Bellisario College Fellows
The Bellisario College Fellows program is an effort to provide a transformational learning experience for students, helping them network and meet with alumni and friends while also engaging them to serve as ambassadors for the Bellisario College and Penn State. The program is designed to offer special opportunities for students, provide them with exclusive access to on-campus events and even participate in field trips to meet with key alumni in nearby major media markets.
Candidates were evaluated on their academic performance, demonstrated interest in career development, involvement in campus media opportunities, and potential to become notable stewards to the Bellisario College. Students selected as Bellisario College Fellows also earned scholarship support.
Inaugural Class of Bellisario College Fellows
Christina Chambers (junior-West Chester, Pennsylvania)
Campus clubs/organizations: CommAgency; THON (committee member); VALLEY Magazine; WPSU (past intern)
Awards/scholarships: Schreyer Honors Scholarship
What I hope to accomplish as a Bellisario Scholar: I hope to give back to the college that has given so much to me in the past two years, as well as use the fellowship platform to make connections with Penn State graduates in the media law field. Networking with purpose has proven to be an incredible tool for me for receiving past internships and experiences so I want to develop my networking skills even more in the future. Furthermore, I want to serve as a leader in the college for those who may not know what exactly they want to do with their lives or how to get there.
Taylor Harrington (senior-Westport, Connecticut)
Campus clubs/organizations: American Advertising Federation's National Studnet Advertising Competition (team member), CHAARG Fitness; Delta Gamma; National Honor Society Phi Eta Sigma; Penn State Entrepreneurship Club "Innoblue"; THON
Awards/scholarships: Dean's List; Kiwanis Club Scholarship; Penn State Alumni Association of Southern CT Scholarship in Memory of Tally Sepot; Phi Sigma Delta Sigma Educational Scholarship
What I hope to accomplish as a Bellisario Fellow: I am most looking forward to being an ambassador for the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications and sharing my Penn State experience with fellow students, staff, and alumni.
Katie Gergel (junior-West Chester, Pennsylvania)
Campus clubs/organizations: Bellisario College Alumni Society Board (student representative); Club Tennis; CommAgency (videographer and editor); Homecoming 2018 (production captain); Presidential Leadership Academy; THON; VALLEY Magazine (entertainment section editor) ,
Awards/scholarships: Dan Hartman Scholarship, Gregory W. Guise and Deborah J. Guise Award, President's Freshman Award, Provist Scholarship, Prudential Spirit of Community Awards (distinguished finalist), Schreyer Honors College Academic Excellence Scholarhip, Virginia Todd Chapel Executive Internship Scholarship
What I hope to accomplish as a Bellisario Fellow: As a Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications Fellow, I really hope to have the chance to expand my network and meet a lot more accomplished and inspirational alumni. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to interact with and learn from individuals who have found success in the field that I ultimately want to pursue when I leave Penn State, and I hope to come out of this program better prepared for the future after I graduate. I also want to help represent the Bellisario College to the best of my ability, and show prospective students that there are some incredible opportunities that can come their way if they work hard and show passion in everything that they do. The Bellisario College has given me so much so far during my Penn State experience, and I hope to give back in whatever way that I can.
Peter Rivera (senior-Land O’Lakes, Florida)
Campus clubs/organizations: Student Film Organization (treasurer)
Awards/scholarships: University Park Four-Year Provost Award; Schreyer Excellence Scholarship; Frederik and Sonja Wenzel Honors Scholarship; HUB-Robeson Center Student of the Semester Award (four times)
What I hope to accomplish as a Bellisario Fellow: As a student and filmmaker, I have a wide variety of goals both professional and personal, such as completing my honors thesis and creating my senior film. However, as a Bellisario Fellow I'd hope to learn from as many diverse people as possible. I love meeting new people and sharing interests and learning about differences — whether it's cultural, political, or something else entirely. One of the reasons why I love Penn State is because of the individuals who attend — many of my most valuable lessons I learned outside classes, surrounded by those who've helped me expand my beliefs and develop new or deeper perspectives. I hope to continue this and learn from many other Fellows and alumnus as I continue to grow.
Maddie Biertempfel (junior-Pittsburgh)
Campus clubs/organizations: CommRadio; PSN-TV; WPSU Radio (news intern)
Awards/scholarships: Lawrence G. and Ellen M. Foster Scholarship
What I hope to accomplish as a Bellisario Fellow: As a Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications Fellow, I hope to make meaningful connections by networking with alumni in my field, pursue professional opportunities to get me closer to my goals as a journalist, and represent the Belliario College well as someone who's gained much experience from the variety of classes, clubs and internship opportunities only Penn State provides.
Alison Kuznitz (senior-Trumbull, Connecticut)
Campus clubs/organizations: The Daily Collegian (features and investigative editor), PSN News (news producer)
Awards/scholarships: Third-place winner 2018 Hearst National Writing Championship; third-place winner 2018 Hearst Personality/Profile Writing Competition; sixth-place winner 2018 Hearst Breaking News Writing Competition; Fleming Honors Scholarship in Communications; Academic Excellence Scholarship (Schreyer Honors College); Collegian Alumni Hall of Fame Scholarship; Martin Scholarship in Journalism; Caplan Family Honors Scholarship; Hartman Honors Scholarship
What I hope to accomplish as a Bellisario Fellow: I hope to network with alumni to learn more about their individual reporting experiences. I'm also looking forward to career development opportunities.
Bennett Nesley (senior-Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania)
Campus clubs/organizations: 46 LIVE; Lionquest (leadership development retreat); New Student Orientation; PSN-TV; Singing Lions; Thespians
Awards/scholarships: Dean's List; Doug Roddy Spirit Award for Posit; State Farm Academic and Community Scholarship
What I hope to accomplish as a Bellisario Fellow: As a media studies student, I want to clarify assumptions about people in my major and the work that we do. Many people do not know that it exists and I want to give it visibility.
Ellis Stump (senior-Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania)
Campus clubs/organizations: Apollo; The Daily Collegian; No Refund Theatre; Levy Laboratory of Personality, Psychopathology & Psychotherapy; Open the Box; PSN-TV; Schreyer Honors College Student Council; Second Floor Stand-Up Comedy; Student Film Department; THON; TimesUp Penn State; Wonderlust Theatre Company
Awards/scholarships: Dean's List; College of Liberal Arts Paterno Fellowship; PSU Libraries Short Stories Competition First Place 2018; No Refund Theatre Tell Me a Story Playwriting Finalist 2018; Big Ten Honors College Leadership Conference (thesis research presented); Scherey Honors College Simpson-Marcher Peterson; Cantwall, and Hayward Harry Scholarships, American Psychological Association; Masonic Villages; Elizabethtown Area Boys Club
What I hope to accomplish as a Bellisario Fellow: I am so excited and proud to represent the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications! As a Fellow, I hope to connect with passionate, like-minded individuals equally inspired to delve beyond surface networking and actually share personal, authentic goals, because in my opinion, success comes from supportive and collaboration over competition. I consider myself a quite genuine individual and plan to bring my enthusiasm and energy to the table in exchange for some helpful mentorship, guidance, and advice as I prepare to embark out into the "real world." Then perhaps, before long, I can transition into mentoring territory myself!
Andrea Melgar (senior-Pahrump, Nevada)
Campus clubs/organizations: Happy Valley Communications; Penn State Eco Reps; THON
Awards/scholarships: Dean's List (Fall '16 to Spring '18); Penn State Acadmeic Grant
What I hope to accomplish as a Bellisario Fellow: As someone who is very passionate about Penn State, my goal as a Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications Fellow is to be the best advocate I can be. I hope that by sharing my experiences with incoming, current and past students, I can remind fellow Penn Staters what it means to be a Nittany Lion. I also hope to not only grow as a student leader, but really immerse myself by taking advantage of all the opportunities presented to me via the fellows program.
Meghan Shiels (senior-Julian, Pennsylvania)
Campus clubs/organizations: 46 LIVE; CommAgency; Lion Ambassadors; National Elder Law Foundation (consultant)
Awards/scholarships: President’s Freshman Award; President’s Sparks Award; Evan Pugh Senior Scholar; Bill Nielsen Scholarship for Excellence in Public Relations
What I hope to accomplish as a Bellisario Fellow: I love communications. Even when I was little, I would introduce kids to each other on the playground and push them to make friends. I think connections and relationships are the most important thing we do as humans. As a Fellow, I want to be the bridge between current students, administrators and alumni of our college. We are all Penn State, and I want to help build mutually beneficial relationships between the groups that make up the heart of the Bellisario College of Communications. Being a part of the inaugural class of Bellisario Fellows comes with a special responsibility to lay the foundation for those who will follow in my footsteps. Whether that’s reaching out to prospective students who are interested in attending Penn State or it is mentoring younger students who could use a helping hand, I am excited to help shape the communicators of tomorrow as part of this program.
Activities and Events
December 2018: Trip to New York City