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Meet The 2016 Homecoming Court

The Student Homecoming Court, along with the University and Alumni Courts, was announced a few weeks ago during the annual court crash. These 10 students, all in their final year at Penn State, were selected for their allegiance to the university and its glory through their involvement on campus.

The 10 individuals below join a prestigious lineage of alumni who previously served Penn State and its honor. You can vote for Homecoming king and queen here, and the winners will be announced Saturday during the game against Maryland. Without further ado, meet the Student Homecoming Court before you see it rolling in style during the parade tomorrow.

Tim Farley

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Major: Finance

Farley is involved in a few different aspects of the university, including serving as the Chief Investment Officer of the Nittany Lion Fund, a $7.5 million student-run hedge fund. He’s also the Treasurer of No Refund Theatre, the Smeal College of Business Representative in the undergraduate student government (UPUA), and the Student Coordinator for Wall Street Boot Camp. After graduation, he will work for Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York City.

What does being selected for Homecoming Court mean to you?

Being selected for Homecoming Court has been one of the greatest honors I’ve received in my life. I view this experience as an opportunity to showcase how Penn State can impact the lives of its students, considering the countless opportunities that the university has given me. I will forever be indebted to the people at Penn State who saw potential in me, gave me the opportunity to fail and grow through those failures.

Casey Francis

casey francis homecoming headshot

Major: Kinesiology

Francis is captain of the varsity swim team and currently holds two school records in addition to being a Scholar All-American. She is also treasurer of the Student Athlete Advisory Board, a fundraising chair for the SAAB THON committee, a member of the Athletic Directors Leadership Institute, and a member of the Spiritus Leoninus honor society. She hopes to start physical therapy school next fall.

What does being selected for Homecoming Court mean to you?

Being on Homecoming Court is an awesome experience and I am happy to share it with so many new friends! I am honored to have been chosen and it means the world having so many people supporting me. My Penn State family has shaped me into the person I have become and I will forever be indebted to this university. WE ARE!!!

Jimmy Frisbie

jimmy frisbie homecoming court 2016

Major: Immunology and Infectious Diseases

As a Schreyer Scholar, Frisbie works in a research lab on a metabolite that has previously shown anti-leukemic properties. He is the Drum Major of the Blue Band and has served the band and university in this position for the past two years. In addition to leading the band, Frisbie is actively involved with THON and Global Brigades. In addition, he helped start a Music Therapy Club on campus. He hopes to start medical school in the fall, where he believes he can combine his interest in the human body with his passion to serve those around him.

What does being selected for Homecoming Court mean to you?

I am so excited and humbled to be a part of the 2016 Homecoming Court. Growing up in a Penn State family has always made me proud of Penn State’s commitment to outstanding academics, athletics, and service. Penn State has so many incredible individuals that are making an impact on every corner of campus, so to be able to represent the student body on the Homecoming Court is truly an honor. It is my hope that my impact here at Penn State will swell thy fame, Dear Old State, Dear Old State.

Steven Mezzacappa

steven mezzacappa homecoming 2016

Major: Architectural Engineering

Mezzacappa was recently named America’s New Face of Civil Engineering and has been involved in an array of activities here at Penn State earning this title. During his college career, he served as a THON OPPerations captain twice, the President of both the Council of Lionhearts and Bridges to Prosperity, and recently started a new student organization called Passion With Purpose, which he is currently the president of.

What does being selected for Homecoming Court mean to you?

I could not be more honored and blessed to be a part of Student Court this year! Surrounded by incredible individuals, it truly is humbling to be a part of. I hope that this experience serves as another way to give back to Penn State because this university has done so much for me these past four years. Thou Didst Mold Us Dear Old State!

Bertha Castaneda-Guzman

Bertha Castaneda Guzman homecoming 2016

Major: Information Sciences and Technology and Agribusiness Management

Castaneda-Guzman is a recipient of the Champion of Change award from the White House. She plans to graduate in December 2016 and hopes to work for one of the ‘big four’ firms. Bertha is a third-year RA and has dedicated her time to diversity and inclusion initiatives on campus.

What does being selected for Homecoming Court mean to you?

She loves Homecoming because it brings students together to celebrate their pride for Penn State. She is humbled and honored to be on the Homecoming Student Court.

Misha Demchuk

misha demchuk homecoming 2016

Major: General Science with a minor in Business

Demchuk is currently the president of Blue & White Society, the student membership of the Penn State Alumni Association. She has been very involved in the university and community since day one through various organizations. She’s also the Director for Student Life for UPUA, a member of the community service organization Boulevard, and the 2016 On-Site Coordinator for LeaderShape. Penn State has given her so much as a person and she does her best to give back to the University in any way that she can.

What does being selected for Homecoming Court mean to you?

I am humbled and excited to be on Penn State Homecoming 2016 Student Court! I cannot wait to give back to the University that has given me so much and am incredibly honored by this opportunity to represent Penn State! For the Glory!

Lianne Luu

Lianne Luu homecoming 2016

Major: Elementary Education with minors in Education Policy, Sociology, and Psychology

You may recognize her from working at Primanti Brother’s or The Paul Robeson Cultural Center. Aside from her jobs, Luu is a full-time student teacher for Kindergarten — her students refer to her as Miss Luu and you may too. During her time at Penn State, Luu has served as The President of The Asian/Pacific American Caucus, an At-Large Representative of The University Park Undergraduate Association, Chairman of The HUB-Robeson Advisory Board, a Dancer Relations Committee Member for THON, and 2015 PSU Miss Asia. She has held various positions in her sorority, Sigma Omicron Pi, and was a member of Penn State Club boxing her freshmen year. Luu strongly believes in the power of The Waffle Shop. She enjoys singing Penn State fight songs in the shower and she loves taking her pet bunny out for occasional walks on Old Main Lawn. She is passionate about Penn State because she believes she would be lost without this university.

What does being selected for Homecoming Court mean to you?

It honestly still feels like I’m dreaming or being punk’d. I can’t believe that at a school of over 40,000 students, people thought that I deserved to be honored. I honestly love Penn State so much for all that it has given to me. Penn State helped me find who I am and taught me how to be confident in myself and to go for all my dreams and aspirations in life with nothing holding me back. You can rip away all my titles and cut me open in half, and I would still bleed blue and white. Being able to represent this renowned university on student court means the world to me.

Pj Tatano

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Major: Petroleum Engineering and Energy Business & Finance

As a freshman,Tatano founded No Hair, Don’t Care, a fundraising event providing emotional and financial support to families impacted by pediatric cancer. He has been heavily involved in Lion Ambassadors and the Penn State Dance Marathon. Pj is the first in his family to go to college, and is extremely humbled to be a part of the 2016 Homecoming Court.

What does being selected for Homecoming Court mean to you?

I cannot put into words how excited I am to represent this university on the homecoming court this year! I’m the first in my family to go to college and it’s great to have so much support from my friends and family. Penn State is my home, and I’m honored to have this opportunity.

Jackie Nunes

Jackie Nunes homecoming court 2016

Major: Marketing with a Minor in International Business

Nunes has been heavily involved throughout her time here at Penn State, contributing as a three-year THON captain, two-year member of the Movin’ On executive committee, and the president and founder of Penn State’s Chapter of International Association of Venue Managers. She also interned at the Bryce Jordan Center for the past three semesters.

What does being selected for Homecoming Court mean to you?

I am humbled and honored to represent Penn State by being a part of the 2016 Homecoming Court!

Kayode Oduwaiye

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Major: Telecommunications with a minor in African American Studies

Oduwaiye was born in Lagos, Nigeria and moved to West Philadelphia when he was three years old. He has been involved in various aspects of the Penn State Community and is currently the Co-Chair of the Diversity Commission and a Student Worker at The Paul Robeson Cultural Center. As a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., he served as Social Media Chair and Sergeant of Arms. This allowed him the pleasure of later serving as the President of one the four Greek governing councils here at Penn State – The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC). Prior to becoming the President, Oduwaiye was the Vice President of Communications for the NPHC. Beyond that, Oduwaiye volunteers with his home church in Philadelphia, Courage Christian Center, where he helps with various philanthropy projects. He has also been an active Team Leader volunteer for the MLK Day of Service for the past two years. His passion for Penn State can be seen through his various volunteer work and leadership in the community. He hopes to obtain a Masters of Business Administration after his time here at Penn State.

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About the Author

Lexi Shimkonis

Lexi is an editor-turned-staff writer who can often be found at either Irving's or the Phyrst (with the chances she'll have her backpack being the same). Lexi is a senior hailing from Spring City, PA (kind of) and studying Civil Engineering. Please email questions and/or pleas for an Instagram caption to [email protected], or for a more intimate bond, follow her on Twitter @lexshimko.

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