Penn State Hazleton holds 54th annual spring commencement ceremony

Graduates in caps and gowns in two rows walking down sidewalk led by faculty member in black robe carrying a staff and pendant.

Penn State Hazleton graduates led by faculty marshal Karen Stylianides process through the campus mall on their way to the spring commencement ceremony in the Dr. Thomas M. Caccese Gymnasium.

Credit: Dekka Studios

HAZLETON, Pa. — Penn State Hazleton conferred degrees to its Class of 2024 during its 54th annual commencement ceremony on Friday, May 3. 

Joined by their families, friends, and members of the faculty and staff, graduates gathered in the Dr. Thomas M. Caccese Gymnasium to hear their names called and walk across the stage to signify the successful completion of their undergraduate careers. 

Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer Elizabeth J. Wright applauded students, many of whom saw their senior years of high school and parts of their early college years impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, for their perseverance and commitment to learning.

“The communal resolve you exhibited during the pandemic, combined with the joy I’ve seen you exhibit on countless moments during your time at the campus, reflects the essential nature of who you are: Tied to community; deeply caring of others; adamant in your resolve to make progress towards degree and thus to create a better future for yourself and others,” Wright said. 

Commencement speaker Rosemarie Petrilla, teaching professor of physical therapy and coordinator of Penn State Hazleton’s physical therapist assistant program since 2001, imparted on graduates some of the wisdom she learned throughout her career as she prepares to retire in June. 

“Set clear intentions for your career path,” Petrilla said. “Identify what truly fulfills you, what aligns with your values and passions, and pursue those paths with unwavering dedication and purpose. Whether you aspire to be a leader in your field, a change-maker in your community or an innovator pushing the boundaries of what is possible, let intention be your guiding light.”

Class of 2024 graduates and their degrees conferred were:  

Associate in arts in multidisciplinary studies: Cristal Marie Nader Almonte, Beaver Meadows; and Kimberly Ann Lescowitch, McAdoo. 

Associate in science in business administration: Jason T. Rosario, White Haven; and Rachel K. Smith, Barnesville. 

Associate in science in medical laboratory technology: Kaylynn Brumbaugh, Cabot; Sean Robert Demczyszyn, Northampton; and Hattie Elizabeth Flood, Blairs Mills. 

Associate in science in physical therapist assistant: Breann Lynette Darkins, Willis, Michigan; Sierrah Faust, Wilkes-Barre; Matthew Hilty, Slatington; Brooke Iobst, Emmaus; Trevor Kisler, Steelton; Corey Michael Klinger, Berwick; Andrew Nadler, Astoria, New York; Carl Angelo Ramos, Hazleton; Garrett Timco, Coal Township; Kyla Wolfe, Pine Grove; and Lidiya Zaitseva, Newmanstown. 

Bachelor of arts in art: Jenna Ann Corra, Sugarloaf. 

Bachelor of arts in corporate communication: Gretchen Marie Pucklavage, Tamaqua. 

Bachelor of arts in criminal justice: Yokaira Concepcion, Hazleton; and Jayla Abrianna Irvin, Bethlehem. 

Bachelor of arts in multidisciplinary studies: Rebecca Marie Foose, Hazle Township 

Bachelor of arts in psychology: Tegann Anderson, Clifton, New Jersey; Ameerah Elizabeth Ensley, Stroudsburg; Jamie Lee Flores, Beaver Meadows; Winton Nunez, Hazleton; Kacy Ramirez, Stroudsburg; Maya Ann Rizkalla, Freeland; Jenna Rose Rossell, McAdoo; and Cynthia Vadnie Winn, East Stroudsburg. 

Bachelor of science in workforce education and development: Justin Chad Wright, Nescopeck. 

Bachelor of science in computer science: Alberiluz Alcantara, Hazleton; Nicole Allison Frederick, Berwick; Kiany Gutierrez, Hazleton; Dhruv H. Patel, Scranton; and Bryan Tejeda Zoquier, Hazleton. 

Bachelor of science in engineering: Dario Lobo Garcia, Wilkes-Barre; and Brian James Tylutke, Exeter. 

Bachelor of science in business – intercollege: Tiffany Marie Ustynoski, Sugarloaf. 

Bachelor of science in business: John Thomas Bindas, Drums; Gregory M. Brannan, Mountain Top; Gabriel Charles Bragg, Sugarloaf; Jett Chen, Hazle Township; Kevin Richard Fergel, West Hazleton; Jeremy Harper, Mountain Top; Colin Michael Hoy, Harleysville; Tina Huang, Effort; Brian Robert Katchur, Beaver Meadows; Christopher Neyhard, Bloomsburg; Michelle Ramirez, Freeland; Joshua Michael Robin, Nesquehoning; Thomas Shafer Jr., Mountain Top; Carmen L. Valerio, Hazleton; Edward Joseph Wess, East Stroudsburg; and D’Andre Tyler Wright, Hazleton. 

Bachelor of science in criminal justice: Lorna Marie Bragg, Sugarloaf; Solomon Arthur Grant, Williamsport; Jessica Tineo, Hazleton; Jason V. Venne Jr., Weatherly; and Amber Rose Waters, Millsboro, Delaware. 

Bachelor of science in health policy and administration: Nayrovi Abreu De La Cruz, Hazle Township; Matthew Janson, Bloomsburg; and Riley Wehr, Summit Hill. 

Bachelor of science in information sciences and technology: Jonah Michael Baksa, Hazleton; Stephen John Betterly, Hazleton; Randy Curtis Miller, Laurel Run; and Freilin J. Pujols Moreta, Hazleton. 

Bachelor of science in project and supply chain management: Jett Chen, Hazle Township; Tina Huang, Effort; Brian Robert Katchur, Beaver Meadows; Carmen L. Valerio, Hazleton; and D’Andre Tyler Wright, Hazleton. 

Bachelor of science in psychology: Brandon Ronald Crockford, Drums. 

Bachelor of science in rehabilitation and human services: Meghan Darrough, Drums; Dalton Kramer, Drums; Jadyn Michelle Michael, Berwick; Shane Miller, Barnesville; and Alexus Morra, East Stroudsburg. 

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 Lorna Marie Bragg, Sugarloaf; Kaylynn Brumbaugh, Cabot; and Matthew Janson, Bloomsburg. 

Graduating magna cum laude was Andrew Nadler, Astoria, New York. 

Graduating cum laude were Tina Huang, Effort; Garrett Timco, Coal Township; and Riley Wehr, Summit Hill. 

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 students recognized for military service were: 

Sean Robert Demczyszyn, Northampton; Matthew Hilty, Slatington; and Andrew Nadler, Astoria, New York. 

Frank C. Kostos Awards  

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

Ian Kramer, a mechanical engineering major from Drums, received the honor for the highest grade-point average in Penn State course work and enrolled in a baccalaureate degree program at the end of their second year. 

Lorna Marie Bragg of Sugarloaf, who earned a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice, and Matthew Janson of Bloomsburg, who received a bachelor of science degree in health policy and administration, were honored as the graduate earning the highest grade-point average in a Penn State Hazleton baccalaureate degree program. 

Kaylynn Brumbaugh of Cabot, who earned an associate in science degree in medical laboratory technology, earned the highest grade-point average for a student in a Penn State Hazleton associate degree program.