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. 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.


Casey Sennett

Casey is a fifth year Integrated Undergraduate-Graduate (IUG) student from Philipsburg, Pennsylvania. She is pursuing my master’s degree in Anthropology and bachelor’s degrees in Anthropology, History, Jewish Studies, and Middle East Studies. She also has minors in Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies and Global and International Studies and certificates in Museum Studies and Holocaust and Genocide Studies. On campus, she serves as an Ambassador for the College of the Liberal Arts and the Schreyer Honors College. She also is a member of the Paterno Fellows Student Advisory Board and a mentor in the Undergraduate Public Speaking Center. Additionally, she is an intern for both the Centre County Planning and Community Development Office (CCPCDO) and Penn State Hillel. In April, she served as the student MC for the closing ceremony for A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence, Penn State’s $2.2 billion fundraising campaign. She has also served as a mentor for Schreyer’s first-year orientation, SHO TIME, as a Lion Ambassador, and as a student assistant in the College of the Liberal Art’s Career Enrichment Network. She loves Penn State because the university has allowed her to pursue dreams she never thought were possible. She is from a low-income family and the university, as well as the generosity of alumni, friends, and donors, has allowed her to not only attend college, but to experience it. Casey’s favorite creamery flavor is Grilled Stickies!

Sydney Gibbard

Hello, my name is Sydney Gibbard, and it is an honor to serve on the 2022 Student Homecoming Court! She is a fourth-year majoring in Biomedical Engineering from Yardley, PA, but her family is originally from Canada. She is the UPUA Student Body President where she has the incredible opportunity to amplify the projects of many other organizations at Penn State, collaborate with students and administration, and implement initiatives that better student life. At Penn State, she has been honored to be a part of many student organizations including Society of Women Engineers, Student Fee Board, Lion Ambassadors, THON, Greek Life, and even Homecoming as a Photography Committee Member. She is incredibly thankful to this school for supporting her in founding a nonprofit called Girls Code the World that provides resources, opportunities, and role models for girls through STEM educational programming and extended mentorships.

Sydney loves Penn State for the energy you feel here. Passion for this school is engrained beneath everyone’s skin, and there are thousands of chances to leave an impact on Penn State and fall in love with the people and opportunities here. One of the things she is most proud of is convincing both her younger siblings to come to Penn State; all three of them are here this year! Sydney’s favorite Creamery Ice Cream is Apple Cobbler Crunch.

Sarabeth Bowmaster

My name is Sarabeth Bowmaster and I’m a senior from Lock Haven, PA studying women’s, gender, & sexuality studies, labor & human resources, and philosophy!

While at Penn State, she has been involved with Lion Ambassadors, a peer educator and student staff at the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, the former president and founder of the League of Women Voters at Penn State, and a student instructor and executive board member with Students Teaching Students.

Penn State has shaped her into the person she is today, given her the best friends in the world, and opportunities she could never have dreamed of. She’ll always call Happy Valley home! She is forever indebted to our Dear Old White & Blue and can’t wait to venture home each October for years to come!

Sarabeth’s favorite creamery flavor is definitely Mint Nittany, but Death by Chocolate is a close second (obviously).

Jacob Snyder

Their name is Jake (he/they), and they are a jellyfish scientist, artist, and coffee enthusiast! They are a fourth-year biology major with minors in art and marine science.

They love Penn State because, here, they found a second family. They connected with high-achieving, underrepresented scholars that continually inspire and uplift them. They were also connected with global scientific and artistic communities, through which they got opportunities to study in Hawai’i, Louisiana, the Caribbean, and Rome.

They are a Millennium Scholar and a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Hollings Scholar. They also conduct research at Penn State, where they study upside-down jellyfish! Outside of their studies, they are the Founder and former President of Gender and Sexuality Diversity in Schreyer (GSDS), the Schreyer Honors College’s first LGBTQIA+ organization, and a three-year executive of Out in STEM.

Jake’s favorite ice cream flavor is Grilled Stickies because it gives them Ye Olde College Diner nostalgia!

Janiyah Davis

Janiyah is from Dallas, Tx. She is a Senior double majoring in Criminology and Psychology, with an enhanced minor in Child Maltreatment and Advocacy Studies, additional minors in African American Studies, and a Behavioral Health and Counseling Psychology certificate. She  currently serves as Student Trustee on Penn State’s Board of Trustees; a Campus Ambassador for Teach for America and the American Psychological Association (APA); Community Relations Director for Students United Against Poverty; an Undergraduate Research Assistant within the Parent-Child Dynamics Lab; A member of the Penn State Student Black Caucus; and a College of the Liberal Arts Ambassador. Janiyah’s favorite Creamery Ice Cream flavors is Apple Cobbler Crunch!

Janiyah loves Penn State because of the life-long community that comes with being a Penn Stater. Penn Staters worldwide welcome and support each other academically, personally, and professionally. Here, she has been provided with more opportunities for growth than she believes she would have had anywhere else. This makes her look forward to returning to our university and giving back to the Penn State community as an alumna.

Robert Esgro

Robert is a senior majoring in industrial engineering with a minor in Mandarin Chinese. He is from Villanova, PA. He is honored to have been selected for 2022 Homecoming Court. Now in his fourth year at Penn State, he serves as president of the Penn State Men’s Club Lacrosse team, one of the largest club sports on campus, and is a civilian participant in Penn State’s NROTC unit. He is a member of Catholic Campus Ministries and Disciple Makers Christian Fellowship and frequently serves at Sunday Mass in Pasquerilla. He also interned at BMW and Kulicke & Soffa.

Robert was a freshman when COVID pressed pause on our lives. He witnessed firsthand the resolve of the Penn State community when he served as president of a charity he founded, Shop4Seniors. With the help of four of his friends, he led more than 110 volunteers across Pennsylvania in an effort to deliver groceries to at-risk seniors at no cost to them. A majority of their volunteer force were students, faculty, and staff at Penn State who wanted to support their mission. He loves Penn State because this place gives him the opportunity become his own man, finding opportunities to learn at every corner. At Penn State, he has been pushed out of his comfort zone and yet has always felt supported by his peers and mentors. Through Shop4Seniors, it was remarkable to see so many Nittany Lions come together to help those in need, and he is incredibly proud to call this community his home.

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Jaelyn Monroe

Jaelyn is a senior majoring in Political Science and pursuing a Business Certificate on a Pre-Law track! She is from the city of brotherly love and sisterly affection, Philadelphia! She has played many different roles as a leader on campus! She is currently the President of the Multicultural Undergraduate Law Association and she previously served as Black Caucus’s 2nd Vice President! She is also a member of National Council of Negro Women and a Resident Assistant in East Halls! She was also one of the winners of the Inc. U Pitch Competition in 2021!

Jaelyn loves Penn State because of the endless opportunities! Penn State has opened so many doors and has given her all the resources that she needs to be successful! Through Penn State, she has been able to further her leadership skills, and to help create other opportunities for other students to find their community and home within Penn State as well as grow their leadership skills! She’s gotten to really grow her entrepreneurship mindset, through Penn State with Happy Valley Launch Box, and with the investment the school has put into her! She is so grateful to be a Penn Stater, and to have a school that proudly supports their students and helps them the best way they can! Jaelyn’s favorite creamery ice cream flavor is death by chocolate!

Anton Aluquin

Anton Aluquin is a fourth-year majoring in Immunology and Infectious Diseases with a minor in Health Policy and Administration. He was Penn State’s 2022 nomination for the Truman Scholarship, awarded to him thanks to my commitment to making change at the intersection of public health and public policy. He is a research assistant in David Kennedy’s lab, which looks at questions of evolution and resistance. His thesis is looking at inequities in access to treatment and how that affects the emergence of treatment resistance. He is also committed to making change at the advocacy level. As the Structural Reform chair of the 3/20 Coalition—a community organization focused on bringing justice for Osaze Osagie, a black man murdered at the hands of State College Police—he is working to make policy changes at the local level. On campus, he is heavily involved in Singing Lions and Presidential Leadership Academy. Anton’s favorite creamery flavor is Death by Chocolate!

Nicole Pinto

My name is Nicole Pinto but many people may know me as Nicky! She is a first-generation student studying Criminology in the hopes to enter the law field one day! She is from Northeast Philadelphia! She is super excited to be apart of this years student homecoming court!

During her time at Penn State, she has had the pleasure of being a part of many things! She is currently the President of The Multicultural Greek Council and a proud sister of the BOLD and Beautiful Beta Lambda Chapter of Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc. The first Latina sorority in the nation! In the past she has held many other positions including but not limited to as: Advanced Facilitator for World in Conversation, Vice President of the Mexican American Student Association, Community Service & Fundraising Chair for the Multicultural Undergraduate Law Association for two years and she even was a New Student Orientation leader during 2021!

While her time here at Penn State is slowly coming to an end, she is so proud and honored to be considered for this year’s homecoming court as we all mark this journey to guide state forward! She cannot wait to meet you all! Until then, you can catch her eating her favorite creamery ice cream Cookies & Cream!

Star Lawson

Star is a fourth year from West Orange, New Jersey studying Public Relations with a minor in Digital Media Trends and Analytics. She is the Secretary of BLUEprint Peer Mentoring Program; Membership Chair for the African Students Association; Marketing Ambassador for the Paul Robeson Cultural Center; Communications Intern for Nickelodeon; Two-time Orientation Leader for New Student Orientation in 2020 and 2021; A member of the Public Relations Student Society of America; A member of the Bellisario Association of Multicultural Students; and a member of the Delta Gamma Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.

Star loves Penn State because it is more than just a university but is also her home away from home. Attending this university has provided her with support systems and resources that have exceeded her expectations and helped mold her into the action-oriented community leader that she is today! During her time here, she has had the privilege of immersing myself in many organizations that have helped her establish lifelong friendships and connections. Because of this, she has been able to do what she loves most, which is serving her community in more ways than one and for that, she is forever grateful. Lastly, her favorite creamery ice cream is Alumni Swirl!

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.