Aerospace engineering senior strives to be beacon of hope for THON kids


Aerospace engineering senior Sohum Haribhakti got involved in THON during his freshman year through Futures, a special interest organization.

“As a freshman, I did not know much about the organization or the experience,” says Sohum. “After attending my first THON in 2014, I was in awe of the ability of thousands of students to positively make a change in the world.”

Sohum says every THON weekend is a reminder that volunteers are fighting for something bigger than themselves.

“THON is exemplary of the amazing things Penn State students can achieve when we all come together, unified through the same cause,” he explains.

“Kids should always have the opportunity to just be kids,” Sohum continues. “THON means letting these kids experience a weekend where they can be themselves with the same energy each one of us had as a kid.”

He adds that THON means being a beacon of hope for those kids and their families throughout the entire year. It means realizing that every water gun fight, every game of tag, every dollar raised, and every smile can affect the life of a child.

“I THON for my organization’s three Four Diamonds families and all other families affected by pediatric cancer,” says Sohum.

In addition to Futures, Sohum was on the THON Dancer Relations committee his junior year. He was paired with a dancer whom he helped make it through the full 46-hour dance marathon.

As a THON Special Events committee member this year, Sohum gets to help out with several events leading up to THON Weekend including the THON 5K, 100 Days ’Til THON, and Family Carnival.

In Futures, Sohum currently serves as the vice president and is responsible for the overall execution of organization activities such as canning trips, fundraisers, and family visits. He was also recently selected as a dancer this year for Futures in THON 2017!

“My THON journey has inspired me in ways I could have never imagined. I will always continue to fight for the kids, until one day, we dance in celebration of a cure,” says Sohum.


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Sohum Haribhakti

Sohum Haribhakti



The Penn State Department of Aerospace Engineering, established in 1961 and the only aerospace engineering department in Pennsylvania, is consistently recognized as one of the top aerospace engineering departments in the nation, and is also an international leader in aerospace education, research, and engagement. Our undergraduate program is ranked 15th and our graduate programs are ranked 15th nationally by U.S. News & World Report, while one in 25 holders of a B.S. degree in aerospace engineering in the U.S. earned it from Penn State. Our students are consistently among the most highly recruited by industry, government, and graduate schools nationwide.

The department is built upon the fundamentals of academic integrity, innovation in research, and commitment to the advancement of industry. Through an innovative curriculum and world-class instruction that reflects current industry practice and embraces future trends, Penn State Aerospace Engineering graduates emerge as broadly educated, technically sound aerospace engineers who will become future leaders in a critical industry

Department of Aerospace Engineering

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The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-2569