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Alumni Association Honors Nine Graduates With Achievement Award

The Penn State Alumni Association will honor nine graduates with its 2017 Alumni Achievement Award at a ceremony this month. The Alumni Association created the award in 2005 for graduates 35 years of age or younger.

These alumni were nominated by an academic college or campus and will return to State College to present guest lectures in Penn State classrooms. They will officially be granted the award on March 31.

Among the honorees is John Urschel, who was recently featured in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Science list and spoke at the Eberly College of Science as the 2016 commencement speaker.

Here are the graduates being honored with this year’s award:

  • Shannon Furman graduated in 2003 from the College of Communications. She is currently a producer and director at NFL Films and earned five Emmy awards for her work.
  • Eric Hall graduated in 2009 from the College of Medicine. He is the Associate Director of Medical and Value Based Outcomes at Biogen, a biotechnology company developing therapies for people with neurological and neurodegenerative diseases.
  • M. Ehsan Hoque graduated from Penn State Erie in 2004 and now works as an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Rochester and the director of Rochester’s Human-Computer Interaction Lab.
  • Mike Karns is a 2011 graduate from the College of Arts and Architecture and the founder and CEO of social media marketing and producing company Marathon Live Entertainment. Karns and his team lead the social media campaign for Broadway’s “Hamilton.”
  • Kelly Lloyd is graduated with a law degree from Penn State in 2010 and is now the assistant district attorney for Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. She was awarded with the Outstanding Prosecutor Award by the Pennsylvania Narcotics Officers’ Association in 2016.
  • Mark Franklin Patishnock graduated in 2005 from the College of Liberal Arts and in 2012 from the College of Education. Now a licensed psychologist, he works as the director of Student Counseling and Psychological Services at Augusta University.
  • Melissa Schipke graduated from 2009 from the College of Business and the College of Communications. She founded Tassl, a company designed to “strengthen post-graduate communications” in 2014 and continues to serve as CEO.
  • Ashley Schroeder graduated from the College of Education in 2005 and works as second-grade teacher at Hinckley Elementary School in Ohio. She is the creator Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd, a teaching blog, and uses it to share tips and resources with other educators.
  • John Urschel graduated from the College of Science in both 2012 and 2013. He is an adjunct research professor in the department of mathematics of Penn State and is pursuing his Ph.D. in mathematics at MIT. Urschel has published six peer-reviewed mathematics papers, all while continuing his NFL career with the Baltimore Ravens.

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About the Author

Gabriela Stevenson

Gabriela is a senior majoring in print and digital journalism and Onward State's student life editor. She is from Norristown, PA, which she normally refers to as "30 minutes outside of Philadelphia" (she looked up the exact driving time). She enjoys Broadway musicals, neck pillows, and eating cereal at night. To contact Gabriela, e-mail her at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @GabiStevenson if you want to feel young again.


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