Shenango students, faculty and staff honored at convocation banquet

Shenango students, faculty and staff of Penn State Shenango were honored at the campus’ 2014 Honors Convocation and Recognition Banquet for their outstanding academic and student 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 Jo Anne Carrick, campus director; Elaine Andrews, special assistant to the campus director; Jammie Clark, assistant director of Student Affairs; and Chuck Greggs, associate director, Office of Admissions, as well as several faculty and staff who serve 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 Candace Beckman of Hermitage, Nicole Cain of Sharpsville, Jordan Dicerbo of Ellwood City, Alessia Scoccia of Hermitage, Jamie Stair of Greenville, Morgan Williams of Cortland, Ohio, and Tyrell Yoder of Hadley.

The Evan Pugh Scholar Award, named for Penn State’s first president (1859-1864), is given to the top student in both the junior and senior class. This award was presented to Linda Byler (junior) of Greenville.

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 Jennifer Huff of Hermitage.

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 Alysha Gilmore of Greenville.

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.

*Unless otherwise denoted, all students reside in cities in Pennsylvania.

The recipients included, beginning with baccalaureate seeking students, Kelly Burns, Agriculture, Jamestown; Kathy Kettering, Administration of Justice, Sharon; Ashley Mauser, BCHSS-Behrend College-Pre Major of Sharon; Connor Lucas, Behrend Education, Hermitage; Linda Byler, Business Administration at Shenango, Greenville; Mellissa Filer, Business Administration at Shenango , Mercer; Shelby Griswold, CCBUS-Pre Major in Business, Greenville; Kelsey Zurawsky, Division of Undergraduate Studies, Hubbard, Ohio; Karl Gerstnecker, Earth & Mineral Science, New Castle; Nicholas Taylor, Human Development and Family Studies, Sharon; Monica Sims, Human Development and Family Studies, Farrell; Maggie Cirillo, Letters, Arts and Sciences, Sharon; Heather Fulton, Nursing, Volant; David Cusick, Science, Sharpsville.

Those students seeking associate degrees who were chosen for this year’s Academic Achievement Awards included Brandon Hunt, Business Administration, Mercer; Amber Thompson, Human Development and Family Studies, Hermitage; Abigail Burns, Letters, Arts and Sciences, Masury, Ohio; Amber Conley, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Farmdale, Ohio; Shannon Whitaker, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Hubbard, Ohio; and Holly Beagle, Physical Therapy Assistant, Linesville.

The following students were recognized for their high academic achievement with cumulative grade-point averages of 3.7 and better. They included Jennifer Huff of Hermitage; Maria Chieffallo of Beaver Falls, Aaron Banas of Hermitage, Kate Serna of Hermitage, Zachary Weikal of Transfer, Kathy Kightlinger of Oil City, Patricia Palmer of Mercer, Robyn Crespi of Edinburg, Robin Newell of Hubbard, Ohio, Michael Krumpak of Greenville, Nolan Misko of Hermitage, Felicia Resatar of Hubbard, Ohio, Barbara Higgins of Masury, Ohio, Meagan Hardy of Masury, Ohio, Juanita Mennor of Sharpsville, and Jeffrey Myers of Sharpsville

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. 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.  The Osher Foundation Re-entry Scholarships were awarded to Sara Fusco of Hermitage and Robin Newell of Hubbard, Ohio.

This year’s Honors Program certificates were presented by Phil Nash, associate professor of history. These certificates were given to those students who have fulfilled the Honor’s Program’s requirements and have maintained an excellent grade-point average. They are Amy Hooks (College Honors) of Greenville and Jessica Beighley (Campus Honors) of Mercer.

Also recognized at the evening’s dinner were the many student clubs and organizations and their officers.  The campus’ clubs and organizations are run under the umbrella of the Students Government Association with Amy Hooks of Greenville as president (fall semester) and Kelvin Jordan of Sharpsville as president (spring semester).

This year’s Eric and Josephine Walker Award was presented to Michael Strange of Austintown, Ohio. This 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.

Strange graduated this spring with a degree in business administration. He has been an active member of Student Government Association, a voting member of the Student Activity Fee committee and a Lion Leader. He attended the 2013 Penn State Summer Leadership Conference and was also a participant on the 2014 Alternative Spring Break trip to Belize. Strange, who always strives for excellence in everything he does, interned at WaterFire Sharon last summer.

His nominator stated, “Michael has shown himself to be a very genuine and caring individual. I feel that it is in his nature to be honest, trustworthy and reliable. In addition, he is a valuable contributor to his peers in the classroom both in his initiative towards working together on team projects and in classroom discussions. He has a way of getting his points across while remaining respectful of others points of view.”

This year’s recipient of the Dennis W. Bartholomew Outstanding Adult student Award was Holly Beagle of Linesville. 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 1970-72 and graduated from the University Park campus in 1974 with a bachelor of science degree in engineering.

Beagle is a physical therapist assistant major. She has been married for 25 years and has two children.

Her nominator had this to say about her, "When reflecting on an appropriate nominee for this award, this student immediately came to mind. Words to describe this nominee include: intelligent, determined, persistent, academically successful and optimistic. Her educational goals have remained unwavering despite having been given a life changing medical diagnosis early this semester. Although she has been traveling for care out-of-state, she consistently has kept up with her studies. She remains a positive role model to those who have the pleasure of interacting with her. I have no doubt that she will succeed in her field of study."

This year’s Ann Wansack Award was presented to Khyana Johnson of Sharon and Peggy Murphy of Hermitage. The 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.

Johnson is a sophomore and letters, arts and sciences major. She is a very active student, managing a variety of responsibilities. As a leader of several student organizations, Khyana knows the meaning of hard work and determination. Khyana has been a Lion Leader, a member of the Drama Club and is a work-study student in the Admissions Office. She is a member of THON and helped the Shenango campus to raise more than $10,000 this year (the most in current Penn State Shenango memory). Johnson also served as a freshman representative in the Student Government Association, where she has represented the students on a variety of issues throughout the year. She resides in Sharon with her husband and their new baby boy.

Khyana’s nominator had this to say about her, "Khyana is indescribable. When in her company, there is a buoyancy and hope that is contagious. Her world view is so healthy that everyone around her is simply accepted and included. Her's is not a philosophical non-judgmentalness, but a sincere presumption that we all benefit from the inclusion of everybody. She is smart and helpful and knows that everyone else is, too! And so she expects the best from people, and she gets it!”

Murphy is a sophomore, psychology major. She is a mother of three and has been married to her husband, Greg, for 26 years. She is an active member of her church and serves in a variety of roles including board member, Sunday school teacher, treasurer and the director of the children’s program. Murphy also does accounting and secretarial work for her husband’s business. She is a self-published author of children’s books, which you can find on Amazon. She was selected as Shenango’s Student of the Month this past March. She has been an active member of the Drama Club and works as a speech consultant for Jeanne Zingale for the CAS 100A classes. Murphy still manages to find time to volunteer with events on campus, such as the Dr. Jane Williams 5K run/walk, Earth Fest and the Community Garden. She is an all-around great student and can brighten anyone’s day by her upbeat attitude and genuine positivity.

Murphy’s nominator had this to say about her, “Peggy takes her job as a speech consultant for the CAS 100A classes very seriously. In addition, she simply makes things go smoother in a number of areas, including her work with the Drama Club. She is not an officer, but she could easily wear the title of “Angel.” In the theater, an angel is someone who contributes funds or materials to make the show happen, and Peggy has donated a number of key items to make a production number or costume work better. Peggy also has the ability to take an idea, run with it, elaborate on it, and bring back something better than was originally envisioned.”

The Most Outstanding Club Member is an award given to a student who has made an exceptional contribution to the campus community through involvement with a club or organization. The 2013-14 Outstanding Club member award was presented to Kelvin Jordan of Sharpsville.

The Most Outstanding Club Adviser award is given to a faculty or staff member who has made an exceptional contribution to the campus community through advisement of a club or organization. The 2013-14 Outstanding Club Adviser was presented to Roxanne Atterholt of West Middlesex. Atterholt is the adviser to the Human Development and Family Studies Club.

The Most Outstanding Staff Member award is given to a Penn State Shenango staff member who has gone above and beyond the call of duty for a student club or organization at the Shenango campus. The 2013-14 Outstanding Staff Member award was presented to Officer Joe Izzo of Hermitage.

The Most Outstanding Club award is given to a student organization that has made the most significant contribution to Penn State Shenango and the community. The 2013-14 Outstanding Club award was presented to the Human Development and Family Studies Club.

Last Updated June 10, 2014