Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts

Spotlight | Spring 2024

Spotlight | Spring 2024

Spotlight | Spring 2024

Ray Block‘s book Black Networks Matter has been published by Cambridge University Press as part of their “Elements in Contentious Politics” series. The book focuses on why non-Black allies joined the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests in record numbers.

Cyanne Loyle has been awarded the University’s McKay Donkin Award for service to the faculty of the University above and beyond assigned duties. Cyanne organized and runs the College Faculty Writing Program, which serves around one hundred faculty in the College of Liberal Arts and Bellisario College of Communications. Loyle and Ilayda Onder (graduate student) have a forthcoming article, “The Legacies of Rebel Rule in Southeast Turkey” in Comparative Political Studies.

Michael Nelson has been elected President of the State Politics and Policy Section of the American Political Science Association.

Boliang Zhu received the Bruce Russett Best Article Award for his piece, “Brewing Violence: Foreign Investment and Civil Conflict” in the Journal of Conflict Resolution with Pablo M. Pinto. The article discusses how foreign direct investment and multinational companies’ activity may lead to intrastate conflict in developing nations.

Ray Block
Ray Block
Cyanne Loyle
Cyanne Loyle
Michael Nelson
Michael Nelson
Boliang Zhu
Boliang Zhu

Graduate Students

Where Our Graduate Students Are Going Next Year

  • Texas A&M University
  • Louisiana State University
  • Dankook University (South Korea)
  • University of Connecticut
  • Princeton University
  • Cardiff University


2024 Marshals

Amita Diarra is the spring 2024 commencement marshal for the Political Science major. A Schreyer Scholar, Paterno Fellow, and a Provost scholar, with minors in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and French and Francophone Studies, she was selected for the Ralph Bunche Summer Institute at Duke University and presented her research at the American Political Science Association’s annual meeting in Los Angeles last fall. Outside of her academic work, Amita produces two radio shows in collaboration with Culture Central, and served as the president, vice president and general manager of The Lion FM. Amita has already been admitted to several top graduate programs, including Columbia University where she is likely to attend.

Amita Diarra

Noah Eakin is the spring 2024 commencement marshal for International Politics. He is graduating with a bachelor of arts in International Politics and minors in Chinese and Business and Liberal Arts. Noah has built an impressive consulting portfolio during his time at Penn State with clients including Dell, the U.S. Naval Academy, Penn State’s Smeal College of Business, and Logistics Management Institute. He held positions as an investment analyst with Vista Investment Management, and as consultant, engagement manager and ultimately, director, with the Nittany Consulting Group.

Noah Eakin

Yeji Park is the spring 2024 commencement marshal for the Social Data Analytics major. She is graduating with a bachelor of science in Social Data Analytics. As a technology monitoring intern with Mercedes Benz Korea she presented to an international research and development team that included engineers from Germany, Japan, India, and China. She also contributed to the operations of Startup Autobahn Korea, an open innovation platform, where she collaborated on proof of concept projects with startups and corporate partners, including LG and Hanwa Systems. Yeji is as an active member of the Google Developer Club and Nittany Data Labs. After graduation Yeji plans to work as a data scientist or data engineer to cultivate expertise in data engineering and AI.

Yeji Park

These Political Science seniors are also serving as other major marshals:

  • Olivia Bratton, Global and International Studies marshal (also majoring in Political Science)
  • Hayden D’Elena, Communication Arts and Sciences marshal (also majoring in Political Science)
  • Samuel Koenig, Chinese marshal (also majoring in International Politics)
  • Madison Phillips, Philosophy marshal (also majoring in Political Science)
  • Julia Welp, Middle East Studies marshal (also majoring in Political Science)