Skip to main content
Nicholas Litak Named Department of Chemistry Commencement Marshal
14 April 2020


The Department of Chemistry is pleased to announce that graduating chemistry major Nicholas Litak has been selected as the 2020 departmental commencement marshal. 

Student marshals play an integral role in commencement ceremonies; they represent their college or department and lead their fellow graduates in the procession to enter the commencement hall. The title of student marshal is one of the highest honors an undergraduate student can earn at Penn State. Litak was selected for this important role in recognition of his exemplary academic record and his contributions to the chemistry community at Penn State.

Litak is currently a member of the Lear group (led by Associate Professor of Chemistry Ben Lear), where his research has focused on using NMR spectroscopy to study the effect of surface chemistry on the electronic structure of gold nanoparticles. He was also named a recipient of the ACS Undergraduate Award in Physical Chemistry in 2019. 

Head of the Department of Chemistry Philip Bevilacqua notes, “we are pleased that Nick has been named Commencement Marshal.  His research and academic accomplishments are outstanding and Nick represents the department exceptionally well.”

“I am honored to be recognized as the 2020 chemistry marshal,” Litak adds, “but I could not have been successful without the help of my friends, Dr. Lear, my graduate mentor Lily Mawby, and countless others within the chemistry department.”

After graduation, Litak plans to pursue a PhD in chemistry at Harvard University. 

"It has been a true pleasure having Nick in the group," Lear says, "Nick has been a valuable member of the team for these past few years.  We will miss having him around, but are excited to see what he does at Harvard!"


Communications Coordinator