Behrend Reacts: What would you like to see happen under new Penn State president Dr. Eric Barron?


By Steve Orbanek
Marketing Communications Specialist, Penn State Behrend

President’s Day is meant to remember and acknowledge past presidents, but why not a new one?

That’s exactly what Penn State did Monday as the university announced Dr. Eric J. Barron as the 18th president in school history. Pretty apropos, don’t you think?

Barron boasts an impressive résumé. He comes to Happy Valley from Florida State University where he served as president for four years. Prior to that, he served as dean of Penn State’s College of Earth and Mineral Sciences from 2002 to 2006.

Barron is set to take office on or before May 12, 2014. So, with that in mind, we asked Penn State Behrend students what they would like to see happen under Barron’s leadership. Here’s what they had to say:

Jenna Klemm

Jenna Klemm, sophomore, Early Childhood Education: “I’d like another fitness center because ours is always so crowded.”

Derek Durso

Derek Durso, sophomore, Accounting and Finance: “I’d like a better scheduling program. I followed the guidelines, and it didn’t work.”

Madison Barone

Madison Barone, sophomore, Psychology: “I think everything’s pretty good, but it would be nice if he lowered tuition.”

Natasha Todd

Natasha Todd, freshman, Communication: “I’d like more minority networking opportunities. It also would be nice for freshman to have internships in their field, so we can know if we’re in the right major.”

Hunter Olsen

Hunter Olsen, freshman, Nursing: “I’d like to see more parking and some new food options.”

Neil Szoszorek

Neil Szoszorek, freshman, Supply Chain Management: “Another gym or a bigger gym would be nice because the one at Junker is always crowded.”

Sonya Kokus

Sonya Kokus, sophomore, History and Political Science: “I think they should have more funding for the arts programs at Behrend.”

Elizabeth Panko

Elizabeth Panko, senior, English Literature: “I just think we need to put more money into the academics.”

Luigi Damasceno

Luigi Damasceno, junior, Project and Supply Chain Management: “Maybe they could lower the cost of books. Books are pretty expensive, and you can always buy them cheaper online than here.”

Mara Villalongo

Mara Villalongo, freshman, Biology: “I’d like to see more scholarships for minorities at all of the Penn State campuses.”

Behrend Reacts is a regular Thursday feature at the Behrend Blog that tries to get the campus pulse on a current topic, whether it’s serious or trivial. If you have a question to suggest for Behrend Reacts, please email Steve Orbanek at

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