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Honoring an Educational Tradition

Annual giving to the College of Education

Jennifer L. Sova '99 SEC ED is the second generation of her family to earn a degree from the College of Education. Her family's connection goes back nearly 50 years. Michael Sova '69 EDU, Jen's father, graduated from the College in 1969 and taught junior high-school science for many years. Jen followed in his footsteps years later, enrolling in the College of Education with a focus in biology and general science in secondary education.

Since that time, Jen has been a member of the Golden Lion Society and a loyal donor to the College of Education. And her support of the College has only increased over the years. In 2009, her generous donation earned her the distinction of being one of the youngest members of the Dean's Council Recognition Society. Of her philanthropy, she says, "I give to Penn State, and particularly the College of Education, in recognition not only of the fantastic education I received, but also because of my family's connection to the school."

After graduating from Penn State, Jen's interests led her to law school at the University of Miami, where she earned a law degree in 2002. She currently is employed as senior counsel for labor and employment at E.I du Pont de Nemours and Company. Though she is in the legal field, she frequently draws on her experience at the College. "My teaching degree taught me how to communicate and explain complicated concepts, and also taught me the importance of preparation before any presentation," she said.

Having acquired these important skills from the College, Jen noted that she feels compelled to give back. "I want to help others enter such a critical profession, especially at a time with state budget cuts and student loans becoming an increasing burden for all families," she said. Jen's donations have helped bolster science education in the College, the education alumni fund, and the education future fund.