University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
Pitt-Johnstown Seal

68 Students Honored for Academic Achievement

68 Students Honored for Academic Achievement

Article Body

     Sixty-eight University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown students were honored for exemplary academic achievement in a variety of fields at the college’s annual Academic Honors Convocation, held Sunday, March 30, in the UPJ Living/Learning Center’s Heritage Hall.

     The donor award recipients, selected by UPJ faculty and faculty awards committees, each received a certificate of recognition and a cash award.

     The following donor awards, several of which were made possible through private donations to the college by alumni and friends, were presented at the ceremony:

     Rachel N. Sirgey, a senior secondary education-science major and daughter of Bill and Deanna Sirgey of Connellsville, Pa., was the recipient of the Dr. Sheldon I. and Beth Rapoport Clare Award.  This award is presented to an exceptional graduating senior who intends to teach high school chemistry.

     Kevin S. Walker, a senior mechanical engineering technology major and son of Jack and Marcia Walker of Washington, Pa., was the recipient of the C. Bruce Baker Memorial Award.  This award is presented for outstanding accomplishment as a student in mechanical engineering technology and for showing good probability for success in the field of engineering.

     Jeffrey J. Dickerson, a senior civil engineering technology major and son of Donald and Robin Dickerson of Altoona, was the recipient of the Wilson Construction Company Award.  This award is presented for outstanding accomplishment as a student in civil engineering technology and for showing good probability for success in the field of engineering.

     Joren K. Wendschuh, a senior electrical engineering technology major and son of Ronald and Jeanne Wendschuh of West Redding, Conn., was the recipient of the WJAC Television Award (Electrical Engineering Technology).  This award is presented for outstanding ability in the subjects related to the television communication industry and a desire to pursue a career in that field.

     Katie E. Ubinger, a senior English literature major and daughter of Joanne Russell of Pittsburgh and Karl Ubinger of Pittsburgh, was the recipient of the Louise Letizia Miele Award.  This award is presented for outstanding ability and the probability of success in the field of writing.

     Katrina E. Nicodemus, a sophomore English literature major and daughter of Wanda and Kerry Nicodemus of Imler, was the recipient of the Carroll Grimes Award for Writing in Humanities.  This award is presented to the undergraduate writer of the best scholarly or critical essay written for a Humanities class.  The award is named for Dr. Carroll Grimes, Humanities Division Chair from 1971-2002, whose love of teaching and love of learning are contagious and legendary.

     Annalise L. Policicchio, a sophomore secondary education-social studies major and daughter of Benjamin and Suzanne Policicchio of Johnstown, was the recipient of the Hazel Lansberry Award in French Language.  This award is presented to the French language student who best exemplifies the high qualities of language proficiency.

     Katie E. Hirschbock, a communication graduate from Myerstown, Pa., was the recipient of the Claire Garber Memorial Creative Writing Award.  This award is presented for outstanding fiction or poetry by a junior or senior.

     Valerie A. Lauffer, a junior professional writing major and daughter of Dan and Barb Lauffer of Lewisberry, Pa., was the recipient of the Walter W. Krebs Award.  This award is presented for excellence in the areas of composition and writing.

     Danielle R. Fuchs, a junior communication major and daughter of David and Theresea Fuchs of Johnstown, and Kayla N. Washko, a junior communication major and daughter of John Washko of Ebensburg, were the recipients of the Rose Ann Liska Award in Foreign Languages.  This award is presented to an exceptional foreign languages student.

     Kristen M. Lester, a junior mathematics major and daughter of Joseph Lester of Blairsville and the late Sheila Lester, was the recipient of the Louis M. Ulery Award.  This award is presented for demonstrating outstanding ability in the fields of mathematical and computing sciences.

     Nathan B. Fetsko, a senior biology major and son of David and Corrine Fetsko of Johnstown, was the recipient of the Dr. Meyer Bloom Award.  This award is presented for having achieved a superior academic record in the pre-medical program and having shown promise of becoming a successful physician.

     Mandi Schech, a mathematics graduate and daughter of Thomas and Terri Schech of South Fork, was the recipient of the John D. Wilson Mathematics Research Award.  This award is presented for an outstanding sophomore, junior or senior student in the areas of mathematical or statistical research, either theoretical or applied, which is performed either as a course requirement or as an independent study project.

     Jennifer L. Maffeo, a senior secondary education-biology major and daughter of John and Nancy Maffeo of Verona, Pa., was named the Morgan-Korch Scholar.  This award is presented to a student who shows the greatest promise in the field of biology.

     Andrew J. Hutsky, a junior geology major and son of Joseph and Janet Hutsky of Mineral Point, was the recipient of the William R. Brice Award for Excellence in Geology.  This award is presented to a junior student who has a GPA of 3.25 or higher and exhibits the greatest promise for success in the field of geology.

     Steven M. Kotecki, a senior geography and environmental studies dual major and son of Mike and Karen Kotecki of Portage, was the recipient of the Dr. Robert J. Hunter Scholarship Award.  This award is presented to an outstanding senior student who exhibits the innovative, enthusiastic, and inquiring spirit traditionally associated with scholarship in the social sciences, who demonstrates significant potential for graduate study, and who is inclined toward a career in public service.

     Jebidiah L. Barnouski, a junior business/finance/management major and son of Larry and Susan Barnouski of Johnstown, and Travis W. Wagner, a junior business/accounting/management major and son of Robert and Kathy Wagner of Alum Bank, were the recipients of the G. Fesler Edwards Award.  This award is presented to students who have completed their junior year in the business program with excellent records and high potential for success in the business field.

     Laura B. Stutzman, a senior business/accounting major and daughter of David and Deborah Stutzman of Berlin, and Karen S. Lauer, a business/management major and daughter of William and Sheryl Lauer of Natrona Heights, were the recipients of the Howard M. Picking Jr. Award.  This award is presented to a student who maintains the highest academic achievement in business and displays the qualities necessary to succeed in the world of business.

     Mark R. Luther, a business/accounting major and son of Robert and Kimberly Luther of Strongstown, was the recipient of the James V. and Concetta M. Saly Award.  This award is presented for academic excellence and high promise of professional success in public accounting.

     Michelle R. Capizzi, a business/marketing major and daughter of Michael and Rebecca Capizzi of Allison Park, and Deirdre A. Keim, a business/accounting major and wife of Dwight Keim of Johnstown, were the recipients of the Academic Achievement in Business Award.  This award is presented for academic excellence and extraordinary dedication in the completion of one’s undergraduate studies in Business.

     Jace P. Bazzani, a business/accounting major and son of Bruce and Kim Bazzani of Saxonburg, was the recipient of the Emglo Accounting Award.  This award is presented for academic excellence and high promise of professional success in managerial accounting.

     Katie M. Whysong, a senior business/finance major and daughter of Myra Whysong-Krentz and Frank Krentz of Imler, and Meghann L. Noon, a business/accounting major and daughter of Larry and Kristie Noon of Osterburg, were the recipients of the 1st Summit Bank Accounting Award. This award is presented for academic excellence and high promise of professional success in accounting and auditing.

     Alexis Wieczorek, a political science and communication dual major and daughter of Dr. J. Eric and Susan Wieczorek of Johnstown, was the recipient of the Dr. Albert P. Vannucci International Studies Award.  This award is presented for superior achievement in the area of international studies. 

     Lea R. Valenty, a business/marketing major and daughter of Richard and Loraine Valenty of Northern Cambria, was the recipient of the Sally A. Sargent Award.  This award is presented to a senior in business/management or marketing in recognition of academic excellence and high entrepreneurial promise in the professional business environment.

     Ryan M. O’Hare, a business/management major and son of Michael and Mary Ellen O’Hare of Kittanning, was the recipient of the CTC Award in Honor of Congressman John P. Murtha.  This award is given annually to the graduating senior student in management who exhibits outstanding leadership qualities in civic responsibilities and great potential for professional success in the public or private sectors.

     Susan L. Yoder, a nursing major and wife of Charles Yoder of Hollsopple, and Ryan W. Weaver, a nursing major and son of William and Suzanne Weaver of Stoystown, were the recipients of the Movene Ponas Nursing Award.  This award is presented to the top two students graduating from the University of Pittsburgh RN-to-BSN program.

     Carlene M. Barkley, a nursing major and daughter of Keith and Lee Ann Barkley of Johnstown, was the recipient of the UPJ Nursing Alumni Student Award.  This award is presented to an enrolled student in the Nursing Program at UPJ.

     Emily H. Babik, a sophomore civil engineering technology major and daughter of William and Susan Babik of Saint Marys, Pa., and Alicia M. Zack, a sophomore mechanical engineering technology major and daughter of Ronald and Angela Zack of Irwin, were the recipients of the Lowell D. Shaffer Student-Athlete Award.  This award is presented to a student involved in the college’s intercollegiate athletics program who demonstrates academic excellence.

     Paul E. Pentz, an electrical engineering technology major and son of Eugene and Brenda Pentz of Johnstown, and Jessica C. Zapf, an elementary education graduate and daughter of Jim and Patty Zapf of Pittsburgh, were the recipients of the Faculty Senate Scholar-Athlete Award.  This award is presented to a student involved in the college’s intercollegiate athletics program who demonstrates academic achievement.

     Jessica L. Tattershall, a senior biology major and daughter of George and Valerie Tattershall of Glenshaw, Pa., was the recipient of the Campus Association Rosella Blackington Award for Outstanding Student.  This award, accompanied by the Dr. and Mrs. Henry J. Idzkowsky Golden Candle Medal, is presented to a female senior for outstanding academic achievement and leadership.

     Shawn R. Johnson, a senior civil engineering technology and political science dual major and son of Dennis and Mary Jane Johnson of Greensburg, was the recipient of the Joseph J. Rapoport Memorial Award. This award is present to a student who exhibits outstanding student citizenship and active service to the college and community.

     Paige C. Stokes, a senior communication major and daughter of Rodney and Peggy Stokes of Glassport, Pa., was the recipient of the Stanton Chapman Crawford Memorial Award.  This award is presented to a student who contributes to the betterment of the college, representing it well in student life and typifying the kind of student the college aims to produce.

     Theresa Baroni, a sophomore elementary education major and daughter of Gary and Georgine Baroni of Portage, was the recipient of the Campus Association of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown Ruby Biddle Award.  This award is presented to a sophomore level student at UPJ with a 3.25 GPA or above.

     Brooke V. Klawuhn, a junior biology major and daughter of Wayne and Terry Klawuhn of Ridgway, Pa., and Lacey N. Schmidt, a senior communication major and daughter of William and Theresa Schmidt of Johnstown, were the recipients of the Pitt-Johnstown Alumni Association Achievement Award.  This award is presented annually by the Pitt-Johnstown Alumni Association to an outstanding junior student who exemplifies distinguished academic achievement, demonstrated leadership in and service to the UPJ community, and characteristics of enthusiasm, social consciousness, responsibility, outreach, and dedication.

      Brittany Corsaro, a psychology and social science dual major and daughter of Debbie Corsaro of Greensburg, was the recipient of the Charles Kunkle Jr. Leadership Award.  This award is presented to a senior member of the student body who best exemplifies leadership at UPJ.

     Maggie A. Fusko, a junior elementary education major and daughter of Tom and Kim Fusko of Cabot, Pa., was the recipient of the Upper Level Elementary Education Student of the Year.  This award is given to a student majoring in elementary education who demonstrates academic excellence, leadership, involvement in extra-curricular activities, and service to both the college and the community.

     Christian M. Yates, a junior secondary education-mathematics major and son of Cecil and Judy Yates of Lower Burrell, was the recipient of the Upper Level Secondary Education Student of the Year.  This award is given to a student majoring in secondary education who demonstrates academic excellence, leadership, involvement in extra-curricular activities, and service to both the college and the community.

     Twenty-eight UPJ seniors were honored as college scholars in their respective degree programs.  College scholars are those who have achieved exceptional grade point averages in their major fields of study. 

     Education Division Scholars in Elementary Education is Anne Rhoades, a senior elementary education major and daughter of Ronald and Paula Rhoades of Summerhill.  Secondary Education College Scholars are Joyce M. Robley in secondary education-English, and wife of John Robley of Hastings; Eric M. Yacko in secondary education-mathematics and son of Michael and Carol Yacko of Lower Burrell; Rachel N. Sirgey, a senior secondary education-science major and daughter of Bill and Deanna Sirgey of Connellsville, Pa.; and Zachary J. Ankney in secondary education-social studies and son of Jeffrey Ankney of Somerset and Jeannie Broskey of Indiana.

     Engineering Technology College Scholars are Brian C. Lantz, a senior civil engineering technology major and son of Kevin and Pam Lantz of Franklin, Pa.; Lucas McCoy, a senior electrical engineering technology major and son of Michael and Anita McCoy of Summerhill; and Bradley A. Reifsnyder, a senior mechanical engineering technology major and son of Richard and Christine Reifsnyder of Abingdon, Md.

     Humanities College Scholars are Thomas Dorchak, a senior communication major and son of Thomas and Denise Dorchak of Johnstown; Amanda A. Kieta, a senior English literature major and daughter of Stanley and Jamie Kieta of Salix; Andrew W. Miller, a senior theatre arts major and son of Gene and Margaret Miller of Mertztown, Pa.; and Paige C. Stokes, a senior communication major and daughter of Rodney and Peggy Stokes of Glassport, Pa.

     Natural Sciences College Scholars are Vanessa R. Meiser, a senior biology major and daughter of Brian and Donna Meiser of Duncansville; Joshua R. Hoy, a senior computer science major and son of Randal and Diana Hoy of Johnstown; Maureen L. Troiano, a senior mathematics-actuarial science major and wife of Paul Troiano of Johnstown; and Erica N. Hutchison, a senior psychology major and daughter of Robert and Karen Hutchison of Emmaus, Pa.

     Social Sciences College Scholars are Laura B. Stutzman, a senior business/accounting major and daughter of David and Deborah Stutzman of Berlin; Katie M. Whysong, a senior business/finance major and daughter of Myra Whysong-Krentz and Frank Krentz of Imler; Brittany L. Hood, a senior business/management major and daughter of Brian and Valerie Hood of Emeigh, Pa.; Leah M. Galla, a senior business/marketing major and daughter of James and Jean Galla of Summerhill; Meghan E. Wood, a senior business/accounting/economics major and daughter of Wayne and Ann Wood of Clearfield; Steven M. Kotecki, a senior geography and environmental studies dual major and son of Mike and Karen Kotecki of Portage; Kyle B. Guie, a senior geography major and son of Boyd and Andrea Guie of Honey Brook, Pa.; Andmoragan C. Thomas, a senior political science and history major and daughter of Edward and Joyce Thomas of Hollsopple; Curtis J. Irwin, a senior political science and history dual major and son of Mark and Colleen Irwin of West Decatur, Pa.; Vicki L. Slagle, a senior political science and social science dual major and daughter of Marjorie Brinkerhoff of Chico, Calif., and Justin R. Young, a senior sociology major and son of Ronald and Stephanie Young of Windber.

     The Nursing College Scholar is Susan L. Yoder, a nursing major and wife of Charles Yoder of Hollsopple.

     Dr. Jon Darling, UPJ acting vice president for Academic Affairs, presided over the event, which was attended by student honorees, their families and friends, faculty, staff, and award donors and honorees.  Richard R. Verma, UPJ Advisory Board member and partner in the international law firm of Steptoe & Johnson LLP, was the keynote speaker.

     Founded in 1927, UPJ is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh.  A vital knowledge center and a foremost contributor to the area’s educational, social, cultural, and economic environment, UPJ offers a first-class educational experience that is purposefully designed to prepare students for the real world of the 21st century.

Posted by Shook, Kimberly on 4/10/2008 3:00:00 PM