Ten Graduating Students Honored With 'Penn College Awards'

Published 05.12.2006

Student News

Presented with Penn College Awards on Thursday evening were, from left, Robert M. Krepshaw, Elysburg, information technology-web and applications development%3B Stefanie A. Beskovoyne, Lake Ariel, legal assistant%2Fparalegal%3B Alan J. Wertz, Danville, manufacturing engineering technology%3B Rachel S. Hall, Altoona, culinary arts technology%3B Jared A. Hoover, Hollidaysburg, construction management%3B LaNae J. Firster, Franklin, computer information technology-data communications and networking%3B Angela D. Rymer, Jersey Shore, business administration-marketing%3B Wendy Mertzeis, HC 1 Tionesta, technology management%3B and Thomas W. Cordell, Montoursville, applied health sciences-surgical technology. A 10th honoree - Julie M. Reppert, a mass media communication student from Myerstown - did not attend. (Photo by Phillip C. Warner, student writer%2Fphotographer)Ten Pennsylvania College of Technology students scheduled to graduate this calendar year received "Penn College Awards" during a Thursday banquet at Le Jeune Chef Restaurant on the college's main campus in Williamsport.

The awards, marking their 10th anniversary, recognize students who have made outstanding contributions to Penn College. Any student who is scheduled to graduate in May, August or December 2006 and who has been actively involved in campus life, held a leadership position or contributed in the area of service to the college and/or community was eligible to apply or be nominated.

This year's honorees, their hometowns and majors, and a sampling of their accomplishments:

Stefanie A. Beskovoyne
Lake Ariel, legal assistant/paralegal
Among her activities, Beskovoyne served as Student Government Association vice president of communications, was a Resident Assistant, and a member of the Student-Staff Judicial Council and the Wildcat Dance Team.

"Despite working, carrying a full load of classes and being heavily involved in campus life, she has managed to keep her eyes on the future and her scholastic endeavors," a Student Affairs nominator noted. "She is serious, but never overly so; diligent, but not single-minded; and realistic, but always with a touch of positivism."

Thomas W. Cordell
Montoursville, applied health sciences-surgical technology
An emergency medical technician, Cordell is president of the Society of Surgical Technologists and the lead student assistant in the college's Student Health Services. He has raised awareness about the dangers of alcohol and other drugs, is a tutor for anatomy and physiology, and has helped with Bloodmobiles and a variety of campus health-education programs.

"He was instrumental in making improvements to the Impaired Student Recovery Area, and also found time to aid in CRP recertification, Student Health Services projects and help promote wellness activities and testing," his nomination reads. "He has found time to give back to those that have helped him achieve success in his education at Penn College."

LaNae J. Firster
Franklin, computer information technology-data communications and networking
A Student Activities employee, Firster?s campus activities include service as a Resident Assistant and member of the Residence Hall Association and Wildcat Events Board.

"LaNae is one of those students that we, as Student Affairs professionals, hope for in every student we work with," a supervisor noted. "Her dedication to her job, involvement, interpersonal relationships and studies exemplifies that of a competent student leader. She has clearly prioritized her life in order to maximize her college experience and, for this, I'm quite sure she is destined for a positive and productive professional life."

Rachel S. Hall
Altoona, culinary arts technology
Senior Resident Assistant at The Village at Penn College, Hall has twice been honored as "RA of the Month" and is a longtime member and current president of the college's National Residence Hall Honorary. She received the Hospitality Faculty Award in December 2005, and has been involved in a variety of volunteer and student-leadership activities.

"Many of her fellow staff members feel that she is a great 'go to' person and is someone they can rely on," her Residence Life nominator wrote. "Rachel has developed several phenomenal programs, and has creative and 'out-of-the-box' thinking. She is organized and does a great job at balancing her personal life, her academics and her Senior Resident Assistant position."

Jared A. Hoover
Hollidaysburg, construction management
Hoover has served as SGA's vice presidentof communications, as a senator from the School of Construction and Design Technologies and as secretary of the Construction Management Association. He was among a team of Penn College students that placed fifth in this year's Associated Builders and Contractors' Student Construction Management Competition in Las Vegas.

"He deeply cares about his fellow students and the Penn College community as a whole. He has been diligently working ... to develop ways to increase students' understanding of fire hazards," a Student Affairs nominator noted. "Toward this end, Jared has acted in the role as liaison and communication link between the college's administration and the SGA. (He) clearly understands the 'big picture.'"

Robert M. Krepshaw
Elysburg, information technology-web and applications development
A Resident Assistant at The Village since 2005, Krepshaw represents the on-campus housing complex in the Residence Hall Association and is a member of the Penn College Tennis Team. He also serves the College Town initiative, an effort to bring together Williamsport's three postsecondary institutions and the local business community.

A nominator from Residence Life said Krepshaw's "optimism is his most amazing attribute, which truly makes him a solid nominee for this award. ... He is very well-liked and respected by his residents, which allows for building great relationships and community in our residence hall. Although he is juggling several responsibilities on and off campus, he manages to be a student first."

Wendy Mertzeis
HC 1 Tionesta, technology management
A Resident Assistant and active member of the Student Activities staff, Mertzeis' campus involvement also includes assistance with programs ranging from Visitation Days and Parent/Family Weekend to Homecoming and holiday-card decorating.

"Wendy's upbeat personality and strong work ethic make her a standout as a student leader," her nominator said. "She has a passion and a commitment to the college that I don't often see in students. She has made friendships and found a niche for herself and it will be difficult to see her go, but rewarding to know that I was just a small part of her tremendous growth and development. Always willing to take on additional tasks and learn new processes, Wendy has truly been as asset."

Julie M. Reppert
Myerstown, mass media communication
Reppert's service to Penn College has included leadership in the Phi Beta Lambda and Students in Free Enterprise business organizations, College Town, SGA, WEB and the Student-Staff Judicial Council. She also was a 2006 "Awesome Woman" at Penn College; a disc jockey at WPTC, the campus radio station; and a member of the Wildcat softball team.

"Julie has dedicated so much time and energy to Penn College because she believes in it and what it does for the students, as well as our community," a fellow student remarked in her nomination. "She is such an active member of the college, she can be seen at what seems like every event. Her time spent making (the college) a better place had paid off intrinsically (that's the only reason she does it), but I think she deserves to be recognized for all of her contributions."

Angela D. Rymer
Jersey Shore, business administration-marketing
An SGA senator from the School of Business and Computer Technologies, Rymer has served a variety of organizations, often as an officer: PBL, SIFE, WEB, Phi Theta Kappa honor society, Student-Staff Judicial Council, Wildcat Dance Team and College Town. She also was a 2006 "Awesome Woman" at Penn College; is active in off-campus volunteerism such as "Big Brothers Big Sisters," and was the college's 2006 Homecoming queen.

"Ange has been attending classes at Penn College since 2000. In that time, she has become one of the most recognizable faces on campus," a student colleague noted. "She not only participates in class and does well in those classes but she has been a member of a great deal of student organizations, as well as holding leadership positions in many of (them). Ange really, truly loves this college and is very deserving of recognition for all she has done for it."

Alan J. Wertz
Danville, manufacturing engineering technology
Wertz carries a 4.0 grade-point average, is a Student Ambassador, vice president of the Alpha Chi honor society and a two-term president of the Penn College chapter of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.

"In the classroom, he is an outstanding student whose combination of exceptional ability and high motivation has led to his 'straight-A' academic record," a faculty member wrote. "Of the literally hundreds of students I have taught and advised over the past seven years, he is clearly the best combination of academic excellence, student leadership and integrity I have ever encountered."

Among those taking part in the presentations were Davie Jane Gilmour, Penn College president; Kimberly R. Henry, assistant director for student development; and Sabrena A. O'Keefe, SGA president and chair of the Penn College Awards Committee.