Emily Scarfo elected to student senator post

emily scarfo at podium at patio  dedication speaking

Emily Scarfo, then Penn State Scranton's Student Government Association president, speaks at the dedication of the campus' new patio last year. The nursing major recently learned that she was elected to the position of University College Student Representative to the University Faculty Senate for the 2020-21 academic year.

Credit: Penn State

DUNMORE, Pa. — Following a very active year as Penn State Scranton’s Student Government Association (SGA) president, Emily Scarfo is on to her next big role — student senator.

The nursing major was recently elected to serve as a University College student representative to the University Faculty Senate (UFS) for the 2020-21 academic year.

Scarfo and Penn State Hazleton student Anush Iyer were elected to the two open student senator positions during recent online voting, finishing ahead of five other students from University College campuses.

Adam Moyer and Amanda Hichez from Penn State Schuylkill were elected to serve as alternate student senators.

As a student senator, Scarfo will serve as a voice for University College students during Faculty Senate meetings at University Park. And, with permission from the campus SGA administration, she’ll also be able to attend Scranton Faculty Senate meetings.

“I am very excited to continue my SGA career!” Scarfo said. “I knew that I couldn’t be SGA president next year, but I wasn’t quite willing to give up Student Government all together. This position gives me the opportunity to stay involved in Student Government and grow more as a leader.”

Campus Director of Student Services and Engagement Brad Kovaleski has no doubt that Scarfo will be a first-rate student senator.

“Emily is a wonderful student leader that has done great things for our campus. She’s an effective leader, organized, passionate — all these words come to mind for her,” Kovaleski said. “Emily's greatest quality is her professionalism, which translates not only into quality work on the administrative level but a high level of service that benefits Penn State Scranton students.”

As it happens, Kovaleski initially asked Scarfo to spread the word on the position to other students. After reviewing the responsibilities of student senators, Scarfo decided to make a run for it, securing a nomination from Kovaleski and filling out a form explaining her qualifications for the post.

The election was held online over a two-week period in April, with any University College student able to cast a vote.

“I made a couple posts on social media and shared them with the SGA and Scranton Life Instagram pages to get more people to vote for me,” Scarfo said.

Scarfo’s outreach worked, and she now finds herself in the unique position to influence University policy on a broader level.

Among other goals, she intends to build closer relationships with other campuses and serve as an outspoken advocate for student issues. More specific goals will come once she learns what committees she’ll be serving on.

Never one to shy away from a challenge, Scarfo can’t wait to begin her Senate service. 

“I think it will be a good opportunity for me to get out of my comfort zone even more,” she said. “And, I am hoping this position leads me to more leadership opportunities for my senior year.”

For more information on University Faculty Senate, visit https://senate.psu.edu.