Campus, Community Participation Honored at Awards Ceremony
The involvement of Pennsylvania College of Technology's vibrant student organizations both on campus and off was spotlighted at Wednesday night's Student Activities Awards Banquet in the Bush Campus Center.
Awards in six categories were presented during the annual ceremony, which paid tribute to active campus groups, dedicated students and supportive faculty.
Student Leader of the Year
Sabrena A. O'Keefe, a business administration-human resource management major from McClure, was named "Student Leader of the Year." Ending her term as president of Penn College's Student Government Association, she was honored "as one of the most committed and enthusiastic student leaders" at the college.
"She puts her entire heart into SGA and never settles for second best," her nomination noted. "Sabrena dedicated countless hours of her own personal time to ensure that SGA not only met its goals, but far exceeded them."
Outstanding Student Organization
The college chapter of Phi Beta Lambda, the postsecondary division of the Future Business Leaders of America, was selected as the "Outstanding Student Organization." Despite its comparably small membership, PBL participated in a majority of campus events from Red Cross Bloodmobiles to roundtable discussions with the college administration and took home this year's coveted SGA Cup, the official barometer of students' involvement.
"This speaks volumes to the dedication of their active members and the leadership of their Executive Board," it was noted. "The members of PBL truly care not just about their organization, but about each other. PBL has shown school spirit and brought positive recognition to Penn College through participating in and winning awards at state and national conferences."
New Student Leader of the Year
The "New Student Leader of the Year" was Joshua W. Brunk, a hospitality management major from Richmond, N.H.
"Josh attended every SGA meeting during his first semester and, as soon as he was eligible, applied to be a senator for the School of Hospitality," according to his nomination. "He continued his perfect attendance at meetings and often went above and beyond, volunteering to take on tasks when others weren't interested. He is only a freshmen ... yet he has already demonstrated the character and dedication of a great leader."
Most Improved Student Organization
Chosen as "Most Improved Student Organization" was one of the college's newest: Student Wildcats of Robotic Design, which began in a Design and Production class in 2003 but quickly grew into a cross-disciplinary organization that built a Battlebot for national collegiate competition.
"S.W.O.R.D. had made major leaps and bounds this year due to new officers on the Executive Board. They have comes miles in terms of their growth as a club, as role models and as active members of the Penn College community," a nominator wrote.
Outstanding Senator of the Year
Amanda G. LeClair, a dental hygiene student from Reading, was named SGA's "Outstanding Senator of the Year."
"Throughout her term, Amanda collaborated well with her fellow senators and was able to earn their trust and respect," read her endorsement. "She went above and beyond the requirements of her position, not for the recognition, but because she truly cares about Penn College."
Adviser of the Year
"Adviser of the Year" was John G. Upcraft, instructor of machine tool technology and mentor to the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.
"Since taking over as adviser, John has assisted in the growth of the organization," his nominator related. "He is very enthusiastic and supports the members in any way that he can. John gives up his personal time to help SME achieve its goals and he has taught the members many skills that can be used both inside and outside the classroom."
The evening also saw the swearing-in of SGA's 2006-07 Executive Board.
Photos by Kimberly R. Henry, assistant director for student development