Wilkes-Barre students receive leadership, athletics awards

A composite image with four pictures. Each square is a photo of someone receiving an award.

Receiving awards were, top left: John Bunting; top right: Haylie Oliphant, Hannah Cook, Charleigh Miner and Jaidyn Kotch; bottom left: Allen Ozojie and bottom right: Kaleah Moran.

Credit: Penn State

DALLAS, Pa. — Penn State Wilkes-Barre Student Government Association (SGA) held its annual Leadership and Athletics Awards Ceremony on April 25 at the Irem Clubhouse Ballroom, presenting campus awards and honoring outstanding student leaders and student-athletes at the campus.

Awards and their recipients were:

Outstanding Club Member Awards: Recipients were Isaiah Leonard, Black Student Union; Connor Emerick, Business and Entrepreneurial Club; Nathan Crotts, Surveying Society; Brandon Maher, Veterans Support Club; Mary Jolley, Music Society; Patrick Hughes, Game and Film Society; Abigail Strange, Students For Justice and Lion Ambassadors; Cloe Mazzatosta, Four Seasons Club; John Bunting, Blue and White Society; and Alessandra Ayoub, Nittany Gives.

Outstanding Club of the Year Award, presented to the Music Society: Members of the student body select the Outstanding Club Award. This award recognizes the student organization that has done exceptional campus and community service and has made a new and positive impact on co-curricular life of students at Penn State Wilkes-Barre.

The Outstanding SGA Member of the Year Award, received by Gabriela Gronkowski: The Outstanding SGA Member of the Year is chosen for his/her sincere dedication, devotion and overall excellence toward his/her position as a senator, club representative or executive board member and as a Penn State Wilkes-Barre student.

The Leslie “Livingstone” Award, presented to Francesco Nocito: This award recognizes a student involved in a registered club or organization who also participates in a recognized sports team on campus. It highlights someone who has shown their passion for Penn State Wilkes-Barre through involvement and service. The winner is selected by a committee composed of SGA members and athletics faculty members.

Leadership Academy certificate, presented to John Bunting: This certificate acknowledges the successful completion of Penn State Wilkes-Barre’s Leadership Series. The program is designed to enhance leadership skills that will enrich students’ résumés and job experiences.

Club Advisor of the Year, received by Jacqueline Warnick-Piatt for her leadership of the Blue and White Society: SGA established this award to honor a student club or organization advisor who has consistently gone above the call of duty in working with a particular club or organization. It recognizes an individual who is a role model for the students and is based on overall contribution to the club or organization.

Pride of the Lion Award, presented to Molly Abdalla: This award honors a member of the campus community, faculty, staff, student(s) or community volunteers who have consistently worked to assist the Student Activities office to help improve the quality of student life at Penn State Wilkes-Barre, through their encouragement and coordination of and/or participation in co- and extracurricular programming and events.

The Edward H. Kaminski Memorial Scholarship Award, received by Francesco Nocito: This award was established by Betsy Hughes in memory of her late husband, who graduated from the Wilkes-Barre campus in 1974. This award is presented to a Penn State Wilkes-Barre student-athlete by Student Affairs based on academics, campus and athletic participation, and positive qualities of leadership and character.

Hayfield Award, presented to Rebecca Sarver: The faculty member selected for this award is designated by the Student Government Association as the outstanding instructor for the academic year. The award is based on a combination of teaching excellence and contribution to the general welfare of students at Penn State Wilkes-Barre.

Outstanding Adult Learner of the Year Award, received by Verena Lake: This award is sponsored by the Luzerne County Council on Adult Higher Education (LCCAHE), a council formed with the interest of the continuing education of today’s professionals. LCCAHE includes the adult/continuing education units at Penn State Wilkes-Barre, Misericordia University, King’s College, Wilkes University and Luzerne County Community College. Every year, each institution chooses a recipient.

Lee Sweinberg Scholarship, received by Lucas Carpenter: The purpose of this award is to provide recognition for students enrolled in an engineering program who have demonstrated Penn State pride through campus service.

The Florence C. Dougherty Pride of the Lion Award, received by Andrew Zimmerman: In honor of Florence C. Dougherty, this award is given to an undergraduate student of sophomore, junior or senior academic standing enrolled at Penn State Wilkes-Barre, in recognition of exemplary qualities of personal character, campus and university spirit and Penn State pride through active involvement in campus and community activities aimed at promoting Penn State Wilkes-Barre and/or the University.

The Martin U. Dougherty Emerging Leader Award, presented to Lucas Carpenter: The Dougherty family established this award in remembrance of their husband/father, Martin, who served on the campus advisory board; his firm, The Architectural & Engineering Group Inc., designed the Carriage Room in the campus' Student Commons, which won the 2003 “Pride of Place” Award from the then-Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce. This award recognizes a student of junior status at the campus who has at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA and has demonstrated excellence in scholarship, leadership, citizenship, service and character.

The John R. Murphy Award for Excellence in Leadership and Service, received by Verena Lake: In honor of former Director of Student Affairs John R. Murphy, who served Penn State Wilkes-Barre from 1967 to 2004, this award was established to recognize a graduating senior whose outstanding qualities of leadership, service, scholarship, citizenship and character have been directed into programs and service on campus and/or the community that have positively influenced fellow students and have contributed to the prestige and well-being of the Wilkes-Barre campus and the reputation of the University as a whole.

The Eric A. and Josephine Walker Award, presented to John Bunting: The purpose of this award is to recognize the Commonwealth Campus student whose outstanding qualities of character, scholarship, leadership and citizenship have been directed into programs and services that have positively influenced fellow students and have contributed to the prestige and well-being of their campus and, hence, to the reputation of the University as a whole. The award is made annually, at or near the end of the spring term, to a full-time undergraduate student who is completing their first two full years of study at a Commonwealth Campus.

Athletic awards were presented as follows:

Leroy “Pops” Hammett Memorial Coaches’ Awards: golf, Francesco Nocito; baseball, Kevin Rivera; men’s basketball, Teequan Holley and Jedidah Ashton; women’s basketball, Haylie Oliphant; and volleyball, Sierra Hildebrand.

Golf awards: most valuable player (MVP), Cooper Kelley; Penn State University Athletic Conference (PSUAC) All-Conference Team: Cooper Kelley (eighth place); PSUAC Academic All-Conference, Garrett Vought, Aiden Kelsall, Colin Matosky-Bradbury, Francesco Nocito, Brandon Richie and Jonathan Stochla; United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) All-Academic Team, Francesco Nocito and Jonathan Stochla; and John Fritz Sportsmanship Award, Chris Hunter.

Women’s basketball awards: MVP, Tanae Arnold; Coaches’ Award, Haylie Oliphant; PSUAC East Division First Team, Aysia Pink; PSUAC Honorable Mention, Tanae Arnold; PSUAC John Fritz Sportsmanship Award, Haylie Oliphant; and PSUAC Academic All-Conference, Haylie Oliphant, Hannah Cook, Anaja Jackson, Jaidyn Kotch, Charleigh Miner and Samantha Snyder.

Women’s volleyball awards: MVP, Armani Simmons; PSUAC Second Team, Armani Simmons; PSUAC Academic All-Conference, Sierra Hildebrand, Amelia Joubert and Kirsten Rosentel; USCAA Academic All-American, Kirsten Rosentel; and PSUAC John Fritz Sportsmanship Award: Samantha Snyder.

Baseball awards: MVP, Jakob Baltrusaitis; PSUAC John Fritz Sportsmanship Award, Walter Ninotti; PSUAC All-Academic: Jakob Baltusaitis, Zachary Chamberlain, Chris Coyne, Enai Fernandez, Walter Ninotti, Joey Polanowski, Jay Shemanski, Lucas Stachowiak and Mike Volker; and USCAA Academic All-American, Walter Ninotti.

Men’s basketball awards: MVP, Jalen Willis; Player of the Week (March 19), Jalen Willis; PSUAC East Division Second Team: Jedidiah Ashton, Teequan Holley and Jalen Willis; PSUAC Honorable Mention, Rashod Ballard; PSUAC John Fritz Sportsmanship Award, Chase Monroe; PSUAC East Defensive Player of the Year, Allen Ozojie; USCAA Men’s Basketball Division II All-Tournament Team, Jalen Willis; 1000 Career Points, Jedidah Ashton; and PSUAC Academic All-Conference: Wilvens Fleurizard.