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Outstanding Senior

Former Blue Band Drum Major and 2016 Homecoming King James Frisbie earns top honors.
James Frisbie

James Frisbie

When he wasn't entertaining thousands at Penn State football games as a drummer for the Marching Blue Band or conducting biomedical research, James Frisbie was working toward his 4.0 GPA in his immunology and infectious disease major and bioethics and medical humanities minor.

The Outstanding Senior Award, sponsored by the College of Agricultural Sciences Alumni Society and the Coaly Society, honors the senior who best balances outstanding academics, extracurricular activities, work experience, and communication skills. Candidates are selected based on résumés, grades, interviews, and a short essay.

As an undergraduate, Frisbie, who graduated in May, participated in research, wrote an honors thesis on the enzymatic synthesis of a metabolite shown to have anti-leukemic properties, and shadowed physicians in various fields. He began medical school at the University of Maryland in the fall of 2017.

Frisbie received several awards over the course of his academic career. He was the College of Agricultural Sciences' veterinary and biomedical sciences student marshal and recipient of the John White Graduate Fellowship Award in 2017. He also received the William D. and Clara Calhoun Phillips Scholarship, the Evan Pugh Scholarship, the John T. and Janet Zerbe Ag Sciences Scholarship, and the Theola F. Thevaos Memorial Scholarship. He is a Schreyer Honors Scholar and a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. He was crowned Penn State's 2016 Homecoming King.

As drum major for the Penn State Marching Blue Band, Frisbie arranged music for the trumpet section, led marching and musical instruction, and acted as a liaison between band members and staff. He was co-founding treasurer of the Penn State Music Service Club, a club that performs at nursing homes, and LifeLink PSU, an organization for young adults with special needs.

Frisbie was a participant in THON, the IFC-Panhellenic Dance Marathon, serving on two dancer-relations committees and one special-events committee during his undergraduate years.

--Sara LaJeunesse