Last month, administrators at Penn State tried, and tried, and tried to get in touch by email with the then-college senior Kashia Quay.
Little did they know, her Penn State email account was on the fritz. But they finally decided to give her a call with information that would change Quay’s graduation day plans.
The call made last month, Quay said, was from an administrator asking for her acceptance to be this summer’s student marshal for commencement for the College of Health and Human Development — an honor given to students who excel in academics and have high participation in programming.
Quay, who graduated from Bellefonte Area High School in 2010, said she gladly accepted and then had less than a day to choose a faculty member to accompany her.
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“As soon as I got the phone call, I was told I needed to make a pick by tomorrow, and called Patty Kleban (senior instructor in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Management),” Quay said. “She was the first person I thought of.”
Kleban came back to State College from vacation at Hilton Head Island, S.C., just for the honor, and together they led the class down the aisle at Saturday’s graduation at the Bryce Jordan Center.
Senior instructor Patty Kleban accompanied student marshal Kashia Quay at Penn State graduation Saturday
“I chose Patty because she had the most positive impact on me,” Quay said. “I think I took five or six classes with her and she’s done everything for me, from being a mentor to helping me get more involved in the college and the programs I was in, and was with me the whole way.”
Quay majored in recreation, parks and tourism management and finished with a 3.91 grade point average.
Her goal, she said, is to work at a parks and recreation department similar to her internship this summer at Centre Region Parks and Recreation.
“I took some time off from college because I didn’t know what I really wanted to do and it ended up being one of the best decision because I found something I really want to do,” Quay said.
Quay said she initially took three semesters at Penn State after her high school graduation.
It’s really humbling and I’m extremely honored to be selected for it.
“I changed majors — I was first a history major — and then decided to take some time off,” she said. “It was so worth it. It helped me to grow and was a real eye-opening experience.”
She restarted at Penn State in 2014, taking 19 to 24 credits a semester.
“It’s really humbling and I’m extremely honored to be selected for it,” Quay said about being nominated for student marshal. “When I first got the (news), I had no idea what that meant, but I’m definitely appreciative of being recognized for the hard work that went into it.”