Four New Kensington distinguished alumni to be honored

NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. — Penn State New Kensington will honor the achievements of four campus alumni at 5 p.m. Friday,  June 16 in the campus’ Forum Theatre. Barbara Arnold, Gregory Garth, Raymond Mastre and Lisa Veitch comprise the inaugural class of distinguished alumni who will receive recognition from Chancellor Kevin Snider.

The Distinguished Alumni Awards ceremony acknowledges the four former campus students’ contributions to their professions and their communities. The award is the highest honor given by the New Kensington campus to a Penn State graduate.

The chancellor will present each of the awardees an engraved plaque. They will be featured on the new Distinguished Alumni Recognition Wall, which is located in the Administration Building.

Sponsored by the campus and the Penn State New Kensington Alumni Society, the event is a part of the first Off the Wall pARTy, a spring gala focusing on arts and culture. The pARTy starts at 6 p.m. and features an evening with regionally and nationally acclaimed visual and performing artists. The artists will showcase their talents through demonstrations, a theatrical production, music and dancing.

Distinguished Alumni 2017

Barbara J. Arnold ’82, ’85, ’89

Barbara Arnold is the president of PrepTech, Inc., which provides engineering consulting services to coal companies and others in the area of coal cleaning. PrepTech is the United States' representative for domestic and international mineral processing equipment manufacturers.

Arnold attended the New Kensington campus from 1978-1980. She holds bachelor’s,  master’s and doctoral degrees in mineral processing from Penn State, where she specialized in coal froth flotation, fine particle processing and coal petrology. 

Arnold’s research and development experience has included projects for government and industry funding agencies as well as private companies, and has covered the development of a coal cleaning simulator, coal handling, coal blending, coal cleaning characterizations, and flowsheet evaluations. Arnold’s experiences with United States Steel and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) have provided her with insight into coal properties and their effect on industrial processes. She has provided assistance for projects in China, India, Australia, Poland and Canada.

An active Penn State alumna, Arnold serves New Kensington as a member of the campus’ alumni society board, as well as the advisory board. 

In 1999, Arnold established the Student Leadership Development Fund which supports awards, guest speakers and travel related to student leadership programs. In 2008, she established the Barbara J. Arnold Global Initiatives Program Support Fund to increase student access to international experiences. Through the fund, Arnold has ensured that students can access international experiences as they prepare themselves for careers in today’s global society.

From 2007-2014, Arnold chaired the “For the Future” capital campaign and assisted in the efforts to raise $3.8 million for student scholarships and campus projects. 

For her tireless dedication to Penn State, Arnold was named an Alumni Fellow (2011) and received the Penn State College of Earth and Mineral Sciences Alumni Achievement Award (2008) and the Robert Stefanko Distinguished Achievement Award, Penn State Mining Engineering (2007). 

Gregory A. Garth ’70, ’72, ’81

Gregory Garth has more than three decades of experience as an otolaryngologist and surgeon. 

In 1970, he earned his associate degree in electrical engineering technology from Penn State New Kensington and continued his studies at University Park, earning a bachelor’s degree in Engineering in 1972. 

After several years working as an electrical engineer with Eastman Kodak, Garth enrolled in the Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey College of Medicine.  He obtained his medical degree in 1981.

Garth completed his residency at the Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Washington. He then practiced medicine in Germany for four years with the United States Army. The majority of Garth’s career was spent in private practice.

Garth has always been very athletic and healthy. However, in 2004, his definition of “healthy” changed when he suffered his first stroke. His recovery took four months; he learned to walk and speak again. He credits his mother for her unending love and devotion during this process. Five months after his stroke, Garth returned to work with a new outlook on life. 

In 2011, he endured a second stroke. The stroke has affected his right arm and leg as well as his speech. Daily, he works with his wife, Victoria, to rehabilitate his mobility and language.

Today, Garth inspires many individuals to recognize their abilities rather than disabilities. Amazingly, he participates in shuffleboard and bocce ball teams in Tucson, Arizona. He enjoys golf with his homemade adaptive left-hand brace to hold his club. He also has developed his artistic skills through woodcarving and stained glass art.

In Garth’s world, there are no limitations, only possibilities.

Raymond P. Mastre ’04

Raymond Mastre is a director of SAP Security and Controls consulting at PwC. He joined the company’s New York City office in 2004 after earning his bachelor’s degree in information sciences and technology at Penn State New Kensington.

Mastre later accepted a position to lead PwC’s European SAP Security business in Zurich, Switzerland. After four years in Switzerland, he returned to New York and was asked to relocate to San Francisco to lead the west region of the SAP Security/Controls practice.

Mastre’s contributions to the campus began when he served two years as the Student Government Association president. He championed a fundraising campaign to build the Nittany Lion shrine and walkway that exists today.

In 2007, Mastre joined the Penn State New Kensington’s Advisory Board and led the efforts to construct a fountain to honor the legacy of retired chancellor Larry Pollock. In 2013, Mastre was elected board president, the youngest president and the first campus graduate to fill the position.

While in New York, Mastre led the Penn State Alumni Association’s New York City Alumni Chapter, which is composed of more than 23,000 members, and sparked growth in the organization’s scholarship fund that supports New York City area freshmen. 

In 2014, Mastre established a scholarship for information sciences and technology students at the New Kensington campus. The fund exceeds $100,000 and annually generates more than $12,000 in scholarship support.  Mastre returns to campus regularly to mentor and engage students through guest lecturing and mock interviewing.

For his extraordinary professional accomplishments, Mastre was honored with the Penn State Alumni Association’s Alumni Achievement Award in 2015. 

Lisa C. Veitch ’83 

Lisa Veitch is a weapons system analyst with the Institute for Defense Analyses. Over the last 20 years, Veitch has been involved in the development of a number of new weapon systems including the Joint Strike Fighter, Comanche helicopter and Presidential helicopter, just to name a few.  

Veitch began her academic career at the New Kensington campus, attending from 1979-1981. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Ceramic Science and Engineering from Penn State. 

While working full-time at Delco Electronics, Veitch returned to school part time to pursue a master’s degree in materials science and engineering at Purdue University. Upon completion of her graduate studies, Veitch left the corporate world and returned to Purdue as a full-time doctoral student. She earned her doctorate in 1989. Her doctoral work was supported by the Office of Naval Research. The outcome of her research has been further developed for military and commercial systems. 

Veitch’s assessments have led the United States Department of Defense (DOD) to restructure programs or support decisions to terminate the programs. She has been involved in modernization programs (CH-47 Chinook helicopters and UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters) as well as new technologies that the DOD is creating to increase effectiveness on the battlefield. Veitch also worked on several NASA assessments related to their work in the aeronautics area. 

Throughout her career, Veitch has authored or co-authored more than 40 publications and filed a patent for a coating she developed for ceramic materials at NASA.

Veitch believes in giving back to the community in which she was raised. She has presented numerous seminars and workshops at the New Kensington campus and Plum Senior High School, her alma mater, on the importance of the STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields. 

Media Contacts: 

Bill Woodard

Work Phone: 
724-334-6049
Home Phone: 
724-335-0473
Cell Phone: 
724-594-8421

Alumni and Public Relations Specialist

Last Updated June 20, 2017