Penn State announces fall 2012 commencement events, speakers

December 07, 2012

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Through the end of summer 2012, Penn State has conferred a total of 702,047 degrees. At the conclusion of the fall 2012 semester, the University's total number of graduates should approach 706,960.

This fall Penn State expects to award approximately 4,908 diplomas to students University-wide who are completing 262 associate, 3,711 baccalaureate and 935 graduate degrees.

At the University Park campus, an estimated 3,433 degrees will be conferred at two undergraduate events, held at 9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at the Bryce Jordan Center, and The Graduate School ceremony at 4 p.m. in Eisenhower Auditorium, all over which Penn State President Rodney Erickson will preside.

Following is a compilation of fall 2012 commencement ceremonies and speaker information for Penn State's 24 campuses.

Penn College
11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 22, Community Arts Center, Williamsport
Student Speaker: Fadhil A. Aljishi
Aljishi will receive a bachelor’s degree in plastics and polymer engineering technology. He has been selected to receive the President’s Award, presented for leadership and service to the college. He is a member of the Alpha Chi national college honor society.

Penn State Abington
10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 21, Athletic Building
Speaker: James Braxton Peterson
Peterson, director of Africana Studies and associate professor of English at Lehigh University, is the founder of Hip Hop Scholars, LLC, an association of Hip Hop generational scholars dedicated to researching and developing the cultural and educational potential of Hip Hop, urban and youth cultures. He is actively involved in community service programs that promote issues relating to race, ethnicity and gender; women's studies; social justice; and multiculturalism. He is a regular blogger for the Huffington Post and has appeared on CNN, HLN, Fox News and MSNBC as an expert on race, politics and popular culture.

Penn State Altoona
11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 22, Jaffa Shrine
Speaker: Ralph D. McKibbin
McKibbin earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania, then went on to receive his medical degree from what is now the Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. He performed his medical residency at Hahnemann University Hospital, where he was selected as chief medical resident prior to completing his fellowship in gastroenterology. In 1992, McKibbin returned to his ancestral roots in central Pennsylvania to embark upon his career in gastroenterology.

Penn State Beaver
7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21, Student Union Building auditorium
Speaker: Donna M. Newell ’93 Eng, ’96 M.Eng
Newell, who attended the Penn State Beaver campus for two years, is principal owner and president of NTM Engineering Inc., Dillsburg, Pa. She has 17 years of civil engineering experience, specializing in hydrology and hydraulics (H&H). Her background includes designing hydraulic structures, performing H&H analysis and modeling, and developing in-house computer programs for water resources engineering applications. She works extensively with PennDOT’s Bureau of Project Delivery as a consultant, instructional course developer and instructor. Newell holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a master’s degree in environmental engineering from Penn State.

Penn State Berks
7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21, Beaver Community Center
Speaker: Glenn E. Moyer ’73
Moyer was appointed by Gov. Tom Corbett on April 1, 2011, and confirmed as Secretary of Banking by unanimous vote of the Pennsylvania Senate on May 3, 2011. Moyer is a graduate of Penn State, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary education. He also earned master’s degrees in education from Eastern New Mexico University and business administration from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. Following graduation from college, he served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force, stationed at Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico.

Penn State Brandywine
10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 21, Commons Building
Speaker: Mike Arata ’91 Eng
Arata attended the Brandywine campus for two years and went on to receive his degree at University Park. He began his career with United Airlines and currently is managing director of engineering, overseeing the airworthiness and configuration of the fleet of more than 700 Boeing and Airbus aircraft for the world's largest airline. His team defines the technical requirements and modifications that ensure the aircraft and engines are maintained to the highest levels of safety and reliability. He and his family reside in Chicago.

Penn State College of Medicine
no fall commencement

Penn State Dickinson School of Law
no fall commencement

Penn State DuBois
7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20, Hiller Auditorium
Speaker: James Kuterbach
Kuterbach, instructor of human development and family studies (HDFS) at Penn State DuBois since 2008, was named the DuBois Educational Foundation Educator of the Year for 2011-12. Nominations for the Educator of the Year Award come from campus students who feel a faculty member has had a significant impact in the lives of those they teach. Kuterbach's HDFS students go on to work in fields such as mental health, addiction counseling, behavioral counseling, probation and more. He successfully defended his thesis for his doctorate in educational theory and policy in October, and will receive that degree in May. In addition to teaching, Kuterbach serves on the campus Early Intervention Committee, which assists students dealing with emotional, behavioral or academic issues, and on the campus Enrollment Management Committee.

Penn State Erie, The Behrend College
6 p.m., Friday, Dec. 21, Junker Center
Speaker: Victoria Kazmerski
It is a Penn State Behrend tradition to have a faculty member address the graduation candidates and their guests. Victoria Kazmerski is an associate professor of psychology at the college and directs its Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory. Her research interests are examination of memory, language and attention in both normal-functioning and clinical populations using the recording of event-related brain potentials (ERPs).

Penn State Fayette
no fall commencement

Penn State Great Valley
no fall commencement

Penn State Greater Allegheny
7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20, Wunderely Gymnasium
Speaker: Dara Ware Allen ’08g
Allen is the chief operating officer and program director at Leadership Pittsburgh Inc., a nonprofit organization devoted to leadership identification, enrichment and networking. Allen holds a doctoral degree in workforce education and development within the College of Education from Penn State.

Penn State Harrisburg
9:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 22, Giant Center, Hershey
Speaker: Kathleen Pavelko ’75, ’79g
Pavelko is president and CEO of witf, a public media center serving 2 million citizens in south central Pennsylvania. Since her tenure began in October 1999, Pavelko, of New Cumberland, has led and completed a $39 million capital project, which financed the construction of a 72,000-square-foot public media center. Under her leadership, witf’s total assets have quintupled. Pavelko holds a bachelor of arts with distinction in ancient history and a master of arts in journalism from Penn State, and certificates in advanced strategic management and non-profit management from the University of California/Berkeley and the Harvard Business School.

Penn State Hazleton
no fall commencement

Penn State Lehigh Valley
no fall commencement

Penn State Mont Alto
no fall commencement

Penn State New Kensington
10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 22, Forum Theatre
Speaker: George Adda '74
Adda, retired director of worldwide sales and marketing for Lufkin Industries, attended the Penn State New Kensington campus for two years before completing his bachelor’s degree in psychology at University Park. Lufkin is an energy-focused company operating in the oilfield and power transmission segments. Adda was with the company for almost 40 years. A Lower Burrell resident, he serves on the campus Advisory Board and is a life member of the Penn State Alumni Association. Two of his daughters are Penn State alumni.

Penn State Schuylkill
7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20, Gymnasium
Attorney Joseph H. Jones Sr. ’50 Law
Jones is of counsel to Williamson, Friedberg & Jones LLC, the largest and oldest law firm in Schuylkill County, Pa. Jones received his bachelor of arts from Ursinus College, a Juris Doctor from Dickinson School of Law, and a master of laws degree in Taxation from New York University. In 1987, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from Ursinus College. Jones has served on the Penn State University Schuylkill Campus Advisory Board for 30 years. In 1987, he received the “Distinguished Citizens Award” from Penn State University. In 2012, the Kiefer-Jones Building at Schuylkill Campus was dedicated in his honor.

Penn State Shenango
7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21, Auditorium
Speaker: Frank R. Augustine ’80
Augustine is the owner of Augustine's Italian Village, Inc. in New Castle, Pa. He graduated from Penn State with a bachelor of science degree in health planning and administration. Augustine is a past president of the Penn State Lawrence County Alumni Chapter.

Penn State University Park
Saturday, Dec. 22, Bryce Jordan Center
-- 9 a.m., College of Agricultural Sciences, Smeal College of Business, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, College of Engineering, College of Information Sciences and Technology;
Speaker: Penn State President Rodney Erickson
-- 12:30 p.m., College of Arts and Architecture, College of Communications, College of Education, College of Health and Human Development, College of the Liberal Arts, School of Nursing, Eberly College of Science
Speaker: Mildred Dresselhaus, honorary degree recipient
-- 4 p.m., The Graduate School
Speaker: Dean Charles Whiteman, Smeal College of Business, Penn State

Penn State Wilkes-Barre
no fall commencement

Penn State Worthington-Scranton
no fall commencement

Penn State York
6 p.m. Friday, December 21, Pullo Family Performing Arts Center
Speaker: The Hon. Todd Russell Platts
Platts is a member of the United States Congress, representing the 19th District of Pennsylvania. Sworn in as a member of the House of Representatives in January 2001, Congressman Platts serves the residents of Adams, Cumberland and York counties. In January 2012, he announced his plan to retire from Congress at the end of the 112th Congress, which ends on Jan. 3, 2013. Throughout his career, Congressman Platts has supported campus efforts and has visited on numerous occasions to meet and talk with students.

  • For commencement details at the University Park campus, click on the image above. For other campuses, refer to links listed in the article.


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Last Updated December 07, 2012