SHARON, Pa. – After returning to regular operations in 2022, Penn State Shenango will focus on the overall student experience this year.
“We’re working hard to give students in the Shenango and Mahoning valleys incredible opportunities,” says Campus Director Jo Anne Carrick. “There are dynamic majors that lead to in-demand jobs, stunning classrooms to learn in and new chances to be involved in extracurriculars. There’s a buzz on campus we’re excited to bring into the new year.”
The excitement on campus was palpable throughout the latter half of 2022 as students were able to connect with classmates and faculty members in-person, without masks, for the first time since March 2020. However, a return to normal comes with challenges, namely, how to re-engage with the student population.
As the campus developed additional academic majors, leadership identified the need to simultaneously add student life offerings. Following the pre-pandemic launch of men’s basketball and women’s volleyball, 2021 saw the addition of women’s basketball. Co-ed golf teed off in 2022. Looking ahead, baseball competition will begin in spring 2024.
“Having our athletic programs as a centerpiece for student activity brings an incredible amount of pride to the campus,” says Carrick. “Not only do our students feel connected to the teams and the student-athletes, but it’s a way for the entire region to connect with our campus.”
The focus on student success and engagement includes a renewed effort to re-engage students returning to classrooms, says Roxanne Atterholt, assistant teaching professor of human development and family studies.
Atterholt has begun a new campus health and wellness project called “Working on Wellness Together: Engage Your Healthiest Self.” This project, along with activities hosted by the Student Affairs staff, is making progress. “Engagement is at its highest that I’ve seen during my time here at Penn State Shenango,” says Carrick.