Scholarship Luncheon celebrates blessings of philanthropy

Published 03.18.2024

Photos by Cindy D. Meixel, writer/editor-Penn College News


On a day celebrating luck and blessings (St. Patrick’s Day), the annual Scholarship Luncheon applauded the generous support and inspiration provided through philanthropy to Pennsylvania College of Technology students.

Nearly 300 donors, students and their guests attended the gathering, held in the college’s Field House.

President Michael J. Reed thanked the scholarship supporters for contributing to “another record-breaking fundraising year that created new scholarships and offset the costs of meaningful competitions, internships and global experiences for our students.

“In fact, over the past 10 years, the Penn College Foundation has experienced tremendous growth because of your support. Total Penn College and Penn College Foundation scholarship awards have increased by more than 280%, from approximately $470,000 in 2014 to $1.8 million budgeted for the 2023-24 academic year," Reed continued. "Already this year, 32 new scholarships have been created by generous Penn College alumni, faculty and staff, community members, industry partners, and private foundations from across the Commonwealth and the country.”

Student speaker Lizeth Reyes-Becerra (center) is joined by Penn College President Michael J. Reed and his wife, Christina Steinbacher-Reed, executive director of BLaST Intermediate Unit 17.

The college president introduced student speaker Lizeth Reyes-Becerra, of Erie, who is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in residential construction technology and management with a minor in architectural technology. The scholarship recipient is a full-time student who also works 40 hours a week as a server and is engaged as president of the Penn College Construction Association club.

Reyes-Becerra detailed her personal, professional and academic experiences, including study abroad opportunities. She also shared her passion for building homes and creating communities.

“Traveling has helped me expand my definition of a home. A home is not just a place of shelter. A home is a place where you can grow as a family and, more specifically, as an individual, and this sense of growth is not limited to a few exterior walls and a shingled roof,” she cited. “Home is where you connect with the community you reside in and share moments of life together. Today, my home is Penn College, and my home for tomorrow is still unknown, but I know that wherever it is, I will choose one that continues to bring out the best version of me like many of you have already.”

Reyes-Becerra speaks of hard work, dreams and gratitude.

Also joining in the celebration was Shannon Massey, senior vice president and general manager of the college’s steadfast corporate partner, Lycoming Engines, an employer of more than 120 Penn College alumni.

“I see firsthand the outcomes a Penn College education generates for graduates – a career that changes lives for individuals and their communities. Our investments create this opportunity and allow students to make their mark on the world,” Massey said.

Addressing the scholarship recipients, she added, “I know I can speak for all of the scholarship donors when I say, ‘We believe in you.’ Your generation will propel us to the next level; you will be industry leaders in your fields; and you will advance technology in ways that we can’t even imagine at the moment. We look forward to you maximizing our investments in all you do – in the classroom, in the lab and in the world. Make us proud.”

Massey says it's important to invest in Penn College students to empower the future.
A full house in the Field House
As guests start to gather, Jack L. Lenosky and his parents oblige a photographer's request for a photo. Lenosky, a heating, ventilation & air conditioning engineering technology student from Moon Township, is recipient of the HVAC Faculty Scholarship.
Penn College retiree Dennis L. Correll joins Allyson V. Butcher, a nursing student from Roaring Branch and recipient of the Correll Family Scholarship.
Marshall W. Fowler (left), of Sellersville, an engineering design technology student and president of the Baja SAE Club, enjoys conversation with John M. Young, president of The Young Industries Inc. and a member of the college's Foundation Board of Directors. Fowler receives the Silvene Bracalente Memorial Scholarship.
Kyle A. Smith, senior executive director of college relations, welcomes attendees to the Sunday luncheon.
Cierra D. Miller (center), a welding & fabrication engineering technology student from Dover and recipient of the Start to Finish Minority Student Scholarship, makes a memory with scholarship representatives Meghan R. Delsite Coleman (left), assistant director of student engagement, and Allison A. Grove, director of student engagement.
Pretty in pink and matching the tulips! Graphic design student Kaylena L. Harrell, of Williamsport, receives the Brian and Joanna Flynn Scholarship and the John Joseph and Eva Girio Pellegrino Scholarship.
The Susquehanna Valley Corvette Club Foundation Scholarship representatives share their joy with recipient Caleb J. Albaugh (second from right), an automotive technology student from Montoursville. Club members shown are Keith Hoffman (far left), Jan Hoffman and Ryan Byers (far right). Albaugh is also a Presidential Student Ambassador.
President Reed engages guests at the celebratory event.
Lauren D. Peck (center), an aviation maintenance technology student from South Williamsport, is the recipient of the Eugene C. Breiner Memorial Aviation Maintenance Scholarship, and she enjoys connecting with scholarship representatives Joyce Breiner and David Yaney.
Looks like spring!
Johnson Controls Inc.'s Joseph Emrich (center) is joined by a number of the company's scholarship recipients. The students are enrolled in heating, ventilation & air conditioning engineering technology and building automation engineering technology. They are (from left): Chike Nwachukwu, of Philadelphia; Ian T. Mwaura, Swatara; Alec A. Roth, Denver; Daniel A. Clifton, New York, N.Y.; Phoenix P. Bertram, Falls; Marc S. Balsan, Dresher; and Fabien D. Saintelus, Stroudsburg. Emrich is Central PA market general manager, building solutions, for Johnson Controls North America.
Following the student speaker's address, the crowd begins to rise, culminating in a full standing ovation of the nearly 300 attendees.
Hospitality faculty retiree Craig A. Cian enjoys a pre-luncheon photo op with Autumn B. Stanley, who receives the Ruth Colene Chilcote Cian Memorial Scholarship. Stanley is a baking & pastry arts student from the town of Lincoln University.
Reed shakes the hand of Brett B. Seelig II. A network administration & engineering technology student from Haverford, Seelig receives the Admissions Scholarship.
Andrew J. Graham (at center in blue shirt), a student college relations assistant, engages his table in conversation.
Loni N. Kline, senior vice president for college relations, poses with recipients of the Kline Family Scholarship: Marcus J. Rodriguez (left), construction management, of Lancaster, and Caden L. Cope, welding & fabrication engineering technology, of Georgetown, Delaware.
After all the other tables cleared out, this group continues its engaging conversation led by Ellyn A. Lester, assistant dean of construction & architectural technologies.
As they depart the event, Lester (at left) introduces Nyah M. Gipson and her parents to Penn College's president (at right). From Middletown, New York, Gipson is a freshman in the bachelor of architecture major and recipient of the Lester Family Scholarship.
Lending their assistance in myriad ways is this trio of student college relations assistants (from left): Andrew J. Graham, networking administration & engineering technology, from Nicholson; Savannah J. Zook, human services & restorative justice, of Lewistown; and James C. Fretz, construction management, from Collegeville.