Peer Advising

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Peer advisers are current students in the College of the Liberal Arts who have been recruited to provide students with a connection to the college and to peers within the college. Peer advisers are at various points in their education careers and provide students with information critical to the transition to college as well as opportunities for social and academic engagement.

Students can meet in person with a peer adviser during the office hours listed below. All times are listed in ET.

11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. in the Chaiken Center for Student Success, 101 Burrowes Building

Spring 2022 Peer Advisers

Joseph Banuelos

Joseph BanuelosJoseph is a senior majoring in Political Science and Economics with a minor in History. Originally from Clovis, California, Joseph was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and is thrilled to be a part of Penn State. Outside of class, you can find him working at Starbucks in the HUB-Robeson Center; writing legislation for the University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA), Penn State’s student government; or working on research. Joseph’s favorite parts about being in the College of the Liberal Arts are the number of opportunities and resources and the people he has met throughout his time at Penn State. He is thrilled to be a peer adviser and assist future generations of Penn State students.

Kahomy (Kay) Benitez Garcia

Kahomy (Kay) Benitez GarciaKay is a junior majoring in Criminology and minoring in Biology. She is from Rochester, New York. Kay is involved in Project Paws Organization, a club dedicated to helping out State College’s furry friends. She is also part of the Astrology Club since astrophysics is a fun hobby of hers. She is also involved in the Silver Circle, which is a spiritual club that focuses on growing people’s spiritual connections and journeys through their lives. Kay’s favorite thing about being a student in the College of the Liberal Arts is the flexibility that she has with the way she studies, the classes she can take, and the things she wants to learn. She appreciates that she’s able to take a wide variety of classes, which has helped her broaden her horizons.

Tom Blathwayt

Thomas BlathwaytTom is a junior majoring in Political Science and History. He is an international student from Auckland, New Zealand. Currently, he is in the process of founding the British Appreciation Club and hopes to have it up and running by the start of the spring 2022 semester. Tom says the College of the Liberal Arts has given him a diverse view of the world and the opportunity to learn about different cultures, histories, and contemporary topics that enhance his perspective in a positive light.

Chloe Connor

Chloe ConnorChloe is a senior majoring in Psychology and minoring in Biology, Global Health, and Bioethics and Medical Humanities. She is from Yardley, Pennsylvania. On campus, Chloe competes with the Club Cross Country team and serves on the Student Conduct Board. Chloe is also a Paterno Fellow and is working on her thesis in a biobehavioral health research lab. She loves how her classes help her develop a liberal arts toolbox that can be applied to a variety of pressing issues in healthcare. Chloe says the College of the Liberal Arts challenges her to be a more perceptive thinker, researcher, advocate, and leader.

Meg DeMario

Meg DeMarioMeg is a senior majoring in French and Finance with a minor in the Legal Environment of Business. She grew up in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Meg is the president of the Language and Linguistics Club and has been a member of Women in Business since her first year of college. Over the summers, Meg has spent time working as a LEAP mentor and interning as a credit analyst at AgChoice Farm Credit. Her favorite part about being a student in the College of the Liberal Arts is the connections it has helped her form. She says she has met so many people and has formed so many valuable relationships through being involved with the College of the Liberal Arts.

Brenna Fennessey

Brenna FennesseyBrenna is a senior studying Anthropological Science and Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies with minors in Middle East Studies and French and Francophone Studies. She currently lives in Wilmington, North Carolina, but was born and raised in State College! Brenna is the president of Lambda Alpha National Honor Society at Penn State and is involved in many other clubs, including Thespians, No Refund Theatre, Anthropology Club, and French Club. Brenna has worked as an undergraduate research assistant in the Olo Be Taloha lab. This fall, Brenna is teaching a course that she developed through Students Teaching Students. Brenna’s favorite thing about being a student in the College of the Liberal Arts is all of the incredible research opportunities for undergraduate students.

Christina Fomunyoh

Christina FomunyohChristina is a junior majoring in Global and International Studies and International Politics with a minor in Spanish. Although she was born and raised in Annandale, Virginia, Christina takes pride in the culture of her Cameroonian-born parents, which has greatly influenced her passion for learning more about other cultures and communities around the world. Christina is an active member of Phi Chi Theta Business Fraternity, Empower Orphans Club, African Students Association, Global Leaders Newsletter, and the new Penn State United Nations Campus Advocates organization. Christina’s favorite thing about being a student in the College of the Liberal Arts is the numerous opportunities to meet and connect with students across the college and across majors. She said that meeting students with different majors within the college has allowed her to have many great worldly conversations and has exposed her to the diversity of study within the college.

Simon Hebert

Simon HebertSimon is a senior from Pittsburgh double majoring in English and History. He is a Schreyer Scholar and is editor-in-chief of Kalliope, the Penn State literary magazine. He’s also worked with Viral Imaginations to collect creative work on the experiences of the pandemic. Over the summer, he worked for the Hemingway Letters Project to help publish the upcoming sixth volume of The Letters of Ernest Hemingway. To stay active, he led tours for high schoolers and incoming students. When not on campus, he interns at Abba Java, where he renovated the newly opened courtyard and helped to paint the “You Are Welcome Here” mural. He loves that his majors in the College of the Liberal Arts afford him the opportunity to read, write, and learn about people from different times, spaces, and cultures.

Emma Jones

Emma-Leigh JonesEmma is a senior majoring in Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies with a minor in Latin. She is from Exton, Pennsylvania and is the community chair for the Liberal Arts Ambassadors. Emma’s favorite thing about being a student in the College of the Liberal Arts is meeting other Liberal Arts students and faculty.


Nik Korbich

Nikolai KorbichNik is a junior majoring in English with a minor in Film Studies. He is from Holland, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia. Nik is a member of Penn State’s No Refund Theatre. In his free time, you can find him cooking or learning jiu-jitsu at Pleasant Gap’s new American Top Team gym. Nik’s favorite thing about being a student in the College of the Liberal Arts is the people. In his area of study, he typically finds himself in smaller classes that allow him to form close relationships with his classmates and professors.

Lizzy MacBride

Lizzy MacBrideLizzy is a junior majoring in Sociology with a minor in Communication Arts and Sciences. She is from Dover, New Hampshire where she likes to spend her time in the mountains or on the beach. Throughout her time as a student at Penn State, she has been a member of a community service organization called ServeState. She is the service coordinator for the club, where she organizes and creates events. Lizzy was a teaching assistant for the rhetoric and civic life courses in the College of the Liberal Arts. Through this experience, she found her passion for teaching and deliberation, which she took with her when she worked as a Nevins Fellow through the summer of 2021. Lizzy’s favorite thing about being a student in the College of the Liberal Arts is all the opportunities to get involved through student teaching, education abroad programs, and undergraduate research.

Ashley Merly

Ashley MerlyAshley is a senior majoring in Psychology and Women’s Studies. Ashley lives in Fort Dix, New Jersey but has lived in seven different states throughout her life—New Jersey, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Georgia, New York, and Pennsylvania! During her academic career, Ashley has participated in three research labs. She has served as a peer mentor for the Gender Equity Center as well as the center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, a candidate for Latin Leadership Institute, a member of the Inclusivity Committee in Lion Ambassadors, a mentor for Stand for State, and a tutor for the Mid-State Literacy Council. Ashley says her favorite things about being a student in the College of the Liberal Arts are the flexibility of the department and the ability to explore multiple pathways simultaneously.

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