Schreyer Honors College (SHC)at Penn State

Alumni Bios

Joshua Branch

I graduated from Penn State SHC in 2013. Afterwards I joined Teach ForAmerica in Miami and worked as a Middle School, then High School English teacher. Upon finishing TFA, I worked for the Democrats for Education Reform in Seattle, Washington working on a campaign to promote Mayor Ed Murray's pre-K package that provides affordable child care for pre-K children. Also in Seattle I worked on a Supreme Court case which aimed to force the state to properly fund public education which the legislature had not been doing. I entered Georgetown University Law Center pursuing interests in public interest law. While at Georgetown I have researched issues in poverty law. I've worked at the Bronx Defenders, a public interest legal defense organization, the Children's Law Center, which focuses on children's law from housing issues to ensuring children are receiving their special education benefits, and most recently I am working for NAACP Legal Defense Fund on issues of school discrimination, desegregation, among others.

LinkedIn Profile

  • Government
  • Non-Profit
  • Public Policy

Timothy Cooney

Tim Cooneyis a Private Client Advisor and Senior Vice President with U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management, serving the New York metropolitan area. Tim provides customized financial advice and high-touch service to wealthy individuals, families and institutions. Drawing on his extensive experience advising an accomplished clientele, Tim offers a dynamic and creative approach to the opportunities and challenges that significant wealth can entail. He leads a team of locally-based specialists who workin concert to design and implement integrated initiatives in investment management, trust and estate planning services, banking and lending, family office services and philanthropy. Tim offers a holistic approach that centers on each client’s objectives, informed by a deep understanding of the client’s priorities and needs. He works closely with business owners, senior executives, hedge fund principals, private equity partners and their family members to streamline and simplify both sides of the balancesheet. Throughout each relationship, Tim offers a high caliber of guidance, a relentless service ethic, and a profound dedication to client well-being. Prior to joining U.S. Trust in 2016, Tim was an Executive Director in the Private Bank at J.P. Morgan, where he worked closely with affluent families, endowments and foundations. Previously, Tim served as a Director with Sanford C. Bernstein in New York, providing research capabilities and trading services to leading global hedge funds. Tim began his financial services career in 2000 at Goldman Sachs, where he was a Vice President in the Equity Products Group. Tim earned his B.S. in Finance with a concentration in Accounting from the Schreyer Honors College at the Pennsylvania State University. He currently serves as an elected member of the Schreyer Honors College Alumni Board. Tim lives in Madison, New Jersey, with his wife Colleen and their sons Jack and Declan.

  • Finance

Jeremy Frank

BS Mechanical Engineering -Penn State 1997 PhD Mechanical Engineering -Penn State 2001 iMBA Penn State World Campus -2005 Co-Founded KCF Technologies in November 2000 with Gary Koopmann, Professor and Director of the Center for Acoustics and Vibration. Led KCF since inception; the company is now a leading technology/service company in the industrial IOT with ~50 employees in 5 states.

LinkedIn Profile

  • Engineering
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Innovation
  • Science

Anna Han

Anna is from Allentown, Pennsylvania, and is a 2010 graduate of the SHC. After completing her B.S. in Bioengineering, she taught high-school math for two years in Memphis, Tennessee, as a Teach For America corps member. In 2015, she graduated with a J.D./M.S.Ed. in education policy from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Graduate School of Education. She then clerked for a federal district judge in Memphis for one year and currently resides in Washington D.C., where she works as a litigation associate at a large law firm. She is a member of the Scholar Alumni Society Board.

LinkedIn Profile

  • Law

Ryan Koch

I graduated from Penn State in 1997 with an honors degree in Chemical Engineering. I spent 5 years working at P&G in manufacturing (I'm an expert in Pampers!) and then went back to school full-time to get my MBA from Wharton. I career-switched into management consulting and have spent the last 12+ years working at Diamond Consultants and PwC, focused on the financial services industry in NYC.

  • Consulting
  • Engineering
  • Finance
  • Graduate School
  • Science

Morton Lin

Morton graduated from the College of Engineering & the Schreyer Honors College in the spring of 2015 with a degree in aerospace engineering. As a student, Morton built & flight tested a 74 ft. wingspan human powered aircraft, authored his thesis on advanced airframe damage detection concepts, and was also a photographer forOnward State. Currently, Morton lives in NYC and works in PwC's Transportation & Logistics practice, where he works with aviation, aerospace, and defense clients.

LinkedIn Profile

  • Consulting
  • Engineering
  • Science

Betsy MacKenzie

Betsy is a 1989 graduate of the SmealCollege of Business, majoring in Business Logistics/Supply Chain Management. Upon graduation, she began working at Merck and Company at their manufacturing facility outside of Philadelphia. After several roles in Supply Chain/Logistics (transportation, distribution, production planning), Betsy joined a Sales and Marketing joint venture Merck had formed with a European pharma company, Astra. She started with AstraMerck in a Supply Chain/Logistics role, but ultimately moved to several Sales and Marketing roles including roles as a Sales representative and launching two new products in the Respiratory market. Merck ultimately divested their ownership in the joint venture, and Astra merged with Zeneca in 2000; Betsy has remained with the organization through those transitions and has had roles in Commercial Operations, Communications/Corporate Affairs, Business Development, and now as a Product Manager. She also serves on the Board of a non-profit in Delaware that houses a free medical clinic, a senior center, amental health clinic, a food closet, and a tutoring center.

  • Communications
  • Healthcare
  • Marketing
  • Medicine
  • Non-Profit

Melissa Marshall

Melissa Marshall graduated from Penn State in 2000 with a degree in Materials Science and Engineering. She went straight into the consulting world with Deloitte after Penn State where she worked on large scale custom IT implementations. After 4 years, she went back to school to get her MBA from Carnegie Mellon's Tepper School of Business in finance, accounting, and strategy. Since business school, Melissa has worked for Alcoa and Westinghouse. Currently, Melissa is the Director of Commercial Planning in Westinghouse's Business Development group within the New Plants & Major Projects product line. Melissa oversees new plant commercial offers as well as other arrangements that support and drive new plant business growth objectives. She works with other productlines, regions and business partners across Westinghouse to develop integrated proposals and marketing deliverables. Her team is also responsible for developing the pricing and financing strategies and cost estimates to support these proposals. Previously, she was the head of Westinghouse's Enterprise Risk Management program within the Corporate Strategy group where she was responsible for developing the program and processes to identify large, enterprise-wide risks. She met on a monthly basis with executives representing the product lines, regions, and center-led functions to discuss the company's overall risk profile.

LinkedIn Profile

  • Consulting
  • Engineering
  • Graduate School
  • Science

Rishi Mittal

Rishi is a 2nd year Business Analyst in Deloitte Consulting's Strategy & Operations Practice out of the Pittsburgh office. At Deloitte, he is focused his career on Pricing, Financial Services, and Tech Strategy.Before Deloitte, Rishi graduated from Penn State's Smeal College of Business with a Honors Degree in Finance. While at Penn State, he was very involved on campus with organizations including: Student Government, Presidential Leadership Academy, Penn StateFootball Marketing, Chi Phi Fraternity, and Movin' On, to name a few.

LinkedIn Profile

  • Consulting

Rachel-Paige Mumenthaler

Majors:Economics and International Political Economy Minors: Spanish and Business in the Liberal Arts Activities: Phi Mu, Liberal Arts Envoys, Democrats Club, Econ Association When I started college I wanted to go into Human Rights Law...had a few classes learning about the Financial Crisis that sparked my interest into the world of finance. Decided to go on the yearly finance trek that Schreyer hosts in NYC and was immediately drawn to investment banking. Realized that most of my internships were in politics (interned at the DAs office, Obama for America, and was a legislative assistant) and knew that I had to get an internship during the school year of my junior year that was finance related to be able to have a chance of getting an investment banking internshipmy Junior Summer. Interned at the start-up in State College...Live It / Surge Business Development as a finance intern my Junior Year. Talked to a lot of alumni, went to as many events that Schreyer put on and gained an internship in Debt Capital Markets Loan Syndications Group at PNC. Accepted a full time position as an Investment Banking Analyst with the Syndications group in Philadelphia and have been working there for almost a year.

LinkedIn Profile

  • Finance

Michael O’Connor

Michael O'Connor is a proud Penn Stater and 2005 graduate of the Honors College. At Penn State, he worked for Prof. Webb Miller, doing genetics and bioinformatics research that was published in Nature and other scientific journals. Among other activities, Mike devoted significant time to THON, dancing for Springfield House and spending three years as a THON Captain. Thanks to the Schreyer Travel Scholarship, he was able to study abroad in Greece, Italy, and Costa Rica. After earning dual degrees with Interdisciplinary Honors in Computer Science and Biology, he attended law school at the University of Pennsylvania. He graduated in 2009 and has been admitted to the bars of Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. He worked in private practice for two years at a major D.C. firm, where his technical background in both biology and computer science served him well in several complex cases. He then spent a year living just outside State College while clerking for Judge D. Brooks Smith of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. His responsibilities included researching and drafting bench memos and court opinions for the judge's review. After Mike's clerkship, he returned to private practice at the Washington, D.C. office of international law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP. At Quinn Emanuel, he practices litigation involving patents, securities, trade, and data security and privacy.

LinkedIn Profile

  • Engineering
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Government
  • Innovation
  • Law
  • Public Policy
  • Science

Erin Talbert

Erin Talbert is a Regional Sales Director at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals based out of Wilmington, Delaware. She is responsible for leading a team of 70 sales professionals and managers. Previously as a BrandMarketing Director she was accountable for developing pricing, contracting, and marketing strategies in the US payer environment for the AstraZeneca central nervous system and diabetes portfolios. Prior to AstraZeneca, she spent 7 years as a management consultant with Accenture. Erin graduated from the College of Communications and the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State in 1999 with a degree in Advertising and Public Relations, and a minor in Labor and Industrial Relations. During her time at Penn State, she was on the Lion Ambassador Executive Board and supported Dance Marathon as a Morale team member and Public Relations Captain. She was a founding member of S.O.U.R.C.E, the service learning student organization in the College of Communications. Erin also worked with the Alumni Association in the Communications Department and the Office of Development during the Grand Destiny capital campaign.

LinkedIn Profile

  • Communications
  • Healthcare
  • Marketing
  • Medicine

Brenna Thorpe

Brenna has worked at consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton in Washington, DC since her graduation from Schreyer Honors College in 2012 (Honors, Public Relations; Honors, Communications Arts and Sciences). She works on the Federal / Defense Energy Team and supports the United States Marine Corps' office for installation energy, providing strategic communications support to energy efficiency, security, and renewable energy initiatives. She works alongside staff in data analytics, electrical engineering, business development, and project management. Brenna also supports the Environmental Protection Agency's efforts to increase sustainability around solid waste and recycling in tribal communities. While atPenn State, Brenna was an outreach coordinator for the EcoCAR Program, a TA in the College of Communications and College of Liberal Arts, and competed in Mock Trial.

LinkedIn Profile

  • Communications
  • Consulting
  • Government
  • Public Policy

Catherine Vrentas

Cathy Vrentas is a 2003 graduate of the Schreyer Honors College and the Eberly College of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, with training in research by Dr. David Gilmour. She received a Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Certificate in Management for Scientists from Oregon State University. Cathy completed postdoctoral research at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Ames, Iowa, studying animal prion diseases (such as chronic wasting disease) and the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, researching the bacterium that causes anthrax. She also worked as the state Biotechnology Outreach Specialist for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, sharing science outreach activities with kids and adults across the state. She is currently an assistant professor at a master's level university that is a part of the Maryland public university system, Frostburg State. At Frostburg, she is engaged in undergraduate teaching, research, and campus and community service, and also continues her research collaboration with the National Institutes of Health. Cathy can answer questions about her experiences in science as a graduate student, in the government sector, and in her current academic career.

LinkedIn Profile

  • Engineering
  • Government
  • Public Policy
  • Science

Kent Vrana

Kent E. Vrana, Ph.D. has served as Elliot S. Vesell Professor and Chair of Pharmacology at the Penn State College of Medicine and Milton S. Hershey Medical Center since 2004. He received his B.S. with honors in Biochemistry from the University of Iowa, and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry (Pharmacology minor) from Louisiana State University Medical Center. He completed his postdoctoral training at the Carnegie Institution of Washington (on the Johns Hopkins University campus). He joined Penn State following faculty positions at West Virginia University and Wake Forest University. Dr. Vrana is a member of the editorial boards of several scientific journals (including Editor-in-Chief [for the Americas] for Pharmacology) and has served as chair and/or a member of over 100 scientific review panel meetings for the NIH, the VA, and the DoD. He has co-authored 165 scientific articles, book chapters, and monographs (including two textbooks). His research is focused on molecular neurobiology of substance abuse, neurotransmitter biosynthesis, stem cells and neurodegenerative disease. He is active in medical education and currently serves as co-director of the Clinical Learning and Competency courses (Problem-Based Learning) for the first and second years of the Penn State medical curriculum. In 2009, he was named an honorary professor of the School of Medicine of the Peruvian University of Applied Science in Lima, Peru, and was inducted into the Society of Distinguished Educators at the Penn State College of Medicine. In 2015, he was elected a Fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Penn State Profile

  • Engineering
  • Graduate School
  • Science

Jack Yoskowitz

Jack specializes in complex commercial litigation and regulatory matters predominantly for financial services institutions and individuals. Jack regularly represents clients in securities regulatory matters and private litigation, including in enforcement actions brought by the SEC and other regulators. Jack is an experienced and successful trial lawyer who has tried cases in Federal and State courts as well as before arbitration organizations including JAMS and the AAA. Jack is also the partner in charge of Pro Bono efforts at Seward & Kissel. Jack received a B.S. with distinction from Penn State in 1989 and was in the University Scholars Program (now Schreyer Honors College). He received his J.D. from Columbia University Law School in 1992, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. Jack is also an active Member of the External Advisory Board of Penn State's Schreyer Honors College.

LinkedIn Profile

  • Law

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