Lehigh Valley Honors Convocation recognizes excellence

Nichola Gutgold, recipient of the 2012 Teaching Excellence Award, gave the keynote address at the 2013 Penn State Lehigh Valley Honors Convocation. Credit: Kate Morgan / Penn StateCreative Commons

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. -- Academic award recipients, scholarship winners and university scholars were recognized for their achievements April 24, at Penn State Lehigh Valley’s 27th annual Honors Convocation.

Students honored for outstanding achievement included:

Eric A. and Josephine S. Walker Award: Kelsey R. Ruch (Kutztown, Pa.)

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.

2013 President’s Freshman Award: Tyler M. Adams (Slatington, Pa.); Nathanael P. Fisher (Emmaus, Pa.); Samely M. Gonzalez (Allentown, Pa.); Zahra Jaffer (Macungie, Pa.); Sydnie M. Keddington (Macungie, Pa.); Ann L. Parry (Easton, Pa.)

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.

2013 President Sparks Award: Dawit Kim (Newton, Mass.); Anna M. Lloyd (Whitehall, Pa.)

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: Kamil N. Payano Sosa (Allentown, Pa.)

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:

Shelby L. Carr (Breinigsville, Pa.) for the short story, “Lone” – first place

Jillian M. Glasgow (Whitehall, Pa.) for the poem, “Daddy’s Girl” – second place

This award, established by retired English faculty member Margaret Smart in 1989, recognizes excellent fiction or poetry written during the current academic year by a student at Penn State Lehigh Valley.

English Department Award for Exceptional Achievement in Expository Writing: Shelby L. Carr (Breinigsville, Pa.)  

“Lacking Passivity and the Problematic Horizon: An Interpretation of 'Their Eyes Were Watching God'”  

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: Melinda D. Mayer (Bath, Pa.)

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: Thomas A. Porter (Walnutport, Pa.)

This award is presented to a first-year student for outstanding academic achievement in all four lecture and laboratory courses in chemistry.

IST Achievement Award: Bhowmik M. Joshi (Whitehall, Pa.)

The IST Achievement Award is presented to a Penn State Lehigh Valley campus student who has achieved a cumulative GPA of at least 3.67, has earned at least 60 cumulative credits in the IST program by the end of their fifth semester, and has demonstrated outstanding leadership and academic achievement.

Mathematical Excellence Award: Austin T. Crain (Orefield, Pa.)

This award is presented to a student completing the 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: Ewa D. Trusz (Easton, Pa.)

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: Austin T. Crain (Orefield, Pa.)

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.

Outstanding Spanish Language Student Award: Natalie L. Podgorska (Stroudsburg, Pa.)

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: Paolo Gene P. Flauta (Easton, Pa.); Matthew D. Mekolichick (Schnecksville, Pa.)

This award is given to the biology student who exemplifies collegiate excellence and demonstrates a desire to pursue a future that utilizes his or her biology education.

Outstanding Marketing/Management Award: Eva Kimmerly (Bethlehem, Pa.)

This award is presented to a senior in the marketing management option who has demonstrated outstanding achievement.

Outstanding Student in Organizational Leadership (OLEAD) Award: Kimberly R. Artim (Whitehall, Pa.)

This award is given to an OLEAD student who has achieved the highest GPA in their major and has completed at least 40 credit hours at Penn State. 

Outstanding Student Teacher Award: Allison A. Ball (Schuylkill Haven, Pa.)

This award is presented to the elementary education major who has demonstrated outstanding performance as a student teacher.

Outstanding Tutor Award: Joseph D. Enman (Mount Bethel, Pa.)

This award is given to the individual who displays excellence 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.

Women’s Commission Adult Learner Award: Grace S. Kim (Allentown, Pa.); Theresa J. Pinho (Bethlehem, Pa.)

Established by the Penn State Lehigh Valley Women’s Commission, this award is presented to an adult student who has shown academic excellence and displayed outstanding leadership qualities. This award is now given in memory of Maybelle A. Furchner.

Highest Cumulative Average by College (3.5 or higher):

Agriculture: Kevin M. Boylan (Nazareth, Pa.); Michael G. Brittenburg (Zionsvillle, Pa.)

Business Administration: Joseph P. Sullivan (Easton, Pa.); Liang Wen Chen (Whitehall, Pa.); Ryan B. Comly (Breinigsville, Pa.); Sean A. MacRitchie (Macungie, Pa.)

Communications: Valeria L. Merced (Bethlehem, Pa.)

Division of Undergraduate Studies: Zahra Jaffer (Macungie, Pa.); Sydnie M. Keddington (Macungie, Pa.); Anna M. Lloyd (Whitehall, Pa.)

Education: Shelby L. Morgan (Fogelsville, Pa.); Lauren E. Miller (Emmaus, Pa.); Rokaya Layoun (Whitehall, Pa.); Theresa J. Pinho (Bethlehem, Pa.)

Engineering: Michael C. Thor (Glen Gardner, N.J.); Matthew Baranoski (Perkasie, Pa.); Austin T. Crain (Orefield, Pa.)

Health and Human Development: Michael G. Mfarej (Allentown, Pa.)

Information Sciences and Technology: Scott A. Henderschedt (Emmaus, Pa.); Austin J. Benner (Center Valley, Pa.); Victor M. Beltran (Bethlehem, Pa.)

Liberal Arts: Emily Gonzalez (Easton, Pa.); Allyson Niemi (Springtown, Pa.); Alyssa A. Dobosh (Schnecksville, Pa.)

Penn State Lehigh Valley Programs: Shannon A. Sanchez (Bethlehem, Pa.); Kirston N. Novisher (Hellertown, Pa.); Maria H. Amenta (Macungie, Pa.); Lucas M. Baker (Allentown, Pa.)

Nursing: Kailey R. Wrecsics (Freemansburg, Pa.)

Science: Tyler M. Adams (Slatington, Pa.); Samely M. Gonzalez (Allentown, Pa.); Paolo Gene P. Flauta (Easton, Pa.)

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

Teaching Excellence Award: Denise Ogden (Allentown, Pa.)

Part-Time Teaching Excellence Award: David Longenbach (Slatington, Pa.)

Outstanding Research and/or Creative Accomplishment Award: Xenia Hadjioannou (Fleetwood, Pa.)

Outstanding Staff Award: Jason Jones (Germansville, Pa.)

Student Appreciation and Recognition Award (SARA): Leyna Belinsky (Macungie, Pa.)

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Last Updated January 09, 2015