Standout Seniors ’23: Meet Olivia Hodgson (Environmental Science)  

Penn State Behrend’s Class of 2023 is ready to make its mark on the world! We’re proud of our students and all that they have learned and accomplished here at Behrend. Over the next several weeks, we’ll introduce you to a few of our remarkable seniors who have overcome challenges, pioneered new technologies, participated in important research projects, and made their mark at Penn State Behrend.

Today, we’d like you to meet Olivia Hodgson.  


Major: Environmental Science

Minors: Biology and Chemistry

Hometown: Centre Hall, Pennsylvania

On choosing Behrend: When I first visited Behrend, I knew this was the place for me. Behrend is a small school that offers so many opportunities. It has allowed me to grow socially, academically, and professionally.

On choosing her major: I chose to major in Environmental Science because, when I was in high school, I read Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. I wanted to combine my interests in biology and chemistry to study chemical pollution in the environment.

Her proudest accomplishment at Behrend: My undergraduate research and presenting my findings at the annual Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry North America conference.

Campus involvement: Behrend Alternative Break, Behrend Honors Student Association, Greener Behrend, and the Schreyer Scholars Program.

Awards and recognitions: Undergraduate 2021 Jerry Covert Student Research Award, Cavano Leadership Award, Most Outstanding Student Organization Officer Award, Penn State Behrend Academic Excellence Award.

What you’d be surprised to know about her: In another life, I would be a K-12 science teacher.

Her passions: Science and science education. I want to foster curiosity and be a mentor to other aspiring scientists.

Advice for first-year students: It is important to balance hard work with fun. It’s obviously important to prioritize your studies, but make sure you spend time with your friends, get outside, take up a hobby, and just step away from your work for a few hours.

After her graduation in May, Olivia will begin a research assistantship at Penn State University Park and begin working toward a master’s degree in Ecology.

One thought on “Standout Seniors ’23: Meet Olivia Hodgson (Environmental Science)  

  1. Sounds great! Penn State-Behrend is an awesome degree to get. I and both of my children are alumni, and I am also a retiree. Keep up the great work!

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