UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Stephanie Danette Preston, associate dean for graduate educational equity and the Penn State Graduate School’s chief diversity officer has been named to the 2021 Homecoming University Court.
Preston spearheads the Graduate School’s efforts to increase diversity within the graduate student community across the University, and leads the Big Ten Academic Alliance Summer Research Opportunities Program and the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program.
She has represented Penn State as a participant in programs such as the National Science Foundation’s Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate, designed to broaden participation in science technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines. Additionally, she has coordinated the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Scholars Program.
Preston completed her bachelor’s degree in biology and master’s degree in curriculum & instruction (science education) from Xavier University of Louisiana. She completed her doctoral degree at Penn State in curriculum and instruction in science education. Her graduate research focused on the underrepresentation of ethnic minorities and women in STEM fields. Preston is a former high school teacher and taught biology, chemistry, and human anatomy and physiology, in New Orleans.
Currently, Preston is the adviser to the Black Graduate Student Association and co-adviser for Parmi Nous Honor Society.
The Penn State Homecoming University Court is made up of six individuals whose devotion to the Nittany Lion family is considered above and beyond the call of duty. The court includes individuals who are advisers, professors, staff and researchers, who are nominated by the students who admire them.
University Court members will participate in several events during the Homecoming celebration and will be presented on the field during the Homecoming football game.