Student marshal earns degree close to home to work on family farm

Taylor Hollenbach wanted to remain close to home so she could continue working on the family farm in Bethel, PA, so she enrolled in the Penn State Berks Life Science degree program with a minor in Chemistry. Four years later, she is graduating as student marshal?the student with the highest grade point average?and the Life Science degree she earned close to home will open the door to a world of opportunities for her.

Hollenbach comments that she always enjoyed science and working in the laboratory, and the Penn State Berks Life Science degree was somewhat general, so she knew it would provide a wide variety of opportunities for her. She also wanted to attend Penn State because of the institution?s reputation for academic excellence. Enrolling in the Science degree at Penn State Berks allowed her to earn the degree she wanted and continue to work on the family farm nearby.

In addition to her studies and work responsibilities, Hollenbach was a member of the Penn State Berks Chapter of the American Chemical Society, contributing to the group?s success in receiving multiple national awards in both community service programming and green chemistry, and a biology and chemistry teaching assistant. She also assisted Dr. Katie Amaral, Associate Professor of Chemistry, on her research on chemistry education. In addition, she received several awards during her time at the college: the Penn State Berks Chancellor?s Scholarship, the University?s President?s Freshman Award, President Sparks Award, and the Evan Pugh Scholar Award.

?My time at Penn State Berks has helped prepare me for the future by exposing me to valuable skills and knowledge that I will use the rest of my life,? states Hollenbach.

?I learned critical thinking skills in upper-level science and math courses and through my research with Dr. Katie Amaral. The difficulty of these courses taught me perseverance and time management, and working in the labs taught me a multitude of skills that I will apply as I move forward with my industrial career. The wonderful science faculty provided me with resources and guidance to help me move into the working world. Overall, Penn State Berks put me in a wonderful position to succeed in my future career.?

In addition to her academic career, Hollenbach has been a member of the Girl Scouts for 16 years. She returned to her home troop as an adult volunteer after high school. Last year, she earned her certifications to be an assistant leader.

When asked about her plans after graduation, Hollenbach stated that she plans to move to New Hampshire and seek a position in a laboratory, and eventually go on to graduate school.