Penn State Berks accepting applications to Cohen-Hammel Fellows Program

The Cohens and Hammels stand with Chancellor Hillkirk

From left to right: Irv and Lois Cohen, Penn State Berks Chancellor R. Keith Hillkirk, Dena and Victor Hammel. The Cohens and Hammels have made a combined gift of $3 million to Penn State Berks, which will help create the Cohen-Hammel Fellowship Program.

Credit: Penn State

READING, Pa. — Penn State Berks is now accepting applications for the Cohen-Hammel Fellows Program, a comprehensive new scholarship program for outstanding Penn State Berks undergraduate students. Each Cohen-Hammel Fellow will receive a scholarship of $7,000 for the 2019-20 academic year. That same scholarship will be awarded for all four years of enrollment at Penn State Berks, as long as the student fulfills the requirements and remains in the program.

First-year students can apply during their senior year of high school, concurrent with their application to Penn State Berks. Current Penn State Berks students who are planning to complete any of the college’s 21 baccalaureate degree programs can also apply to join the program during their freshman or sophomore years at the campus.

The Cohen-Hammel Fellows Program is designed to prepare students to become engaged and ethical leaders in the 21st century. Each year, a cohort of outstanding undergraduates across all academic disciplines will receive a combination of scholarship support; mentoring from faculty and community leaders; and educational opportunities such as undergraduate research, travel, and service within the Greater Reading community. Through a combination of rigorous academic study and research, service and outreach in the community, and a shared contemplation of what it means to be an ethical leader in the 21st century, the Cohen-Hammel Fellows will discover their own potential for impact.

The Cohen-Hammel Fellows Program was made possible through a generous gift from two Penn State alumni couples — Irv and Lois Cohen and Victor and Dena Hammel.

Applicants will be evaluated on their academic achievements, their record of service leadership, references from high school teachers or faculty, and an essay in which they discuss what they have learned from a service experience and how they anticipate making a difference in the community. Fellows will be evaluated annually for their progress toward the program’s requirements, and they will be expected to maintain a GPA of 3.25 or higher to remain in the program.

For more information on the Cohen-Hammel Fellows Program or to apply, visit