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Your Guide to UPUA: Academic Representatives

Each of Penn State’s 13 academic colleges at University Park and the Schreyer Honors College is able to elect a representative for the UPUA. Some of the races are uncontested, but there are a few match-ups. Check out details about the candidates below, and <a href=””>remember to vote today!</a>

Agricultural Sciences

Gary Closs Jr (sophomore-animal sciences)
Facebook Event

What is the single biggest problem UPUA faces?
I believe the biggest problem UPUA faces is the lost of communication with the general student body. I plan to keep constant communication with the members of my college by setting up anonymous query boxes in buildings in the College of Agricultural Sciences to encourage feedback. Furthermore, I pledge to send out emails updating students on what is happening in the college on both small and large scales.

Why are you running for UPUA?
I decided to run for UPUA because the college of Agricultural Sciences deserve a proactive leader to advocate for the concerns that the students in the college are facing. The program cuts the college is potentially facing is just one of the reason why the student body deserves an energetic representative.

Spencer Malloy (sophomore-agricultural sciences)
Facebook Event

What is the single biggest problem UPUA faces?
UPUA needs momentum, and it can only do that by reaching out to other organizations students respect. Making communication with students & orgs our top priority can get us there.

Why are you running for UPUA?
I’m running to increase Ag-to-UPUA communication and bring new ideas for outreach to the table.

Arts and Architecture

Christen Buckley

Smeal College of Business

Elias Warren (freshman-management)
Facebook Page

What is the single biggest problem UPUA faces?
Legitimacy – It is my hope that in the near future, all students will come to fully trust in their student government and utilize its capabilities to its full potential by voicing their concerns.

Why are you running for UPUA?
My positive previous experience in this role motivates me to continue to build on the matrix of relationships between administration, staff, and alumni to help Smeal move forward.

Mike Haughney

John Langley


Division of Undergraduate Studies

William Olson (freshman-marketing)
Facebook Event

What is the single biggest problem UPUA faces?
The biggest problem the UPUA faces is unity with the students. I feel the best way to fix this issue is to encourage communication between students and their representatives.

Why are you running for UPUA?
I loved the people and process of UPUA while I sat on the Academic Affairs committee. I wanted to get involved further.


Josh Popowycz (sophomore-secondary education)
Facebook Event

What is the single biggest problem UPUA faces?
The single biggest problem UPUA faces is communication with all of the organizations at Penn State. To fix this problem for example, I want to create a weekly newsletter for the College of Education students. These newsletters would consist of things UPUA is doing and how it will affect the students in the College of Education. If every college goes about making a newsletter it will inform all of the colleges at Penn State. Another way to fix this problem is to directly go to organizations that are not in the loop. This could simply be done by going to the organizations weekly meeting to talk about UPUA; what UPUA has to offer to the organization and how they can benefit from UPUA. If every student is on cue with how UPUA works and the benefits it presents it will ensure that our campus can become a better and more efficient place. Communication is the first step to success, someone may have a great idea, but without communication the idea will not get to every student and organization.

Why are you running for UPUA?
The main reason why I have chosen to run for UPUA is to try and make a difference for the students of Penn State. I had a few of my friends approach me about considering to join; Malcolm Pascotti was a main influence to help get me on board and up to speed with everything that was going on. Simply, I want to help the College of Education students, as well with all of the other students.

Earth and Mineral Sciences

Dan Tauriello


Brian Avison

Erik McCann (junior-biological engineering)
Facebook Event

What is the single biggest problem UPUA faces?
I would say the biggest problem is responsibility. Being responsible for and to your peers, after all, they voted for them/us. I believe that just being accountable can easily fix problems faced. Over all, I would say the UPUA does an exceptional job and I believe I can do the same.

Why are you running for UPUA?
I served as the delegate for the College of Engineering this past year for the Academic Affairs Committee. After being part of this group, I felt the desire to make a change in our student government and make a change for the students.

Health and Human Development

Byron Siegall (senior-HRIM)
Facebook Event

What is the single biggest problem UPUA faces?
At a large public university, reaching out to the students always presents a challenge. Many students are unaware of the purpose and capabilities of UPUA, especially considering what we can do for the betterment of student life. I would increase awareness and support of UPUA through effective use of student-body list-servs, advertisements, sponsorship of events, and more features in media such as Onward State and The Daily Collegian.

Why are you running for UPUA?
I decided to run for UPUA last year because I was impressed with the way it helped students. I have a strong desire to lead and make a difference, to help those who need to be helped, and to advocate for my peers. I am running for re-election now because my mission is incomplete, my skills are sharp, and I want to leave this university as a better place than when I entered.

Information Sciences and Technology

Andrew Lentz (junior-information sciences and technology and security and risk analysis)
Facebook Profile

What is the single biggest problem UPUA faces?
I think that the biggest problem UPUA faces is itself. Many pieces of legislation were not argued on the basis of what was best for the students but what made UPUA look the best. Also UPUA programming events need to have enough time and thought to be successful. Many of the events we put on, like SHAG week would have been wildly successful if they were only given the time and planning to do so.

Why are you running for UPUA?
Last semester I was appointed to the position by IST Student government. This year I decided that I should run for the position in order to join the 6th Assembly from the start.

Liberal Arts

John Zang (sophomore-international political economies)
Facebook Event

What is the single biggest problem UPUA faces?
As I have consistently emphasized over the course of my current term, UPUA has an issue with public relations. I have individually attempted to remedy this problem by contributing regularly to the comments on Onward State, discussing legislation and issues under consideration to the Liberal Arts Undergraduate Council, and encouraging communicative proficiency among members of UPUA. There is also the problem of UPUA, at times, having little to advertise, which is something I’m looking to remedy by exploring better ways of soliciting complaints from the average students and developing responses to these.

Why are you running for UPUA?
As the incumbent Representative of the College of the Liberal Arts to UPUA, I feel that I bring the governmental experience and academic expertise necessary for effectual communication between students, UPUA, and the University as a whole. My service as of yet has been fully supported by my Council and with their vote of confidence and the belief in my own ability, I feel sanguine in my re-election bid.

School of Nursing

Schreyer Honors College

Eberly College of Science

Christopher Ferri

Jett Peng (freshman-premed)
Facebook Event

What is the single biggest problem UPUA faces?
The biggest problem I see is the lack of communication between students, academic colleges, and UPUA. I hope to build up the community in the Eberly College of Science and allow students to be updated on everything around them. Whether it is adding more special living options, meeting with club leaders, creating activities for students, or having more study lounges, I want to bring the students in ECoS together. I also hope to network with people in the other academic colleges to improve the quality of student life and allow students to be informed about other academic colleges that may be of interest to them. With the recent budget cuts, I will do the best I can to keep ECoS as good as it is and make sure nothing happens to jeopardize anyone in ECoS. But all of this cannot be done alone; it is the students and everyone in ECoS that can help make a change for the better. I will be open to any suggestion or advice that the students in ECoS have. I will do everything in my power to make sure nothing gets taken away from ECoS and that it only gets better!

Why are you running for UPUA?
Student government has always been a passion of mine. I was president of my high school in Taiwan where I helped develop a newspaper, announcement system, and mascot. After coming to Penn State and enjoying every moment, I wanted to get involved somehow. I had the opportunity to be an intern for the Eberly College of Science in UPUA where I learned a lot about Penn State, students, faculty & staff, and student government. I am now motivated and inspired from all the experience I gained and people I have met in UPUA to keep ECoS moving forward.

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