NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. — After holding two of the most prominent student leadership positions on campus, Shannon Josefoski, a junior project and supply-chain management major from Natrona Heights, Pennsylvania, was named the 2017 recipient of the Eric A. and Josephine S. Walker Award on April 28 at the Academic and Student Achievement Awards ceremony at Penn State New Kensington.
Josefoski, who served as president of the Student Government Association (SGA) and chair of the campus THON team, epitomizes the Penn State ideals of excellence in the classroom, leadership on campus and citizenship in the community.
The Walker Award is given to the student whose outstanding qualities of character, scholarship and leadership contribute to the prestige of the campus. The award was established in 1980 by Penn State President Eric Walker and is presented at each of Penn State's 24 campuses.
Along with Josefoski, students, faculty and staff were honored for their achievements inside and outside the classroom at the annual "Celebration of Excellence" ceremony. More than 100 students were recognized for their academic prowess and extracurricular accomplishments during the fall and spring semesters.
Two faculty members were honored with Excellence in Teaching Awards — Abhinav Aima, instructor in communications (full time), and Charles Klingensmith, instructor in English (part time). Faculty have three areas of responsibility: teaching, research/scholarly activity and service. The award recognizes campus faculty contributions in teaching. The principle criterion is classroom performance, but excellence in other activities such as advising, supervision of learning outside the classroom, and course development are also considered.
Students received academic recognition for the highest grade-point averages in each major, as well as for earning memberships in honors programs. Dylan Clinton, Huating Lang and Jiahui Lin received the President Sparks Award for earning a 4.0 GPA with at least 36 credits. Seventeen first-year students were recognized for earning 4.0 GPAs during the fall semester.
Student achievement honorees included: Hannah Albright and Carly Duncan, Lion Ambassadors of the Year; Ian Cohen, Emerging Leader; and Ashley Worlds, Community Service. Josefoski also earned the Penn State New Kensington Alumni Society’s Penn State Spirit Award.
In athletics, Jordan Williams (men’s basketball) was named Male Athlete of the Year, and Madison Graham and Allison Nicklas (softball) were selected as Female Athletes of the Year. Cody Shoemaker (baseball and men’s soccer) and Ben Lesko (baseball) were selected for the “The Darb” Sportsmanship Award, which was established in honor of Robert Darby, kinesiology instructor, athletic director and coach, who retired in 2006 after 38 years at the campus. Jim Perry, head coach of the first-year baseball program, was named Coach of the Year.
A product of Highlands High School, Josefoski has been a very active student since the moment she stepped on the New Kensington campus. She has held numerous leadership roles, including SGA president, THON chair, THON dancer, and Campus and Activities Board (CAB) member. She also is student representative on several campus committees and a cheerleader for intercollegiate sports.
As SGA president, Josefoski chaired the Constitution Review and SGA Executive Officer committees and co-chaired both the Student Activity Fee and Student Facility Fee committees. These committees had oversight of more than $250,000 in student funds. Under Josefoski’s leadership, the Executive Committee traveled to Washington D.C., to attend the National Association for Student Governments Conference, the first time a group from the campus participated in the national conference. The SGA has made it a priority to improve the campus experience through more responsible student advocacy. Her team supported the My Vote Matters program, co-sponsored events that promoted voter registration, and hosted local politicians for the Dinner and Dialog program.
Josefoski is passionate about serving others, as demonstrated by her numerous community activities, especially THON. Last year, she took on the challenge of chairing the campus THON team, which raised $17,000 for the fight to prevent pediatric cancer. This year, Josefoski earned the right to represent the campus as one of two THON dancers. Dancers are required to participate in most of the THON fundraisers and individually raise over $1,000. Shannon’s canning and Basket BINGO activities exceeded the mark. At yet another fundraiser for THON, she spent part of her winter break gift-wrapping presents. Altogether, she helped the THON team raise $15,000.
In addition, Josefoski, along with 13 other students, participated in an alternative spring break trip to Puerto Rico. Instead of taking a rest from studies, the students planted mangrove trees to replenish the mangrove forest and learned about the Puerto Rican culture and the plight of many of those living in the poorest sections of the country. Josefoski attended numerous cultural workshops in preparation for the trip and led a campus presentation to share her experiences. It was the second alternative spring trip for Josefoski. She went to Arizona in 2016 to spend a week in Navajo Nation.
Nominations for the Walker Award are submitted by campus students, faculty and staff. One of Josefoski’s nominators wrote about working with Shannon on the Arizona trip: “Being able to work in tough conditions, staying positive, stepping out of one’s comfort zone and being supportive are just some of the traits that Shannon demonstrated. She was a strong, intelligent, supportive servant leader during the entire trip.”
“A Celebration of Excellence”
COLLEGE ACADEMIC AWARDS
COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING - Nicholas Sabolovic (Junior); Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology: Nathan Piluso (Senior), Matthew Rzewnicki (Junior), Joshua Boyd (Sophomore); Biomedical Engineering Technology: Jack Dellostritto (Sophomore), Rostislav Tesler (Sophomore)
COLLEGE OF INFORMATION SCIENCES AND TECHNOLOGY - Dale Moore (Senior), Sean Payton (Junior)
COLLEGE OF LIBERAL ARTS - Administration of Justice: Roya Fashandi (Senior), Mia Gallippi (Sophomore); Liberal Arts: Janna Schrader (Sophomore)
JOSEPH A. AND MARY M. QUARATO NURSING PROGRAM AWARD - Autumn Kanaan, Colleen Williams
UNIVERSITY COLLEGE - Bachelor of Arts, Psychology: Brittany Becker (Junior), Savannah Smith (Sophomore); Bachelor of Science, Psychology: Joshua Gump (Junior); Business Administration: Nicholas Iducovich (Senior), Connor Kelly (Senior), Amanda Mohrbach (Senior), Alexandra Clark (Junior); Communications: Isabella Bordonaro (Senior); Radiological Sciences: Branda-Lee Bonzani (Sophomore), Bree Dudek (Sophomore), Courtney Horner (Sophomore)
DIVISION OF UNDERGRADUATE STUDIES - Paulina Iniguez (Sophomore)
HONORS PROGRAM - Three-Year Participants: Jonathan McCabe, Danielle Richardson; Two-Year Participants: Isabella Bordonaro, Jared Burk, Nathaniel Coup, Derek Fuhrman, Joshua Gump, Evan Shaffer, Ashley Worlds; One-Year Participants: Bogdan Bordean, Carly Duncan, Michael Ferrone, Danielle Leeman, Christopher Oberdorf, Sarah Peppler, Daniele Smith, Savannah Smith, Andrew Soxman, Ryan Stanga, Logan Villella
EVAN PUGH SCHOLAR AWARD - Nathaniel Coup (Junior)
PRESIDENT’S FRESHMAN AWARD - Jamie Anuskiewicz, Shana Boxley, Joshua Boyd, Liam Connolly, Alexander Conte, Alec Eshenbaugh, Bradley Lucas, Brandon Luker, Brandon Mazur, Lewi Noah Estifanos, Michael Ott, Scott Sinclair, Daniele Smith, Hannah Smith, Joshua Stearman, Christine Tamburri, Brandon Weltz
PRESIDENT SPARKS AWARD - Dylan Clinton, Huating Lang, Jiahui Lin
EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING AWARDS - Abhinav K. Aima, Instructor in Communications (full-time faculty); Charles F. Klingensmith, Instructor in English (part-time faculty)
STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS
WHO’S WHO AMONG STUDENTS IN AMERICAN JUNIOR COLLEGES AND AMERICAN UNIVERSITIES AWARDS: Isabella Bordonaro, Raven Brunner, Jared Burk, Alicia Carson, Alexander Conte, Nathaniel Coup, Jack Dellostritto, Joshua Gump, Paulina Iniguez, Tyler John, Jiahui Lin, Mariana Mbemba, Jonathan McCabe, Danielle Richardson, Nicholas Sabolovic, William Sadecky, Evan Shaffer, Andrew Soxman, Rostislav Tesler, Ashley Worlds
PENN STATE NEW KENSINGTON ALUMNI SOCIETY PENN STATE SPIRIT AWARD: Shannon Josefoski
PERFORMING ARTS AWARDS: Alexander Conte (Best Performer); Bradyn Claycomb (Best Technician)
LITERARY AWARD: Nathan Traini
LION AMBASSADOR OF THE YEAR AWARD: Hannah Albright, Carly Duncan
STUDENT ORGANIZATION AWARDS
EMERGING LEADER: Ian Cohen
COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD: Ashley Worlds
STUDENT GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION AWARDS: Shannon Josefoski, President; William Carney, Vice President (fall 2016); William Sadecky, Vice President (spring 2017); Tyler John, Secretary; Chad Navarro, Treasurer; Jake Boney, Upperclassmen Faculty Senate Representative; Taylor McHenry, Underclassman Faculty Senate Representative; Ashley Worlds, THON Chair
ATHLETIC ACADEMIC AWARDS
The New Kensington campus is a member of the Penn State University Athletic Conference, United States Collegiate Athletic Association and National Collegiate Wrestling Association.
USCAA ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICA: Nathaniel Coup, Francesco Di Cocco (men’s soccer); David Sadecky (men’s and women’s golf); Cora Rejniak (women’s volleyball); Nicholas Sabolovic, William Sadecky (men’s basketball); Mackenzie Degreen, Allison Nicklas, Alyssa Slancauskas (softball)
PSUAC ACADEMIC ALL-CONFERENCE; JOHN EVANS SCHOLAR-ATHLETE MEMORIAL AWARD (*PSUAC Academic All Conference; **PSUAC and John Evans Scholar-Athlete Memorial Award): Jason Fruh*, Grant Rukat**, David Sadecky**, Daniele Smith* (men’s and women’s golf); Jonathan Caffas**, Nathaniel Coup**, Francesco Di Cocco**, Cy Milko*, Cruise Moen*, Ryan Stanga*, Joshua Stearman* (men’s soccer);Gina Batiz*, Danielle Leeman*, Jadeann Menear*, Morgan Pajerski*, Cora Rejniak** (women’s volleyball); Alec Eshenbaugh*, Nicholas Roth*(wrestling); Brandon Burchette**, Nicholas Sabolovic**, William Sadecky** (men’s basketball); Jacob Klukaszewski**, Matthew Kozub**, Chad Navarro** (baseball); Mackenzie Degreen**, Madison Graham**, Allison Nicklas**, Alyssa Slancauskas**, Rebecca Wilhelm**, Branna Wyant** (softball)
ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE AWARDS
PSUAC ALL-CONFERENCE: Daniele Smith (men’s and women’s golf)
USCAA PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Daniele Smith (men’s and women’s golf)
PSUAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Daniele Smith (men’s and women’s golf); Kenneth Rouse-Strother (men’s basketball)
ATHLETES OF THE YEAR: Male Athlete of the Year: Jordan Williams (men’s basketball); Female Athletes of the Year: Madison Graham and Allison Nicklas (softball)
ROBERT DARBY “THE DARB” SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD: Cody Shoemaker (baseball and men’s soccer) and Benjamin Lesko (baseball)
COACH OF THE YEAR: James S. Perry Jr. (baseball)