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.Browse Student Organizations
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
- Monday, January 27, 2020
- 7:00 - 8:00 PM
- Palmer Lipcon Auditorium
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.
2019 Peter Hudson Willaman Professor of Biology
2018 John Kaag Author and Professor of Philosophy, UMass Lowell
2017 Susan Russell Associate Professor of Theatre & 2014-15 Laureate, Penn State
2016 Marke Dickinson Marketing Professional
2015 Christian M. M. Brady Former Dean, Schreyer Honors College, Penn State
2013 Casimer DeCusatis CTO, IBM System Networking & Strategic Alliances
2012 Sean Misko Special Adviser to the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan
2012 Farnoosh Torabi Money Coach, Author, Financial News Correspondent
2011 Jill Jayne Rock Star Nutritionist
2010 Marybeth Long Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense
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
2008 Meena Bose Peter S. Kalikow Chair in Presidential Studies, Hofstra University
2007 Peter Klein Professor / Former CBS News Producer
2006 Richard Jewell & L. Lin Wood Centennial Olympic Park Bombing
2005 Jeffrey Ratner Chief of Staff, Mount Nittany Medical Center
2004 David Riley II Associate Professor of Architectural Engineering, Penn State
2003 Douglas Evans CEO, Kensey Nash, Inc.
2002 Wendy Kopp Founder & President, Teach for America
2001 Alan Block Professor of Administration of Justice & Jewish Studies
2000 Joe Paterno Legendary Head Football Coach, Penn State
1999 James Pawelczyk Assistant Professor of Physiology & Kinesiology / Payload Specialist, NASA's 1998 Neurolab Mission
1998 John Lowe Professor of Chemistry
1997 Kurt Angle 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist, Wrestling
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."
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.
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.View DHFP Faculty & Programs
2019-2020 Distinguished Honors Faculty
Eliyana Rebecca Adler Associate Professor, History and Jewish Studies Memory and Memorials
Penn State is our home, and we all learn our way around, but how many of us pay attention to the many small and large, public and private, straightforward and subtle monuments and memorials around campus? Professor Adler will introduce scholars to thinking critically about how visions of the past are memorialized all around us. Through discussions about memorial culture and field trips to see it first-hand, she will encourage scholars to think about the ways that street names, statues, squares, war memorials, and other aspects of the built environment have an impact on their lives. Discussions will combine insights from Urban Studies, Public History, and Memory Studies among other fields, with our own lived experiences.
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 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.
Pearl Gluck Assistant Professor, Film Don't Make Me Laugh: The Fine Art of the Transgressive in Comedy
Through a series of screenings, trips, and dinner discussions that explore some of the most transgressive and resonant comic artists, starting from early pioneers and continuing to contemporary artists in recent decades, this program will focus on trendsetters and trailblazers who called truth to power through comedy. Events include screenings, discussions, and even a trip to the Comedy Museum in Jamestown, NY.
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.”
Ying-Ling Jao Assistant Professor, Nursing Inspiring Young Scholars Through the Study of Older Adults
Professor Jao plans to increase scholar’s awareness of the vulnerable elderly population. By hosting dinners with scholars and senior citizens, taking field trips to long-term care facilities and viewing a documentary showing the experience of a 19-year-old temporarily living in an assisted living, she will encourage scholars to share their feeling and thoughts about their experience and lead a discussion on ways to serve this population from their specialty areas and perspective.
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 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 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 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.).
Kenji Uchino Professor, Electrical Engineering Ethics, Entrepreneurship, and Global Crisis Technologies for Engineers
Professor Uchino will discuss ethics in engineering from different viewpoints. He will also offer programming on entrepreneurship for engineers, business & law school students with an engineering background, or for engineering students with ambition to be an international program/project officer. He will also discuss global crisis technologies and security alliances, covering a wide variety of information in the business and engineering fields.
David Witwer Professor, History and Humanities Reflection, Discussion, and Comparison of Labor Racketeering
By showing our Scholars the 1954 classic movie, “On the Waterfront”, Professor Witwer will set up a larger discussion about the history of labor racketeering in twentieth century American history. Then, he will follow up with an event focused around a more recent piece of popular culture to demonstrate how deeply ingrained these tropes and stereotypes about labor corruption have become.
Ming Xiao Associate Professor, Civil Engineering Introducing Scholars to Geotechnical Earthquake Research and Coastal Erosion in the Arctic
Professor Xiao has planned laboratory visits where scholars can experience model testing and will be introduced to geotechnical earthquake research. In addition, other events will focus on his workshops and field trips in Alaska where they will be introduced to the global issues of climate change and multidisciplinary research so scholars can have a broader vision when pursuing graduate studies.
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.
Andrew Zydney Distinguished Professor, Chemical Engineering Ethical and Financial Issues to the Life Saving Technology of Hemodialysis
Dr. Zydney will engage a group of Schreyer Scholars in a series of discussions regarding the artificial kidney and current research efforts targeted at developing a fully implantable artificial kidney. This program will also include a trip to one of the local hemodialysis centers in State College, so that Scholars can see the technology “in action” while also meeting with dialysis patients and nurses.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
Simmons-Atherton Social Hour (SASH)
Donuts with the Dean
Financial Literacy Workshops
Visiting the Village at Penn State
Creating Your Future
Fresh Start Day of Service
My thesis is a creative thesis. I'm writing a feature-length screenplay for a movie. As a film major, having a finished screenplay that you can take to different companies is really a strong selling point that most people don't have coming out of college.Joseph Abraham '20 Film and Video, Statistics