Louis NormanTeru DeCordova has been selected to represent Penn State’s College of Earth and Mineral Sciences as the student marshal for the college’s fall 2023 commencement on Saturday, December 16, on the University Park campus.
DeCordova will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Energy and Sustainability Policy. He was named to the dean’s list for six semesters and will graduate with a 4.0 grade-point average. He selected Brandi Robinson, associate teaching professor in the John and Willie Leone Family Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering, as his faculty marshal.
“I am honored to receive such a prestigious award, and I am happy that my academic efforts were recognized,” DeCordova said. “When I was selected as the student marshal, at first, I could not believe it. I immediately called my mother to tell her that I was selected, and she was dumbfounded. Even after telling my family, it did not feel true. I was on an emotional rollercoaster for the rest of the day, thinking about this unexpected and exciting news.”
DeCordova received the Evan Pugh Scholar Award and the President’s Freshman Award. He also received the Martin and Patricia Craighead Trustee Scholarship.
DeCordova said his courses provided him with the opportunity to develop good writing and communication skills, especially on how to effectively communicate difficult topics with other people. DeCordova’s father was in the military, and while he was growing up, his family moved between the United States and Japan every few years. One memorable assignment involved creating a report for a community in Japan where he previously lived.
“The capstone course, EME 466: Energy and Sustainability in Society, allowed me to use the writing skills I acquired to create a report regarding the climate readiness of one of the communities in Japan where I grew up,” DeCordova said. “My thesis aimed to explain to non-experts why the community should increase its climate adaptation measures and what the local government could do. I am very happy that I was able to conclude a large step in my academic career by contributing to one of the places that shaped who I am.”
The College of Earth and Mineral Sciences’ energy and sustainability policy online program is offered through Penn State World Campus and includes students from around the world.
“The most valuable memory from Penn State is that I got to work with students from all around the globe,” said DeCordova. “My classmates were not only from Pennsylvania but also from other states and countries. Since I also spent my childhood overseas, meeting students with different backgrounds helped me learn about new worlds and how different or similar their experiences were to mine. The time I spent talking to students from different parts of the planet made me realize how much more there is to this world. I still keep in touch with several previous classmates whom I met throughout my academic career.”
After graduation, DeCordova will start working in a management role at Ferrer International.
“The company focuses on education, and the company was looking for someone with an international background,” DeCordova said. “The company also selected me because I have a background in energy and sustainability policies. I will be leading a team of five people, and my first task will be to create an annual curriculum for people who want to learn about sustainability, such as renewable energy, climate change, and the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. I am glad that I will be able to use what I learned through Penn State’s energy and sustainability policy program to help people get interested in sustainability.”
Learn more about the Bachelor of Science in Energy and Sustainability Policy offered online in partnership with the Penn State College of Earth and Mineral Sciences through Penn State World Campus.