Marlisa Shaw, a senior double-majoring in biology and psychology, has been named the 2020 recipient of the Eric A. Walker Award. The award is presented annually to the student who has contributed most to enhancing the reputation of the University through extracurricular activities. Walker was president of Penn State from 1956 to 1970.
Shaw, who plans to attend medical school, is a Schreyer Scholar and Millennium Scholar. However, her experiences outside the classroom earned her the award.
Shaw served on the first cohort of Family Ambassadors, who serve as student liaisons between the Parents Program office and Penn State parents and families at large. Shaw recruited talent for two events and also performed for an event during Parents and Families Weekend.
“Shaw’s natural leadership and enthusiasm for volunteering help to set a positive tone for the other ambassadors,” a nominator said.
Shaw also conducted extensive research at the Mayo Clinic, New York University and several labs at Penn State. She presented her research at several conferences nationwide.
Shaw volunteers as an HIV/AIDS peer counselor through Health Promotions and Wellness and founded the Minority Health Initiative to help meet the needs of minority students on campus.
She was selected to the University’s Homecoming Court and was chosen for one of two Guide State Forward awards.
“Shaw has worked hard and will leave a lasting legacy of academic excellence, but most importantly, she leaves a legacy of care and compassion for others,” a nominator said.