Campus Life

Penn State announces fall 2009 commencement events

Following is a compilation of fall 2009 commencement ceremonies and speaker information for Penn State's 24 campuses. Additional information is available online at


Penn College
11 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 19, Community Arts Center, Williamsport
Speakers: Christine M. Kessler, assistant professor of physician assistant and the 2009 recipient of the college’s Veronica M. Muzic Master Teacher Award, and student Micah A. Metzel, who will receive a bachelor’s degree in technology management from the School of Business and Computer Technologies.

Penn State Abington
10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 18, Athletic Building
Speaker: Lisa Nutter, president of Philadelphia Academies Inc.

Nutter is president of Philadelphia Academies Inc., a nonprofit youth development organization that works in Philadelphia’s public high schools to provide career-based learning experiences that motivate young people to stay engaged in school and that create supportive networks for them in the real world.

Penn State Altoona
11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, Adler Athletic Complex gymnasium
Speaker: Stephen G. (Steve) Sheetz, '69 Bus, Distinguished Alumnus '94

Sheetz is a native of Altoona, Pa., also home to the family-owned and operated Sheetz Inc. convenience store chain. Sheetz currently operates 360 stores in six states -- Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina -- and employs more than 13,000 people. With 2008 revenue exceeding $4.9 billion, the company ranks #82 on the 2008 Forbes list of Top Private U.S. Companies.
He is a 1965 graduate of Altoona Area High School and a 1969 graduate of Penn State, where he received a bachelor of science degree in business management. He also completed the Owner/President Management Program at Harvard University.

Penn State Beaver
7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18, Auditorium, Student Union Building
Speaker: Jarred Romesburg, '88 Comm

Romesburg is the president and owner of Romesburg Media Group LLC in Somerset, Pa. He is a Penn State Beaver alumnus and a 1998 Penn State graduate with a degree in telecommunications. Romesburg's 20-year career in electronic media has ranged from local television and radio stations to regional and national cable channels. He has also provided expertise to advertising agencies and production companies throughout the region.

Penn State Berks
10 a.m. Saturday, Dec, 19, Beaver Community Center
Speaker: Edward Babiarz, co-founder of QEST

Babiarz is co-founder of Quality Enhancement Support Team (QEST) in Sinking Spring. QEST performs outcome-based evaluation work for local, state and national social service agencies as well as various governmental entities. His position involves logistics, quality assurance, data base design and management, and technical assistance. Babiarz is also actively involved with fundraising for local charitable organizations. He was born in Scranton, Pa., and is a graduate of Marywood University. He began his professional career as a radio broadcaster, and later entered the field of social work and social service delivery.

Penn State Brandywine
10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 18, Commons/Athletic Center
Speaker: David Yadgaroff, '90 Comm, vice president and general sales manager at KYW Newsradio 1060

After graduating from Penn State’s College of Communications in 1990, Yadgaroff returned to his native Philadelphia area to pursue a career in broadcasting. He started in the programming department at WEGX-FM (Eagle 106), but soon chose to explore the sales side of the industry as an account executive for Top 40, WPST in Trenton, N.J. In 1992 parlayed that experience into a position in the KYW Newsradio sales department, where he was later promoted to local sales manager. In June 2001, he was recruited to head the sales department at WMGK 102.9, Greater Media’s Philadelphia Classic Rock station. In May of 2003, Yadgaroff returned to KYW Newsradio as director of sales before being named vice president and general sales manager.

Penn State College of Medicine
no fall commencement

Penn State Dickinson School of Law
no fall commencement

Penn State DuBois
no fall commencement

Penn State Erie, The Behrend College
6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18, Junker Center
Speaker: Thomas L. Hemminger, professor of electrical and computer engineering, Penn State Behrend

Hemminger is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, and a past recipient of the Penn State Behrend Council of Fellows Faculty Research Award.

Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus
no fall commencement

Penn State Great Valley
fall commencement is held at University Park; see Graduate School commencement details

Penn State Greater Allegheny
7 p.m., Thursday, December 17, Wunderley Gymnasium
Speaker: Joyce M. Rothermel, co-founder and current chief executive officer of the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank

Rothermel is co-founder and current chief executive officer of the Pittsburgh region's largest charitable hunger-relief organization, in Duquesne, Pa. A crusader against hunger for 30 years, Rothermel was associate director for the Thomas Merton Center Ministry for Justice and Peace when, as part of the Hunger Action Coalition, she helped start both the Jubilee Kitchen in 1979 (which later inspired the Rainbow Kitchen) and the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank in 1980.
Before joining the Merton Center in 1977, Rothermel taught, as a member of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Humility of Mary, at several elementary schools in Pittsburgh and Ohio. A native of Canton, Ohio, she earned a bachelor of science degree in education from St. John's College in Cleveland and a master's degree in education from the University of Dayton. In 2007, she was named a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania for her leadership and contributions to the state, and in 2008, she received the Frieda Shapira Medal for excellence in nonprofit leadership.

Penn State Harrisburg
9:30 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 19, Giant Center in Hershey
Speaker: State Sen. Patricia Vance

Sen. Vance was elected to the Pennsylvania Senate in 2005 to represent Cumberland County and a portion of York County after serving 14 years in the state House of Representatives. In the Senate, she is chair of the Public Health and Welfare Committee and a member of the Appropriations, Banking and Insurance, Finance, Communications and Technology, and Policy committees. She also serves on the Capitol Preservation Committee and Intra-Governmental Council on Long Term Care.

Penn State Hazleton
no fall commencement

Penn State Lehigh Valley
no fall commencement

Penn State Mont Alto
no fall commencement

Penn State New Kensington
10 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 19, Forum Theatre

Speaker: Leslie D. Wolfe, '04 Bus, '09 M.P.M., planning office coordinator, Penn State Electro-Optics Center
Wolfe is the planning office coordinator for the Penn State Electro-Optics Center in Freeport, Pa. She is an alumna of Penn State New Kensington and earned her bachelor's degree in business administration. She studied under Michael McGinnis, associate professor of business, and assisted on research projects that resulted in two published articles. After completing her undergraduate work, Wolfe continued with graduate studies at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, earning a master’s degree in program management in 2009. Wolfe plans to return to Penn State New Kensington in spring 2010 as an adjunct instructor of business. She is scheduled to teaching business courses in project management and supply chain management. A native of Ford City, Pa., and a 2001 graduate of Ford City High School, she and her husband Manny, a 1994 Penn State alumnus, reside in Kittanning.

Penn State Schuylkill
7:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 17, John E. Morgan Auditorium
Speaker: W. Terrell Jones, '75 M.Ed., '85 D.Ed., Vice Provost for Educational Equity, Penn State

Jones is responsible for leading the implementation of Penn State’s strategic plan that embraces and supports diversity. A highly requested speaker on diversity issues, Jones is known among the higher education community for his unique agenda and knack for teaching people how to appreciate diversity. He has authored numerous publications on the subject of cultural diversity. He is serving as president of the Pennsylvania Black Conference on Higher Education Inc. from March 2008 through February 2010. Jones earned both his master’s and doctoral degrees in Student Personnel Services from Penn State and a bachelor’s degree from Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania.

Penn State Shenango
7:30 p.m., Friday, December 18, 2009, Penn State Shenango Auditorium
Speaker:  Lynda Moss-McDougall, '96 A.S., founder and CEO, The Sankofa House for Women Inc.

McDougall graduated from the Bradford Business School in Pittsburgh and from Penn State Shenango with an associate degree with honors in human development and family studies. Through her education and personal and work experience, McDougall was moved to develop The Sankofa House for Women, a nonprofit organization for nonviolent female offenders dealing with substance abuse and mental health issues.

Penn State University Park:

College of Agricultural Sciences
9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, Bryce Jordan Center

College of Arts and Architecture
12:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, Bryce Jordan Center

Smeal College of Business
9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, Bryce Jordan Center

College of Communications
12:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, Bryce Jordan Center

College of Earth and Mineral Sciences
9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, Bryce Jordan Center

College of Education
12:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, Bryce Jordan Center

College of Engineering
9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, Bryce Jordan Center

College of Health and Human Development
12:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, Bryce Jordan Center

College of Information Sciences and Technology
9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, Bryce Jordan Center

College of the Liberal Arts
12:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, Bryce Jordan Center

Eberly College of Science
12:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, Bryce Jordan Center

The Graduate School
4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, Eisenhower Auditorium
Speaker: Eva J. Pell, senior vice president for Research and dean of the Graduate School, Penn State

Pell has served as Penn State's senior vice president for Research and dean of the Graduate School since 1999, and previously held a joint appointment in the University's Environmental Resources Research Institute and the Department of Plant Pathology. In August, Pell was appointed Under Secretary for Science for the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., which she will assume in January 2010.

ROTC Commissioning
Air Force: officers commissioned individually
Army: 1 p.m., Friday, Dec. 18, Alumni Lounge, Nittany Lion Inn
Navy: officers commissioned individually

School of Nursing
12:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, Bryce Jordan Center

Schreyer Honors College Medals Ceremony
5 p.m., Friday, Dec. 18, The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel

Penn State Wilkes-Barre
no fall commencement

Penn State Worthington Scranton
no fall commencement

Penn State York
6 p.m., Friday, Dec. 18, Pullo Family Performing Arts Center
Speaker: Jane Sutton, associate professor of communication arts and sciences, Penn State York

Sutton, associate professor of communication arts and sciences, began her Penn State career in 1984 at Penn State York and this year celebrates 25 years of service to the University. She is a member of the graduate faculty at the University and serves as the program coordinator for the communication arts and sciences program at Penn State York. She began her teaching career in 1974 in a high school near Montrose, Colo., where she taught language arts classes and coached high school debate. During her tenure at Penn State York, Sutton has taught more than 117 sections of public speaking (CAS 100) as well as other courses including rhetorical theory, rhetorical criticism, language culture and society, American public address, contemporary American rhetoric, and business and professional communication. Dedicated to her students, she started a chapter of the National Communication Association Student Group (NCASG) and the Pi Rho Chapter of Lambda Pi Eta, a national honor society, at the campus. She involves students in her research projects and has taken them to national conferences where they have presented papers and won awards.

Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

Last Updated November 18, 2010