Highacres Insider - Spring 2016

Highacres Insider - Spring 2016

New Leadership at both Penn State Hazleton Alumni Groups

Penn State Alumni Society Elects New President

Charmaine TetkoskieCharmaine Tetkoskie ’86 took the reins as president of the Penn State Hazleton Alumni Society in July after serving as a founding board  member for nearly 12 years. Charmaine, how serves as Director of Operations for Emergency Medicine at Geisinger Health Systems joined the society when it was formed in 2003 and has  contributed substantially to the planning and execution of events and activities in support of Penn State Hazleton alumni, students and the campus. Charmaine’s  term will run through 2018.

The Alumni Society Board serves to advance the spirit and participation among alumni of the campus who reside throughout the U.S. and around the world. Some examples of events that the society  has  co-sponsored and participated in include, City Lights Events, Coaches Caravan, President’s  Choral and Theater Performances (e.g. Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center), Day in the Arts and Football Bus Trips, Student Welcome Picnic and Senior  Sendoffs.

Other board members include Nicholas Roslevege ’88 (Immediate Past President) Dr. Harold Aurand ’86 (past President), Denise Corcoran ’89, Christy DeMelfi ’03, Amanda Gipson ’13, Nathan Halenar ’11, Marie Hayes ’08, Paula Krzemien ’85, Zena- Marie Lewoc ’12, Joe Matukonis ’03 and Jack  Fellin ’60.

Penn State Alumni Chapter of Greater Hazleton Elects New President

Rocco FormicaRocco Formica ’67 hit the ground running as the new president of Greater Hazleton Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association (“the Chapter”). Rocco is retired from the Hazleton Area High School where he taught biology for nearly 40 years. Not one to rest on his laurels, Rocco began his term with a robust calendar of events and priorities that included; Welcome Picnic for New Students, TV Tailgating for the Illinois game, Food Drive, Photos with Santa, and Toys for Tots among several others.

The Chapter has been a solid partner to the Penn State Hazleton campus, participating in fundraising, recruitment, mentoring and fundraising for the campus. The chapter now has two endowments benefiting deserving students at the campus,  the Penn State Alumni Chapter of Greater Hazleton Academic Award and the Penn State Alumni Chapter of Greater Hazleton Academic  Scholarship.

Rocco’s term will run through 2017. Other board members include Cathy Andrews ’75, Maria Barna ’74/76, Bair Bell ’76, James Bognet ’70, Ryan  Ehrie ’08, Frederick Gestl ’06, Michael Heon ’99, (Immediate Past President), Patricia Holly ’15, Mary Homanko ’74, Patricia Ann Ignar ’77,  Sandy Lagana ’82, Luci Kulish ’89, Zena-Marie Lewoc ’12, Keith Maurer ’87, Wayne Seely ’65, John Skwierz ’76, Arthur Snyder ’52, Wister Yuhas ’64,  Doreen Yurkanin ’92.


Schiavo Named Honorary Alumnus

Atty. Pasco L. SchiavoPasco L. Schiavo, who served as chairman of For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students at Penn State Hazleton, was named an honorary alumnus and recognized by the Penn State Alumni Association during a reception at The Nittany Lion Inn.

The Penn State Alumni Association has given the Honorary Alumni Award since 1973 to recognize individuals who, while not  graduates of Penn State, have significantly worked  toward bettering the University. Since the award was established, more than 100 individuals have been given Honorary Alumni status. Honorary Alumni receive a life membership in  the Penn State Alumni Association, as well as a commemorative award.

For more than five decades, Schiavo has generously contributed his legal and business acumen, leadership, time and money to Penn State Hazleton and the Greater Hazleton community.

Under his leadership of the campaign at Penn State Hazleton, the group successfully raised more than $7.6 million, 127 percent of Penn State Hazleton’s goal. Schiavo established and later endowed scholarships – which are granted to local students who attend Penn State Hazleton – to honor his parents, Louis and Josephine “Shayna” Schiavo. The campus administration building was renamed Pasco L. Schiavo Hall in recognition of Schiavo’s recent $1 million gift to the campus to create a scholarship endowment for campus  students.

Schiavo taught both law and Spanish at Penn State Hazleton on a part-time basis   for seven years and spent many years and countless hours working to obtain a key piece of property for the campus. As a member of the Penn State Hazleton Council, he held leadership positions, including  president.

Born in Hazleton, Schiavo earned a bachelor’s degree from Lafayette College in 1958. He then entered the U.S. Army Reserve and became a first lieutenant. He decided to study law and received a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1962.

His affiliation with Penn State began in the early 1960s when, as a recent law   school graduate, he began teaching at Penn State Hazleton as an adjunct instructor. This initial involvement blossomed into a lifelong affiliation with the campus. His previous gifts established three scholarships to benefit local students attending the campus.

“I believe Penn State Hazleton has done much good for our community and is an essential, integral part of it,” Schiavo said. “The campus provides a lot of opportunity for people who don’t otherwise have such options, and it gives personal guidance and instruction. Students are well prepared when they leave, because we have good educators and  instructors.”

He became an assistant district attorney and also opened his own law practice,  which he continues to operate. He represents clients on personal injury, workers’ compensation, business law, wills, trusts and estate matters, and has achieved outstanding professional recognition, including being appointed to the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of  Pennsylvania.

Schiavo has authored two books, Betrayal and Deliverance of a Community (2011) and The Lattimer Massacre Trial (2015), and has written many articles on law that have been published in national and state law  journals.

He is a member of the Penn State Alumni Association and lives in Hazleton.


Letter From Your Blue and White Society President

Rebekkah OakleyGreetings Penn Staters!

It is with great Penn State Pride that I write to you today about the Blue and White Society at the Hazleton Campus. I am Rebekkah Oakley, a sophomore majoring in Nutrition and Dietetics. My plan is to pursue my PHD in Nutrition and Dietetics and one day work in a pediatric hospital. As for activities, I am a cheerleader, special events captain for Hazleton THON, I serve as Resident Assistant in addition to my role as president of the Blue and White Society.

As you may know, the Blue and White Society is the student organization affiliated with the Penn State Alumni Association, dedicated to make the alumni experience come to life for current students at the campus.

It’s all about student involvement! While the Penn State Alumni Association is the overall governing body of the Blue and White Society at each campus, we are empowered and funded to bring events and activities to current students at the campus all in the interest of sharing and building Penn State Pride and loyalty.

We work very closely with the Penn State Hazleton Alumni Society, partnering on events and activities and sharing mutual interests and experiences. In many respects, you can consider the Alumni Society as the “Big Sister” organization to the campus Blue and White Society. Some of the activities that we partner on include:

  • Coordinating campus meetings, retreats and planning sessions
  • Conducting campus visits for alumni, prospective students and guests
  • Planning and executing events both at the Hazleton campus and University Park
  • Creating mentoring and professional development opportunities
  • Contributions to publications and web communications and social media

I would like you to know that I am very excited about the plans that we have for the Blue and White Society this year and beyond and hope that you may have an interest in supporting and participating in our activities here at the Hazleton campus.

Please look for more information and plans coming from your Penn State Hazleton Blue and White Society in the weeks ahead.

Your truly,
Rebekkah E. Oakley
President, Penn State Hazleton Blue and White Society


Penn State Hazleton Philanthropy Celebrated

Dominic Yannuzzi ’84 is inducted into Penn State Hazleton’s Highacres Society.  From left to right are Kevin Salaway Director of Development and Alumni Relations, Dominic Yannuzzi, and Gary Lawler, Chancellor.

Highacres Society Reception - Oct 15 2015 - picture 2

Dominic Yannuzzi ’84 is inducted into Penn State Hazleton’s Highacres Society.  From left to right are Kevin Salaway Director of Development and Alumni Relations, Dominic Yannuzzi, and Gary Lawler, Chancellor.

Dominic Yannuzzi ’84 Engineering, was the newest inductee into the Penn State Hazleton Highacres Society at the annual reception held on October 15th at the Valley Country Club in Conyngham. The Highacres Society reception, which is held each year at this time, honors donors, student and faculty recipients of scholarships and awards.

New gifts and endowments are also announced as part of the program. This year the American Association of Highway Engineers (ASHE) established an scholarship fund to support engineering students at the Hazleton, Wilkes-Barre, and Scranton campuses. Dominic Yannuzzi was inducted into the Highacres Society representing the ASHE.

The program also featured student speakers, Ms. Jessica Horlacher, Business Major and recipient of the Arnoldi/Andreuzzi Memorial Trustee Scholarship, and Michael Walters, Liberal Arts major and recipient of the Dr. Thomas M. Caccese Trustee Scholarship, who expressed their appreciation for the generosity of donors to the campus. Speaking for the faculty was Dr.  Jerry Pierce, Assistant Professor of History and recipient of the  Charles T.  Butler Technology and Teaching Excellence Fund and the  Charles T.  Butler Technology Grant.

A highlight of the evening was Dr. Gary Lawler’s announcement of $1.3 million dollars being awarded to deserving students at the campus for the 2015-16 academic year – all made possible through the generous gifts of donors to the  campus.


Alumni Society and Chapter Co-sponsor New Student Welcome Picnic

More than 380 new students enjoyed the New Student Welcome Picnic hosted by the Penn State Hazleton Alumni Society and the Alumni Chapter.

Student welcome picnic

More than 380 new students enjoyed the New Student Welcome Picnic hosted by the Penn State Hazleton Alumni Society and the Alumni Chapter.

The Penn State Alumni Society and the Greater Hazleton Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association partnered for an event that will cast memories for a lifetime for entering students at Penn State Hazleton. The alumni groups provided a picnic lunch and reception at the campus on Sunday, August 23, 2015. The event was complete with food, giveaways and plenty of Penn State spirit to over 380 new students who arrived on campus only days before.

Dr. Gary Lawler, chancellor said of the event, “Penn State Hazleton alumni have always supported our students and the campus in many important ways. Today’s   picnic is but one more example of the interest and care that they hold for our students as they embark upon the pursuit of a Penn State Degree."

Charmaine Tetkoskie echoed these sentiments saying, “There is perhaps no better time to introduce Penn State Alumni to students than when they begin their Penn  State experience. We are all very impressed with this class of 2020 and we’ll be there  for them while they are here and after they  graduate.”


The Pride of Penn State Hazleton

Joseph McCulla ’52

Joe had come to the campus from MMI the local private school in Freeland and began studying business. He played a lot of sports in high school and even had a walk-on tryout with the Nittany Lions. He played basketball at Penn State Hazleton under Dr. Syd Rudman ’42. Joe remembered Syd fondly, and told me that Syd had written a letter to Rip Engle to enable the walk-on tryout.

Joe was an ROTC student so at the end of his college days he was “a guest of Uncle Sam,” as he put it, for three years. Upon graduation he went to work in NYC and eventually landed an entry level job at Chase Manhattan Bank progressing through the ranks to C-level at JP Morgan Chase. Among the many fond memories of his career that he shared with me were encounters with notables such as Leonid Brezhnev and Armand Hammer.

Joe is widowed with two sons and ten grandchildren.

Maria Conte ’98

Maria works at the Hospital of Central Florida where she serves as a Patient Financial Services Manager and is one in a long line of family members who are Penn Staters, and many of whom came through the Penn State Hazleton campus of which she is quite proud. Maria and her husband Matthew ’96, have two future Penn Stater’s, Aiden Nicholas, age 4, and Liam Patrick Conte, a new arrival born on July 28. She sends shout outs to friends and faculty Harold Aurand, Gene Miller and Alan Price and she told me that she was very fond of the late Dr. Monica Gregory.

Jeremiah Mimms ’08

Jeremiah works at the Global Learning Collaborative where he serves as guidance counselor. He told me that his work is very rewarding as he helps young people shape their goals and aspirations for professional and personal lives ahead.

The school is a progressive public school which combines contemporary learning with an emphasis on multi-culturalism and global awareness. He has been in education administrative positions since graduating from Penn State. His wife Shari ’04 is currently working as a buyer at Aeropostal, also in NYC.

John F. Pagnotto D.O. ’83

John works at the Geisinger Regional facility in State College, where he serves as regional director/ head administrator. John came to the Hazleton from the Jersey Shore and majored in MLT at the campus. John went to medical school at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and did his residency at Lancaster. He went into private practice for a period of time before joining Geisinger and moving into administration. He received his MBA through the University of Massachusetts.

John said that he enjoyed the campus and lived on Green Street in West Hazleton while at the Hazleton campus and remembers his days there fondly. His wife is an alumnae of Lock Haven College and his two children are graduates of PSU.

He remembered classmates Greg Dodson from Allentown, Dr. Dave Leshock ’84 from Shamokin now a dentist in Bloomsburg, Dan Wolfberg ’83 from Selinsgrove, and MLT program faculty Dr. Covale and Pat Ferry.

Edward L. Thigpen ’94

Ed is employed at Boyken DRB International where he serves as senior project director. They are an owner’s consultant to architecture and construction projects throughout the U.S. they manage all aspects of project management for both new construction and major renovations focused on the commercial sector, typically hotels, casinos and arenas. Boyken has been involved in a number of highly visible projects dating back to the 1996 Atlanta Olympics Aquatic arena.

He is very interested in PSU football offering some observations about our roster and recruiting efforts.

Dr. Michael Demangone ’85 and Karen Fox Demangone ’85

Michael came to the campus from Towanda, seeking out the Hazleton campus as a great transition to the university while his high school sweetheart, Karen Fox went directly to University Park, as he put it.

Michael studied biology and was a pre-med major. He told me that he was highly influenced by faculty at the campus including Dr. Carl Frankel and Dr. Dave Orbin. He also remembered his roommate with whom he shared a house in West Hazleton – his name is Robert Champion ’85 who is now in Kansas City.

Michael went on to Jefferson to earn his MD and then did his internship at Pittsburgh where he specialized in maternal delivery. He was then recruited to Page, AZ to serve at the Encompass Health Services center and now serves as its executive director and primary physician.

Karen studied labor relations at U Park and worked in a number of roles in HR before focusing on being a full time homemaker.

Michael and Karen’s daughter is a junior at Lebanon Valley College, and their son Michael is Junior in High School now looking at colleges with an interest in Penn State. Hazleton perhaps?

Ryan Dewar ’08

Ryan came to the campus from his home in Honesdale, PA, and majored in Information Science Technology. He is now serving as a forensic analyst at Price Waterhouse Coopers, in NYC. He has been there since graduation and was recruited out of University Park. He enjoys the work that he is doing preparing companies for financial scrutiny whether from within or from external interests. Ryan’s wife, Elizabeth Foster ’10 is an art teacher in NYC.

Ryan remembered his IST instructor at Penn State Hazleton, Ms. Barbara Brazon.

Armando Merlo ’99

Armando is Creative Producer at AOL Inc. in Manhattan. Armando came to Penn State Hazleton having grown up in Northern New Jersey and was accepted into the College of Arts and Architecture. He spent one year at Hazleton before moving on to University Park to complete his degree.

He is quite proud of his art degree from Penn State, commenting on how powerful the reputation is in graphic design circles. He pointed to the precision and structure that Penn State provides students in developing art and that has paid off well for him in his career.

Armando remembered class mates from the Hazleton campus, Steve Paglia ’99, Jeff Foster, and Matt Smith ’99.

Robert D. Oliver ’96

Robert, goes by his middle name, “Donny,” is at the UFC training gym in LA where he serves as a physical trainer. He is a very energetic, effusive individual and has great passion for Penn State and the business he is now in.

Donny grew up in a military family having moved throughout the world before coming to the Hazleton area. His father lives in Blakeslee. Donny came to the campus for two years before moving on to University Park. He mentioned a number of fellow alum from Hazleton including Bill ’96 and Corinne ’97 Heruska, Pat Griffin ’00. He also remembered Dr. Bianchi the economics professor at the campus.

Joseph Lamendola ’03

Joe currently serves as Senior Sales Manager with PSAV, a company that provides audio and visual and technical support for corporate conferences, meetings, and events. Among his primary accounts are such notables as MetLife and KNBT.

His wife Angela ’03, also a Hazleton alumnae started in a media buying role, then into a brand marketing and is now a full time homemaker raising their three children, 4, 18 mos., and a new born weeks old.

Glenn Lammi ’88

Glenn works at the Washington Legal Foundation where he serves as chief legal counsel. Glenn went to work at the WLF immediately following graduation and held a number of positions there including: Monitor judicial, regulatory, and legislative developments at federal and state levels from which he has authored a number of Foundation papers, national and local newspaper op-eds.

Glenn got his JD from American University Law School. His wife is also an attorney in private practice. He grew up in Easton – family still there. He and his wife have two children; a son in fourth grade and a daughter who is a junior in high school.

Frank Banas ’70

Frank came to PSH from Trescow and upon graduating from the university he went immediately into the Navy. He taught while in the service but after a period he heard a calling to become a pastor and decided to go to seminary in Southeast Baptist Seminary. He became a Baptist minister and pastor. Now retired and married and with two daughters, they live in Bonneau, South Carolina near their church.

Frank asked me to extend a shout out to fellow classmate Dr. Charles (“Chuck”) Lonzetta ’71.

Anthony Demarinis ’75

Tony began his career at the Hershey Medical center as a lab tech before moving the Washington, DC to work for the CDC. Tony is currently serving as a consultant in the area of quality assurance focused in the bio-med field. He is also teaching at the local community college. He is a proud member of American Society for Quality ASQ and proudly wore a polo shirt with the logo on it.

While at Penn State Tony was a member of the PSU choir and shared many fond memories and friends he made through that group.

Kristin Beth Ferris ’93

Kristin came to campus from West Hartford as a freshman having a strong affinity for Penn State as a result of close friends and their long Nittany Lion legacy.

Kristin is the President & Chief Creative Officer of The Ferris Group (TFG), an events management company, providing a wide range of public relations, marketing and events on a national scale.

TFG manages a lofty client base that includes not-for-profit, corporate and government projects.

Kristin still remains in contact with friends she made during those years and they have regular outings. She sends a shout out to her “PSU Crew!”

Dr. Ruth Marrion ’79

Ruth is at the Essex County Veterinary Clinic where she serves as an animal ophthalmologist. She has a fascinating story related to her work and loves it very much. In addition to her work at the clinic she also volunteers at the local Zoo and Aquarium where she treats animals such as gorillas and seals.

Ruth came to the campus as a bio major and went on to University Park to complete her degree before continuing to pursue her veterinarian Doctorate at Missouri University in Columbia, MO.

Ruth sends regards to all fellow alumnae and she fondly remembered Dr. Carl Frankel at the Hazleton campus.

David Fortna ’88

David is a project engineer at Siemens Engineering. He came to PSH by way of his home in Castle Creek, PA but he was originally from Elizabeth, NJ. He is married to Sasha Kiesell Fortna ’96, another PSU alum and they have three children, 13, 11, and 8. He told me that his oldest child is very much interested in quantum physics. He remembered Dr. Harold Aurand and Dr. Elliot Eisenberg from the Hazleton campus.

David is very much involved in advancing STEM education in the local school districts and he speaks at schools in the area often.

Michael Montalbano ’89

Michael is an investment trader at Robert Beard and he’s been there about 20 years following a number of other positions in the financial sector. Started with Smith Barney – Merrill Lynch.

Michael grew up in Staten Island and lives there now on Richmond Avenue. He is recently married; he and his wife have 22 month old baby boy named Michael.

Michael remembered classmate Denise Corcoran ’89 and her mother Betty. He said that they were very kind and helpful to him while he was a student at Penn State Hazleton. He also remembered history teacher the late Dr. Harold Aurand.

Christopher Manning ’05

Chris is the Associate Media Director for Karlen Williams Graybill, a full service advertising agency headquartered in New York.

Chris came to New York directly from Penn State upon graduation. He held a number of positions with advertising agencies and television production throughout the greater metro New York area before landing his current position at KWG Advertising.

Chris is single but engaged to be married later this year.


Letter From Your Penn State Hazleton Alumni Society President

Greetings Fellow Alumni!

Charmaine TetkoskieI am happy to launch this new Penn State Hazleton Alumni Society Insider newsletter. This publication is dedicated to alumni activity and we plan for regular publication and email versions to be coming out each semester.

By way of introduction, I am Charmaine Tetkoskie, class of ’86 College of Nursing and like you I began my Penn State experience at the Penn State Hazleton campus, seeking, in many respects, the kind of education and student life experience that so many of us Penn Staters were fortunate enough to have.

As for my professional life, I am an Associate Vice President/Chief Nursing Officer for Geisinger with one of our hospitals, which is both a demanding and rewarding role. My home is in Coal Township Pennsylvania and I remain in contact with a great many of my friends and classmates from Penn State.

Today I am writing to you about the Penn State Hazleton Alumni Society    for which I serve as President. With that in mind, I would like to offer some background and share some of the plans that the Society has to support Penn State and how you can be involved and participate, even remotely for you location wherever you may be.

To begin, as you may know, the Penn State Alumni Association established Alumni Societies around each of the campuses and colleges of the university in 2002. The concept and the mission is very simple, the society membership is made of up of alumni who passed through the Penn State Hazleton campus at some point along the way toward their degree and they are current members of the Penn State Alumni Association.

As such each of you who fit this criteria are members of our Society. Why is that important? Because with each such alumnus the Society receives a certain amount of funding with which we produce programing, publications and events. And that is what we have been doing for several years now.

Many of you would have received these publications, invitations to and participated in the events that we have sponsored both at the Hazleton campus and throughout the U.S. You can be assured that this activity will continue into the future and we have plans for several events this year in which you may want to participate. Look for invitations to  follow.

As for our Board of Directors, I would like to introduce them to you here. They are, Dr. Harold Aurand ’86, Denise Corcoran ’89, Christy DeMelfi ’03, Amanda Gipson ’13, Nathan Halenar ’11, Marie Hayes ’08, Paula Krezmien ’85, Zena Lewoc ’12, and Jack Fellin  ’60.

I am very proud of this board and grateful for their efforts toward advancing Penn State pride and spirit in the Hazleton Community and throughout the U.S. wherever our Society Members reside.

In closing, I want to thank you for your continued interest and support of the Penn State Hazleton Alumni Society. I hope you enjoy this inaugural issue of the Penn State Hazleton Alumni Society Insider and please look for invitations and announcements of events and activities that we will be hosting in the year ahead.

Yours truly,
Charmaine Tetkoskie ’86
Penn State Hazleton Alumni Society President


TV Tailgating at Damon’s: A Great Success!

The Greater Hazleton Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association held a TV Tailgating party on Saturday, November 7th for the Northwestern Game at Damon’s on Rte. 93 immediately across  from the Penn State Hazleton campus. While the game outcome was not what was hoped for, the alumni turnout and festivities that ensued far exceeded expectations.

Rocco Formica, Chapter president, acted as host and MC for the event which drew nearly 50 Penn State Alumni and guests. “This was a great event, everyone enjoyed the game, the food and the Penn State spirit we all shared. This will be first of many, I can assure you.” said Rocco of the  event.

Door prizes, raffles, giveaways and great food were part of the festivities. Damon’s proved to be a great venue and superb partner for the event, providing exclusive space in the restaurant, responding to the need for additional food, and programming TV’s to broadcast the Penn State game for all in  attendance.


Jackie Scarcella Promoted

Jaculin Jackie ScarcellaJaculin (“Jackie”) Scarcella was promoted to Alumni and Development Stewardship Officer on November 1, 2015. In her new role Jackie is responsible for oversight and management of the alumni relations and development stewardship activities at the campus. As such she will act as the primary liaison between both alumni groups (Penn State Hazleton Alumni Society and the Greater Hazleton Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association), the campus and the university. Jackie will also be highly involved in fundraising and donor stewardship activities which will be particularly important with the new campaign currently being planned and set to commence on July 1, 2016.

Jackie began her career at Penn State as Staff Assistant level 2 on 7-13-07, was promoted   to Administrative Support Assistant level 3 on 10-25-10 and her most recent promotion is effective 11-1-15. Throughout her tenure at Penn State Hazleton, Jackie has been highly effective in fostering and maintaining exceptional relationships with our donors and alumni constituents. As evidence of her contributions to her community, she was just elected to the Hazleton Area School Board, as director.

Jackie can be reached at jbs22@psu.edu, and 570-450-3560.


Fall 2015 Athletics Highlights

Katie Behnert captures USCAA Women’s Golf Championship

(Left to right) Dr. Ryan Ehrie Athletic Director, Katie Behnert, and Gary Lawler, Chancellor.

Katie Behnert

(Left to right) Dr. Ryan Ehrie Athletic Director, Katie Behnert, and Gary Lawler, Chancellor.

Over the course of seven competitive Penn State University Athletic Conference and United States Collegiate Athletic Association events,  Katie Behnert (Montandon, PA) averaged 88 strokes per round in the 2015 season. In the two-day PSUAC/ USCAA Championship event at the Penn State Blue Course, Behnert posted a combined score of 176  to earn the USCAA women’s division crown. Behnert birdied a pair of par fives in round two of the USCAA Championship to maintain her lead over her nearest competitor and claim Penn State Hazleton’s first individual national title.

Men’s Soccer advances to the PSUAC Semifinals

The Nittany Lions earned a third place finish after the regular season in the  Penn State University Athletic Conference with a 10-4 overall record, 7-2 in the PSUAC. Hazleton beat Penn State Wilkes-Barre in round one of the PSUAC postseason in convincing fashion with a 5-1 victory, including a hat trick from sophomore Ben Pasukinis (Benton, PA). The Lions went on to face Penn  State Beaver in the semifinal round at Highmark Stadium in Pittsburgh, PA, but could not overcome a three goal deficit against the eventual champions in the second half, ending their season with a 5-2  loss.

Junior forward Kyle Venditti (Berwick, PA) earned honorable mention as a United States Collegiate Athletic Association All-American for his   season long performance. Venditti led the team with 19 goals and led the Penn State University Athletic Conference with 19  assists.

Lady Lion Basketball tops the charts at No. 1 in the USCAA Coaches’ Poll

The Penn State Hazleton women’s basketball program ranked number one for   the first time in program history in the first two United States Collegiate Athletic Association national coaches polls. The Lady Lions got off to another great start  in 2015 with wins over NCAA Division III schools, Cairn University and Trinity Washington University.

Three-time USCAA All American and Penn State Hazleton all-time leading scorer Alexis Daly (New Albany, Pa.) continues to have another fine season, averaging 16.2 points per game, good for fourth best in the PSUAC. Daly and company head into the winter break with a 10-1 overall record and sit atop the PSUAC standings at 4-0.

Long time Lady Lions Softball coach Marty Mrozinski passes away

Marty Mrozinski is shown here coaching a softball team member.

Marty Mrozinski

Marty Mrozinski is shown here coaching a softball team member.

Four-time Penn State University Athletic Conference Coach of the Year recipient Marty Mrozinski passed away on November 23, 2015 after 12 seasons at the helm of the Lady Lions Softball program. Over the course of his career Mrozinski and the Lady Lions won 2 PSUAC championships (08’, 10’) and earned three bids to the Unites States Collegiate Athletics Association Small College World Series (10’, 14’,  15’). Mrozinski’s impact was profound both on the field and off. His 236 wins are the most of any softball coach in program history, but also coached numerous Academic All-Americans, teaching invaluable life-skills to his players in the process.


Class Notes

Joyce Grego ’76

Announced her retirement from Ernst and Young consulting following a 39 year career  there.

William Finerfrock ’77

Recently opened the new offices of his lobbying firm Capital Associates in Alexandria  VA.

Gary Matyas ’78

Recognized as Penn State Alumni Fellow in 2013, recently  announced  that  he  and  his  department just received $10 million grant from the government which will fund human trials of the HIV  vaccine that he has been developing over the most recent several years.

Greg James ’80

Announced his retirement from HP consulting following a 22 year career  there.

Craig Meyers ’81

Craig’s company was recently acquired by an Australian concern called Cardno — the resulting company is now called Cardno-Haynes Whaley. The resulting company is now national with key locations around the globe.

Richard Santoroski ’86

Rich recently announced the formation of his new company American Capital Energy & Infrastructure which invests in energy infrastructure assets in high- growth and developed markets, including power generation facilities, gas and power distribution and transmission networks, energy transportation assets, fuel production opportunities, and product and service companies focused on the power and energy sector.

Alan Artim ’94

Alan and his wife Kristin announce the arrival of their new baby boy, Archer who was born in June   2015.

Malcom (“Matt”) Fleming II ’96

Matt completed his graduate work at Embry Riddle Prescott, AZ.

Glen Hafler ’97

Recently joined The Hackett Group as a Principal in the EPM Transformation.

Maria Conte ’98

Maria and her husband Matthew ’96, announce the arrival of the their second child Liam Patrick born on July 28, 2015.

Armando Merlo ’99

Armando announced that he has taken a new position as Creative Producer at AOL,  Inc.

Michael Blasko ’00

Michael is recently married, his wife Dana also works at the Hartford Insurance company.

Stephanie Cook ’12

Stephanie started a new position as Technical Sales Specialist with Schlumberger in Dallas Texas.


Dr. Lil Junas Garden

Dr. Lil Junas ’57 was honored at the Dr. Lil Junas Garden dedication and reception acknowledging her contributions  to  the campus with a complete renovation of the campus garden, a key attribute and destination of Penn State Hazleton. Shown with Lil from left to right is Kevin Salaway director of development and alumni relations, Dr. Gary Lawler, chancellor, and Jaculin Scarcella, alumni and development stewardship officer.

Dr. Lil Junas Garden - picture 1

Dr. Lil Junas ’57 was honored at the Dr. Lil Junas Garden dedication and reception acknowledging her contributions  to  the campus with a complete renovation of the campus garden, a key attribute and destination of Penn State Hazleton. Shown with Lil from left to right is Kevin Salaway director of development and alumni relations, Dr. Gary Lawler, chancellor, and Jaculin Scarcella, alumni and development stewardship officer.

Just in time for the start of the 2015-2016 academic year, The Dr. Lil Junas ’57 Garden was dedicated at Penn State Hazleton in recognition of the alumna’s substantial contributions to the  campus garden, a key attribute of and popular destination  for visitors to the campus, was made possible through a gift from Junas which she made in 2014 as a means of “giving back to the campus where I started,” as she put it.

Junas reminisced about her time at the campus as a student in the early 1950’s during which she said that she spent a great deal of time in Schiavo Hall, adjacent to the garden, and attended many ceremonies and events held at the garden.

Dr. Lil Junas was born and raised in Hazleton and attended Penn State Hazleton, earning a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Penn State. She spent a career as a photojournalist who worked for several newspapers.

“As Lil is an avid lover of arts and the outdoors, the naming of this garden is a perfect fit with her most passionate interests,” said Chancellor Gary Lawler, unveiling a bronze plaque at the entrance to the garden. “Her career has spanned the  spectrum — from educator to journalist, business woman to accomplished photographer — and her professional and personal contributions to the community have left a lasting impression,” he said.

Junas’ interest in cultures and lifestyles led her to spend a year teaching English in Slovakia. Besides Slovakia, her freelance stints and travels include Ecuador, Costa Rica, Poland, Croatia, Slovenia, Mexico, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Afghanistan, Hungary, Italy, Austria and Iceland. She has photographed in every U.S. state except Hawaii,  in addition to the Yukon Territory and nearly all provinces of Canada. For several months,  Junas lived with tribes of American Indians in Arizona and South Dakota.

Junas has published four books that include many of her photographs: “Cadron Creek: A Photographic Narrative” (1979); “Historic Bethlehem: A Photographic Glimpse” (1985); “Slovakia:  Land of My Heritage” (1994) and “My Slovakia: An American’s View” (2002). She also authored a pocket guide called “Going to Slovakia?” for visitors to that country.

While a student at Penn State, she served on the   staff of The Daily Collegian and was inducted into Kappa Tau Alpha (Penn State’s honor society for journalism and communications) and served on the staff of The Daily Collegian. She also holds a doctoral degree from Ohio State and a professional certificate in commercial and illustrative photography from the Country School of Photography in Vermont.


HIGHACRES Insider is published  by the Office of Development and Alumni Relations at Penn State Hazleton.

Jackie Scarcella, Alumni and Development Stewardship Officer
570-450-3560, jbs22@psu.edu

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