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Office of Science Engagement

About Us – What is the Office of Science Engagement?
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”
Benjamin Franklin

The Office of Science Engagement works with students, employers, faculty and staff toward helping students connect with learning opportunities outside the classroom. 

WE ARE here to help students. We understand it isn’t always easy to know where to start or what to do when looking for co-curricular experience.  WE ARE here to support you.

We Believe –

  • There are no “dumb” questions.
  • If we don’t have an answer, we will do whatever we can to find the answer.
  • If a student asks for help, we will do what we can to find the answer.
  • Teaching and guidance are the best ways to help.


Who are we?

Left: Dr. Ann Marie Daniel

Professional Development

I can help you with career exploration, internship and full-time job search strategies, resumes, cover letters, graduate school personal statements, professional interactions, and interviewing skills.

What’s common in the human population yet under the right conditions can cause the brain disease PML? That’s what I l studied as a biochemistry Ph.D. student at Penn State. Among past roles, I taught biochemistry labs and lectures. Now I work on various Office of Science Engagement activities like giving presentations to first year seminars, student organizations, and workshops on career-related topics. Check out my Fall SC 402 class on corporate culture. Outside of University Park, you’ll find me outside. Cross-country skiing, canoeing, hiking, and rail trailing are among my favorites. I also like watching sports, especially ice hockey. Stop by and ask me about how I helped a canoe go airborne last summer.

Center: Dr. Tomalei Vess

Undergraduate Research

Tomalei Vess is a student and faculty centered professional whose career has focused on educational access, diversity, and excellence. A first-generation college student, Vess earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from James Madison University, where she conducted research for three years, an endeavor that changed her career path from medicine to research and teaching. She received her Ph.D. in biology from Duke University. After serving as a consultant for Duke’s Women’s Initiative for a year, Vess joined the faculty at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, a residential public high school. She then returned to Duke as assistant dean in the Graduate School, running summer undergraduate research programs and focusing on recruitment and retention of Ph.D. students. Vess’s focus on undergraduate research as a means to promote student success continued in Duke’s interdisciplinary research Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy and then Virginia Tech.

Before joining Penn State in 2015, Dr. Vess served as a full-time biology teacher at a high need Appalachian high school. During this time, Vess also was a digital research project consultant at Virginia Tech Libraries. At Penn State, Dr. Vess directs the Eberly College of Science’s Office of Science Engagement, promoting access to and participation of all science students in undergraduate research, education abroad, as well as career and professional development.

Dr. Vess enjoys cycling, kayaking, running, and hanging out with her beagle, Miss Ruthie. She is a serious sports fan, with basketball and football at the top of a long list. Dr. Vess has close ties to southwest Virginia where her mother and grandparents live.

Right: Nimisha Thakur

Education Abroad

In her role as the global experiences coordinator for the Eberly College of Science, Nimisha creates awareness and access to global experiences and international internships for Science students.  She ensures that every Science student receives the educational, cultural, professional and personal benefits of a study abroad experience.  Nimisha has been at Penn State for almost a decade, where she has worked in the field of global education: first as an education abroad adviser with Global programs and then as an academic adviser in the Departments of Economics, Criminology, Sociology and Anthropology, particularly working with international students in the College of the Liberal Arts.

Nimisha came to United States as an international student from India, to study architecture, specializing in historic preservation.  Her background in architecture has provided her the platform to understand the world from varied perspectives via its history, culture and context. Her experiences as an international student have helped her relate with students studying abroad and identify with their challenges.

Nimisha holds masters’ degrees in Higher Education administration from Pennsylvania State University and Architecture from University of Texas, San Antonio. Prior to starting her career at Penn State, she has worked in varied architectural positions in New Delhi, Los Angeles, New York City and Rochester, NY. Outside of work, she  loves spending time with her family, cooking, reading and traveling.

General questions


124 Ritenour Building

University Park, PA 16802

Education Abroad

Vacant – Direct all questions to Tomalei Vess




Undergraduate Research

Dr. Tomalei Vess


Professional Development

Dr. Ann Marie Daniel