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THON Director Thursday: Meet THON 2024 Family Relations Director Zack Newman

Name: Zack Newman

Major: Supply chain

Previous THON Experience:

THON 2021 Dancer Relations committee member
THON 2022 Dancer Relations committee member
THON 2023 Family Relations captain (athletics/special events Liasion)

Why did you want to apply for a director position for THON 2024?

I was so fortunate to be involved with our THON families since the beginning of my time at Penn State as a family relations chair for AKPsi. Being able to interact with our families and make a relationship with them was what ignited my passion for THON. I knew I wanted to be able to make more relationships with our families while also allowing other volunteers to have that same experience! I wanted to be able to connect as many people as possible so that everyone can see the magic of THON and that it can grow and grow. I wanted to be able to be a part of that process and offer our THON families as much love and support as possible.

What are your responsibilities as a THON director?

My main responsibilities as a director are to help with planning for events that involve our families, facilitate interactions, and ensure that all families feel welcomed and supported. I work alongside the 25 Family Relations captains throughout the year to achieve those responsibilities I mentioned. Each of the captains plays a crucial role in the success of Family Relations so one of my main responsibilities is supporting them in any way I can!

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

I want to figure out how to implement events at the hospital that had been done in years before. With many restrictions being lifted I am hoping to give our active treatment families more opportunities to be involved and engaged with events not just hosted virtually but in-person as well!

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

I think what makes Family Relations unique is that we are able to make relationships with the Four Diamonds families and then use those relationships to facilitate interactions between the families and the rest of the PSU/THON community!

What are the overall goals you hope to reach with your committee for THON 2024?

My overall goal I hope to reach this year with Family Relations would be to give our families enjoyable experiences through events, programs, and other things throughout the year. I want to make sure every Four Diamonds family knows they have a home and support system with THON, no matter their background!

Why do you THON?

I THON for every Four Diamonds family wherever they are in their journey with cancer. I THON for every volunteer that I have met and been inspired by while at Penn State. I THON so that one day we can dance in celebration of a cure.

What’s your favorite THON memory?

My favorite THON memory was during Pep Rally last year! I was able to be a part of pairing the kids with the sports teams that led out the teams. It was so fun to see how happy everyone was to be interacting with one another! I love seeing how much the Penn State community embraces our THON families and all that they do for them.

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

Diplodocus; they are really tall, like over 100 feet, and I think it would be cool to see the world from that high in the air on a daily basis.

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About the Author

Haylee Yocum

Haylee is a senior studying immunology and infectious disease. She is from Mifflintown, PA, a tiny town south of State College. She is fueled by dangerous amounts of caffeine and dreams of smashing the patriarchy. Any questions or discussion about Taylor Swift’s best songs can be directed to @hayleeq8 on Twitter or emailed to [email protected]

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