Shenango students recognized for outstanding achievements

Students of Penn State Shenango were honored at the campus' 2011 Honors Convocation and Recognition Banquet for their outstanding academic and student life achievements and services. The recipients of this year's Eric and Josephine Walker Award, Dennis W. Bartholomew Outstanding Adult Student Award, and Ann Wansack Award were included in the ceremony.

Presenters at the recognition dinner were Fred Leeds, chancellor; Stephanie Chastain, associate director of Student Affairs; Jammie Tomasone, assistant director of Students Affairs; and Chuck Greggs, associate director, Office of Admissions, as well as several faculty and staff who served as club advisers.

The first award presented was the President's Freshman Award, which is given to full-time undergraduate students who have earned a 4.0 grade-point average in the first semester of their freshman year. The recipients of this award were Michael Bartolomucci of Sharpsville, Joseph Berg of New Castle, Joseph Nero of New Castle, Felicia Terpilowski of New Castle, and Zachary Weikal of Transfer.

The Evan Pugh Scholar Award, named for Penn State's first president (1859-1864), is given to the top students in both the junior and senior class. This award was presented to Kayla Yarian (senior) of Mercer.

The President's Sparks Award is presented annually to those undergraduate degree candidates who have earned a 4.0 cumulative grade-point average based on at least 36 Penn State credits completed by the end of the fall semester of the academic year the award is given. This award was presented to David Borton of Sharon.

The Robert Weber Mathematics Award honors the late Robert Weber, who taught mathematics at the Shenango campus. This year's award, presented annually to the most promising Shenango campus mathematics student, was given to Darin Mausser of Sharon.

The Robert Weber Scholarship, traditionally awarded to the highest ranking, continuing, full-time mathematics student, was presented to Andrew Costa of New Castle.

The Academic Achievement Awards, which are given to students in each college or degree program who have achieved the best cumulative grade-point averages during the academic year, were the next to be announced. Priority is given to students who have been in their major for three semesters.

The recipients included, beginning with baccalaureate seeking students, Steven Meredith, Agriculture, Sharpsville; Stephanie Bianco, Arts and Architecture, Sharpsville; James Piroga, Business Administration at Shenango (FT), Jamestown; Barbara Allison, Business Administration at Shenango (PT), New Castle; George Wilson, CCBUS-Common Year in Business Administration, Sharon; David Borton, Division of Undergraduate Studies (DUS), Sharon; Tonya Bulboff, Division of Undergraduate Studies (DUS), Greenville; Thayne Ainsley, Earth and Mineral Science, Cortland, OH; Heidi Ashcroft, Education, Burghill, OH; Shane Paoletta, Engineering, Mercer; Todd Wagner, Health and Human Development, West Middlesex; Michelle Miller, Human Development and Family Studies (FT), Hermitage; Lorraine Kristyak, Human Development and Family Studies (PT), West Middlesex; Kyle Ludwig, Information Sciences and Technology, Greenville; Holly Vuich, Letters, Arts and Sciences, Hermitage; and Stephanie Milich, Nursing, New Castle.

Those students seeking associate degrees who were chosen for this year's Academic Achievement Awards included Stanley Goleb, Business Administration, Hermitage; Rebecca Maurice, Human Development and Family Studies, Sharpsville; Jacob Newcomer, Information Sciences and Technology, Greenville; Jacob Elliott, Letters, Arts and Sciences, Sharpsville; Brian Montgomery, Mechanical Engineering Technology, Sharon; Bobbi Jo Cathcart, Physical Therapy Assistant (FT), Sharon; and Andrew Paden, Physical Therapist Assistant (PT), Greenville.

The following students were recognized for their high academic achievement with cumulative grade-point averages of 3.8 and above. They included Teresa Decker of Grove City, Holly Beck of Jamestown, Shane Beise of Hermitage, Sarah Stephenson of Hermitage, Brandon Vuich of Hermitage, Shawn Adams of Mercer, Britney Barwell of Hermitage, Joseph Berg of New Castle, Kelly Mudrinich of Hermitage, Kyongmin Lee of Hermitage, and Shantel Wilkins of Sharon.

Also acknowledged were the 47 Shenango campus students who were nominated for Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges Awards for individual academic achievement. Those nominated received their award certificates during the evening's program. They included Shawn Adams of Mercer; Bobbi Jo Cathcart of Sharon; Maggie
Cirillo of West Middlesex; Madeline Combine of Sharpsville; Teresa Decker of Grove City; Alexander Dyll of Kinsman, OH; Ian Elliott of Sharpsville; Matthew Ellison of Sharpsville; Craig Haggerty of Greenville; Alicia Jeffries of New Castle; David Kanya of Stoneboro; Denise Malovich of Sharpsville; Joseph Nero of New Castle; Edward Ohl of Hermitage; Andrew Paden of Greenville; Jill Pavlick of Sharpsville; James Piroga of Jamestown; Lindsey Ranelli of Sharpsville; Nancy Reiser of Greenville; Samuel Schweiss of Sharon; Jessica Sickafus of Sharpsville; Anica Stainbrook of Sharon; Sarah Stephenson of Hermitage; Kitty Turner of Volant; and Holly Vuich of Hermitage.

The Bernard Osher Foundation, headquartered in San Francisco, was founded in 1977 by Bernard Osher, a respected businessman and community leader. The Foundation seeks to improve quality of life through support for higher education and the arts. It provides post-secondary scholarship funding to colleges and universities across the nation, with special attention to re-entry students. Scholarships are awarded to students pursuing their first bachelor's degree, have completed at least 12 credits in a degree-seeking program, are between 25 and 50 years of age, have a cumulative gap in their education of at least five years, demonstrate a financial need, and show academic promise and commitment to obtaining a bachelor's degree. Chuck Greggs, director of Enrollment Services, presented the Osher Foundation Re-entry Scholarships to Toni Goldsboro of Sharon, Griselott Gordon of Sharon, Patricia Martin of Fredonia, Leigh Mike of Sharon, Lisa O’Kresik of Hermitage, Leyla Sartori of Hermitage, Brandon Vuich of Hermitage, and Holly Vuich of Hermitage.

This year's Honors Program certificates were presented by Phil Nash, associate professor of history, and were given to those students who have fulfilled the Honors Program's requirements and have maintained an excellent grade-point average. They are Renea Ingram (College Honors) of Sharon and Holly Vuich (Campus Honors and International Studies) of Hermitage.

The Honors Program Student Advisory Group was recognized and included Valerie Gravatt of Transfer, Emily Howard of Grove City, Rebecca Maurice of Sharpsville, Jessica Sickafus of Sharpville, Brandon Vuich and Holly Vuich of Hermitage.

Also recognized at the evening's convocation and recognition dinner were the many student clubs and organizations and their officers. The campus' clubs and organizations are run under the umbrella of the Student Government Association which has been chaired this year by Stephen Lisko, president, Hubbard, OH; Brittany Nelson, secretary, Transfer; and Christina Plummer, treasurer, Sharon.

This year's prestigious Eric and Josephine Walker Award was presented to Holly Vuich of Hermitage. The award recognizes students from the University 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.

Vuich graduated this spring with a baccalaureate degree in letters, arts, and sciences. She was an active member of the Shenango campus community. The breadth of her involvement includes multiple student leadership positions including vice president of the Student Government Association, president and secretary of the History Club, vice president of the Drama Club, participant of the Honors Program, and many more.

In addition to her studies and involvement at the campus, she is a wife, mother, and head soccer coach for the Hermitage YMCA sports league. Following graduation, she plans to pursue her master's degree and possibly a joint juris doctorate.

Her nominators had many positive remarks to make about her; here are just a few -- "We have many students on our campus who become involved, who reach out to serve the community, who are excellent students, but only few, like Holly, do all three exceedingly well." And, "I have taught at Penn State Shenango since 1999 and had probably 2,000 students, some of them very good. I would put Holly in the top five."

This year's recipient of Dennis W. Bartholomew Outstanding Adult Student Award was Denise Malovich of Sharpsville. The Outstanding Adult Student Award recognizes a student over the age of 21 who has completed at least 36 credits and who is distinguished by scholarship, service and success in coping with numerous roles and overcoming difficult circumstances in the pursuit of education. The award is funded by the widow of a former Shenango student, Dennis W. Bartholomew, who attended the campus from 1970-1972 and graduated from the University Park campus in 1974 with a
bachelor of science degree in engineering.

Malovich also recently graduated from the Shenango campus with a baccalaureate degree in business administration. You could always find her participating on campus in one or more student events. She held prestigious leadership roles including president of the Women's Commission and president of the Blue and White Society. In addition to being enthusiastic on campus, Malovich is also an active member of the Penn State Shenango Alumni Society (as a previous graduate of the campus' two-year Business program) where she is on both the fundraising and social committees.

She is a mother of two sons, both of whom graduated from Penn State this spring and participated in Shenango campus' commencement ceremony. Malovich received nominations for multiple awards; here are a few statements made by her nominators -- "The characteristic that really stands out for me is how she tries to apply past course content to current courses. She has contacted me with questions from lectures she heard several semesters ago on how she could apply that content today. To say Denise is a top performing student really does not adequately describe her dedication to her studies." And, "Denise holds a responsible position with the Wilton Company. She worked her way up in the organization to advance into a supervisory position. She is a marketing supervisor for 205 Joanne Superstores in 31 states with 306 cake decorating instructors. Denise is beyond hard working and ambitious."

This year's Ann Wansack Award was presented to two students, Andrew Paden of Greenville and James Piroga of Jamestown. Wansack Award was established in the memory of Ann "Mom" Wansack who was an employee at Penn State Shenango and a devoted friend to the students of the Shenango campus. The purpose of this award is to honor and recognize full-time students enrolled at Penn State Shenango who are actively involved, through leadership or participation, in the betterment of the campus.

Paden recently completed his final semester in the rigorous Physical Therapy Assistant program with a 3.98 grade-point average. He is the president of the PTA Club, and an ex-officio member of just about every club on campus. He volunteered his time on campus for Admissions Open Houses and for Student Government sponsored activities such as the
Pumpkin Festival. He will graduate in December 2011.

Piroga graduated this past May with a bachelor of science degree in business administration. While at the Shenango campus, he was involved in the Drama Club, served as an Orientation Leader, and Student Activity Fee member. Piroga also helped the Student Affairs Office and supported the Admissions Office as a tour-guide for prospective students.

This year's Most Outstanding Awards were presented by Stephanie Chastain. The Most Outstanding/Valuable Club Member award was presented to Brittany Nelson of Transfer. Nelson was the secretary of the Student Government Association, the secretary of THON, an Orientation Leader, a member of the Alternative Spring Break trip, and partnered with the President of SGA Steve Lisko to organize the campus' successful Pumpkin Festival last fall.

The Most Outstanding Club Adviser award was presented to Jammie Tomasone of Hermitage. Tomasone is the adviser to the Campus Activities Board (CAB) Club. Although this was her first year in an advising role, Tomasone has become more than fluent in her new position. Her dedication goes beyond advising -- she is a mentor to many of the students. Her support of the students at Shenango is unwavering.

The Most Outstanding Staff Member award was presented to Chuck Greggs, associate director, Office of Admissions. Greggs was nominated for his role as co-chair of the Marketing Committee and his work with the committee and students on campus to put together focus groups in order to better service our students. Greggs also volunteered to attend the campus' Alternative Spring Break Study Abroad program this past spring.

And the Most Outstanding Club award was presented to the Drama Club, which is one of the newest clubs on campus and is advised by Jeanne Zingale, who was a part-time instructor in theatre. The Drama Club sponsors trips to plays like Le Mis and West Side Story. They also put on the Penn State Talent show, providing a venue for students, faculty, staff, and community members are to showcase their many talents.

Although not present, one last student was recognized at the dinner. Margaret Falvo an adult student in the campus' GO-60 program, was recognized with a certificate for her dedication to higher education. She has been a student at the campus for more than 20 years.

Media Contacts: 
Last Updated July 05, 2011