UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Four students in the Department of Geography were named as College of Earth and Mineral Sciences Academy for Global Experience, or EMSAGE Laureates for fall 2020. Amanda Byrd, Talia Potochny, Harman Singh and Sophie Tessier were recognized by Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education Yvette Richardson at a virtual ceremony in November.
“I am so proud of these four women for their active engagement and their leadership,” said Cynthia Brewer, head of the Department of Geography.
“I think it meant a lot to the students to have the college leadership and their department heads there to honor them,” Richardson said. She highlighted each student’s accomplishments reflecting the scholarship, service and global experiences criteria for Laureate status.
Amanda Byrd’s accomplishments:
- Interned with Duquesne Light Company as a GIS intern summer 2020
- Received the Jeff Gockley Memorial Award
- Received an Erickson Discovery Grant for Summer 2019
- Elected as the College of EMS student representative in University Park Undergraduate Association and the Faculty Senate for two consecutive years
- Served as a family relations director for EMS THON for the past two years
- Received a NASA Pennsylvania Space Grant research award for Women in Science and Engineering
Talia Potochny’s accomplishments:
- Inducted as a member of Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society
- Became a Schreyer Honors Scholar
- Studied abroad and away in Australia, Colorado, and Spain
- Worked as a part-time Information Technology Specialist with Penn State Teaching and Learning with Technology
- Served as an Undergraduate Representative for the EMS Academic Integrity Committee
- Served as director of communications for EMS Ambassadors
Harman Singh’s accomplishments:
- Received an Erickson Discovery Grant
- Received the E. Willard Miller Award in Geography for an Undergraduate Research Paper
- Received the John and Elizabeth Holmes Teas Scholarship
- Participated twice in the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Connections program
- Served as a teaching intern for GEOG 364: Spatial Analysis and GEOG 301: Thinking Geographically
- Volunteered on the sustainability sub-committee for the College of EMS and as an undergraduate research ambassador for the Undergraduate Research and Fellowships Mentoring Office.
Sophie Tessier’s accomplishments:
- Traveled to six different countries
- Contributing to three research projects
- Served as secretary of the Gamma Theta Upsilon, geography honor society
- Worked as a beekeeper
- Survived a plane crash in Alaska
- Won the IM ultimate frisbee championship
“Since we started in 2009, EMSAGE has been the college’s signature undergraduate program for fostering experiential and global competence and promoting a spirit of integrity, service and leadership,” said Karen Marosi, director of student engagement and EMSAGE program coordinator.
Students who wish to apply to become a Laureate must be within 36 credits of graduation; have a 3.0 cumulative GPA; write an essay that ties together their experiences and describes how these experiences have helped them evolve over time at Penn State into the person they are today; and list a minimum of nine accomplishments balanced across the three areas of scholarship, experiential learning and global literacy and service.
Learn more about the EMSAGE program: https://www.ems.psu.edu/emsage