University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
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68 Students Honored for Academic Achievement

68 Students Honored for Academic Achievement

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     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 29, in the Pitt-Johnstown Living/Learning Center’s Heritage Hall.

     Dr. Alan Teich, Pitt-Johnstown interim 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.  Dr. Reinhard Heinisch, Pitt-Johnstown professor of political science and director of International Studies, was the keynote speaker.

     In his speech to honorees, Dr. Heinisch spoke on the importance of public service and giving back, “You should engage in service not only to provide valuable assistance but also to learn about yourself. Learn what it is like to be outside your comfort zone, what it is like to improvise and struggle with cultural differences.  For many of you, it is a valuable experience to find out what it is like to be a racial or cultural minority. It will make you more sensitive, more attentive, more complex as a person.”

     The donor award recipients, selected by Pitt-Johnstown 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:

     Shawn A. Rhodes, a senior mechanical engineering technology major and son of Scott Rhodes of Somerset and Danette Rhodes of Boswell, 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.

     Jarid D. Antonio, a senior civil engineering technology major and son of Dave and Brenda Antonio of Seward, 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.

     John A. Blickenderfer, a senior electrical engineering technology major and son of John and Mary Blickenderfer of Belsano, Pa., 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.

     Kayla N. Washko, a senior writing major and daughter of John Washko of Ebensburg and the late Nancy Washko, 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 junior 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. 

     Melissa Gregory, a sophomore elementary education major and daughter of Edward and Linda Gregory of Darragh, Pa., 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.

     Jonathan Ammon, a junior creative writing major and son of Clay and Rebecca Ammon of Huntingdon, 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.

     Joshua Keller, a junior professional writing major and son of David Keller and Annette Keller of Red Lion, Pa., was the recipient of the Walter W. Krebs Award.  This award is presented for excellence in the areas of composition and writing.

     Michael Kuhne, a senior journalism major and son of Frederick and Teresa Kuhne of Johnstown, was the recipient of the John Fiske McHugh Memorial Award.  This award is presented for excellence in an advanced reporting class and making significant contributions to the Advocate student newspaper.

     Kristin Baudoux, a junior communication major and daughter of Gary and Frances Baudoux of Portage, was the recipient of the WJAC Television Award (Communication or Journalism).  This award is presented for demonstrating outstanding abilities in subjects relating to the television communications industry and indicating a desire to pursue a career in this field.

     Mary Comerford, a junior mathematics major and daughter of John and Judith Comerford of Greensburg, 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.

     Nicholas C. Kinback, a senior biology major and son of Jerry and Diane Kinback of Wilmore, Pa., 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.

     Tiffany Bumbarger, a senior chemistry major and daughter of Donald and Connie Bumbarger of Acosta, Pa., was the recipient of the Robert E. McClure Award.  This award is presented for having demonstrated outstanding achievement as a chemistry student and for having shown a probability for success in the field of chemistry.

     Kristen M. Lester, a senior mathematics major and daughter of Joseph Lester of Derry and the late Sheila Lester, was the recipient of the Dr. Christopher J. Morgan Mathematical Advancement Award.  This award is presented to a senior who has a GPA of 3.25 or higher, is a mathematics major or minor, or a mathematics education major, and who is making a presentation at a mathematics conference.

     Kristen Lester also was the recipient of the John D. Wilson Mathematics Research Award.  This award is presented to 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.

     Aarika L. MacIntrye, a senior biology major and daughter of James MacIntrye of Pittston, Pa. and Mary MacIntyre of Dallas, Pa., was named the Morgan-Korch Scholar.  This award is presented to a student who shows the greatest promise in the field of biology.

     Matthew Petrowsky, a junior geology major and son of Richard and Cathy Petrowksy of Johnstown, 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.

     Stephen J. Wojnaroski, a senior history and political science dual major and son of Walter and Sharon Wojnaroski of Johnstown, 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.

     Daniel J. Painter, a junior business/accounting major and son of Daniel and Lucinda Painter of Greensburg, and Steven M. Heidenthal, a junior business/management/marketing major and son of Michael and Linda Heidenthal of Clymer, Pa., 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.

     Justin M. Weleski, a senior business/accounting major and son of Russell Weleski and Anna MacCheyne of Hanover, Pa., and Staci S. Lerch, a business/marketing major and daughter of Edward and Nancy Lerch of Lewistown, Pa., 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.

     Justin F. Maser, a business/accounting major and son of James and Julie Maser of Johnstown, 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.

     Jebidiah L. Barnouski, a business/finance major and son of Larry and Susan Barnouski of Johnstown, and Nicole M. Kelley, a business/marketing major and wife of Milton Kelley Jr. 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.

     Kathryn J. Shadron, a business/accounting major and daughter of Michael and Chris Shadron of Ligonier, was the recipient of the Emglo Accounting Award.  This award is presented for academic excellence and high promise of professional success in managerial accounting.

     Katherin E. Gerber, a senior business/accounting major and daughter of William and Wanda Gerber of Monroeville, and Sarah Bronder, a business/accounting major and daughter of Michael and Janet Bronder of Plum Borough, Pa., 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.

     Jesper P. Nielsen, a political science major and son of Per Neilsen and Marianne Anderson, 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. 

     Katie L. Gielata, a business/finance/marketing major and daughter of Michael and Patti Gielata of Bethel Park, 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.

     Vladimir G. Sidorick, a business/management major and son of Gregory and Bridgett Sidorick of State College, 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.

     Pauline Barelick, a nursing major and wife of Michael Barelick of Sidman, and Nathan Lehman, a nursing major and husband of Michelle Lehman of Boswell, 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.

     Fay Salazar, a nursing major and wife of Salvador Salazar 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 Pitt-Johnstown.

     Benjamin Watkins, a junior electrical engineering technology major and son of Ken and Mary Jo Watkins of Johnstown, and Alissa A. Falcone, a sophomore elementary education major and daughter of Daniel and Judy Falcone of Murrysville, were the recipients of the Lowell D. Shaffer Student-Athlete Award.  This award is presented to a male and female student involved in the college’s intercollegiate athletics program who demonstrates academic excellence.

     Kathryn Shadron and Jason A. Swope, a senior business/accounting major and son of Jim and Denise Swope of Indiana, 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.

     Kathryn Shadron 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.

     Jeffrey Burtner, a political science major and son of Jeff and Chari Burtner of Lower Burrell, 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.

     Emily K. Jenca, a senior communication major and daughter of Richard and Karen Jenca of Greensburg, 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.

     Andrew Klobuka, a chemistry major and son of Joseph and Pamela Klobuka of Hollidaysburg, was the recipient of the Dr. Jem Spectar Award.  This award was established by the Pitt-Johnstown Advisory Board in recognition of Dr. Jem Spectar being named the fifth president of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and is presented to a top student in his/her junior year.

     Nicole Kelley 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 Pitt-Johnstown with a 3.25 GPA or above.

     John B. Hostetler, a junior secondary education-mathematics and applied mathematics major and son of Ronda Hostetler of Berlin, was the recipient 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 Pitt-Johnstown community, and characteristics of enthusiasm, social consciousness, responsibility, outreach, and dedication.

     Carolyn E. Detwiler, a senior civil engineering technology major and daughter of Paul and Sandy Detwiler of Everett, 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 Pitt-Johnstown.

     Megan Muir, a junior elementary education major and daughter of John and Sally Muir of Hollsopple, was named 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.

     Christina M. Mowen, a junior secondary education-mathematics major and daughter of Theodore and Patricia Mowen of Uniontown, and Annalise L. Policicchio, a junior secondary education-history major and daughter of Benjamin and Suzanne Policicchio of Johnstown, were each named 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.

     Thirty Pitt-Johnstown 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 Scholar in Elementary Education is Kristen R. Ott, a senior elementary education major and daughter of Bradley and Lorraine Ott of Gray, Pa.  Secondary Education College Scholars are Kimberly M. Gavalchik in secondary education-English, and daughter of Thomas and Joan Gavalchik of Windber; Christian Yates in secondary education-mathematics and son of Cecil and Judy Yates of Lower Burrell, Pa.; Gregory Thomas, a senior secondary education-science major and son of Donald and Barbara Thomas of Stoystown; and Martin A. Vrabel in secondary education-social studies and son of Nancy Vrabel-Veney of Johnstown and Martin Vrabel of Johnstown.

     Engineering Technology College Scholars are Derek R. Brown, a senior civil engineering technology major and husband of Amanda Brown of Martinsburg, Pa.; Nicholas J. Stephens, a senior electrical engineering technology major and son of Karen Stephens of Johnstown; and Shawn Rhodes.

     Humanities College Scholars are Nicole Kirsch, a senior communication major and daughter of Jacob and Denise Kirsch of Northern Cambria; Michael Flaim, a senior English literature major and son of John and Ann Flaim of Ephrata; Emily M. Hartig, a senior theatre arts major and daughter of Deborah Demchak and Mr. and Mrs. Chris Hartig of North Versailles; Sadie DeSantis, a senior theatre arts major and daughter of Donald and Kathleen DeSantis of New Kensington; Valerie A. Lauffer, a senior writing major and daughter of Dan and Barb Lauffer of Lewisberry, Pa., and Kayla Washko.

     Natural Sciences College Scholars are Kelsey A. Shiley, a senior biology major and daughter of Pamela Shiley of Johnstown; Tiffany Bumbarger; Stephanie A. Lambert, a senior computer science major and daughter of Gloria Lambert of Berlin and the late James Lambert; Andrew Hutsky, a senior geology major and son of Joseph and Janet Hutsky of Mineral Point; Ms. Lester, and Matthew Claar, a senior psychology major and son of Larry and Nancy Claar of Windber.

     Social Sciences College Scholars are Justin Weleski; Jebidiah Barnouski; Travis W. Wagner, a senior business/management major and son of Robert and Kathy Wagner of Alum Bank; Stacy L. Varmecky, a senior business/marketing major and daughter of Ralph and Barbara Varmecky of Johnstown; Stephanie Sell, a senior environmental studies major and daughter of Stephen and Judy Barry of Kevil, Ky., and Timothy Sell of Roaring Spring; Scooter B. Hovanec, a senior geography major and son of Robert Hovanec and Barbara Hovanec of Johnstown; Julia Biagini, a senior history major and daughter of John and Janice Biagini of Monongahela, Pa.; John Hartman, a senior political science major and son of Fred and Karen Hartman of Pittsburgh, and Lindsey Shaffer, a senior sociology major and daughter of Gary and Kim Shaffer of Johnstown.

     The Nursing College Scholar is Pauline Barelick.

     Founded in 1927, Pitt-Johnstown 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, Pitt-Johnstown offers a high quality educational experience that is purposefully designed to prepare students for the real world of the 21st century.

Posted by Shook, Kimberly on 4/13/2009 4:05:00 PM