Adult students at New Kensington inducted into national honor society

Fifteen students at Penn State New Kensington were inducted into Alpha Sigma Lambda, the national honor society for nontraditional adult college and university students. The students were recognized for their achievements at an induction ceremony April 2 in the campus Conference Center.

The new inductees are Regina Cherish (senior, communications); Michael Dixon (senior, nursing); Michael Frenak (junior, electro-mechanical engineering technology); Leah Genter (sophomore, organizational leadership); Beth Hollinger (sophomore, radiological sciences); Eric James (senior, administration of justice); Ryan Jessup (senior, information sciences and technology); Angela Jones (senior, nursing); Marcel Lowe (senior, electro-mechanical engineering technology); Angelica Matta (senior, business); Donna Matuch (sophomore, letters, arts and letters); Denise McMurdo (sophomore, organizational leadership); Chantee Nee (sophomore, corporate communications); Brian Oyenik (senior, organizational leadership); and Vanessa Trecki (senior, administration of justice).

Alpha Sigma Lambda, which translates to “First in Scholarship and Leadership,” recognizes the special achievements of adults who accomplish academic excellence while facing competing interests of home and work. Criteria for membership for students who are at least 24 years-old include a minimum 3.2 grade-point average and completion of at least 24 Penn State credits.

The oldest and largest chapter-based honor society, Alpha Sigma Lambda was created for full- and part-time students. There are more than 300 active chapters in the United States. Penn State New Kensington is the Eta Mu chapter of the honor society.

The society was founded in 1946 by Rollin B. Posey, dean of University College at Northwestern University, to recognize the academic achievements of evening students who handled their life responsibilities as well as course requirements.

Adult learners, including veterans, comprise approximately 25 percent of the student population at the campus. In addition, the number of vets at the campus is expected to rise in the next few years as the Iraq and Afghanistan wars wind down and more military personnel fulfill their service obligations and return to civilian status.

Evening programs are an essential component of class offerings for adult learners, many of whom work full-time jobs. Four campus bachelor’s programs: business, information sciences and technology, nursing and organizational leadership; can be completed at night.

The evening schedule complements another support feature for nontraditional students, the Adult Learner Resource Center and Lounge, which gives adult learners their own space on the campus. Located next to the Student Life office on the lower level of the Administration Building, the lounge includes a small library of resource books, coffee maker, refrigerator, microwave, a computer and printer, white board, table and chairs for small group study and comfortable chairs for relaxation. Hours are 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week.

For more on evening programs, visit

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Last Updated April 16, 2014