Academic Convocation officially kicks off 2018-19 school year

Ceremony held during New Student Welcome
group of students sitting listening to speakers

Nearly 300 incoming first-year and transfer students attended Convocation and New Student Welcome for the fall 2018 semester at Penn State Lehigh Valley.

Credit: Amber Campbell

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — The new academic year officially began on Aug. 15 at Penn State Lehigh Valley’s fall convocation ceremony. Nearly 300 incoming first-year students and transfer students were in attendance, along with faculty and staff of the Lehigh Valley campus.

Convocation speakers included Douglas Hochstetler, interim director of academic affairs; Mark Gruskin, associate professor of accounting and finance and chair of the Penn State Lehigh Valley Faculty Senate; Lexi Casenza, president of the student government association; and Jennifer Parker, associate professor of sociology and recipient of the 2018 President’s Award for Engagement of Students.

When Casenza spoke, she advised students to get involved.

“There are endless opportunities for each of you. If there’s not a club you want to join, you can start one. Take advantage of all this university has to offer,” said Casenza.

Parker, who was celebrating her 20-year anniversary with the University on the same day, encouraged students to embrace the opportunities at Penn State and to ask for help when needed.

woman speaking at podium

"The point I want to emphasize is that Penn State is a university that makes a difference in the world. It is where you, as a student, can make anything possible no matter where you are geographically in the Penn State system," said Parker during her Convocation speech. 

Credit: Amber Campbell

“While college is an adjustment, remember that faculty and staff here at Penn State Lehigh Valley are here to help, we’ve all been there with all of our own crazy stories. Please remember the three magical words: ‘I need help’ and say these magical words whenever and as much as you need to,” said Parker.  

New Student Welcome was a day-long event for all new first-year, transfer and adult students. The event included information sessions, academic workshops and presentations.