Dylan Fredricey and Camaryn Lokuta, who earned their degrees in 2020 at the height of the pandemic, talk about where they are employed and how Penn State Wilkes-Barre led them there.
By: Goldie Van Horn
Two 2020 graduates provide an update on their careers
Penn State Wilkes-Barre 2020 graduate Dylan Fredricey, who recently celebrated five years of sobriety, loves sharing his experience and hope in his role as a counselor at an addiction recovery facility.
Fredricey earned a bachelor of science degree in rehabilitation and human services in 2020 and works as a family counselor at Brookdale Premier Addiction Recovery in Scotrun. In that role, he provides support and education to patients and their families.
“A lot of times there are understandings and misconceptions surrounding what the disease of addiction is, not only how the disease affects patients but their families also,” he said. “It’s my responsibility to work with them to help them realize how they have been affected and encourage them to get involved in a program of recovery.”
Helping others fight addiction is personal to Fredricey, who finds a great deal of meaning in his job.
“Not only did I have personal struggles with substance abuse, but I was born into the disease and lived with the consequences of alcohol addiction my whole life,” he said. “My job is very rewarding. To be able to use my personal experience to share strength and hope with others and let them know that there is life beyond addiction in recovery is one of the greatest honors of my life.”
Fredricey started in Brookdale’s intake department as an intake specialist and then was promoted to his role in the family department after completing an internship there. He is pursuing a master’s degree in social work and is interested in moving into administration and business development in the treatment field.
He believes Penn State Wilkes-Barre prepared him very well for his career, saying, “I was able to connect real-world, real-life experience to what I learned in class. I’m still making those connections today.”
“That award, to me, meant that I followed through on a commitment I made to myself,” Fredricey said.
Credit: Dylan Fredricey
Camaryn Lokuta thought graduating in 2020 during a global pandemic meant she would have difficulty getting a job, but she was hired for a full-time professional position right out of college.
“I really had the mindset that graduating in 2020 meant I wasn’t going to get a job. Because of the nature of the pandemic, people were getting fired, not hired,” she said.
Lokuta earned a bachelor of science degree in business with a focus on marketing and management from Penn State Wilkes-Barre and works as the operations and business development manager for Coal Creative, a creative agency based in downtown Wilkes-Barre.
In her position, she meets with potential clients to assess their needs while crafting a vision and plan for how Coal Creative can partner with them. She also works closely with Chief Executive Officer Holly Pilcavage and other members of the operations team to ensure her coworkers have “all the tools they need to be successful.”
She was invited to talk with Pilcavage about the position after Pilcavage heard about Lokuta’s skills on the marketing internship she completed through the Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber of Commerce. Lokuta learned about the internship through Assistant Teaching Professor of Business Terry Clemente, who was her professor and adviser. During the internship, she and two other students worked as a marketing team, helping four local small businesses develop and execute marketing plans.
“The internship really helped me get a lot of connections in Wilkes-Barre, and when Holly was looking to fill my position, I was recommended,” Lokuta said. “I truly would not be where I am today without Terry Clemente, and that is invaluable.”
“Penn State Wilkes-Barre gave me the strong foundation that I use every single day,” she continued. “Part of a college education that’s overlooked is the experience and connections you get, which is what led to my being hired for this position.”
Lokuta said that while her career path has not been what she expected, she is happy in her position and sees herself there long into the future.
“Life took me in a completely different direction from where I thought I’d be,” she said. “But I love what I do and the people I work with. My goal is to be here for many years to come.”
Camaryn Lokuta, second from left, with her colleagues at Coal Creative.