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Mustafa 'Sam' Memon named Eberly College of Science’s spring 2021 student marshal

5 May 2021
Mustafa "Sam" Memon

Mustafa “Sam” Memon of Jackson, Michigan, will be honored as student marshal for the Eberly College of Science during Penn State’s spring commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 8, 2021, on the University Park campus. His faculty escort for the commencement exercises will be Donald Schneider, department head and distinguished professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State.

Memon will graduate with a 4.0 grade-point average and three bachelor’s degree in astronomy and astrophysics, physics, and mathematics. He has been honored with numerous scholarships while at Penn State, including the Homer Braddock Scholarship, Fredman Renaissance Scholarship, Gelet Trustee Scholarship, President’s Scholarship, Schreyer Family Honors Scholarship, Elsbach Honors Scholarship in Physics, and Richards Memorial Scholarship in Astronomy. Memon also was a member of the Dean’s List for every semester at Penn State.

“It is an incredible honor to have been selected as student marshal for the Eberly College of Science,” he said. “I am deeply indebted to my family, friends, mentors, advisors, and teachers for the constant support they have provided. I could not have accomplished this without them.”

From 2018 to 2020, Memon worked with Associate Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics Donghui Jeong on cosmology research. His work focused on redshift-space distortion, a phenomenon in which a distortion is introduced in the apparent distance to a distant galaxy. In 2019, he began working with Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics Michael Eracleous on research to better understand quasar accretion disks, the mass of material feeding into active supermassive black holes that are found at the center of most galaxies. 

In addition to his academic achievements, Memon was a learning assistant for undergraduate students and has been a member of the Sigma Pi Sigma honor society in physics since 2020.

“One of the most important things I have learned in my time at Penn State is the value of giving,” he said. “It was only due to the generosity of others that I could even attend Penn State at all, for which I am endlessly grateful. It is my desire that I can give back to the Penn State community in the future and pay this kindness forward.”

A graduate of Western High School in Jackson, Michigan, Memon will be accompanied at commencement by his mother, Susan O’Brien and sister, Rachel O’Brien. His sisters Laura Gates, Fatima Memon, and Zippy Memon will be in virtual attendance.