Dedicated Support Staff
The Schreyer Honors College staff values collaboration, commitment, excellence, and enterprise. When you visit the College's offices in Atherton and Simmons Halls, you will see staff members putting these values into action in all that we do on behalf of the Honors College and our Scholars.Organizational Chart
Office of the Dean
Dr. Peggy Johnson Dean
Dr. Peggy Johnson, a Professor of Civil Engineering in the College of Engineering, became Dean of the Schreyer Honors College in July 2017. She has been a Penn State faculty member since 1996 and was the Head of the Civil and Environmental Engineering department for nine years. Dr. Johnson received her bachelor's degree in geological sciences from New Mexico State University and her master's degree and Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of Maryland at College Park. In October 2020, she announced her intent to retire from Penn State in August 2021.
Dr. Johnson is a Fellow and past president of the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Environmental and Water Resources Institute (ASCE-EWRI) and has published numerous papers in peer-reviewed journals on bridge scour (sediment), stream restoration, uncertainty in hydraulics, and the probability of scour-related bridge failure. Her stability assessment method for bridge-stream intersections is incorporated as part of the Federal Highway Administration’s manual on stream stability at bridges.
Dr. Johnson is the winner of the ASCE’s Hans Albert Einstein Award, recognizing her work in the area of sediment transport as it applies to control structures and stream restoration projects, and the ASCE-EWRI Margaret S. Petersen Outstanding Woman of the Year award, honoring her mentorship of young women pursuing water-related technical careers. She received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the ASCE-EWRI in 2019. She also is the recipient of the Penn State Howard B. Palmer Faculty Mentoring Award for her outstanding mentorship of junior faculty. In April 2021, the Honors College named an educational equity scholarship in her honor.
Before coming to Penn State, she held a faculty position in Civil Engineering at the University of Maryland and served as a Graduate Research Fellow at the Federal Highway Administration in Virginia.
You may reach Dr. Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Keefe Manning Associate Dean
Dr. Manning joined the Schreyer Honors College in January 2017. A professor with the Penn State Department of Biomedical Engineering, he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in bioengineering from Texas A&M University and earned his doctorate degree in biomedical engineering from Virginia Commonwealth University. He joined Penn State as a postdoctoral scholar in 2001 and became an assistant professor in 2004. He was also a visiting professor at Politecnico di Milano in Milan, Italy in 2013-2014. He is the director of the Artificial Heart and the Cardiovascular Fluid Dynamics Laboratories with funding from the American Heart Association, the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, U.S. Army, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, foundations and industry.
Dr. Manning is a member of the American Heart Association, the American Society for Mechanical Engineers, the American Society for Engineering Education, and the Biomedical Engineering Society. He is an associate editor for Cardiovascular Engineering and Technology and the ASME Journal of Biomechanical Engineering. He received the 2016 Penn State Engineering Alumni Society Outstanding Advising Award.
You may reach Dr. Manning at email@example.com.
Dr. Lynette Yarger Assistant Dean for Equity and Inclusion
Dr. Lynette Yarger joined the Schreyer Honors College in August 2019. An associate professor with the Penn State College of Information Sciences and Technology, she earned her bachelor of science degree in computer information systems from Mercy College, and her master of science and doctoral degrees in computer information systems from Georgia State University.
Yarger served as an Administrative Fellow in the Office of the Vice President for Information Technology and CIO during the 2018-19 academic year. She is a recipient of the National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, the College of IST George J. McMurtry Teaching and Learning Award (2013), and the Penn State Teaching Fellow Award (2014). She is also the recipient of the University of Pittsburgh’s iSchool Inclusion Institute Mentoring Award (2018) for her outstanding mentorship of undergraduate scholars from underrepresented populations.
Before coming to Penn State, she worked as an information technology professional at AT&T, Lucent Technologies, and Avaya Communications.
You may reach Dr. Yarger at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lisa Mellott Executive Assistant 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 College. 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 Assistant Dean for Equity and Inclusion, the External Advisory Board, as well as various committees and task forces. She is also the Parking Coordinator and works closely with other staff assistants.
Lisa lives in the State College area with her husband, Bob and son, Mason who is currently attending Penn State and is part of the Nittany Lion Baseball team. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends and attending various sporting events. You can contact Lisa with questions at email@example.com.
Dr. Richard Stoller Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs
Dr. Stoller is from New York and has an undergraduate degree from Wesleyan (the original, in Connecticut) and a Ph.D. from Duke. He has been with the Honors College since 1998, first with admissions, then with advising, but always working with the College's international programs. He has written several articles on Colombian history and honors education, but never about both in the same article. His most recent publication is here.
Rhonda Demchak Administrative Support Coordinator, Associate Dean
Rhonda began her Penn State career in 2000 and has held various administrative professional roles throughout the University. She joined the Schreyer Honors College in June 2021, providing administrative support to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, including calendar management, budget, and the Distinguished Honors Faculty Program.
Rhonda lives in Philipsburg with her husband, Tom, two pugs, and a cat. In her spare time, Rhonda enjoys playing tennis and golf, riding her motorcycle, and spending time with their children who live nearby.
Sarah Lyall-Combs Coordinator of Academic and International Programs
Sarah joined the Schreyer Honors College in July 2019 after serving as the Associate Director of Penn State's Center for Global Studies (CGS) where she managed the daily operations of the CGS and developed the Center's campus-wide, K-12, and Centre Region network to facilitate and coordinate outreach. She oversaw several key outreach programs including career talks, lecture series, teacher's workshops, and the undergraduate research symposium with the University of Pittsburgh. Sarah has extensive experience in grant writing and administration for international education programs.
Sarah earned a bachelor's degree in economics and French from Ohio Wesleyan University (Delaware, Ohio) and a master's in French from Indiana University (Bloomington).
Sarah enjoys watching sports, listening to music, photography, traveling and spending time with her family.
You can reach Sarah via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Debra Rodgers Coordinator of Academic Advising and Services
Debra plans and implements student-focused programs and services including orientation, Thesis Boot Camps, Thesis Formatting Sessions, Senior Meetings, and the Medals Ceremonies. She also coordinates student records related to the successful enrollment, transition, and graduation of all Schreyer Scholars. Debra supports students through degree audits, Schreyer Plans, theses, graduation checkouts, and overall maintenance of honors requirement records.
Debra joined the Schreyer Honors College in 2008. She has earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Penn State and a Master of Professional Studies in the Psychology of Leadership through Penn State World Campus.
Deyo Olorunnisola Director of Admissions
Deyo joined the Schreyer Honors College in July 2016 after serving as Director of Recruiting for the College of Information Sciences and Technology, and in the Undergraduate Admissions Office prior to that.
Deyo is originally from Nigeria and came to the U.S. as an undergraduate student in 1981. She earned her bachelor's degree in political science from St. Francis College in New York and earned a master’s degree in counselor education from Penn State. She has spent her career working in recruiting and admissions because she is passionate about helping students discover the appropriate path to their life vocation.
When she is not working Deyo enjoys singing, reading, crafting, traveling and spending time with her three children and her husband.
Deyo can be reached at email@example.com.
Benjamin Carr Admissions Counselor
Ben joined the Schreyer Honors College in January 2018 as an Admissions Counselor. Prior to returning to University Park, he served in the same role at Lycoming College, counseling prospective students and their families through the admissions and financial aid processes.
Ben began his Penn State journey as a first-year student at Penn State Altoona before earning his bachelor of science degree in education at University Park in 2013. After he completed his Penn State degree, he taught seventh grade social studies in North Carolina before moving back to Pennsylvania to earn his master's of educational leadership in higher education administration from Bloomsburg University.
Ben enjoys attending sporting events on campus. As a season ticket holder and lifelong Penn State fan, you will find him at Beaver Stadium on fall Saturdays, cheering the Nittany Lions to victory. Ben also enjoys playing golf and hitting the ski slopes in his free time.
Ben can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anmarie Rodriguez Administrative Support Assistant, Admissions
Anmarie joined the Schreyer Honors College in October 2017 as an Administrative Support Assistant. Her primary responsibility is providing support to the director of admissions. Anmarie assists students, parents, and school administrators with admission questions and concerns. She manages the admissions calendar and assists with admission events as well as handling email, incoming mail, and phone calls.
Born and raised in Florida, Anmarie moved to Pennsylvania in 2005 with her wonderful husband, Jose, two daughters, Jessica and Julia, and two cats. Jessica is currently pursuing a degree in architecture at Penn State. Julia is currently attending high school and looking forward to becoming a fellow Nittany Lion as well. Anmarie enjoys spending time with her family and friends and traveling whenever possible to see distant relatives. You may reach Anmarie at email@example.com.
Lisa Kerchinski Director 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shawna Gonsman Administrative Support Assistant, Career Development
Shawna Gonsman joined the Schreyer Honors College in July 2018. She provides administrative support to the Director of Career Development and assists with planning events, managing email, scheduling appointments, and overseeing student groups and programs. She also serves as the College’s chief receptionist, managing telephone and email inquiries and welcoming students, families, alumni, and guests to campus. Shawna graduated from the South Hills School of Business & Technology in 2008 with an associate’s degree in administration.
Shawna lives in Tyrone with her husband Jonathan and two daughters, Evirleigh and Emereigh. In her free time, she likes to spend as much time as possible with her family enjoying all the wonders of nature. Shawna can be reached at email@example.com.
Data Analysis and Assessment
Dr. Chi Nguyen Data Analyst
Dr. Chi Nguyen joined the Schreyer Honors College in June 2019 as a higher education Data Analyst. In this role, she conducts research on honors education and long-term student outcomes to develop and implement assessment strategies that inform decision-making in the College.
Dr. Nguyen holds a dual-title Ph.D. in educational leadership and comparative & international education from Penn State. She received a master’s degree in education, culture, and society from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in international studies from Hanoi University.
Dr. Nguyen studies social justice leadership and access to higher education for socioeconomically disadvantaged students. Her research has been published in high-impact academic journals, including American Educational Research Journal, Education Policy, and Race, Ethnicity, and Education. She is also a published author in Vietnamese. Her book, "A Book about Minimalism," is a bestseller in Vietnam.
Dr. Nguyen may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Development and Alumni Relations
Sean Miller Senior Director of Development and Alumni Relations
Sean Miller obtained his BA in Political Science from Penn State in 2005. His current position is with the Division of Development & Alumni Relations for the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State as the Senior Director of Development and Alumni Relations where he is responsible for raising major gifts and supervising a team of four individuals.
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.
As an undergraduate, Sean was a member of Penn State Hillel, the Undergraduate Student Government, East Halls Residence Association, and the Association of Residence Hall Students. He was also a participant in THON, the largest student-run philanthropy in the world, and served as the Overall Finance Chairman for THON 2004. Also, as an undergraduate, Sean was recognized and honored with membership in the Parmi Nous Senior Honor Society.
Sean is currently heavily involved in the community in State College and Penn State. He serves on the board for the Parmi Nous Alumni Interest Group and serves as the undergraduate advisor for the Parmi Nous Society. He is also a member of the board for the State College Jewish Federation, Congregation Brit Shalom and the Pennsylvania Pink Zone. Sean is also involved with the Young Survival Coalition.
Previously he served on the board of directors for the Centre Country Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association, the Discovery Space Children's Science Museum, Penn State Hillel and the Adoptive Parent Advisory Committee for the Open Arms Adoption Network.
Sean resides in State College with his wife, daughter, and chocolate lab.
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 email@example.com.
Melanie Finocchio Coordinator of Stewardship
Melanie came to the Schreyer Honors College in February 2019. She began her career at Penn State in 1993 and worked in the Office of Human Resources, the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, and Penn State Law before coming to the College. Melanie serves as Coordinator of Stewardship and is responsible for managing the College’s stewardship efforts including endowment spending and eSteward use and training. She also oversees the acknowledgement process for all gifts made to the College.
Melanie lives in Warriors Mark with her husband, Rob and their dog, Duffy. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, outdoor walks, and anything chocolate.
Melanie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Godinez Assistant Director of Development
Jason joined the Schreyer Honors College team in 2019 after serving as a Senior Student Aid Coordinator for the Office of Student Aid, and in the Bursar's Office prior to that. He is responsible for raising major gifts in support of the College. Jason obtained his bachelor's degree in Management from the Smeal College of Business in 2004 and is also a graduate of Leadership Centre County. In his spare time, Jason enjoys spending time with his son, Gavin, and his daughter, Keira. Jason also enjoys a healthy and active lifestyle and loves spending time outdoors, particularly on the golf course. He is also engaged in youth sports in State College.
You can contact Jason with questions about how to make a gift or how to get involved with Schreyer Honors College philanthropy at email@example.com.
Sean Goheen Coordinator of Constituent Relations and Annual Giving
Sean, a Scholar alumnus, returned to the College as a staff member in January 2018, working with Scholar Alumni Society Board, Parents Council, volunteers programs & engagement events, and coordinating annual giving efforts. He is also pursuing an MBA through the Smeal College of Business's Online MBA program.
Sean started at Penn State Berks before earning his bachelor's degrees in both political science with honors and history from the College of the Liberal Arts at UP in 2011. His honors thesis focused on state legislators' educational backgrounds and the effects they have on funding for public higher education. After interning at Penn State Berks in campus life, he earned his Master of Education in Student Personnel Administration in Higher Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2014 and went on to work in student programming at the University of Kentucky.
Sean lives in State College with his wife, Elizabeth, son, Killian, and their three rescue dogs, Julep, Rosie, and Groot. His favorite season is college football season.
Sean can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cheryl Vonada Administrative Support Assistant, Development and Alumni Relations
Cheryl joined the Schreyer Honors College in August 2014. Cheryl’s primary responsibilities include providing support to the director of development and alumni relations, associate director of development and alumni relations, coordinator of stewardship and the coordinator of constituent relations and annual giving.
Cheryl began her career at Penn State in 2008 as part of Penn State Extension in the College of Agricultural Sciences and then serving in the Office of the Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses before coming to the Schreyer Honors College.
Cheryl actively serves as the Chair of the Division of Development and Alumni Relations (DDAR) Staff Support Committee to provide staff support with the tools and resources needed to perform their duties while empowering confidence and positive motivation. She is a community volunteer, dedicated member of the Walker Township Park and Recreation Board, and has served as Judge of Elections for Walker Township West.
If you would like to contact Cheryl she can be reached by emailing email@example.com or simply stop by the Development Office in C-5 Atherton Hall.
Finance and Business
Stephanie Chambers Financial Officer
Stephanie Chambers joined Schreyer Honors College in August 2017. As the Financial Officer of the College, she develops budgets and maintains oversight to ensure compliance of how the funds are spent. Some of her other roles include awarding scholarships and grants and approving financial forms.
Stephanie has worked for Penn State since 1997, in Hospitality Services and the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. Both positions were in the accounting/finance offices. She graduated from Mansfield University with a bachelor's degree in business administration.
Stephanie currently resides in Clarence with her son and daughter. Her free time is spent watching her children play sports, reading, or traveling/camping. She has been on three Disney cruises and counting!
You may reach Stephanie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tom Weber Director of Information Technology
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 email@example.com.
Tyler Davis IT Consultant
Tyler joined the Schreyer Honors College in April 2020. Tyler grew up in northeast Pennsylvania and graduated from Penn State with a bachelor of science degree in kinesiology. Tyler has been with Penn State for 12 years, most recently as an IT Support Specialist with the Enterprise Information Technology Group. There, he helped users with computer issues daily and was heavily involved in the rollout of major computer programs such as Office 365 and Enterprise Active Directory.
Tyler lives in Bellefonte with his wife, his son, Jacob, and his daughter, Katie. He enjoys staying physically active, golfing, and being outdoors when the weather is warm so he can play sports with his kids.
Tyler may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tom Harrington Web Developer
Tom joined the Schreyer Honors College in September 2013, having previously worked as a web designer and developer for other Penn State departments and at AccuWeather. In the Honors College, he is responsible for a wide variety of tasks from web design/development and graphic design to database design and server administration.
Born and raised in central Pennsylvania, Tom graduated from Penn State with a degree in Meteorology in 2005. He furthered his education by obtaining a Master's Certificate in Web Design from Sessions Online School of Design in 2008.
Tom lives in State College with his wife and daughter. He is a die-hard sports fan, music lover and certified nerd. You can contact Tom at email@example.com.
Presidential Leadership Academy
Melissa Doberstein Director, Presidential Leadership Academy
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 bachelor's 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Glorie Josephs Administrative Support Assistant, Presidential Leadership Academy
Glorie Josephs joined the Presidential Leadership Academy in 2019. She is responsible for managing all events and travel, including budget oversight. She collaborates with students, staff, vendors, and alumni across the University to enrich and support the Academy team and to “glorie-fy” office operations.
A Penn State alumna with a Bachelor of Arts in telecommunications, Glorie is originally from Philadelphia. Fun fact: Glorie interned at Marvel Comics in New York City. Glorie spent several years in the advertising world and then moved to State College to run a printing company with her husband. Since 2014, she has worked for the University in client service roles, most recently for the Penn State Alumni Association.
Glorie lives in State College with her husband, Steve, and sons, Cooper and Griffen. She enjoys conversing with the bright stars in the Presidential Leadership Academy, trying new recipes, flowers, and fun. You may reach Glorie at email@example.com.
Wade Bennett Director of Strategic Communications
Wade Bennett joined the Schreyer Honors College in February of 2016 and serves as the college's director of strategic communications. With more than 20 years of experience in higher education, he is no stranger to academia.
He earned his bachelor's degree in English from the State University of New York at Geneseo and began his career there as a community relations assistant. He's held leadership roles in communications and marketing at a number of institutions, including Cornell University, Columbia University, Stevens Institute of Technology and Union Theological Seminary, with most of his professional career spent in Manhattan.
Born and raised in upstate New York, Wade comes from a family of teachers and has a passion for education and its power to transform. His experience in higher education marketing includes digital and print advertising, web communications, social media, search engine marketing and media buying and planning. With media placements in The New York Times, The New Yorker, TimeOut New York, The Wall Street Journal, CNN.com, Washingtonpost.com, and others, Wade is a creative consultant, designer and producer who knows how to leverage an institution's brand to drive recruitment and enrollment.
You can reach Wade at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jeff Rice Public Relations Specialist
Jeff joined the Schreyer Honors College in August 2016 after working as the Penn State football and men’s basketball beat writer for the Centre Daily Times for nine years and for Lions247, a website covering Penn State sports and recruiting, for four years. He won several Keystone Press Awards, including those for beat reporting and column writing.
A Penn State graduate, he has taught news writing and sports writing as an adjunct instructor at the University’s College of Communications since 2010.
Jeff seeks to tell the unique stories of Schreyer’s students and alumni and the impact they have around the world. He enjoys reading, writing, traveling, playing golf and spending time with his wife, Mary Anne, and dog, Winston.
You can reach Jeff at email@example.com.
Donna Meyer Director 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 Schreyer Honors College 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rosanna Mersinger Administrative Support Assistant, Student Programs and Strategic Communications
Rosanna joined the Schreyer Honors College in August 2000. Her primary responsibilities are providing administrative support to the Director of Student Programs and the Director of Strategic Communications. Other responsibilities include, assisting Scholars with general housing concerns, and serving as support to the Schreyer Honors College Scholar Assistants, assisting them with the coordination of student events.
Rosanna lives in Coburn with her husband, Duane. They have two daughters and five grandchildren. She is very active in fundraising events which support her local fire company and church. Feel free to stop by and say hello when you are in Simmons Hall.