On Saturday, May 3, nearly 400 University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown students will mark the end of their college experience and begin the next chapter of their lives. They will leave UPJ on their way to meaningful careers and individual fulfillment…ready for the real world.
Graduates and their families attending the 36th annual Commencement will be treated to addresses by three speakers. Commencement addresses are an opportunity for graduates to gain first-hand perspective on life in the real world, beyond the boundaries of their college campus. This year’s graduating class has the great fortune to hear such a message delivered from one of their peers, Steven Kotecki, someone who is ready for the real world, indeed. Martin E. Radovanic will share his real world experiences as businessman and father. Angela Mazur will bring greetings on behalf of the students as Student Senate president.
Steven Kotecki, a member of the Pitt-Johnstown graduating class of 2008, spent nearly half of his life growing up in the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire in West Africa (commonly known as the Ivory Coast) where his parents worked as missionaries. He graduated in 2201 from the International Christian Academy. He began his college career at Baylor University, but transferred to UPJ in 2004. A member of the Army Reserve, Mr. Kotecki served a six-month tour of duty in Afghanistan, and a 12-month tour in Iraq. Upon graduation, Mr. Kotecki and his wife Shannon will relocate to Florida, where he will pursue his master’s degree in geography, with concentrations in African development and Arabic.
In announcing the selection of Mr. Kotecki as one of the commencement speakers, UPJ President Jem Spectar stated, “Steven is an amazing young man. Through his extensive list of impressive accomplishments, he has demonstrated commitment to his community and his fellow man, and served as an inspiration to those around him. His message to his fellow graduates will certainly inspire them and further their awareness of the important issues facing our global society.”
Martin E. Radovanic is the Managing Editor and Main Anchor at NBC affiliate WJAC in Johnstown. Mr. Radovanic, who began his news career nearly 35 years ago, is responsible for delivering the news to the nearly half-million households throughout west-central Pennsylvania. He has interviewed religious and political leaders, and recently covered the Pope’s visit to our nation’s capital. He has received several awards from the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters for his work on documentaries examining issues important to the people of the Alleghenies. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Mr. Radovanic currently resides in Johnstown with his wife Joyce, and is the father of two grown children, Kristen Corcoran and Martin J. Radovanic. He is also the proud grandfather of three grandsons.
The Commencement will honor seniors who completed Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, or Associate of Science degree requirements in August or December 2007, or are completing requirements in April or June of this year.
Gladys Go (’92), president of the Pitt-Johnstown Alumni Association, will recognize graduates as new members of the Association and encourage them to support the college by becoming activie in the Association.
Dr. Valerie Grash, associate professor of fine arts, will serve as grand marshal for the the ceremonies, which include a procession of graduates, faculty, staff, administration, and members of the UPJ Advisory Board.
Dr. Jon Darling, acting vice president for academic affairs will present the graduating seniors. Dr. Jonathan Gonder, association vice president for academic affairs, will read the list of graduating seniors.
As part of the ceremony, President Spectar will recognize Dr. Andrew Rose, associate professor of civil engineering technology, recipient of this year’s President’s Award for Teaching Excellence.
The Commencement ceremony will begin at 1:00 p.m. at the UPJ Sports Center. Tickets are required for admission to the Sports Center.
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 high quality educational experience that is purposefully designed to prepare students for the real world of the 21st century.
To read a special article on Steven Kotecki, please click here