Students selected as Bellisario College Fellows

Eight students were chosen to join three previously selected among the latest class of Bellisario College Fellows. They are, from top left, clockwise: Jillian Beitter, Nina Trach, Jake Jurich, Jacob Saar, Skylier Smith, Dominika Brice, Josh Starr and Dejanae Gibson. Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Eleven Penn State students have been selected as the second group of Bellisario College Fellows in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications.

The students, with representation from each of the Bellisario College’s five majors, were selected after initial faculty recommendations and by completing a rigorous application process that included reviews by alumni and faculty, as well as personal interviews.

Nearly five dozen high-achieving students were nominated for the program.

Those selected were:

Advertising/Public Relations: Jillian Beitter (senior-Long Island, New York), Christina Chambers (senior-West Chester, Pennsylvania) and Nina Trach  (junior-South Brunswick, New Jersey)

Film-Video: Katie Gergel (senior-West Chester, Pennsylvania), Jake Jurich (junior-Ashburn, Virginia) and Jacob Saar (junior-Etters, Pennsylvania)

Journalism: Maddie Biertempfel (senior-Pittsburgh), Dejanae Gibson (senior-Clarksville, Tennessee) and Josh Starr (junior-Broomall, Pennsylvania)

Media Studies: Dominika Brice (senior-Stamford, Connecticut)

Telecommunications: Skylier Smith (senior-Cleveland)

Biertempfel, Chambers and Gergel were members of the inaugural group of Bellisario Fellows selected in 2018. All students selected as Bellisario Fellows were evaluated on their academic performance, demonstrated interest in career development, involvement in campus media opportunities, and potential to become notable stewards to the Bellisario College.

The Bellisario College Fellows program is an effort to provide a transformational learning experience for students, helping them network and meet with alumni and friends while also engaging them to serve as ambassadors for the Bellisario College and Penn State. The program is designed to offer special opportunities for students, provide them with exclusive access to on-campus events, and even participate in field trips to meet with key alumni in nearby major media markets.

Alumni reviewers for the process were Tom Hayden, president of Smithsonian Networks, and Joanne Ryder, vice president of people and culture at goPuff.

Last Updated June 14, 2021