Five Lehigh Valley students chosen for 'Faces of Penn State' campaign
Five Lehigh Valley campus students have joined the roughly 60 'faces' already named as part of the University's Faces of Penn State campaign. Mandy Marquardt, Patrick Hullihen, Digisha Patel, Jessica Raad, and Anthony Toczek have contributed to improving the world through their inspiring research and worldwide reach.
In September 2012, the University launched a campaign to celebrate members of the Penn State community that embody Penn State's values of teaching, research, and service. They are students, faculty, staff, administrators, alumni, and local community members whose collective accomplishments and achievements better their communities and the world.
Mandy Marquardt, a junior, is recognized in the category of 'Worldwide Reach' for her dedication to raising awareness about diabetes. A standout member of the Penn State Lehigh Valley Cycling Team, Mandy also races for Team Novo Nordisk, which is comprised of athletes living with type 1 diabetes. In addition to being a world-class cycling program, Team Novo Nordisk is committed to changing the lives of those living with diabetes through athletics, research, outreach, and philanthropic initiatives. One such initiative took Mandy and her teammates to Rwanda to deliver thousands of diabetes test strips and hundreds of blood glucose meters to the Rwandan people, who still struggle after the horrific genocide that took place there in 1994.
The four other students recognized are also concerned with affecting the future of people's health, but are donning lab coats instead of bicycle helmets to do so. Last year, Patrick Hullihen, Digisha Patel, Jessica Raad, and Anthony Toczek asked their biology professor, Dr. Jacqueline McLaughlin, if they could perform research on a line of human leukemia cancer cells. The students, who have dubbed themselves "Team K562," a reference to the name of the cells they are researching, are studying the ability of select drugs to not only halt the proliferation of the leukemic cells but to induce red blood cell maturation. Team K562, who will be recognized in the category of 'Inspiring Research,' has continued to pursue research on this cell line despite three of the members having transferred to University Park to continue their degrees.