Psychology students awarded Allegheny-Kiski Health Foundation scholarships

William A. Woodard Jr.
November 05, 2015

UPPER BURRELL, Pa. — Although a large percentage of Penn State New Kensington students receive campus and University scholarships, many students receive competitive outside scholarships. Four psychology students recently earned Allegheny-Kiski Health Foundation scholarships.

Senior Jamie Herstek, of Upper Burrell; junior Serena Buday, of Tarentum; sophomore Jon McCabe, of Lower Burrell; and senior Jill Dickun were presented the awards on campus by John Pastorek, president and CEO of the foundation. Each year the foundation distributes more than $28,000 to area students pursuing postsecondary education.

Founded in 1983, the Allegheny-Kiski Health Foundation is an independent charitable organization that helps improve the health, wellness and quality of life for those who live or work in the Alle-Kiski Valley. The foundation’s programs and services are provided to the community free of charge. The organization is not affiliated with any hospital or other nonprofits.

“I am very fortunate that the Allegheny-Kiski Health Foundation is willing to give Penn State New Kensington students this wonderful opportunity,” said Herstek, who plans to attend graduate school after she graduates in May.

Herstek comes from a family of campus alumni. Her older sister, Julie, attended the campus for two years before finishing her psychology studies at the University Park campus in 2012. The middle sister, Jenna, earned her bachelor’s degree in communications from the campus in 2014. Her mother, Ruthann, administrative support assistant to the director of Academic Affairs, holds two degrees from the campus — an associate degree in liberal arts and a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership. The family matriarch will earn her master’s degree in adult education in December.

Jamie got a jump-start on her college education while a senior at Burrell High School. She participated in the campus’ dual enrollment program that offers high school students the opportunity to earn college credits. She earned six credits before enrolling in the psychology program.

"Penn State is a great university, and the New Kensington campus is perfect for me," Jamie said. "It is close to home and offers my major."

In addition to the foundation’s scholarship, McCabe was the recipient of the Gertrude A. “Trudi” Miller Clements-Booth Trustee matching scholarship from the campus. Last year, he received the campus’ Dr. N.A. Kopelman and Freda D. Kopelman Trustee Scholarship.

McCabe is active on campus. He is a member of the Student Government Association, where he serves as the underclassmen faculty senate representative, and the Drama Club, a student group that performs shows twice a year for the campus and the local community. He has several roles in the upcoming musical comedy, “The Toxic Avenger.” The fall stage production is set for Nov. 19-21 in the campus’ Forum Theatre.

Penn State New Kensington offers both a bachelor of arts and a bachelor of science in psychology. The bachelor of science program prepares students for future careers in clinical, cognitive, developmental, health, industrial/organizational or social psychology. The bachelor of arts program combines the knowledge, skills and values of psychology with a thorough liberal arts foundation.

For more on the psychology program, visit

  • Scholarship recipients

    Penn State New Kensington psychology students Serena Buday and Jon McCabe earned Allegheny-Kiski Health Foundation scholarships for 2015-16. 

    IMAGE: Bill Woodard

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Last Updated November 05, 2015