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State Of State Announces Second Round Of Speakers

This year’s State of State Conference comes to Alumni Hall in less than two weeks, and the event’s directors announced the second round of speakers that will present this year. These six speakers will join the eight original speakers that State of State announced last week.

Dr. Nicholas Rowland is a social scientist and professor from Penn State Altoona. He also works with undergraduate students outside the classroom by overseeing interns, presenting with students at conferences, and conducting research with undergraduates. Rowland will discuss traditions and how participating in them means respecting their meanings while adapting them. He will also speak about the battle between tradition and change at Penn State, and how we can learn from this to implement future change. Rowland will speak during the “Tradition and Change” set of the conference.

Melissa Aguilar is a senior Schreyer Honors College student and a proud commonwealth student. While at Penn State Abington, Aguilar served as the Executive Director for Abington Benefiting THON. She will discuss perceived versus true value of a college degree. In her presentation, Aguilar also wishes to confront the stigmatization of commonwealth campuses and the devaluing of commonwealth degrees within the Penn State community. She will speak during the “Value of Your Degree” portion of the conference.

Ryan Valencia is an At-Large Representative and the Chair of the Governmental Affairs Committee for the University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA). He is the first in his family to attend college, and is double majoring in International Politics and History with a minor in Anthropology. Aligned with his passion for making college affordable to those who seek further education, Valencia will discuss how Penn State students can seek assistance and understanding when it comes to their tuition. He will speak during the “Value of Your Degree” portion of the conference.

Ramon Guzman, Jr. is a senior studying Education and Public Policy. During his time at Penn State, Guzman has served as the Executive Director of the Class Gift Campaign, is a mentor for the BLUEprint program through the Paul Robeson Cultural Center, is involved with THON, and is an active member of Lion Ambassadors. He will discuss the benefits of using inclusive language to maintain diversity and inclusion and to enhance the experience of all Penn State students. Guzman will speak during the “Inclusivity and Identity” section of the conference.

Dr. Moses Davis works as the Director of the Multicultural Resource Center at Penn State. He was born the youngest of eleven children in Detroit, MI, and is now an educator on social justice and has visited all but two continents. Davis will address ways for students to actively learn about others in order to make Penn State a more inclusive environment. He will speak during the “Inclusivity and Identity” section of the conference.

Skylar Slotter is a senior studying Security & Risk Analysis and Information Sciences & Technology. While at Penn State, Slotter served as the Chief Information Director for Lion Ambassadors, and is also involved in Phi Kappa Phi, Women of IST, and Security and Risk Analysis Club. Her presentation will address the persisting gender gap, focusing on the under-representation of women in technology. Slotter will discuss why the gender gap exists and explain the importance behind empowering women to explore the opportunities available in technical fields. She will speak during the “Inclusivity and Identity” section of the conference.

This year’s conference will be held on Saturday, February 13 at Alumni Hall in the HUB. The theme of the conference will be “Exploring the Glory” and registration can be found online.

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About the Author

Elissa Hill

Elissa is a senior public relations major and the managing editor of Onward State. She is from Punxsutawney, PA [insert corny Bill Murray joke here] and considers herself an expert on all things ice cream. Send questions and comments via e-mail ([email protected]) and follow her on Twitter (@ElissaKHill) for more corny jokes.


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