Education grad excels in academics, fighting ALS during college career

On Saturday, Cathy Chuba will graduate from Penn State with remarkable academic achievement, attaining a perfect 4.0 grade-point average while earning her baccalaureate degree in secondary education with a teacher certification matg. But she also achieved another legacy, drawing on personal experience to help others.

Chuba is the co-founder and former vice president of the Penn State Strike 3 ALS Organization, a club devoted to raising awareness and funds towards finding a cure for ALS, or what is commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Her involvement stems from personal experience -- her mother was diagnosed with the disease in 2005 and passed away in April 2007. Under her leadership, the organization has raised more than $20,000 to fight Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

The Penn State College of Education has announced Chuba as the spring 2008 student marshal. Chuba carried the College of Education’s banner and led the procession of all students at the commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 17, in Eisenhower Auditorium on the University Park campus. She was the first student to receive her diploma on stage.

Rose Zbiek, associate professor of education, whom Chuba chose as her escort at commencement and who also served as the college’s faculty marshal, said, “Cathy’s remarkable academic accomplishments and numerous contributions to the community within and beyond Penn State are indicative of the insight, integrity, compassion and commitment that she brings to everything she does. They also are but a glimmer of the many wonderful things that lie in her future.”

Chuba recently completed her student teaching practicum in grades 10 through 12 at the State College Area High School. She taught Calculus, Algebra II, and College Preparatory Math III.

”My student teaching experience affirmed my love for teaching and mathematics. It gave me a chance to put into practice all that I had learned while attending classes at Penn State,” said Chuba.

In addition to her 4.00 grade-point average, Chuba is the recipient of several honors and awards, including Dean’s List Honors (all semesters), Evan Pugh Scholar, Schreyer Scholar, Donald B. and Mary Louise Elder Tait Scholarship in Mathematics Education, President’s Freshman Award and President Sparks Award.

Chuba also has worked for numerous organizations such as ESF Summer Camps in Chester Springs, Pa.; The Second Mile in State College; the Morgan Academic Support Center for Student Athletes at Penn State, and Volunteers in Public Schools in State College.

A native of Downingtown, Pa., Chuba plans to return to that area after graduation to seek a full-time teaching position. Eventually, she would like to pursue a master’s degree in education. Her father, two sisters and several other family members were in attendance at the commencement ceremony.

Media Contacts: 
Last Updated November 18, 2010