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Meet Penn State’s 2021 Homecoming Court

At long last, Penn State’s first in-person Homecoming celebration in nearly two years is upon us.

This week, Penn State Homecoming announced the nominees on the 2021 court, which marks the university’s fourth gender-neutral court.

Without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about each member of the various courts — Student, Graduate, University, and Alumni. You’ll certainly be seeing their faces and hearing their names all around campus this week. Study up!

Student Court

Alaa Ali Abdou

Major: Biomedical engineering
Involvement: THON, Camp Kesem counselor and chair, Muslim Student Association civic engagement chair, FreshStart PR director, Regeneron campus ambassador, Lion Ambassadors

Allison Schlegel

Major: Corporate innovation and entrepreneurship
Involvement: Penn State women’s soccer captain, Student-Athlete Advisory Board president

Celeste Good

Major: Women’s studies
Involvement: Queer and Trans People of Color (QTPOC) president, Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Caucus vice president, personal trainer of the Caribbean Student Association’s official dance team, Island Fever, co-ed intramural soccer

DeAndre Malcolm

Major: Public relations with a minor in Spanish
Involvement: Penn State Student Black Caucus president, Penn State representative for the National Millenial/Gen Z Community, co-founding member of the Bellisario Alliance for Multicultural Studies, resident assistant, Public Relations Student Society of America, member of Penn State’s chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

Erin Boas

Major: International politics with a concentration in international relations.
Involvement: President of the University Park Undergraduate Association

Iris Cholula Lopez

Major: Education and public policy, double i=minoring in psychology and social justice in education
Involvement: President of the Mexican American Student Association, vice president of the Multicultural Greek Council, Beta Lambda chapter of the Lambda Theta Alpha Latin sorority

Jaylen Carr

Major: Civil engineering
Involvement: Millenium Scholar, resident assistant, treasurer for the National Society of Black Engineers, social chair for the American Society of Civil Engineers, mentor for BLUEprint Peer Mentoring Group, mentor for Multicultural Engineering Program (MEP), vice president of the Gamma Nu Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, and the vice president of Standards for the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC)

Jess Strait

Major: Applied data sciences, minoring in entrepreneurship
Involvement: President of Days for Girls PSU, Students Teaching Students instructor, Schreyer Scholar, teaching assistant

Laura Michelle Guay

Major: Biobehavioral health and French and francophone studies with a minor in global health
Involvement: Team collaborator and research assistant, peer educator with AIDS Resource

Nora Van Horn

Major: Philosophy, global and international studies, and Chinese, plus a minor in civic and community engagement
Involvement: University Park Undergraduate Association, University Park Student Fee Broad, Schreyer Gender Equity Coalition

Graduate Court

Cierra Chandler

Education: Third-year Ph.D. student studying material science and engineering, bachelor’s in chemical engineering
Involvement: SLOAN scholar, NSF CoMET fellow, Multicultural Engineering Graduate Association, Black Graduate Student Association

Erin Griffon

Education: Second-year graduate student studying cyber security and international development, graduated from the College of the Liberal Arts with a degree in international relations/politics
Involvement: President and founder of the Middle Eastern Studies Club, teaching assistant, THON

Hannah Nolte

Education: Third-year Ph.D. candidate studying industrial engineering, master’s degree in industrial engineering, bachelor’s degree in physics
Involvement: Leader and member of the Graduate Women in Engineering Group, Graduate and Professional Student Association, Graduate Council Student Caucus, Penn State’s Human Factors and Ergonomics

Shaheed Soligné

Education: Second-year graduate student in the School of International Affairs, previously studied at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and the Université Internationale de Rabat in Morocco
Involvement: Veteran of the U.S. Army (serving from 2012 to 2018), speaks seven languages, classically trained in operatic performance

University Court

Haley Staub

Position: Assistant director of Volunteer Programs within Penn State’s Division of Development and Alumni Relations
Involvement: Public relations director for the Dance Marathon Alumni Interest Group, advisor for Spring Grove Area School District Mini-THON

Lee Ahern

Position: Associate professor of advertising and public relations in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications, director of the Science Communication Program, and senior research fellow at the Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication
Involvement: Marketing manager for an international custom publishing company, developer and coordinator of Penn State’s Digital Media Trends and Analytics minor

Maria Vinca, Ph.D.

Position: Assistant teaching professor of undergraduate psychology, licensed psychologist
Involvement: Faculty advisor for L;ons Project, a new student organization aimed at preventing suicide

Dr. Stephanie Danette Preston

Position: Associate Dean for Graduate Educational Equity and the Graduate School Chief Diversity Officer in the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate School
Involvement: Current advisor to the Black Graduate Student Association and co-advisor for Parmi Nous Honor Society

Alumni Court

Brett W. Mauser

Education: Two-time Penn State Harrisburg graduate (’14, ’19g)
Title: Employee of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Meghan Maffey

Education: 2017 Penn State graduate
Title: Client Solutions Manager in Marketing & Creative, Robert Half

Sarah Andzulis

Education: Bachelor’s in labor and industrial relations from Penn State, master’s in human resource development from Villanova
Title: Assistant vice president for human resources for TMNA Services

Wil Dunn

Education: 2020 Penn State graduate
Title: Head of research for quantitative finance and tech startups at Integra Advisors

In 2018, Homecoming removed gendered titles such as “Homecoming Queen and King” and took away the 1:1 ratio of male to female representation within the court. It said it made this change to embrace diversity and gender inclusivity within Penn State’s community.

Check out this post for a full rundown of Homecoming’s 2021 festivities.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State with distinction in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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