Alumni Spotlight: Leah Triola, Esquire
By Cassandra Modica
Upon arriving at college, some students have the innate ability to pack with their books and blankets an itemized list of endeavors and ambition. Others—probably most students —face a wave of insecurities. Leah Triola, Penn State Alumni Class of 2009, encountered such uncertainty, but she managed to overcome it in inspiring ways.
Though she looks fondly on her Penn State experience, Triola admits that her sophomore self had a change of heart that resulted in a change in major. Originally an Elementary Education major, Triola realized almost two years into her college career that education was not the most fitting career choice for her. Thanks to guidance from her Penn State career counselor, Triola spent the remainder of her academic career at Penn State preparing for law school.
Now an attorney for the Management Council Legal Department at the NFL, Triola happily recalls the Penn State community that helped to shape her as a professional. “Penn State is more than just a school,” Triola insists. “It’s a culture that becomes a part of you.”
Indeed, Penn State does have a unique culture that those who are familiar with it know distinguishes it from other institutions.
Proud to belong to such a community, Triola says her career with the NFL blossomed and evolved because of the “superior education” she acquired at Penn State. “The classes were challenging yet engaging,” she explains. “I still credit Penn State’s Business Writing class to my grammar and writing skills. My shining moment came when I taught my Harvard-educated boss a grammar rule!”
Without her exceptional education and support from Penn State, Triola may not have found herself participating in exciting professional experiences such as those at the NFL. “Attending Super Bowl XLIX in Phoenix, Arizona, was an experience I’ll never forget,” Triola remembers. “I was able to attend all of the events during the days leading up to the big game. I met celebrities and got to watch the game from amazing seats behind the Patriots’ end zone.”
Triola was also present for the emergence of “Paternoville” at the 2005 whiteout Ohio State game. Even compared to her Super Bowl experiences, Triola explains, “The energy and excitement was like nothing I had ever experienced. I have an even greater love of football because of my Penn State experience!”
Triola’s hard work at Penn State ultimately enabled her to attend Widener University School of Law and become the NFL attorney she is today, proving that even students who face initial indecision can go on to accomplish great things. With Penn State’s help, Triola says, “I proved to myself that anything is possible if you put in the effort and don’t succumb to your fear of failing.”