Meet Valley’s Fall 2016 Campus Culture Section Opener: Hannah Geller

Photo by Martin Luo

Penn State is full of unique individuals. We see these people every day – our neighbors, classmates, friends – but we don’t always know their stories. Hannah Geller is changing that, one Facebook post at a time.

Geller, sophomore, is the creator of People of Penn State, which is described on Facebook as being a page “dedicated to sharing diverse stories and people at Penn State University and beyond.” The page is full of photos of Penn State students, showing passion and emotion, while the captions tell their stories.

“People of Penn State is a way to share the unique, diverse stories of people in the Penn State community, be it students, professors or community members,” says Geller.

Geller’s dream of starting a People of Penn State page began before she even arrived at school. After her friends encouraged her to start the project, Geller created the page and has since featured photos of a variety of Penn State community members. From slam poets to sculptors to identical twins, the page features photographs and stories of some of the most unique students Penn State has to offer.

With a major in film and video, it’s safe to say Geller is passionate about photography, which also played a part in the creation of People of Penn State.

“I wanted to get over my fear of asking strangers for their photograph, and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to get over that fear while making something beautiful at the same time,” says Geller.

Geller’s photos do just that. She’s able to show the beauty of people doing what they love through the art of photography. Her photos typically showcase people in environments they are comfortable in because she believes the location “says a lot about the person’s values and beliefs.”

To find these special individuals, Geller simply walks around and talks to people until she finds someone who makes her want to know more about them. She looks for people who give off good vibes in what they do, how they act and what they say.

“I am someone who asks many questions and always wants to find the answers,” says Geller.

Geller leaves personal bias out of her stories, something she says makes her love every story equally. She purposefully goes out of her way to speak with students of all backgrounds so that Penn State is accurately represented.

“I believe that everyone has a story that only they can tell and that we are more similar than we believe ourselves to be,” says Geller.

Follow People of Penn State here and stay tuned for other platforms of PofPSU coming soon!