructor at The Lancaster Center. At University Park, Lisa has served as the internship coordinator for the College of the Liberal Arts, a career coach for the Smeal MBA program, and as the assistant director of alumni career services. Prior to joining Penn State, Lisa was employed in higher education in career development, student affairs, development, and continuing education.

Lisa earned her bachelor's degree in communications at Bowling Green State University and her master's degree in higher education administration at Indiana University. You can reach Lisa via email at

Deb King headshot

Deb King Administrative Support Assistant, Career Development and Student Records

Deb joined the Schreyer Honors College in September 2012. Deb’s responsibilities include providing support to the career development and student records coordinators. She assists with the planning of career programming events, sending weekly career listserv announcements, scheduling student appointments, collecting resumes for internship/job postings, and managing the Career Development Facebook page. Deb also is involved in coordinating the Summer Internship/Research Grants, senior surveys, and Thesis Day.

Deb lives in Stormstown and enjoys spending time with her family and nine grandchildren. You can contact Deb with questions at

Beth Kocher Gormley Coordinator of College Relations

Beth joined the Schreyer Honors College in February 2014. She brings a unique perspective to the team with international experience in advertising, marketing, and event management from Ireland and Australia as well as the U.S. In her previous role as head of social media for the international award-winning Brando Advertising Agency in Dublin, Beth developed engagement strategies for a client base ranging from small businesses to multinational corporations. One campaign, #Tweetsweets, a Twitter-controlled candy machine, won “Most Innovative Use of Social Media” at the 2012 Irish Social Media Awards.

Passionate about promoting the arts and education, Beth earned a bachelor’s degree in art history and international studies from Penn State and a master’s degree in art curatorship from the University of Melbourne, Australia. This led to her role as the pied piper of events at various arts and educational institutions, most notably the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin in Ireland and Penn State World Campus.

At the Schreyer Honors College, she combines her love of communication, social media and design to find creative ways to inform, engage, and inspire the Penn State’s honors community. If you have a question about the Schreyer Honors College please contact Beth at or (814) 863-4582. Share ideas with her on Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter.

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Nathan Leopard Associate Director of Development

Nathan joined the Schreyer Honors College staff in February 2013. Previously, he worked in Penn State’s Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life before serving as vice president of development at Affinity Connection and as distinguished giving director with the American Cancer Society. In his role, Nathan will be working with alumni, parents and friends of the Schreyer Honors College to raise philanthropic support for the college.

Nathan has a bachelor of science in public relations from Northwest Missouri State University and a master of science in college student personnel from Miami University. He lives in the State College area with his wife, Jen, who works in student activities at Penn State, and daughter, Caroline. Nathan enjoys following sports and cinema, keeping up with his family, and spending time in his role as a dad.

Nathan can be reached at

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Lisa Mellott Administrative Assitant to the Dean

Lisa came to the Schreyer Honors College in November 2010. She began her career at Penn State in 1989 and worked in Pattee Library, the Eberly College of Science, the Undergraduate Admissions Office, and the Smeal College of Business before coming to the SHC. Lisa’s primary responsibility is providing support to the dean. She manages the dean’s calendar and assists the dean with strategic planning, budget, and annual reports. She provides staff support to the director of administrative operations, the IT manager, the SHC External Advisory Board, as well as various committees and task forces. She also updates various web pages and works closely with the other SHC staff assistants.

Lisa lives in the Stormstown area with her wonderful husband, Bob, and her son, Mason. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends and attending sporting events. You can contact Lisa with questions at

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Rosanna Mersinger Administrative Support Assistant, Student Programs

Rosanna provides administrative support to the student programs coordinator. Her other responsibilities include: assisting Scholars with general housing concerns, sending the weekly listserv announcements, and serving as support to the Schreyer Honors College Scholar Assistants. If you have questions or concerns in any of these areas, stop by her desk in C-4 Atherton Hall.

Rosanna lives in Coburn with her husband Duane. They have two daughters and four grandchildren. She is very active in fundraising events which support her local fire company, and she enjoys reading. Feel free to stop by and say hello when you are in Atherton Hall. You may contact Rosanna at

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Donna Meyer Coordinator of Student Programs

Donna began her career at Penn State in the University Scholars Program in 1989 and years later assumed the role of the College's first coordinator of alumni relations. Today, Donna coordinates student engagement and signature programming. She serves as co-adviser to the SHC Student Council, supervises the Scholar Assistant Team and, coordinates the fall orientation for incoming Scholars.

Donna is a graduate of Centre Business School, Inc., and a 2006 graduate of Leadership Centre County. In her spare time, Donna enjoys traveling, barbershop and doowop music, baseball, musicals, and playing the piano. You can contact her at

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Sean Miller Director of Development and Alumni Relations

Sean joined the SHC team in January 2012. Previously, he was the associate director of development for the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences and the development assistant in the Office of Gift Planning at Penn State. Sean is responsible for raising major gifts as part of "For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students" and for completing a $100 million campaign in support of honors education at Penn State.

Miller obtained his B.A. in political science from Penn State in 2005. He serves on the board of directors for Penn State Hillel and the Centre Country Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association. He also serves as immediate past president and treasurer for the Parmi Nous Alumni Interest Group. In addition, he serves as a member of the fundraising committee for the Pink Zone, a charity in support of breast cancer research and funding that is centered on the Penn State Lady Lions Basketball team.

You can contact Sean with questions about how to make a gift, community and alumni involvement, or how to get involved with Penn State’s Schreyer Honors College philanthropy at

Debra Rodgers headshot

Debra Rodgers Coordinator of Student Records

Debra joined the Schreyer Honors College in November 2008. A Penn State graduate with a B.S. in psychology, Debra is responsible for monitoring student records and overseeing semester grade audits, academic plans, theses, and graduation checkouts.

She is the proud mother of two daughters who are currently enrolled at Penn State and resides with her husband, Brett, outside of State College. She enjoys walks, camping, movie nights with her husband, and loves to develop and explore her creative side with new recipes, crafts, and hobbies.

Scholars with questions regarding their status in the college are encouraged to stop in C-4 Atherton or make an appointment to meet with her. Debra can be reached at

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Allison Siebenmann Administrative Support Assistant, Development and Alumni Relations

Allison joined the Schreyer Honors College in November 2012. Allison’s primary responsibilities include providing support to the director of development and alumni relations, associate director of development and alumni relations, and the alumni relations coordinator.

Allison received her bachelor's degree in public relations from the University of Oregon. While working toward her degree, she interned in the University of Oregon athletic department's media relations office. You can contact Allison with questions at

Taren Smith headshot

Taren Smith Admissions Coordinator

Taren joined the Schreyer Honors College in June 2012. She oversees all steps in the admissions process, from meeting with prospective students and their families to managing application review. Taren began her career with Penn State in 2008 as an admissions counselor at the Hazleton campus and transitioned to University Park in 2010. While in this position, she represented Penn State within Pennsylvania and also across the country. Taren received her bachelor of science in paralegal studies at Lock Haven University in 2007.

Taren lives in State College and can often be found enjoying downtown shopping and dining. She enjoys traveling to visit friends and family and is a fan of many sports, especially hockey. You can reach Taren at

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Dr. Richard Stoller Coordinator of Academic Advising and International Programs

Dr. Stoller is the Coordinator of Academic Advising and International Programs, a position he has held since 2012. He was the SHC Coordinator of Selection and International Programs from 1998 to 2012. Dr. Stoller graduated from Wesleyan University and holds a Ph.D. in Latin American history from Duke University. Prior to coming to Penn State, he taught at Dickinson College and Philadelphia University. He has published several articles about 19th- and 20th-century Colombian history, and he has translated articles for Latin American Perspectives and a book for Duke University Press.

Scholars are encouraged to contact Dr. Stoller at for information about international research and study opportunities.

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Tom Weber IT Director

Tom joined the Schreyer Honors College in December 2008. Tom grew up on a dairy farm in eastern Pennsylvania, graduated from Penn State with a bachelor of science degree in agricultural engineering, and spent more than 24 years providing technology services to the College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State. During his time with the College of Ag, he played key roles in the creation of its computer infrastructure. He was also on the team that developed PEN*PAGES, one of the first electronic public information sources for Cooperative Extension information in the country.

Tom lives in Boalsburg with his wife and daughter and can be seen most weekends working around the house, researching family history, and (of course) tinkering with computers. You may contact Tom at

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