College announces recipients of the 2023 Golumbic and Valley Family Scholarships

The College of Arts and Architecture announced the recipients of the Golumbic and Valley Family Scholarships at its annual spring awards ceremony in May.

Reuben and Gladys Golumbic Scholarship

The Reuben and Gladys Golumbic Scholarship is one of the most prestigious scholarships given in the college, and recognizes students in the areas of design achievement, humanistic achievement and performance achievement. The scholarship was established by Penn State alumnus Ed Eckl in memory of his adoptive parents. This year's recipients are:

Design Achievement: John Martin, Architecture

Born the son of a mechanical engineer and the grandson of a mechanic, Martin quickly formed a fascination with mechanical assemblies and how individual parts come together to form a complete mechanism. He has defined himself as a craftsman/maker who pursues design through hands-on craftsmanship. Deeply influenced by the work of Jean Prouvé, constructeur, he has worked to merge utility, the honest use of materials, and economy of materials to meet the complex demands of a circular material economy.

Humanistic Achievement: Arushi Grover, Theatre Studies, English and Comparative Literature

Grover is a third-year Schreyer Scholar. As a dramaturg, playwright, and director, Arushi is passionate about using past stories to understand the present moment. She has worked as dramaturg for numerous productions with Penn State Centre Stage and the School of Theatre. For the past two years, Arushi has been the president of Statespeare, Penn State's Shakespeare-centered student organization. After graduation, Arushi plans to pursue an M.F.A. in dramaturgy.

Performance Achievement: Chandler Cleric, Music/Clarinet Performance

Cleric is involved in many performance ensembles, including the Philharmonic Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, and Symphonic Wind Ensemble. In addition to large ensembles, Chandler enjoys playing chamber music in many different settings. He has played in recordings with the Pittsburgh Creators' Project Symphonic Winds, and performed with the Pennsylvania Chamber Orchestra. Chandler is a winner of the 2023 School of Music Scholarship Competition, where he was awarded the Eleanor Beene Award.

Valley Family Scholarship

The Valley Family Scholarship, which is made possible through the generosity of Ginni and Kent Valley, celebrates student excellence from across the college. Recipients are nominated by faculty members as part of the Golumbic Scholarship nomination process. This year's recipients are:

Michael Cabrera, Music

Cabrera is a Cuban-American composer and percussionist pursuing a Bachelor of Music in music composition. His music centers around storytelling, exploring metaphors in music, experimentation, and mental health. Michael enjoys experimenting with music from every angle, including instrumental and performance techniques, compositional structure and techniques, notation, and more. In 2016, Michael's string quartet “Polarities” was a winner in the American Composers' Forum NextNotes competition. He is currently the treasurer of the Living Music organization at Penn State.

Peyton Harris, Graphic Design

Harris is a third-year student majoring in graphic design with minors in photography and entrepreneurship. He is a member of the Design Association and is the class representative for the graphic design class of 2024. Last year he was awarded the Graphic Design Excellence Award. Peyton hopes to bring his two interests of sustainability and design together to innovate the arts and create solutions that better people's lives.

Victor Hernandez, Theatre

Hernandez is a third-year theatre design and technology student with emphases in technical direction and scenic design. Last summer, Victor worked with Barrington Stage Company as a carpenter, constructing scenery for an eight-production season featuring both new and established works. They most recently worked as assistant technical director for the School of Theatre's production of “Into the Woods,” and have credits as both a carpenter and scenic artist for multiple productions throughout the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 show seasons.

Julia Li, Landscape Architecture

Li is a third-year landscape architecture student and Schreyer Scholar with a minor in meteorology and atmospheric science. A self-proclaimed “weather weenie,” she studied abroad in Thailand last May, which inspired her to critically evaluate how landscape architects have the unique ability to address climate injustices through thoughtful, empathetic, intentional design. After earning her bachelor's degree, Julia will stay at Penn State to pursue an M.S. in landscape architecture.

Elijah Pfeiffer, Landscape Architecture

Pfeiffer is a third-year landscape architecture student. Having the opportunity to study different environments thanks to regular moves during his childhood, he quickly gained a fascination in infrastructure, nature, and the people who utilize both. He has chosen to specialize his degree into the fitting sub-fields of transportation, community design, and systems design.

Ronan Shaw, Art History

Shaw is pursuing a dual bachelor's degree in fine arts and art history, as well as a certificate in museum studies. Drawing upon his travels to Europe and Latin America, his scholarship considers the way individuals conceptualized their relationship to history through visual arts in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He has won awards for his proficiency in the Italian language. After graduation, Rónán plans to pursue a Ph.D. in art history with the goal of becoming a curator.

Shane Troxell, Theatre

Troxell is a third-year student in the B.F.A. Acting program, currently studying abroad at the Theatre Academy of London. For Penn State Centre Stage, he performed in “A Midsummer Night's Dream” (Lysander) and “Metamorphoses” (First Man). Shane also performed in and helped write Penn State's New Student Orientation show, “Results Will Vary.” He is certified in teaching Grounded Aerial Bungee Dance and is a Society of American Fight Directors Certified Actor Combatant.


Trio, from left to right: John Martin, Arushi Grover, Chandler Cleric

Top row, left to right: Michael Cabrera, Peyton Harris, Victor Hernandez, Julia Li

Bottom row, left to right: Elijah Pfeiffer, Ronan Shaw, Shane Troxell