Campus honors excellence at Academic Recognition Ceremony

April 03, 2012

Penn State Brandywine honored students, faculty and staff for their achievements and excellence in academia at the annual Academic Recognition Ceremony on Thursday, March 22.

Friends, family and the campus community gathered together in support of the nearly 200 honorees presented with the Academic Achievement Award, which honors students who have achieved a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

In addition, the Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society inducted senior Rebecca Marie Brophy. The Sigma Tau English Honor Society confers distinction upon students of the English language and literature in undergraduate, graduate and professional studies.

Three students were presented with the President Sparks Award. Sophomore Samuel Barrett, junior Eileen Fresta and sophomore Nicholas Vico received the award for earning a 4.00 (A) cumulative GPA based on 36 Penn State credits completed by the end of the fall semester.

Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology and Integrative Arts Paul Greene was presented with the Madlyn Hanes Faculty Award, which recognizes a full-time faculty member who has made outstanding contributions to the campus community through exceptional achievement in teaching, research, scholarship, creative activity or service.

The Undergraduate Faculty and Student Research Awards were presented to sophomore Sarah DeMartino, senior Annabella Gallagher and Professor and Program Director of Human Development and Family Studies Cynthia Lightfoot. This award recognizes the excellence in faculty mentoring and student involvement in undergraduate research.

Distinguished Professor of English Adam Sorkin was presented with the Faculty Research Program Award, honoring and recognizing scholarly or creative excellence in the arts, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, engineering, business or communication.

This year’s George W. Franz Advising and Mentoring award was awarded to Director of Advising and Career Services Robin Stokes. This award was created to honor and recognize faculty or staff at Penn State Brandywine who have, over a period of time, excelled in helping others recognize and achieve their potential.

The President’s Freshman Award was presented to Cody Bressler, Nicholas Crawford, Theressa Ha and Steven Hargis. This award is presented annually to freshmen who have earned a 4.00 cumulative GPA based on at least 12 graded credits completed by the end of the fall semester.

The Randall S. Stout Award was established in memory of Randall S. Stout, professor of economics at Penn State for 36 years. The award honors a senior who has demonstrated superior academic performance and outstanding participation in the bachelor of science in business program at the campus. This year’s recipient was senior Vicken Arslanian.

The President’s Volunteer Service Award recognizes those who demonstrate commitment and inspire others to engage in volunteer service. Junior Eileen Fresta received the silver level award for volunteering between 250 to 499 hours, and senior Jennifer Santangelo received the bronze level for completing 100 to 249 hours of volunteer service. Santangelo also won the bronze in 2011 and the silver in 2010.

The Newman Civic Fellows Award was bestowed upon junior Zanya Stephenson. This award honors inspiring college student leaders who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country; Newman Civic Fellows are recommended by college and university presidents.

The Teaching Award For Part-Time Faculty this year was presented to Instructors Patricia O’Brien and Chris Neeb.

Distinguished Professor of Political Science Stephen Cimbala was honored with the Distinguished Teacher Award. “Stephen Cimbala’s innovative techniques and learning initiatives intrigue students to focus on the subject at hand and become enthused in history, politics and international relations,” said Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Studies Jennifer Zosh, who, as last year's winner, had the honor of presenting Cimbala with the award.

"When she said 'Steve Cimbala,' I looked up and asked, 'what?'" Cimbala said of Zosh announcing his win. "It's always a surprise as we have so many great teachers here. For every person who gets this award there are many tens of equally deserving people in a year. That's what makes it so special." Cimbala was not only surprised by the honor, he was humbled. "What can I say? I'm in my 39th year with the campus and I've never won a teaching award from the campus. When you wait 39 years for something, it certainly is a special pleasure and a big emotional moment. I am standing on the shoulders of my mother, who was a teacher, my wife who has been the wind beneath my wings for a lifetime, and my kids who have dragged me into the modern world, sometimes kicking and screaming." Cimbala also credited his colleagues and the students for "inspiring me to do my best."

The Distinguished Teacher Award honors a full-time faculty member who provides distinguished teaching while providing encouragement and incentive for teaching excellence and contributions to the Penn State Brandywine campus community.

  • Distinguished Professor of Political Science Stephen Cimbala (center) looks in disbelief as his name is announced as the recipient of the 2012 Distinguished Teacher Award.

    IMAGE: Mel Epps

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated April 04, 2012