Penn State northeast region alumni groups offer virtual program series this fall

nittany lion shrine at university park

The Nittany Lion Shrine at University Park

Credit: Penn State

The Penn State northeast region campuses will host a Fall 2020 Virtual Program Series featuring topics ranging from writing, esports, and wine to chemistry, job interviews, vaccine development and dance.

The programs are open to the public and will be held in the evenings, throughout the fall.

Coordinating the series are alumni organizations from Penn State Berks, Hazleton, Schuylkill, Scranton and Wilkes-Barre. Registration is required and those in attendance will be entered in a free raffle during each of the programs.

Registration for any of the events is at

“Our alumni organizations have been collaborating on events for years, but 2020 has presented a new set of challenges and opportunities,” said Deborah Brandt Johnson, alumni and stewardship coordinator at Penn State Scranton. “What began as in-person gatherings of alumni, families and friends at places like Knoebels [amusement park] and jazz concerts throughout the region, has become a virtual venue with a wide variety of social and educational programs for all ages.”

According to Johnson, the upside to offering these programs online is the chance to reach out to Penn State alumni and friends throughout the United States and the world.

“There are no travel expenses so anyone with a computer and the interest, can attend these events,” she said.

The following programs will be held this fall:

"Write-On State!" — Monday, Sept 14 at 7 p.m.

Step outside of your comfort zone to fulfill your dreams. A Penn State alumna shares her journey to success … as an author, speaker and "mompreneur"!

Presenter: Sharifa Anozie, Penn State class of 2008, author of the children’s book "It’s In You – A Book for Big Dreamers"

"Virtual Wine Tasting" — Monday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m.

Join us for a virtual wine tasting, as we enjoy two award-winning wines from ONEHOPE Wine. Proceeds from wine purchases will benefit the Berks Student Emergency Fund.

Presenter: Crystal Barto, One Hope Wine Consultant and Penn State Berks executive chef

"From Basement Dwellers to Millionaires: How Esports Redefined a Stigma" — Monday, Sept. 28 at 7 p.m.

The next generation of sports is here and it’s completely digital. Learn the ins and outs of esports and how anyone, regardless of background or occupation, can be a part of, and benefit from, this new phenomenon.

Presenters: Chris Davis and Matt Giombetti, both Penn State class of 2019, and founders of Electric City Esports

"Halloween Chemistry" — Monday, Oct. 12 at 7 p.m.

Explore ways to use color-changing flames as a part of your own Halloween-themed event. “Colorful Flame Packet” included for the first 25 people registered.

Presenter: Greglynn Gibbs, Penn State class of 2005, Penn State Berks research support technician and lab manager; and students from the Berks Chemistry Society

"Vaccine Manufacturing (Women in STEM)" — Monday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m.

Manufacturing vaccines is a complex journey. Join us in learning the process from a basic engineering perspective.

Presenter: Tiffany Veet, Penn State class of 2014, manager of engineering and continuous improvement, Sanofi Pasteur

"Successful Job Interview Strategies" — Wed., Oct. 28 at 7 p.m.

Learn what interviewers are looking for, how to prepare, and what questions you should ask and expect. Co-Sponsored by the Penn State Wilkes-Barre Struthers Family Career Services Center.

Presenter: Jonathan U. Dougherty, Penn State class of 1999 and 2006, director of corporate knowledge at James G. Davis Construction Corp.

"Get Moving with PSU" — Sunday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m.

Learn a dance and sing along to the "Penn State Fight Song" – family friendly!

Lisa Gebhardt, Penn State class of 2010, co-founder/owner/instructor of The Stage Dance Academy

“Building from the incredible Penn State alumni base in the northeast region and as a native of Northeastern Pennsylvania, I am excited to be a part of the Fall 2020 virtual programming,” said Jonathan U. Dougherty, program presenter.  “I strongly encourage all of my fellow alums to actively participate, engage with fellow Penn Staters, and gain valuable insights on the varied topics being discussed throughout this virtual series.”

Prior to each program, registrants will receive an email with the zoom link and information. Questions may be directed to any of the campuses’ alumni offices, or email [email protected].