This spring, Penn State Worthington Scranton graduated its first corporate communication baccalaureate degree candidates.
Shawnna Meyers and Victoria Sheridan are the first two PSWS students to graduate from this program, one of the campus’ newest degree programs.
The campus’ spring commencement was also unique because for the first time in its history, the ceremony was held off campus, due to the fact that the event has outgrown the Multipurpose Building on campus, where it has traditionally been held.
This year's event took place at the Scranton Cultural Center in downtown Scranton, and over 1,000 family members and friends of the 208 graduates were in attendance.
Corporate Communication Program Coordinator Dr. Eva Tettenborn praised the two women, who have now set an example for other corporate communication majors at the campus.
“Shawnna Meyers, who was also involved in the campus chapter of Toastmasters and the Business Club, received the 2016 Corporate Communication Disciplinary Award,” Tettenborn said.
“Shawnna already has accepted a job as a communications specialist at TMG Health's IT department. Her success is a testament not only to the career-oriented approach taken by the major, but also speaks for Shawnna's performance both in her classes and during her internships.”
Meyers also completed an internship in the campus’ communications office, where she wrote news releases and stories for the campus website. One of her pieces was quoted in an NBC piece on the new FitDesk trend taking place in colleges across the country.
“I was really happy when Penn State Worthington Scranton began offering the corporate communications program because it brought new opportunity to me and other students interested in communications,” Meyers said. “The program definitely prepared me to be self-sufficient in my new position as a communications specialist at TMG Health. My position requires me to be dedicated to my work and creative, which I believe this program taught me during my time as a student.”
Fellow corporate communication degree candidate Sheridan was honored with the Walter Weber Award in Theatre and Speech Communication, Tettenborn said, adding that she, along with Meyers, also represented the campus as Lion Ambassadors.
In addition to the Weber award, Sheridan was also a recipient of the Class of 1922 Memorial Scholarship and the Mabel White Riker Memorial Scholarship. She worked as a work study in the security office, and completed her internship in the athletics department, where she had a news article on the campus’ new athletic fields published in the local newspaper, The Dunmorean.
“At first, it really didn’t hit me that something I worked hard on was going to be published. Once I got the call, I couldn’t contain my excitement. I couldn’t believe it happened. Hopefully, there are more articles to come,” she said.
Sheridan also worked with Student Affairs as a New Student Orientation (NSO) Leader as well as a work study for the admissions department. She also had a research project exhibited at Penn State Worthington Scranton’s 2016 Undergraduate Research Fair and was in the honors program.
Victoria chose Worthington Scranton because she didn’t want a big campus, and loved how involved she could get with the local community. She decided to be a corporate communication major after she had tried an English degree, and realized that it didn’t fit her needs. Her dream is to one day become an entertainment journalist for a big news station like E! News.
“Majoring in corporate communication would help me get one step closer to being a journalist,” she explained. “The major is also very versatile with public relations, speech, and marketing classes.”
Corporate Communication Internship Coordinator Jim Hart, who helped both women secure their internships, enjoys the one-on-one interaction faculty can have with their students in the small campus environment and the role they can play in helping them achieve success.
“One of the benefits of teaching at a smaller campus like Penn State Worthington Scranton is that you really get to know your students, and you take pride in them and their accomplishments,” he said. “As the corporate communication internship coordinator, I worked with both of these students to secure senior year internships and I also had them in several of my classes. Now, seeing them become the program's first baccalaureate degree recipients in this discipline from our campus, it makes me proud that I played a role in helping them achieve success.”
Another benefit of attending a smaller campus is the personal role many of the campus’ alumni play in returning to campus to give back and mentor students.
And even though Corporate Communication was not a degree program when they attended Worthington Scranton, two alumna returned to the campus over the past year to mentor students in the program.
Lisa Miles, senior vice president of investor relations and corporate communications at MAXIMUS, Inc., a global company with more than 16,000 employees worldwide, including a facility in the Scranton area, visited the campus this year and gave an informational presentation on her work in international corporate communications to corporate communication and business students.
“Starting my college career at a smaller campus like Penn State Worthington Scranton was the ideal choice for me,” she said. “It offered a smoother transition into college life and helped me to succeed academically. Ultimately, I was better prepared for completing my degree and starting my career in the communications field. “
“The more intimate environment and smaller class sizes at Worthington Scranton gave me a greater opportunity to connect with my professors,” she explained. “They took the time to get to know me, provided me with personalized assistance, and guided me towards a career path that matched my skills and interests. I considered several majors and my advisor gave me excellent insight, advice and support.”
Kim Kingsley, COO of POLITICO, was last year’s commencement speaker and praised the personal attention and encouragement she received when she attended Worthington Scranton, singling out Senior English Instructor Paul Perrone for encouraging her to develop her writing talents, and essentially influencing her career choice.
Over the past few years Penn State Worthington Scranton has added ten new Baccalaureate Degree programs, with plans to add more in the near future, allowing students who want to earn a degree close to home the opportunity to do so.
Currently, four-year degrees are offered in:
The campus also offers the following Associate Degree programs: