Zeman named director of new Student Engagement Network

Newly created network to connect students to engagement opportunities outside the classroom

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Mike Zeman, former director for Science Outreach in the Eberly College of Science, has been named director of the new Student Engagement Network, effective Nov. 7.

The network, a joint initiative of Undergraduate Education, Student Affairs and Outreach and Online Education, will work to enhance curricular and co-curricular opportunities for Penn State undergraduate students through student engagement, engaged scholarship and community partnerships.

The network is the next phase in the evolution of Penn State’s Engaged Scholarship initiative, and was formed based on the recommendation of the Council on Engaged Scholarship, a group created in 2012 consisting of faculty, staff and students from across the University to advance engaged teaching, research and service at Penn State.

“We are so pleased to have Mike Zeman’s leadership as we develop the Student Engagement Network,” said Jackie Edmondson, associate vice president and associate dean for Undergraduate Education. “Mike has extensive experience with Outreach at Penn State, and he served on the Council on Engaged Scholarship. Mike will help to ensure that we carry the excellent contributions of the council forward as we work with students, faculty and staff to make engagement opportunities available to undergraduate students at Penn State.”

Undergraduate research, study abroad, study away, community-based learning, service learning, internships, capstone experiences, and co-curricular engagement with social and service organizations, are some of the experiences that the network will work to connect students with, in an effort to contribute to their academic and personal growth.

Zeman is honored and excited to take on his new role as director. “The Council on Engaged Scholarship and the sponsoring units created this position to better the educational experience for Penn State students, and I am proud to be part of that effort,” said Zeman.

Currently, the network is in a discovery phase, creating a student engagement space in the HUB-Robeson Center that will be staffed by Penn State students interested in helping their peers find activities suited to their goals. An online interactive portal, through which students can learn about opportunities, is also in the works, along with a Faculty Academy for Engaged Scholarship and a grant program.

Zeman’s goal is to make the engagement space, and its interactive portal, something special. “It cannot be just another information center, but rather a unique experience that challenges students to ask who they are becoming and how they can make a measurable impact on their work,” said Zeman.

“In the end, it’s all about enriching the lives of students and empowering them. My hope is that the Student Engagement Network promotes actionable, individualized steps that encourage students to think about how they want to create themselves while they are students of Penn State, and subsequently impact the community and the world while doing so,” said Zeman.

Zeman earned his bachelor of science and master of science in kinesiology at Penn State, and was also a doctoral candidate at Penn State when he discovered a passion for teaching. He spent several years in K-12 teaching and administration, earning a school district administration degree from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts before returning to Penn State.

For more information about the Student Engagement Network, contact Zeman at

The Student Engagement Network is run jointly by Penn State Undergraduate Education, Student Affairs and Outreach and Online Education.

Mike Zeman has been named director of the new Student Engagement Network, a joint initiative of Penn State Undergraduate Education, Student Affairs and Outreach and Online Education. Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

Last Updated April 19, 2017