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 honesty, personal integrity, and joy in learning.

2022 Luchinsky Lecture A 20/20 Vision for Our World: Building Bridges, Not Walls Featuring John Quiñones
  • Monday, January 24, 2022
  • 7:00 - 8:00 PM
  • The State Theatre

This year we are honored to welcome John Quiñones for his presentation "A 20/20 Vision for Our World: Building Bridges, Not Walls." Mr. Quiñones is an author, broadcast journalist, motivational speaker, and host of ABC's What Would You Do?

Throughout his career, Mr. Quiñones has been recognized for his excellence in broadcast journalism. He has won seven national Emmy Awards for his "Primetime Live," "Burning Questions" and "20/20" work. He has also been recognized for his coverage of the Congo's virgin rainforest, the Yanomamo Indians, the homeless children of Bogota, and children sugar cane cutters in the Dominican Republic.

In this highly topical keynote, John Quiñones plans to explore the dilemmas that leaders and organizations face in this brave new world of transparency. He will share scenarios from What Would You Do? and years of observing the best and worst of human nature.

Penn State COVID-19 Risk Statement

The Pennsylvania State University requires adherence to its policies at all times while on Penn State property or attending University events. Penn State has issued rules and precautions which follow, or may in some cases exceed, guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. By attending or participating in this program, event, or activity, you agree to adhere to such guidance and policies, you acknowledge the risk of being exposed to or infected by COVID-19, and you assume any and all such risk.

As of August 4, 2021, this guidance includes basic health, safety, and sanitation measures (staying home when sick, washing/sanitizing hands often, etc.) in addition to wearing a face mask while using public transportation or while in any indoor public space at any University location, including: classrooms of any size, meeting rooms, common areas in residence halls, and all indoor events.

You must adhere to these protocols regardless of vaccination status.

Your presence at this program, event, or activity indicates your agreement to adhere to all university policies, including health and safety policies such as masking if applicable, and your acknowledgment that you are voluntarily participating in this program, event, or activity. You further acknowledge the contagious nature of COVID-19 and assume any and all risk of exposure to or infection by it or any variant thereof, including, without limitation, personal injury, illness, severe complications, permanent disability, and/or death.

Important Information About this Event

Please note that this event will be livestreamed on this web page for those who are unable to join us in person. Registration is not required to join the livestream.

In accordance with State College Borough mandates and CDC guidance, all patrons, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear masks while in The State Theatre. Masks are available upon patron request. We strongly encourage all attendees to be vaccinated.

Additionally, the format of this event may change from on site to virtual based on the impact of the coronavirus omicron variant. If a change in format occurs, all registrants will receive a notification and additional messaging and announcements will appear on the college’s website and on its social media platforms. For reference, the latest information on Penn State’s response to the pandemic can be found on the Coronavirus Information website.

The event is cosponsored by the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications, Department of Journalism, the Multicultural Association of Schreyer Scholars, the Multicultural Resource Center, Penn State Educational Equity, Penn State Gender Equity Center, Penn State Hillel, the Presidential Leadership Academy, Rock Ethics Institute, and the Schreyer Honors College Student Council.

Past Lectures
Leland Melvin headshot
2021 Leland Melvin Engineer, Educator, former NASA Astronaut, former NFL wide receiver
Jeanine Staples headshot
2020 Jeanine Staples Professor of Education and African American Studies
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.

2022-23 Distinguished Honors Faculty

Amy Carney headshot

Amy Carney Associate Professor of History, Penn State Behrend The Holocaust

While browsing through The Guardian website, Dr. Carney came across the following headline: “Nearly two-thirds of US young adults unaware 6m Jews killed in the Holocaust.” After reading the article and the survey conducted by the Jewish Claims Conference, which the article was based on, Dr. Carney’s desire to help students understand what happened as well as why and how it happened increased. As part of the DHFP Program, she will invite Holocaust survivors, scholars, rabbi’s and members of the community for fireside chats and conversations to tell their stories and teach students about the Jewish culture. She is also planning a screening of a Holocaust film and a trip to a Holocaust Museum if health situations permit.

Zi-Kui Liu headshot

Zi-Kui Liu Dorothy Pate Enright Professor and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering The TKC Theory

To help my students develop learning and problem-solving skills, I have established the TKC theory based on basic scientific concepts and use my personal stories as illustrations. In this theory, T stands for Thermodynamics used to define driving force towards goals, which requires the quantifiable goal setting and good understanding of present status; K is for Kinetics, representing the pathways from present to the goals, which emphasizes the importance in selecting the optimal journeys and activating oneself to over the inevitable barriers; C denotes Crystallography, pointing out the factors contributing to the kinetic barriers and strategies to reduce the barriers. I give formal annual presentation of the TKC theory to students in my group, and many of them could talk about the theory and cite some of stories in years after their graduations.

Chiara Lo Prete headshot

Chiara Lo Prete Associate Professor of Energy Economics Energy Communication

Dr. Lo Prete would like to enhance the learning experiences of Schreyer Scholars through a program that integrates a range of site visits, reflective activities to practice communication skills, and dinner conversations with energy professionals.

Peter Mhando headshot

Peter Mhando Associate Teaching Professor of International Business and International Affairs Conversations about Post COVID-19 Pandemic Impact and Opportunities in the International Business Scene

Dr. Mhando will hold fireside chats and dinner conversations aimed at leading scholars to further interrogate the pandemic and the change in global business environment as well as provide a re-thinking of opportunities in the post pandemic environment. This will provide an opportunity for scholars to examine socio-political-economic questions around post-pandemic, and consequent impact on international business.

Pierce Salguero headshot

Pierce Salguero Associate Professor of Asian History & Religious Studies and Program Chair for Interdisciplinary Studies at Penn State Abington Asian Medical Humanities Series

Dr. Salguero’s series will include dinner and discussion events, fireside chats that will be unscripted open discussions of broader themes and viewing of documentary films that raise questions about Asian approaches to health and medicine.

Valerie Schrader headshot

Valerie Schrader Associate Professor of Communications Arts & Sciences and Coordinator, Penn State Schuylkill Honors Program Musical Theatre and Trip

As a rhetorical critic, the majority of Dr. Schrader’s research focuses on rhetorical messages in musical theatre texts and how those messages are communicated to audiences. Dr. Schrader will select a musical or play and provide scholars with the libretto for the show. She will hold at least one virtual workshop, fireside chat, special luncheon or discussion at University Park or another campus with scholars to discuss messages in the show. Scholars will have the opportunity to see the show, the location will depend on funding and transportation and then a discussion will be held to explore how the messages are conveyed through performance and how performance may change the messages in the libretto of the musical. Because there are so many different shows to choose from and so many different communication theories to apply, each semester would provide a new and interesting experience for Schreyer scholars to consider.

Jay Stauffer headshot

Jay Stauffer Distinguished Professor of Ichthyology Questioning Paradigms

There are many definitions of paradigm, but for the purposes of this discussion, a paradigm will be considered to be a concept or thought pattern that signifies a valid contribution. Many paradigms are taken as truth and as a result people do not understand or ignore the facts or lack thereof that support a particular belief. Failing to comprehend a particular issue, however, does not prevent one from believing or acting on these opinions (see Moore and Parker 2001). I propose to select certain “beliefs” or statements that are widely promoted, gather scientific facts, and subject them to critical thinking.

Ken Tamminga headshot

Ken Tamminga Distinguished Professor of Landscape Architecture Diversity, Belonging and Resilience through the Lens of Place and Design

Dr. Tamminga plans to hold a multi-cultural dinner each semester at the Arboretum followed by a discussion about the founding communities that inhabited the landscape before Penn State’s establishment. In addition, he will invite scholars to the Stuckman Family Building to meet and explore ideas of diversity/belonging and community resilience in the face of upheaval (socio-political, climate change, Covid)

Daniel Weiss headshot

Daniel Weiss Professor of Psychology and Linguistics What Makes Us Human?

Dr. Weiss is planning ZOOM calls with a bonobo named Kanzi, one of the very last language-trained Great Apes in the world and visiting a metropolitan zoo to observe animals (pending travel restrictions)

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.

Schreyer-Sponsored Organizations

Gender and Sexual Diversity in Schreyer

Gender and Sexual Diversity in Schreyer (GSDS) was created to fit the needs of LGBTQIA+ Schreyer Scholars. GSDS intends to make the Schreyer Honors College a more inclusive environment by coordinating an alumni mentoring network, compiling mental and sexual health resources, and fostering cultural competency through collaborative outreach initiatives.

Gender Equity Task Force

The Gender Equity Task Force works to create a safe and supportive environment for students of all genders/identities within the Schreyer Honors College. This is done via education about consent and health relationships, programming for all Scholars, acting as a resource and point of contact for the community, and promoting a healthy culture within the College.

Minorities in Schreyer

The goal of Minorities in Schreyer is to support underrepresented students in the Schreyer Honors College and provide them with a safe space to share their experiences while advocating for increased recruitment of minorities into the Honors College.

Multicultural Association of Schreyer Scholars (MASS)

The Multicultural Association of Schreyer Scholars is an organization that aims to establish equity as a core value of the Honors College by creating initiatives that increase cultural diversity by prioritizing recruitment/retention of minoritized students; developing cultural awareness; and helping existing organizations foster an inclusive space for underrepresented students.

Schreyer Consulting

The Schreyer Consulting Group aims to prepare Schreyer Scholars for competitive careers in consulting, expand the breadth of career development resources and placement opportunities, and build and sustain interest in the consulting field among Scholars.

Schreyer for Women (SfW)

SfW is an organization dedicated toward the championing of women and non-gender-conforming individuals through opportunities for personal and professional development and community engagement. We are a space for Scholars to network, socialize, collaborate, and contribute to their community even beyond graduation.

Schreyer Honors College Student Council (StuCo)

StuCo acts as a liaison between groups such as University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA), Schreyer administration, and the Schreyer student body. Additionally, we help to market and sell all Schreyer merchandise, plan social events for Scholars, offer an avenue for Scholars to be involved in THON, plan service and philanthropic initiatives, and organize academic and career building events.

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 Connor Cassady

Being in Schreyer has pushed me further than I ever thought an undergraduate education could. I knew coming to Penn State that I would receive an amazing education with access to a multitude of state-of-the-art resources, but being a Scholar has allowed me to use this environment to maximize my potential and place my education in an ever-changing global community.

Connor Cassady ' 18 Mathematics

Lead & Engage Student Programs

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