Charles Bursey gives commencement address at Penn State Shenango

Penn State Shenango held its 2014 spring commencement ceremony Friday, May 9, in the Shenango campus auditorium with a reception following. Jo Anne Carrick, campus director, conferred baccalaureate and associate degrees on 68 graduating students.

The ceremony opened with the academic processional played by pianist Janet Staul, followed by the national anthem sung by the Shenango Valley Chorale. Phillip Nash, associate professor of history and faculty marshal, will welcome graduates, family members and guests to the 2014 commencement ceremony.

This year, Penn State Shenango selected Charles Bursey as its commencement speaker. Bursey is a full professor of biology at the Shenango campus and a soon-to-be professor emeritus — he will retire on June 30.  He has taught biology for 44 years at Penn State, including courses in anatomy, physiology, biological science and coastal science. 

Shortly after earning his doctorate in zoology from Michigan State University in 1969, Bursey joined the faculty of Penn State Shenango in 1970, only three years after ground was broken for the campus in its present location. Bursey has earned a reputation for rigor and excellence in teaching by both his peers and his students. 

Early in his career, he taught marine biology to students over the summer in Wallops, Va., as part of a National Science Foundation marine biology program. In addition to his teaching, Bursey is a noted scientist and scholar in the field of parasitology. Over the past two years alone, he has published more than 50 articles on parasitic worms in premier academic journals. He has also actively served on numerous committees at the campus, college, community and University levels. 

In the 1980s and 1990s, Bursey had also been asked three times to step into administrative roles. He was appointed acting campus executive officer from 1988-89 and acting campus director from 1981-1982 at the Shenango campus, and, from 1984-85, the interim campus executive officer at the McKeesport (now Greater Allegheny) campus. In the past 44 years, Bursey not only has had a distinguished career at Penn State, but he has made a significant impact on his students and colleagues.  

This year’s graduating student address was given by Rebecca J. Maurice, of Sharpsville, Pa. Maurice, who is an adult student, graduated with a baccalaureate degree in human development and family studies. She recently completed her internship with the Community Food Warehouse of Mercer County where she helped to organize their annual Empty Bowls Project.

The commencement ceremony will conclude with the induction of the 2014 Penn State graduates into the Penn State Shenango Alumni Society by Society President Christine Scherer.

For more information about this year’s graduation ceremony, contact the Registrar’s Office at 724-983-2856.

Last Updated May 12, 2014