Students and organization recognized for leadership

Three students and a student organization have been recognized by Penn State World Campus for their leadership during the 2022–23 academic year.

The awards, first established in 2021, are coordinated by Penn State World Campus Student Affairs. Leadership development has long been a priority of the student affairs office.

“We are proud to see our students using the opportunities they have at Penn State to grow within leadership roles in their education, in their communities, and in their careers,” said Renata Engel, vice provost for Online Education.

Engel also recognized the support provided by the Penn State World Campus Student Affairs office.

“The student affairs staff members are instrumental in creating a space for student leadership development and highlighting the successes of our students,” Engel said.

The award winners are the following:

  • Lauri Accardi, Overall Leadership Award
  • Daniel Serfass, Emerging Leader Award
  • Nicole Kisslinger, Inclusive Excellence Award
  • Delta Gamma Chi, Organization of the Year Award

“Congratulations to these students and the organization for leading by example,” Engel said.

Recognizing student achievement

Lauri Accardi, courtesy photo

Accardi is a student in the Penn State Online MBA program. Nominators commended Accardi for participating in activities through Penn State World Campus and outside of school. For instance, she is a member of the World Campus Student Advisory Board and an ambassador for the online MBA program. She serves on the Harvard Business Review Advisory Council and is an emerging advocate for the American Migraine Foundation.

“She embodies a true leader,” one nominator said. “I strongly feel confident that Lauri is a great asset for the school and communities she is contributing to with her dedication and passion to learn.”

Stepping up to help others

Daniel Serfass, courtesy photo

Serfass is a student in the Bachelor of Science in Security and Risk Analysis. Nominators praised him for his roles on the World Campus Student Government Association and the impact he has had in establishing relationships outside of World Campus.

Serfass was serving as speaker of the assembly for the student government when the president stepped down in the fall 2022 semester. He stepped into the president’s role and recruited individuals to fill empty roles in the student government.

Serfass has developed collaborative and professional relationships with student leaders from the University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA), the Council of Commonwealth Student Governments (CCSG), and the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA).

Prioritizing inclusivity

Nicole Kisslinger, courtesy photo

Kisslinger is a student in the Master of Professional Studies in Strategic Communications program.

A nominator commended Kisslinger for her inclusive leadership of the Delta Gamma Chi student organization. The nominator described Kisslinger as “the most considerate and kind person” who “truly cares for each person” she interacts with.

“While being a student at Penn State, Nicole has gone out of her way to make sure everyone around her feels comfortable,” a nominator said. “Nicole is passionate about creating a life that is easier to live in not just for herself, but for the people around her. She is a supporter, an advocate, and someone who is trying to make this world a better place.”

Members of Delta Gamma Chi, courtesy photo

Delta Gamma Chi is a service sorority. Nominators said the organization has created a strong sense of school spirit and lasting friendships among members.

“This is a safe space where all students feel welcomed and are encouraged to meet new people and make new friends,” a nominator said. “Delta Gamma Chi exemplifies what it takes to be a Penn State World Campus organization and to have its members thrive.”

Visit the Penn State World Campus Student Affairs web page for more information about leadership opportunities. To make experiences like these more accessible to all Penn State World Campus students, consider visiting the Give to Penn State World Campus web page for more information. 

Media Contact:
Mike Dawson