Onward State Gives Thanks

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Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Onward State! Aside from you readers, here is what our staff is thankful for this year.

Alex Bauer: I am thankful for Coffee. The path of the righteous Bean is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is The Bean who, in the name of caffeine and good sludge, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness. For The Bean is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my hot, brown sludge brewed from The Horrible Bean. And you will know I am an old curmudge-on who loves to get his sludge on when I lay my vengeance upon you.

Ali Richards: I’m thankful for my support system here at Penn State: my friends. I couldn’t live without you all, and I wouldn’t want to. I’m thankful for my family for keeping me relatively sane, my poofy winter coat for keeping me relatively warm, and for Moe’s Southwest Grill for providing me with a melt-in-your-mouth quesadilla once a week with my bffs.

Anthony Colucci: I’d like to take the time to give thanks for all things that bring tears to my eyes: the pregame hype video at Beaver Stadium, the abundance of Mexican food options in State College (whether it’s Yallah at 2 a.m. or West’s daily taco bar), “Closer,” and Vincenzo Joseph’s throw and pin in the NCAA Championships. Also, I’d be remiss not to offer my thanks for this blog, the special team of writers, editors, photographers, videographers, and one HR guy who I work with every day and probably spend too much time with, and all our readers (even the mean ones) who make this all possible.

Anthony Fiset: This year I’m thankful for all of the new ways James Franklin and Joe Moorhead decided to use Saquon Barkley. I’m also thankful for the Bobbies that my friend Ryan’s mom brought to every tailgate which kept the spirit and tastes of Thanksgiving alive in sandwich form at every home game.

Anthony Tata: Being home for the first time since mid-August, I now realize how thankful I am to live in such a loving and amazing community. Obviously very cliché, but my friends and family mean the world to me. My friends are the funniest and most motivated individuals I know, and I really feel like I’m a product of the people I surround myself with. My parents, siblings (and dogs) of course are my rock as well. I’m also thankful for raviolis, good music, and my 2004 Honda CR-V (love of my life).

Austin Smith: I’m thankful for the opportunity to attend a university with so many opportunities that suit my future career path. Surrounded by some of my closest friends, I feel like I’m on track to have an amazing time at college and eventually succeed in a professional atmosphere.

Caitlin Gailey: I’m thankful for my incredibly supportive family, the boys of 709 Nick Towers for being the best friends I could ever find and for MED, for being the best part of my Penn State experience. Lastly, I’m thankful for Onward State and the past four years we’ve spent together.

Callaway Turner: This year, I’m thankful for Mac n’ Cheese cups that count as dinner at 1am, the opportunity to work with a wildly talented staff at Onward State, and the friends and football that have truly made me fall in love with Happy Valley. I’m also pretty psyched to be home to hug my pupper and tell him he’s a good boy.

Carly Weiss: This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for my family, friends, education and opportunities that I am lucky to have. Any life experience, whether positive or negative, helps me learn what life is about, and I am grateful to have these things in life to help me grow as an individual.

Carolyn Popescu: I’m thankful for a fourth year making content for the best student media outlet around. I’m thankful for the College of Communications, which (not to sound like a tour guide or brochure) allowed me to make fantastic alumni connections not only in PA, but everywhere from New York City to Los Angeles. On another note, I’m thankful for OrderUp, Uber, no classes before 10 a.m., and Africa by ToTo.

Christina Cuppari: I’m thankful for all of the encouraging people I’ve met during my time at Penn State. Happy Thanksgiving!

Christina Platt: I’m thankful for my family and chosen family, especially my co.space family and the lovely people at Onward State; all of the opportunities I’ve been given and all of the random decisions I’ve made throughout my life that have brought me to this moment; Webster’s Cafe, Zenos Pub, and Abba Java, my homes away from home; the fact that we finally have a rock wall on campus and all of the awesome people who work and climb there; Rothrock State Forest, plaid shirts and hiking boots, which make up approximately 50% of my existence; and finally discovering what makes me jazzed about life.

Claire Fountas: I’m thankful for every single friend I’ve met here, as well as the family and friends cheering me on from all the way back in the Midwest. I’m thankful for Big Ten sports, the Canvas app, and the beauty of this campus throughout every season. But above all, I’m really just thankful for Wings Over teriyaki wings and cheese fries.

Dana Lipshutz: I’m thankful for nachos, Penn State football, and my family and friends who let me talk about those two things aggressively.

David Abruzzese: This year I’m thankful for real Italian bread, the opportunity to cover Penn State football, and Elissa setting me up with my lovely girlfriend Kristen. Oh, and I suppose I’m thankful for her, too.

Derek Bannister: I’m thankful for Saquon Barkley. One time, I happened to be in the IM Building when he and some other football players came into the basketball courts and asked and friend and me if we wanted to play with them. Of course we did. I even found Barkley for an assist (and scored a basket of my own in the peak moment of life). I’m thankful for everything Saquon Barkley has given Penn State, and for his kindness to ask a couple of random kids to ball with him.

Dylan Coughlin: This has been a roller coaster ride of a year and a half at University Park for me. I’m extremely thankful for my roommates that have helped me through some trying times. They’ve helped me in more ways that they even know. I’m also thankful for the continued support that my mom and sister have showed throughout my time away at school. Lastly, I want to thank my Onward State family for being a tight group of friends that I never knew I needed. I’ll always be grateful for the opportunity that these wonderful people have provided me over the past year to do what I love.

Elissa Hill: I’m thankful for friends and family who roast me relentlessly, the heartbreak magic of college football, the red carpet, and American Vandal for Making Dicks Great Again™.

Emma Dieter: I’m thankful for the fact that we beat Pitt not only in football this year, but in basketball as well. Finally my Pitt friends will stop harassing me for that loss last September #H2PennState

Erinne Finlayson: I am thankful for the men and women in the United States military and their service to the USA.

Ethan Kasales: This year I’m especially thankful for yoga. I took a kinesiology class two summers ago with Anna Engels of Yoga Lab in the White Building and I can say without a doubt it was one of the best classes I’ve taken at Penn State. There’s nothing better than getting my personal practice in before an away football game in a random hotel room. Namaste and Happy Thanksgiving!

Gabriela Stevenson: I’m thankful for college football, despite how sad it sometimes makes me, and concealer for helping me disguise how tired I really am. I’m thankful for Elissa Hill for buying me french fries or quesadillas whenever I’m sad and, yes, I’m STILL thankful for Gardners’ peanut butter pretzel rods. I’d like to buried with them when I die.

Hawkin Slusarski: For better or for worse, there is no doubt 2017 was a year to remember. For me personally, a lot has changed and I have plenty to be thankful for. My supportive friends, my family, my amazing girlfriend,  the opportunities I’ve had to travel and photograph, and of course being added to the Onward State staff are all just a glimpse at everything I am reflecting on this holiday season. Oh, and the Eagles are 9-1 and the best team in the NFL. #GoBirds Here’s to 2018!

James Turchick: I am thankful for graduating in the spring and not having to scramble to find housing for next year.

Janelle Rothacker: I am thankful for my family supporting me in my crazy adventure that landed me at Penn State, and very grateful for everyone that has come in to my life since being at Penn State. I am thankful for friends who keep me sane when I have panic attacks that I forgot to submit an assignment, and for friends who remind me I have assignments to submit. I am thankful I have friends at home who always keep me laughing no matter how far we are apart. And lastly, I am extremely thankful that anything and everything you need can be found within walking distance from my apartment.

Jim Davidson: I’m thankful for the opportunity to write for Onward State and the staff’s patience when it takes me six months to put together one post. I’m also grateful for Jeffrey Field, the chocolate-chip cookies in West Dining Hall, my family, the incredible group of friends I’ve gained since I arrived in Happy Valley, and Post Malone.

Katie Klodowski: I am thankful for all my friends who continue to come to the Skeller on Thursdays for trivia even though it seems we are destined to perpetually end up in fourth place. I’m thankful for parents who host awesome Penn State tailgates and my amazing roommates who put up with me listening to Christmas music in October. Most of all, I’m thankful that I have one more semester at the greatest university in the world.

Lexi Shimkonis: This year I’m thankful for Happy Valley Cider and that I have a job lined up after graduation, which means I can drink Happy Valley Cider without the sinking feeling that I should be applying for jobs instead of drinking on a week night.

Mary Frances Pillion: First and foremost I’m thankful that Phil Kessel is a two time Stanley Cup Champion. I’m thankful that I have the best family in the world and that they love Penn State football just as much as I do. I’m thankful that my dad makes the best damn bacon cheeseburgers on the planet, rivaled only by my mom’s mac and cheese. I’m thankful that Saquon Barkley defies gravity. Finally, I’m thankful for weenie dogs, fuzzy blankets, ice cream, and, of course, Nick Perry, who has somehow put up with my shenanigans for more than three years now.

Matt Fox: I’m thankful for Saquon Barkley and Trace McSorley giving me countless memories in Beaver Stadium that I’ll never forget. I’m also thankful for all of my friends and family who have helped me get to this point in my life and will continue to be there for me as I move forward in my life and career.

Matt Paolizzi: I’m thankful for friends, family, the Sixers and Eagles, and Taco Bell for being open at 3 in the morning.

Matt Sniegowski: I’m thankful for all my friends and family, close and far. I’m thankful for my Mom, Dad, sister (eh maybe), Madi, and my sweet sweet dogs Charlie and Angus. I’m thankful for the incredible opportunities I’ve been given in life and look forward to things to come.

Max Saltzman: I’m thankful for many things, but here are two. First, I am thankful for my entire college experience and wouldn’t have done it any other way or at any other school. I’m thankful for my crazy family! They are the best entertainment and they will always have my back. Much love to my Mom, Dad, sister, and Lulu. (Lulu’s a dog…but hey…family).

Melissa Lopez: This holiday season, I am thankful for not only God, but Jesus. I’m thankful for my boyfriend Brad, and for my best friend Megan, who also happens to be the best big a girl could ask for. Also, football.

Mikey Mandarino: First of all, I’m thankful for my dad, my older sister Emma, and my twin brother Billy. Being a college student means that family time is at a premium throughout the year, so I’m extremely thankful for the short time we get to spend together this week. Additionally, I’m thankful for my good health, the combination of Taylor Hall and Nico Hischier on the New Jersey Devils’ first line, and my friends in Happy Valley and back home in New Jersey. I’m so happy that I got to spend some time with my best friends from home and show them my school during a football weekend. Lastly, I’m thankful for everything about Onward State. It’s hard for me to put into words what this site means to me; the people I’ve had the chance to get to know and the opportunities that Onward State has given me are all incredible. This is the best news outlet that Penn State has to offer for a reason and I just feel lucky to be a small part of it.

Mitch Stewart: I’m thankful for chicken tender baskets and Saquon Barkley. i’m even more thankful for the amazing friends that roll in and out of my crappy apartment (thanks ARPM). But I’m most thankful for my wonderful family who is helping me chase my future goals at one of the most amazing places in the world — Penn State. Without I would’ve had to sell a kidney and an arm to afford the OOS tuition, and without their support I’d probably want to be tossed under a moving White Loop bus. Also, thank you to any of you who take the time to read our website.

Nathaniel Pinskey: I’m thankful for my family, my friends who stuck with me these past four years, #TuesdaysAreForTheSquad, Bailey and James, everyone at OS who has been amazing since I joined this year, Captain Jack Sparrow’s at the Gaff, and Yallah. I’m also thankful to my fantasy league that’s awful at drafting and let me end up with Todd Gurley and Jordan Howard, and Key Club for introducing me to Elissa and helping me end up here as a numbers guy doing sports journalism.

Navin Zachariah: I’m obviously thankful for family, friends and Penn State Football. I’m also thankful that I’ll get to procrastinate the next two weeks before cramming for finals. I’ll be even more thankful though if Saquon decides to stay another year.

Oyoma Asinor: I’m most thankful for my awesome family, specifically my dad Kofi. He reminds me to be the best that I can be every day, to be myself, and to have fun doing it. I’m also thankful for all of the great folks and friends I’ve made along the way, specifically my group of cronies over at Penn State Bodybuilding. It’s awesome to have a group of extremely talented individuals who all want to push themselves both in and out of the gym, and want everyone to excel day in and day out. I’m also thankful for my girlfriend. She’s pretty alright sometimes.

Patrick Spurlock: I am thankful for my friends and family that have supported my dreams and ideas. Without them, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I also am blessed to be able to attend the greatest university in the world.

Samantha Renck: I’m thankful for my family, my health, and all of the people who made 2017 a great year.

Sarah D’Souza: I’m thankful for a lot of things, like my family and friends, good health, and for finally getting to write for Onward State even as a senior. I’m also thankful for Saquon Barkley. But actually, I’m thankful for roommates who appreciate always having baked goods in the apartment for daily desserts and for dollar teas on Thursdays to save my wallet. I’m thankful for the four day weekends I’ll have next semester and for the med schools that will hopefully accept me soon (please!!). I’m thankful for one more semester at the greatest school ever and really just for every day

Shannon Soboslay: First and foremost I am beyond thankful for attending the greatest school on the planet and all the opportunity it has provided me with, *cough cough* Onward State. Being from Pittsburgh has me grateful for the superiority I feel when folks from Boston and Philadelphia talk in their weird accents. I’m thankful for men that grow their hair long, specifically Harry Styles, good food (aka Fruity Pebbles), and the single brand that makes my world go ’round: Canon cameras. Oh, and my family. Hi Mom.

Shawn McGinnis: I’m thankful for a lot of things this year. The obvious first choice would be to say that I’m incredibly thankful for Onward State and all of the awesome opportunities it gives me. Other than that, I just feel that this year has been an eye-opening one for me. I have a newfound respect for a lot of things and count my blessings to have such amazing people in my life. Without my friends and family I wouldn’t be who I am today, and for that I am incredibly thankful.

Tim Reams: What am I thankful for, you ask? The first thing that comes to mind couldn’t be more damn cliche, but I’m thankful for Penn State, friends, family, late night at Yallah, and of course the sermons of our savior Gary, AKA the Willard Preacher. In all seriousness, I couldn’t be more thankful for my friends and family, and the butterflies I still get every day walking to class in Happy Valley. I’m also endlessly thankful for being a part of this blog that has given me a second family and a home away from home, and Yallah has given me the meals away from home that sustain me at 3 a.m. walks home after some late night “study sessions.” I’d also be remiss if I didn’t thank the almighty bean that also sustains me and gives me mystical coffee-induced powers, yea.

Trevor Hayes: I’m extremely thankful for the love and support that I receive from my family and friends on a daily basis. I don’t know what I would do without them; they make me the person I am today. I know without a doubt, they will support all of my future endeavors once I graduate from Penn State this spring. I cannot express how grateful I am to have them a part of my life.


From all of us here at Onward State, have a safe and relaxing Thanksgiving break. What are you thankful for?

Photo By: Alex Bauer
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Posts from the all-student staff of Onward State.

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