Penn State Hazleton fall graduates celebrated in virtual commencement

Nittany Lion in front of graduates in caps and gowns with "Congratulations Class of 2020"
Credit: Penn State

HAZLETON, Pa. — Penn State Hazleton awarded degrees to nearly 60 seniors in a virtual ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 19, as part of the University’s fall 2020 commencement program.

The celebration immediately followed a University-wide virtual ceremony featuring remarks from Penn State President Eric Barron, music from the Penn State Blue Band, and other elements that upheld the traditional spirit of commencement day.

A total of 55 graduates earned 21 bachelor’s degrees and 34 associate degrees. Each graduate was honored with a digital slide displaying their name and degree program.

In his message to graduates, Chancellor Gary M. Lawler commended them for their grit and determination in overcoming the difficult circumstances brought about by the coronavirus.

“You have worked hard and been resilient in the face of adversity,” Lawler said. “We envy you for your youth, your enthusiasm, your ethical approaches, and your quest for making a difference in the world.”

Elizabeth Wright, associate dean for academic affairs in Penn State’s Office of the Senior Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses and director of academic affairs at Penn State Hazleton, recognized students who graduated with honors and military distinctions.

Graduates also heard words of encouragement and other remarks from Student Government Association President James Walsh and Director of Student Services and Engagement Tracy Garnick.

Degrees conferred:

Associate degrees:

Associate in science in business: Nicholas Michael Longazel, Drums.

Associate in science in physical therapy assistant: Jordan Alguire, Tunkhannock; Nicole Elizabeth Andress, Lehighton; Esmeralda Castro, Wilkes-Barre; Breonna Lynn Catherman, Mifflinburg; Jossel Concepcion, Wilkes-Barre; Devin Conlon, Lambertville, New Jersey; Lauren Anna Creveling, Berwick; Erin Dull, Manheim; Ryan Patrick Glacken, Scranton; Emma Kate Glezen, Hallstead; Madeline Rebecca Heim, Mount Carmel; Emily E. Howell, Tunkhannock; Nicholas Samuel Hreha, Dunmore; Bekah Keim, Mertztown; Kathleen Kenney, Hanover Township; Hailey E. Kupusnick, Shenandoah; Selina E. Malacari, Wilkes-Barre; Leatha Monkoski, Sugarloaf; Meghan Nicole Moyer, Wilkes-Barre; Torie L. Naradko, Port Carbon; Felisha Rosa Nunez, West Hazleton; Nicole Paranich, Mountain Top; Cassandra Passamonte, Exeter; Kaylee A. Rodgers, Exeter; Josey Lee Rupert, Shickshinny; Kelsie A. Salem, Myerstown; Vanessa Shedlock, West Pittston; Emma Beth Stinnett, Pottsville; Sarah Elizabeth Stock, Minersville; Trevor Wilkinson, White Haven; Emma Wyllie, Benton; Madison J. Young, Lewisburg; and Jessica Nichole Zimmerman, Dornsife.

Baccalaureate degrees:

Bachelor of arts in administration of justice: Rachell Castro Zapata, Hazle Township; Christopher C. Kurdziel, Lehighton; and Esperanza Paredes, Hazleton.

Bachelor of arts in psychology: Kirstie Moni, West Hazleton.

Bachelor of science in administration of justice: Philip J. McCoy, Sugarloaf; Shea M. Selgrade, Girardville; and Robert Allen Wright, Stroudsburg.

Bachelor of science in business: Ryan Karchner, Sugarloaf; Devon Keiper, Wilkes-Barre; Olivia Nicole Kokinda, Conyngham; and Isabella Tatiana Scaramastro, Wapwallopen.

Bachelor of science in engineering: Alexander Orrson, Mountain Top; and Kevin Alexis Quinonez, East Stroudsburg.

Bachelor of science in information sciences and technology: Yash S. Dube, Hazleton; Hunter Freil, Mahanoy City; Tanishq Mehta, Mumbai, India; Jacob E. Pryma, Dupont, and Shloka Ravindra Shinde, Mumbai, India.

Bachelor of science in psychology: Josephine Selekpoh, Philadelphia.

Bachelor of science in rehabilitation and human services: Christine Turse, Drums; and Aaron Wrobleski, Mountain Top.

Graduation with honors:

Students who are in the top 12% of their graduating class in their college and who have completed the required number of credits at the University receive special recognition. The 12% is divided into 2% “summa cum laude,” 4% “magna cum laude,” and 6% “cum laude.”

Summa Cum Laude: Alexander Orrson, Mountain Top.

Magna Cum Laude: Felisha Rosa Nunez, West Hazleton; Nicole Paranich, Mountain Top; and Josey Lee Rupert, Shickshinny.

Cum Laude: Hailey E. Kupusnick, Shenandoah; Meghan Nicole Moyer, Wilkes-Barre; Isabella Tatiana Scaramastro, Wapwallopen; and Tanishq Mehta, Mumbai, India.

Honor cords: Students who honorably served, are serving, or are commissioned to serve in the U.S. military are awarded a red, white and blue honor cord in recognition of their duty and sacrifice. Graduates who received these cords were Felisha Rosa Nunez, West Hazleton; and Isabella Tatiana Scaramastro, Wapwallopen.