Meet the Chairs

Executive Chair - Katie Walters

Katie is a senior, majoring in Biobehavioral Health and minoring in Child Maltreatment and Advocacy Studies. Where that will take her after graduation is a great question—suggestions are welcomed! She is from Malvern, PA, but would love to talk your ear off about the semester she spent living abroad in Rome and Berlin. In her free time, Katie likes to run, online shop, or hang out with Springfielders! A member since her freshman year, the infectious spirit of this organization has kept Katie coming back, and she couldn’t be more excited to serve as the Executive Chair for THON 2020! Katie loves to talk, so if you ever want to chat about questions, comments, suggestions, or what you’re up to, feel free to reach out to her at!

Family Relations Chair - Alyssa Malerman

Alyssa is a sophomore from Abington, PA majoring in Human Development and Family Studies with minors in Spanish and Rehabilitation and Human Services. After graduation, Alyssa hopes to go to grad school and then work in a hospital as a Play Therapist. In her free time, Alyssa can be found goofing off with friends, wandering around the arboretum, or searching for the best dessert in State College. Alyssa got involved with Springfield at the beginning of her freshman year and immediately fell in love with the organization and the families and members in it. She could not be more excited to work alongside Lauren to create amazing memories with our four families this THON 2020 season! If you have any questions, concerns, ideas, or any insight on the dessert debate, feel free to reach out to Alyssa at


Family Relations Chair - Lauren McNally

Lauren is a junior from Rockville Centre, New York (a town on Long Island, her accent isn’t that bad I promise) majoring in Nursing. After college (and hopefully passing the NCLEX), she wants to become a Trauma Nurse. When she isn’t referencing obscure memes, Lauren can be found watching Netflix, spending time with friends and family, or talking about Springfield. She is so grateful that she joined this organization freshman year and can’t wait to work alongside her wonderful Co-chair Alyssa to facilitate relationships between all of our members and our amazing families. If you have any questions/concerns/good Netflix binges please reach out to Lauren at


Donor and Alumni Relations Chair - Greg Gavazzi

Greg is a senior from Mechanicsburg, PA studying Chemical Engineering with a minor in Engineering Leadership Development. After graduation, he hopes to find a career within energy, pharmaceuticals, philanthropy, consulting, or one of many other possibilities in between. When he isn't pouring over spreadsheets and equations, he can be found giving campus tours, listening to music, reading, training for a half marathon, and hopefully not being constantly disappointed by his sports teams of choice. Greg joined Springfield his freshman year and immediately fell in love with the organization, getting involved with our families, fundraising, and friendship right from the get go. He is incredibly excited for the next year and to see all of the memories formed on the road to THON 2020. If you have any questions about DAR or fundraising/donating inquiries, you can reach him at!


Donor and Alumni Relations Chair - Sarah Hohman

Sarah is a junior from Mansfield, (middle-of-nowhere) PA studying Health Policy and Administration. She would love to travel the world forever, but instead will probably go to grad school for her Masters in Public Health after graduation. At Penn State, Sarah is also passionate about sustainability and student food insecurity through her involvement with Eco Reps and The Lion's Pantry. In her free time (what's free time?) she can be found drinking a ridiculous amount of coffee, cooking, or trying to convince people to go hiking with her at random times. Her passion for Springfield grows every day, and she is forever grateful for the opportunity to give back to a fight so much bigger than herself as a Donor and Alumni Relations Chair for THON 2020. If you have any questions DAR or fundraising/donating inquiries, you can reach her at

Communications Chair - Avani Gandhi

Avani is a senior (in denial) from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. In an attempt to stay in school forever, Avani is currently to medical school for after graduation. In her free time, Avani can be found watching Netflix, reading, eating copious amounts of ice cream, or watching Saquon Barkley be the star of her favorite NFL team. Avani joined Springfield as a freshman, and has never looked back. She is so grateful for meeting so many of her best friends through the organization, and for being surrounded by so many talented, committed, and passionate individuals! Avani is so excited to serve as the Communications Chair for THON 2020, and is so grateful for the opportunity. Feel free to reach out to her at with any questions, ideas, selfies, or fun facts!

Internal Alternative Fundraising Chair - Emily Fisher

Emily is a senior studying Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and minoring in Health Policy Administration. After graduation, Emily will hopefully be figuring out a way to combine her super nerdy science interests with her desire to help people! Outside of school, Emily also loves spending time with her yellow lab, Leo, eating chocolate at all hours of the day, and curling up with a good book! Emily joined Springfield as a freshman, and has never looked back. From hanging out with our incredible families, to getting to know our dedicated members, Springfield has become Emily’s home at Penn State. Emily is beyond excited to work with her Alternative Fundraising Co-Chair, the lovely Mary Heath, to further Springfield’s fundraising efforts! If you couldn’t tell, she loves nothing more than talking about Springfield, so feel free to reach out to her at if you have any questions, or just want to talk about dogs, coffee, chocolate, or literally anything else!

Alternative Fundraising Outreach Chair - Mary Heath

Mary is a junior from Brewster, New York. She is a double major in anthropology with a focus in contemporary cultural studies, as well as communication arts and sciences with a minor in French. Although she is not sure what she wants to do after graduation, Mary is leaning towards a career in community outreach. Despite being from the NYC suburbs, Mary is a Boston Red Sox and Patriots fan. She enjoys watching old movies, listening to any type of music, cooking, hiking, and watching documentaries about the British royal family on Netflix. Her favorite place to be other than Happy Valley is the beach. When Mary first came to Penn State she immediately found her home with Springfield. If you ask her, she’ll tell you that no other organization or cause has shaped her life more than Springfield and THON. Mary is so excited to be serving as an Alternative Fundraising chair this year alongside Emily Fisher and the rest of the 2020 board. If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or fun facts, you can reach Mary at:

Special Events Chair - Allie Ryave

Allie is a junior majoring in Human Development and Family Studies, and Global and International Studies with and emphasis on Health and Environment, and a minor in Spanish (that's a mouthful). She is from Pittsburgh, PA, in the suburb of Upper St. Clair. After college, she hopes to go into nonprofit work, specifically in translational science for family policy. After joining Springfield the first week of freshman year, Allie has found her home in this organization and met many of her best friends through it. She especially loves spending time with our families, and can't wait to see them more this year. She is also aggressively enthusiastic about Special Events, and is super excited for this year as the SE Chair! If you have any questions about events, or being special, feel free to reach out to Allie at

Community Chair - Dana Carrato

Dana is a junior from Hazleton, Pa, near Scranton, Pa... yes like The Office. She is majoring in Food Science with a minor in Spanish, probablemente. In her free time, Dana can be found napping in various spots around campus- HUB lawn and the benches outside of Thomas being her favorites- watching Netflix, also in those spots, or with other Springfielders. After college, Dana has no clue what she wants to be doing, but she isn’t super stressed about it because she’s sure the right opportunity will present itself when the time is right. Dana joined Springfield the beginning of her sophomore year and hasn’t looked back since, making some of her favorite memories and her best friends within this loud, lovable family. She is extremely excited to spread her love of Springfield to the newest members this upcoming year! If you have any questions about Springfield, or great memes/vines/TicTocs that you want to share, feel free to reach out to Dana at

The Springfield chairs would love to hear from you. Contact them anytime! For general questions, email