UPUA Candidate Profiles: Academic Colleges

With UPUA election day quickly approaching, we reached out to the candidates to help you make an informed vote on March 28. There are 11 students running for positions in the 14 academic colleges, however, only one race is contested.

Agricultural Sciences

Jillian Gordon (Freshman, Agricultural & Extension Education)

Please explain an idea or policy you have for improving UPUA.

The biggest idea I have when going forth within UPUA is this ever present idea of student voice. With the recent events that have impacted the heart of Penn State students, the ability of students to have a say on what happens at their university is as important as ever. I hope that during my time holding a UPUA office I can impact first a growth in the awareness of its existence and second, give the power of change back into the hands of the students.

Why are you running for a position in UPUA?

The reasons I am running for UPUA are numerous, but can be summed up in two simple objectives. First, I hope to bring light to the wonderful and vital advances being made within our College of Agricultural Sciences. Penn State was founded as a Land Grant University as the Farmer’s High School, and although the academics of Penn State have expanded, the importance of its founding principles this remain. Many believe that in today’s society, the college is irrelevant. But for those of you reading this who enjoyed a hearty breakfast or are wearing clothing (and I certainty hope that you are), that couldn’t be further from the truth. I hope my place as a representative at the university level will bring light to this idea.

My second reason goes back to that idea of the students having a voice. Instead of students watching what happens at our university, frustrated at not having a say, I want to make it clear that we has a student body can and should have an impact.

What is your favorite part about Penn State?

My favorite part about Penn State is the opportunities we have available to our students. I truly believe that there is not a student on the planet who could come to PSU and not a class, club or activity that they don’t enjoy. Penn State is a place students.can discover new things, grow as a person and figure out what really matters to then, and that’s something you can’t find at any other school.

Arts and Architecture

Jeffrey Holzer (Freshman, Landscape Architecture)

Please explain an idea or policy you have for improving UPUA.

I am running for the Representative of the College of Arts and Architecture and my ideas I am bringing to UPUA are simple.  I represent basically the North part of campus and all the students that work and live in that area so I plan to improve those areas and all facets of acedemics all arts students.

Why are you running for a position in UPUA?

I am running for this position because this would be a re-election.  I sat as the rep. for the spring semester and believe that I can continue to contribute for the betterment of my constituents.

What is your favorite part about Penn State?

My favorite part of Penn State would be the rich tradition that makes Penn State different from any other university.

Smeal College of Business

Rishi Mittal (Sophomore, Finance)

Please explain an idea or policy you have for improving UPUA.

I would like to create a system through the Registrar where students can view their course syllabus before scheduling a class.

Why are you running for a position in UPUA?

I want to set UPUA on the right path. This year UPUA had some setbacks, but I believe with my help, we can get UPUA back on track for helping students.

What is your favorite part about Penn State?

My favorite part about Penn State is the school spirit. WE ARE…

Communications

Katie Ritchie (Sophomore, Public Relations, minors in English and Business)

Presidential Endorsement: Quinn/Feghali

Why are you running for a position in UPUA?

I am running for UPUA because, as last year’s Faculty Senate Delegate for the College of Communications, I wanted to become more involved as the Representative. The College of Comm. is full of hard-working students who deserve to have a reliable voice in student government. Our student council has many great ideas that are constantly being circulated, and it would be great to be able to put even a few of them into action and turn them into a reality. I also think that UPUA has the potential to be a great resource for students, but that it is not as well-known or utilized as it should be, and that is something that needs improvement.

What is your favorite part about Penn State?

My favorite part about Penn State is the people. This campus is filled with amazing people, ranging from the students to the professors to the school’s staff. Just in two years at University Park, I have met so many people who have been kind, helpful, and have influenced my life for the better. I can’t wait to see who else I will meet in the next two years.

Division of Undergraduate Studies

Tyler Wentz (Sophomore, Telecommunications and Communication Arts & Sciences)

Please explain an idea or policy you have for improving UPUA.

I want to increase the number of trash and recycling bins in the downtown area, especially in the areas surrounding “frat row.”

Why are you running for a position in UPUA?

I have been involved in UPUA since my freshmen year and I do not like the direction UPUA has been headed in recent years. I want to take a more active role in my junior year by sitting in the assembly.

What is your favorite part about Penn State?

I love Penn State because it truly gives you the tools to succeed or fail. It brings out the character and moral values of its students and it is how your react in your time here that will determine your path once you leave.

Education

Alyssa Bloom (Junior, Rehabilitation and Human Services)

Presidential Endorsement: Quinn/Feghali | Faceboook

Please explain an idea or policy you have for improving UPUA.

UPUA is a strong and meaningful organization on campus. It is unfortunate that it is not well known and in my opinion, the majority of our campus does not even know what it is. As a member I would like to learn from the student body about what we can do to help promote UPUA. The decision making that members take part in are very important to the students and they need to know how exactly UPUA effects them.

Why are you running for a position in UPUA?

I am running because I believe I have the voice, personality and drive to tackle the concerns of our students. I am Penn State proud and I would personally love to see improvements within our university. Knowing that I could make a difference means everything to me.

What is your favorite part about Penn State?

I have always be! lieved that Penn State deserves its own text book and should be taught about in High Schools. The history, love, and respect that everyone has for this school is irreversible. Once you learn about what Penn State is about, there is an instant attachment. It is so amazing that anywhere you go, people know what Penn State is and how great the school and the students really are.

Bradley Middleton

Presidential Endorsement: Lennartz/Mullen | Facebook

Please explain an idea or policy you have for improving UPUA.

I believe it is important for UPUA as a whole to become more accessible and visible to the student population that it seeks to represent. I think an online presence is essential, but increasing opportunities for face to face interaction are also necessary.

Why are you running for a position in UPUA?

I am running because I recognize the importance of student government when it comes to bringing about changes in the organizations and policies that affect students, and I want to make sure the interests of the College of Education are voiced.

What is your favorite part about Penn State? 

The thing I love most about Penn State is the sense of community I feel here. This past year was a difficult one for all of us, but it was truly inspiring and beautiful to see how quickly we came together.

Stephen Payne

Earth and Mineral Sciences

Dan Tauriello (Junior, Geography)

Please explain an idea or policy you have for improving UPUA.

The big idea I have for improving UPUA is really a continuation off of this previous assembly’s move to better connect with students, albeit in a less expensive fashion than sunglasses and pens and cups. Simply having a regular “meet your reps” day where we’re down in the HUB taking questions would be a good first step. A UPUA app with maps and contact information and the like would also be cool to see, if not exactly feasible. Town halls on the first floor of the HUB are pretty fun for everyone involved. Visibility and student connection are long-term goals for UPUA, and we may never get them quite right. But we’ve got to try; our purpose is to advocate to administrators on behalf of the students and while it’s tougher than it looks, we as an organization should be stepping up our game in the coming year to accomplish that goal.

Why are you running for a position in UPUA?

I’m running to keep moving towards that goal — for both the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, and for the student body at large. The members of every organization on campus (EMS included) has typically had a cordial-if-apathetic approach to their government; unfortunately, it seems to come with the territory. And I (and my fellow reps) completely understand that; nobody can put up with UPUA 24/7 before they lose interest, even us. As a student body, we’ve got schoolwork and exams and friends to attend to, and those take precedence. But if we can get two students in three thinking about things they notice or care about around campus or the university on a regular basis, and then one in ten of that number — just over 5% of the student body — voicing their thoughts to us even once a semester, we’d see some real progress very quickly.

What is your favorite part about Penn State?

My favorite part of Penn State is, most immediately, sitting in the library poring over maps and designs. I just put down a 1974 urban planning report from the National Capital Planning Commiss–…okay strike that, it’s that feeling when the dining halls have Bittersweet Mint or Peppermint Stick and they’re not empty. Or that feeling when you look through the guest list of a party that’s two days away and you know almost everyone on it. Maybe both!

Engineering

Richard Pooler (Sophomore, Electrical Engineering)

Presidential Endorsement: Lennartz Mullen | Facebook

Please explain an idea or policy you have for improving UPUA.

Something that I would really like to see happen in this upcoming assembly is for UPUA to hold more assembly meetings on the first floor of the Hub or in another visible place like that.  Student input is vital and having seen the bumb in student attendance for our townhall meetings in this past assembly it is clear that the more meetings in visible locations the better. An increase in student input  at these meetings! or in general could help point representatives in the direction that the student body wants us to be headed in.

Why are you running for a position in UPUA?

I am running for a position in UPUA because I am a proud Penn Stater who wants to continue my work in improving this school for the students.  I was a member of last assembly as an Off Campus Representative and though there was controversy surrounding a few UPUA decisions, I saw a lot of good done by the assembly such as the I-clicker and the CATA bus tokens initiatives.  UPUA has the potential to really change this University and I would like to continue to be a part of making that change a change for the better.

What is your favorite part about Penn State?

My favorite part of Penn State has to be the people.  I have never been a part of a community that is as warm and as accepting as the Penn State community. The wonderful students and faculty are really my motivation for running for a position like this because I would like to give back to this place as much as it has given to me.

Health and Human Development

No candidate.

Information Sciences and Technology

No candidate.

Liberal Arts

John Zang (Junior, International Politics)

Presidential Endorsement: Lennartz/Mullen | Facebook

Please explain an idea or policy you have for improving UPUA.

I want to continue to increase the amount of interaction and collaboration UPUA achieves with other student organizations. As the Liberal Arts Representative, I have established a strong relationship with many liberal arts organizations like the Liberal Arts Undergraduate Council and the Political Science Association.  I want to make that familiarity with student groups the rule rather than the exception.

Why are you running for a position in UPUA?

As the Liberal Arts Representative since my freshman year and with a year of experience as Chairman of the UPUA Committee on Academic Affairs, I am looking forward to reprising my role as both the Rep for the third time and as Chair for the second to continue my work on academics as a part of UPUA.  If elected, I would be the ranking member of the Assembly and would be able to help the many underclassmen coming into the Assembly because of my extensive experience with both academic institutions like the Library, Deans’ Offices, and Faculty Senate as well as my fluency with regard to UPUA structure and function.

What is your favorite part about Penn State?

Penn State is such a large University that it offers any and all a chance to find their niche where they can develop academically as well as growing as individuals through the vast number of organizations on campus.  The University has the resources to provide students with the resources to do nearly whatever they want. Also, JoePa.

Melissa McCleery (Elected to suspend campaign)

School of Nursing

No candidate.

Schreyer Honors College

No candidate.

Eberly College of Science

No candidate.

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About the Author

Kevin Horne

Kevin Horne was the editor of Onward State from 2012-2014 and currently holds the position of Managing Editor Emeritus, which is a fake title he made up. He graduated from Penn State with degrees journalism and political science in 2014 and is currently seeking his J.D. at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law. A third generation Penn Stater from Williamsport, Pa., Kevin is also the president of the graduate student government. Email: [email protected]

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