Student smiles as campus favorite barista prepares coffee

Class honors campus favorite by making donation to Equality Now in her name.

MCKEESPORT, Pa.— “I wanted to introduce my students to the gender problems of the world in a larger context than what we discuss in the United States,” says Elizabeth Mazur.

Mazur, associate professor of Psychology at Penn State Greater Allegheny, teaches one Psychology class Psychology of Gender-Psych 479, that they can make a difference through the “Make A Grant Project.”

The “Make A Grant Project” assignment, as described by Mazur, is a semester long project where students identify a problem, present arguments for why it is important, discuss potential solutions for the problem, and present arguments for which solution and which charity is most effective.

“I wanted them to feel empowered and not hopeless about the status of women in many developing countries,” stated Mazur.

To add a real-world dimension to the assignment, each student contributed $5 to the class grant fund, and Mazur matched that amount.

In total, $165 was donated to the winning charity, Equality Now.  “I chose Equality Now because they have a program in Tanzania about female gender mutilation,” says Angie Mayhue.

Mayhue, a Psychology graduating senior at Penn State Greater Allegheny, was one of the three students who chose Equality Now as their organization for the project.  “The Tanzania program I felt a connection with because 22% of their entire earnings go to this specific program and Tanzania is one country that female gender mutilation is still prevalent,” stated Mayhue.

“I was super interested in the topic,” added Mayhue.  “Because it is a big gender issue with taking advantage of women and making them feel a certain way because of their gender.”

Originally the donation to the winning charity, Equality Now, would have been made under the class’s name, but one student, Marino Swanson, wanted to recognize a campus favorite.

Shirley Evans, a long time Penn State Greater Allegheny staff member and the campuses’ favorite barista, was given the honor.

“In a campus where there are so many that are focused on their schooling and getting done what they need; she is a great constant in your life and will consistently make you smile day to day,” added Mayhue.  

Evans was humbled by the honor and may have shed some tears, but if you ask her why she does what she does, she’ll tell you the same response, “I do it for the kids.”