Hello! My name is Katie Solomon and I am a senior studying Criminology and Sociology. Since coming to Penn State, my life has changed for nothing but the better. In this community, I have met my lifelong best friends, learned so much in and outside of the classroom, found my voice as a leader, and been able to make an impact. I feel so fortunate to call this place my home, and soon – too soon – to call myself a proud alumna. For the past year, I have served on THON Executive Committee as the Director of Development. In this role, I work closely primarily with THON’s corporate or foundation partners and individual donors while leading a committee of 16 Donor & Alumni Relations Captains. In addition, I am currently an intern for the Penn State Division of Development and Alumni Relations in the College of the Liberal Arts. As a member of the College myself, the opportunity to support programs that I am a part of is an extremely humbling and eye-opening experience as to the impact that private philanthropy has on this University. I feel so lucky to be able to represent my peers and our community on this year’s student court. The pride, honor, and tradition that Homecoming embodies is an invaluable commitment to Penn State — I am so excited to see its 100th year in action. For The Glory!
Freddy Purnell was born and raised in West Philadelphia, he is a Bunton-Waller Fellow studying Biology, minoring in Entrepreneurship and Innovation: New Media and the Diversity Studies Certificate. After graduation he plans on fusing his passions for science and public advocacy to research equitable solutions to social issues like environmental racism and ecological remediation; and advocate for groups marginalized by race, gender identity, and sexual orientation. His desire to use his voice to improve the experiences of underrepresented students led to his involvement in organizations designed to help his communities. He is the president of the LGBTQA Student Roundtable,Vice President of Queer and Trans People of Color, and part of Black Caucus and the Carribean Student Association. He also serves as the Outreach Chair of College Democrats. Furthermore, the issue of sexual assault on Penn State’s campus is very personal and important to him. So he became a peer educator,member of Men Against Violence, and Greeks CARE facilitator to help educate students on enthusiastic consent, bystander intervention and supporting survivors. When not working or studying Freddy enjoys chilling in the Paul Robeson Cultural Center, discussing superheros with the Students of SHIELD, attending Penn State wrestling matches, conducting research on bumblebees, and dancing! To Freddy “A Century of Stories” represents all the people who paved the way for him to have the many opportunities Penn State has provided for him. It serves to celebrate how far the Penn State community has come, and inspire us to keep moving forward.
Zack Durnack is a senior from Bethlehem, PA, studying Telecommunications while also minoring in Digital Media Trends and Analytics. Currently, Zack is a part of many organizations on campus including THON, Lion Ambassadors, the Class Gift Campaign, and the Penn State Thespian Society. He holds the position of Talent Coordinator on the THON Entertainment Committee, as well as the Director of Fundraising for the Class Gift Campaign. He has also served as the Marketing Coordinator for the Penn State Thespian Society for the past three semesters. Zack is passionate about the history of Penn State and the stories within each brick of this university, and likes to learn something new about it every day. One of his favorite places is the Arboretum, not only because of how unique and beautiful it is during all seasons, but also because it is a result of philanthropy at Penn State. Originally, Zack did not want to attend Penn State because his sister also attended Penn State. But after taking an official tour, he knew there was more to Penn State than the classroom. What makes Penn State special is that true communal feel of looking out for each other and the courtesy given to one another. To him, “A Century of Stories” represents not only the past century of Penn State and how much it has grown, but also the next century of Penn State’s future and where it will go from today.
Hello Penn State family! My name is Marlisa Shaw and I am a biology and psychology major focusing on neuroscience. You may have seen me on campus doing a variety of things. I am a Millennium Scholar, so you may have seen me presenting research at one of your department’s symposiums. I am a Co-Captain for the Dark Storm Step Team; you may have seen me at THON 2019. If you haven’t seen me in any of those places, take some time to think back to your very first day moving in on campus; I am a member of the Parent’s Program and may have been the person that gave your parents tissues as they said “goodbye” or snapped the picture of you and your family as you shined with excitement to start your Penn State Journey. But what if we have never met in any of those situations? … No big deal … It’s so nice to finally meet you!!! I hope that from this short bio you feel like you know me a little bit for WE ARE Penn State Family! If you ever see me out and about feel free to say “Heyyyyy”!
Colsen Ackroyd is a senior here at Penn State studying Supply Chain Management. Originally from Mechanicsburg, PA, he graduated with a class of 15 and started his Penn State story 3 weeks later during the Summer of 2016. Colsen’s Penn State pride is generational; his parent’s met here and his grandfather not only attended the school but later became a professor as well. Colsen began his time here at Penn State by getting immediately involved with UPUA where he was a member of the Freshman Council. The following semester he joined the Daily Collegian where he has risen through the ranks of the Sales Department and Business Division where he is now the acting Business Major for the past two years. There he manages and leads a staff of 60 students. Colsen attributes his success personally and professionally to all his experiences from being a Penn Stater. These experiences have helped him land internships with Invent Penn State and with Walmart in their Supply Chain eCommerce division. He will be going back to work for Walmart this summer after graduation in hopes pursuing a career in Supply Chain Management.
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.