Senior Spotlight: Kaitlyn Pasquarella

Science major graduates at the top of class in three years
Kaitlyn Pasquarella

Kaitlyn Pasquarella will serve as one of two student marshals during Penn State Berks' spring 2021 commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 8.

Credit: Penn State

WYOMISSING, Pa. — Kaitlyn Pasquarella may be graduating in just three years, but she packed a lot into that time. As one of Penn State Berks' two student marshals, she will earn her degree in life science, with a minor in chemistry, on Saturday, May 8.

Pasquarella, of Bridgeport, Pennsylvania, comes from a long line of proud Penn Staters, so choosing a college was not a problem. She had planned to attend the University Park campus, but she fell in love with Penn State Berks and all her professors and decided to complete all four years at Berks.

“I felt at home and I knew that I wanted to stay,” she explained.

During her time at Penn State Berks, Pasquarella had an opportunity to work with Lorena Tribe, professor of chemistry, on her research. She presented her work at the Higher Education Council of Berks County Research Conference earlier this year.

She also completed an internship as an animal educator at the Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown, Pennsylvania, and she worked as a tutor and mentor in both the sciences and math at the college.

In addition to being named one of two student marshals, her academic achievements were recognized with a variety of awards, including the Science Program Academic Excellence Award and the Evan Pugh Scholars Award.

“The college has prepared me extremely well,” Pasquarella said, when asked how Penn State Berks has prepared her for the future. “I took very interesting courses, and everyone was great. I felt like I was learning something new every day.”

After graduation, Pasquarella plans to take a gap year before applying to graduate school. Her ultimate goal is to become a chemistry professor.

Her commencement speech is titled “We are … stronger, We are… wiser, We are… Penn State Berks Class of 2021.”