THON™ Captain Spotlight – Katelyn Ellery
by Molly Ligon

Written By: Paige Balliet and Anna Janaszek

  1. What is your name and major? 

My name is Katelyn Ellery and I am a senior majoring in advertising with a minor in psychology. 

2. What committee are you a captain for and what are your responsibilities as a captain? 

I am the Production Lead on the Public Relations Committee, so I manage all the efforts of the production committee which includes creating all internal and external video content. There are six Production Captains including myself, and I am the main point of contact for any project requests. I delegate tasks, receive editing and filming progress from different projects, and I am responsible for solidifying all of our work, like the promo or recap video. 

THON 2023 Production Captains at Family Carnival

3. What is your prior THON experience and what kind of things did you do in those positions? 

I started off my freshman year as a Production CM, so I helped filming at a lot of pre-THON events, edited a couple internal videos, and during THON Weekend my responsibility was to film throughout the weekend and select my best clips for the Production Captains. My sophomore year I was a Production CWC, which I had similar responsibilities as a CM but I led a committee and worked on more internal projects. I had a little bit more editing focus in this position and I also handed out tasks for CMS to do and made sure they were of good quality. My junior year I was a Production Outreach Captain, so I still filmed and edited, but without the responsibility of having a committee. I did a lot more internal content and smaller videos that needed to be done. 

4. When were you introduced to THON and what made you want to get involved? 

A: My sister went to Penn State, and she was involved in THON. When I came I had some video editing experience from high school. She told me about the production committee and said that I should apply for it. I got on the committee and loved it. I didn’t know too much about THON and the mission, but after my first meeting with the committee I loved THON. What’s kept me involved is of course the cause, but also the people I have met. Being surrounded by so many amazing minds and creative people who all have such a great outlook on life has kept me involved in this organization, and I have formed some of my strongest friendships.  

5. What’s your favorite THON memory? 

I have two favorite THON memories. The first one is probably from the end of THON weekend last year when they played the recap video. The production captains go on stage to watch it, and just standing there with the 5 five people I felt the closest within the entire school watching our work come together and we got that feeling that we work so hard. Just seeing that video come together and showing it to everyone in the BJC was such an amazing moment. My other THON memory is from the summer when I got to go to York, PA to film the Grindle family for the family focus video. It was really great to hear their story and to talk to them about their lives. They made us lunch and all this food, and we were able to play with the kids for a couple of hours. Having that one on one time with a family and hearing their story in a different way than on stage or in a video and getting to know them on a personal level was something that I really value.  

6. Why do you THON? 

I THON to continue to inspire people. Whether that is the families in their journey or future generations of volunteers. My favorite part of being on productions is that whenever someone doesn’t know what THON is you show them a recap video. Having a role in the thing that people turn to inspire others is so cool. Being able to capture those memories so that students and families can watch them back for years and years to come. To continually be reminded of what a magical place THON is and all the good memories they had at THON weekend, THON 5k, or another event. Having a role and being able to share that, and create something tangible for the families to take with them throughout their journey is the main reason I THON.