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Transfer Student Finds Niche in THON

For junior Melissa Wenzel, the journey to Penn State and THON wasn’t an immediate one, but it was the most important.

Now in her third semester, Wenzel is dancing in THON for the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA). Wenzel transferred to Penn State from Elmira College in New York in her fourth semester. With only a little over a year under her belt at Penn State, Wenzel looked towards THON to help her get acquainted at the dauntingly large university.

“My friends had all talked a lot about THON,” Wenzel said. “It was the first organization I got involved with and it was the best decision I made at Penn State.”

It’s unusual for a student to dance in THON only a year after they arrive on campus, but Wenzel helped NSSLHA raise over $39,000 this past year as the orgs THON chair — nearly double that of the previous record.

“I don’t think it has hit me yet that I’m actually on the floor dancing,” Wenzel said. “I can’t wait to see the amazing things our school continues to do for THON. I am so honored to be at an amazing school and part of the best organization!”

With THON very much underway, Wenzel is still doing well. Like most dancers, she takes comfort in her support system this weekend.

“I love looking up in the stands and seeing all of my friends from my org and family cheering me on every step of the way,” Wenzel said. “I especially have loved developing a close relationship with our THON family and spending time with hem on the floor has been incredible.”

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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