Penn State Hazleton hosts annual commencement

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Ready to graduate!

Penn State students received degrees and awards Friday, May 2 during Penn State Hazleton's forty-third annual commencement ceremony.

Director of Academic Affairs Elizabeth J. Wright presented the candidates to Chancellor Gary M. Lawler who conferred seventy-two associate degrees and fifty-two baccalaureate degrees to students completing programs of study at Penn State Hazleton and other Penn State locations who chose to participate in the graduation ceremony.

Jane M. Waitkus, senior instructor in English and president of the Penn State Hazleton Faculty Senate, served as the faculty marshal and led the academic processional.

Elizabeth A. Maguschak, Esquire, president of the Penn State Hazleton Council, extended greetings and congratulations from the campus advisory board. 

Dr. Harold Aurand, Jr. ’86, president of the Penn State Alumni Society, inducted the new graduates into the Penn State Alumni Association.

Alan J. Blamey ’84 returned to his hometown and alma mater to provide the commencement address. He earned a baccalaureate degree in nuclear engineering with a minor in mathematics and is a branch chief in the Division of Fuel Facility Inspection at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Region II Offices in Atlanta, Georgia.

Blamey has made significant contributions to the commercial nuclear power industry and has helped transform the safety focus of organizations in the private and public sectors on a national and international level. Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, he was selected to verify that commercial nuclear power plants across the country would be able to maintain critical spent fuel cooling if they sustained severe damage. 

In March 2011, he volunteered to support the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s response to the Japan earthquake. He was dispatched to the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo where he provided leadership to assist in stabilizing the damaged reactors. At the request of the U.S. economic minister, he also developed an integrated business process that helped identify, procure and transport critical humanitarian and technical aid from around the world.


Degrees, graduates and their hometowns

Associate degrees

Associate in Arts in Letters, Arts, and Sciences from the University College: Taylor L. Fulton, McKeesport; and Zachery M. Wood, Harrisburg.

Associate in Engineering Technology in Electrical Engineering Technology from the College of Engineering: Bruce R. Brown, Bloomsburg; Shawn C. Cancerius, Drums; Adam R. Lee, Pittston Township; and Cole A. Young, Northumberland.

Associate in Engineering Technology in Mechanical Engineering Technology from the College of Engineering: Keith B. Cook, Bloomsburg; Patrick D. Liscoe, Forest City; Michael J. Pollock, Sugarloaf; Jonathan M. Shoemaker, Berwick; and Steven M. Welsh, Bloomsburg.

Associate in Science in Information Sciences and Technology from the College of Information Sciences and Technology: Robert M. Thiec, State College.

Associate in Science in Medical Laboratory Technology from the University College: Michelle Balsavage, Ashland; Lisa G. Buzza, Wilkes-Barre; Christina K. Caviston, Kingston; Francelys Fabian, Hazleton; Kyla Hause, Berwick; Seoan P. Henderson, Ashland; Shawn B. Lowe, Dickson City; Matthew A. Nighbert, Forty Fort; Danielle L. Shaak, Pine Grove; Robert P. Ward, Hanover Township; Dawn M. Warnock, Bridgewater, NJ.

Associate in Science in Physical Therapist Assistant from the University College: Steven M. Balut, Taylor; Andres M. Barrera, Tobyhanna; Randall G. Batman, Milton; Sarah J. Beishline, Freeland; Nichole L. Benshoff, Berwick; Stephanie J. Blahoski, Hazle Township; Andrew M. Blyler, Valley View; Elysha M. Bolschi, Shenandoah; Mari E. Boock, Hazleton; Britton B. Breisch, Bloomsburg; Amy R. Cheesman, Freeland; Crystal C. Chudoba, Wilkes-Barre; Garrett I. Connor, Jermyn; Alexa M. Croley, Pottsville; Keenan P. Dunlap, Mifflinburg; Justin M. Elias, Hanover Township; Timothy J. Figueroa, Wyoming; Haley J. Filbert, Beaver Meadows; Janelle D. Greenidge, McAdoo; Tessa J. Haas, Catawissa; John T. Hall, Drums; Eric W. Heck, Pottsville; Melissa M. Janosov, Wilkes-Barre; Kyle S. Joyce, Dunmore; Devon M. Kelly, Marietta; Natalia A. Klecha, Lehighton; Julie A. Kreider, Sunbury; Andrea A. Libranti, Winter Park, FL; Matt R. Liptak, Orwigsburg; Shelby L. Maly, Effort; Mia M. Mancuso, Old Forge; Julie A. Martin, Honesdale; Wendy J. McTammany, Lewisburg; Amanda L. Mozdy, Shenandoah; Michael P. Notaro, McAdoo; Joshua L. O'Connell, Shenandoah; Carolina Parra Munoz, East Stroudsburg; Colin W. Pierce, Scranton; James R. Pino, Hazleton; Angela M. Purcell, Pottsville; Kelly M. Reinertsen, Pottsville; Jessica J. Schlettert, Clarks Summit; Micheal A. Sheetz, Boyertown; Sarah Singer, Taylor; Sonia R. Stevens, Bernville; Amber N. Stoudt, Hamburg; Darcy L. Sysock, Dushore; Candice M. VanDine, Bloomsburg; Shaun L. Vargo, Danville; and Alicia M. Welby, Old Forge.

Baccalaureate degrees

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the College of the Liberal Arts: Gifford V. Gregory, West Hazleton.  

Bachelor of Arts in Letters, Arts, and Sciences from the University College: William I. Allen, Milford; Leslie A. Capozzoli, Clifton, NJ; Kenneth J. Davies, West Hazleton; Erik R. Forsberg, Mountain Top; Edward A. Hernandez, Bronx, NY; Amy L. Kramer, Mount Carmel; Jenna M. Lenig, Danville; Dahaira Martinez, Hazleton; Joseph B. Martzen, Hazleton; Nathan S. McHugh, Tamaqua; Ashly I. Perez, Hazleton; Beth S. Potter, Shickshinny; Elizabeth A. Ricena, Mount Pocono; Alyssa Rodzewich, Freeland; and Michael Serra, Hanover Township.

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University College: Sadielle M. Arias, Conyngham; April A. Cooke, Norwalk, Connecticut; Stefany Cubilette, Mountain Top; Lindsey M. Dempsey, Lattimer Mines; Stephanie M. Fudge, Sugarloaf; and Alycia M. Yost, Barnesville.

Bachelor of Science in Biobehavioral Health from the College of Health and Human Development: Nicholas P. Gnall, Mahanoy City.

Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from the College of Health and Human Development: Michael W. Cicerchia, Berwick.

Bachelor of Science in Information Sciences and Technology from the College of Information Sciences and Technology: Mark D. Abbate, Bloomsburg; Zachary D. Fasnacht, Bloomsburg.

Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the College of the Liberal Arts: Earleen A. Escoto, Hazleton.

Bachelor of Science in Biology from the College of Science: John R. Susan, Frackville.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the School of Nursing: Mary Jo Duna, McAdoo.

Bachelor of Science in Business from the University College: Chelsea M. Benscoter, Laceyville; Miles Casserly, Barnesville; Jonathan E. Celi, Blakeslee; Hossanny F. Cepeda, Hazleton; Alba I. Espinosa Vasquez, Hazleton; Madeline J. Holguin, Hazleton; Amelia A. Hruban, Nazareth; Isaac J. Jean-Pierre, Saylorsburg; Cynthia L. Kearn, Hazleton; Thomas M. Leshko, Hazle Township; Kiersten D. Matika, Summit Hill; John F. Resovszky, Harrisburg; Lamont I. Saunders, Teaneck, NJ; Adekanmi Sijuwade, Roseland, NJ; Gabriel O. Velasquez, Drums.

Bachelor of Science in Information Sciences and Technology from the University College: Michael J. Blass, Hazleton; Joseph D. Dubaskas, Selinsgrove; Christopher J. Macri, Mountain Top; Yesmil A. Mejia Pujols, Hazleton; Kyle R. Schweitzer, Tamaqua.

Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University College: Louis N. Albanese, Effort; Joseph M. Flaim, Ephrata; Michalene E. Grebski, Pringle; Christopher W. Hummel, Andreas; Jamie A. Pursel, Danville; Jessica M. Rodriguez, West Hazleton; Amanda L. Stitzer, Sheppton.


Frank C. Kostos Awards

Carl S. Frankel, assistant professor of biology, announced the Frank C. Kostos Award recipients who achieved the highest grade-point averages in their respective degree programs.  

Sophomores John P. McVeigh, a Computer Science major, and Anthony T. Trezza, a Mechanical Engineering major, received the honor for the full-time sophomore enrolled in a Penn State degree program.

Amanda L. Stitzer, who earned a bachelor of science degree in Psychology during the ceremony, was honored as the graduate earning the highest grade-point average in a Penn State Hazleton baccalaureate degree program.

Lisa G. Buzza and Dawn M. Warnock, who both earned an associate degree in Medical Laboratory Technology, were recognized for the highest grade-point average of a graduate in a Penn State Hazleton associate degree program.

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