Penn State Wilkes-Barre presents academic awards

Group photo of 2019 winners.

The winners at the 2019 Celebration of Academic Excellence last year. This year's event was held in a virtual format.

Credit: Penn State

LEHMAN, Pa. — Penn State Wilkes-Barre held its 31st annual Celebration of Academic Excellence event on April 30. Due to the COVID-19 world pandemic, this year’s ceremony was held in a virtual format.

Sponsored by the Department of Academic Affairs, the academic awards program included remarks from Dale Jones, chancellor and chief academic officer, along with college representatives and program coordinators.

“Each year, we look forward to recognizing our students for their hard work and outstanding academic achievements, and this year is no different. While the format for the awards ceremony needed to be changed this year, we still want to take the opportunity to honor these dedicated students and congratulate them on their awards,” Jones said.

Special academic achievement awards were presented to student recipients as follows: Jones presented the President’s Freshman Award to Aqeel Bacchus, Abigail Bartuska, James Herceg, Rachel Ricker and Karol Szostak; and the President Sparks Award to Hunter Kraklio.

The Samuel Valick Administration of Justice Award at Penn State Wilkes-Barre is given to a senior undergraduate student enrolled at Penn State Wilkes-Barre in the administration of justice program who achieved the highest GPA in the program during their senior year. This year’s award was presented by Jeremy Olson, assistant professor in administration of justice, to Lindsey DeLazzari.

College Academic Achievement Awards are given to the top student in a college regardless of their major. Students must be in their last spring semester at the Penn State Wilkes-Barre campus, or changed assignment in the previous summer or fall semester, and have a minimum of 24 credits completed and a minimum 3.33 cumulative GPA.

Recipients were as follows:

  • Penn State Berks, The Berks College, presented by Lynda Goldstein, associate chief academic officer and associate professor in English to Pablo Franco Almonte;
  • Smeal College of Business, presented by Theresa Clemente, assistant teaching professor in business/marketing to Zack Kalna;
  • Penn State Harrisburg, The Capital College, presented by Goldstein to Carl Pisack;
  • Bellisario College of Communications, presented by Christyne Berzsenyi, associate professor in English, to Luke Kepner;
  • College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, presented by Dudley Snyder, assistant professor in chemistry, to Marc Kolendowicz;
  • College of Education, presented by Ann Brennan, assistant chief academic officer and assistant teaching professor in English, to Lynn Gunderman;
  • College of Engineering, presented by Salvatore Marsico, associate professor in engineering, to Kyle Zern;
  • College of Health and Human Development, presented by Heather Paris, academic advising manager, to Connor Beyer; and
  • College of Liberal Arts, presented by Steve Putzel, professor in English, to Ethan Krzysik.

Program Academic Achievement Awards are given to top students in their last semester at Penn State Wilkes-Barre before completing their degree, or who have satisfactorily completed their degree requirements at the conclusion of the previous summer or fall semester. Students must have a minimum of 45 credits completed at the Wilkes-Barre campus for baccalaureate students or a minimum of 24 credits for associate degree students, and a minimum 3.33 cumulative GPA.

Recipients were as follows:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Administration of Justice, presented by Olson to Lindsey DeLazzari;
  • Bachelor of Science in Administration of Justice, presented by Olson to Alexia Fry;
  • Bachelor of Science in Business, presented by Clemente to Courtney Snow;
  • Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering Technology, presented by Timothy Sichler, assistant teaching professor in EET, to John Armstead;
  • Bachelor of Arts in English, presented by Putzel to Emma Brieling;
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Sciences and Technology, presented by Frouke de Quillettes, associate teaching professor in IST, to Jose Luna;
  • Associate of Arts in Letters, Arts, and Sciences, presented by Berzsenyi to Matthew Gruver;
  • Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation and Human Services, presented by Melisa Littleton, lecturer in Rehabilitation and Human Services, to Kate Dalrymple and Erin Scafella;
  • Bachelor of Science in Surveying Engineering, presented by Dimitrios Bolkas, assistant professor in surveying engineering, to Vincent Pavill IV; and
  • Associate in Surveying Engineering Technology, presented by Bolkas to Sheila Weaver.

Honors program awards were also presented. The honors program provides co- and extracurricular enrichment for selected members of the student body qualified on the basis of scholastic aptitude, test scores, and/or high school or college grade point average. Awards were presented by Brennan, who serves as honors program adviser.

Recipients were: Abigail Bartuska, Joshua Christ, Evan Elko, Edward Galonis, Kaci Grabowski, Claudia Leu, Jose Luna, Nicholas McGlynn, Syndia Perez, Autumn Resauit, Juan Rojas, Asher Smart, Madelyn Swire, Karol Szostak and Illia Volkovinsky.

All award recipients will have certificates and medallions mailed to them at a later date.