Merchandise

Samantha Papik

Merchandise Director

Year: Senior
Hometown: Mars, PA
Major: Engineering Science and Mechanics

Previous THON Involvement

THON 2018: Merchandise Committee Member
THON 2019: Merchandise Order Management Captain
THON 2020: Merchandise Special Event Sales Captain

Why did you want to be a Director?

I wanted to be a Director for THON due largely to my genuine love for serving people around me. THON is not just a club I got involved in with my time here at Penn State. It is not just another organization out fundraising, another meeting to go to, or another article in a paper to me. THON is a living and breathing philanthropy that is a family of thousands of volunteers and supporters who consistently put aside their own time and well-being in a fight bigger than themselves. I wanted to be a Director because I have seen the magic this organization can create first-hand, and I knew I wanted to give all I could to grow and spread out mission to the ends of the Earth. I aim to spread THON's mission and raise money through the sale of quality products, enhance customer experience, and create new opportunities through new relationships throughout this year.

What responsibilities do you have as the Merchandise Director for THON 2021?

As the Merchandise Director, my responsibilities include managing the design, order, sale, and distribution of all THON apparel. Throughout the year, I will work with 20 Captains and 50 Committee Members to 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. I will also oversee the online THON Store. By creating a variety of apparel for special events and for THON Weekend, the Merchandise Committee and I are able to provide a means through which everyone can support THON and spread awareness.

What is your favorite THON memory?

My favorite THON memory goes back to my first THON as a captain. It was during Final Four, and I was up in the stands with my Merchandise Captain Committee, and all together we stood arms around each other and just listened to a family speaker. We stood as a united organization, thousands of people from different backgrounds all together for one cause. The speaker made a comment of how "THON won't stop because we are tired, we will stop when we are done," which will stick with me forever. It was such a powerful moment to me of knowing all that we had done during the year was making a difference, and a just as powerful reminder that we still had so much to do.

Favorite Quote

"Sometimes it is the people who no one imagines anything of, that do the things that no one can imagine." -Alan Turing

It is a constant reminder to me that no matter what, you can do the unthinkable. No one would expect a bunch of college kids to get together and devote their free time to fight for a cure year after year, but THON continues to do the unthinkable and unite people across the world to make a difference.

What are you involved in outside of THON?

Outside of THON, during the year I work with my research advisor on my senior thesis project. I also volunteer much of my free time at various events in my community, typically back home. This past summer, I spent my time working as an engineering intern in Cranberry, PA where I had the opportunity to grow and develop professional and customer based relationship skills.

What are your plans for after you graduate from Penn State?

After I graduate from Penn State, I hope to find work combining my degree in Engineering Science and Mechanics with my love for philanthropy and helping people. I know wherever I end up, I want to continue to make a difference in the lives of those around me.