Meet Matt DiSanto: Our 2021 Starr Award Winner

Matt DiSanto, a PSU junior majoring in journalism, is the winner of the Rick Starr Award for 2021. He estimates he has written nearly 1,000 articles during his Penn State career, most of them for Onward State, a student-run web site. Matt is profoundly grateful to all of you who made this award possible for him. You can learn more about Matt here — including his wonderful memories about a high school incident that introduced Matt to Rick’s work, and influenced his decision to attend Penn State!

About Rick

Rick left this world far too soon, but his impact lives on.

Learn More About Rick

About the Award

Our award recognizes sports journalism students at Penn State who write, like Rick, about the human impact of sports.

Learn More


To donate online to the Rick Starr Award fund, visit this link, which also provides a form to download if you prefer to mail a check.

Rick’s Work

Rick’s work for the Daily Collegian and the Valley News Dispatch included many articles that explored the human side of sports.

Read some of the best here.


The Sports Journalism Department at Penn State identifies students who may be candidates for this award. Students who believe they might be eligible should contact Janet Klinefelter at

Your Memories

If you were a friend, family member, coworker or acquaintance of Rick’s, share your favorite memories and check out our photo gallery.

Our Memories and Yours