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Kayode Oduwaiye is a senior majoring in Telecommunications and minoring in African American Studies. Kayode was born in Lagos, Nigeria and moved to West Philadelphia when he was 3 years old. Kayode has been involved in various aspects of the Penn State Community. He is currently the Co-Chair of the Diversity Commission and a Student Worker at The Paul Robeson Cultural Center. As a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Kayode served as Social Media Chair and Sergeant of Arms. This allowed Kayode the pleasure of later serving as the President of one the four Greek governing councils here at Penn State - The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC). Prior to becoming the President, Kayode was the Vice President of Communications for the NPHC. Beyond that, Kayode volunteers with his home church in Philadelphia, Courage Christian Center, where he helps them with their various philanthropy projects. He has also been an active Team Leader volunteer for the MLK Day of Service for the past two years. His passion for Penn State can be seen through his various volunteer work and leadership in the community. Kayode hopes to obtain a Masters of Business Administration after his time here at Penn State.
Lianne is senior majoring in Elementary Education, minoring in Education Policy, Sociology, and Psychology. She is a full-time student teacher for Kindergarten at Mountaintop Elementary School and working at Primanti Brother’s and the Paul Robeson Cultural Center. Throughout her time at Penn State, Lianne has been involved in Club Boxing, Sigma Omicron Pi, Sorority Inc., The Asian/Pacific American Caucus, The HUB-Robeson Advisory Board, THON, and The University Park Undergraduate Association.
In her Asian-Interest sorority, Lianne served as Vice President of External Relations, Fundraising Chair, Historian, and Rush Chair. Through her involvement, she grew a strong passion for her cultural identity, which she tried to deny before she entered Penn State. Her growing passion inspired her to devote her time towards giving back to the Asian community, which she did through her term as President of The Asian/Pacific American Caucus, the organization which serves as the voice of the Asian undergraduate student body. After her term was over, Lianne was honored for all her contributions and her journey through self actualization with the title of 2015 Miss Asia PSU. Throughout that year, Lianne served as an At-Large Representative for The University Park Undergraduate Association, The Chairman of The HUB-Robeson Advisory Board, and a Dancer Relations Committee Member for THON.
Lianne credits Penn State for all the opportunities it has afforded her and for helping her “discover herself beyond her wildest dreams”. She is humbled to be on homecoming court and is still “waiting to wake up at any moment.”
Steven Mezzacappa is a fifth year senior majoring in Architectural Engineering with a focus in Construction Management. Throughout the past four years he has taken advantage of all the opportunities here at Penn State to serve others. Beginning with Engineers Without Borders, Steven traveled to Louisiana for two consecutive alternative Spring Break trips to help build homes for low income families. Steven’s time with Engineers Without Borders led him to being on the founding executive board of Bridges to Prosperity where he would later serve the organization as its second President. Throughout his time with Bridges to Prosperity, Steven traveled to Panama on two consecutive summer trips to build pedestrian footbridges for two communities who were isolated from essential needs due to rivers that would flood during the rainy season. He has also dedicated a lot of his passion and energy to the Penn State Dance Marathon serving as a THON OPPerations captain for THON 2015 and THON 2016. Steven’s passion for giving to others directed him towards the Council of Lionhearts, a leadership roundtable of service organizations on campus where he served as the Council’s President last semester. Understanding how his involvement in extracurriculars presented him with opportunities to further develop his passions and engage them in a way to have a greater purpose, Steven founded Passion With Purpose, a new student organization driven to empower students in developing and engaging their passions based on their college experience. Aside from his involvement at Penn State, Steven has completed four consecutive summer internships with Turner Construction Company with his most recent internship being in Mexico City. Steven’s involvement at Penn State and experiences in the construction industry earned him the prestigious title as America’s New Face of Civil Engineering collegiate edition last spring sponsored by DiscoverE. Upon graduation, Steven will be working full time with Turner Construction Company.
Bertha Castaneda Guzman is a fifth year student, double majoring in Information Sciences and Technology and Agribusiness Management. She is a recipient of the Champion of Change award given by the White House to individuals who are making a difference in their community. Bertha loves meeting new people and embracing different cultures. Her energetic, bubbly and friendly personality has impacted everyone who has met her throughout her time at Penn State. Additionally, Bertha has been active in many extracurricular activities, such as being a third year Resident Assistant, Latino Caucus, NSBE, IST Diplomats, FastStart and Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc. She has dedicated her time to diversity and inclusion initiatives by coordinating Noche Latina, which is a pageant that crowns Mr. and Ms. Latinx Penn State; the winners are Latinx leaders who exemplify academic excellence, community service and political advocacy. Bertha also has spearheaded the IST Diversity Luncheon Series, which allows underrepresented students in IST to network and create a strong foundation for their future. Currently, she is working on turning this initiative into a new organization in IST called Women International Racial Ethnically Diversity Intercultural Network (WIRED IN). Her outstanding leadership positions has been highlighted in the cultural section for Valley Magazine. Her unwavering dedication to inspire women in STEM, has led her to attend prestigious conferences to overcome the glass ceiling effect. Bertha hopes to work for one of the Big Four Firms and continues to serve her community.
Tim Farley is a senior majoring in Finance. He has tried his best to get involved in different areas of the university during his time at Penn State. Tim’s main involvement has been the Nittany Lion Fund, a $7.5 million student-run hedge fund, where he currently serves as the Chief Investment Officer. He also serves as the Student Coordinator for Wall Street Boot Camp, a training program that helps students prepare for the Wall Street recruiting process. Separately, Tim has been heavily involved in No Refund Theatre, acting in multiple plays during his time at Penn State, while currently serving as the Treasurer of the club. More recently, Tim has joined the undergraduate student government, and serves as the Smeal College of Business Representative, working to improve student lives while combating diversity, sexual assault, and academic issues. Tim’s diverse involvements have given him an even greater appreciation of all that Penn State is and has to offer. He also views it as a personal mission to pay forward all of the kindness and mentorship that alumni have provided to him during his four years at Penn State. Because of that aforementioned mentorship, Tim will be working for Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York City when he graduates in May.
Casey Francis is currently the Varsity Swim team captain and has been a member of the leadership council for the past two years. She currently holds 2 school Records, a pool record in the mile, and 1000 yard freestyle. A B1G Distinguished Scholar, Casey maintained a 3.8 GPA while competing at the NCAA level. She is also a three time Scholar-All American. Casey has received the B1G Sportsmanship Award, Nittany Lion Award, Jerome Weinstein Award, and has been named B1G swimmer of the week thus far in her career.
In addition to swimming, Casey also serves as treasurer on the Student Athlete Advisory Board (SAAB) and is a Fundraising chair for the SAAB THON committee. Casey is a 3 year member of the Athletic Directors Leadership Institute and was recently inducted into the Spiritus Leoninus honor society.
Casey has spent time volunteering at Hands On, a therapeutic horseback riding clinic for kids with disabilities. She has also been involved in Lunch with the Lions where student athletes play games with LifeLink and PSATA where student athletes go to local middles schools and talk to kids about the dangers of bullying. During the summer, Casey has helped out with the PA Special Olympics events at Penn State.
Casey, a Kinesiology Major, hopes to start Physical Therapy school next fall in warm sunny Florida! Her dream job is to one day open up a not-for-profit organization for people with disabilities where they do therapy while swimming with dolphins.
Pj Tatano is a senior double majoring in Petroleum & Natural Gas Engineering and Energy Business & Finance. In his freshman year, Pj founded No Hair, Don’t Care, a fundraising event that encourages students to shave their heads to provide financial and emotional support to families impacted by pediatric cancer. Since its inception, the event has seen 600 participants shave their heads and it has generated over $6,500 for children at Hershey Medical Center. No Hair, Don't Care has now been adopted as an official THON event occurring the Monday before THON Weekend. Throughout his time in Happy Valley, Pj has been heavily involved in Lion Ambassadors and the Penn State Dance Marathon. As a Lion Ambassador, Pj gives tours to prospective students, plans events to strengthen university traditions, and bridges the gap between alumni and the student body. As a volunteer for THON, Pj has held a variety of positions and as a junior he danced in THON 2015 – standing for 46 hours straight to fight for a cure. Currently, he is an OPPerations Captain and is working to ensure that THON is zero-waste event in the near future. Additionally, Pj volunteers at the Centre County YMCA as a coach for youth basketball and has been actively involved in Relay for Life. Pj is the first in his family to go to college, and is extremely humbled to be a part of the 2016 Homecoming Court. After graduation, Pj plans on pursuing a career in the energy industry.
Jackie Nunes is currently pursuing a Bachelors of Science degree in Marketing and minoring in International Business. Jackie has been heavily involved in Penn State’s Dance Marathon throughout her time here at Penn State, contributing as a Merchandise captain her sophomore, an OPPerations captain her junior and a Family Relations captain her senior year. She also plays a vital role in the preparation and execution of Movin’ On, Penn State’s annual Music Festival, serving on the executive committee for the past two years. Additionally, last year she founded the Penn State Chapter of International Association of Venue Managers and currently leads the organization as the President. In this role, she focuses on providing first hand experience, facilitating networking opportunities, and fostering professional and personal growth for students interested in pursuing careers in the entertainment industry. Aside from her involvement on campus, Jackie has interned at the Bryce Jordan Center for the past three semesters in the Event Management and Marketing departments. Beyond that, this past summer Jackie worked for the Madison Square Garden Company and was the student associate for the New York Rangers Event Presentation department. In her spare time, Jackie likes to travel; when she studied abroad in the summer of 2015, she visited 12 European countries in just 6 weeks! Jackie is incredibly humbled and honored to represent Penn State by being a part of the 2016 Homecoming Court!
Jimmy Frisbie is a senior majoring in Immunology and Infectious Diseases. During his freshman year, Jimmy traveled to Panama on a medical brigade through Penn State’s Global Brigades organization. Throughout his sophomore and junior year, he served on multiple Dancer Relations committees for THON. Additionally, Jimmy helped start the Music Therapy Club during his sophomore year to help provide students with a musical outlet to serve those in the surrounding community.
Throughout Jimmy’s career at Penn State, Jimmy has been heavily involved in music. He is a four-year member of the Blue Band and is serving his second season as Drum Major. In addition to leading the band and performing the traditional front flip during pre-game, Jimmy has been given the privilege of representing Penn State, the College of Agricultural Sciences, and the Schreyer Honors College at numerous events. Jimmy has also been involved with other musical groups across campus, including the symphonic band, jazz band, and Pride of the Lions basketball pep band.
As a Schreyer Scholar, Jimmy has worked in a cancer research lab since his sophomore year. His thesis work centered around creating a novel pathway for a particle that has been shown to kill leukemic stem cells in mice.
Jimmy is honored to be selected to the 2016 Homecoming Court. Jimmy grew up a Penn State fan and is the fourth generation to walk the campus as a student. Upon graduation, Jimmy hopes to attend medical school in the fall where he can combine his interest in the human body with his desire to serve those around him.
Misha is a senior majoring in general science and minoring in business. Her co-curricular involvement at Penn State has been manifold. She is currently the president of Blue & White Society, the student membership of the Penn State Alumni Association. She also serves in the University Park Undergraduate Association as the Director of Student Life.
Throughout her time here, Misha has always been highly involved in the community around her. She served as a Resident Assistant in Atherton Hall and was the 2016 LeaderShape On-Site Coordinator. Additionally she is member of the community service organization, Boulevard, with whom she represented as a dancer in THON 2016.
Her involvement has grown her love for Penn State and established a life-long commitment to the University. Penn State has given Misha so much as a person and she does her best to give back to the University in any way that she can. Through civil leadership, community service, and Penn State tradition, Misha instills the spirit of what it means to be a Penn Stater in all she does.
Misha is incredibly honored to be on Penn State 2016 Homecoming Court and is thankful for all of the people who have helped her along the way. After graduation, Misha is excited to make an impact in her new community and bring the Penn State spirit wherever she goes. She is also excited to be a part of the largest alumni network in the world and can’t wait to stay involved in the University!