Students, faculty and staff honored at 40th annual awards banquet

Penn State York honored the academic achievements and service of its outstanding students, faculty and staff for the 2010-11 academic year during the 40th annual Academic Awards Banquet, Friday, April 15, in the Conference Center of the Main Classroom Building. More than 90 academic and service awards were presented following a 6 p.m. dinner.

Awards were presented by a variety of campus groups and several community organizations including the Rotary Club of York and the York County Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association. Highlights of the program were the presentation of the Eric A. and Josephine Walker Award, the James H. Burness Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Penn State York Advising Award, and the new Clark E. Fisher Memorial Award.

The Clark E. Fisher Memorial Award honors and recognizes outstanding achievement in engineering by a full-time undergraduate student. The award is named for the late Clark E. Fisher, ’83, a Penn State engineering graduate. Family members, Precision Custom Components (PCC) -- Fisher’s former employer, colleagues from PCC, and friends joined together to create an award in remembrance of Fisher. The award is given in the field that Fisher loved, engineering. Matthew D. Ruth, York, Pa.; is the recipient and this is his second time receiving this award.

The Eric A. and Josephine S. Walker Award, the most prestigious student award of the evening, was presented to Corey W. Baughman.  This award is given annually to a full-time student who exhibits outstanding qualities of character, scholarship, leadership, and citizenship. Each Penn State campus selects a recipient of this award. Baughman is a senior at Penn State York majoring in Human Development and Family Studies. He resides in Red Lion, Pa. Baughman was recognized for his outstanding service to the campus and community through a variety of projects and for his excellent performance in the classroom.

The James H. Burness Award for Excellence in Teaching is given to one part-time and one full-time member of the Penn State York faculty based on nominations by students and other members of the campus community. The award is named in honor of the late James H. Burness, in recognition of his outstanding teaching and service to the campus.  Burness died in December 1999. This year's recipients are Charles (Chuck) L. Kennedy, senior instructor in political science, full-time award and Dr. Judith K. McCormick Higgins, part-time instructor in business, part-time award.

Kennedy, of Mechanicsburg, Pa., who also won the teaching award in 2001, received high praise from his students for his positive attitude and his knowledge of the subject. One student wrote, “Teachers like Chuck are few and far between. I am in my third year at Penn State and have taken courses at University Park, Harrisburg, and York and hands down, he is the best professor I have ever had.” Another student said, “Chuck is special. He is the kind of professor all schools need and he 110 percent deserves this award!” Still more praise from others, “Mr. Kennedy has exceptional speaking abilities and really knows how to articulate a subject matter. He is very inspiring, challenging, and fastidious in ensuring how well students perform.” Still others gave kudos to Kennedy for his hands-on teaching approach and his ability to make the class enjoyable. “Chuck Kennedy makes the class enjoyable and productive at the same time. His simulations give us a firsthand look into how different elements of the political system work and makes coming to class in the morning exciting.”

Higgins, of Windsor, Pa., received numerous accolades from her students for her subject knowledge, her dedication, and a teaching style that keeps students engaged. One student wrote, “I never in my life have had a teacher/professor so enthusiastic and intriguing. She tends to draw you in so deep and keep you interested that the class feels like it’s only 5 minutes long, not 2 hours and 40 minutes.” Another student wrote, Dr. Higgins is a great professor. She makes each class interesting because she brings boring topics to life. She is very intriguing and passionate about everything she says and teaches.” Still more students cited Higgins for her exceptional attention to detail and the many real-world examples she provides to help them learn. “She has a different way of teaching that makes us think outside of the box.”

Harley H. Hartman of Hanover, Pa., instructor of engineering, was honored as the winner of the Penn State York Advising Award. The Penn State York Advising Award, given by the campus Academic Affairs Committee, was established several years ago to recognize the importance of advising students. This committee operates separately from the teaching award committee.

Hartman earned high praise for his willingness to help students wherever and whenever he can. One student wrote, “Harley has been extraordinarily helpful in getting me on the right path as far as what courses to take, and which ones will transfer.  He is always very willing to work with me and he is always available either personally or via e-mail.” Another student wrote, “I have been to three different Penn State campuses and I also attended another university my freshman year of college.  None of my previous advisers at any campus have been anywhere near as helpful or willing to help as Mr. Hartman. Mr. Hartman laid-out a plan for me which shows exactly what I need to take in which semester in order to graduate, which is a very relieving and gratifying thing.

The Penn State York Honors Program provides challenging opportunities for academically superior students. Students who complete 9 credits of honors work are recognized. Recipients are: Stephen A. Bailey, Hampstead, Md.; Matthew J. Cocco, York, Pa.; Ryan M. Corney, Spring Grove, Pa.; Alison A. Crossley, Dover, Pa.; Nathan D. Cutshall, York, Pa.; Lauren R. Dalemar, York, Pa.; Matthew L. Dunlap, Shrewsbury, Pa.; Joshua J. Hess, Willow Street, Pa.; Tait H. Huso, Parkyon, Md.; Crystal L. Kimball, York, Pa.; Saryet A. Kucukemiroglu, York, Pa.; Setenay N. Kucukemiroglu, York, Pa.; Jennifer R. Lake, Wellsville, Pa.; Randi H. Mallery, York, Pa.; Zachary R. Merritt, Stewartstown, Pa.; David B. Minogue, Stewartstown, Pa.; Miles M. Myers, Hanover, Pa.; Lauren E. Schweinsberg, Oxford, Pa.; and Alexandra S. Zharichenko, New Cumberland, Pa.

The Evan Pugh Scholar Award is for 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. The Penn State York recipient is Crystal L. Kimball, York, Pa.

The President's Freshman Award is presented annually to full-time undergraduate students who have earned a 4.0 grade-point average for the first semester of their freshman year of study. Recipients are: Rachel F. Decamp, York, Pa.; Kate E. Garvin, York, Pa.; Sunggeul Kang, York, Pa.; Mary E. Lee, East Berlin, Pa.; Fangru Liu, York, Pa.; Jennifer L. Marcombe, York, Pa.; Andrew J. Patterson, Shrewsbury, Pa.; Carley E. Richardson, Mountville, Pa.; Tyler P. Ruenroeng, York, Pa.; Robert S. Schultz, New Freedom, Pa.; and Keith E. Wickline, York, Pa.

The President Sparks Award is presented annually to those undergraduate candidates who have earned 4.0 (A) cumulative grade-point average based on at least 36 graded Penn State credits completed by the end of the fall semester of the academic year the award is given. The President Sparks Award recipients are: Ryan M. Corney, Spring Grove, Pa.; Joshua J. Hess, Willow Street, Pa.; and Terri S. Rentzel, York, Pa.

Freshman Press Chemistry Award recipient is Jehanzeb H. Ghori, Las Vegas, Nev. This award is presented to a freshman based on outstanding academic achievement in chemistry.

Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi recognizes superior scholarship in all fields of study and only inducts the highest-ranking students from any branch of learning. The inductees are:  Matthew L. Dunlap, Shrewsbury, Pa.; Matthew N. Duong, York, Pa.; Laura A. Kline, York, Pa.;  Matthew C. Shannon, Red Lion, Pa.; and Nikole E. Tome, York, Pa.

Keystone Honor Society Awards were presented to full- and part-time students with the highest grade-point average (GPA) at or above a 3.50 GPA in each associate and baccalaureate degree program offered at the campus. Part-time students meeting the requirements are eligible to receive the award one time in their major. There are also minimum requirements for the time in the degree. Honorees for the full-time students are: Randy A. Forry, York, Pa., associate degree in electrical engineering technology; Nathan R. Brown, Red Lion, Pa. and Eric R. Gallant, Dover, Pa., associate degree in information sciences and technology; Rhonda J. Johnson, York, Pa. and Shehzad H. Siddique, York, Pa., associate degree in letters, arts and sciences; Jennifer L. Elicker, York, Pa.; Joshua M. Robertson, Hanover, Pa.; Matthew C. Shannon, Red Lion, Pa.; and Meher Tabassum, Red Lion, Pa., bachelor of science in business; Kaitlyn S. Kosalek, York, Pa.; Caitlin D. Markline, Glen Rock, Pa.; and Lera N. Tyler, New Freedom, Pa., bachelor of arts in communication arts and sciences; Shanna L. Christenson, York, Pa., bachelor of science in electro -mechanical engineering technology; Renee M. Hollinger, Hanover, Pa. and Crystal L. Kimball, York, Pa., bachelor of arts in English; Elizabeth M. Edkins, Columbia, Pa.; Laura A. Kline, York, Pa.; and Erin R. Murphy, Hanover, Pa., bachelor of science in human development and family studies; Shibani R. Chadha, York, Pa.; Purva V. Chitnis, York, Pa.; and Basil J. Hartman, Hanover, Pa., bachelor of science information sciences and technology; Rose A. Harless, York, Pa. and Katie L. Rice, Mount Joy, Pa., bachelor of arts in letters, arts and sciences; Matthew L. Dunlap, Shrewsbury, Pa.; Saryet A. Kucukemiroglu, York, Pa. and William D. Laviers, Bel Air, Md., bachelor of science in science.

Honorees for the part-time Keystone Honor Society students are: Jeffrey D. Cass, Dover, Pa., associate degree in business administration; Keith E. Wickline, York, Pa., associate in electrical engineering technology; Jennifer J. Miller, York, Pa., associate degree in human development and family studies; Peggy Ulsh, Mountville, Pa., associate degree in information sciences and technology; James M. Shaffer, Wrightsville, Pa., associate degree in mechanical engineering technology; Corey L. Miller, New Freedom, Pa., bachelor of science in business; Keith M. Sutton, Manchester, Pa., bachelor of science in electro- mechanical engineering technology; Karen D. Beard, York, Pa., bachelor of science in human development and family studies; and Christina D. Miller, Red Lion, Pa., bachelor of science in information sciences and technology.

Student Government Association (SGA) Campus Service Awards were presented to Rajdeep Champa, Mubai, India and Angela Steco, Lancaster, Pa.
The Student Appreciation Award is given to faculty or staff person for outstanding service to students.  The recipient was Monica M. Grigera, York, Pa., multicultural programs coordinator.

Gary L. Collison Community Service Awards were presented to Shane A. Moore, York, Pa.  The service awards are named to honor the late Gary L. Collison, professor of English and American Studies at Penn State York, whose idea it was to recognize students for their volunteer service. 

The Rotary Club Award is presented to an outstanding second-year student, chosen by the faculty, for having made a significant contribution to the campus and community. Rajdeep Champa, Mumbai, India is the recipient.

The Manufacturers’ Association Award honors a second year associate or baccalaureate degree student who has displayed academic excellence in an engineering or science program. The recipient was Randy A. Forry, York, Pa.

The Academic Achievement Award is given to a student(s) in recognition of academic accomplishments. The recipient(s) cannot have been otherwise honored with an academic award.  Minimum qualifications are second year standing by spring semester of the year in which the award is presented and a minimum 3.5 cumulative grade-point average.  Only Penn State credits are considered.  Jennifer R. Lake, Wellsville, Pa. and Elise K. Olsen, Felton, Pa., are the recipients.

The York County Chapter, Penn State Alumni Association Award is presented to a graduating associate degree senior from York County who has demonstrated outstanding qualities of scholarship, leadership, and service to the campus.  Alissa C. Cardenas, Manchester, Pa., is the recipient.

The Tutor of the Year Award is presented to the tutor who has made the greatest impact on students who came to the Nittany Success Center for extra help with their course work.  Nader M. Mekheal, York, Pa. is the recipient.

The Tau Alpha Pi National Honor Society recognizes high standards of scholarship among associate degree engineering seniors.  Campus engineering faculty select the award recipients.  Recipients are:  Randy A. Forry, York, Pa., electrical engineering technology (2EET); Sheldon L. Mumma, McConnellsberry, Pa., mechanical engineering technology (2MET); and Christian P. Brandt, York, Pa., electro-mechanical engineering technology (EMET).

The Lambda Pi Eta Award is the honor society of the National Communication Association. Recipients of this award are Megan L. Hoffer, Stewartstown, Pa.; Kaitlyn S. Kosalek, York, Pa.; Aaron J. Kraft, York, Pa.; Caitlin D. Markline, Glen Rock, Pa.; Theresa L. Rosenberry, Etters, Pa.; Taylor M. Schwienebart, Dallastown, Pa.; Madeline E. Snyder, Dallastown, Pa., and Lera N. Tyler, New Freedom, Pa.

The Edward M. Elias Award is presented to the first- and second-year baccalaureate students moving to a campus within the Penn State system with the highest grade-point average.  Dai Shi, York, Pa. and Ryan M. Corney, Spring Grove, Pa. are the recipients.

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Last Updated April 20, 2011