Our “Campus Highlight” series allows us to share posts about Penn State campuses, straight from the campuses themselves. In each post, staff and students from the campus answer a few provided questions, so you can learn about what makes each of Penn State’s campuses unique and read information about them that you might not find anywhere else! Next up, Penn State Abington.
Penn State Abington
What are some of the unique academic and/or research opportunities at Abington?
Located in a scenic residential section of Abington Township, Montgomery County—approximately 11 miles due north of Center City Philadelphia—Penn State Abington is attended by more than 3,500 students who call our historic forty-five acre campus “home.” Though we have a lot to offer as the 4th largest of Penn State’s 20 undergraduate campuses, we still remain a small, close-knit community here at Abington—a college where everybody knows your name. Opportunities abound, including:
SIXTEEN BACCALAUREATE DEGREES
Among the array of baccalaureate degree programs that can be completed on our campus is our Art degree, unique only to Abington and two other Penn State campuses. As an Art major, you can concentrate in one of five media areas: Drawing and Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture, Ceramics, and New Media. Penn State Abington also recently added General Engineering to the roster, a unique cross-disciplinary major that incorporates advanced coursework in electrical, chemical, and computer engineering, as well as engineering design.
TURNING STUDENTS INTO GLOBAL CITIZENS
Penn State Abington is also a gateway to a global education. While our Office of Global Studies offers over 150 programs in 49 countries to any student, each semester we also provide a series of short-term, faculty-led courses with an international travel component. This coming spring, students will be studying criminal justice in England, business in China, communication in Japan, and information sciences and technology in Italy.
CELEBRATING HOW IT’S ALL ABOUT LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Here at Penn State Abington, our students are honored to be Penn Staters, and they are proud to represent the Blue and White right here in the Philadelphia region. Endless opportunities to network with alumni are offered both on and off campus, and our close proximity to Center City Philadelphia means internships in the city—organized by our Career Development Center—are plentiful and accessible. In spring 2013, the Center’s Career Expo, which is offered once a semester, attracted more than 60 employers.
ENCOURAGING THE CURIOUS, THE ADVENTUROUS
Students are encouraged to participate in ACURA, a year-long research experience within our community of teacher-scholars, where they can gain valuable research, as well as technical and artistic experience for more advanced levels of scholarly work or for use in their future careers. The entire campus community then comes together to celebrate ACURA Week, which proudly showcases the year’s research accomplishments and creative activities from all three academic divisions.
What is your favorite place on campus, and why?
Arriana Martin is a senior from Philadelphia, PA, majoring in Corporate Communications. She is very active on campus and is involved with many student clubs & organizations. And, she is the current President of the Penn State Abington Lion Ambassadors.
Although our Lares student commons building is a clear favorite spot amongst students – where you are always sure to find friends to hang out or a fun filled event to attend – there is nothing like sitting outside on a nice day by any one of our beautiful scenic locations around campus. Whether it’s the plaza in front of Sutherland building, picnicking by our intramural field, or sitting by our famous duck pond, you are sure to enjoy your time with some light reading, getting in some studies, or just taking in what the campus has to offer.
Please share a unique historical aspect of or a fun fact about Abington.
Penn State Abington sits on the former site of an elite and prestigious school known as The Ogontz School for Young Ladies, which was a prominent force in female private education for 100 years. Although changing times and changing fortunes marked the end of The Ogontz School in 1950, when the campus and facilities were donated to The Pennsylvania State College (now Penn State University), alumni from the Ogontz School remain fond of our campus. One of the most illustrious of these alumnae was the famous aviatrix Amelia Earhart. While at Ogontz, Earhart challenged the school’s domineering headmistress to abolish sororities because of the psychological damage they inflicted on girls they rejected. The archives at Penn State Abington depict her as a happy, popular student who excelled academically, and had a strong independent streak—one who was caught more than once climbing on the roof of the dormitory in her nightgown. Though she dropped out of the two-year school a semester early to help with the war effort, she returned a few more times in subsequent years to give presentations to the student body on her aviation exploits.
What is the favorite hang out of students? What is their favorite off-campus activity?
With Abington being the middle of the bustling yet quaint Jenkintown/Willow Grove area, everyone is sure to find something to do off campus in the nearby area. One sure favorite is going to the famous Willow Grove Park Mall (the second largest mall in PA) where you’ll find a variety of shops, a fun full-sized carousel in the middle, and a nice place to grab lunch with friends on your free time. But it doesn’t just end there with a variety of restaurants to go to – local small business shops, plenty of bowling alleys, and even an indoor go-cart range are places where you are sure to find students on a nice big outing with friends.
What activities are students involved in at Abington? What are some of the highlights of the organizations?
A Big Ten education and the thrill of NCAA athletic competition come together at Penn State Abington. We are proudly a full member of the NCAA Division III and participate in the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) and the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC). Our student-athletes can participate in thirteen varsity sports teams including baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s golf, women’s lacrosse, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, softball, men’s and women’s tennis, women’s volleyball, and men’s and women’s cross country. Intramural sports are also popular, and it’s not unusual to wander by the Athletic Building to find a ping pong tournament in full swing.
Who do you consider a “Campus Face to Know” and why?
Junior Ewinka Romulus was once an intelligent, ambitious 10th grader who was so certain she wanted to attend Penn State that her family relocated from sunny Miami to suburban Philadelphia so she could live closer to the college of her dreams. Now, Ewinka Romulus is living her dream at Penn State Abington and, courtesy of philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates, without the expenses normally associated with higher education. As a Gates Millennium Scholar, 100 percent of her tuition, books and living expenses are covered for up to 10 years of undergraduate, graduate and doctoral studies. Each year the Gates scholarship is awarded to only 1,000 high school seniors nationwide, which puts her in some rarified company.
A second-year science major and aspiring pediatrician, Romulus is actively involved in campus life. She is the research and development chair of the Lares Entertainment and Programming board, a Lion Ambassador, and a member of the SGA, where she hopes to eventually serve as president. Romulus is a perfect representation of some of the students that come to Penn State Abington: accomplished, determined, diverse, and working toward ambitious career goals. And what does she enjoy most about our picturesque campus? The breeze. According to the Haitian-born, Florida-raised student, the wind that ruffles the trees at Abington makes her think of the tropics. “It reminds me of the cool island breeze,” she says, laughing.
Thank you Penn State Abington!
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