Elizabeth Brady is an Associate Teaching Professor in CAS where she teaches Public Speaking and enjoys a dual appointment with Penn State’s Global Programs as a Public Relations Consultant. After the sudden death of her son, Mack, in 2012, Elizabeth began research, writing, and participating in life after the death of a child. She is a contributing author to OpentoHope.com where she writes essays on child loss and serves on the board of the Tides program, a local organization that supports bereaved children.
Bellamarie is the Executive Director of the ACRES Project, a growing community designed by adults with autism for adults with autism. The ACRES Project (Adults Creating Residential and Employment Solutions) is a non-profit organization located in the heart of Central Pennsylvania. This unique team consists of people with autism, educators, parents, and community members working together to meet the social, vocational, and residential needs of adults with autism. ACRES provides a nurturing environment to help individuals build a foundation for a productive, independent life.
By fostering social, vocational, and self-advocacy skills, ACRES helps individuals optimize their potential to develop practical life skills, increase social capacity, and transition to work and independence. Bellamarie welcomes the opportunity to speak with students about the role that writing plays in the ACRES curriculum and how it empowers members to find and express their unique voices.
Raymond Watkins is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the English Department at Penn State. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in comparative literature and cinema studies. His book, Late Bresson and the Visual Arts: Cinema, Painting and Avant-Garde Experiment (2018) uses media archeology to examine the color films of French filmmaker Robert Bresson from the perspective of painting, dance, theater, and the European avant-garde.
He would be happy to speak to students about thinking visually, about storyboarding, and about strategies for both analyzing the visual image (whether film, video, photography, or images drawn from popular culture), and using the right terminology to talk about it.
Shannon is the Community Education Coordinator for the SCASD. Community Education is a department within SCASD that meets a variety of diverse needs for the entire school district. The most substantial program that Shannon leads is CEEL (Community Education Extended Learning), an after-school program that serves over 25% of children in the district. In her role as Community Education Coordinator, Shannon is in constant communication with parents and teachers, superiors, colleagues, and students. In addition to the after school program, Shannon helps coordinate a variety of programs including summer camps; in-car driver programs for students, parents, and members of the community; clearance paperwork for faculty, staff, and volunteers; and the tutoring center, which pairs in-need high school students with Penn State student volunteers.
Maria is the President of Marakae Marketing Incorporated, a company that she founded in 1996 dedicated to providing clients with creative, professional marketing services that enhance their image and help to increase profits. Celebrating over 20 years in business, Marakae Mareting, Inc. is a Certified Women Business Entity. In addition to running her business, Maria is a wife and mother of three girls, Maria, Rachael, and Kailey; the name of her business incorporates the first syllable of each of their names.
Mary is the Director of Operations for Penn State’s College of the Liberal Arts. In this position, she oversees the College’s stewardship program, special events, and major donor engagement and recognition opportunities.
Leslie is Associate Director of Farm and Food Systems at Penn State. This role requires her to coordinate the cross-college planning process aimed at creating a sustainable food systems minor and a student-centered experiential learning farm at Penn State. She works with diverse stakeholders, including students, faculty, staff, community members, and alumni to envision and develop this new initiative. She received her MS in Rural Sociology from Penn State in December 2013. Prior to graduate school, Leslie managed a beginning farmer training program and incubator farm at a non-profit in Lincoln, Nebraska. There, she developed farm production and business curricula for beginning farmers, managed a multi-farmer CSA, oversaw farm site development and maintenance, and grew the program through community partnerships and financial development.
The Penn State Student Farm was established in 2016 and aims to help students learn about where food comes from and give them an opportunity to apply their unique skills and experiences to a farm setting. The Farm is truly a collaborative endeavor; students studying topics from communications, to marketing, to architecture, and more can find exciting ways to contribute to the Farm.
Chris is the Director of Communications for the State College Area School District. He has held this position since 2015; prior to this work, he was an award-winning journalist for 25 years. In his current position, he also oversees the district’s website and social media channels, helping to tell the stories of students, teachers, and staff members in order to fulfill the district administration’s responsibility to be open and responsive with the community. Chris welcomes the opportunity to speak with students about applying a storytelling approach to school public relations.
Molly is the Executive Director for the Centre Foundation and a Board Member of ACRES (Adults Creating Residential and Employment Solutions). The Centre Foundation is an organization devoted to inspiring and facilitating a culture of giving which creates a vibrant community. Beginning in 1981, generous donors have invested in Centre Foundation, giving them over $35 million dollars in Foundation assets today. The Centre Foundation believes that everyone can be a philanthropist; they provide excellent personal service to donors and have a team of people ready to help them achieve their personal philanthropic goals. They pride themselves on a deep understanding of the community’s needs and their ability to provide innovative and traditional giving opportunities that match the passions of their donors with the needs of the community. The Centre Foundation believes in the organizations that are working to create a better future for the Centre County community; they provide services to help those organizations build endowments, to create support through community engagement, to strengthen themselves through training and research, to fund transformative projects, and to convene effective partnerships with stakeholders around community issues. To date, the Centre Foundation has invested over $18 million back into the Centre County community.
As the Executive Director, Molly is responsible for leadership and management of the organizations, as well as working with board of directors to develop and implement strategic plans that will ensure long-term growth and success.
Linda is the Director of Human Resources for the State College Area School District. Prior to joining the District in 2014, she worked in a variety of human resources positions at Penn State and was responsible for all aspects of human resources at Georgian Court University. Linda views herself in HR as a strategic business partner with all areas of the organization, providing creative solutions, resolving complex and controversial issues, and improving operational effectiveness. She received her M.P.S. in Human Resources and Employment Relations from Penn State and is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources. Additionally, she is a founding member of the College and University Work/Family Association and has served on the Board of Directors, as a National Conference Chair, and as President; furthermore, she is a Student Mentor for the Society of Human Resource Management.