THON Director Thursday: Meet THON 2023 Communications Director Lexi Murphy-Costanzo

Name: Lexi Murphy-Costanzo

Major: Psychology

Past THON experience
THON 2020: Communications committee member
THON 2021: Communications Captain (Administrative Coordinator)
THON 2022: Communications Captain (Organization Resources Coordinator)

Name an interesting, weird, or quirky fact about yourself.

An interesting fact about me is that I have seven sisters, with one of them being my identical twin who happens to be the Fundraising Safety Director this year! 

What made you want to apply for a Director position for THON 2023?

During my first year as a Communications committee member, I learned so much about what Four Diamonds and the THON community does for children and families impacted by childhood cancer; from helping fund life-saving research to giving families the opportunity to put their struggles aside for a while and just have fun. I knew from then on that I wanted my involvement to continue to grow in a way that would allow me to support other volunteers as they fall in love with THON and its mission. Personally, the THON community has given me so much, including lifelong friends and some of the most rewarding experiences of my life. In the THON 2022 Line Dance, we stood together and sang, “THON is family, THON is home.” I wanted to become a director for THON 2023 because I want to do what I can to ensure that anyone who wants to support our Four Diamonds families and find a family or home within the THON community can do so. 

What are your responsibilities as the Communications director?

As the Communications director for THON 2023, I oversee a group of 24 captains and about 100 committee members that works to empower and educate the THON community, as well as act as a representative of student volunteers. The Communications committee is divided into four main facets: Organization Development; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Volunteer Education; and Student Outreach. Organization Development provides decision-making support to THON chairs as they lead their organizations to success throughout the year. Our DEI efforts are sought out through programming, training, and planning/facilitation of conversations relating to improving our community. Education aims to ensure that THON’s volunteers are properly educated about THON and its history to be able to serve as advocates and ambassadors of THON’s brand. Outreach focuses on recruitment of the Penn State student body as well as outreach to faculty, staff, and other groups in the university looking to be involved in THON. 

What do you want to implement in your position this year that’s unique and differs from years past?

Something that we are working on doing this year is expanding our outreach with various centers on campus. The Penn State community is filled with endless resources, and we want to utilize their expertise while highlighting their work to the THON community. 

What makes your committee so cool, fun, and/or important? 

The Communications committee is so important because it serves as a representative of all student volunteers. We have the incredible opportunity to interact with all of THON’s 16,500 student volunteers, including THON chairs and organization members, captains, committee members, independent dancer couples, and beyond. This allows us to form relationships with a wide variety of people who all have unique THON experiences, and we get to learn from each and every one of them. I also would argue that kelly green is the best color. 

What are the overall goals you hope to reach with your committee for THON 2023?

I truly believe that THON as a whole can grow immensely to be even more safe, welcoming, and uniquely magical for all of our volunteers and supporters, and I am excited to see how we get closer to this goal thanks to the work and the voices of each and every THON volunteer in 2023. Within the Communications committee, we have the opportunity to hear the stories of different volunteers and use their feedback to make the THON community a space where everyone feels welcomed.

Why do you THON?

I THON so that each child has the opportunity to make the change they want to see in the world. 

What’s your favorite THON memory?

My answer to this question is always changing because I have had and continue to have so many experiences during my time as a THON volunteer. If I had to pick one right now, I think I would say bringing my committee members onto the floor for the first time during THON 2022. For some of them, it was their first time being on the floor, soaking in all of the magic that comes with standing alongside so many different members of the THON community. For others, it was a hopeful reminder of the dedication and passion of the THON community after a virtual event during the COVID-19 pandemic. As we all stood there together amongst our families, dancers, volunteers, and supporters, I was reminded of how lucky I am to be a part of a community that brings that level of excitement and hope into people’s lives. 

Per Onward State tradition, if you could be any dinosaur which one would you be and why?

If I could be any dinosaur, I would definitely be a brontosaurus. I have no particular reasoning behind this besides the fact that I think they are epic.

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About the Author

Dana June Nunemacher

Dana is a senior, who is studying public relations. She is from the 570 and yes, she has watched The Office. Her passions in life include drinking unsweetened iced tea and spreading her love for agriculture (yee haw)!

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