Public Relations
SAMANTHA KOON

Public Relations Director

Year: 5th Year
Hometown: Parsippany, NJ
Major: Secondary English Education, Master's of Education Theory & Policy

Previous THON Involvement

THON 2018: R&R CM
THON 2019: PR Captain - Administrative Assistant
THON 2020: PR Captain - Media Relations Lead
THON 2020: Club Water Polo Family Relations Chair

Why did you want to be a Director?

My past involvement has prepared me to be a member of the executive committee, but there is nothing that motivates me more than my wholehearted dedication to improving others’ quality of life. I have decided to enter the field of education for the opportunity to give back to an institution that I have taken for granted, and I want to become a director to give children the childhood they deserve. The Public Relations committee's mission to spread awareness of our efforts ensures that the magic of THON lives on and that our community of unconditional support continues to grow. The financial and emotional support that we provide families is unmatched and I am so proud to be a member of an organization that aims to make the world a better place, one child at a time.

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

Public Relations primarily aims to spread awareness of our efforts, to ensure that our families receive necessary emotional and financial support. We are responsible for gaining media coverage, keeping up to date on social media, protecting our brand, producing photo and video content, and more. I am fortunate to have a team of people with diverse and creative abilities, so we can create innovative ways to share our efforts with the rest of the world.

What is your favorite THON memory?

My favorite THON memory is from a few years ago, when the Water Polo organization went to visit one of our families, The Wagners. Lori Wagner told us a story about how our organization has supported them through and beyond their cancer journey - After going into remission, Britt still had a road to recovery after being in a wheelchair, but that only meant that the Water Polo team wanted to support her even more. The Wagners had come up to Penn State to see the annual alumni tournament, expecting only to spectate. However, while being mindful of her physical limitations, the team got Britt into the pool and helped her swim to score a goal. - This is the epitome of what emotional support looks like to me. Even though I was not present at the game, knowing that Lori trusted me enough to share part of her story only motivated to work even harder to support families like theirs. The Water Polo organization helped Britt realized that cancer could not stop her from achieving her goals, and I do not want to stop contributing to THON until there is a cure that ensures that all children can achieve their goals as well.

Favorite Quote

"Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference" - Reinhold Niebuhr

What are you involved in outside of THON?

Water Polo Benefitting THON, Camp Kesem, Krause Studios for Innovation

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

Become a high school English Teacher!