Students holding balloons that spell ENGAGE

A&A students use SEN grants to support their educational and career goals

Eleven College of Arts and Architecture students received Student Engagement Network (SEN) grants this fall to fund a variety of projects ranging from a senior thesis theatre production to attendance at an international conference in San Diego.

Recipients include Melody Munitz (Theatre), Jalen Bolger (Graphic Design), Bianca Yanez (Visual Arts), Sydney Bollinger (Art History), Puja Bhagat (Architecture), Marc Amorello (Architecture), Sophia Clampet-Lundquist (Architecture), Maria Fernanda Etcharren (Architecture), Thomas Darlington (Landscape Architecture), Tegan Lochner (Landscape Architecture) and Zimeng Chen (Landscape Architecture).

“These experiences give our emerging artists and designers the opportunity to be mentored by leaders outside their disciplines, which better prepares them for professional experience beyond Penn State,” said Kendall Mainzer, director of student engagement for the College of Arts and Architecture.

I’m consistently impressed by our students’ success with the SEN grant program.”
-Kendall Mainzer

Munitz, a Schreyer Honors College student double-majoring in musical theatre and psychology, used her grant to support production and direction of her original one-act play, “Lonely Together,” to be presented Dec. 10-12 at the Penn State Downtown Theatre Center. The play is part of Munitz’s interdisciplinary research under the mentorship of Dr. Daryl Cameron in the Empathy and Moral Psychology Lab. Cameron is a senior research associate in the Rock Ethics Institute and associate professor of psychology,

Bollinger’s grant is funding a trip to Washington, D.C., where she will visit a variety of museums and other historical sites. She is double-majoring in art history and social studies education, and will be student-teaching in spring 2022.

“As an art history student, I believe it is important to view the art I have studied in class in person,” she said. “In addition, I am hoping to use many of the pictures I take and the information I learn from my trip to incorporate in the classroom.”

Five members of Students for Environmentally Enlightened Design (SEED)—Amorello, Clampet-Lundquist, Etcharren, Darlington and Lochner—used their grants to attend the international Greenbuild Conference and Expo in San Diego this fall, as a way to jumpstart their student organization after a year of COVID-related limitations.

“Greenbuild was an amazing experience for all of us,” said Amorello, president of SEED.

Additional projects include a student film and a graphic design internship with the Penn State Football program, among others.

The Penn State Student Engagement Network is a comprehensive initiative across the University’s 24 campuses that connects students with curricular and co-curricular opportunities such as research, student organization involvement, community leadership, study abroad, internships, arts and performances, and more. Launched in 2017, it is a joint effort among Undergraduate Education, Student Affairs, and Outreach and Online Education. Each year SEN awards $1000 and $2000 grants to undergraduate students to support a wide variety of virtual, remote and/or in-person engagement experiences. Grant recipients participate in a free, non-credit-bearing SEN Canvas course centered on the student engagement journey, and work with a Penn State faculty or staff Engagement Coach.