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. APPLY TO BE A FELLOW

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."
  • 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 posiition to achieve future goals. These goals include working in the social media realm and pursuing a career in marketing."
  • Sara Harkins headshotSara Harkins (Kennett Square, Pennsylvania)
    Campus clubs/organizations: 46 LIVE, VALLEY Magazine 

    What I hope to accomplish as a Bellisario Fellow: "I hope to build up my professional and personal development, and help to guide other students to take advantage of what this college has to offer. I want to serve as an example of someone sharing their story, being proactive, and encouraging others like me to be brave and get involved."



  • 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."
  • Cat Cao headshotCatherine Cao (South Setauket, New York)
    Campus clubs/organizations: Delta Kappa Alpha Cinematic Society, Penn State Fencing

    What I hope to accomplish as a Bellisario Fellow: "I'm hoping to show the current and future Penn State community how Bellisario students, who hail from all backgrounds, go above and beyond in their many successes. In addition I hope to show the general public and professional world how much potential lies within the Bellisario College."



  • Maryah Burney headshotMaryah Burney (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania)
    Campus clubs/organizations: The Multicultural Association of Schreyer Scholars, Black Caucus, Presidental Leadership Academy, Students Teaching Students, World In Conversation, Prison Journalism Project, 
    National Millennial Community, Epsilon Gamma Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated,  

    What I hope to accomplish as a Bellisario Fellow: "I hope to positively impact and build meaningful relationships with prospective and current students. Through my own experience, I know that finding a place and navigating college can be incredibly difficult. I hope to be able to use my own experiences to help others through theirs and share that a major isn't a limitation when it comes to achieving your dreams and finding the aspect of communications that fits each individual. I'm looking forward to connecting with alumni and industry professionals and being able to bring that knowledge to my peers and apply it in my own life. Most importantly, as a Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications Fellow, I hope to be a resource for other students of color entering the college and help further initiatives around diversity, equity and inclusion. Being a student in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications has been one of my biggest sources of pride and joy and I hope to be able to help other students in the college find the same feelings."
  • 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."
  • Kira Mohr headshotKira Petro (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."
  • Preston Shoemaker headshotPreston Shoemaker (Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania)
    Campus clubs/organizations: CommRadio, Centre County Report, 46 LIVE, John Curley Center for Sports Journalism, Young Life, Bellisario Tour Guide

    What I hope to accomplish as a Bellisario Fellow: "I hope to contribute my driven attitude and work ethic to this group as we look to mentor the next generation of Bellisario students and grow our college on multiple facets. I am also excited to network with professionals and share with alumni the amazing things that are happening right now in the Bellisario College."
  • Megan Swift headshotMegan Swift (Murrysville, Pennsylvania)
    Campus clubs/organizations: Schreyer Honors Scholar, The Daily Collegian, Penn State Network News, SHO Time Orientation Mentor, Kalliope, No Refund Theatre, Thespian Society

    What I hope to accomplish as a Bellisario Fellow: "I hope to foster a welcoming and motivating environment for incoming first-year students by offering advice from personal experiences. I'm absolutely thrilled to be part of this program and am really looking forward to forming lasting connections with alumni in the journalism industry as well. Finally, I strive to be an example that fellow students can look toward for guidance and friendship!"
  • Luke Vargas headshotLuke Vargas (Covington, Louisiana)
    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 journalism requires."






  • Jodi Norton headshotJodi Norton (Ellington, Connecticut)
    Campus clubs/organizations: Student Film Organization, FOTO, Schreyer for Women

    What I hope to accomplish as a Bellisario Fellow: "I hope to be able to work on developing my career in communications through growing my network and gaining industry knowledge from those working in it currently. Additionally I would love to be able to give back to the Bellisario community as a fellow and help foster relationships between the students and the college."


Bellisario College Fellows

FALL 2021

Advertising/Public Relations: Catherine Cao (South Setauket, New York), Sara Harkins (Kennett Square, Pennsylvania)

Journalism: Maryah Burney (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania), Preston Shoemaker (Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania), Megan Swift (Murrysville, Pennsylvania)

Telecommunications and Media Industries: Jodi Norton (Ellington, Connecticut), 

FALL 2020

Advertising/Public Relations: Isabella Granada (Stanhope, New Jersey)

Journalism: Luke Vargas (Covington, Louisiana)

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)