Lead & Engage Student Programs

The Schreyer Honors College is serious about offering a great academic experience to our Scholars, but you should also expect to learn a ton outside the classroom. From participating in Scholar-led organizations to volunteering at our signature events, we know you will find a way to make a difference in the Honors College and campus communities.

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Dr. Susan Russell interacts with the crowd at the Luchinsky Lecture

Yearly Traditions Signature Programs

Held Each January Mark Luchinsky Memorial Lecture

The Mark Luchinsky Memorial Lecture was endowed by family and friends to honor the memory of Mark Luchinsky, a University Scholar and biochemistry major who died on January 18, 1995, at age 20.

Through this lecture series, the community gathers to honor Mark's memory through support of a speaker who exemplifies intellectual honest, personal integrity, and joy in learning.

2020 Luchinsky Lecture And Justice for All: Advancing Social Justice Through Emotional Justice Featuring Dr. Jeanine Staples

Join us as we welcome Dr. Jeanine Staples for the 25th Annual Mark Luchinsky Lecture Series.

Dr. Staples is an Associate Professor of Literacy and Language, African American Studies, and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the Pennsylvania State University.

Dr. Staples has dozens of publications and has spoken globally about how new literacies education can support personal and public justice work. She has trained over 3,500 teachers of underrepresented minority students in cutting edge, anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-ableist methods of instruction and assessment. She is an expert in research on marginalized women and girls, particularly with regard to understanding lover identity, developing emotional literacy, and promoting emotional justice for social justice. Her work exposes impetuses for various personal and social ills such as racism, sexism, and ableism.

Dr. Staples earned her bachelor's degree in English literature and Urban Education from Howard University, a Master's degree in Teaching and Curriculum from Harvard University and her Doctorate in Literacy and Language, with distinction, from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research has been peer-reviewed and published internationally. In addition, her teaching has been nationally acclaimed. She is a sought after scholar, educator and coach and has received numerous awards and honors for her talents and professional contributions to the field of literacy studies.

Dr. Jeanine Staples presents And Justice for All: Advancing Social Justice Through Emotional Justice
Past Lectures
Peter Hudson headshot
2019 Peter Hudson Willaman Professor of Biology
John Kaag headshot
2018 John Kaag Author and Professor of Philosophy, UMass Lowell
Susan Russell headshot
2017 Susan Russell Associate Professor of Theatre & 2014-15 Laureate, Penn State
Marke Dickinson headshot
2016 Marke Dickinson Marketing Professional
Christian M. M. Brady headshot
2015 Christian M. M. Brady Former Dean, Schreyer Honors College, Penn State
Casimer DeCusatis headshot
2013 Casimer DeCusatis CTO, IBM System Networking & Strategic Alliances
Sean Misko headshot
2012 Sean Misko Special Adviser to the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan
Farnoosh Torabi headshot
2012 Farnoosh Torabi Money Coach, Author, Financial News Correspondent
Jill Jayne headshot
2011 Jill Jayne Rock Star Nutritionist
Marybeth Long headshot
2010 Marybeth Long Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense
David Han headshot
2009 David Han Associate Professor of Surgery & Radiology, Penn State College of Medicine / Program Director of the Vascular Surgery Fellowship, Penn State Hershey Medical Center
Meena Bose headshot
2008 Meena Bose Peter S. Kalikow Chair in Presidential Studies, Hofstra University
Peter Klein headshot
2007 Peter Klein Professor / Former CBS News Producer
Richard Jewell headshot
2006 Richard Jewell & L. Lin Wood Centennial Olympic Park Bombing
Jeffrey Ratner headshot
2005 Jeffrey Ratner Chief of Staff, Mount Nittany Medical Center
David Riley II headshot
2004 David Riley II Associate Professor of Architectural Engineering, Penn State
Douglas Evans headshot
2003 Douglas Evans CEO, Kensey Nash, Inc.
Wendy Kopp headshot
2002 Wendy Kopp Founder & President, Teach for America
No headshot available
2001 Alan Block Professor of Administration of Justice & Jewish Studies
Joe Paterno headshot
2000 Joe Paterno Legendary Head Football Coach, Penn State
James Pawelczyk headshot
1999 James Pawelczyk Assistant Professor of Physiology & Kinesiology / Payload Specialist, NASA's 1998 Neurolab Mission
John Lowe headshot
1998 John Lowe Professor of Chemistry
Kurt Angle headshot
1997 Kurt Angle 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist, Wrestling
Harris Wofford headshot
1996 Harris Wofford CEO, Corporation for National Service / Former U.S. Senator
About Mark Luchinsky

The Mark Luchinsky Memorial Lecture Series was created in 1996 to remember and honor his character and contributions to life as a son, as an undergraduate, and, most prominently, as a young man whose life held much promise.

Mark Allan Luchinsky passed away on January 18, 1995, at the age of 20.

Mark graduated first in his class in 1992 from Thomas Jefferson High School in Pittsburgh. He then became a University Scholar at Penn State, majoring in biochemistry. He was also a member of the Penn State Golden Key Society and the Alpha Epsilon Delta Premedical Honor Society.

Although he was a science student, Mark loved the study of all subjects. He loved the classics, sports, poetry, history, geography, and sports. Even at his young age, he was known for intellectual honesty and personal integrity.

We honor Mark Luchinsky, his family, and his friends with this lecture series. He was truly "A light that shone briefly, but ever so brightly."

Mark Luchinsky in his dorm room

Held Each September Founders Day

Founders Day is an annual commemoration of the College's history and a celebration of its promise for the future.

Join us each September for prizes, entertainment, and the traditional Founders Day cake and Scholar's Chip ice cream!

This signature event also features the presentation of the Scholar Involvement Award. This award was created in 2009 to recognize and honor Schreyer Scholars who demonstrate exceptional leadership and dedication to the College and its mission during their undergraduate career. The College's staff and administrators have made and continue to make gifts to support this endowed fund.

Founders Day logo

Programs Throughout the Year Distinguished Honors Faculty Program (DHFP)

The Distinguished Honors Faculty Program (DHFP) is an interactive, innovative program that places an emphasis on information sharing and connecting with some of the most distinguished faculty at Penn State.

Sometimes over dinner conversations or during field trips, and always in small-group discussions on timely topics, Distinguished Honors Faculty and students gather to share experiences and perspectives that may venture beyond the labels and definition of an academic major or course.

This is a program deeply rooted in the belief that when you create small group learning experiences that are relaxed, well-conceived, and special, students and faculty connect with each other in profound ways.

2020-21 Distinguished Honors Faculty

Rachel Brennan headshot

Rachel Brennan Associate Professor, Environmental Engineering Humanitarian Service Practicums for Schreyer Scholars: Solving Global Sustainability Challenges at the Food-Energy-Water Nexus

Dr. Brennan’s goal is to enhance the learning experiences of Schreyer scholars through engaged global scholarship in humanitarian service practicums that demonstrate the theoretical and applied skill sets necessary to provide fundamental human rights to food, energy, and water. By understanding the relationships between Engineering and Humanity, scholars will have the opportunity to increase their global awareness, global literacy, global competency, and global citizenship, and be better equipped to serve as influential leaders for solving tomorrow’s challenges.

Xiang Gao headshot

Xiang Gao Associate Professor, Nutritional Sciences / Director, Nutritional Epidemiology Lab Brain Health and Arts

Dr. Gao will take scholars to visit museums, such as the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, to introduce them to Asian art history and show the potential impact of health status on artistic expression. In addition, he will discuss published literature regarding the potential impacts of brain health on arts and how to use Artificial Intelligence techniques for image classification to understand the potential link between brain health and arts.

Paul Haidet headshot

Paul Haidet Distinguished Professor, Medicine The Importance of Relationships in Life and Everything

In addition to a Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Humanities, and Public Health, Dr. Haidet is also the Director of Medical Education and Research for Penn State’s College of Medicine. Through discussions and field trips with our Scholars, Dr. Haidet plans to further deepen the focus on relationships through the arts, humanities, and sciences. Topics will include “Working across disciplines and boundaries: learning from two jazz pianists.”, “How space helps conversations to breathe and how to improve yours.”, and “Teamwork and leadership: what these really mean.”

Matthew Kaplan headshot

Matthew Kaplan Professor, Agricultural and Extension Education Intergenerational Programs and Aging

The aging society trend has wide-reaching implications for how we experience family life, school, work, recreation, health care, and civic engagement. Dr. Kaplan will prepare scholars for living and thriving in an aging world. He will provide scholars with an intensive introduction to the key principles and basic values that apply to intergenerational engagement across settings and disciplines.

Akhlesh Lakhtakia headshot

Akhlesh Lakhtakia Evan Pugh University Professor and Charles Godfrey Binder Professor of Engineering Sciences and Mechanics Biologically Inspired Design

While on sabbatical leave in Denmark, Dr. Lakhtakia became acutely aware of the issues of climate emergency, eco-responsibility, and sustainability. As part of the DHRP, Dr. Lakhtakia will offer dinner discussions on topics of Indicators of Climate Emergency, Engineered Biomimicry, and Biologically Inspired Design for the Environment.

Jon Nese headshot

Jon Nese Teaching Professor, Meteorology The Science and Communication of Weather and Climate

Dr. Nese is firm in his belief that tomorrow’s leaders should be well-informed in the science and communication of weather and climate information. Through a series of trips to various weather-based locations around State College, Scholars will come face to face with the sophisticated tools and breadth of personnel responsible for the prediction, broadcast, and monitorization of weather worldwide. Events will engage Scholars in discussion with industry professionals as they explore the intersection of weather and climate monitoring technology, taxpayer funding, televised weather productions, and hot button issues such as climate change.

Jeanine Staples headshot

Jeanine Staples Associate Professor of Education (Language & Literacy Education and African American Studies The Significance of Emotional Justice

Dr. Staples was selected as the 2020 Mark Luchinsky Memorial Lecturer for the Schreyer Honors College. Her lecture focused on defining and exploring the significance of emotional justice in our efforts to achieve social justice. Through fireside chats and dinner conversations, Dr. Staples’ will help scholars to understand the relationship between interior and exterior life and the myriad ways we are able to powerfully impact what happens in schools and society by attending very closely to our interior life (the private, perceptual, and emotional spaces we often avoid, diminish, or hide.).

Hui Yang headshot

Hui Yang Harold and Inge Marcus Career Associate Professor of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering Smart Manufacturing and Digital Health

Dr. Yang plans to use lab demonstrations, poster showcases, and dinner discussions to help stimulate more interests from scholars about big data and innovating technologies, advance personalized medicine and population health, and create innovative access to care strategies. His events will also bring together faculty and scholars, with industry partners to translate research outcomes to improve the health of our society.

Take Charge Leadership Opportunities

Leadership is a crucial part of the Schreyer Honors College mission. Leadership skills can be learned inside the classroom, but applied practice is important, too. Enhance your honors experience and develop your skills by taking advantage of these leadership opportunities.

Executive Board of Schreyer Honors College Student Council (StuCo)

Student Council (StuCo)

One of the most active student councils on campus, StuCo provides a wide variety of leadership opportunities to Scholars through academic, service, and social activities.

Join StuCo
Schreyer Honors College Scholar Assistants posing together

Scholar Assistants (SAs)

Scholar Assistants are upperclass students who live in honors housing. They partner with Resident Assistants (RAs) to create an inclusive and welcoming community in Atherton and Simmons Halls.

Application Available in December

Meet the SAs
Orientation Mentor meeting with new students

Orientation Mentors

Help to welcome new Scholars into the Schreyer community and teach them what the Honors College is all about as an orientation mentor for either first-year or current/transfer students.

Application Available in November

Scholar Ambassadors at the Nittany Lion Shrine

Scholar Ambassadors

Ambassadors represent the Honors College at special events for alumni and donors, provide tours of campus and honors housing, develop and lead philanthropic campaigns, meet with visiting families, and share their experiences as Scholars.

Application Available in January

Meet the Ambassadors

Make A Difference Social & Civic Engagement

In between classes with leading researchers and faculty, labs, and study groups, you can carve out time to pursue the things you're excited about and figure out where you can make a difference. The Honors College is where you'll meet the people, take on the responsibilities, make the connections and develop the skills you need to change the world.

Schreyer Scholar Alison Roby

The Schreyer Integrated Undergraduate Graduate program allowed me to pursue a master’s degree while finishing my bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering. Extending my commitment to research allowed me to confirm my desire for a career as a physician scientist.

Alison Roby '18 Bioengineering

Lead & Engage Student Programs

Browse Student Organizations