Name: Georgia Macris
What is your role on the Shenango campus? I am a business faculty member and I teach upper-level classes in the areas of management and marketing. I am also the coordinator for the Business Internship program. In addition, I serve as the coordinator of VenturePointe, our campus innovation entrepreneurial incubator located at the eCenter@LindenPointe. It is through the “Invent Penn State” initiative that we are able to provide the tools, innovative programs, and resources to accelerate the movement of great ideas. My role is to seek out students who have the passion and the innovative spirit and to help put them on the right path for idea testing and discovery.
How long have you been at Penn State? I am currently completing my sixth year at Penn State Shenango.
What are you involved in on campus? In addition to the above, I am involved in faculty affairs and community outreach.
What are you involved in outside of campus? Outside of campus, I serve on the board of the Buhl Recreation Community Center. I am also a member of the Western Pennsylvania Human Resource Society.
Tell us about your education: I graduated from Youngstown State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Degree. I graduated Magna Cum Laude with a double major in Marketing and in Management. I also obtained my Masters in Business Administration from YSU and was one of four women in a graduating class of 25 students.
What is your favorite Penn State memory? My favorite Penn State memory is wearing my college cap and gown again after so many years, while participating in our graduation ceremony and sharing in the happiness and pride of our new Penn State college graduates.
Why do you love the Shenango campus? I love the Shenango campus because it is like its own little city made up of people who all work hard to help educate and prepare our students to be successful in their lives and careers.
Who has made an impact on your life? Why? A person who has made a huge impact on my life is my father. My father instilled in me from a very early age the importance and value of education. Coming from Greece at the age of 20, he worked hard and at the age of 38 opened his own business. He proudly says that “his three children’s achievements are his greatest accomplishments.” I learned so much about business, and developed my determination and work ethic through him.
One surprising fact about yourself: One surprising fact that people find about me is that I speak Greek very fluently and pretty much understand the Italian language as well.
What do you enjoy outside of the classroom? Hobbies, interests, etc.: Outside of the classroom, I love spending time with my family. I like to cook and entertain. I enjoy traveling and I also enjoy walking around Buhl Park.
What is your proudest professional accomplishment? My proudest professional accomplishment is returning to Penn State Shenango as a business faculty. This was after 26 years of serving as Vice-President at Philadelphia Candies where I successfully operated and grew the company; developed new business, new products and marketed the company to build brand awareness.
Why would you recommend Penn State Shenango to future students? I would recommend Penn state Shenango to future students because it is a great place for focused and determined individuals to get a Penn State degree and jump start their careers for success.
Why would you recommend Penn State Shenango to a future colleague/employee? I would recommend Penn State Shenango to a future colleague/employee because they will get a great education that will help them advance their careers.
If you weren’t working in higher education, what would you be doing? If I were not working in higher education, I would most likely be operating a business!
Name: I'm Claudia Brown.
What is your role on the Shenango campus? I currently serve as an HDFS Instructor.
How long have you been at Penn State? I've been with the Shenango campus for 23 years, and was with the Beaver Campus for seven years.
What are you involved in on campus? I mentor students aspiring to create non-profit agencies through the Invent Penn State VenturePointe program located at the eCenter@LindenPointe. The Guardians Nest, a student project created by Brian Flick and other students in HDFS 455, is intended to serve the 10,000+ veterans in Mercer County. Alijah Douglas’s 21st Century Community Leaders is evolving now, and Holly Masters’s and Ali Izzo’s Purpose also developed from HDFS 455 projects. I'm also on the McDowell Committee which funds projects that benefit the Campus community, and several Faculty Senate committees as well.
What are you involved in outside of campus? I’ve been blessed to have been able to participate in a number of community projects, but am now preparing for retirement. I’m excited to become a homemaker again!
Tell us about your education: I have a Master's degree in Education in Counseling from Youngstown State University, and a Bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts in English from Penn State.
What is your favorite Penn State memory? My favorite Penn State memory is winning my first Teacher of the Year Award. I was a part-time instructor, and no award existed for this teaching category, but students felt compelled to urge Administration to create it because of their experiences in HDFS classes. I had no idea that this was happening until it was awarded to me at the Spring 1998 Awards Banquet. It was the thrill of a lifetime!
Why do you love the Shenango campus? I LOVE the Shenango Campus. It's truly my second home. It's a small group of sincere academics, administrators, and staff who all feel a sense of mission to inspire students to reach for their personal best. As JoePa said, "Believe deep down in your heart that you are destined to do great things," and we do!
Who has made an impact on your life? My students have made the deepest impact on my life. Why? They keep me connected to an ever-changing world. They need what I have to offer, and I need what they have to offer: their idealism and genuine desire to make the world a better place prevents me from becoming cynical.
One surprising fact about yourself: I have 10 cats.
What do you enjoy outside of the classroom? Hobbies, interests, etc.: Aside from cats, my hobby is my house. It's a Craftsman-style Cottage built in 1925. I've learned how to drywall and paint, love tending to the yard, and finding unique ways to repurpose old features like the built-in ice box and old windows.
What is your proudest professional accomplishment? Launching the Guardians Nest is among several accomplishments of which I am most proud. Veterans put their lives on the line for us. The very least that we can do is ensure that they have access to basic needs when they come home.
Why would you recommend Penn State Shenango to future students? Aside from a student receiving real skills with which to earn a living, Shenango is small enough so that students really do get personalized attention from faculty and staff. A student is never a stranger here.
Why would you recommend Penn State Shenango to a future colleague/employee? In the 30 years that I have worked for Penn State, I have been entrusted with professional autonomy. I have been encouraged to make of my career whatever I wanted to make of it. That freedom has allowed me to focus on the values that I most highly esteem: service and community. I could not have done this without the faith and support of my superiors.
If you weren’t working in higher education, what would you be doing? I have discovered a love for social media. I think I would like to develop an interactive blog about walking the talk. Thought without action is philosophy, and action without thought is a machine. Combine them, and you change the world!
Name: Brian Flick
When did you graduate? 2015
What was your major? (HDFS) Human Development and Family Studies
What campus did you attend? Penn State Shenango
What were you involved in on campus during your time at Penn State? Getting the (SVA) Student Veterans of American club back up and running. Also, the start of getting a veterans' resource center on campus.
What is your favorite Penn State memory? One of my favorite Penn State memories is the honors club trip to Chicago. It was a great experience with a few awesome instructors and students.
Why did you choose Penn State? I chose Penn State initially to become a physical therapist assistant. Turns out I’m not that good at anatomy, so I changed majors. I’m glad it worked out the way it did.
Who has made an impact on your life? Why? The person who has made the biggest impact on my life is my wife. She is the most amazing person I have ever met. She has been there to support me through this journey and keep me grounded when I get going on some crazy idea. I wouldn’t be where I’m at today without her.
One surprising fact about yourself: People might be surprised that I learned to use a sewing machine in the Navy. When I got back from my second deployment, our division had a sail shop and they needed some help in there temporarily. So, I spent a week helping out. I can still sew today, I even have a machine and eventually, I will finish the t-shirt quilt for my wife I started a while back LOL.
Where are you now? Family life, Location, etc.: I currently spend most of my time working on The Guardians Nest and everything involved in getting a new non-profit up and running with programs and a building renovation. When I’m not doing that, I am also a member of my township's planning commission and I am a volunteer firefighter. I have been married for almost five years and have two children. My daughter is 14 and has been playing travel ice hockey for almost seven years. My son is 12 and he has been active in the Scouts for almost five years. We currently live in Mercer.
What is your proudest professional accomplishment? My proudest professional accomplishment, outside of serving five years in the U.S. Navy, would be having the courage to leave the comfort of a full-time job to pursue getting The Guardians Nest up and running.
Why would you recommend Penn State to future students? I would recommend Penn State to any future student because of the great education you will receive, along with all the great instructors and staff, and also the very active alumni association.
Any advice to current/future students? My advice would be to never stop learning. Take every professional opportunity you can and seek others out. You don’t always end up where you think you’re going to and that’s OK. Take risks, travel, and have fun. We only get to live this life once.