Alexis Murphy-Costanzo

Communications Director

4th Year Student
Hometown: Broomall, PA
Major: Psychology
Minor: Human Development and Family Studies and Child Maltreatment and Advocacy Studies

Previous THON™ Involvement

THON 2020: Communications Committee Member
THON 2021: Communications Captain (Administrative Coordinator)
THON 2022: Communications Captain (Organization Resources Coordinator)

Why did you want to become a director for the largest student-run philanthropy in the world?

During my first year as a Communications Committee member, I learned so much about what Four Diamonds and the THON Community does for children and families impacted by childhood cancer, from helping fund life-saving research to giving families the opportunity to put their struggles aside for a while and just have fun. I knew from then on that I wanted my involvement to continue to grow in a way that would allow me to support other volunteers as they fall in love with THON and its mission. Personally, the THON Community has given me so much, including life-long friends and some of the most rewarding experiences of my life. In the THON 2022 Line Dance, we stood together and sang “THON is family, THON is home.” I wanted to become a Director for THON 2023 because I want to do what I can to ensure that anyone who wants to support our Four Diamonds Families and find a family or home within the THON Community can do so.

What are your main responsibilities as a Director for THON 2023?

As the Communications Director for THON 2023, I oversee a group of dedicated Captains that works to empower and educate the THON Community, as well as act as a representative of student volunteers. The Communications Committee is divided into four main facets: Organization Development; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Volunteer Education; and Student Outreach. Organization Development provides decision-making support to THON Chairs as they lead their organizations to success throughout the year. Our DEI efforts are sought out through programming, training, and planning/facilitation of conversations relating to improving our community. Education aims to ensure that THON's volunteers are properly educated about THON and its history to be able to serve as advocates and ambassadors of THON's brand. Outreach focuses on recruitment of the Penn State student body as well as outreach to faculty, staff, and other groups in the University looking to be involved in THON.

What is your favorite THON memory?

My answer to this question is always changing because I have had and continue to have so many experiences during my time as a THON Volunteer. If I had to pick one right now, I think I would say bringing my Committee Members onto the floor for the first time during THON 2022. For some of them, it was their first time being on the floor, soaking in all of the magic that comes with standing alongside so many different members of the THON Community. For others, it was a hopeful reminder of the dedication and passion of the THON Community after a virtual event during the COVID-19 pandemic. As we all stood there together amongst our families, dancers, volunteers, and supporters, I was reminded of how lucky I am to be a part of a community that brings that level of excitement and hope into people’s lives.

As a director, what are you most looking forward to for THON 2023?

I truly believe that THON as a whole can grow immensely to be even more safe, welcoming, and uniquely magical for all our volunteers and supporters, and I am excited to see how we get closer to this goal thanks to the work and the voices of each and every THON Volunteer in 2023.

Favorite Quote?

1) “What is it that affects you so deeply that whenever you encounter it, you feel the need to look away? Look there. Where is the pain in the world that you just cannot stand? Stand there. The thing that breaks your heart is the very thing you were born to help heal. Every world changer’s work begins with a broken heart... Heartbreak delivers your purpose. If you are brave enough to accept that delivery and seek out the people doing that particular world-changing work, you find your people. There is no bond like the bond that is forged among people who are united in the same world healing work. Despair says ‘the heartbreak is too overwhelming. I am too sad and too small, and the world is too big. I cannot do it all, so I will do nothing.’ Courage says, ‘I will not let the fact that I cannot do everything keep me from doing what I can.’ We all want purpose and connection. Tell me what breaks your heart, and I will give you both.” - Untamed by Glennon Doyle 2) “It is no small thing to simply sit together and say, ‘I’m glad that you are here.’” - Brian Andreas

Are you involved in other organizations that benefit THON?


What are you involved in outside of THON?


What are your plans after graduation from Penn State?

After graduating from Penn State, I plan to pursue a graduate degree that will allow me to work in the social services.

If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

If I were an animal, I think I would be an otter. I know essentially nothing about otters besides the fact that they sometimes hold hands with each other when they sleep so they don’t float apart, and you can’t deny how adorable that is. I would love to be an otter floating mindlessly in the water with my otter friend. That would be epic.

Is a hotdog a sandwich?

I would say that it is not a sandwich because it is a piece of meat held between one piece of folded bread. For something to be a sandwich, I think it needs to be between two separate pieces of bread. However, by the time I finished that last sentence, I remembered that hoagies exist, and they are definitely sandwiches between a roll, which is essentially one piece of folded bread. I don’t have an answer to this question.