The 2021 Crimson Court from left to right: Kaylee Long, Katarina Noll, Mackenzie Mead, Jayden Thomas, Anastasia Benc, Ashley Yanni and Makenzie Fello. 

IUP’s Crimson Court for this year’s Homecoming has been selected and will feature some of the university’s most active and involved students.

The students on the court were selected based on a student vote and will act as representatives of their colleges.

The members of the Crimson Court will participate in the Homecoming parade and will be honored before and after the Homecoming football game.

Students must have a 3.0 grade-point average and be in good standing with the university in order to qualify for the court.

The court typically includes students who are engaged at the university both in the classroom and in extracurricular activities.

Anastasia Ksenia Benc (junior, psychology) was selected to represent the College of Health and Human Services.

“When I learned that I had been selected to be on the Homecoming court, I was ecstatic,” Benc said.

“To be part of a small group of young women and men selected to represent their particular college is probably going to be one of the greatest honors I will ever enjoy as an IUP student.”

Benc is very involved both academically and otherwise at IUP.

“I am a member of the Cook Honors College and have been on the Dean’s List every semester since I started,” Benc said. “Currently, I serve as vice president of philanthropy for Delta Zeta national sorority at IUP.”

Benc works as a Stapleton Library student assistant and is also a member of the Phi Eta Sigma national honor society, the National Society of Leadership and Success, the Orthodox Christian Fellowship club, and the secretary of an on-campus political organization.

Benc plans to pursue an advanced degree in psychology after she graduates from IUP.

Makenzie Fello (senior, secondary math education) will represent the John J. and Char Kopchick College of Natural Science and Mathematics.

“I am so honored to represent the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and, more specifically, the math department,” Fello said.

Fello is the Commit to Fit Chair at the Special Olympics Club at IUP.

She has completed research at the university with Dr. Janet Walker (mathematics) on parametric equations that was entered into the 2021 Scholars Forum.

After she graduates from IUP, Fello intends to become a math teacher in a middle school or high school.

Kaylee Long (junior, social studies education) was chosen to represent the College of Arts and Humanities.

“So often had I felt like I had been doing so much between clubs, classes and leadership in organizations, and to be finally recognized for all of that just felt so exciting,” Long said.

“It means a lot to represent my college in this way.”

Long is the president of the History and Social Studies Education Club and is the New Member Educator for Gamma Sigma Sigma which is a service/social sorority on campus.

Long hopes to become a middle school social studies teacher after she graduates from the university.

Mackenzie Mead (senior, communications media marketing) will represent the College of Education and Communications on the court.

“I love my department, and it feels so great to get a chance to represent it,” Mead said.

Mead is currently a resident assistant in Stephenson Hall and is a peer mentor for the University College.

This summer, she was a student success leader for new student orientation, and Mead is also the secretary and public relations chair for Theta Phi Alpha.

After she concludes her internship in summer 2022, Mead hopes to acquire a job in the world of social media.

Katarina Noll (senior, criminology and psychology) was voted by students to represent the College of Health and Human Services.

“It means that the student body chose me which makes me feel prideful to be the representative [of my college],” Noll said.

Noll is involved in various extracurricular activities on campus.

She is a Crimson Scholars peer mentor and an Honors College orientation leader.

Noll is also a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society, Phi Gamma Nu Business Fraternity, Order of Omega Honor Society, Gamma Sigma Alpha Honor Society, Psi Chi Psychology Honor Society, professional development chair in Zeta Tau Alpha, treasurer in the IUP women’s club soccer team, the National Society of Leadership and Success, IUP Ambassadors, and the Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society.

After she graduates from IUP, Noll will attend graduate school for her doctorate in clinical psychology or school psychology. Her dream school is Nova Southeastern University in Florida.

Jayden Thomas (junior, marketing) will represent the Eberly College of Business on the Crimson Court.

“To be a Crimson Court member is an opportunity for me to show others the importance of making the most of your experience as a student,” Thomas said.

Thomas is involved academically and with several extracurricular activities at the university.

He is a member of the Eberly Strategic Planning Committee and is the chapter president of the Sigma Chi fraternity.

Thomas is also a member of the men’s track and field team and is an IUP Ambassador.

After he graduates from IUP, Thomas will enter the business field to specialize in marketing. His goal is to become a marketing manager and executive.

Finally, Ashley Yanni (sophomore, exploratory) is representing the University College.

“I’m very appreciative to be able to represent my college and to have been recommended for the position on the Crimson Court,” Yanni said.

Yanni is interested in early childhood education. She intends to teach after she graduates from the university.

“I’m very excited to pursue my goals in teaching young children and giving them a significant foundation on having a successful future,” Yanni said.

Yanni has been on the Dean’s List during each of her semesters at IUP and is also a member of the National Honor Society.

The members of the Crimson Court will participate in various activities during this year’s Homecoming.

“As a member of the Crimson Court, you are expected to attend and have a social presence during the festivities of Homecoming [week],” Thomas said.

For more information about IUP’s Homecoming festivities, students can visit https://www.iup.edu/homecoming/.


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