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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.

2021 Luchinsky Lecture Chasing Space: An Astronaut's Story of Grit, Grace, and Second Chances Featuring Leland Melvin
  • Monday, January 25, 2021
  • 7:00 - 8:15 PM
  • Live on Zoom

This year we are honored to have Mr. Leland Melvin present "Chasing Space: An Astronaut's Story of Grit, Grace, and Second Chances."

Leland Melvin is an engineer, educator, former NASA astronaut, and former NFL wide receiver. He served on board the Space Shuttle Atlantis as a mission specialist on mission STS-122 (2008) and STS-129 (2009), helping to construct the International Space Station. He also led NASA Education and co-chaired the White House’s Federal Coordination in STEM Education Task Force, developing the nation’s 5-year STEM education plan.

After 24 years with NASA as a researcher, astronaut and Senior Executive Service leader, he now shares his life story as an athlete, astronaut, scientist, engineer, photographer, and musician to help inspire the next generation of explorers to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM) careers.

In May 2017, Mr. Melvin released his memoir, "Chasing Space: An Astronaut's Story of Grit, Grace, and Second Chances." In "Chasing Space," he shares his personal journey from the gridiron to the stars, and examines the intersecting roles of community, perseverance, and grace that align to create the opportunities for success.

Past Lectures
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.

2021-22 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.

Paul Haidet headshot

Paul Haidet Distinguished Professor of 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.”

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.

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.

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 Ananda Rankin

I want to be able to find something through research that can help the rest of the world. If you find this one thing, that could change the course of everything afterward.

Ananda Rankin '20 Microbiology

Lead & Engage Student Programs

Browse Student Organizations