College of Education > News and Publications > News: Oct. - Dec. 2011 > Maura Keasey Named Fall 2011 Student Marshal

Maura Keasey Named Fall 2011 Student Marshal


by Patrick Beal (November 2011)

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The College of Education has announced Maura Keasey as its fall 2011 student marshal. She will be honored during commencement on Saturday, December 17 in the Bryce Jordan Center. Gail Boldt, associate professor of education, language, culture, and society, will accompany Keasey as the fall 2011 faculty marshal. This achievement has been one of Keasey’s goals since seeing her older sister, Elizabeth, honored as the student marshal for the Smeal College of Business in 2010.

Keasey will graduate with a 4.00 grade-point average and a bachelor’s degree in elementary and kindergarten education (K-6 option). While here, Keasey has made the dean’s list every semester and won the Evan Pugh Scholar Award, President’s Freshmen Award, and President Sparks Award. She has been a Schreyer Honors Scholar since fall 2008. She has also stayed busy by tutoring at Panorama Elementary School and State College High School North Tutoring Center, serving as a camp counselor at the Centre Regions Parks and Recreation and the Baierl Family YMCA, instructing dance at the Central Pennsylvania Dance Workshop, and serving as a member of the Tapestry Dance Company.

“When I found out, it was truly one of the happiest moments of my college education because it meant that all my hard work had paid off,” says Keasey. “I was succeeding in something (education) I am so passionate about.” She believes this is the culmination of her academic career and earning awards such as this provide her with motivation to continue working hard toward her goals.

Ever since she can remember, Keasey has always wanted to be an educator. While growing up, she counted down to the first day of school, looking forward to the day her class lists were posted so she could go back-to-school shopping. She has always felt most comfortable in a classroom environment and is looking forward to sharing that elation and comfort with her future students.

Keasey has known she wanted to enroll in a large university ever since attending a large high school. Penn State became her first choice after visiting the campus while her sister was here. Penn State’s reputation for its education program further solidified her decision.

Upon arrival as a freshman, Keasey began tutoring and dancing right away. Her tutoring experience has taught Keasey the importance of making connections with students and the satisfaction that comes with seeing them succeed. Her dancing career--she started when she was 3--has taught her “perseverance, discipline, and dedication,” says Keasey. Instructing preschool dance classes while in middle school was Keasey’s first attempt at teaching and helped her identify the field as her calling.

This semester, Keasey is student teaching a first-grade class in Pittsburgh. She says each day brings her more confidence and comfort in the classroom. After graduation, Keasey plans on finishing the year as a substitute and applying as a full-time elementary teacher in Pittsburgh, Maryland, and Virginia. Her long-term plans include earning a master’s degree in special education or a principal’s certificate. For the time being, Keasey continues to accumulate honors. She was recently informed she has been nominated for the Outstanding Student Teacher of the Year Fall 2011 award, which is given by the College of Education Alumni Society.

Above all, Keasey’s most impressive accomplishment may be staying organized with all her academics, extra-curriculars, student teaching, and personal life. “I think the four years I was at Penn State I was able to balance my personal life and school work with great success,” says Keasey. “I never felt one was being sacrificed for the other.”