Labor and Employment Relations student will be 2020 World Campus student marshal

As part of Penn State's 2020 spring commencement activities, organizational leadership student Matthew Solovey will represent the College of the Liberal Arts as its World Campus student marshal.
Labor and Employment Relations student will be 2020 World Campus student marshal

Matthew Solovey has been selected as the 2020 World Campus student marshal.

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – As part of Penn State's 2020 spring commencement activities, organizational leadership student Matthew Solovey will represent the College of the Liberal Arts as its World Campus student marshal. 

In response to the growing coronavirus pandemic, orders from the state government and recommendations from global public health organizations, Penn State will hold its spring 2020 commencement ceremony via livestream on May 9. The virtual ceremony will recognize all Penn State undergraduate students and all graduate students in the Penn State Graduate School.

Like many World Campus students, Solovey works full-time along with being a part-time student. In this case, Solovey is a University employee – the director of communication for the Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute and he lives in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Solovey returned to school to pursue a bachelor of science in organizational leadership from the School of Labor and Employment Relations for a number of reasons. “When I was looking to continue my education, I knew I didn’t want to get a degree in communications because I had nearly 20 years of experience in it at that point. I was looking to see what else was available through World Campus and the OLEAD program stood out to me,” he said.

Solovey said the hardest part of online education is balancing work, school, and home life.

“It’s a lot of juggling, a lot of being flexible and trying to find ways to keep on top of things," he said. "I also learned very quickly that it’s important to carve out a time to relax and recharge if you don’t want to burn out before graduation.”

Two years ago, Solovey was part of a delegation at the Summer Leadership Conference. It was the first time a delegation from World Campus attended, and Solovey added that it was interesting to interact with a diverse group of students.

“On one hand, you had a large group of traditional-aged students in their early twenties and on the other, a group of world campus students whose ages ranged from thirties to forties. We had different points of view, but I think we all learned from the experience," he said.

Penn State’s efforts to include World Campus students in the University community, and events like the conference, is something that has stood out to Solovey. “I get the impression that’s not always the case at other universities,” he noted.  

Solovey began his career in journalism. He spent more than a decade as an editor for several community newspapers before becoming part of the Penn State family. Solovey worked at the Hershey Medical Center for a decade and moved to the College of Medicine in 2017.  

Solovey’s role as director of communication centers on promoting the tools and services of the research institute. “Translational science is nebulous in some ways and trying to communicate that out to the broader Penn State community is a challenge, but it’s one I take pleasure in," he said.

Moving forward, Solovey said he hopes his degree will not only be beneficial to his career, but also to his community.

“I want to put my skills to good use, and I think this degree will help me accomplish that goal," he said.

This is the sixth in a series of stories on the 24 student marshals representing the College of the Liberal Arts during the spring 2020 commencement activities. 

April 20, 2020