Involvement: Treasurer, Lion Ambassadors; member outreach chair, National Society for Leadership and Success; resident assistant (RA)
Brandywine: What was your deciding factor in coming to Penn State Brandywine?
Suda: My aunt went to Penn State, so the University has always been in the family. I also always knew I wanted to go here because it was a Penn State campus that was only 20 minutes from my house. I actually only applied to Penn State Brandywine when looking at colleges.
Brandywine: How did you choose your major?
Suda: I came to Brandywine through the Division of Undergraduate Studies, so I got to take a lot of different courses to figure out what I was interested in. I knew I was interested in psychology; I enjoyed the psychology class I took in high school. Once I took some of the psychology courses here, I knew that’s what I wanted to do.
Brandywine: What challenges have you faced at Brandywine, if any?
Suda: I was a commuter student my first two years, and I struggled to find the motivation to get involved at first. I didn’t see everything that Brandywine had to offer because I would come to campus, go to class, and then go home; I didn’t make time to see what I could get involved with on campus. During my second year, I saw everything that Brandywine had to offer and saw how rewarding it can be to get involved.
Brandywine: Who at Brandywine has supported you, and how?
Suda: My peers have supported me a lot – I’ve felt really supported by the other students in Lion Ambassadors and my fellow RAs. In terms of faculty, Dr. (Joshua) Marquit (teaching professor of psychology) has helped me figure out where my true interests are in psychology. He’s good at knowing his students and their needs.
Brandywine: As someone who started getting involved during your second year, what ultimately pushed you to get involved?
Suda: I became friends with people on campus who were involved and shared similar interests to me, so they encouraged me to get involved as well. The Involvement Fair was also really helpful in showing me what I was interested in.
Brandywine: What made you interested in becoming a Lion Ambassador? What do you enjoy most about it?
Suda: I remember seeing tour guides around campus, especially during common hour, and I knew I was interested in being a tour guide my first year. During my second year, I went to the Involvement Fair and was able to talk to other Lion Ambassadors about the program. Being a Lion Ambassador really helped me enhance my public speaking skills. I enjoy being able to represent our campus because I feel like doing tours has helped me appreciate the campus a lot more, and I can show people how much I appreciate it and my experience.
"I enjoy being able to represent our campus because I feel like doing tours has helped me appreciate the campus a lot more, and I can show people how much I appreciate it and my experience."
—Natalie Suda , third-year psychology major, Penn State Brandywine
Brandywine: What has been your greatest accomplishment at Brandywine so far?
Suda: My biggest accomplishment was becoming an RA this year. I signed up to take the course last spring, and I was thrilled when I was offered a spot to be one of the six RAs this year. It’s been one of the coolest experiences at Brandywine thus far.
Brandywine: With your involvement at Brandywine, how has your time on campus been impacted?
Suda: The more I got involved, the more often I was here, whether it was for events or hanging out with friends. Now that I live on campus, I’m always here, which is awesome because I don’t need to work events into my schedule like I did before. Getting involved has helped me meet so many new people.
Brandywine: What’s the best memory you made at Brandywine?
Suda: The spring semester of last academic year was probably some of the best times I’ve had at Brandywine so far. Our prom was fun back in March, and I also really enjoyed going to the Sixers game.
Brandywine: What advice do you have for students who are looking to get involved?
Suda: I think students should attend club meetings on campus to see if they’re interested in it. If they’re not, that’s okay, because at least they tried. I want to encourage new students to try new things and go to events on campus. You meet so many new people that way and have a lot of fun.
Brandywine: What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned at Brandywine?
Suda: I’ve learned more about who I want to be, my personal values and things I hold really close to my heart. I’ve learned to stay true to myself.