Mission

The mission of Penn State Homecoming is to celebrate tradition and instill pride in all members of the Penn State family through active engagement of students, alumni, faculty and staff across the community.

Vision

We believe that the traditional sense of a homecoming celebration encompassing a parade and football game has evolved, and strive to set a new standard for homecoming celebrations.. Penn State Homecoming organizes a number of exciting events in the spring and fall semesters culminating with the events of Homecoming Week.

When I Was A Lion Blog - 2000s

2000

2011

Name: Nikki

What did you study at Penn State?

Nikki stuided Spanish Education and English as a Second Language.

What is a significant experience that you had at Penn State?

Nikki was the Homecoming 2010 Parade Director, the 2010-2011 Vice President of Ski Club, and danced in THON 2011.

What are you doing now?

Nikki is now teaching English as a Second Language in a middle school in Philadelphia.

How has your time here influenced where you are now?

Penn State gave Nikki the necessary experiences to be a leader and professional in her career.

What is the most significant piece of advice that you have ever received, and that has helped you through the years?

Nikki's father always tells her, "Take your time. We are in a hurry." By taking a deep breath, slowing down, and maintaining focus, she is able to effectively and efficiently accomplish her tasks to lead her towards her goals.

Please include any additional information you would like to share:

By getting involved at Penn State, I met so many wonderful people, learned so many things, and flourished interests that I never knew I had. By volunteering at Global Connections for ESL tutoring, I discovered my hidden passion, and pursued a minor in ESL. Furthermore, a friend convinced me to try volunteering at Shaver's Creek Environmental Center. This opened my eyes to the world of outdoor education. Now, I have worked for many outdoor centers and continue to do so as a second and summer job. (One day, I hope to be fully employed at an environmental education center.)

 

 

2012

Name: Kim

What did you study at Penn State? 
Supply Chain and Information Systems

What is a significant experience that you had at Penn State?

Kim marched with the Penn State Blue Band as a Silk, which is how she met her husband!

What are you doing now?

Kim now lives in Virginia with her husband and two cats, working as a Senior Consultant for IBM.

How has your time here influenced where you are now?

Kim's time at Penn State was the best four years of her life! She learned so much and was able to land an amazing job before graduating! She never thought she would meet the love of her life in her first year at Penn State, but she is so glad that she did because she can share her passion for Penn State with her partner in crime! She enjoyed being apart of the Penn State community so much that she would like to live up there again in the future!

What is the most significant piece of advice that you have ever received, and that has helped you through the years?

The most significant piece of advice Kim received was to be confident in everything you do. This has helped her get an awesome job. It also helped her to do things outside of her comfort zone.

Please include any additional information you would like to share:

At Penn State, Kim was involved in several on-campus choirs including, Women's Chorale, University Choir and Oriana Singers. Kim was also involved with the Penn State Blue Band. While a member of a choir, all of the Penn State choirs, along with the orchestra, performed the entire Verdi Requiem, which was the most incredible performance Kim had ever performed in!

Name: Dj

What did you study at Penn State?

Communication Arts and Sciences (CAS) 

What is a significant experience that you had at Penn State?

1. I served as the Alumni Relations Director for Homecoming 2010: Bonded by Blue and White. While there, I had the chance to interact with recent alumni and those who graduated farther in the past. This experience made me realize how important my connection to Penn State was. I knew after being on HEC2k10 that there was little in my life as important as my connection to Penn State. 

2. In the fall of 2009 I was asked to testify before the U.S. Senate at a hearing on the expansion of Pell Grants. This initial involvement led to a college experience full of advocacy for tuition control and increased state support. It led me to my current career.

What are you doing now?

I am a professional political operative. I am hired by a candidate or PAC to help them influence public debate and eventually elect the candidate I'm working for. This field requires multitasking and the ability to deal with many different perspectives at once, which is something I learned how to do through activities at Penn State. I am also the President of the Young Democrats of Allegheny County and LGBT Caucus chair for the Allegheny County Democratic Party.

How has your time here influenced where you are now?

My work requires juggling a lot at once - any student leader at Penn State knows what that's like. Furthermore, the skills I learned in my classes equipped me for the real world. I learned at PSU how to be a citizen critic and to question the status quo, and that has greatly influenced my current job.

What is the most significant piece of advice that you have ever received, and that has helped you through the years?

Probably from my father: "Don't ever burn a bridge." In politics, we're often told how cutthroat things are. I have made an effort to stay civil and honest with those who I may even disagree with. I think this advice has translated to my personal life as well, and I make an effort to be respectful of opposition as much as possible.

Please include any additional information you would like to share:

The greatest thing about my time at Penn State was the positive influence I had from many staff and faculty, but three in particular. Dr. Rosa Eberly taught me the importance of questioning authority, and why being an advocate and an engaged citizen was a right I should take advantage of. This lesson was one I take to heart. I consistently work to find and encourage others to help me solve public problems.

Susan James and Jen Grossman Leopard not only kept me in check when I needed it, but taught me about service and thinking before I act. They consistently reminded me of what was really important. Had I not been fortunate enough to have a mom and a sister in 209, I don't know that I would've made it out of college at all.

In short, I would not be the person I am today without the influence these three women placed upon me. I think of their lessons every day.

 

 

2013

Name: Lindsey

What did you study at Penn State?

Communication Sciences and Disorders

What is a significant experience that you had at Penn State?

Visiting Haiti though Penn State Catholic Campus Ministries- Project Haiti in 2012 & dancing in THON in 2012 for her THON child and sign language organization

What are you doing now?

Lindsey is working at her high school alma mater as a Special Education Instructional Assistant and though her Intermediate Unit doing Therapeutic Staff Support working with nonverbal autistic children. She is also in a Speech and Language Certification program through the same Intermediate Unit where she will be able to qualify for certification and work as a Speech Language Pathologist in a school district.

How has your time here influenced where you are now?

Lindsey believes that Penn State offers opportunities and connections that not many other colleges and universities are able to provide for their students. She has been influenced by the support from her clubs and organizations, professors and classmates, and by her family who has supported her dreams since the day they dropped her off in the dorms. She would certainly not be the individual she is today and considers herself blessed for having the opportunity to study at the world's greatest university. It would be a lie if she said she could imagine herself at any other school.

What is the most significant piece of advice that you have ever received, and that has helped you through the years?

The most significant piece of advice Lindsey has ever received that has helped her though the years was from her father, who had always told her to achieve her goals no matter how long it takes. If you are studying to do something you don't enjoy doing, you're going to have some long years ahead of you. He also reminded her frequently throughout her college years that the hard work you dedicate yourself to in these 4 years, will effect the rest of your life... 4 years of academic ass-whopping for a lifetime of satisfaction knowing that you earned every second of your success.

Please include any additional information you would like to share:

WE ARE.....!!!

 

 

Name:  Gabrielle

What did you study at Penn State?

Marketing, International Business, and Economics

What is a significant experience that you had at Penn State?

This is a loaded question.. what WASN'T a significant experience at Penn State?! If I have to narrow it down to one, it was the 2012 Homecoming parade. I was very fortunate to be the Homecoming Director in 2012. The year leading up to the parade was filled with hard work by my captains and the rest of the Executive committee, communication across university departments, student and community organizations, and alumni chapters across the United States, and long hours in the HUB. Not to mention there was a lot of negative attention on Penn State in the media. Seeing everything that I had envisioned in my head come together in one day was unbelievable. I got to meet various individuals who I had exchanged emails with and shared a love of Penn State. I had to run to catch up with the Executive Committee flatbed because I was helping organize floats at the parade grounds, and once I hopped on I was overwhelmed with so much emotion. It is extraordinary to see hundreds of people come back to their home and celebrate.
On a lighter note, Wings Over Happy Valley is THE BEST. I am one lucky duck because there is a Wings Over DC too :)

What are you doing now?

I am currently working in Convention Sales for Destination DC, the Convention & Tourism Bureau for the District of Columbia. My job consists of marketing DC as a destination for meetings and events and bringing in corporate and association business.

How has your time here influenced where you are now?

The courses I took and opportunities I had to network through the Smeal College of Business are unmatched in today's corporate world. My involvement in organizations like Homecoming and THON, and part time job at Lion Line helped me find my passion for planning events and using events as a marketing tool. In general, the exposure I had at Penn State to different environments and people has shaped me into the professional that I am today.

What is the most significant piece of advice that you have ever received, and that has helped you through the years?

Stay positive! If you look on the bright side of things in any situation, you will get through it. There is always a silver lining, and you are smart enough to find it and strong enough to use it to find solutions.

Please include any additional information you would like to share:

Study abroad! I studied abroad in Paris during the summer of 2011 through Smeal. I still keep in touch with the group I traveled with, we actually have a group text that we use often because we all live in different cities and some overseas. Living in Paris is something I think about almost every day- truly an experience of a lifetime. I still remember when I first got off of the plane at Charles de Gaulle, I was wearing a Penn State Tshirt and someone yelled We Are!!

If you are still a Lion-- LIVE IT UP AND SOAK IN EVERY MOMENT! If you are alumni... I will see you at Homecoming :)

 

 

Name: Kevin

What did you study at Penn State?

Industrial Engineering

What is a significant experience that you had at Penn State?

Security Director for Homecoming 2011!

What are you doing now?

Working as an operations supervisor for a Fortune 100 company

How has your time here influenced where you are now?

Skills in team building, planning logistics, inspiring others to come together and running a complicated operation (like Homecoming) have helped prepare me for my job functions better than anything I learned in school

What is the most significant piece of advice that you have ever received, and that has helped you through the years?

Find a new way to grow and challenge yourself in everything that you do, every day. When you constantly challenge the way things are now and the way YOU are now, you find that you grow into a much better person and a much better leader. Some things might seem ordinary and even annoying but there is always something you can learn from it.

 

 

2014

Name: Kevin

What did you study at Penn State?

Business Management

What is a significant experience that you had at Penn State?

Every single day at Penn State was a special experience. Hanging around with best friends in the best town in the world.

What are you doing now?

Graduate Assistant for Intramural Sports at Wagner College in Staten Island, NY where I am pursuing my MBA in Marketing

How has your time here influenced where you are now?

I met some of my best friends during my time at Penn State. It also prepared me for the real world to take on whatever challenges I encounter.

What is the most significant piece of advice that you have ever received, and that has helped you through the years?

To get to where you want to be in life and career, you have to work for it and go and get it. You cannot just wait around for something good to happen.

Please include any additional information you would like to share:

As a freshmen, I did not take my schoolwork very seriously and was in great danger of dropping out of school. Over the next 3 years, I matured and grew up in a big way to not only graduate, but graduate with a great degree that will springboard me into a great future.

 

 

Name: Juliana

What did you study at Penn State?

Juliana studied Public Relations, Sociology, and Psychology.

What is a significant experience that you had at Penn State?

The most significant experiences from Juliana's time at PSU involve serving as the Corporate Relations Director for Penn State Homecoming 2014 and being a member of Alpha Delta Pi. Both of these experiences taught her so much about herself and and helped her grow into a (semi-functioning) adult. These experiences taught her how to deal with relationship issues, professional issues, and also taught her about the system and processes of the "real world"

What are you doing now?

Juliana now works at a direct-marketing, alumni relations firm in State College. She is actively looking for project and event management jobs in NYC and hopes to move there by August 2015.

How has your time here influenced where you are now?

Her time at PSU influenced Juliana in every way possible. Not only does she work with mainly PSU grads, but her time on campus and in the classroom gave her the tools to succeed professionally and personally.

What is the most significant piece of advice that you have ever received, and that has helped you through the years?

The most significant piece of advice that she ever received pertained to how to be a good leader. She was told that a good manager, teacher, or leader succeeds by being a guidance counselor for others. They shouldn't dictate how to do things, but rather give goals and a "suggested" plan. When someone comes to them for help, they should allow the person to talk through the problem and reach a conclusion on their own by guiding them in the right direction.

 

 

Name: Sarah

What did you study at Penn State?

Public Relations; Advertising

What is a significant experience that you had at Penn State?

During Sarah's time as Penn State she participated in Penn State Homecoming as a student volunteer. Throughout her time working with Penn State Homecoming, Sarah served as a street team committee member and captain and the 2013 Executive Committee Public Relations Director. Sarah got to experience Homecoming from every level of involvement, and saw many new events and activities bloom during her three years of involvement. She met many lifetime friends and made memories she will never forget!

What are you doing now?

Sarah is now working as a communications specialist at The Dow Chemical Company in Midland, MI.

How has your time here influenced where you are now?

Sarah's time at Penn State, especially here involvement with Homecoming, led her to choose a career path where she gets to work daily with spirited, passionate individuals. Being a part of a diverse work team while volunteering with Homecoming has helped her to achieve success at her job, where she works with a global team of individuals.

What is the most significant piece of advice that you have ever received, and that has helped you through the years?

Sarah's best piece of advice comes from a coffee mug her mother gave her at her high school graduation. It reads, "Do what you love, love what you do." Much of our lives will be spent at work, and it is important to pursue a career that you are not only passionate about, but challenges you to be the best version of yourself.

Please include any additional information you would like to share:

Sarah began her career at Penn State feeling like a small fish in a big pond. After joining Penn State Homecoming as a Freshman and getting involved with her fellow classmates in volunteer and professional communities, she quickly learned how to make a big school feel small. Her connections through various organizations at Penn State helped her to create important relationships with friends, faculty, staff, and people of the community. By the end of her senior year, it was hard to believe all of the great connections she had made just by putting herself out there!

 

 

Name: Alex

What did you study at Penn State?

Broadcast Journalism

What is a significant experience that you had at Penn State?

Wow, just one? Four years of THON was one of the most defining experiences of Alex's time at Penn State, as was spending senior year spring break reporting in Cuba.

What are you doing now?

Alex is a production assistant at ESPN

How has your time here influenced where you are now?

Professionally Penn State gave Alex much of the preparation, experience and know-how he needed to get going in the television industry, It also gave him connections which opened doors he would not have otherwise had access to. Personally, Alex made some of the best friends he's ever had in Happy Valley, and made memories he'll never forget.

What is the most significant piece of advice that you have ever received, and that has helped you through the years?

Two things:
1. Never be afraid to surround yourself with and work with people who are better than you. The best way to grow is to learn from those who you respect and those who can drive you to be the best you can be.
2. Work hard, but don't forget to have fun along the way.

Please include any additional information you would like to share:

While at Penn State, Alex was involved in THON, Centre County Report, ComRadio, PSNtv, and The Pennharmonics a cappella group. He attended a small high school and graduated with just 135 people; his hometown population would fit in Beaver Stadium about 9 times over, so attending Penn State was an eye-opening experience for him. The sense of community at Penn State is unlike anything he had ever experienced before, and very few places can come close.

 

 

2015

Name: Luke

What did you study at Penn State?

Industrial Engineering

What is a significant experience that you had at Penn State?

Joining the Penn State Dance MaraTHON as a committee member, THON Chair, captain, and dancer has given me the amazing opportunity to make an impact for children battling pediatric cancer. My involvement in THON has shaped my college experience and has made me into a better person.

What are you doing now?

I will be working as a Technology Analyst for Accenture starting this upcoming summer (2015).

How has your time here influenced where you are now?

My time here at Penn State has helped me create a great social network and has given me guidance in what I would like to do to begin my career. I credit my experiences at Penn State to my professional and social successes.

What is the most significant piece of advice that you have ever received, and that has helped you through the years?

Half of life is being there. This is a piece of advice that my father always iterates and it has helped me make the most of my time. It has taught me to not sit around wasting time when I can be living life by learning, spending times with friends, and making the most of all of my opportunities.

Please include any additional information you would like to share:

My time with the Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity has taught me so much on how to be a professional and how to handle myself responsibly. I have made lifelong friends through it and would never trade away my time in the fraternity.