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THON Director Thursday: JT Malorgio, Dancer Relations

Everyone involved in THON knows its talented core of Executive Committee members. But those prestigious titles can sometimes make it hard for Penn State to actually get to know this year’s THON Directors. We’re conducting a series of interviews with each and every THON 2016 Director. First up, Dancer Relations Director JT Malorgio.

JT Malorgio, Dancer Relations (DR)

Year: Senior

Major(s)/Minor(s): Economics B.S. and a minor in Business

Past THON Experience: Opperations Committee Member, Family Relations Captain, Dancer Relations Captain, Family Relations and Recruitment chair for Ayuda Benefitting THON

Interesting/Weird/Quirky Fact About You: I climbed Cathedral Peak at Yosemite National Park. Look it up!

Onward State: What made you want to apply for the Director position?

JT Malorgio: To be completely honest, the Fashion Show during THON weekend my sophomore year made me want to apply. THON volunteers put in so much work throughout the year to make this event possible. But seeing each kids’ smile as they crossed the stage into the spotlight and cheers of thousands of volunteers is something I will never forget. That is when I knew I wanted to do as much as I could to bring more smiles and laughter to all of the families we fight for each day.

OS: What are the responsibilities of your position?

JTM: As the DR Director, I oversee the safety and well-­being of all the dancers during THON Weekend. Throughout the year, my 20 captains and I work with over 700 committee members to learn how to fully support a dancer health, safety, and wellness, both mentally and physically. We also plan Random Events, Theme Hours, Mail Call, Dancer Storage, and much more throughout the year which occur during THON weekend.

OS: What do you want to implement in your position this year that’s unique and differs from years past?

JTM: I want to stress the importance of all the educational events we have for our Dancer Relations committee members throughout the year. DR works with multiple contacts including EMS, Athletic Training, and the School of Nursing to fully support the safety and well­-being of the dancers during THON weekend.

OS: What makes your committee so cool/fun/important?

JTM: I find it cool that Dancer Relations works throughout the year to support 700 dancers. DR Committee Members (DRCMs) work tirelessly to learn how to promote a dancer’s safety, health, and well-­being beginning the first week they are chosen, even if many dancers are not selected well into the school year. I believe DR is important because we do everything we can to do there for the dancers so they can be there for the kids.

OS: What are the overall goals you wish to reach within your specific position/committee?

JTM: I would love to see DR continue to work with other committees more throughout the year. Without every other committee, DR would not be able to support the dancers the way we do. DR is always looking at different ways to support dancers. I really want to focus on teaching friends, families, and anyone in the Bryce Jordan Center who will interact with a dancer different ways to fully support them.

OS: Why do you THON?

JTM: I THON to create moments for everyone to be kids, everyone from the children and families to the Penn State students. I THON to bring endless smiles on the faces of everyone around. I THON to fulfill every kid’s dream, no matter what their age, and to make them all feel like superheroes.

OS: What is your favorite THON memory?

JTM: Two years ago, during THON weekend, I had the opportunity to go on the Wish Program with the Delaney Brown Family. Despite being a horrible dancer, I loved getting to see the Brown family bond with R.A.M. Squad. Jake, Laney’s older brother, had an incredible time. We just learned that he now takes hip­-hop classes at the studio Delaney used to dance. Meanwhile, for those who weren’t very good, Kylee, Laney’s little sister, and I did gymnastics and cartwheels. She also put on my hat and quarter-zip while carrying my clipboard around (hands down the cutest THON captain ever). At the end, Mrs. Brown stopped me to thank us for everything we do and said that was the first time their family had laughed and smiled since Laney earned her pink, sparkly wings on Christmas. It was one of the few times I’ve completely speechless. It showed how much love and support we provide for each and every family. I will never forget the hour I spent bonding with the Brown Family.

OS: Finally, if you could be any dinosaur, which one would you be and why?

JTM: Indominus Rex…have you seen Jurassic World?

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About the Author

Kaitlyn Dividock

Kaitlyn is a staff writer for Onward State who is entirely too enthusiastic about Pittsburgh sports, music festivals, and crude humor. She is a senior English major who concentrates in Professional and Media Writing and minors in Sociology. She is really fun and very cool, and her favorite color is red. If for some reason you can't find her, she's probably at Primanti's with an ice cold IC Light in her hand. You can follow her on Twitter (@kaitdivi) if you want quality #content, or contact her via email at [email protected]

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