Networking & Career Exploration Connect Alumni Career Day

Connect Alumni Career Day, sponsored by the David S. Rocchino Family Foundation, is the largest career-related event of the year and is intended to help Schreyer Scholars think about their career interests, formulate career objectives and think about next steps for achieving those goals. This event also gives Scholars the unique opportunity to network with and learn from Scholar alumni.

CONNECT Alumni Career Day logo

Event Schedule

1:00 - 1:40 PM Introduction

1:40 - 2:25 PM Session 1

The Ins and Outs of MD Training

Gain insight into the ins and outs of the MD application process. Hear from Scholar alumni as they share their first-hand experiences and journeys navigating extracurriculars, essays, interviews, and more. Bring your questions for the Q&A session at the end!

Getting that Bread: Careers in Business

Leave this session with a firm understanding of different job options in finance, marketing, supply chain, and more. Learn how to make yourself stand out in the recruiting process and learn how to pursue a career in business from traditional majors to alternative majors like communications, engineering, actuarial sciences, mathematics, economics, and more.

Do It for Your Brand: Personal Branding

Scholar alumni will explain key tips and tricks for portraying “the best you” to employers. Learn more about interviews, your own image, and how to best market yourself.

Government, Think Tanks, and International Policy

From business to health to policy to education, government impacts every sector of society. Learn how your goals can align with the variety of opportunities provided by the government and think tanks.

STEMming into New Fields

Come see how a STEM degree can propel you into industries like consulting, communications, finance, sustainability, and industry. Learn the possibilities of these degrees and potential career paths.

2:25 - 2:45 PM Networking Session 1

Network with panelists from the first session. Scholars will have the opportunity to speak one-on-one or in small groups with alumni from the legal, medical, grad school, and consulting panels.

2:50 - 3:35 PM Session 2

Careers with Social Impact

Are you interested in making the world a better place? Learn more about careers that can help you help others. From work in the non-profit sector in social justice and sustainability to corporate and social responsibility, this panel will give you personal examples of how people like you can make a difference.

Have Your Cake and Eat It Too: Work Life Balance

Concerned about your current work-life balance? Are you considering pursuing a career where work-life balance might be difficult to achieve? Hear from alumni and learn more about their experiences in this area.

Career Paths in Engineering and Tech

Are you interested in the engineering and technology sectors and would like to hear from Scholar alumni about their experiences? Learn how they have applied what they have learned to their fields and the different directions they have taken.

Getting Dirty with Data: Data Science & Analytics

Data is everywhere and learning how to work with it is invaluable. From economics to statistics to data analytics, find out how being comfortable with data has helped these alumni and ways you might become more comfortable with it.

3:35 - 3:55 PM Networking Session 2

Network with panelists from the second session. Scholars will have the opportunity to speak one-on-one or in small groups with alumni from the liberal arts, STEM, creative fields, and next steps panels.

4:00 - 4:45 PM Session 3

More School? How Grad School Shapes Careers

Are you thinking about extending your education another few years? Attend this panel to learn more about the decision to attend graduate school and the career options that exist after graduation.

How Law School Builds Careers

Learn the ins and outs of the legal profession and gain an understanding of what to expect working as a lawyer. This panel will also acquaint you with the experience of attending law school.

Alternative Career Paths in Healthcare — No MD Required!

Interested in a healthcare career without needing to pursue a MD degree? Learn how Scholar alumni have branched out into different health-related fields and found diverse ways to fulfill their career goals.


This panel is for Scholars from any academic discipline interested in learning more about careers in consulting. You will learn about different types of consulting and the work associated with each.

You Are Not Your Major

For those of you asking yourself, “What am I doing with my life?” – this panel is for you! Hear from alumni who are pursuing careers in fields that may be considered nontraditional given their majors as undergraduates. This panel will open your eyes to opportunities you never thought possible!

4:45 - 5:05 PM Networking Session 3

Network with panelists from the third session. Scholars will have the opportunity to speak one-on-one or in small groups with alumni from social impact, personal toolbox, and business panels.

Successful Scholar Alumni Alumni Bios

Learn more about the Scholar alumni attending this year's event.

Samuel Bonsall headshot

Samuel Bonsall Deloitte & Touche Teaching Excellence Professor of Accounting, Penn State - Smeal College of Business

Dr. Sam Bonsall is the Deloitte & Touche Teaching Excellence Professor of Accounting at Penn State's Smeal College of Business in University Park, Pennsylvania where he teaches Master of Accounting and doctoral students and conducts research related to the impact of information on capital markets. Before joining Penn State in 2017, he served on the faculty of the Ohio State University's Fisher College of Business in Columbus, Ohio and worked in economic litigation consulting at Bates White LLC in Washington, DC. He earned a B.S. in Economics with Honors from Penn State in 2004. He also earned a M.S. in Business Administration from Penn State in 2004 and a Ph.D. in Business Administration from Penn State in 2012. Please feel free to connect with him on LinkedIn. Sam serves on both the Scholar Alumni Society Board and the College's Faculty Advisory Committee.

Learn more about me before the event by listening to my episode of the Following the Gong podcast.

Lori Feathers headshot

Lori Feathers Co-Owner and Book Buyer, Interabang Books (Dallas, TX)

Lori Feathers is the co-owner and books buyer of Interabang Books in Dallas, Texas. She writes about books for various publications as a freelance book critic and sits on the jury for a number of US literary prizes. Before opening the bookstore in 2017, Lori worked for twenty-four years as an international oil and gas lawyer for Atlantic Richfield Company, Pioneer Natural Resources, the law firm of Haynes and Boone, and the United States International Trade Administration. Lori earned her BA in Russian with Honors from Penn State in 1990. She also earned a JD degree and an MA in international relations, both from American University in Washington, D.C. Lori can be reached @lorifeathers and Lori currently serves on the Scholar Alumni Society Board.

Learn more about me before the event by listening to my episode of the Following the Gong podcast.

Drew Geller headshot

Drew Geller 4th Year Medical Student, The Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Andrew (Drew) is a 4th year Medical Student at The Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) where he is currently applying to Internal Medicine Residencies in The Greater Philadelphia Area. Aspiring Pulmonary and Critical Care Physician - he will know more by the time of Connect after "Match Day." He graduated Cum Laude from The Eberly College of Science in 2019 with a Bachlelor of Science in Biology with Honors and an option in Vertebrate Physiology. He completed his Thesis through the Stress, Health, and Daily Experiences Lab under Dr. Joshua Smyth, PhD. Andrew currently serves as a Student Committee Member for the Admissions Committee at PCOM, where he has participated in virtual interviews the last two interview cycles as well as an alumni admissions interviewer for the Schreyer Honors College.
Brian Harkless headshot

Brian Harkless Command Property Officer - Division Director, NAVAIR (US Navy)

Mr. Harkless became a Navy civilian in 2010 and currently serves as NAVAIR Command Property Officer, Sustainment Group, Property Management Department at Patuxent River, MD. In this role, he is responsible for the physical accountability of all NAVAIR owned material as well as policy, oversight and guidance for all Property Management functions at the Command. Mr. Harkless previously served as Branch Head for NAVAIR Sponsor Owned Material branch in the Total Asset Visibility Division at Patuxent River, MD. In this role, he managed Interim Supply Support warehouses for all pre-Material Support Date NAVAIR Spares and maintained the Special Tooling/Special Test Equipment boneyard at Granite City, IL. Prior to joining Logistics full time, Mr. Harkless completed a year-long NAVAIR Leadership Development Program (NLDP) special project rotation where he developed the processes and procedures for NAVAIR material conversion to Navy Enterprise Resource Planning (Navy ERP). His primary engineering work at NAVAIR was serving as a composite material Subject Matter Expert in the NAVAIR Airframe Technology Branch where he developed new composite repair and evaluation techniques and led cross-organizational teams to implement advanced technologies with other Department of Defense agencies and foreign partners. Before NAVAIR, Mr. Harkless worked in the private sector for 15 years primarily in military aircraft structural repair, ultimately acting as Chief Engineer and Program Manager for CSC’s Bonded Repair Division. Mr. Harkless holds degrees in Aerospace Engineering with Honors from Penn State (BS) and the University of Maryland (MS) where he focused on aircraft structures, composite materials and smart structures as well as an MBA from Texas Christian University. Mr. Harkless is a 2016 graduate of the NAVAIR Leadership Development Program and a 2018 graduate of the Department of the Navy Bridging the Gap Program. Brian currently serves as the Chair of the Alumni Engagement & Membership Committee for the Scholar Alumni Society, and is a 2020 Outstanding Scholar Alumni Award Recipient.
John Hemmer headshot

John Hemmer Patent Attorney and Partner, Morgan Lewis

John Hemmer is a patent attorney and partner at Morgan Lewis based in Philadelphia. John focuses his practice on patent counselling in the mechanical engineering, industrial design, and life science fields to help clients identify patenting opportunities, protect and leverage competitive advantages, manage patent portfolios, and avoid patent infringement. John also prepares and negotiates technology agreements and works with clients on licensing, investment, merger and acquisition agreements, and IP due diligence. John earned his BS in Mechanical Engineering magna cum laude and with Honors from Penn State in 2003 and his law degree from Temple University in 2006.

Learn more about me before the event by listening to my episode of the Following the Gong podcast.

Basel Kayyali headshot

Basel Kayyali Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company

Basel Kayyali is a Senior Partner and co-leads McKinsey’s Payor and Provider digital practice globally. In addition, he is the Managing Partner of McKinsey’s Mid-Atlantic Digital Office and is based in Summit, NJ. He has worked primarily at the intersection of operations, technology, and healthcare, serving clients across the healthcare value chain on various topics, including large operations and digital transformations. In addition, he leads several large prominent hi-tech and telecom clients across a wide range of topics. Prior to McKinsey and business school, Basel worked three and a half years as a marketing strategist and processor architect for Intel Corporation. Basel graduated from Pennsylvania State University’s College of Engineering and Schreyer Honors College with an Electrical Engineering degree (was valedictorian) and earned his MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania as a Palmer Scholar (top 5 percent—highest distinction). Basel currently serves on the Scholar Alumni Society Board.

Learn more about me before the event by listening to my episode of the Following the Gong podcast.

Sue Kelley headshot

Sue Kelley Dean of Business, Arts & Sciences, Pennsylvania College of Technology

Sue Kelley went on to earn her M.S. and Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh after completing her undergraduate degree in psychology at Penn State. Sue’s research focused on the socioemotional development of toddlers. She studied factors related to self-conscious emotions and mastery, learned helplessness, and attachment. After spending nearly 20 years teaching psychology at Lycoming College, she transitioned into an administrative position at Pennsylvania College of Technology. She is currently Dean of the School of Business, Arts & Sciences.
Eleni Kornblatt headshot

Eleni Kornblatt Director, Global Marketing - HPV Vaccines, Merck and Co.

Eleni is the Global Marketing Leader for HPV Vaccines. She has been with Merck/MSD for 20+ years in numerous roles of increasing responsibility across the US and Global Commercial and Marketing Organizations, Business Development, Strategy, Sales and Manufacturing. She has dual B.S. degrees from Penn State and Universidad de Alicante, SPAIN, in Supply Chain Operations and Global Marketing with Honors, and an MBA in Marketing from Villanova University. She is also an Associate Board Member for the Scholar Alumni Society. Eleni and her family live in Berwyn, Pennsylvania.
Jack Yoskowitz headshot

Jack Yoskowitz Litigation Law Firm Partner, Seward & Kissel LLP

Jack Yoskowitz is a Litigation Partner at Seward & Kissel LLP where he specializes in complex commercial and corporate litigation and regulatory matters predominantly for financial services institutions and individuals. Jack regularly represents clients in securities regulatory matters and private litigation, including proceedings brought by the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), state securities regulators and self-regulatory organizations. Jack has tried cases in Federal and State courts as well as before various arbitration organizations. According to The Legal 500 US, Jack is “particularly impressive for [his] strong analysis and strategy” and “highly regarded for regulatory enforcement matters.” Jack earned his degree in Psychology with honors from Penn State in 1989. Feel free to connect with Jack on LinkedIn or by email.
Schreyer Scholar Matt Tracey

My family has always loved Penn State and to be able to take this love along with the fact that Penn State is a top research university is amazing. This combined with fact that Schreyer has a culture of independent thinking and an emphasis on a global perspective allows me to see my education as being much bigger than me.

Matt Tracey ' 19 Biochemistry and Microbiology