Penn State Values poetry contest winners

WYOMISSING, Pa. – In an effort to highlight the Penn State Values among the student population, the Penn State Berks Diversity Committee held its second annual Penn State Values Poetry Writing Contest for students in the spring semester.

The requirement was to write an original poem on the six Penn State Values:

  • Integrity
  • Respect
  • Responsibility
  • Discovery
  • Excellence
  • Community

The poems were judged by members of the faculty and staff and students were awarded in each of four categories according to semesters of attendance at Penn State Berks. Winners received gift cards to the Penn State Berks Bookstore.

1–2 Semesters

  • 1st Place: Madison Bechtel, a first-year writing and digital media major from Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
  • 2nd Place: Leola Meristil, a first-year liberal arts major from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • 3rd Place: Edith Konneh, a first-year undecided major from East Landsdowne, Pennsylvania.

3-4 Semesters (only one entry)

  • 1st Place: Liujia (Anna) Chen, a sophomore rehabilitation and human services major from Gotha, Florida.

5-6 Semesters

  • 1st Place: Brooke Chiappetta, a junior hospitality management major from Phoenixville, Pennsylvania.
  • 2nd Place: Tessa Eberlein a junior professional writing major from Camp Hill, Pennsylvania.
  • 3rd Place: Xylene Rivera a junior applied psychology major from Reading, Pennsylvania.

7 or more semesters

  • 1st Place: Emily Lappas, a senior hospitality management major from Spring City, Pennsylvania.
  • 2nd Place: Jamin D. Levan a senior electro-mechanical engineering technology major from Hamburg, Pennsylvania.
  • 3rd Place: Mercedes Wisner a senior biology major from Sharon Hill, Pennsylvania.

To read the first-place winning poems, visit  

For more information on the Penn State Values Poetry Writing Contest, contact Sharon Pitterson-Ogaldez, coordinator of diversity and international programs, at 610-396-6080 or via email at [email protected].