From the beginning, Penn State Berks has found its mission and meaning in service to the communities of southeastern Pennsylvania. Since the former facilities of the Wyomissing Polytechnic Institute were converted to an extension center for the University in 1958, Penn State Berks has responded to the needs of local families, businesses, and organizations with a broad range of partnerships and opportunities.

As the college celebrates six decades of serving the citizens of the Reading region, Penn State Berks is moving ahead to even greater ambitions, for our campus and for our students. Undergraduates can now complete more than twenty baccalaureate programs at the campus, including in-demand disciplines ranging from biochemistry and molecular biology to global studies to security and risk analysis.  The personal attention that Penn State Berks students receive in the classroom from world-class faculty is complemented by opportunities to take their learning into the community and the world with internships, service projects, and international experiences.

Through the Cohen-Hammel Fellows Program, exceptional students will connect the academic excellence that has become the hallmark of Penn State Berks with the community-focused commitment to service that has always been our mission, and they will experience the challenges and rewards of putting their education to work right away as they address the needs of the Reading area and beyond. Through a combination of rigorous academic study and research, service and outreach in the community, and a shared contemplation of what it means to be an ethical leader in the 21st century, the Cohen-Hammel Fellows will discover their own potential for impact.

Cohen-Hammel Fellows will also set a new standard for engagement among our entire student body, challenge our faculty to develop an even broader range of innovative learning and service opportunities, and embody the values that will guide Penn State Berks far into the future. Through a generous gift from PSU alumni Irv (’50) and Lois (’49) Cohen and Victor (’67) and Dena (’68) Hammel given to endow this program, each Cohen-Hammel Fellow will receive a scholarship of $7,000 for the 2020-2021 academic year. That same scholarship will be awarded for all four years of enrollment at Penn State Berks, as long as the student fulfills the requirements and remains in the program. An induction event will be held each spring to welcome the new incoming Cohen-Hammel Fellows to Penn State Berks.