Alex Thomas

Merchandise Director

Year: Senior
Hometown: Bethlehem, PA
Major: Biomedical Engineering

Previous THON Involvement

THON 2018: Merchandise Committee Member
THON 2019: Merchandise Customer Relations Captain

Why did you want to be a Director?

I’ve experienced Penn State THON through the perspective of both a Committee Member and a Captain. Through these roles, I’ve discovered the magic and energy that differentiate THON from any other organization I’ve worked with. The altruistic nature of its volunteers, its ability to foster lifelong relationships, and its capacity to improve the lives of everyone who experience it are all characteristics that make THON unique. I want to be a Director because I want to spread THON’s mission as far across the world as I’m able to. Through quality merchandise, volunteers and supporters have the capacity to represent and promote THON in each of their encounters – no matter how far from State College they may be. As a director, my goal is to enhance the internal workings and logistics of the Merchandise Committee in an effort to improve customer satisfaction, and to continue to raise money toward the fight against childhood cancer.

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

As the Merchandise Director, my responsibilities include managing the design, order, sale, and distribution of all THON apparel. Throughout the year, 19 Captains and 50 Committee Members help run the THON Store in the HUB, which acts as a physical store for customers and a center of distribution for thousands of online orders each year. By creating apparel for a variety of special events and for THON Weekend, the Merchandise Committee and I are able to provide a means through which everyone can support THON.

What is your favorite THON memory?

My favorite THON memory is experiencing Family Carnival for the first time last year. Since, the Merchandise Committee completes a lot of behind-the-scenes work throughout many of THON’s major events, being front and center with THON’s children and families for the first time brought so much more meaning to the work that we as volunteers put into the cause. Being able to see the joy and excitement that children felt in that moment—and to be able to experience those emotions alongside them—made me feel as if we can accomplish anything we set our minds to.

Are you involved in any orgs? If yes, please explain more about some of your experiences.

I’m a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, where individuals explore the foundations of leadership through personal reflection, team activities, and community service. In addition, we coach fellow members in developing strategies to achieve their personal academic and professional goals.

Favorite Quote

“Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant” – Robert Louis Stevenson

Each day, we take a monumental action in the fight against childhood cancer. While our efforts, in the pursuit of a cure, are not always immediately tangible, it’s important to remember that every second of preparation and hard work we do, for the kids, is helping to create a better future for them, and one day we will dance alongside them in celebration.

Other involvement outside of THON

NSLS (previously mentioned); This summer, I'm was a full-time engineering intern at Follett, a manufacturer of medical-grade refrigerators, ice machines, and ice and water dispensers. My internship focused around the design and testing of products that are being redesigned to enhance our customer experience.

Plans for after college graduation

After graduation, I’d like to work toward biomechanics research and development of prosthetic and orthotic devices. My passion for helping others is the driving force in my prospective career of developing rehabilitative devices that enhance the function and lifestyle of those with impaired movement.