Seventy-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 25, on the Pitt-Johnstown campus.
Dr. Janet Grady, Pitt-Johnstown 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. Joseph Sestak, retired Admiral and former Congressman, was the keynote speaker.
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:
Glenn J. Fowler, a mechanical engineering technology major and son of William and Janet Fowler of Carrolltown, was the recipient of the C. Bruce Baker Memorial Award. This award is presented for outstanding accomplishments as a student in mechanical engineering technology and for showing good probability for success in the field of engineering.
Levi G. Thomas, a civil engineering technology major and son of David and Donna Thomas of Hooversville, was the recipient of the Wilson Construction Company Award. This award is presented for outstanding accomplishments as a student in civil engineering technology and for showing good probability for success in the field of engineering.
Daniel M. Lewis, an electrical engineering technology major and son of Mark and Patty Lewis of Finleyville, Pa., was the recipient of the WJAC Television Award (Electrical Engineering Technology). This award is presented for outstanding ability in subjects related to the television communication industry and a desire to pursue a career in that field.
Ann Snook, a creative writing major and daughter of Kenneth and Tonie Snook of Lewisburg, Pa., 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.
Tyler Easterbrook, an English literature major and son of Mark Easterbrook and Sherri Lacko of Johnstown, 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 1971-2001, whose love of teaching and love of learning are contagious and legendary.
Jessica Petro, a business/management major and daughter of Ken and Jean Petro of Windber, 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.
Thomas Barefoot, a history major and son of Brian and Joyce Barefoot of West Homestead, 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.
Brandon Zeris, a journalism major and son of Brenda Voeghtly of Johnstown, was the recipient of the Walter W. Krebs Award. The Walter W. Krebs Award is presented for excellence in the areas of composition and writing.
Eric Douglas, a communication major and son of Lucille Dolan and Norman Douglas of West Chester, was the recipient of the WJAC Television Award (Communication or Journalism). This award is presented for demonstrating outstanding abilities in the subjects relating to the television communications industry and indicating a desire to pursue a career in this field.
Matthew Paris, a secondary education-English major and son of Robert and Janet Paris of Pittsburgh, was the recipient of the Virginia Koumoungis Golubic Poetry Award. This award is presented to an outstanding student author of poetry. The award is named for Helen Golubic’s mother; Ms. Golubic has taught Public Relations in the Journalism Department for more than 30 years.
Ryan C. Brown, a journalism major and son of Chris Brown and Laura Hagg of Pittsburgh, was the recipient of the John Fiske McHugh Memorial Award. This award is presented for excellence in an advance reporting class and for making significant contributions to the Advocate student newspaper.
Kyle W. McClure, a humanities major and son of Charles and Jane McClure of Pittsburgh, was the recipient of the Rose Ann Liska Award in Foreign Language. This award is presented to an exceptional foreign languages student.
Shiyi Li, a mathematics and mechanical engineering technology dual major and daughter of Yali Li and Guojuan Pan of Shanghai, China, 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.
Rahul A. Gore, a biology major and son of Avinash and Vidya Gore 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.
Damian S. McAninch, a biochemistry major and son of Junior and Christina McAninch of Smicksburg, 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.
Lena DeLucia, an applied mathematics major and daughter of Ralph and Gretchen DeLucia of Valencia, Pa., was the recipient of the John D. Wilson Mathematics Research Award and the Campus Association Rosella Blackington Award for Outstanding Senior Student. The John D. Wilson Mathematics Research 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. The Campus Association 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.
Benjamin B. Policicchio, a biology major and son of Benjamin and Suzanne Policicchio of Johnstown, was the recipient of The Morgan-Korch Scholar. This award is presented to a student who shows the greatest promise in the field of biology.
Jeremiah P. Persuhn, a geology major and son of Paul and Adele Persuhn of Cairnbrook, 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.
Lisa M. Slippy, a history major and daughter of Gordon and Ruth Ann Slippy of Murrysville, 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.
Ashley N. DeVore, a business/accounting major and daughter of Rusty and Mary DeVore of Johnstown, and Kasey A. Wilson, a business/marketing major and daughter of Frank and Lori Wilson of South Fork, 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.
Brian J. Woomer, a business major and son of John and Donna Woomer of Wilmore, and Sean P. McCully, a business/management major and son of Kerry and Hope McCully of Punxsutawney, 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.
Lewis Gregory, a business/accounting and management graduate (December 2011) and son of Mark and Eugenia Gregory of Johnstown, was the recipient of the James V. and Concetta M. Saly Award and the CTC Award in Honor of Congressman John P. Murtha. The James V. and Concetta M. Saly Award is presented for academic excellence and high promise of professional success in public accounting. The CTC 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.
Jason Pierce, a business/accounting major and son of Michael and Ann Pierce of Sidman, and Kayla E. Petrilla, a business/management and marketing major and daughter of Greg Petrilla and Debora Hight 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.
Nate Pearce, a business/accounting graduate (December 2011) and son of David and Monica Pearce of Johnstown, was the recipient of the Emglo Accounting Award. This award is presented for academic excellence and high promise of professional success in managerial accounting.
Ethan Forry, a business/accounting graduate (December 2011) and son of Chris and Mindy Forry of Somerset, and Courtney Lohr, a business/accounting graduate (December 2011) and daughter of Robert and Lurleen Lohr of South Fork, 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.
Dedra Totin, a political science major and daughter of George and Sheila Totin of Donora, Pa., 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.
Christopher A. Meyers, a business/management major and son of Wesley and Linda Meyers of Johnstown, 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.
Jennifer Zelinsky, a business/financial accounting major and daughter of Andy and Amy Zelinsky of Connellsville, Pa., was the recipient of the George E. Letcher Jr. Accounting Award. This award is presented by the Pitt-Johnstown Accounting Alumni Board and recognized achievement in accounting, service to the Pitt-Johnstown community, and leadership within the accounting community.
Kristen Chislow, a nursing major and daughter of Robert and Susan Chislow of Cresson, and Megan R. Corle, a nursing major and daughter of Paul and Diane Corle of Cresson, were the recipients of the Movene Ponas Nursing Award. This award is presented to the top two students in the University of Pittsburgh Nursing program.
Laura J. Hoehn, a nursing major and daughter of Michael Hoehn and Carol Hoehn of Pittsburgh, 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.
Gena Pentz, a secondary education-earth and space science major and daughter of Eugene and Brenda Pentz of Johnstown, and Derik Swope, a civil engineering technology major and son of Keith and Lisa Swope of Harleysville, Pa., 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. Mr. Swope also was the recipient of the Joseph J. Rapoport Memorial Award. This award is presented to a student who exhibits outstanding student citizenship and active service to the college and community.
Jessica Heidenthal, a business major and daughter of Mike and Linda Heidenthal of Clymer, and Joseph Novotny, a civil engineering technology major and son of Steve and Deb Novotny of Johnstown, were the recipients of the Faculty Senate Scholar-Athlete Award. This award is presented to a graduating senior who participates in the college’s intercollegiate athletics program, is involved in extracurricular activities, and demonstrates academic achievement.
Matthew Hansen, a civil engineering technology major and son of Robert and Annette Hansen of McDonald, 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.
Thomas Rohrabaugh Jr., a chemistry major and son of Thomas and Kathy Rohrabaugh of Johnstown, was the recipient of the Dr. Jem Spectar Award. This award has been 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.
Stephenie G. Anderson, a political science and history dual major and daughter of Mark and Toni-Renee Anderson of Ebensburg, 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.
Lauren Dziagwa, a civil engineering technology major and daughter of Joseph and Veronica Dziagwa of Seward, 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.
Gregory Grimes, a psychology major and husband of Therese Grimes of Ebensburg, and Nathan Adam, a nursing major and son of Christopher and Christine Adam of Johnstown, were the recipients of the Campus Association of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown Ruby Biddle Award. This award is presented to a Pitt-Johnstown student who has demonstrated exceptional dedication to the completion of their undergraduate degree program.
Thirty-four 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 Melinda K. Hodges, an elementary education graduate and wife of Steven Hodges of Johnstown. Secondary Education College Scholars are Jennifer L. Johnson in secondary education-English and daughter of Tom and Mary Ann Johnson of Nanty Glo; Laura B. Deyarmin in secondary education-mathematics and daughter of Jeffrey and Diane Deyarmin of Windber; Katie L. Treese in secondary education-mathematics, and daughter of Suzan and the late Timothy Treese of Fallentimber, Pa.; Vincent P. Villella in secondary education-biology and son of Patrick and Sally Villella of Punxsutawney; Cody C. Harding in secondary education-social studies and son of Jeffrey and Debbie Harding of Seward, and Ronald A. Lieberum Jr. in secondary education-social studies and son of Ronald and Deborah Lieberum of McKeesport.
Engineering Technology College Scholars are William R. O’Shea in civil engineering technology and son of William and Susan O’Shea of Johnstown; Brian E. Mostoller in electrical engineering technology and son of James and Kay Mostoller of Friedens, Pa., and Kaitlyn S. Kreutzer in mechanical engineering technology and daughter of Tim and Kristi Spencer of Allison Park.
Humanities College Scholars are Leanna Noon in communication and daughter of Larry and Kristie Noon of Osterburg; Emily Kalanish in creative writing and daughter of Rick and Beverly Kalanish of Salix; Kayla Pongrac in professional writing and daughter of Greg and Maryann Pongrac of Stoystown; Jonathan P. Shetler in English literature and son of Myles and Sharon Shetler of Soap Hollow, Pa., and Jayme Brooks in theatre and daughter of Ian and Dorene Miller of Johnstown and James and Betsy Brooks of Leesport, Pa.
Natural Sciences College Scholars are Danielle E. Cortese in biology and daughter of Daniel and Terrie Cortese of Hollsopple; Jordan A. Creany in chemistry and son of James Rovach of Hilton Head Island, S.C. and Consuela Creany of Ebensburg; Shoja Rahimian in chemistry and son of Nastaran and Mansour Rahimian of Johnstown; Daniel J. Feldbauer in computer science and son of Karen Schneider and the late Scott Feldbauer of St. Marys; Heather Atkins in geology and daughter of Brian and Denese Atkins of Windber; Ryan Nibert in mathematics and son of John and Carmen Nibert of Windber, and Allison Durica in psychology and daughter of David and Karen Durica of Johnstown.
Social Sciences College Scholars are Jason M. Pierce in business/accounting and son of Michael and Ann Pierce of Sidman; Daniel M. Hrovath in business/finance and son of Robert and Monica Hrovath of Harrison City, Pa.; Sean P. McCully in business/management and son of Kerry and Hope McCully of Punxsutawney; Jessica Heidenthal in business/marketing and daughter of Mike and Linda Heidenthal of Clymer; Rebecca L. McDaniel in environmental studies and daughter of Ronald and Lynn McDaniel of Johnstown; Ashley L. Scarff in geography and daughter of Sherry Mitchell of New Florence; Ryan Clancy in history and husband of Becca Clancy of Hollsopple; Sarah J. Weaver in history and daughter of Shawn and Brenda Weaver of Glen Savage, Pa.; Amanda Witters in political science and daughter of Greg Witters and Elaine Martin of Lebanon, Pa.; Courtney Ann Gummo in sociology and daughter of Jeff Gummo and Kelly Klein of Lock Haven, and David M. Harshberger in sociology and son of Tim and Lori Harshberger of Wilmore.
The Respiratory Care College Scholar was Lauren Wick, daughter of Patricia Wick of Saxonburg, Pa. Celebrating its 85th anniversary this year, Pitt-Johnstown is located in the Laurel Highlands of Western Pennsylvania and is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. The University offers a high-quality educational experience in a supportive living-learning environment designed to prepare students for the real world of the 21st century. Pitt-Johnstown is recognized by the Princeton Review as a “Best Northeastern College,” by G.I. Jobs as a “Military Friendly School,” and Pennsylvania Business Central as a "Top 100 Organization" for 2011. Additionally, Pitt-Johnstown has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.
Pitt-Johnstown…at the forefront of leading baccalaureate colleges…