Student Leader Spotlight: Laura Gamble

Many of our students at Penn State World Campus are strong leaders whose enthusiasm often motivates their peers to get involved in student organizations and activities. We are excited to spotlight some of these excellent student leaders.

Laura Gamble is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and an Undergraduate Certificate in Diversity Studies, with plans to graduate in spring 2024. She has been involved in a wide range of student involvement activities, including serving as editor-in-chief of Mind Over Matters, the World Campus Psychology Club publication; serving as a World Campus delegate for the Student Leadership Conference; and being an active member of the Blue & White Society, the Psi Chi Honor Society, and other student organizations.

In addition, Gamble has also participated in several research programs and is currently performing an internship through the Virtual Student Federal Service (VSFS).

Growth and Learning Outside the Classroom

Gamble said she was surprised to discover the wide variety of ways for World Campus students to connect with peers and get involved in student activities.

“Student leadership opportunities are not something I expected to find as an online student. These opportunities have stretched me beyond my comfort zone, taught me about myself, and better prepared me for graduate studies and my future career.”

It’s important for students to actively seek out opportunities to get involved, even if this doesn’t come naturally to them, Gamble said.

“It is easy to hide in online course work. Branching out and getting involved in student organizations and leadership stretches me and cultivates valuable skills my introverted self might not have otherwise gained.”

Virtual Internships Can Build Important Skills

Her VSFS experience, in which she is serving as an intern with the U.S. Department of State in the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues, is helping her develop many skills that will be useful to her in future professional roles, Gamble said.

“My internship is challenging; many of my tasks are outside my areas of expertise and require me to be resourceful. I am expanding my knowledge of intersectionality — a framework that informs much of what I do in research and women’s studies — and broadening my perspectives on issues women and girls face domestically and internationally. The teamwork the internship requires is growing my communication skills, and the meet-and-greet opportunities with other professionals who work on different teams within the Secretary’s Office offer networking opportunities I cannot get anywhere else.”

Related resources:

  • World Campus Career Services — find out about internships and get job search or career development support by connecting with a career counselor
  • Involvement and Opportunities — learn about the wide range of opportunities available to World Campus students, including clubs and organizations, student government, and internships