All posts by Schreyer Honors College


Guest post by:
Patty and Glen Sosnader
Parents of Scholars Ryan ’16,  Aaron ’18 and Brenden ’20

Welcome to the Schreyer Honors College Parents Council Fall Newsletter! We are excited to provide the parents of new scholars their first Schreyer Parent Newsletter and to continue to provide insightful articles to parents of returning scholars. As background, the Schreyer Parents Council was created to support three key pillars of The Schreyer Honors College – Career Services, Development and Outreach.  We acknowledge that parents play a critical role in supporting our scholars through your involvement with the college. The Schreyer Parents Council provides an avenue for parent involvement and contribution.

We publish two newsletters per year with the intent to:

  • Inform parents about the many opportunities available to Schreyer Scholars
  • Engage parents with the Schreyer Honors College
  • Advance our three key pillars as outlined above

We are proud parents of three Schreyer Scholars. Our eldest son, Ryan, graduated last May with a triple major – Economics, Finance, and Math. We are thrilled he started his career in sales and trading with Bank of America in New York City. Aaron is our middle child and second Schreyer Scholar. As a junior, he has a dual major in Finance and Economics with a minor in International Business. He is busy applying and interviewing for Summer 2017 internships. He’s not sure if he wants to work in banking or consulting. Hopefully, he will have choices! Aaron studied in Italy over the summer and gained valuable experience. Brenden is well into his freshman fall semester and is enjoying his Computer Engineering classes along with Statistics; yes, another multiple major scholar. We are very proud and blessed!


Guest post by:
Rachel Buzzell and Gina Morreale
Outreach Committee Co-chairs

This year Penn State’s Schreyer Honors College has received the highest rating by Public University Honors in its upcoming release of “INSIDE HONORS: Ratings and Reviews of Sixty Public University Honors Programs.”  Schreyer was one of 11 national programs to receive a top rating of 5.0 “mortarboards.”

In order to spread the word about the Schreyer program, the Schreyer Parents Council has launched the Schreyer Parent Ambassador (SPA) program.  Under the supervision of the Outreach Committee of the Council, all parents of Schreyer Scholars are invited to be an Ambassador, regardless of their son or daughter’s class year. The SPA allows us to create a stronger community of parents who are looking to become involved with advancing the mission of the Schreyer Honors College.  Here are some ways our Parent Ambassadors can get involved:

  1. Share opportunities and information on the parent-to-parent blog by writing a post. You can read some blogs to get an idea what other parents have contributed here:
  1. Volunteer at home football games in the Schreyer tent at Fan Fest. Speak with prospective students and parents about the Schreyer program. It is also a wonderful way to meet Schreyer students and staff!
  1. Support other parents by joining and contributing to our parent-run Facebook page. The page is named “Penn State Schreyer Parents.”  All parents are welcome and encouraged to join.
  1.  Dean Kirsch and the Schreyer staff will request Schreyer Parent Ambassadors to attend Schreyer events for prospective students to help answer questions and personally speak with attendees.

If you are interested in becoming a Schreyer Parent Ambassador, please email Rachel Buzzell at


Help fund opportunities

Guest post by:
Mark Buzzell
Development Committee Chair
Parent of Scholar Katie ’18

Our daughter Katie is now a junior and we are humbled that she is part of this special community at Penn State. The opportunities in the Schreyer Honors College and Penn State are endless. This past summer, she traveled to Brazil and Columbia with a small group of Schreyer students as part of an Honors course and returned back to Penn State to take advantage of a research opportunity.  She has also grown into leadership roles in her service sorority, where the magic of THON touches so many. During her freshman year, she competed on the PSU Crew team. All of these activities are helping her prepare for her career in nursing.

I recently attended the Schreyer Parents Council meeting on September 30 and returned home even more excited about the students, parents and staff that make the Schreyer Honors College so special.  This is the third year that Rachel and I have served on the Council and we have seen first-hand so many of the incredible accomplishments of our Scholars as well as the passion and support of those that help make this possible for them.

This year, I have been asked to Chair the Development Committee. I will be working with a dedicated and passionate SHC staff member, Morgan Delaware, as well as seven other Schreyer parents who care greatly about the College and making it even better for our current and future Scholars. We are all very proud to see the Schreyer Honors College continue to garner recognition in national rankings. However, we know we need to continue to work hard to grow the diversity of our students and stay ahead of changing trends and innovation, as well as provide scholarship support to deserving Scholars.

Each member on the Parents Council has met Scholars or heard stories of very deserving students that may not have had the opportunity to complete their studies if it wasn’t for the generosity of all of those who have given financial support to the Schreyer Parents and Family Fund. This fund provides assistance to Scholars in need. I can tell you that the Schreyer staff is very in tune with how to make these gifts to deserving students during critical times.

Our Development Committee looks forward to coming up with ways to share these stories with all of you as well as work together to secure financial support for the Parents and Family Fund. I hope all of you will take the time to thoughtfully consider how you may be able to help.  While we are all in the same boat of paying tuition for our Scholars, a gift of any amount could truly make a big difference for Scholars that are classmates and friends of our own sons and daughters.

For the Glory!

Mark Buzzell

Schreyer Career Services

Guest post by:
Amy Abrams
Career Services Committee Co-Chair
Parent of Scholar Alexandra ’17

As the parent of a senior, I have shared our daughter’s experience with Schreyer Career Services since her freshman year. Yes, her freshman year! Preparing to launch a career, graduate school, law school, medical school or public service takes several years of planning, guidance, and fortitude. Students begin to plan for their post-college years from their first semester until the Spring semester of their senior year. Possibly one of the greatest benefits of Schreyer is its Career Services team!

Since August, Schreyer Career Services has hosted 33 events to help introduce and engage scholars to internship, career, R&D and Graduate School opportunities. Google, Microsoft, top consulting firms, Space-X, leading financial services firms and many other notable companies have been on campus to meet and hire Schreyer scholars. There have been leadership training, grad school, engineering and healthcare career workshops, all within the past two months. Career Services has a full schedule every week for your scholar to explore or expand their knowledge and network.

Another tremendous benefit of Career Services is The Mentoring with Honors program. This is a unique program sponsored by the Scholar Alumni Society to develop relationships between current Schreyer Scholars and Scholar alumni. The program offers opportunities for Scholar alumni to participate in the professional development of Schreyer Scholars and offers the opportunity for Scholars to explore potential career choices through firsthand experiences of Scholar alumni. Each mentoring relationship is unique and emphasizes the interests of the mentee and experiences of the mentor. The Mentoring with Honors program depends on leadership and support from Scholar alumni, students, and staff. Mentors bring diverse and seasoned experience that help our scholars navigate and shape their future. Here are some thoughts from students on their experience with the Mentoring with Honors program:

The summer after freshman year I shadowed Matt for a day, where he introduced me to thermal engineering. Before then, I had never heard of that position. Matt helped me explore various other disciplines/focuses for a mechanical engineer. Anytime I was interning at Goddard, Matt would invite me to sit in on a design review or see the flight hardware for his project, ICESat-2, to augment my interning experience. Matt also organized a shadow day at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center for members of the Lunar Lion team so that we could network and learn from professionals in our individual subsystems.”

“The Mentoring with Honors program has enhanced my Schreyer experience as it has allowed me to meet someone who went through basically exactly what I am going through (seriously though, today we bonded about how I got into HealthWorks and she was involved with it also) and has used it to become successful within the field of nutrition. I hope to achieve what she has, and she has helped me to solidify some of the things I would like to see myself doing in the future.”

“I learned a great deal from my mentor. I want to pursue a career in law, but I had no family in that field, so Rosanna was a phenomenal resource. She talked to me about realistic issues lawyers face (family, marriage, etc.) and how to succeed in the field. She helped give an unbiased option when I was choosing law school, and helped me consider various factors that would influence my decision.”

“The Mentoring with Honors Program was without a doubt the single most important part of my professional development process at Penn State. I feel incredibly lucky to have been matched with someone like Sean, who has both a great deal of interesting professional experience and a deep willingness to help the next generation of honors students succeed. In August I will begin a yearlong position as a Junior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, DC. I will primarily be assisting with research related to the Chinese economy.”

One mentor best summed up his involvement in the Mentoring with Honors Program as:

“I have always been surrounded by fantastic mentors who have supported and guided my career at every step.  I wanted to give back to this Penn State community and support our next generation of Scholars.”

Learn more about this valuable experience provided to scholars at:

As parents, we know from experience the greatest gifts in our life are the people who help shape our lives.  Having at least one great mentor can help shape a scholar’s life. Please think about how you could make a difference by sharing your professional and life experiences to provide additional perspective and guidance to students.  You will be remembered and revered for a lifetime!

As we continue to expand our Mentor network, encourage your scholar to reach out to mentors and schedule informational interviews with professionals in your community to expand their network. If it were not for our mentors, where would we be today?

Your Freshman CAN Get an Internship by Tracy Riegel

Yes! Your First Year Scholar CAN get a summer internship!

I know what you’re thinking-“No way do companies hire first year students for paid internships!” Well, believe it or not, they do! My youngest daughter, who is a freshman in the College of Engineering, attended the Fall Career Fair. Prior to attending the Fair, she got in touch with some very helpful people at the Bank of America Career Services Center who gave her some great advice about updating her resume. (Disclaimer-before coming to Penn State, her past jobs were at a local pool snack bar, waitressing and babysitting). Carolyn also met with Lisa Kerchinski, Coordinator of Career Development at SHC to understand what the Fair was all about and to better prepare herself if an opportunity arose. She certainly didn’t have high expectations but thought it wouldn’t hurt to attend mainly to see what it was all about. She thought the Fair was pretty overwhelming, but did stop at several employer booths to ask if they hire freshman. She hit the jackpot at GE, when after hearing a lot of “No’s”, finally heard a “Yes, we do!”

I know what you’re thinking, “Of course she got an internship, she’s an Engineering Major!” Well, to be honest, I think that helped, but I do think there are opportunities across all majors-some paid, some unpaid. It is the experience that matters! I have talked with students who, the summer after their freshman year, worked in an office (unpaid) but learned so much, that their experience was really helpful when they were looking for a paid position.

Encourage your student to visit with Lisa to learn more about internship opportunities and how to connect with Schreyer alums to help make those opportunities a reality. Students can just go online to make an appointment – it’s that easy! I also found a lot of helpful information for parents on the Penn State Career Services website.

Thankfully, it’s not too late! Encourage your scholars  to update their resume, meet with the staff at SHC and the Career Services Center. For my daughter, her preparation and persistence paid off. And it can for your student as well!

Spring 2016 SHC Parents Council Chair Welcome

Guest post by:
Patty and Glen Sosnader
Parents of Scholars Ryan ’16 and Aaron ’18

Welcome to the spring edition of the Schreyer Honors College Parent Council Newsletter!

The newsletter is designed to provide you with information about the Schreyer Honors College and to share our experiences with you. Springtime brings nicer weather, Spring Break and a chance to inventory the year. As parents of two Schreyer Scholars, spring is also the time to look ahead to the summer and talk with our Scholars about their upcoming plans. There are so many options available. They can take classes, volunteer, study abroad, intern or even secure employment in State College. Although we have not experienced this, we are told that summertime in State College is wonderful.  Sub-letting an apartment is less expensive compared to spring or fall semesters. Classes are much smaller and lakeside afternoons at Whipple Dam or Bald Eagle State Park are terrific getaways.

What is best for your child? Ultimately, he or she needs to decide. Although after two semesters of study, it might seem like a good idea to “take the summer off.” However, we recommend that your Scholar remain active and engaged. Sometimes, having no summer plans can lead to restlessness and boredom.  Having said that, “scheduling” a short break prior to starting summer work and or summer study can be a great idea. After all, your Scholar has been through a high-pressure year and may welcome a short break.

Whatever your Scholar decides to do, encourage and support it and remember it is their Schreyer experience!

Why Schreyer?

Guest post by:
Tracy Riegel and Rachel Buzzell
Outreach Committee Co-Chairs

Thank you very much for taking the time to read our Winter/Spring newsletter!  As co-chairs of the Schreyer Honors College Parent Council Outreach Committee, our mission is “to provide a methodology and process to promote the Schreyer Honors College with the general Penn State Community and beyond.” We hope you will partner with us to promote the many benefits of SHC to prospective students and their parents.

So – why Schreyer? Below is a go-to list of reasons why Schreyer Honors College is “shaping people who shape the world”!

  • Academic Excellence Scholarship
  • Hundreds of Study Abroad, Internship and Research Opportunities
  • Small Honors Courses
  • Honors Housing in a Living/Learning Community
  • Priority Course Registration
  • Honors Advising
  • Dedicated Office of Career Development
  • An Administrative staff that is second to none

In addition, SHC supports parents with several ways to connect to the Honors College and Penn State through the website, There, you will find blogs by current parents about their experiences. Also, be sure to check out our new feature “Ask a Parent.” If you have a question, click on the link, ask your question and the answer will be posted typically within 24 hours.  Of course, if you would like to become involved, please click on the “Get Involved” link to share all the wonderful opportunities Schreyer Honors College has to offer.

In another effort to connect current Schreyer parents and increase communication, the Schreyer Parent Council has created a closed group Facebook page. This group was created to offer positive support, share your student’s success and solicit advice from other SHC parents. You can search for the closed group under the name “Penn State Schreyer Parents.” Once your find the page, request to join the group and you will be added. If you are having difficulty finding the page, please send Tracy or Rachel an email with your request. We would love to have you join us and have the opportunity to get to know other parents!

With more than 3,900 applicants for the Class of 2020 (the highest number yet), it is clear that the excellent reputation of Schreyer Honors College is reaching more and more prospective students and families.

WE ARE…proud parents!

Tracy Riegel
Outreach Committee Chair
Parent of Scholars Meghan, ’17 and Carolyn, ’19

Rachel Buzzell
Outreach Committee Co-Chair
Parent of Scholar Katie, ’18