Hannah Phillips

I love being outside, and my major allows me to conduct field work in nature.

Major: Biology with the Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior option

Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

On choosing Behrend: I loved the small campus atmosphere while still getting a Penn State degree. I enjoyed the Erie area when I visited, as well as everyone who I met while looking at the school. I had an opportunity to play volleyball as well, which allowed me to create close bonds with some great people.

On choosing her major: In high school, I developed a love for conservation. I have always enjoyed the environment, and being able to protect it is something that I want to spend my life doing. I love being outside, and my major allows me to conduct field work in nature.

Her proudest accomplishment at Behrend: Playing volleyball has allowed me to have many proud moments. I received Co-Player of the Year honors in 2022, as well as First Team All-Conference in 2022 and 2023. Our team won the AMCC championship during our 2021 season, after not having an official playing year in 2020.

Campus involvement: I served as captain of the women’s volleyball team during the 2022 and 2023 seasons. I am also the Student Athlete Adviser Committee representative for the team. I did on-campus research with five science faculty members: Dr. Matthew Gruwell and Dr. Ivor Knight during my junior year and Dr. Lynne Beaty, Dr. Sam Nutile, and Dr. Adam Simpson in my senior year.

Awards and recognitions: I was on the Dean’s List all four years of college. I received All-Academic AMCC honors from 2020 through 2024 and Chi Alpha Sigma National Student-Athlete Honor Society in 2023 and 2024.

Advice for first-year students: The college experience is what you make of it. Don’t be afraid to have fun, take some chances, and even fail; it’s how you learn.

Hannah plans to find work in the field of conservation or ecology.