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.

2019 Luchinsky Lecture One Health, One Planet: Building Global Health Security Against Infectious Diseases Featuring Dr. Peter Hudson

Please join us as we welcome Dr. Peter Hudson for a conversation titled “One Health, One Planet: Building Global Health Security Against Infectious Diseases” as part of the 24th Annual Mark Luchinsky Memorial Lecture Series.

Dr. Hudson is Willaman Professor of Biology at Penn State and is also an adjunct professor at the Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology in Tanzania.

Dr. Hudson has worked to make Penn State a leader in infectious disease, genomics, metabolomics, and plant biology. He championed the development of a new global health laboratory to solve pressing disease issues of the day that threaten global health security. During the January 28 lecture, he will discuss ecology, emerging diseases, the education of women, and solutions to global population change.

Dr. Hudson has published four books and more than 200 scientific papers on the ecology of infectious disease. He has also traveled around the world to work with partners in India, Africa, and South and Central America.

He lives and operates his own nature reserve and has a passion for wildlife photography. To see photos from his collection, visit peterhudsonphotos.com.

Past Lectures
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.

2019-2020 Distinguished Honors Faculty

Eliyana Rebecca Adler headshot

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 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.

Pearl Gluck headshot

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.

Ying-Ling Jao headshot

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 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.

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.

Kenji Uchino headshot

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 headshot

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 headshot

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.

Andrew Zydney headshot

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.

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 Siddhi Deshpande

Schreyer offers so many unique experiences and for me, a pre-med student, it was touring Weill Cornell Medicine. It made me feel like no matter what I wanted to do — no matter what my ambitions were — Schreyer found a way to make them possible by giving me the support and foundation and outlet to pursue them.

Siddhi Deshpande '22 Neurobiology

Lead & Engage Student Programs

Browse Student Organizations