2015 Awards Convocation award recipients announced

A full auditorium awaits the start of Penn State Lehigh Valley's Awards Convocation. The event took place on April 29, 2015, at the Center Valley campus. It is an annual ceremony to honor exceptional students, faculty and staff members. Credit: Kate Morgan / Penn StateCreative Commons

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. -- Academic award recipients, scholarship winners and university scholars were recognized for their achievements on Wednesday, April 29,  at Penn State Lehigh Valley’s 29th annual Awards Convocation.

Students honored for outstanding achievement included:

  • Eric A. and Josephine Walker Award: Bryan Simon (Willemstad, Curacao)This honor recognizes a student who has completed two full years at a Commonwealth Campus and whose outstanding qualities of character, scholarship, leadership, and citizenship have positively influenced fellow students and have contributed to the prestige and well-being of his or her campus and, hence, to the reputation of the University as a whole. 
  • 2015 President’s Freshman Award:  Lisa Cifres (Bethlehem); Nicholas Fecondo (Telford); Paula Marek (Allentown); Patricia McGlynn (Fogelsville); James Mellen (Schnecksville); Ashley Moxey (Whitehall);  Eric Oh (Bath); Gabrielle Podgorska (Stroudsburg,); Elise Yardley (Macungie); Habib Yazgi (Allentown); Aaron Young (Allentown)This award is presented annually to undergraduate degree candidates and provisional students who have earned a 4.00 (A) cumulative grade-point average based on at least 12 graded Penn State credits completed by the end of the fall semester of the academic year the award is given. 
  • 2015 President Sparks Award: Joseph Hutzayluk (Emmaus); Mit Patel (Phillipsburg, New Jersey); Bryan Simon (Willemstad, Curacao)This award is presented annually to those undergraduate degree candidates who have earned a 4.00 (A) cumulative grade-point average based on at least 36 graded Penn State credits completed by the end of the fall semester of the academic year the award is given. 
  • Alexandria Downing Outstanding Student in Sociology Award: Maria Mikroudis (Bethlehem) and Amanda Schofield (Allentown)This award is presented to the student who has demonstrated outstanding academic performance and promise in the field of sociology. Special consideration is given to those who have presented papers at professional conferences, have published in a sociology journal, or whose work has furthered Penn State’s promise in the area of outreach scholarship. 
  • Creative Writing Award: Amritpal Rai (Allentown) – First Place; Brayden Ford (Telford) – Second PlaceThis award, established by retired English faculty member Margaret Smart in 1989, recognizes excellent creative writing during the current academic year by a student at Penn State Lehigh Valley. 
  • English Department Award for Exceptional Achievement in Expository Writing: Alexia Recchia (Coplay)This award is presented to a student whose writing demonstrates sophisticated analysis or interpretation of literature and/or exceptional master of voice, content, and form. 
  • Excellence in Public Speaking Award: Xydemor Popa (Tannersville); Zachary Letourneau (Dublin, New Hampshire)Recognizing the importance of effective communication in the world, this award is conferred upon the student who demonstrates excellence in public communication. Excellence in researching and presenting a speech required in a current Penn State Lehigh Valley course are the criteria for selection. 
  • First-Year Chemistry Achievement Award: James Mellen (Schnecksville)This award is presented to a first-year student for outstanding academic achievement in all four lecture and laboratory courses in chemistry. 
  • Mathematical Excellence Award: Simranjeet Singh (Easton)This award is presented to a student completing his or her sophomore year who has demonstrated excellence in the Calculus and Differential Equations series of courses and who has evinced an appreciation for the depth, power, and beauty of mathematics. 
  • Outstanding Art Student Award: Bryan Simon (Willemstad, Curacao)This award recognizes a student whose work demonstrates excellence in a variety of media in art projects done in courses offered at Penn State Lehigh Valley. 
  • Outstanding Engineering Student Award: Mahdi Chaker (Allentown)The award is presented to an engineering student began his or her undergraduate studies at Penn State Lehigh Valley and who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in all engineering courses. 
  • IST Achievement Award:  Kevin Mitra (Breinigsville)The award is presented to a Penn State Lehigh Valley campus student who has achieved a cumulative GPA of at least a 3.67, has earned at least 60 cumulative credits in the Information Sciences and Technology program by the end of his/her fifth semester, and has demonstrated outstanding leadership and academic achievement. 
  • Outstanding Student in Corporate Communication Award: Robert Gallagher (Perkasie)This award is granted to a graduating Corporate Communication student who has achieved one of the highest GPAs in the major and demonstrated outstanding academic performance and contribution to campus and community welfare. 
  • Outstanding Spanish Language Student Award: Elizabeth Furio (Allentown)This award is given to a student who has earned an A in at least three semesters of Spanish at our campus, has been an active member in classes and activities organized to promote Hispanic culture, and has shown a serious interest in pursuing language studies (minor or major in Spanish) or a major in Latin American Studies. 
  • Outstanding Student in Biology Award: Mit Patel (Phillipsburg, New Jersehy)This award is recognizes a sophomore majoring in biology who has achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or above and displays a strong ability for scientific writing scholarship and a talent for research. He or she also demonstrates initiative, independence, and the ability to design and carry out experiments while providing service to the department. 
  • Outstanding Marketing/Management Award: Paige Lilly (Allentown)This award is presented to a senior in the marketing management option who has demonstrated outstanding achievement. 
  • Outstanding Student in Psychology Award: Megan Renshaw (Quakertown)This award is presented to a junior or senior who has demonstrated outstanding performance in the major. 
  • Outstanding Student in Rehabilitation and Human Services Award: Paige Pleiss (Easton)This award is presented to a senior who has demonstrated outstanding performance in the Rehabilitation and Human Services major. 
  • Outstanding Student Teacher Award: Lauren Miller (Emmaus)This award is presented to the elementary education major who has demonstrated outstanding performance as a student teacher. 
  • Outstanding Tutor Award: Michael Mfarej (Allentown)This award is given to the individual who displays excellence in tutoring in the Learning and/or Writing Center. Professional and peer tutors are eligible for this award. Special consideration is given to individuals based upon length of service, number of students served, and feedback from students, faculty, and staff. 

Highest Cumulative Average by College (3.5 or higher):

  • Agriculture: Allora Atiyeh (Schnecksville); Monica Volk (Kempton)
  • Business Administration: Bryan Simon (Willemstad, Curacao); Eric Oh (Bath); Aaron Young (Allentown); Patricia McGlynn (Fogelsville); Corinne Schmidt (Nazareth); Nathan Bloomfield (Kingston, Ohio)
  • Communications: Jonathan Neikam (Allentown); Jessica Dentith (Bangor); Jodi Behm (Wilkes Barre)
  • Division of Undergraduate Studies: Gabrielle Podgorska (Stroudsburg); Elisa Yardley (Macungie); Anastasia Litvinova (Allentown)
  • Earth and Mineral Science: Kevin Casey (Macungie); Mohamed Elkoumy (Allentown)
  • Education: Nicole Beauchamp (Stroudsburg); Alyssa Fox (Allentown); Lauren Miller (Emmaus); Crystal Ball (Quakertown)
  • Engineering: Joseph J. Hutzayluk (Emmaus); Nicholas Fecondo (Telford); James Mellen (Schnecksville)
  • Health and Human Development: Paige L. Allen (Red Hill); Ashley Moxey (Whitehall)
  • Information Sciences and Technology: Justin Sommer (Whitehall); Kevin Mitra (Breinigsville); Alexander  McConnell (Bethlehem)
  • Liberal Arts: Lisa Cifres (Bethlehem); Brayden Ford (Telford)
  • Penn State Lehigh Valley Programs: Sierra Bachman (Whitehall); Paula Marek (Allentown); Melinda D. Mayer (Bath); Maria Mikroudis (Bethlehem).
  • Science: Habib Yazgi (Allentown); Mit Patel (Phillipsburg, New Jersey)

In addition, the following faculty and staff were acknowledged with awards:

  • Teaching Excellence Award: Michael Krajsa (Coopersburg)
  • Part-Time Teaching Excellence Award: Donna Wade (Allentown)
  • Academic Affairs Director’s Award for Innovation in Teaching and Learning: The COLT Team: Debra Miller (Palmerton); Mary Hutchinson (Albertis); Leslie Staffeld (Center Valley), Mary Ann Stank (Allentown)
  • Outstanding Staff Award: Ann Lalik (Allentown)
  • Student Appreciation and Recognition Award (SARA): Robert Wolfe (Bangor)
  • Outstanding Contribution in Outreach and/or Service:  Jacqueline McLaughlin (Fogelsville)
  • Outstanding Research and/or Creative Accomplishment: Douglas Hochstetler (Breinigsville)
Last Updated May 05, 2015