Senior Jada Gilliam has been selected to the 2020 Student Homecoming Court at Penn State. Gilliam is majoring in both communication arts and sciences and public relations. Her interest in these majors stemmed from a media entrepreneurship course she took during her first year. It was a game changer for her college career.
On that note, Gilliam explained how her liberal arts education has profoundly impacted her. “In both my personal and professional life, I have found that a core understanding of human interaction and a well-rounded perspective on the world is paramount to success,” she said. “In the College of the Liberal Arts, I have worked tirelessly on my communication skills, learned the art of thinking critically and empathetically, and done this through being taught by some of the best teachers I've had in my life. I cannot overemphasize my gratitude to the college.”
One of the ways that Gilliam enriched her Penn State experience beyond the classroom was by becoming involved in THON. She has previously served on the executive board of a THON organization, and she was also a dancer relations committee member, which she said was “one of the most rewarding experiences I've had in my life.” Her job as a dancer relations committee member was to keep her assigned dancers motivated throughout THON weekend. “My dancers were absolute rock stars and so fun to hang out with, so we did lots of activities and danced with their THON families a whole lot throughout the weekend,” she said.
According to Gilliam, the best thing she chose to get involved with at Penn State is the Penn State Lion Scouts, the largest touring organization on Penn State’s campus. She now serves as the organization’s president. Her rise to the top began during her first year at Penn State, which is when she initially became involved with the Lion Scouts. Gilliam was looking for ways to give back to the community that welcomed her with open arms. She stuck with it and now leads with a passion. “One of the most rewarding parts of my job comes from knowing I am impacting the organization and each family that comes to campus. When our members reach out to me to thank me for my help, encouragement, or hard work, it makes my four years of dedication to the organization more than worth it,” Gilliam explained.
Running is a favorite pastime of Gilliam’s. “On any given day you can usually track me down in the State College neighborhoods listening to Beyonce and enjoying the fall weather,” she said. “I'm a huge extrovert and love to meet new people, so if you see me in the area, stop and say ‘Hey!’”
Over the course of her college career, Gilliam has completed three communications and public relations internships that have influenced her post-graduation plans. She now has two full-time offers that she’s currently considering.