Graduates celebrated at Penn State Hazleton spring commencement ceremony

Students in graduation caps and gowns standing in a row

Penn State Hazleton celebrated its Class of 2022 and welcomed back members of its Class of 2020 during its 52nd annual spring commencement ceremony Friday, May 6.

Credit: Penn State

HAZLETON, Pa. — Penn State Hazleton conferred degrees to its Class of 2022 during its 52nd annual commencement ceremony on Friday, May 6. 

Joined by their families, friends, and members of the faculty and staff, graduates gathered in the Dr. Thomas M. Caccese Gymnasium to walk across the stage and receive their degrees. 

Chancellor Gary M. Lawler, who will retire on June 30 after 15 years as chancellor and more than 40 years in higher education overall, served as the ceremony’s guest speaker. He encouraged graduates to be proud of themselves for all that they have accomplished over the course of their Penn State Hazleton experiences. 

“This is a very important day that you will reflect on time and time again for the rest of your life,” Lawler said. “It is a milestone moment not only for you, but also your proud family members. It marks the beginning of the journey which will be the rest of your life.” 

In addition to recognizing the Class of 2022, the ceremony also welcomed back members of the Class of 2020, whose commencement celebration was held virtually due to the pandemic. 

In his remarks, Lawler applauded the determination and resiliency both classes of graduates showed throughout a college journey that saw various obstacles due to COVID-19. 

“The challenges just kept coming and you responded to each and every one of them,” he said. “You did it not because you were asked, but because deep down you knew it was the right thing to do, and that is what we do at Penn State.” 

A total of 106 degrees were conferred; 23 associate degrees and 76 baccalaureate degrees. Seven students were dual majors. 

Class of 2022 graduates and their degrees conferred were: 

Associate in science in information sciences and technology: Yeudis Gomez Medina, Hazleton. 

Associate in science in medical laboratory technology: Alyssa L. Brown, Northumberland; Rebecca Cindy Cannon, Lansford; Tami Marie Christ, Whitehall; Marissa Anne McMullen, Harleysville; and Heather Marie Schlenker, Berwick. 

Associate in science in physical therapist assistant: Rebecca Baum, Stewartstown; Krista Carlin, Palmerton; Madeline Dincher, Williamsport; Madison Felty, Schuylkill Haven; Willow Forney, Lititz; Amanda Grant, Allentown; Janelle Grant, Allentown; Alexa Hillabold, Bloomsburg; Abigail Jacobs, Shavertown; Kevin Klock, Danville; Abigail Majeski, Plains; Shane Miller, Barnesville; Erica Peterson, Minersville; Alaine Rosado, Wernersville; Jonathan Torres, East Stroudsburg; Tamara Wagner, Danville; and Kyle Whipple, Avoca. 

Bachelor of arts in administration of justice: Sadie Victoria Heiney, Palmerton; and Meliah Kennedy, Hazleton. 

Bachelor of arts in corporate communication: Kayla Marie DiSabella, Drums; and Jacob Morgan, Hazleton. 

Bachelor of arts in criminal justice: Benitta Bruce, Nesquehoning; and Naomi Caridad Rodriguez, Tamaqua. 

Bachelor of arts in letters, arts, and sciences: Cassidy Lentz, Germansville. 

Bachelor of arts in psychology: Somery Abreu De La Cruz, Hazle Township; Alessandra Banta, Coatesville; Hayley A. Fellin, Hazleton; Luxaida Hernandez, Hazleton; Meliah Kennedy, Hazleton; Samy M. Lopez, Hazleton; Zorangel Sosa, Hazleton; and Chelsea Marie Welch, McAdoo. 

Bachelor of science in administration of justice: Sky Taylor Esterly, Nazareth; Stefany Rodriguez, Hazleton; Deonna Zamudio, Freeland; and Nikolas Edward Zasada, Mountain Top. 

Bachelor of science in business: Nicolas Ahn, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Justin Anziani, Hazleton; Junior Aneudis Arias, Hazleton; Karla Cabrera Blanco, Hazleton; Nicholas John Bradley, Stroudsburg; Becky V. Cruz, Berwick; Cesarina Del Rosario Caraballo, Hazleton; Daniel Gene Frisk, White Haven; Molly Elizabeth Isom, Weatherly; Christopher James Krout, Mountain Top; Andrew Kwiatkowski, Montgomery Village, Maryland; Lizbeth Luna Araujo, Hazleton; Yinette Martinez Landeta, Hazleton; Nicholas Maruschak, Lansford; Sara A. Miglas, Sugarloaf; Ariana Rose Paulhamus, West Hazleton; Taylor Rudden, Hazle Township; Nathan Shiner, Freeland; Colin Stauffer, West Hazleton; Jacob Michael Taschler, Lehighton; and McKayla Wildrick, Bangor. 

Bachelor of science in criminal justice: Caitlyn Ashelman, Macungie Township; Zakary Joseph Johnson, Sugarloaf; Dustin Rentschler, Drums; Aubrey Madelyn Smith, Girardville; Melanie Evadne Tejada, Hazleton; and Joan Vasquez, Hazleton. 

Bachelor of science in engineering: Mark Brady, Pittston; Christopher James Digon, Sugarloaf; Clayton Josiah Kimsal, White Haven; and Nathan T. Pauselli, Lake Ariel. 

Bachelor of science in health policy and administration: Daniel Gendimenico, Hazle Township; Michael Gryskevicz, Plains; and Nikki Irene O’Neil, Ringtown. 

Bachelor of science in information sciences and technology: Noah Ancharski, Drums; Andy Familia, Hazle Township; Kevin Gustave, Summit Hill; Tyler Hall, Kelayres; Kyle Robert Harro, Shickshinny; Cassidy Lugo, Hazleton; Zachary Perkowski, Ebervale; and Vielka E. Saldana, Freeland. 

Bachelor of science in project and supply chain management: Nicholas John Bradley, Stroudsburg; Cesarina Del Rosario Caraballo, Hazleton; Christopher James Krout, Mountain Top; Andrew Kwiatkowski, Montgomery Village, Maryland; Nicholas Maruschak, Lansford; Ariana Rose Paulhamus, West Hazleton; and Nicole Salerno, Lehighton. 

Bachelor of science in psychology: Jacob Buckley, Huntingdon Valley; Nicole M. Fisher, Oneida; and Mikayla Neaus, Hazle Township. 

Bachelor of science in rehabilitation and human services: Esmeralda Castro, Wilkes-Barre; Michelle Dean, Lewisburg; Lilly Fitt, Hazleton; Sierra Gratti, Kulpmont; Brian Kunkel, Drums; Kaylee J. Mauser, Fredericksburg; Jasmini Morillo, Hazle Township; Nicole Paranich, Mountain Top; Ashley Marie Slattery, Hazle Township; Cheyenne Stoneroad, Ashland; Nicholas Strubinger, Jim Thorpe; and Nicholas Vital, 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. 

Graduating summa cum laude were Alyssa L. Brown, Northumberland; and Clayton Josiah Kimsal, White Haven. 

Graduating magna cum laude were Cesarina Del Rosario Caraballo, Hazleton; and Cassidy Lugo, Hazleton. 

Graduating cum laude were Mark Brady, Pittston; Tyler Hall, Kelayres; Christopher James Krout, Mountain Top; Sara A. Miglas, Sugarloaf; Nikki Irene O’Neil, Ringtown; Zorangel Sosa, Hazleton; Nicholas Vital, Mountain Top; and Nikolas Edward Zasada, Mountain Top. 

Recognition of military service 
Students who have honorably served, are serving, or are commissioned to serve in the U.S. military will be awarded a red, white and blue honor cord in recognition of their duty and sacrifice. The student recognized for military service was: 

Christopher James Krout, Mountain Top. 

Frank C. Kostos Awards  
Winners of the Frank C. Kostos Award achieved the highest grade-point averages in their respective degree programs:  

Kayla Witcher, a digital media, arts and technology major from Hazle Township, received the honor for the full-time second-year student enrolled in a Penn State degree program. 

Alyssa L. Brown, Northumberland, 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. 

Clayton Josiah Kimsal, White Haven, who earned a bachelor of science degree in engineering, was honored as the graduate earning the highest grade-point average in a Penn State Hazleton baccalaureate degree program.