Chancellor encourages York graduates to embrace their humanity

May 09, 2018

YORK, Pa. — “Graduates, whenever the opportunity arises, practice your compassion, be an active listener, be respectful of everyone, be sympathetic, and most of all, strive to be understanding, as knowledge is power,” said David W. Chown, chancellor of Penn State York and the commencement speaker during Penn State York’s 48th annual spring commencement May 4.

Chown, who will be retiring effective Aug. 1, urged graduates to help tackle two of the biggest problems in society today: bullying and the hostile workplace.

Chown shared stories of three people he believes to be examples of compassionate individuals, the late Barbara Bush, a former first lady; his late father, Wayne, the most compassionate person he has ever known; and Connor Williams, a 6-foot-5-inch, 296-pound Texas Longhorn All-American and second round NFL draft pick of the Dallas Cowboys, who had been horribly bullied as a boy. Using their stories, Chown urged graduates to help make a difference.

“So graduates, my message, as much as possible for each of you, I implore you, please, please embrace your humanity. Revel in it, get comfortable in it, and let it guide your actions. We’re all in this together, and, collectively, all of us can make a difference.”

Chown has served the campus and the University for more than five years, and following his retirement as chancellor from Penn State York, Chown will take on other duties for the University through Sept. 30. He and his wife, Peggy, director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Penn State York, currently live in York but plan to return to Iowa to live after his retirement.

In addition to hearing from Chown, Penn State York continued its open microphone tradition where students can speak to the audience for a moment and share thoughts on their college experience. Some students shared stories of overcoming great struggles while others thanked family and friends, and commended campus faculty and staff for their support.

The top senior attending in Penn State York’s associate degree programs, Paula M. Presswood, human development and family studies, Dover, Pennsylvania; the top senior in baccalaureate programs, Nathan K. Oberdick, information sciences and technology, Manchester, Pennsylvania; and a top master’s degree graduate, Phalon Faye Mallory, master of education in teaching and curriculum, York, Pennsylvania, also spoke.

A total of 66 degrees were awarded during the ceremony. The campus awarded three master of education in teaching and curriculum degrees, 47 baccalaureate degrees, and 7 associate degrees. Nine students who earned their degrees at another Penn State location returned to York to receive a degree during the ceremony. For those who could not attend the event, the ceremony was broadcast live on the campus website and on Channel 18.

The following students earned associate degrees: Amanda Marie Dinsmore, Seven Valleys, Pennsylvania, business administration; Michael Jonathan Glasgow, York, Pennsylvania, information sciences and technology, summa cum laude; Ethan Jeriel Guistwite, Hanover, Pennsylvania, mechanical engineering technology; Dea Chrysant Herman, Emigsville, Pennsylvania, human development and family studies, magna cum laude; Kathryn Jones, Littlestown, Pennsylvania, business administration; Paula M. Presswood, Dover, Pennsylvania, human development and family studies, summa cum laude; and Tyler William VanWyk, York, Pennsylvania, human development and family studies.

Trevor Tranchina at York

Trevor Frank Tranchina takes advantage of the open microphone to say thank you to family, friends, and Penn State York faculty and staff for their support.  Tranchina earned a bachelor of science in biology.

IMAGE: Barbara Dennis

Those students earning baccalaureate degrees were: Rachael Altland, York, Pennsylvania, arts and science in communications; Erik S. Bailey, York, Pennsylvania, information sciences and technology; Julia Bean, Shrewsbury, Pennsylvania, psychology; Gurkirat K. Bhangu, York, Pennsylvania, biology; Amanda Leigh Campbell, Dillsburg, Pennsylvania, business; Carmelo Casiano III, York, Pennsylvania, business; Lauren Ashley Clemens, York, Pennsylvania, business; Emily Kayla Colon, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, psychology; Ryan Matthew Dejong, Stewartstown, Pennsylvania, science; Rabecca Lynne Dickey, New Oxford, Pennsylvania, psychology; Savannah Dietz, York, Pennsylvania, business; Briana Marie Dowling, York, Pennsylvania, human development and family studies; Kiersten Nicole Fisher, Red Lion, Pennsylvania, business; Jason Harold Graves, Marietta, Pennsylvania, business; Jordan Matthew Hisey, Spring Grove, Pennsylvania, business; Nicolle Briann Howery, York, Pennsylvania, business; Kiana Lsierra Jackson-Brown, Mount Wolf, Pennsylvania, human development and family studies; Megan Elizabeth Knisely, York, Pennsylvania, human development and family studies; Athena Vasileia Koufomihalis, Hanover, Pennsylvania, business; Allegra H. Krajci, Forest Hill, Maryland, psychology; Ashlee Marie Kuntz, York, Pennsylvania, business; Alex Robert Leland, York, Pennsylvania, business; Alfredo Lopez, York, Pennsylvania, human development and family studies; Jamaia S. Marks, Mount Wolf, Pennsylvania, biology; Connor A. Martyn, York, Pennsylvania, communication; Errick Lutambwe Milindi, Red Lion, Pennsylvania, business; Kayla Lynell Miller, Far Rockaway, New York, human development and family studies; Hannah Marie Mong, York, Pennsylvania, biology; Brett Robin Mullins, Airville, Pennsylvania, human development and family studies; Bobbi Ann Noga, York, Pennsylvania, psychology with a minor in business; Nathan K. Oberdick, Manchester, Pennsylvania, information sciences and technology, cum laude; Adwait Sandeep Patil, York, Pennsylvania, information sciences and technology with minor in business; Eryn P. Perry, Hanover, Pennsylvania, human development and family studies; Nityant Santosh Rai, York, Pennsylvania, information sciences and technology with a minor in business; Isabella Juliet Ridolfi, Dallastown, Pennsylvania, communication; Graham Douglas Rumsey, York, Pennsylvania, business; Zubaria Sajid, Baltimore, Maryland, business; Kallie Ann Shutz, Dallastown, Pennsylvania, human development and family studies; Levi Samuel Stein, York, Pennsylvania, business; Kelly Taveras, York, Pennsylvania, business; Trevor Frank Tranchina, York, Pennsylvania, biology; Jonathan Orlando Tsikitas, Red Lion, Pennsylvania, business; Hieu M. Vu, York, Pennsylvania, business; Cameron Joseph Waterbury, York, Pennsylvania, electro-mechanical engineering technology; and Keith Eugene Wickline, York, Pennsylvania, electro-mechanical engineering technology, cum laude.

The following students received the master of education degree in teaching and curriculum: Anna L. Haertsch, York, Pennsylvania; Phalon Faye Mallory, York, Pennsylvania; and Sarah Lynn Markel, York, Pennsylvania.

Heather Kreiser at York

Heather Kreiser, returning to Penn State York to receive a master's degree in professional studies in homeland security, takes a quick selfie with the Nittany Lion prior to the commencement ceremony May 4.  Kreiser earned a bachelor of science degree in human development and family studies at York in 2014, and returned to the campus she loves to receive her master's degree.

IMAGE: Barbara Dennis



The following students attended other Penn State campuses, but participated in the Penn State York commencement: Nicole D. Eckersley, Dover, Pennsylvania, bachelor of arts degree in organizational leadership; Eric R. Heilman, Windsor, Pennsylvania, bachelor of science degree in nuclear engineering; Jonathan J. Kearney, State College, Pennsylvania, bachelor of science in wildlife and fisheries science, cum laude; Heather Kreiser, York, Pennsylvania, master of professional studies in homeland security; Kelly Peters, Red Lion, Pennsylvania, bachelor of science in organizational leadership; Andrew Joseph Ritchey, Stewartstown, Pennsylvania, bachelor of arts in history, bachelor of arts in international politics, with minors in Jewish studies and religious studies; Jessica Shimmel, Dover, Pennsylvania, bachelor of science in human development and family studies; Aqsa Siddiqui, York, Pennsylvania, bachelor of science in management; and Vinusha Udayalal, York, Pennsylvania, bachelor of arts in economics.

Penn State York enrolls approximately 1,000 students, and offers five associate degrees, 10 baccalaureate degrees, a master of education in teaching and curriculum, and the first two years of more than 160 Penn State majors. A variety of credit and noncredit certificates also are available.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated May 10, 2018