Olivia Spotto posing in front of the Penn State Fayette lion shrine.

Celebrating National Transfer Student Week 2023

Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus, celebrates National Transfer Student Week by spotlighting transfer students who have found their academic and extracurricular homes at the university. National Transfer Student Week, organized by the National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students, honors transfer students and the professionals who support them.

Olivia Spotto, a fourth-year human development and family studies major, began her academic journey at PennWest California. After her first year online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she transferred to Penn State Fayette.

"I never intended to stay at Fayette," Spotto said. "But then I fell in love with the campus and the Human Development and Family Studies program."

Spotto credits her academic growth to Dr. Elaine Barry and Dr. Jo Ann Jankoski. "They give their students the flexibility to do things in ways they learn most," she said.

Reflecting on her time at the campus, Spotto said, "I've become more confident in myself as a student and young professional. The atmosphere of support is thick on campus."

For those considering a transfer, Spotto advises, "Follow your gut. Find somewhere else if you're not doing what you enjoy."

Spotto's campus involvement includes serving on the Academic Affairs Committee and conducting independent research. She is also a communication research assistant and member of several organizations.

Matthew Forbes, a fourth-year business major, transferred from Pennsylvania Highlands Community College. Forbes praised the support of admissions counselors and the potential he saw in the basketball program.

"My experience at Penn State Fayette has been great," Forbes said. "My advisors were very supportive."

Forbes advises prospective transfer students to ensure credit transfer and build strong relationships with advisors and professors.

He serves as the men's basketball team captain and is a member of the National Student Leadership Society.

Alexis Mosier, a third-year nursing major from Uniontown, transferred to Penn State Fayette after completing her first degree in biology from Saint Vincent College in 2020.

"Penn State is where a lot of my family went, and I know they have a great nursing program, so I figured it was a good fit for me!"

"My experience at Fayette has been awesome," she said. "Everyone is so welcoming and tried their best to help me transition into the nursing program."

Since transferring, Mosier noted her personal growth. "I have learned the importance of standing up for the underdog and never discounting your own ability. I have also learned the importance of remaining humble and not being afraid to admit what I don't know."

Mosier advised incoming or prospective transfer students to "Get involved with the campus and do not be scared to talk to the people around you in your classes."

Mosier serves as the co-chair of the Social Committee for SNAPS, a nursing club on campus. She also tutors in a variety of subjects, including biology, chemistry, nursing, and social sciences.

Paulette Irwin, a Humanities major, transferred to Penn State Fayette because it's close to home and boasts an outstanding reputation.

"From day one at Penn State Fayette, I felt welcomed, accepted, and experienced a sense of belonging not only at the Fayette campus but also in the entire Penn State University community," Paulette said. 

"My campus orientation guide gave me an excellent tour and introduction to the many support staff and systems in place to help students with all aspects of their college experience. This beautiful campus has comfortable and well-equipped classrooms and leisure areas, all leading to a healthy learning environment."

Paulette began taking classes at Penn State Fayette as a non-traditional transfer student last spring. "As happy and excited as I was at the start of the semester, I had been away from classroom studies for several years and felt uncertain of my ability to succeed with my ambition of earning a humanities degree."

"Professors, staff, and peers have supported me in countless ways," Paulette added. "They continually offer encouragement and opportunities for me to succeed. Now I have greater confidence in myself and feel comfortable taking on new courses and the challenges that come with them."

When asked what advice she would give incoming transfer students, Paulette reflected on her experiences. "The best advice I can offer is the same advice I've repeated to myself. Don't be afraid to try. Every person I have met at Penn State Fayette has been part of my educational journey in a positive way. I asked many questions at my first meeting with the Admissions staff before officially enrolling. Before that meeting was over, I knew Penn State Fayette was the right choice for me."

Ashley Beattie, a Criminal Justice major with a minor in Human Development and Family Studies from Perryopolis, PA, joins us in celebrating National Transfer Student Week!

Beattie transferred to Penn State Fayette after medically retiring from the military.

"I chose Penn State Fayette due to the atmosphere and great opportunities," Beattie said. "The disability office is amazing with the issues I have from the military, and the smaller classes offer more face-to-face with the professors."

"I absolutely love every day here," she noted about her Fayette campus experience. "The people are great, and the campus is beautiful."

"Choose Penn State Fayette," Beattie said. "They care deeply about their students and their success. It's a great atmosphere and has a lot of extracurricular activities."

Beattie is involved in Bridges to Life, recently joined the Criminal Justice organization and is restarting the Veterans Association on campus.