Student Court

Guide State Forward Award

As of Fall 2018, Homecoming Student Court members will have the opportunity to be selected as a recipient of the Guide State Forward Award. This award is a reminder of our vision as a Homecoming Executive Committee and an organization. When we think of the 2018 Homecoming theme, Guide State Forward, the values and ideals that we hold true, have become a permanent keepsake in the form of an award. These two select individuals, will be able to embrace their legacy not only as a member of Student Court, but as a recipient of such an honor.Guide State Forward looks to the past, it’s memories and it’s traditions; the monumental moments that made our University and organization so unique. These three words also look towards the future. Where we have come from, and where we hope to go; the change and the impact we hope to one day leave. We hope that by receiving the Guide State Forward Award, that members of the Student Court through through the years, will choose to carry on these words that we all hold dear to our hearts.


Alaa Ali Abdou

My name is Alaa Abdou and I’m a senior studying biomedical engineering from Houston, Texas. During the past four years here I have been involved in THON, Camp Kesem as a counselor and chair, Muslim Student Association as civic engagement chair, FreshStart PR director, Regeneron Campus Ambassador and Lion Ambassadors. I love Penn State because wherever I go it is with me. I love traveling and everytime I mention I go to Penn State everyone is somehow linked to Penn State! I see Penn State in my neighborhood in Texas, whether it be licences plates, shirts or flags. I have made some lifelong friends and connections here and cannot wait to always have Penn State with me , even beyond graduation. My favorite ice cream flavor at the creamery is probably Coffee Break!

Allison Schlegel

Hello! My name is Ally Schlegel and I am a senior Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship major from Parker, Colorado. I am a captain on the Penn State Women’s Soccer team and the President of the Student Athlete Advisory Board. Penn State is my favorite place in the world and it has truly become my home away from home. The people are the best part of Penn State and it doesn’t even come close- I have been pushed to become the best version of myself because of all the incredible humans that I have met here.

My favorite creamery flavor is death by chocolate (obviously there’s no other answer).

Celeste Good

My name is Celeste Good! I’m majoring in Women’s Studies. I am the President of Queer and Trans People of Color(QTPOC), the Vice President of the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Caucus(APIDA), and the personal trainer of the official dance team of the Caribbean Student Association, Island Fever. I’m currently on a co-ed IM soccer team that’s made it to the playoffs as well! During my time as a student my favorite thing to see is the passion teachers, students, and alumni have for their major involvements. I’ve met so many incredible people from so many different walks of life. The people that I’ve met along the way are what make me love Penn State. I would say that another thing that I love about Penn State is PSU Coffee Break ice cream from the creamery.

DeAndre Malcolm

My name is DeAndre Malcolm. I am a Senior majoring in Public Relations, with a minor in Spanish. I am the President of the Penn State Student Black Caucus; A Penn State Representative for the National Millennial/GenZ Community; Co-Founding Member of the Bellisario Alliance for Multicultural Students (BAMS); Resident Assistant in East Halls; A member of the Public Relations Student Society of America; and A member of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Penn State Chapter.

I love Penn State because of the sense of family and community that comes with being a Penn Stater. Penn State gave me the opportunity to be a leader on campus, and in my hometown, through the experiences on campus. I have worked with THON, served in the Student Programming Association, and even had the Opportunity to meet Vice President Kamala Harris, all due to my involvements and connections I have made at the University. I mostly looking forward to giving back to the Penn State community as an alumnus. Also, My favorite Creamery Ice Cream flavor is Bittersweet Mint or Death By Chocolate, but NEVER a mix!

Erin Boas

My name is Erin Boas and I’m an International Relations major from West Chester, Pa. I currently serve as the President of the University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA), your student government. I was born into a Penn State family and was naturally an avid Nittany Lion fan from a young age, but I truly didn’t appreciate the university until I became a student. The endless opportunities, both academic and extracurricular, as well as the warm embrace of the PSU community amounts to an unparalleled lifelong experience. Fun fact: I was a University Relations Captain for Homecoming 2020!

Favorite ice cream: Death by Chocolate

Iris Cholula Lopez

Hello everyone, my name is Iris J Cholula Lopez, I am a senior majoring in Education and Public Policy, double minoring in Psychology and Social Justice in Education. I am a first-generation college student from Allentown, PA. My involvements include being the President of the Mexican American Student Association (MASA), the Vice-President of the Multicultural Greek Council (MGC), and a proud sister of the Beta Lambda chapter of Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc.

I love Penn State for the opportunities, and communities it has provided me with. It has helped me discover and develop my passion for educational equity. Penn State helped me find life-long friends and a community here that has pushed me to strive for things I thought were out of reach. These communities have listened, supported, and educated me these past 4 years, and for that, I am forever grateful. My favorite creamery ice cream flavor would be plain old vanilla, I have tried exploring other flavors but always see myself going back to vanilla.

Jaylen Carr

Name: Jaylen Carr

Hometown: Baltimore, MD Major: Civil Engineering Involvements: Millennium Scholar, RA in West Halls, Treasurer for the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Social Chair for the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Mentor for BLUEprint Peer Mentoring Group, Mentor for Multicultural Engineering Program(MEP), Vice President of the Gamma Nu Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., and the Vice President of Standards for the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC). Why I love Penn State: It has provided opportunities academically, socially, and professionally that I do not believe I would have experienced anywhere else. The climate here has pushed me beyond my personal bounds and facilitated a lot of connections that will benefit for the rest of my life. The ice cream isn’t too bad either! Favorite Creamery Flavor: Death by Chocolate

Jess Strait

Hey y’all! My name is Jess Strait, and I’m a senior studying Applied Data Sciences with a minor in Entrepreneurship and a certificate in Information Sciences & Technology. I’m originally from rural southern Virginia, but I am a fourth-generation Penn Stater, so I always knew I would end up in Happy Valley! Here at Penn State, my major involvement is as founding member and president of Days for Girls PSU, a student organization working to sew reusable menstrual health kits and increase access to period care. Last semester, our team discovered through a survey of 500 Penn State students that 13% had missed school or work because they did not have access to period products. My initiatives with Days for Girls have included the distribution of almost 1000 free menstrual cups to Penn State students last fall, plus sewing and donation efforts to send period care to menstruators around the world. I was inspired to write my thesis on the impact of the free menstrual cup program on student period stigma, and I’ll be co-instructing a Students Teaching Students course next semester on menstrual equity. My time with Days for Girls has opened my heart to service and motivated me to take action to ensure that all menstruators can fully participate in their communities without interruption from their monthly periods.

Outside of my work with Days for Girls, I am involved on campus as a Schreyer Scholar and teaching assistant for Entrepreneurial Leadership. In Entrepreneurial Leadership, we encourage our students to look inward and find their “North Star.” If you asked me why I love Penn State, I would say that Penn State pointed me toward my North Star when I needed it the most. The network and resources that Penn State offers connected me to a team of service-minded changemakers all eager to take on the challenge of bringing period talk to our campus through Days for Girls. Today, my North Star is to continue my work in the menstrual equity space well after graduation, and to volunteer my skills in data science to support nonprofit organizations. When I’m not fighting period poverty or learning data science, I like to skateboard, do yoga, and enjoy Berkey Creamery ice cream (especially the Grilled Stickies flavor)! I am humbled and excited to have the opportunity to serve on Student Court and share my passions with Penn State, and I look forward to being a part of the tradition of Homecoming!

Laura Michelle Guay

Laura Guay is in her final semester at Penn State and studying Biobehavioral Health and French and Francophone Studies with a minor in Global Health. She moved to State College at age 5, and her dad is a professor at Penn State, so Laura has been a part of the larger Penn State community for quite some time. She knew that Penn State would provide her with more opportunities than any other university to explore her interests in research, policy, and program design/implementation in a comprehensive manner.

Laura’s involvement throughout the university has included serving as a team collaborator and Research Assistant in several labs throughout HHD, most notably the Stress, Health, and Daily Experiences lab where she found her passion for the study of loneliness and human connection; working as a peer educator with AIDS Resource, a local non-profit in State College, to implement events on campus around sexual health; previously working with Campus Recreation as a Tennis Instructor and Customer Service Representative; and studying abroad in Dakar, Senegal. Some of Laura’s most memorable experiences as a Penn State student are collaborating with a multidisciplinary team in an international case competition to combat COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy, interning with the US Department of State, and working with the United Nations. Although her time at Penn State is quickly coming to a close, she cannot be more grateful for the meaningful and lifelong connections she has formed with students, faculty, and staff across the university these past few years. She is honored to be on this year’s Student Court and cannot wait to share her smile and enthusiasm with everyone in the coming weeks! Her favorite ice cream flavor is Bittersweet Mint!

Nora Van Horn

Nora Van Horn is a fourth-year student pursuing majors in Philosophy, Global and International Studies, and Chinese, and a minor in Civic and Community Engagement. This academic work enables her to grapple with local and global issues, applying ethical theory to analyze what is just — and what is not — and understand how we can cooperatively create a better future.

As a first- and second-year student, Nora dove into environmental advocacy, believing in leaders’ responsibility to create ethical and sustainable systems, not just stress “eco-friendly” individual choices; she joined the Student Sustainability Advisory Council and the University Park Undergraduate Association. In the UPUA, she formed the Department of Sustainability to create a community of student experts and retain their institutional knowledge. Last year, she collaborated as a member of the UP Student Fee Board to implement the Environmental Sustainability Fund, annually providing $250,000 to projects advancing environmental sustainability, and interned at the Sustainability Institute, coordinating their Sustainability Showcase Series. In spring 2020, she worked with student leaders to create a comprehensive plan to address sexual misconduct for a UPUA platform, which motivated Nora to join an anti-sexual-violence advocacy organization, the Schreyer Gender Equity Coalition. With the coalition, she advocates for greater institutional transparency; a recent project focused on the release of the 2018 Sexual Misconduct Survey results. Outside of Penn State, Nora completed a summer immersion program in China. This past summer, she interned at Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy organization based in DC. She is from Loretto, Pennsylvania, and has four siblings. She also has a cat, Kitty. To her, “together, we prevail” means we must work together, trusting the expertise of all — especially those not commonly invited to participate in decision-making — to create a better, more just future for those at Penn State and beyond.

For more information, refer to our Student Court Handbook below.

Student Court Handbook

About Student Court

As one of 10 individuals on Student Court, you have the chance to embrace an opportunity that is steeped in rich history. You will be following in the steps of those individuals before you, who have been recognized for their passion to this University as a leader, scholar and community member. Your time as a Student Court Member will be filled with memories that go beyond just the four years it takes to get a degree. Your cohort of students will have the opportunity to lead a community-wide service project, have personal interactions with the Grand Marshal and ride in the largest student-run parade in the nation. If the possibility of leaving your Nittany Lion mark on this great University interests you, we want you as a member of the Penn State Homecoming Student Court.

Student Court Timeline

Members of the Penn State student body are able to nominate a rising Senior during various spring and fall court nomination events. Homecoming Captains, whose duties include working with the Student Court, then take the time to go through nominations and send out applications to eligible individuals. The individual nominated chooses to fill out the application. Because of the amount of applications we receive each year, Homecoming will look through the applications and choose the top 20 candidates who will be sent to interview in front of a Faculty and Staff Panel. The Faculty and Staff Panel, made up of various Penn State faculty and staff members on a volunteer basis, take the time to interview applicants and cut the candidate pool from 20 to the final number of 10 Student Court members.

Spring Nominations

Spring Nominations will open 8 a.m. All Nominations will need to be submitted online. Only one nomination is needed to recieve an application. Nomination tables will be set up in the HUB on April 27th (Legacy Celebration). Nominations will close on August 31st at 5:00 pm, and no late submissions will be accepted.


Student Court applications will go out to all those nominated via email. Applications will be due electronically on September 5th at 11:59pm. No late applications will be accepted.

Faculty and Staff Panel Interviews

September 11th
The selected 20 Student Court candidate’s will be interviewed by the Faculty panel. Interviews will be held in the University House in Hintz Alumni Center.

Court Workshop

October 3rd, 6-8:30PM
Location will be in HUB 134. All Homecoming Courts (Grad, University and Student) will receive their schedule of events and important information for Homecoming Week.

Student Court Service Event

Date TBD
All Student Court members will plan and implement a Campus-wide community service event.

Homecoming Week

October 16 – October 22nd
All members of the Student Court are required to be present and active at all Homecoming Week Events.

Homecoming Football Game

October 22nd
Members of the Student Court will be presented at the Homecoming Football Game. The top two Court members will be crowned and given special recognition during this time.