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KerriLaine Prunella

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'01 International Politics
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KerriLaine Prunella

KerriLaine Prunella, a 2001 Penn State international politics alumna, is a specialist leader in Deloitte’s Human Capital Management Practice in Washington, D.C., where she leads teams to develop and align clients’ programs and administrative operations.

“I seek to understand and impact the community around me,” said Prunella, when asked about her approach to leadership.

She has more than 15 years of experience working for the federal government, including her former role as senior adviser to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Human Resources within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The network Prunella started building in college helped her eventually gain experience in leadership, management, and human resources. As an undergraduate, she sought out leadership experiences, serving as the chair of the Campus Activities Board, student government president, a Lion Ambassador, and the student representative for an associate dean search committee—all in her first two years at Penn State Berks.

After she finished her degree at Penn State University Park, Prunella took on alumni leadership roles that would continue to enhance her Penn State network. She then served as an alumni council member and as the president of the Penn State Alumni Association’s affiliate groups in the Washington, D.C. area.

“I cannot emphasize how supportive Penn State alumni are at all stages of navigating a career,” Prunella said.

It was the leaders whom she met during her involvement with the Penn State Alumni Association that gave her a foundation for a professional life involving various work groups and committees. She went on to earn her M.B.A. from Trinity University, furthering her education in the field of management and human resources.

Careers in human capital management involve excellent relationship-building skills and an ability to understand people, which Prunella developed in her own leadership roles and in networking with other professionals.

She also emphasized some of the liberal arts skills she learned while at Penn State such as research, concise writing, and a willingness to ask questions, which have all had an impact on her career.

As Prunella’s career progressed, she has taken the time to give back to the networks that helped her succeed. Prunella mentors both College of the Liberal Arts and College of Health and Human Development students at Penn State, and she is a founding member of a Management Advisory Council at George Mason University. In this way, Prunella hopes to guide the future of her alma mater, just as the Penn State community shaped her.

Prunella participated in the Penn State Women: Leaders of Today and Tomorrow events held September 25–26, 2019.

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