Home Campus Directory | A-Z Index

Academic Achievement Awards ceremony recognizes outstanding students and faculty

2014 Scholar's Lion award winners
2014 Scholar's Lion award winners, back row, from left, Abelina Barra, Kaitlin Gutherman, Richard Michael and Jacob Spies, pictured with, front row, from left, Dr. Elizabeth Wright, Chancellor Gary Lawler and Faculty Marshal Jane Waitkus.
5/9/2014 —

More than 140 students were honored for high scholastic achievement at Penn State Hazleton’s Academic Achievement Awards ceremony on Thursday, May 8. Also recognized were faculty members for excellence in teaching, advising, research, and technology integration.

Chancellor Gary M. Lawler and Director of Academic Affairs Elizabeth J. Wright presented the awards during the ceremony in the Dr. Thomas M. Caccese Gymnasium. Jane Waitkus, senior instructor in English and learning center coordinator, served as faculty marshal.

The following awards were presented to students at the ceremony:

Campus Honors Program - The honors medal is presented to currently enrolled honors students who have met the requirements of the Penn State Hazleton Honors Program, which include grade-point average requirements and the completion of honors coursework each semester. Students are invited to join the program based on demonstrated academic achievement and potential for growth. They enroll in specially designed honors courses, complete honors independent studies projects, and have an opportunity to take part in enrichment activities. This year’s recipients were Krystin N. Baker, Dingmans Ferry; Abelina E. Barra, Saylorsburg; Mark J. Bing-Wychock, White Haven; Thomas P. Bruno, Hazleton; Matthew J. Caccese, Weatherly; Belkys Cespede, Hazleton; James B. Gallo, Shenandoah; Kaitlin M. Gutherman, Levittown; Adam Halka, Stroudsburg; Susan M. Hayner, Clarks Summit; Thomas E. Klein, Drums; Karl L. Knouse, Bloomsburg; Richard P. Michael, Nuremberg; Evan C. Pataki, Hazleton; Casey W. Petty, Conyngham; Yevgeniy Revzin, Albrightsville; Shannon Salvaterra, West Hazleton; Kiranjot K. Singh, Drums; and Liana Van, Southbury, CT.

Eric A. and Josephine S. Walker Award - This award recognizes students from Penn State Commonwealth campuses whose outstanding qualities of character, scholarship, leadership and citizenship have been directed into programs and services that have positively influenced fellow students and have contributed to the prestige and well-being of their campus and hence, to the reputation of the University as a whole. This year’s honoree is Casey W. Petty, Conyngham.

The President’s Freshman Award - This award is presented annually to undergraduate degree candidates and provisional students who have earned a 4.00 (A) cumulative grade-point average based on at least 12 graded Penn State credits. Candidates are eligible for this award if they have not exceeded 35 total credits earned. This award was established during the tenure of University President Eric A. Walker (1956-1970). Recipients include Curtis D. Baumunk, Troy; Mia R. Casale, Drums; Richard Fessler, Hazleton; Cruz A. Finnicum, Drums; Timothy J. Frehulfer, Brodheadsville; Alejandro J. Herrera, Perth Amboy, NJ; Jessica A. Horlacher, Hazleton; Kevin J. Kesselring, Hazleton; Chelsea T. Locascio, Whitehouse Station, NJ; Molly Maloney, Freeland; Eric J. Osborne, Drums; Katharine E. Ray, White Haven; Nelson Rodriguez, Hazleton; and Kennedy P. Smith, Northumberland.

President Sparks Award - This award is presented annually to those undergraduate degree candidates who have earned a 4.00 (A) cumulative grade-point average based on at least 36 graded Penn State credits. Candidates are eligible for this award if they have not exceeded 59 total credits earned. The award is named for Edwin Earle Sparks, university president (1908-1920). Earning the award this year were Thomas P. Bruno, Hazleton; Blake A. Burger, Drums; Janak P. Jethva, State College; Richard P. Michael, Nuremburg; Liana Van, Southbury, CT; and Ruo Hao Zhang, Edison, NJ.

Evan Pugh Scholar Award - This award is named for Evan Pugh, Penn State’s first president (1859-1864). The Evan Pugh scholars are those juniors and seniors who are in the upper 0.5 percent of their respective classes and have completed at least 48 graded Penn State credits at the end of the fall semester of the academic year the award is given. Candidates are eligible if they have been full-time undergraduate students for at least four semesters prior to selection. Samuel J. Weldon, Hazleton, is this year’s winner.

Scholar’s Lion Award – This award is presented to students enrolled in a Penn State Academic College, a Penn State Hazleton associate degree program, and a Penn State Hazleton bachelor’s degree program.

College - This award is presented to currently enrolled Penn State Hazleton full-time degree students who have earned the highest grade-point average (minimum 3.8) in their college and have completed at least 45 Penn State credits by the end of the fall semester of the academic year the award is given.

The colleges and students earning the honor are Agricultural Sciences: Kaitlin M. Gutherman, Levittown; Business: Ruo Hao Zhang, Edison, NJ; Communications: Abelina E. Barra, Saylorsburg; Division of Undergraduate Studies: Shannon Salvaterra, West Hazleton; Earth and Mineral Sciences: Jacob A. Spies, Reeders; Engineering: Richard P. Michael, Nuremburg; and Science: Belkys Cespedeh, Hazleton.

Campus Associate Degree Program - This award is presented to currently enrolled Penn State Hazleton full-time or part-time degree students who have earned the highest grade-point average (minimum 3.8) in their program and have completed at least 40 Penn State credits by the end of the fall semester of the academic year the award is given. In the Medical Laboratory Technology program, Yukiko Sarker, Dallas, is the recipient.

Campus Baccalaureate Degree Program - This award is presented to currently enrolled Penn State Hazleton full-time or part-time degree students who have earned the highest grade-point average (minimum 3.8) in their program and have completed at least 104 Penn State credits by the end of the fall semester of the academic year the award is given. Chelsea E. Shervinskie, Sunbury, a Liberal Arts major, is this year’s recipient.

Academic Achievement Award - This award is presented to currently enrolled Penn State Hazleton full-time or part-time students who have earned a cumulative grade-point average of 3.7 or higher by the end of the fall semester of the academic year the award is given. Students earning this award were Royer A. Adames Bonilla, Hazleton; Aya M. M. Al Khatib, Amman, Jordan; Tawnya C. Amer, Hazleton; Krystin N. Baker, Dingmans Ferry; Abelina E. Barra, Saylorsburg; Curtis D. Baumunk, Troy; Taylor Blachek, Lake Hopatcong, NJ; Christopher G. Boris, Drums; John F. Brannaka, Roaring Branch; Moises Brens, Hazleton; Richard P. Brill, West Hazleton; Thomas P. Bruno, Hazleton; Alec W. Buck, Danville; Taylor L. Cannon, White Haven; Alison E. Cantwell, Frackville; Jared J. Carrelli, Conyngham; Mia R. Casale, Drums; Yannirys A. Cedano, West Hazleton; Belkys Cespede, Hazleton; David A. Chang, Mountain Top; Cassandra B. Clark, Springville; Kristen Arielle C. Collantes, Scotch Plains, NJ; Starlin Colon, West Hazleton; April Comstock, Tobyhanna; Alyssa M. Damiano, McAdoo; Steva M. Danish, Hazleton; Bridget J. DeFalco, Freeland; Sarah E. DeLaurentis, Drums; Peter Delis, White Haven; Georges L. Destin, Somerset, NJ; Erin L. Dougherty, Weatherly; John P. Doyle, Whitestone, NY; Taylor B. Egner, Drums; Richard Fessler, Hazleton; Brett A. Finkelstein, Sugarloaf; Rachel Finley, Scranton; Cruz A. Finnicum, Drums; Timothy J. Frehulfer, Brodheadsville; Amber M. Fryer, Barnesville; Lilibeth Fuentes, Drums; Scott L. Gauer, Danville; Kaitlin M. Gutherman, Levittown; Adam Halka, Stroudsburg; Laura H. Hartman, Reading; Troy R. Hartman, Mahanoy City; Susan M. Hayner, Clarks Summit; Jolene L. Healey, Avoca; Julia L. Heidecker, New Cumberland; Alejandro J. Herrera, Perth Amboy, NJ; Jessica A. Horlacher, Hazleton; Matthew J. Ingalsbe, West Hazleton; Laurel Jacketti-Funk, Hazleton; Sarah M. Kaltreider, Hanover; Logan S. Karchner, Nescopeck; Samantha R. Keifer, Llewellyn; , Kevin J. Kesselring, Hazleton; Matthew Kiprovski, Hazleton; Molly M. Kishbaugh, Hazleton; Patti A. Kocher, Lehighton; Kyle S. Kozie, Barnesville; Sabrina S. Krupko, Tresckow; Shamari D. Laing, Springfield Gardens, NY; Jillian S. Lavelle, Wilkes-Barre; Angeline Longo, Freeland; Kelly M. Lopez-Singley, Hazleton; Molly Maloney, Freeland; Tyler D. Martin, Allentown; Randy C. McDermott, Harding; Jessica L. McKinley, McAdoo; Richard P. Michael, Nuremberg; Edward A. Miller, Hazleton; John S. Morgan, Conyngham; Ryan L. Mutter, Wilkes-Barre; Alecia E. Myers, Mountain Top; Kazuka G. Ohashi; Eric J. Osborne, Drums; Megan M. Osborne, Drums; Rebekah J. Ovens, Weatherly; Nicholas G. Pale, Jim Thorpe; Samantha M. Pardi, Freeland; Evan C. Pataki, Hazleton; Hursh N. Patel, Mountain Top; Maria E. Phillips, Hallstead; Emily A. Pinko, Drums; Ashley L. Pliska, McAdoo; Tiffani L. Pyzik, Albrightsville; Matthew R. Quinn, Hazleton; Teresa B. Quinn, White Haven; Katharine E. Ray, White Haven; Nicole L. Reese, West Hazleton; Giovanni Rindone, Mount Pocono; Nelson Rodriguez, Hazleton; Carly E. Rossi, Hazleton; Richard C. Ruggiero, Hazleton; Shannon Salvaterra, West Hazleton; Yukiko Sarker, Dallas; Dallas M. Seltzer, Lehighton; Riane N. Shemory, Lewistown; Gabrielle T. Shermanski, Mountain Top; Chelsea E. Shervinskie, Sunbury; Cody C. Smith, Sugarloaf; Kennedy P. Smith, Northumberland; Jacob A. Spies, Reeders; Robert A. Stark, Conyngham; Barry A. Strausser, Mount Carmel; Michael J. Thomas, Hazle Township; Gabriel A. Toledo, Fair Lawn, NJ; Luis D. Torres, Humacao, Puerto Rico; Dante J. Toth, Las Vegas, NV; Anangel A. Urena, Jersey City, NJ; Nicholas A. Valentine, Drums; Liana Van, Southbury, CT; Christopher T. VanBuskirk, Sciota; Julie E. Vitola, Ambler; Raymond J. Walton, Mountain Top; Samuel J. Weldon, Hazleton; Joseph S. Welshko, White Haven; Alejandro Wille De La Puente, Lima, Peru; Nicholas A. Williams, Warminster; Nina A. Williams, Larksville; Austin C. Willis, Sayre; Nathan H. Wise, Scotrun; Matthew M. Yanchus, Mountain Top; Nathan A. Yanchus, Mountain Top; Danielle M. Yeselski, Drums; Lianyang Yu, Gaborone, Botswana; Stanley Yu, New City, NY; Miranda L. Yurek, Hazleton; and Ruo Hao Zhang, Edison, NJ.

M. Leonard Shaevel Award - This award is presented in memory of M. Leonard Shaevel, who taught physics at Penn State Hazleton from 1967 until his death in 1982. It consists of a cash award and is given to a student with a high grade-point average enrolled in science who best exemplifies the educational values of Professor Shaevel. These values include, but are not limited to, a strong work ethic, persistence, and a commitment to science and scientific inquiry. The winner of this year’s award is Kiranjot K. Singh, Drums.

Lifetime Learning Award - This award is presented to a student whose persistence and dedication to life-long learning is evidenced by a continued commitment to academic coursework at Penn State. Kimberly M. Paladino, Hazleton, is the recipient.

Members of the Penn State Hazleton were also recognized for excellence with the following awards:

Penn State Hazleton Faculty Scholar Award - This award honors a Penn State Hazleton faculty member who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in research, scholarship, or creative accomplishment. All full-time faculty are eligible for the award. The award consists of a suitably inscribed plaque and a stipend. This year’s honoree is Zugang “Leo” Liu, assistant professor of business administration.

Penn State Hazleton Council Teaching Excellence Award - This award recognizes and celebrates outstanding teaching. It was establishedin 1994 by the Penn State Hazleton Council, the campus advisory board. Candidates for this award may be nominated by students, faculty, staff and friends of the campus. The award consists of a suitably inscribed plaque and a stipend. Amie Yenser, senior instructor in biology, received this award.

George T. Bobby Advising Award - This award is a tribute to Professor George T. Bobby, who taught exercise and sports science at Penn State Hazleton from 1967 until his death in 1989. Professor Bobby is remembered as a conscientious adviser. The award, consisting of a suitably inscribed plaque and a stipend, is given annually to a faculty member whose commitment to academic advising is in keeping with the high standards maintained by Professor Bobby. Barbara Brazon, senior instructor in information sciences and technology is the recipient of this award.

Charles T. Butler Technology and Teaching Award - This award recognizes faculty members who have demonstrated outstanding application and innovation in the use of computer technology in the classroom. In selecting an award recipient, the committee considers creativity and originality of the project and whether it has had a positive impact on students. The award consists of a suitably inscribed plaque and a stipend. J. Alfredo Jimenez, associate professor of mathematics, is this year’s winner.

Student Government Association Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year - This award recognizes outstanding teaching at Penn State Hazleton. Nominations for this award must come from students. The students then vote to choose the recipient. Senior Instructor in Biology Amie Yenser is this year’s winner.

Email this story to a friend Facebook Twitter