Hannah Oleynik selected as 2021 labor and employment relations student marshal

Hannah Oleynik has been selected as the 2021 student marshal to represent labor and employment relations. Credit: Emilee Spokus / Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Hannah Oleynik has been selected as the student marshal to represent the labor and employment relations major from the School of Labor and Employment Relations for the Penn State College of the Liberal Arts spring 2021 commencement. Commencement will take place at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 9, in Beaver Stadium, rain or shine. Oleynik will be escorted by Manuel Rosaldo, assistant professor of labor and employment relations.

Student marshals are chosen to represent the college on the basis of outstanding academic achievement and their contributions to liberal arts student life. Oleynik, of State College, is the daughter of Mark and Kelly Oleynik. She is completing majors in labor and employment relations (LER) and political science. She also has a minor in French and Francophone studies. 

Oleynik started her Penn State career in political science but was looking for a second major to round out her education. “I took the introductory LER course and was a little unsure of what to expect,” she said. “I ended up really liking it — I’m interested in unions, but there are so many more parts of our lives that LER touches on. Work, how we work, and the conditions we work under impact everyone. Being able to study that more in depth from different perspectives like business or political science appealed to me.”

Oleynik is a Schreyer Scholar and a Paterno Fellow. Through the fellows’ program, she was able to study abroad in Aix-en-Provence, France in fall 2019. She was at the Institute for American Universities School of Humanities and Social Sciences and spent the semester honing her French skills and learning more about the country.

“The program has allowed me to explore other academic areas that I might not have otherwise, and given me motivation to branch out and try new things in my extracurricular activities,” she said. “The added challenge of Paterno Fellows has definitely been beneficial for me in the long run and I'm thankful that the College of Liberal Arts offers it as an enrichment program.”

In addition to her academic studies, Oleynik is active in other campus activities. She is an RA (resident assistant), a member of the PLL Dance Co. on campus, and the current president of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship at Penn State.

Oleynik plans to attend law school after graduation with a focus on labor or employment law.

Looking back at her experience as a Penn Stater, Oleynik said there are a lot of benefits to being part of a large university.

“You have so many opportunities to meet people from different backgrounds, explore clubs, and try a range of classes,” she said. “As someone who grew up in State College, I was hesitant to go to Penn State because I thought it would be just like high school. I couldn’t have been more wrong — I really got to branch out in a way that I hadn’t in high school and embrace all the opportunities Penn State has to offer.”

Oleynik encouraged her fellow students to make the most of their time at the University: “Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and really engage with your classmates. I’m sometimes hesitant to speak up in class or during a club meeting because I want to be sure I was saying the right thing. Don’t worry so much about getting something wrong — just dive in.”

Last Updated April 28, 2021