UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Five Schreyer Scholars were selected as speakers for State of State 2016, an annual conference intended to inspire dialogue on the present and the future of the University. This year’s conference was held on Saturday, Feb, 13, with the theme, “Explore the Glory.”
Scholars Melissa Aguilar, John Connolly, Abigail Kennedy and Skylar Slotter will be speaking at the conference, and Scholar Aaron Kreider will be emceeing the event.
“State of State is an important event because it gets the ‘movers and shakers’ of the Penn State community together in one place to have more casual conversations about what our Penn State society deems as important,” said Connolly, a senior chemical engineering major. “These are conversations that students want to have and providing a forum for people to come and discuss them is one of the ways that change can get sparked here at Penn State.”
Connolly, who has spent the last two years working to build collaboration within the Penn State performing arts community, will be speaking on the challenges of changing student culture. He hopes that his talk will make audience members consider how they are impacting culture at Penn State, and how they can work to get their fellow students more actively involved in shaping Penn State culture.
Kennedy, a junior double-majoring in English and secondary rducation, will also be exploring Penn State culture in her talk, which focuses on renovating the freshman English curriculum to incorporate more socially inclusive perspectives. Kennedy hopes that a more inclusive curriculum would decrease discrimination and violence on college campuses, and change the cultural climate at Penn State.
“If all our students hear about diverse perspectives from the get-go and have the opportunity to have frank and safe discussions with their peers from across the world, then we're less likely to see these cultural explosions in the future,” Kennedy said. “That means safer students who get a better, more globalized education, and I think that's what Penn State's about.”