Alan Rieck

Dr. Rieck joined Penn State’s Office of Undergraduate Education in 2016 from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where he served as the chair of the Department of Music and Theatre Arts and professor of choral music and music education. He holds a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction (Music Education), as well as master's and bachelor's degrees in Music Education, all from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As associate vice president and associate dean for Undergraduate Education, Dr. Rieck leads undergraduate research initiatives offered through the Office of Undergraduate Education, including the University’s annual Undergraduate Exhibition and leadership for the Student Engagement Network.

Phone Number: 814-863-1864

Caylie Taylor

Caylie joined the Undergraduate Research and Fellowships Mentoring Office in September 2022. Originally from the Du Bois area, Caylie and her husband moved closer to State College. She has her license in Cosmetology where she specialized in chemical and color services. After 7 years in the cosmetology field, she realized she was more interested in an office environment. Caylie enjoys being able to solve puzzles and making an office move smoothly for the staff. Caylie will be your first line of contact with URFM for all your questions and scheduling needs.

Phone Number: 814-863-8199

Lara LaDage

Dr. LaDage joined Penn State Altoona as an assistant professor of Biology in the Fall of 2013. Her research focuses on the relationship between naturally-selected behaviors and the underlying neural architecture that support those behaviors. Dr. LaDage has mentored over 30 Penn State undergraduates in her research laboratory and strongly believes that undergraduate research is a high-impact educational practice that contributes to academic success. As the Undergraduate Research Faculty Fellow, she intends to understand the undergraduate research models at the Penn State campuses, streamline access to undergraduate research information for students and mentors across Penn State, track student participation in undergraduate research, and assess learning gains from participating in an undergraduate research experience.


Natalie Bennie

Natalie is a PhD student in the Department of Communication Arts & Sciences whose research focuses on the rhetoric of public memory. She holds an MA in Communication from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC and a BA in Communication from Samford University in Birmingham, AL. Natalie was a Fulbright scholar to Germany and was named a Rhodes Finalist in 2016.

Elise is a third-year Ph.D. student in Social Psychology and is completing a specialization in Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. Her research investigates the influences of self-conscious emotions (e.g., shame, guilt) on attention, motivation, and social cognition. Elise received her B.A. in Psychology from Lee University and her M.S. in Psychology from Pennsylvania State University. She has personal experience applying for the NSF GRFP and helping students identify research interests and goals. Elise can answer questions about fellowships and research opportunities as well as provide feedback on application materials.

Su Yin is a doctoral candidate in Applied Linguistics and researches the intersections of identity and second language writing/literacy learning. She received her BA in History and M.Ed in English from Uppsala University, Sweden, and her MA in TESOL from Illinois State University. Su Yin can answer questions about undergraduate research, fellowship opportunities, and provide feedback on application materials, such as CVs and personal statements.