Donor and Alumni Relations  Alumni Engagement

Eddie Issertell

Alumni Engagement Director

Year: Junior
Hometown: Springfield, PA
Major: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Previous THON Involvement

THON 2018: Special Event Committee Member
THON 2019: Alumni Group Fundraising Captain

Why did you want to be a Director?

I wanted to be a Director so that I could pour my entire heart into the organization that has brought me so much joy and love during my time at Penn State. THON has the unique ability to illuminate the darkest of moments, and I want to ensure that the light that this community produces for so many children and families never dims. I have come to realize the profound impact THON can have not only for the children and families impacted by childhood cancer, but also for the volunteers who work day in and day out to ensure its success. I wanted to become the Director of Alumni Engagement so that I could inspire every THON volunteer, past and present, to continue their fight beyond four years at Penn State.

What are your main duties as the Alumni Engagement Director for THON 2020?

As the Director of Alumni Engagement, I am the main liaison between THON and Penn State alumni. I work with the Penn State Alumni Association here in State College, as well as Alumni Groups all across the country who raise funds and spread awareness for THON each year. I also serve on the board of directors of the Dance Marathon Alumni Interest Group (DMAIG) where I work with a passionate group of Penn State alumni who continue to spread THON’s mission after graduation. Additionally, I lead a team of 16 Captains who work to further many of our different alumni initiatives and effectively communicate these opportunities with our Penn State alumni.

What is your favorite THON memory?

THON has brought me countless amazing memories, but one of my favorites comes from the Donor and Alumni Reception during THON 2019. A Four Diamonds researcher, Dr. Valerie Brown, M.D., Ph.D. spoke at the event. This was the first time that I had heard a Four Diamonds researcher speak. She spoke of hope, and explained that what we are doing for THON gives her the hope that one day soon we will dance in celebration of a cure. Hearing these words that I had heard so many times before from a Four Diamonds researcher made them seem so much more real. I realized the immense amount of hope that the THON community produces for so many different people each and every day.

Favorite Quote

“There are three ways to ultimate success:

The first way is to be kind.

The second way is to be kind.

The third way is to be kind.”

~Fred Rogers

Other involvement outside of THON

I am a counselor for Camp Kesem, and weeklong summer camp for children with a parent that has been impacted by cancer. Additionally, I work in a research lab studying bioinorganic chemistry.

Plans for after college graduation

I plan to go to graduate school in preparation for a career in drug design and discovery.