Graduates receive degrees at annual commencement ceremony

Kostos Award winners recognized during graduation
Standing, Thomas Bruno, Hazleton, and Bridget J. DeFalco, Freeland, are pictured with front row, from left, Dr. Elizabeth Wright, director of Academic Affairs; Chancellor Gary Lawler, and Faculty Marshal Jane Waitkus.
5/9/2014 —

Penn State students received degrees and awards Friday evening during Penn State Hazleton's forty-fourth annual commencement ceremony.

Director of Academic Affairs Elizabeth J. Wright presented the candidates to Chancellor Gary M. Lawler who conferred sixty-three associate degrees and forty-four 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.

Highlighting the program was the first class of engineers earning a baccalaureate degree in engineering with a focus on alternative energy and power generation.

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.

Betty M. Corcoran, B.S., M.Ed., past president of the Penn State Hazleton Council, extended greetings and congratulations from the campus advisory board. Michael P. Heon ’99, president of the Greater Hazleton Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association, inducted the new graduates into the Penn State Alumni Association.

Zena-Marie Lewoc ’12 gave the address to this year's graduating class. Lewoc began her career in supply chain and logistics with Geisinger Health System just days after graduating from Penn State Hazleton. She earned several promotions during her first year and advanced to the position of sourcing specialist, responsible for managing contracts and participating in multi-million dollar initiatives.

Lewoc earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Penn State Hazleton where she was an extremely active and award-winning student. She was involved in numerous organizations including Student Government Association, THON, Council of Commonwealth Student Governments, and Penn State Hazleton Campus Council.

She was the first student elected president of the Student Government Association for both her junior and senior years and received the Dr. Dwayne A. Hilton Illumination Award, a university-wide recognition.

In 2011 and 2012, Lewoc also received the Eric A. and Josephine S. Walker Award, making her the only campus student to twice achieve that honor. Presented annually, the Walker award recognizes a student with outstanding qualities of character, scholarship, leadership and citizenship, who has positively affected fellow students, and who has contributed to the prestige and well-being of their campus and to the University as a whole.

In addition to participating in a wide range of fundraising events for THON during her education at Penn State Hazleton, Lewoc danced in the 46-hour dance marathon which benefits pediatric cancer patients at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital.

Through all of her involvement in activities, service and leadership opportunities at Penn State Hazleton, Lewoc excelled in the classroom and earned Dean’s List honors throughout her collegiate career.

Even after graduation, Lewoc still is actively involved in the campus, serving as second vice president of the Greater Hazleton Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association, a board member of the Penn State Hazleton Alumni Society, and a member of the Penn State Hazleton Council, the campus advisory board.

Degrees, graduates and their hometowns

Associate degrees:
Associate in Arts in Letters, Arts, and Sciences from the University College: Jessica M. Rodriguez, West Hazleton.

Associate in Engineering Technology in Electrical Engineering Technology from the College of Engineering: Daniel J. O’Donnell, West Hazleton.

Associate in Engineering Technology in Mechanical Engineering Technology from the College of Engineering: Brian A. Alves, Deptford, NJ; and Alexander C. Martens, Weatherly.

Associate in Science in Business Administration from the University College: Daniel E. Fogarty, Hazleton; Kyle T. Vendetti, Berwick; and T’yanna D. Wallace, Stroudsburg.

Associate in Science in Information Sciences and Technology from the College of Information Sciences and Technology: Russell W. Williams, Mahanoy City.

Associate in Science in Medical Laboratory Technology from the University College: Kelsey J. Anderson, Yeagertown; Elizabeth Beach, West Hazleton; Kyle V. Boczkowski, Ashland; Hui Yi Hsiao, White Haven; Patti A. Kocher, Lehighton; Alyssa L. Miller, Weatherly; Dhruti D. Patel, Scranton; Jennifer L. Sando, Freeland; Yukiko Sarker, Dallas; Riane N. Shemory, Lewistown; Robin A.Williams, Julian; and Ely Zarate, East Stroudsburg.

Associate in Science in Physical Therapist Assistant from the University College: Thomas Andruzzi, Hazleton; Jason P. Barber, Fleetwood; Thomas Bloch, Budd Lake, NJ; Rebecca L. Brandt, Northumberland; Crystal A. Brown, Pine Grove; Eric S. Conrad, Beech Creek; Joan L. Cope, Shickshinny; Ashley K. Darcangelo, St. Clair; Kory J. Datz, Freeland; Justin M. De Jesus, Bethlehem; Gabrielle A. Engelke, Mt. Carmel; Alyssa M. Figura, Walnutport; Annissa R. Fink, Bloomsburg; Rachel Finley, Scranton; Tracy Galada, Weatherly; Megan P. Germann, Sellersville; Julia L. Heidecker, New Cumberland; Martina M. Herring, Albrightsville; Jacob D. Honse, Port Carbon; Ryan C. Hurst, Plains; Destinee D. Jonas, Pleasant Mount; John A. Kurtz, Lewisburg; Kara E. Lammy, Canton; Ashley Lebiedziewski, Shenandoah; Stephen Mesaros, Swoyersville; Morgan L. Miller, Pottsville; Kelsey M. Morris, Lykens; Ryan L. Mutter, Wilkes-Barre; Megan M. Osborne, Drums; Alyssa M. Pfeil, Hazleton; Sarah Pieczynski, Dallas; Ashley L. Pliska, McAdoo; Colleen M. Pstrak, Hanover Township; Teresa B. Quinn, White Haven; Kasey L. Schaeffer, Orwigsburg; Danica M. Schmeck, Denver; Christopher B. Shutovich, Hazleton; Mark J. Siderowicz, Scott Township; Ian K. Simms, Pottsville; Brooke A. Simock, Schnecksville; Anisha D. Vashi, Sinking Spring; Morgan A. Weber, Old Forge; Joseph S. Welshko, White Haven.

Baccalaureate degrees:
Bachelor of Arts in Crime, Law and Justice from the College of the Liberal Arts: Alexander Reyes, Hazleton.

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the College of the Liberal Arts: Autumn E. Sikora, Hunlock Creek.

Bachelor of Arts in Letters, Arts, and Sciences from the University College: Krystin N. Baker, Dingmans Ferry; Alexa M. Croley, Pottsville; Tiffany N. Donnelly, Berwick; Kyemah A. Emmett, Berwick; Amanda M. Gipson, Drums; Natalia A. Klecha, Lehighton; Megan McGee, Milford; Casey W. Petty, Dingmans Ferry; Chelsea E. Shervinskie, Sunbury; Amber N. Stoudt, Hamburg; Ritchie M. Torres, Hazleton; and Nikaury D. Zamora Sanchez, Hazleton.

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University College: Kathryn E. Canouse, Berwick; Joseph M. Charles, Morris Plains, NJ; Bridget J. DeFalco, Freeland; Hannah Lin, Plains; Megan McNeill, East Stroudsburg; Carmen N. Roman, Brooklyn, NY; and Genesis Roque, West Hazleton.

Bachelor of Science in Wood Products from the College of Agriculture: Cody Campion, Weatherly.

Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation and Human Services from the College of Education: Christina E. Brong, Lehighton.

Bachelor of Science in General Engineering – Alternative Energy and Power Generation Track from the College of Engineering: Adebayo O. Adejare, Albrightsville; Brett A. Fidishun, Sugarloaf; Richelle M. Reeder, Berwick; Tiffany P. Veet, Hazleton; and Matthew B. Webber, Schuylkill Haven.

Bachelor of Science in Biobehavioral Health from the College of Health and Human Development: Jennifer M. Moran, Blakeslee.
Bachelor of Science in Business from the University College: Yannirys A. Cedano, West Hazleton; Tramone L. Clark, Macon, Ga.; James B. Gallo, Shenandoah; Lisa Kim, Philadelphia; Travis C. Nenstiel, Sheppton; Emily A. Pinko, Drums; Mykel J. Postupack, Tamaqua; Matthew R. Quinn, Hazleton; and Gregory L. Stahora, Hazleton.

Bachelor of Science in Information Sciences and Technology from the University College: Diego D. Jimenez, Hazleton; Zachary J. Ligenza, Jim Thorpe; Gustavo Payano, Jr., Hazleton; Robert J. T. Senick, Hazleton; and David A. Sypeck, Sugarloaf.

Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University College: Donna M. Nelson, Mountain Top.

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 Ruo Hao Zhang, Edison, NJ, a business administration major, and Thomas P. Bruno, Hazleton, a student in the Division of Undergraduate Studies, received the honor for the full-time sophomore enrolled in a Penn State degree program.

- Bridget J. DeFalco, Freeland, 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.

- Riane Shemory, Lewistown, who earned an associate degree in Medical Laboratory Technology, was recognized for the highest grade-point average of a graduate in a Penn State Hazleton associate degree program.

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