Current Student Resources

Bellisario College Fellows

Bellisario Fellows, December 2019The Bellisario College Fellows program provides a transformational learning experience for students, helping them meet and network with alumni and industry leaders while engaging them to serve as ambassadors for the Bellisario College and Penn State. The goals of the Bellisario Fellows Program are to recognize and reward outstanding, high-achieving students and provide opportunities for service, scholarship, and professional development.

Students selected as Bellisario College Fellows will have the opportunity to participate in activities such as interacting with alumni and industry leaders, mentoring first-year students, attending professional or academic conferences, participating in Penn State’s Undergraduate Exhibition, attending roundtables with distinguished visitors, dinner with Deans of the Bellisario College, outreach for recruiting high school students, and teambuilding exercises.  Students selected as Fellows also receive an annual scholarship and the opportunity to apply for enrichments funds.

Candidates are evaluated on their academic performance, demonstrated interest in career development, involvement in the Bellisario College and campus media opportunities, and potential to become notable stewards to the Bellisario College.

Program Requirements

Interested in applying to be part of the Bellisario Fellows Program? The program is designed primarily for rising juniors (sophomores who have declared a major and will be starting their junior year in the fall).  The deadline to apply to the Fellows Program is May 14, 2021. Students must meet the following requirements to be eligible to apply.

  • Minimum of 3.3 cumulative GPA
  • 4-5th semester standing with anticipated graduation after May 2022
  • Declared a major within the Bellisario College of Communications

To remain a Fellow, students must:

  • Maintain a 3.3 cumulative GPA
  • Maintain active participation in the Fellows Program
  • Remain enrolled as a Bellisario College of Communications student

How to Apply

The deadline to apply is May 14, 2021

To apply, students must submit a current resume and two letters of recommendation.  At least one of the letters must be written by a faculty or staff member in the Bellisario College of Communications.

Letters of recommendation can be submitted directly here.

Students also must answer the following essay questions (500 words maximum for each question):

  1. Which experience on your resume are you most proud of and why?
  2. Describe a time when you faced an ethical dilemma - include the challenges you faced and your response to the situation. As a result of the situation, has your behavior changed and what did you learn?
  3. Provide an example of a time when you served as a leader. Describe how others reacted to you and what you learned from this experience.
  4. Describe a time when you served others. What did you learn from this experience?
  5. Describe your career goals.

USE THIS LINK to upload your application materials and enter your essay responses.

Questions about the Bellisario Fellows Program or the application process may be submitted to Emily Clevenger at or Matt Jackson at

Current Bellisario College Fellows


  • Kaitlin Jean Noel headshotKaitlin Jean-Noel (East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania)
    Campus clubs/organizations: BLUEprint Peer Mentoring Organization, Movin' On, Bellisario College Alumni Society Board

    What I hope to accomplish as a Bellisario Fellow: "I hope to stand as an example and resource for current and prospective students of color pursuing education in communications. Through my experience, I know the struggles and hardships students may face throughout their college career. I am an example of the success that can come from determination and taking advantage of the resources available. I believe that as a Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications Fellow, I will be provided with the opportunity to help with diversity and inclusion initiatives as well as share my story with students, faculty, and alumni."
  • Nina TrachNina Trach (South Brunswick, New Jersey)
    Campus clubs/organizations: Penn State Residence Life (Resident Assistant), Lion Ambassadors, Schreyer for Women, THON, Leadership JumpStart

    What I hope to accomplish as a Bellisario Fellow: "I am most looking forward to forming meaningful relationships in my role as a Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications Fellow. Through sharing my personal experiences and hearing the experiences of other Fellows, students, alumni and faculty, I hope that I can make meaningful connections which will help me continue to grow in my remaining time at Penn State and beyond, while also paying that knowledge and passion forward to underclassmen and perspective students as they begin their journey in the Bellisario College."
  • Rasheeda Chester headshotRasheedah Chester (Philadelphia)
    Campus clubs/organizations: Ad/PR Club, AAF Student Advertising Competition

    What I hope to accomplish as a Bellisario Fellow: "I️ hope to be able to use my voice as a vessel of information for prospective students and students from multicultural backgrounds. I️ want to reassure them that it is possible to reach your goals and leadership positions like this if you take a chance on yourself and go after every opportunity that presents itself. In addition, I️ want students to know that it's okay if you feel lost in your first year just as long as you maintain the confidence and grit to see your vision through to the end."


  • Chris Alderfer headshotChris Alderfer (Schwenksville, Pennsylvania)
    Campus clubs/organizations: CommAgency, Student Film Organization, THON, men's ultimate club frisbee

    What I hope to accomplish as a Bellisario Fellow: "I am very excited to be able to meet and talk to many of the schools great alumni. I grew up in the Penn State family and I know just how incredible of a family it is. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to learn from some of our most impressive family members. In addition, I am excited to represent the current students and discuss the ways that gen z can continue to improve our industry and country."
  • Jake JurichJake Jurich (Ashburn, Virginia)
    Campus clubs/organizations: FOTO (Special Interest THON Org), Vice President and Communications Officer; Student Film Organization; PSNTV

    What I hope to accomplish as a Bellisario Fellow: "To me, the most exciting part of this incredible opportunity to be a Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications Fellow is that it will magnify everything I already love about the Bellisario College. The networking resources made available to students helped me secure a fantastic internship last summer, and now as a Fellow I can network on an even grander scale, yet in a more direct and intimate way. Having given tours of the Bellisario College's facilities the last two years, I can't wait to harness this larger platform to further share with the world all the great things happening here. All these opportunities are great for me and my career as a filmmaker, storyteller, and communicator, and great for the Bellisario College! I hope to apply my creative media skills towards promoting both the Bellisario College and the Fellows Program, so others can more easily picture themselves taking advantage of the same opportunities while charting their own path."
  • Jacob SaarJacob Saar (Etters, Pennsylvania)
    Campus clubs/organiizations: CommAgency (producer and videographer/editor), WPSU (digital media intern), Homecoming (production captain), Shades of Blue a cappella group

    What I hope to accomplish as a Bellisario Fellow: "As a Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications Fellow, I am looking forward to setting an example for other students. I know how challenging the stresses of school can be, and I'm looking forward to helping students by bringing my experience to the table. I also am very excited about the networking opportunities the program offers. This industry is very much about who you know, and I'm looking forward to meeting tons of interesting new people!"


  • Jade Campos headshotJade Campos (Caroline County, Virginia)
    Campus clubs/organizations: The Daily Collegian, CommRadio, Penn State Blue Band, Presidential Leadership Academy, Schreyer Honors Scholar

    What I hope to accomplish as a Bellisario Fellow: "I hope to continue expanding my experiences and network throughout the communications industry. I've truly enjoyed every single opportunity I've been able to pursue through the Bellisario College, and I'd love to continue to do so. Additionally, I'd like to be a representative for students who would like to have their voices heard in the college and are interested in seeing change happen."
  • Josh StarrJosh Starr (Broomall, Pennsylvania)
    Campus clubs/organizations: CommRadio, Hillel, Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity, Club Tennis, IM Sports

    What I hope to accomplish as a Bellisario Fellow: "I hope to be able to show why the Bellisario College is so amazing. I feel like I am proof of the great opportunities the Bellisario College has to offer and how hard work will make those opportunities meaningful for students' careers. I also hope that I can make even more connections than I already have and learn more about the broadcasting industry. I am always eager to meet new people and hear their advice. I hope to take advantage of the connections this program can make for me and exemplify how great the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications is."
  • Kira Mohr headshotKira Mohr (Boston)
    Campus clubs/organizations: Lion Ambassadors, Bellisario Peer Mentors, Penn State Learning tutor, College of the Liberal Arts ESL tutor

    What I hope to accomplish as a Bellisario Fellow: "I hope to use my position to guide and influence future generations of Bellisario students. Despite initial uncertainty within my specific major, Bellisario faculty and programs have provided me with the most important message of my collegiate career: the degree that you hold post-graduation does not limit the realm of influence that you can have on the world. This message is one that I hope to spread amongst the future of Bellisario talent, inspiring further change than originally imagined by these individuals. I am eager and motivated to continue to grow my connections with the past and present members of Bellisario, as well as engender passion within the minds of our future students."


  • Donimika BriceDominika Brice (Stamford, Connecticut)
    Campus clubs/organizations: Oriana Singers (Vice President), Oriana Singers and Glee Club Benefitting THON (Family Relations Chair), Swing Dance Club (Safety Officer)

    What I hope to accomplish as a Bellisario Fellow: "I hope to be a resource and aid for all students both within media studies and in the Bellisario College of Communications. Because of my desire for everyone to succeed, I will make it a priority to make sure everyone is getting the help that they need, while furthering my college growth in the process."

  • Daryle Watkins headshotDaryle Watkins (Manahawkin, New Jersey)
    Campus clubs/organizations: Penn State College Democrats, Pi Sigma Alpha, Alpha Lambda Delta

    What I hope to accomplish as a Bellisario Fellow: "I hope to give back to the Penn State community as I'm immensely grateful for all the opportunities I have been given as a student here. I'd love to become a model to my peers by showing them how many wonderful experiences you can receive as a Bellisario College student if they work hard. I also look forward to making new long term connections and getting to know people I wouldn't have met without this program. As a fellow, I'm excited to enhance my professional development and continue my growth in becoming a leader in this field."


  • Jason Schwartz headshotJason Schwartz (Richboro, Pennsylvania)
    Campus clubs/organizations: Lion Ambassadors, Thespian Society, Mortar Board National Senior Honor Society

    What I hope to accomplish as a Bellisario Fellow: "I hope to act as a true ambassador to the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications and foster the relationship between past, present, and future students and the college."





  • Isabella Granada headshotIsabella Granada (Stanhope, New Jersey)
    Campus clubs/organizations: Association of Women in Sports Media, 
    Dancer Relations THON, THON Organization-Tetra, FYIC Homecoming, 
    Penn State Sports Night, ED2010, CASA

    What I hope to accomplish as a Bellisario Fellow: I hope to accomplish a framework of experiences and work ethic values that will put me in the best position to achieve future career goals. These goals include working in the social media realm and pursuing a career in marketing.
  • Luke Vargas (Covington, Louisianna)
    Campus clubs/organizations: The Daily Collegian

    What I hope to accomplish as a Bellisario Fellow: I want to become the best journalist I can possibly be. I hope to leave Penn State with the drive and passion for strong insightful writing that great journalis calls for.

Bellisario College Fellows

FALL 2019

Advertising/Public Relations: Jillian Beitter (Long Island, New York), Christina Chambers (West Chester, Pennsylvania) and Nina Trach (South Brunswick, New Jersey)

Film-Video: Katie Gergel (West Chester, Pennsylvania), Jake Jurich (Ashburn, Virginia) and Jacob Saar (Etters, Pennsylvania)

Journalism: Maddie Biertempfel (Pittsburgh), Dejanae Gibson (Clarksville, Tennessee) and Josh Starr (Broomall, Pennsylvania)

Media Studies: Dominika Brice (Stamford, Connecticut)

Telecommunications: Skylier Smith (Cleveland)


FALL 2018

Advertising/Public Relations: Christina Chambers (West Chester, Pennsylvania) and Taylor Harrington (Westport, Connecticut)

Film-Video: Katie Gergel (West Chester, Pennsylvania) Peter Rivera (Land O’Lakes, Florida)

Journalism: Maddie Biertempfel (Pittsburgh) and Alison Kuznitz (Trumbull, Connecticut)

Media Studies: Bennett Nesley (Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania) and Ellis Stump (Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania)

Telecommunications: Andrea Melgar (Pahrump, Nevada) and Meghan Shiels (Julian, Pennsylvania)


Activities and Events

December 2018: Trip to New York City

Fellows with Linda YaccarinoFellows at SiriusFellows at Smithsonican ChannelFellows group photo