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Onward State Gives Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving from Onward State! Aside from Penn State football being ranked No. 7 and of course all you lovely readers, here’s what our staff is thankful for this year.

Alex Bauer: I am thankful for James Franklin proving me to be a hate-hate-hater and for the Grammy Award-winning 1999 hit “Smooth” by Santana featuring Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty off the multi-platinum album Supernatural.

Allison Wulfhorst: I’m thankful for the people in my life who have given me nothing but constant support like my family and friends, the old and the new. I am grateful to be given this incredible opportunity that is Onward State where I can pursue what I love doing with a group of really amazing people. This adventure is only the beginning and I wouldn’t be a part of it if it weren’t for our Dear Old State and the unique atmosphere that can be seen and felt all around Happy Valley. 2016, although you weren’t that great, you made me realize the important things in life. Don’t lose sight of them, at the end of the day they are what matter the most.

Anthony Colucci: I am thankful for my family, friends, and girlfriend who supported me during such a crazy summer and all the doctors and therapists who helped me fully recover from viral encephalitis just in time to start my freshman year at the greatest university in the world, where I was able to join the greatest blog in the world. I’d also like to thank Sandy Barbour for not listening to me yelling “Fire Franklin” and that “We want Les” during the Minnesota game. Also Saturdays, which are, in fact, for the boys.

Caitlin Gailey: I’m incredibly thankful for my mom, dad, and sister for always bleeding blue and killing the tailgate game. I’m thankful for my ADPi family for helping me find my home away from home. I’m forever grateful for my whiskey-loving, cat-obsessed, all-black wearing, ballerina of a roommate, Hibbs 303 forever. Most importantly I’m thankful for the chance to share Onward State with my cousin, shout out to Emma for making it onto the masthead and making me proud.

Carolyn Popescu: I’m thankful to be on my fourth semester writing with some of the coolest, brightest, most down-to-earth folks I know on campus. I’m also incredibly thankful to be working with Sony Music, doing precisely what I love every single day. Lastly, I’m psyched and thankful to be living off campus, finally free from the cruel, saturated, over-salted gripe that is dining hall food.

Chris Weigl: I’m thankful for many things. First off my family for giving me unconditional support in whatever it may be that I’m doing. Also for having the best friends a person could ask for. It’s important not to forget Penn State football and being blessed with the opportunity to attend the greatest university in the world. Last but not least, I am thankful for James Franklin and the fact that he is making Penn State football great again.

Christopher Sponagle: I’m thankful for Wings Over Happy Valley. I’m also thankful for my really big…telephoto lens.

Claire Fountas: I’m thankful to have a home both in Illinois and at school — my family and friends from both places are incredible people who I know will be around for the rest of my life. I’m thankful for still being able to laugh every day (even when it seems like my academic life is out of control). I’m thankful for raunchy music on Spotify. I’m thankful for coffee, even if it really is a placebo effect sometimes. And of course, I’m thankful for the two-and-a-half years I have left here because I know they weren’t meant to be spent anywhere else.

Dana Lipshutz: I am thankful for having no Friday classes, Yallah Taco, Onward State, and the Penn State football team. But most importantly, I am thankful for how fast my wifi is at home and for my family who constantly yells at me for sucking up all the wifi.

David Abruzzese: I’m thankful for a lot of thing because I feel like like a lucky guy. I’m so thankful for all my friends on this staff and everybody I’ve gotten to know through Onward State. I’m thankful for all mu family, and especially thankful for the opportunities that’ve been presented to me. I’m thankful for Penn State football, and hopefully my words don’t jinx the team (I want to go to the Playoff). I’m so blessed, and so excited for what lies ahead. Don’t worry, folks, I didn’t forget about you! I’m thankful for all our folks!

Derek Bannister: I am thankful not only for the opportunity to write for Onward State but also for the level-headed, insightful internet commenter who told me to leave the country. I’ve since decided to embark on what I hope to be a life-changing study abroad trip. Thanks, friend!

Dylan Coughlin: I’m thankful for finally making it to State College after being at a branch campus that can’t compare to Happy Valley the last couple years. It has been an unreal experience so far, and the friends I made on this blog have made this an enjoyable and unforgettable semester. I’m also thankful for my roommates that I’ve known since high school, who I know I can count on for anything and everything. Lastly, I’m thankful for witnessing firsthand that amazing Ohio State game, storming the field, and everything that has ensued this season for the football team, hopefully culminating in a national title run!

Elissa Hill: I’m thankful for CFP rankings, meal points, and HUB Starbucks staying open until midnight. But not even a caffeine rush can top Saquon.

Emilie Dormer: I’m thankful to be a part of Penn State’s premiere news source and the amazing people I’ve met through it. I’m thankful to go to Penn State and have opportunities like THON, East Halls, and student teaching. I’m thankful for Dsig getting kicked out of their senior house, because it is now my house and I wouldn’t be here without their recklessness. I’m thankful for the fact that I’ve experienced not one, not two, but three riots in my four years here, one strictly because of clowns. Finally, I am thankful for the Phyrst’s Irish Trash Cans, Canyon pizza, my boyfriend Jake for giving me his Netflix password/unconditional love, my family, friends, and Chris “Frat Daddy” Fagan who is totally fine.

Emma Dieter: I’m thankful for the opportunity to attend my dream school here at Penn State and for the fact that it’s enabled me to meet so many weird yet amazing people; I’ve absolutely found my home. I’m also thankful for State College Uber drivers and Gumby’s Pokey Stix for always being there for me at 1 a.m. no matter the weather. But more importantly, I’m thankful for Onward State — a blog that has given me an outlet to do exactly what I love day-in and day-out, writing.

Ethan Kasales: This semester, I’m particularly grateful for press box food and away-game road trips. There’s nothing quite like spending 10 hours stuffed in a car with four good friends, listening to albums like Watch the Throne and Action Bronson’s Blue Chips 2. I’m also thankful for all the help from the Penn State Sports Information Directors, especially Will Rottler, Steve Sommer, Arielle Sargent, and Kris Petersen. Oh yeah, and for “Russ Digs Roseberry” at the Creamery. Best flavor hands down.

Gabi Stevenson: Most importantly, I’m thankful for the cosmetics Candy Land that is Ulta Beauty. I’ll throw a huge shout out to the Target on Fraser Street for letting me crush my makeup cravings for cheap. I am thankful to my colleagues at Onward State for not yelling when I started following college football just when Penn State started winning. I’m thankful to Norristown (a town that is legitimately a 30-minute drive without traffic from Philadelphia on Google Maps) for being the place I can always come back to. I’m thankful for the cutest parents in the world, a sister who will still sing the Pokemon soundtrack with me, and a boyfriend who isn’t too sick of me yet. Lastly, I’m thankful for the opportunity to go to the greatest university in the country, mostly because they sell Gardners’ peanut butter pretzels in the commons.

Gareth Brangan: I am thankful for my family, who is always there for me whenever I need love and support. I’m also thankful for my roommate who lets me use his Netflix account, you’re the man Alex.

James Turchick: I am thankful for my parking spot. My roommate parks next to me and his car has been hit three times already this year.

Joe Pickard: I’m thankful for my family, my friends who stuck with me these past four years, #TuesdaysAreForTheSquad, Mike McKee, everyone at OS who has been amazing since I joined this year, Captain Jack Sparrow’s at the Gaff, and Joe Moorhead’s offensive playbook.

Katie Klodowski: I’m extremely grateful to have a family who indulges me by attending every Penn State Football game and who throws awesome tailgates; very few people in this world would drive three hours to Penn State the morning of a noon game to make omelettes and mimosas for all my friends. I’m also thankful to attend a university that gives out so many free T-shirts. Because of Penn State, I never have to pay for clothes again.

Lexi Shimkonis: I’m thankful that the UPUA Committee chairs started printing their weekly reports instead of saying them out loud during assembly meetings and that my roommate still comes back to our apartment every day even though I snore.

Mary Frances Pillion: This year, I’m especially thankful for my family because they always answer my phone calls, even when I call three-plus times per day. I’m so very thankful to have joined an amazing Onward State staff, because it allows me to live my dream of being a real photographer. I’m thankful that in a little over a month I’m jetting off to Paris, France. And finally, I’m thankful for mac and cheese, weenie dogs, the Pittsburgh Penguins, sloths, The Beatles, and Nick Perry, who is simply the best.

Matt Castle: I’m thankful for Cherry Admiral Nelson: low price, great taste, gets the job done. I’m also thankful for bathing in my countless number of championships as a Boston sports fan.

Mike Reisman: I’m thankful for being able to see a ranked Penn State football team as a student, Penn State basketball never stopping, and living with roommates, who like drinking as much as I do.

Mitch Stewart: I’m thankful for my wonderful family and friends in State College and back home in Virginia. I’m thankful for Urban Meyer’s inability to manage the clock and his choice to rush a kicker out only to watch his boot smash the ball right into the reach of my man Marcus Allen (Kodak Free). I’m thankful for the HUB Chick-Fil-A and especially for McAllister’s sweet tea, because no other place in this town knows the glory of REAL sweet tea. Lastly, I’m thankful for the opportunity to work with such amazing people by talking about what has already become arguably my favorite place on earth: Happy Valley.

Patrick Cines: I’m thankful for my professors and mentors that I’ve had during my four years at Penn State. They’ve pushed me to pursue my passions, dreams, and do what I love. I’m thankful to my family and friends that put up with my nonsense. Lastly, I’m thankful to OrderUp for providing me the means to spend more than $2,700 since I’ve come to Penn State on delivery from many State College establishments. Shoutout to Wings Over making up an overwhelming amount of those purchases. Hang Glider, Jamaican Jerk, Ranch, Waffle Fries, Water — always. You will be missed after I graduate

Pete Rinehart: I’m thankful that I have more than three years left here at the best place on earth. I’m thankful that I have the privilege of being on such a great news organization and for all the wonderful friends I’ve made. I’m also thankful for all of the friends and opportunities UPUA has given me, and for all that it has taught me in my short time with them. And most importantly, I’m thankful that I’m living in East and still have my own bathroom.

Robbie Rockwell: This year I am beyond thankful to be a new part of the Onward State staff. Writing for Onward State is a dream come true for me and it’s fantastic to join a group of such great people and write about my favorite thing — Penn State. Of course I’m also extremely thankful for this year’s football team. I’ve been rooting for Penn State since birth and this season has been such a joy to watch, one I’ve been waiting a long time for.

Sara Civian: I am thankful for the song “Back That Azz Up” by Juvenile, the Bernese Mountain Dog named Wafflenugget on Instagram, and Guy Gadowsky — in no particular order.

Shawn McGinnis: I’m beyond blessed to have had the amazing support of my family, friends, and girlfriend throughout this year. Today is the day that I look back and appreciate the blessings I have in my life. Onward State is something that I’m truly thankful for as well. This blog has given me home, and a family in itself which has allowed me to make Penn State feel like a second home.

Steffen Blanco: I’m thankful for my time here at Penn State and all the experiences and people who have come these past five years. I’m especially thankful for my friends in Onward State, UPUA, and of course my family in the Filipino Association. Through the good and bad times, I know you’ll always be there as a support. Can’t thank you all enough. Oh and thanks Penn State football for destroying Rutgers.

Steve Connelly: I’m thankful for all the people who still choose to put up with me — my family, friends, and Onward State family. I’m thankful that I’m from New Jersey and have the privilege to know what Taylor Ham is. Being from New Jersey and seeing all the horrible things former Rutgers Athletic Director Julie Hermann did, I’m thankful Penn State has the awesome Sandy Barbour. I’m thankful that Haleigh Washington plays for Penn State. Most of all, I’m thankful that I have all of the support from the people who matter to me to pursue all the amazing opportunities I’ve received at Penn State.

Tim Reams: I am thankful for the good bean and the magical sludge which it produces to course through my veins at an alarming rate daily, my family, tuddies, JFK juice, Olive Oil, and most importantly I am thankful for you, the folks. The honest conversation in the comments section enriches the Penn State community, and my heart belongs to that dumpster fire. Also, I’m thankful I wasn’t on staff the same time as Ted Hozza, because he is the actual worst human I have ever interacted with.

Trevor Hayes: I’m so thankful to be a student at one of the greatest universities in the country. At community college, my life consisted of work, homework, class, and barley any sleep. However, it was all worth it. I’m thankful for my friends and family who have, and still are, supporting my crazy dreams and ideas. Last but not least, I feel very grateful to be a part of the best media outlet Penn State has to offer, Onward State.

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