Penn State Wilkes-Barre celebrated its graduates with an online event that took place after the University’s virtual commencement ceremony.
All Penn State 2020 graduates were conferred degrees during the University’s livestream on Saturday. The ceremony was moved to a virtual format in response to the coronavirus pandemic, orders from the state government, and recommendations from global public health organizations. The University is committed to providing opportunities to invite the Class of 2020 back for in-person celebrations on campuses when public health guidelines allow.
Following the commencement ceremony, Penn State Wilkes-Barre streamed its own virtual graduate celebration to honor fall 2019, spring 2020 and summer 2020 graduates. The campus video included messages from Chancellor Dale Jones, Associate Chief Academic Officer and Associate Professor of English Lynda Goldstein, valedictorian Jesse Steltz, Advisory Board Chair Rebecca Bartuska and Penn State Wilkes-Barre Alumni Society President Jonathan Sinclair. It also featured video congratulations from Penn State Wilkes-Barre faculty and staff.
Penn State Wilkes-Barre’s celebration also included online “after parties” that gave graduates, their families, supporters and friends the opportunity to celebrate with faculty from their major, Murphy Center staff and their fellow graduates.
“The past few months have brought an unprecedented situation and with it challenges to our normal way of living,” Jones said. “We know this is not how our graduates envisioned the end of their higher education experience. Like our students, we have had to adapt and change while joining together as a Penn State community. While it was not our ideal way to mark commencement, we still enjoyed celebrating together in the online space and honoring our graduates’ achievements.”
Valedictorian Jesse Steltz, who received his bachelor’s degree in information sciences and technology, said, “While it was different from the graduation celebrations that we are used to, I still feel it was a worthwhile experience. It still allowed the college and students to celebrate graduation, and they were able to do so from their own homes. Students were able to be much closer with their families during this particular celebration. I could feel that more relaxed, family connection in the virtual afterparty with my fellow graduates.”
Penn State Wilkes-Barre students who received degrees are as follows. Honors graduates and students receiving academic achievement awards are denoted.
Bachelor of Science in Surveying Engineering: Isaac Bennett, Laceyville; John Chapman, Wyalusing; Zachary Kenzakoski, Bear Creek Township, and Vincent Pavill IV, Shickshinny.
Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering Technology: John Armstead, Browns Mills, New Jersey; Brian Devine, Harveys Lake; Kevin Peters, Dupont; Anthony Shaver, Exeter; and Henry Zielinski, Harveys Lake.
Bachelor of Arts in Administration of Justice: Lindsey DeLazzari, Wyoming; Donald Thomas, Clementon, New Jersey; and Khalil White, Cheltenham.
Bachelor of Science in Administration of Justice: Dylan Chang, Kingston; Alexia Fry, Dupont; Kyle Krushinski, Kingston; Erin Scafella (cum laude), Lauren Run; and Madison Severcool, Montrose.
Bachelor of Science in Business: Zachary Baranosky, West Wyoming; David Bartos, Plymouth; Matthew Clemow, Sweet Valley; Precious Hills, Rockaway Beach, New York; Camaryn Lokuta, Avoca; Joseph McGraw, Hunlock Creek; Leeandra Ricks, Brooklyn, New York; Kyle Rosick, Nanticoke; Courtney Snow, Hanover Township; Nicholas Stchur, Plains; Dominique Stevenson, Ithaca, New York; and Phillip Torres (academic achievement), Wilkes-Barre.
Bachelor of Arts in Corporate Communication: Mahda Brewah, Wilkes-Barre.
Bachelor of Arts in English: Emma Brieling, Plains.
Bachelor of Science in Information Sciences and Technology: Andrew Barney (cum laude), Larksville; Thomas Dempsey, Plymouth; Emily Eden, White Haven; Brandon Fino, Wyoming; Anthony Latorre, Shickshinny; Alaena Lloyd, Wilkes-Barre; Jose Luna, Plains; James Rushton, Wilkes-Barre; Malcolm Sciandra (cum laude), Harding; Jonathan Shea, Wilkes-Barre; Seth St Clair, Swoyersville; and Jesse Steltz (magna cum laude and valedictorian), Mountain Top.
Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation and Human Services: Kate Dalrymple, Berwick; Dylan Fredricey (summa cum laude), Larksville; Michael Jola, Plymouth; Erin Scafella, Laurel Run; and Michelle Williamson, Lake Ariel.
Associate in Business Administration: Karen Winters, Duryea.
Associate in Letters, Arts, and Sciences: Paris Gavin, Avoca, and Matthew Gruver, Shavertown.
Associate in Surveying Engineering Technology: Robert Kinney, Sugar Notch; Kyle Smith, Flemington, New Jersey; and Sheila Weaver (magna cum laude and academic achievement), White Haven.
Receiving Continuing Education certificates are: Introduction to Business Management Certificate, Amelia Strope; and Nursing Management Certificate, Randi Bunchalk, Helen Cummings, Nikolai Pelepko-Filak, Yuri Pelepko-Filak, Lynda Lesak, Sheila Moreira, Mahmoud Moufasa and Amanda O’Brien.