Punxsutawney Phil is not the only one who may see his shadow on February 2. As part of National Groundhog Job Shadow Day, Laura Sloan Patterson, Ph.D., associate professor, English and director of the Undergraduate Writing Program, will have a shadow of her own. Samantha Harris, of North Huntingdon, Pa., a junior at Norwin High School, will spend Wednesday, February 2, shadowing Patterson.

Harris selected to shadow an English professor because she plans to pursue a career in higher education.

“It’s exciting and inspiring to work with local students who are interested in our profession,” said Patterson. “This is a great way for them to see what we really do behind the scenes.”

According to Edward Federinko, D.Ed., principal, Norwin High School, “National Groundhog Job Shadow Day gives a student an opportunity to spend a day with someone in a career field that he/she is considering pursuing. Any time a student is given the opportunity to explore a career, he/she gains first-hand experience about that career.”

In order to participate in National Groundhog Job Shadow Day at Norwin High School, a student must be enrolled as a junior and have good academic standing and attendance. The student is required to submit an essay addressing his/her career choice and rationale.

The job shadowing program is organized by Partners in Progress, a group composed of representatives from the Norwin Chamber of Commerce and Norwin School District.

National Groundhog Job Shadow Day (NGJSD) is a national campaign that gives young people a new perspective on their studies through hands-on learning and a one-day mentoring experience. Students are paired with a mentor who they will “shadow” throughout the day to experience how the skills they learn in the classroom can be applied to the real world. This event also provides an opportunity to introduce future employees to the vast array of careers. NGJSD is a joint effort of Promise - Alliance for Youth, Junior Achievement and the United States Department of Labor. Nationwide, more than one million students and 100,000 businesses participate.