Penn College Awards Bestowed on 15 Peerless Student Leaders

Published 05.12.2011

Student News

Penn College Award-winners gather in Le Jeune Chef Restaurant for a group photo. Front row, from left: Jordan A. Pennypacker, Sarah R. Shott, Ashlyn M. Hershberger, Alyse M. Poswiatowsky, Jaime R. Ackerman and Megan R. Pennington. Back row, from left: Scott M. Elicker, Brandon J. Close, Jeffrey L. Eshenour, Andrew T. Koskie, Frank W. Meise Jr., Adam J. Yoder, Corey A. Shank and Randy A. Kuhar. Alonso L. Marchinski was out-of-state and unable to attend Thursday's banquet. Fifteen student leaders were honored Thursday with Penn College Awards during a banquet at Le Jeune Chef Restaurant, a 15th annual ceremony that recognized graduating students for outstanding contributions to the college.

Any student who will be a May, August or December 2011 graduate and who has been actively involved in campus life, has held a leadership position(s) or who has made a contribution in the area of service to the college and/or community may apply to be nominated for a Penn College Award.

The Class of 2011 is noteworthy for a variety of reasons, as its ranks include countless examples of service to Penn College and the broader community, as well as to faculty/staff, student organizations and classmates. But it also has a historic distinction, with two of its members Jaime A. Ackerman and Corey A. Shank engaged to be married in mid-September.

An alphabetical list of award recipients, their hometowns and majors, highlights of the campus and community activities in which they participated, and representative comments from their nominators:

Jaime R. Ackerman
Washington, N.J.
Business administration: human resource management

Presidential Student Ambassador (2010-11), Senior Resident Assistant (2009-11), Resident Assistant (2008-09), National Residence Hall Honorary treasurer (2008-09), Residence Hall Association treasurer (Spring 2008), Residence Hall Intramural Cup Competition, Campus Crusade for Christ secretary (2009-10), Powder Puff Football assistant coach (2008-11), co-leader of CRU Women's Bible Study (2008-11), Habitat for Humanity volunteer (Spring 2009), ASPCA volunteer (Fall 2009) and United Way Day of Caring (October 2010).

"Jaime is a devoted student with very strong morals and values and most certainly recognizes and celebrates differences in all students. While guiding and leading residents in a supportive path, Jaime is strong in character and deep in thought, which allows her to be a considerate, careful leader. She is a student that I would trust in any situation and an individual who truly makes a difference in the lives of others. Jaime has excelled as a student leader at Penn College, and has truly made a difference on the lives of other students and staff."

Brandon J. Close
Business administration: marketing

Founding president of the Penn College Collegiate Association for County Correctional Education (November 2008-May 2011), established affiliation between the college and the national Correctional Education Association, organized community projects at correctional facilities in six area counties, co-authored an article for American Jails magazine, General Education Development instructor at Tioga County Prison, Student Government Association Student of the Month (February 2009), Students in Free Enterprise, Penn College Judicial Council, Career Services Advisory Committee.

"Brandon is a born leader. He sees a need and looks for a solution, and is not afraid of the hard work to make it happen. He has demonstrated this through fundraising efforts for SGA and the Tracy A. Garis Memorial Scholarship Fund, his role as founder and president of CACCE, his membership in SIFE, and his work at the Tioga County Prison, where his position as G.E.D. instructor led him to develop an introductory computer class that he also teaches there. Brandon's work, in and out of class, contributes directly to our school's mission and our dedication to continuous improvement. He constantly seeks ways to improve processes and programs through his work at Penn College and his involvement in student organizations. His effort will have a positive impact on business programs now and for future students."

Scott M. Elicker
East Berlin
Business administration: marketing

SGA president, executive vice president, vice president for public relations and senator; member of various committees in the college Governance system; founding member of the Student Leader Legacy Scholarship committee; Disability Services work-study student; Open House volunteer (2006-present); Wildcat Welcome Team member (2007-08); peer mentor for TRiO Support Services (2007-08); Emerging College Leadership Advancement SerieS (2006-07); international exchange student to Austria; Penn College Legal Society vice president of public relations (2006-07); Penn College Debate Team; Penn College Judicial Council; Career Services Advisory Committee.

"Scott has served as a leader in the most obvious ways, of course, in increasingly significant positions of leadership. Perhaps more important, he has also served as leader in less obvious ways, ways that grow from his character and not from the position he holds. For example, the power of the question can transform a classroom, and Scott is willing to ask questions the simple questions others may be afraid to ask and the difficult questions that others are not even aware they have. In my "¦ class, he was able and willing to work with students of all abilities and majors, to draw them together into a cohesive unit to perform some pretty sophisticated thinking with some pretty impressive results."

Jeffrey L. Eshenour
Information technology: web and applications development

Resident Assistant (Fall 2008-Spring 2011); Residence Life "˜Rising Star of the Year" (2008-09); Campus Crusade for Christ; 209Fire; Little League World Series concession (2007 and 2009); Salvation Army (2010); miscellaneous campus/community volunteer efforts through Residence Life (litter pickup, organizing and cleaning a day-care center, etc., from 2008-11); student speaker at Penn College's annual scholarship reception (2010).

"Jeff is seen as almost the father figure for the Residence Life staff. His floor is run efficiently and the relationships he develops with his students are amazing. His students are always well-informed on programs, housing requirements and possible sanctions if they get in trouble. Along with his years of service in housing, he is a very active member of Campus Crusade. Jeff is very passionate in his service ... and has been offered a full-time position with them for next year based on his work at Penn College."

Ashlyn M. Hershberger
Graphic communications management

Residence Hall Association, national communications coordinator; Resident Assistant; Gamma Epsilon Tau; SGA (including service as vice president of public relations and as senator); Alpha Sigma Alpha, vice president of alumnae and heritage; Penn College ISKF Shotokan Karate Club; two committees in the college Governance system.

"It was great to have her on (Governance) committees, as she was never shy about contributing valuable input on both of the teams. She has more than pulled her weight on (the Election and Communications Committee), a pretty labor-intensive group, designing and hanging posters, meeting with faculty and staff for ideas, and attending meetings regularly. Ashlyn is the designer of the 'Go M-A-D With Governance' marketing campaign logo, the "˜Go M-A-D Wildcat.' Ashlyn has also served in a number of different areas around campus. People like Ashlyn just jump in and help where and when it is needed."

Andrew T. Koskie
Building science and sustainable design

Sigma Nu Fraternity (vice president, treasurer, scholarship chairman and chaplain); Phi Theta Kappa honor society, historian; Alpha Chi honor society, vice president; Inter-Fraternity Council, vice president of public relations; Penn College Motorsports Association; Wildcat Events Board; Architecture Club, U.S. Green Building Council Students of Penn College; Alternative Spring Break: Collegiate Challenge; Sigma Nu Chili Cook-Off, SIFE canned-food drive; Alpha Chi book drive; Walk-It-Out; Lycoming Township creek cleanup; Habitat for Humanity; American Red Cross blood drives.

"His strong character and high moral actions have consistently set the bar high for his fraternity brothers. Drew is always the man the brothers turn to when it comes to making the right decisions. A true man of honor, Drew's maturity, leadership and dedication to the values of Greek Life will really be missed."

Randy A. Kuhar
Glen Gardner, N.J.
Residential construction technology and management: building construction technology

Penn College Construction Association; SGA member, senator (2009-10) vice president for finance (2010-11) and Senator of the Year (2009-10); student member of the West Branch Builders Association; WBSBA Home Show; college Judicial Council; service to two college Governance committees; chair of Homecoming '10 car show; variety of community-service construction projects, including a playhouse donated to the Silent Auction by the School of Construction and Design Technologies; Habitat for Humanity; holiday card-decorating.

"Randy exemplifies what a college graduate should be. He joined SGA as a sophomore and has stuck with it 'til graduation. He is also a member of PCCA and participates in community-service projects through the club. He takes his studies very seriously and excels at them."

Alonso L. Marchinski
Aviation maintenance technology

Senior Resident Assistant, Resident Assistant, Residence Hall Association member and treasurer, Campus Crusade for Christ, volunteer at Antioch Baptist Church, lifeguard at YMCA. (Marchinski was out-of-state and unable to attend Thursday's banquet.)

"Alonso is always the first to volunteer. His openness to help others is such a natural part of who he is. (He) has significantly contributed to the success of the Residence Life program by being an advocate for students. He has represented the college and his academic program with passion. He is surely to become a successful alum who will remain connected with the college he cares so much about."

Frank W. Meise Jr.
Information technology: network specialist

President, treasurer, "reporter/IT guy" and national convention delegate for Sigma Nu; Sigma Nu Chili Cook-Off; SIFE canned-food drive; Wailk-It-Out; Lycoming Township creek-cleanup project; SGA Student Leadership Conference; Presidential Leadership Program; and New Life at Penn College; and Information Technology Services' student technician (Fall 2007-Spring 2008, Fall 2009-Spring 2011).

"Frank has demonstrated true leadership this year in helping the men of Sigma Nu become one of the healthiest fraternities on campus. Sigma Nu has had 67 percent of its membership attend a leadership conference in the past year. Sigma Nu has supported community-service projects over the past year Red Cross blood drives, Open House, EarthSmart creek cleanup, Walk-It-Out and many Student Activities events (where) the group brought the student power to clean up, take tickets or generally help the college. The organization has also established some annual traditions that have become staples in the Penn College community: White Rose Formal in February and the car show in May. These are all organizational achievements, but, as president, Frank was the true student leader in his presence at the events, his encouragement for others to also be there, and in ensuring the proper procedures were followed to make it happen."

Megan R. Pennington
Graphic design

Student Leader Legacy Scholarship recipient; Presidential Student Ambassador; WEB chair, events coordinator and advertising coordinator; Resident Assistant; RHA; four "of the Month" awards from Residence Life, as well as organizing the Innovative Program of the Year; SGA (including advertising committee and as a Governance representative); Gamma Epsilon Tau; Awesome Woman Exemplar; Powder Puff Football; Connections Link; Habitat for Humanity; Operation Snowflake; Walk-It-Out; Student Leadership Conferences; and Halloween Parade volunteer.

"Megan has been a vital member of WEB since she first stepped foot on campus in 2007. As a freshman, she was immediately elected to the executive board to fill a vacant position. After that, she never looked back. She served as advertising coordinator and, finally, as chairperson for the past two years. A lot of WEB's success is owed to Megan's leadership. She has given it her all, and that is all anyone can ask."

Jordan A. Pennypacker
Applied health studies

Connections Link, Resident Assistant, Class of 2010 academic award for physical fitness specialist major; Healthy Wildcats Coalition member; Eating Disorder Awareness Week, Healthy Eating Week, Sexual Responsibility Week; Habitat for Humanity; and SMART Girls.

"Her work as a Link included connecting new students to information about the college and making them feel comfortable coming in to a brand-new place. She continued that experience as an RA this academic year. Jordan has personal experience dealing with hardships, but she made it through and now serves other students in ways that I think may not always be appreciated. Jordan has a great attitude about work and a smile on her face that makes people interested in being around her."

Alyse M. Poswiatowsky
Information technology: web and applications development

Presidential Student Ambassador; SGA (senate speaker and senator); RHA; RHICC; Powder Puff Football; WEB (events coordinator and budget coordinator positions); American Sign Language Club, Cinema Center Nights, Movie Nights, comedians, acts, intramurals, softball, Pack the Park Nights; Habitat for Humanity (Greater Lycoming and Greater Miami); Operation Snowflake; Giving Tree and Lycoming SPCA

"Alyse has gone above and beyond in her (SGA senate speaker) duties; attending all executive board meetings, working with the senate to plan specific promotional events. She is in the process of working with the senators to plan a game-day promotion for an upcoming softball game. In the past, this is the type of planning that would have only been taken on by a board member, but Alyse has been more than willing to jump into her role and work to accomplish goals for the organization. In addition, when the vice president of public relations resigned from SGA earlier this semester, Alyse stepped up to provide additional help with advertising and co-chaired the annual Silent Auction that raised funds for the Student Leader Legacy Scholarship. Beyond that, Alyse has worked to maintain the SGA website and keep it up-to-date, which is a first in the (organization's) recent history."

Corey A. Shank
Construction management

Presidential Student Ambassador; Community Assistant; Resident Assistant; Construction Management Association; Campus Crusade for Christ (including service as vice president and treasurer); coordinator of "MansWeekend," a weekend retreat for men from five colleges and universities; active at Good News Bible Church (worship band, outreach and mission trips); Residence Life-sponsored community-service projects.

"As one of our most mature, understanding and thoughtful student leaders, Corey has taken much of his time to influence and help each student that he comes in contact with. Corey is not a leader who thrives on recognition or needs the attention; however, he is someone who genuinely helps others because it's an innate quality. He is most certainly a quiet leader, but, when it counts, Corey will step up to the plate."

Sarah R. Shott
Information technology: web and applications development

Senior Resident Assistant, Resident Assistant, NRHH, Connections Link (2008-10), Lead Link (Summer 2011), involvement with Habitat for Humanity, both during three years of Alternative Spring Break andover the summer, Awesome Woman Exemplar selection, Student-Staff Judicial Council, student liaison to Dining Services.

"Sarah breaks the mold for student leadership at Penn College. I, myself, have taken a few notes on how to approach the Penn College culture from the Sarah Shott playbook. She is a great resource to students and has been known to go out of her way to assist those in need of help. Students and staff look up to Sarah for leadership and inspiration when times are strenuous. (Her) personality alone has been enough to carry the students and staff of Dauphin Hall through some trying times this year. She is the kind of person who puts aside her own problems to help others. Because, as a dreamer, Sarah's true enjoyment lies in helping others succeed in their own dreams. Sarah is the face of Penn College and will be missed."

Adam J. Yoder
Building automation technology

Student Leader of the Year (2009-10); SGA president (2010-11), executive vice president (2009-10) and senate speaker (2009); Community Assistant (2009-10); Presidential Student Ambassador (2007-11); Wildcat Welcome Team member (Fall 2009); Governance (2009-11); Foundations of Excellence Diversity Committee (2009-10); Middle States Steering Committee; Student Admissions and Support Committee (2010-11); College Judicial Council (2010-11); Alternative Spring Break (2011); and Presidential Leadership Program (2010-11).

"He is a very positive example of student leadership and, when I see him on campus, he is always interacting with students/staff. He is very active in campus life and spends a great deal of his personal time attending functions and sporting events, while "¦ maintaining a superior academic performance. His enthusiasm for the college is evident."