Michelle Wijaya of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, will be honored as the student marshal for the Eberly College of Science during Penn State’s virtual commencement ceremonies on Saturday, December 19.
Wijaya’s faculty escort for the commencement exercises will be James Endres Howell, associate teaching professor of biochemistry and molecular biology.
Wijaya will graduate with a 4.0 grade-point average and a bachelor’s degree in science with a focus on biological sciences and health professions. She will also have completed a minor in psychological science and be certified in business fundamentals.
Wijaya has been honored with numerous awards and scholarships, including the Provost Scholarship, the Andrea Rhodes and Fred Gluck Trustee Scholarship, the Doris N. Mckinstry Scholarship, the President’s Freshman Award in 2017, the President Sparks Award in 2018, the Evan Pugh Scholar Junior Award in 2019, and the Evan Pugh Scholar Senior Award in 2020.
“I am overjoyed and deeply honored to be representing Eberly as student marshal,” Wijaya said. “This is the kind of achievement you never really expect to accomplish at a competitive school like Penn State, so being chosen really reinforced my belief that hard work, the support of others, and perseverance can go a long way.”
Wijaya served as a teaching assistant for PSYCH 412: Adolescence, as a learning assistant for BIOL 240W: Function and Development of Organisms, as alpha Kappa Delta Phi academic chair, as Eberly College of Science Student Council THON chair, and as an Asian American Students in Action mentor. She was also a member of both Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society and Penn State’s Urban Dance Troupe.
“My time at Penn State taught me the importance of being open-minded to various opportunities that come your way and to the diverse perspectives of other people,” Wijaya said. “I believe that by broadening your experiences and insights in such a way, you not only become a more well-rounded academic, but also a more empathetic one.”
After graduation, Wijaya plans to pursue a master of science degree in physician assistant studies. She hopes to eventually specialize in emergency medicine and make a positive impact on those who seek treatment in medically underserved areas.
Wijaya, a graduate of Radnor High School in Wayne, Pennsylvania, will celebrate virtual commencement with her father, Jony Wijaya, and mother, Wendy Wijaya.