New Kensington

Adult student on campus earns state-wide leadership award

Hanna McBean, an adult student at Penn State New Kensington, was named a 2012 recipient of the K. Leroy Irvis Undergraduate Scholarship by the Pennsylvania Black Conference on Higher Education.

McBean earned the $1,000 scholarship based on scholarship, interpersonal skills, leadership, writing, speaking and computational skills, extra-curricular activities participation, and a grade-point average above 3.0. The Irvis scholarship places special emphasis on the student’s leadership skills and academic record. In addition, she was judged on her essay, “Why I Should Receive a K. Leroy Irvis Scholarship Award?" The essay question was a requirement for all applicants.

“Hanna is a highly motivated student with a sense of humor and excellent communication skills,” said Angie Fisher, administrative support assistant for student affairs, who nominated McBean for the award. “She exemplifies the qualities of leadership.”

The Black Conference awarded $9,000 in scholarships to nine African-American students from institutions from across the commonwealth. Besides the Irvis scholarship, the organization awarded the John S. Shropshire Graduate Scholarship, the Esther-Jafari Haymon Undergraduate International Scholarship and the Robert D. Lynch Leadership Scholarship. McBean and other scholarship winners were recognized Feb. 24 at the organization’s 42nd Annual Conference in Harrisburg.

The scholarship complements the scholarship McBean earned from the campus. She is a current recipient of the Dr. N.A. Kopelman and Freda D. Kopelman Trustee Scholarship, given to students who have achieved superior academic record. Jim and Eileen Kopelman established the scholarship in 2009.

McBean is a model of efficiency as she juggles her schedule at home, where she is a full-time mother, and on campus, where she is a full-time sophomore majoring in Organizational Leadership, a program designed for adult learners. The program’s flexibility allows McBean to take traditional classroom instruction offered during the day, at night, or on weekends, and to study online from home. She expects to graduate in 2014 with the wherewithal to begin a start-up company that addresses issues of at-risk children.

“I would like to have my own corporation that offers extensive outreach to underprivileged youth and others facing difficult situations in life, said McBean, who lives in New Kensington with her husband and their six children. “The organizational leadership degree will help me get the company going.”

When she is not focused on her family or her studies, McBean can be found volunteering her services for activities on campus and in the community. On campus, she is a member of the Multi-Cultural Club, writes for the Nittany Pride, the student newspaper, and sings with the student jazz ensemble. In the community, she holds numerous leadership positions including secretary of the Youth department and assistant chair of the Choir department at Bethlehem Temple Church, secretary for the United Council Home Mission Department, and assistant secretary of the National Youth department of True Apostolic Churches of Jesus Christ Inc.

During her “down” time, McBean is a published author, poet, singer/songwriter, radio host, and motivational speaker. Her book, “Silent Spring,” features inspirational poetry that she uses in her motivational speeches.

“I have travelled throughout Pennsylvania and abroad to conduct poetry workshops,” said McBean, a native of North Vandergrift and a graduate of Kiski Area High School. “I encourage students through inspirational poetry, singing and playing the piano.”


Hannah McBean was honored in October at the campus reception for recipients of Penn State New Kensington scholarships. Credit: Karen HarlenAll Rights Reserved.

Last Updated March 08, 2012