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Penn State Hazleton Commencement 2010

Penn State students received degrees and awards during Penn State Hazleton's fortieth annual commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 14.

Director of Academic Affairs Monica E. Gregory presented the candidates to Chancellor Gary M. Lawler who conferred fifty-one associate degrees and fifty baccalaureate degrees to students completing programs of study at Penn State Hazleton. 

Paul A. McDermott, business program coordinator and president of the Penn State Hazleton Faculty Senate, served as the faculty marshal and led the academic processional.

Pasco L. Schiavo, Equire, president of the Hazleton Educational Council, the campus advisory board, extended special recognition to the graduates and those who supported them in their educational endeavors.

Blair E. Bell ’76, president of the Greater Hazleton Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association, inducted the new graduates into the Penn State Alumni Association.

The keynote address was delivered by Berwick native Susan Saint Sing ’78 Lib, ’04 PhD H&HD, a noted athlete, coach, author and educator. She is head coach of the crew program at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida.

While on a lacrosse scholarship to Penn State, she fell while doing gymnastics and broke her neck and back. She suffered paralysis and major soft tissue damage, which caused her to attend a pain control center for ten years. During her recovery, she discovered a link between spirituality and sports, an area she has intensely studied, researched and educated others. In November 2009, she was invited to the Vatican where she had an audience with Pope Benedict XVI and spoke to a group about spirituality in sports.

Her experience includes serving as program director of the U.S. National Rowing Center, head coach of men’s and women's crew teams at Xavier University and Penn State, manager of the United States National Rowing Team, and volunteer rowing coach at the United States Naval Academy.

Saint Sing is the author of eight books, with her most recent work The Eight: One Season in the Tradition of Harvard Crewing released in March of this year. 

Saint Sing earned her bachelor's degree in Physical Education and Fine Arts from Penn State, her master's degree in Health and Nutrition Science and Exercise Physiology from the University of Cincinnati, and her doctoral degree in Kinesiology from Penn State in 2004.

She resides in Stuart, Florida.


Degrees, graduates and their hometowns are:


Associate degrees:


Letters, Arts, and Sciences: Lauren M. Bard, Hazleton.


Electrical Engineering Technology: Gordon O. Allen, Albrightsville; Steven A. Blasko, Hazleton; Jason J. Matuszkiewicz, Sheppton; and Nicholas A. Petrole, Tresckow.


Mechanical Engineering Technology: Joseph P. Abrahamson, Marion Heights; Barry L. Demansky, Jim Thorpe; Allen E. Haas, Slatington; Michael A. Mill, Larksville; Taylor S. Newton, Jersey Shore; Sebastian V. Riotto, Barnesville; Stephen S. Strickler, Mountaintop ; Stephanie E. White, Brooklyn, NY; and Joshua T. Yencho, Drums.


Business Administration: Allison L. Barletta, Hazleton; and Mary A. Morrison, Hazleton.


Medical Laboratory Technology: Suha M. Kazimi, Kingston; Tatjana Marko, Drums; Jennifer L. Nelson, Hazleton; and Anita M. Vanwert, Jessup.


Physical Therapist Assistant: Erin M. Anderson, Campbell Hall, NY; Douglas J. Bendetti, Pottsville; Amanda L. Brown, Tunkhannock; Amy L. Carachilo, Carbondale; Sandra D. Fonzo, Wilkes-Barre; Mark A. Giglio, Old Forge; Andrew W. Healey, Pittston; Amy L. Hosking, Kunkletown; David S. Humenansky, Orwigsburg; Richard E. Ketchner, Shavertown; Daniel A. Knappenberger, Lehighton; Laura R. Kotwica, Mount Carmel; Bobbi L. Krammes, Schuylkill Haven; Jenna M. Lenig, Coal Township; Allison A. March, Montoursville; Melissa M. Masinick, Shenandoah; Michelle J. Meyers, Danielsville; Alyson G. Midwinter, Trucksville; Lisa N. Miller, Lititz; Stacie A. Palermo, Berwick; Nicole M. Piskorick, Drums; Katie J. Rearick, Sunbury; Ryan Scarcella, Hazleton; Kimberly A. Schoffler, Frackville; Matthew R. Sklarkowski, Sayre; Jaron J. Talotta, West Hazleton; Robert D. Wallace, Mountaintop; Shaun P. Yasalonis, Newtown; and Ashlee J. Zeigler, Waverly.



Baccalaureate degrees:


Applied Psychology: Erica L. Banicky, Pittston.


Letters, Arts, and Sciences:  Yuliya I. Carron, Mountaintop; Brandon L. Dickman, Weston; Brett M. Ednie, Harleigh; Nicole M. Ferguson, Elizabethtown; Jose M. Gil, New York, NY; Ryan A. Grega, Hazleton; Katie-Maureen Holahan, Hazleton; Kelly J. Kapes, Weatherly; Matthew P. Lessack, Mountaintop; Lauren K. Loch, Wilkes-Barre; Kelvin Moreno, New York, NY; Kenny Moreno, New York, NY; Kerri J. Romig, Weatherly; Luis A. Rosario, Jersey City, NJ; Tara M. Synoraski, Drums; Donna T. Tweed, Jim Thorpe; Randi L. Wardingo, West Hazleton; Melissa M. Williams, Teaneck, NJ; and Elaan M. Yefchak, West Hazleton.


Information Sciences and Technology: Preetom Bhattacherjea, Howell, NJ; Samuel J. Chodur, Nesquehoning; Joseph B. Cimaszewski, White Haven; Timmie L. Haynes, Hazleton; Kevin J. Jordan, Hazleton; Matthew G. Krone, Freeland; Joshua B. Smith, Milford, CT; Kyle J. Yanchunas, Berwick; and Keiser R. Zamora Sanchez, Hazleton.


Business: Jennifer M. Baranovich, Nesquehoning; Jacob T. Carrelli, Conyngham; Neil P. Ciotola, Hazleton; Asia J. Cornick, West Hempstead, NY; Brian J. Dentz, Conyngham; Jessica Endick, Mahanoy City; Michael R. Graaf, White Haven; Christopher A. Hetkowski, Hazleton; Jennifer L. Holland, Freeland; Brandon R. Kowalczyk, Hazleton; Jennifer Kunkel, Weatherly; William P. Lutz, Franklin; Adrian Parkes, East Stroudsburg; Colin M. Rimshaw, Conyngham; Steven S. Sellati, Berwick; and Teneka J. Yuhas, McAdoo.



Distinctive Honors

Students who are in the top twelve percent of their graduating class in their college, and who have completed the required number of credits receive special recognition. The twelve percent is divided into two percent “with highest distinction,” four percent “with high distinction,” and six percent “with distinction.”


Elaan M. Yefchak,  West Hazleton, graduated with “highest distinction.”

Michael A. Mill, Larksville, graduated with “high distinction.”

Jennifer M. Baranovich, Nesquehoning; William P.  Lutz, Franklin; Colin M. Rimshaw, Conyngham; and Keiser  R. Zamora Sanchez, Hazleton, graduated “with distinction.”



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 Basant R. Nassar, Bloomsburg, a biology major, and Laura Ariza, Stroudsburg, an international politics major, tied for the honor for the full-time sophomore enrolled in a Penn State degree program.

Elaan M. Yefchak, West Hazleton, who earned a bachelor of arts degree in Letters, Arts, and Sciences during the ceremony, was honored as the graduate earning the highest grade point average in a Penn State Hazleton baccalaureate degree program.


Tatjana Marko, Drums, who earned an associate in science in Medical Laboratory Technology degree, was recognized for the highest grade-point average of a graduate in a Penn State Hazleton associate degree program.


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