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College of Education > News and Publications > News: 2009 > Congratulations Students (compiled May 2009)

Congratulations Students (compiled May 2009)

An article acknowledging College of Education students for their accomplishments

Issam Khoury


Issam Khoury, a doctoral candidate in higher education and comparative and international education, has received a grant to pursue a practicum in the Offices of the President and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Qatar University in Doha, Qatar during summer 2009. Khoury will engage in administrative work with senior administrators at the university, research and develop the core curriculum at the University, and work with faculty across the university around issues of academic planning.

Jessica Lehman


Jessica Lehman, a senior majoring in Secondary Education–English/Communications, was one of 38 Centre Region volunteers honored at the 37th annual Rose Cologne Volunteer Recognition Dinner, held April 30 in Boalsburg, Pa.  Lehman was recognized for her volunteer work with the Community Help Centre, a non-profit organization in State College. She serves as a certified crisis counselor, volunteering on a 24-hour hotline and in a walk-in crisis center. She also works as an instructor in the Centre’s Youthful Offenders Program.

The Community Help Centre’s services include short-term counseling, emergency food resources, transportation, shelter, non-biased drug and alcohol information, food bank referrals, basic needs assistance, and suicide/homicide crisis intervention. “For some people, we are just ‘there’, which is help in itself,” says Lehman. “Our official motto is ‘Any Problem, Any Time’ and we make every attempt to stay true to that.”

Since June 2007, Lehman has amassed about 1,200 volunteer hours, not including 180 hours of training. “My time at the Community Help Centre has been invaluable,” she says. “It has given me an opportunity to gain a family and give back to the community in more ways than one. It will be forever a part of me—I couldn’t imagine my life without it.”

Marcus Lingenfelter


Marcus Lingenfelter, doctoral candidate in the Higher Education program, delivered the keynote address at the spring commencement ceremonies at East Stroudsburg University, held May 2. Lingenfelter is vice president for university advancement at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology.

Ying Liu


Ying Liu, doctoral candidate in the Higher Education program, has been selected as a Fellow for the 2009 National Summer Data Policy Institute on the National Center for Education Statistics and the National Science Foundation databases. The Institute will be held June 21–27 in Potomac, Md.

Hollie Mackey


Hollie Mackey, doctoral candidate in the Educational Leadership program, was one of 10 Penn State doctoral students recently awarded the 2009 Harold F. Martin Graduate Assistant Outstanding Teaching Awards. The awards are named for Harold F. Martin, who earned his doctoral degree in education in 1954 and retired as a director in the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

One of Mackey’s nominators said she wants her students to understand that we live in an increasingly changing society and that as teachers, they must be prepared to adjust accordingly. “She continually reinforces that teachers not only must focus on student learning,” she added, “but that they also can be advocates, mentors and change agents.” One student said Mackey’s classroom “was always a positive environment, which was evident through her enthusiastic attitude and her approach to teaching.”

The awards are jointly sponsored by the Graduate School, through the Harold F. Martin Graduate Assistant Outstanding Teaching Award endowment, and the Office of the Vice President and Dean for Undergraduate Education.

Meghan Pifer, Brad Cox


Meghan Pifer and Brad Cox, doctoral candidates in the Higher Education Program, were selected to participate in the Division J Emerging Scholars Workshop at the annual conference of the American Educational Research Association, held in April in San Diego.

The workshop provided professional development for advanced doctoral students as well as new faculty and higher education professionals. It recognized the range of careers in higher education and provided support for writing, grant activity, work/life balance, and professional networking. This year’s workshop focused on “Disciplined Minds: Developing an Academic Career in the Circle of Knowledge.”

Jen Weible


Jen Weible, doctoral candidate in instructional systems, has received an AT&T Graduate Fellowship in the amount of $5,000 to support her research on a project titled Learning Across Social Settings. Assistant Professor Heather Zimmerman, primary investigator of the project, nominated Weible for the award.