Penn State Alumni Association Names 2022-23 Class of Young Alumni Ambassadors

The Penn State Alumni Association is proud to present 14 recent graduates as 2022-23 Young Alumni Ambassadors.

These young alumni will share a yearlong experience aimed at developing their skills to become the University’s future volunteer leaders.

The program’s curriculum will be devoted to enhancing the connections between young alumni, the Penn State Alumni Association, and the University. Participants will develop into confident and capable leaders, feeling inspired to increase their own participation and motivate others to give back to the Alumni Association and the University through volunteerism, membership, and active engagement.

The Young Alumni Ambassador program was developed in part through the generosity of Peter and Ann Tombros, who provided seed funding in 2017 for a pilot initiative. In 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021, the Tombros’ continued their generosity with a $25,000 gift that was matched by the Alumni Association to create a $50,000 endowment to help fund a portion of the Young Alumni Ambassador experience in perpetuity.

“It’s a great honor for us to continue our partnership with the Penn State Alumni Association and maintain the impact of the Young Alumni Ambassador program,” Peter Tombros said. “We want these young alumni to continue to develop as strong and impactful leaders within the Penn State community and beyond, continuing a tradition of excellence demonstrated by previous classes.”

“This program enhances the post-graduation experience for young alumni by connecting them to seasoned mentors, resources, and group leaders throughout the country. This generation of alumni engages with Penn State and the Alumni Association in different ways, and we want them to be involved in shaping the future.”

The 2022–23 ambassadors were selected after an extensive interview process. All upcoming December 2022 and Spring 2023 graduates should stay tuned to apply for our 2023-24 class of Ambassadors. Applications will be available April 2023.

This year’s Young Alumni Ambassador class members are:

Jewel Jalisa Louise Crumbley graduated with a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice from Penn State. Jewel attended Penn State Harrisburg as an out-of-state student from Crofton, Maryland. During her time at Penn State Harrisburg, Jewel was a member of the women’s volleyball team for three seasons. She also served on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for Penn State Harrisburg from 2018-2021. Jewel achieved academic success many times while at Penn State, being on the Dean’s List from spring 2019 to spring 2022 and becoming a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success.

Jewel has been competing in the job market post-graduation for highly competitive government jobs. Jewel is also an advocate for human rights, social justice, mental health awareness, and sexual assault. Having dealt with mental health illnesses, and a sexual assault experience of her own, Jewel shares her personal stories with others so that her story can help someone on their journey. Jewel has career and personal goals of public service, and to help be a part of social justice reform in America. Jewel aspires to become a lawyer, believing that she will be able to get into politics to create real change and be an advocate for the Black community and other marginalized communities. Recently, Jewel has served as a Provisional Election Judge for Maryland’s Gubernatorial Primary Election, already taking steps toward her public service goals and wanting to enact change.

In her free time, Jewel enjoys reading, doing yoga, meditating, journaling, watching TV series and movies, and spending time with her friends and family. Jewel looks forward to serving as a Young Alumni Ambassador so that she can achieve more personal and professional growth, and development and give back to current Penn State students.

Erin Hogge graduated with a degree in digital and print journalism from the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications and a degree in history from the College of the Liberal Arts. During her time at University Park, she served as the news editor of The Daily Collegian and was a news intern for the Centre Daily Times. She also served on the Programming Board of the Blue & White Society, working with the Marketing and Communications Committee. Hogge was most recently an intern at Penn State Student Affairs, where she worked on the communications and marketing team to write articles for Penn State News.

Since graduation, she has continued her writing career and is currently editing a book for a published author. In November, Hogge’s journey will take her from Happy Valley to the Valley of the Sun as she will pursue another passion: aviation. She will begin pilot training at United Aviate Academy—United Airlines’ new flight school—in Phoenix, Arizona.

Michael Jordan is a business technology strategist, utilizing IT and business strategic experience for enterprise architecture initiatives to help organizations execute on goals and objectives through investments in change. He currently works for USAA’s enterprise IT department, partnering with the organization’s business, and engineering teams to help create automated control monitoring for compliance purposes. Jordan has had the opportunity to rotate into different areas within the organization from data analytics to IT development. No matter his role or title, he enjoys coming up with creative solutions to challenging problems.

Jordan is a recent graduate from Penn State’s OMBA program, while also achieving an undergraduate business degree from the University of Arizona Eller College of Business, majoring in management information systems, operations management and entrepreneurship.

He looks forward to being part of the 2022–2023 Young Alumni Ambassadors, hoping to enhance himself personally by learning to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of cultural, ethnic, and individual differences. Jordan believes being engaged in the program’s training and in-person virtual events will enable him to be an advocate for the Penn State Alumni Association through philanthropy and volunteerism and being an active member of my local chapter.

Janique Jules is a recent Penn State graduate, where she dual majored in political science and writing and digital media, minored in Spanish, and gained a Social Justice Certificate. Throughout her time at Penn State Berks, she was active in Lion Ambassadors, where she served as Director of Membership during her third year, and Executive Director her fourth year, Orientation Leader, First Year Mentor, and was an active member of many clubs on campus.

Jules is driven to make a difference in her community and encourages her peers to participate in social change. Her time at Penn State was nothing short of amazing, and she wants to help current students and alumni in the same light that supported her throughout her undergraduate career.

Since graduation, Jules has been stepping into her passion for Social Justice and political change through various roles while still educating those around her on what it means to be civically engaged. Outside of Social Justice, she is an avid gym goer, online shopper, and reader. Jules is also a huge New York sports fan (Go Big Blue!) but will always have a special place in her heart for the Nittany Lion teams!

Chelsea graduated from Penn State in May 2022 with a degree in early childhood education and a minor in psychology. During her time at Penn State, she was involved with Homecoming, most recently serving as the Logistics Officer for Homecoming 2021. Within this role, she oversaw the work of seven logistics-oriented Homecoming Committees, including the nation’s largest student-run parade.

Along with Homecoming, Chelsea was involved with THON during all four years at Penn State. She was a Family Relations Captain for THON 2022. During her time as a student, Chelsea was also a New Student Orientation leader, campus tour guide and Lion’s Pantry volunteer.

Currently, Chelsea resides in Chester County, Pa., where she is teaching second grade. She is excited for the opportunity to stay connected to Penn State as a Young Alumni Ambassador!

Lucas Andres Montes Herrera is a class of 2022 graduates and completed his master’s in international affairs at Penn State. Montes Herrera grew up in Latin America before he came to the United States, so, his childhood was a mix of cultures and people.

He was heavily involved with playing lacrosse through high school and college. Montes Herrera earned his bachelor’s degree in international business at St. Edward’s University in Austin Texas. He arrived to Penn State in 2020 and recently completed his master’s in international affairs in May 2022.

Montes Herrera’s current job is working as a trade analyst for Olam Agri. This job requires him to work with both the logistics and warehouse team to transport the organization’s physical goods. His hobbies include hiking, traveling and language learning. If he is not in the kitchen cooking up a meal, he is staying active outdoors.

Hayley Peterson is a December 2021 graduate of Penn State, and currently lives in New York City. She grew up right outside of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and has attended Penn State football games since she was 18 months old.

At Penn State, Peterson studied supply chain and information systems in the Smeal College of Business. She also earned minors in information systems management and sustainability leadership. Currently, she is in Unilever’s supply chain rotational program, and her current role is in Customer Supply Chain.

Peterson wanted to attend Penn State from the day she was born; both of her parents are alumni and her grandfather also attended school here. She committed to Penn State the day she got accepted! At Penn State, she was involved as the president of Smeal Student Mentors and a THON captain. Peterson was also involved in the Smeal Student Council and the Blue & White Society. She was a teaching assistant for a few supply chain and economics classes.

She enjoys watching sports (especially Penn State football and wrestling) and hiking. Peterson is so excited to get involved as an alum, and she can’t wait to attend alumni events in the NYC area. She is so happy to be part of the Young Alumni Ambassador program and can’t wait to meet everyone!

Hailing from California, Lauren Rickert was an art history and communication arts & sciences major, and studied abroad in Rome, Italy. As a student, she was involved with CHAARG, a women’s health and fitness club, where she was a part of CHAARG’s run club and social committee.

Ricket loves to run, paint, and make her own pasta in her free time. Teaching is a newly found passion since graduating. Eventually, she would like to work in the education department of an art museum.

Since graduating, Rickert has been teaching first grade at Westside Union School District in Palmdale, California.

G. Michael Shott Jr. is a 2022 graduate of the Communication Arts & Sciences program at Penn State Berks. He graduated as a member of the Schreyer Honors College and attained a minor in civic and community engagement as well as an academic certificate in Social Justice.

During his undergraduate years at Penn State Berks, Shott’s served in a variety of roles, including peer mentor for the Aspiring Scholars Program, student manager in the campus dining hall, and president of the Berks Student Government Association.

Now, post-graduation, he is beginning his career in the human services field and continuing to perfect his craft as a hip hop artist. Community is central to Shott’s sense of purpose and passion. He hopes to continue working in Reading and Berks County communities to further shared goals of positive change, local pride, and collective empowerment.

James Shryock graduated from the Smeal College of Business in the spring of ‘22 with a degree in finance and a minor in entrepreneurship and innovation. During his time at Penn State, he served as the Engagement Partner for Happy Valley VC, Penn State’s venture capital club, and was an active member of the professional business fraternity, Phi Beta Lambda.

Following graduation, Shryock joined Restaurant Brands International as part of their Leadership Development Program. As part of the program, he will work in different business groups, gaining experience in a variety of departments across the business. Shryock hopes to transition into the venture capital industry after gaining operational experience. Outside of work, his other interests include fly fishing, cooking, football, music, and spending time with friends and family.

Rylee Smith is a spring 2022 Penn State University Park graduate. Smith received a B.S. in security and risk analysis (SRA) with a minor in information sciences and technology (IST) and an NSA certificate. After graduation, Smith moved to Arlington, Virginia to begin her career with Deloitte as a Cyber Risk Analyst.

During her time at Penn State, Smith was involved in Lion Ambassadors and THON. She danced in THON 2022 for FOTO (a THON special interest organization) and was the alternative fundraising chair during her last year.

Smith spent two summers as a Cyber Engineering Intern for Textron Systems in Baltimore, Maryland. Within the College of IST, she worked as a Learning Assistant for multiple SRA and IST classes and most recently was a Cybersecurity Intern for the Office of Information Security.

In her free time, she enjoys exercising and reading a good book. She is so excited to be a Young Alumni Ambassador and to connect with other Penn Staters! We Are!

Yifan Qian and graduated from the Penn State College of the Liberal Arts with a B.S. in economics in the spring of 2022. Qian has had the experience of studying in three different countries. He completed his junior and senior high school studies in Suzhou, China. He then spent the first two years of his undergraduate studies in finance in Beijing, China, before transferring to Penn State to complete his final undergraduate degree in Economics.

This September Qian will be moving to London to pursue his master’s degree in economics at University College London. These experiences in different countries have been very rewarding for Quian and he is very grateful to the people who have supported him along the way.

At Penn State Global, Qian has served as a Student Ambassador to Global Alumni and participated in Giving Tuesday 2021. He knows what it is like to be an international student in a new environment, and he is familiar with the current situation of students who are looking for further education in the future.

Qian is eager to dedicate himself to the development of the Penn State Alumni Association in the world.

Nora Van Horn graduated summa cum laude, with honors, and as College Marshal from the College of the Liberal Arts with three bachelor’s degrees, in philosophy, global and international studies, and Chinese.

At Penn State, she advocated for transformative, anti-carceral approaches to reduce sexual violence with the Schreyer Gender Equity Coalition and led efforts to increase participation in institutional decision-making at the highest level — the Board of Trustees — with Penn State Forward.

Van Horn and her work have been featured in the Daily Collegian, Onward State, Penn State News, the Centre Daily Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Nation, and on TEDx. She is now a JD candidate at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Sarthak Vij is a class of 2022 graduate from Penn State who earned degrees in economics and mathematics. Vij currently works at Pathstone Partners as an associate consultant.

During his time at Penn State, Vij was deeply involved in student government, campus administration and cultural groups – where he learned and practiced entrepreneurial and analytical skills.

Outside of work, Vij is passionate about health and fitness, and he likes to keep an eye out for Formula One racing every now and then.

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