Student excellence honored at awards ceremony

Published 05.22.2024

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

Alumni News
Faculty & Staff
Penn College President Michael J. Reed (left) celebrates with graduating student honorees at the Excellence in Student Leadership & Service Awards Ceremony. The event, held in Le Jeune Chef Restaurant, conferred the Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour Awards for Leadership & Service to Penn College; celebrated the student speakers chosen to address the college’s three commencement ceremonies; and recognized recipients of the five collegewide commencement awards.

As part of the spring semester’s finale events, Penn College held an Excellence in Student Leadership and Service Awards Ceremony to honor 11 graduating students who distinguished themselves by their high academic achievement, quality leadership and commitment to service.

Hosted in Le Jeune Chef Restaurant on campus, the gathering conferred six Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour Awards for Leadership & Service to Penn College; celebrated the student speakers chosen to address the college’s three commencement ceremonies; and recognized recipients of the five collegewide commencement awards.

“When we say that we are incredibly proud of the students receiving awards this evening, that would be an understatement,” said Anthony J. Pace, associate vice president for enrollment and academic operations, in his opening remarks. “You have astonished us with your academic achievements and amazed us with your contributions to your fellow classmates and community members.”

The first honors of the evening were the Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour Awards for Leadership & Service to Penn College, recognizing six graduating students who have made outstanding contributions to Penn College through campus life involvement, leadership positions, and service to the campus community.

“The students receiving this recognition have truly distinguished themselves from their peers as a result of their exceptional leadership and service,” stated Allison A. Grove, director of student engagement.

In addition to an award and Penn College lapel pin, the students will also have their names placed on a permanent plaque, on display in the Bush Campus Center. Assisting Grove in presenting the honors was Jennifer McLean, dean of students (shown on the right in the photos below).

Here is an alphabetical list of the Gilmour award recipients, their hometowns and majors: 

Hunter, Evanko, McLean

Patrick Collin Evanko (introduced by Ashley M. Hunter, coordinator of residence life operations and facilities)
Columbus, New Jersey
welding & fabrication engineering technology

Upcraft, Fowler, McLean

Marshall Wade Fowler (introduced by John G. Upcraft, instructor, machine tool technology/automated manufacturing)
engineering design technology

Flanagan, Harnish, McLean

Nikolas J. Harnish (introduced by Caila Flanagan, coordinator, Rose Street Commons)
welding & fabrication engineering technology 

Sones, Lutzkanin, McLean, joined by Brad R. Conklin, diesel equipment technology instructor

Marcayla Marie Lutzkanin (introduced by Mark E. Sones, instructor, diesel equipment technology)
Port Carbon
applied management

Flanagan, Nichols, McLean

Eryn L. Nichols (introduced by Flanagan)
Rome (PA)
business administration

Also honored:
Joshua C. Quigley (who was unable to attend due to taking a certification exam in Philadelphia)
dental hygiene

Joanna K. Flynn, vice president for academic affairs and provost, assisted in recognizing the three student commencement speakers, celebrated for their demonstration of strong academic achievement, leadership (in and out of the classroom), positive campus involvement, and service to the college and/or community:

Dincher, Carpenter, Flynn

Michael Charles Carpenter (introduced by Jack C. Dincher, instructor, electrical/mechatronics)
mechatronics technology

Hunter, Harnish, Flynn

Harnish (recognized earlier and introduced by Hunter)
welding & fabrication engineering technology

Mohney, Pyatt, Flynn

Shelby L. Pyatt (introduced by Britni E. Mohney, assistant director of athletics/head coach, women’s basketball)
Frenchtown, New Jersey

The evening also included presentation of the five collegewide commencement awards:

Flanagan, Kresovich, Flynn

Lewis H. Bardo Memorial Award for devotion to duty, helpfulness, friendliness and high ideals to Megan Renae Kresovich, of Bellefonte, human services & restorative justice (introduced by Flanagan)

Hunter, Evanko, Flynn

Rose Staiman Memorial Award for brotherhood, service and scholastic achievement to Evanko (honored earlier and introduced by Hunter)

Dickey, Lawson, Flynn

Board of Directors’ Award, recognizing achievement under exceptional conditions, to Elaina Marie Lawson, of Girard, architecture & sustainable design (introduced by Dawn M. Dickey, director of disability & access resources)

Neuhard, Gleco, Flynn

Academic Vice President and Provost’s Award, presented for scholastic achievement and service, to Matthew Scott Gleco, of Shickshinny, automation engineering technology: mechatronics (introduced by Scott D. Neuhard, assistant professor, electronics)

President's Award recipient Harnish is bookended by Kopera and Reed.
President's Award recipient Nichols is bookended by Delsite Coleman and Reed.

President’s Award, honoring leadership and service to the college, was presented by Penn College President Michael J. Reed to Harnish and Nichols (both recognized earlier; Harnish was introduced by Steve J. Kopera, instructor, welding; Nichols was introduced by Meghan R. Delsite Coleman, assistant director of student engagement). 

As the evening came to a close, Shelley L. Moore, senior director of the Center for Career Design, encouraged the honorees to stay connected with campus through the Penn College Alumni Association.

“As alumni, you are the best advocates for your alma mater,” Moore said. “As such, we hope you will consider volunteering with the Alumni Tomorrow Makers Program – your advocacy of Penn College in your personal and professional networks means a great deal to us and will help encourage future Wildcats to consider an education with us – continuing to add to the alumni family.” 

Pace shared a few final remarks with the VIP guests: “Penn College is a great place because of students like you. Thank you for your hard work and service to the college and the community. And thank you for enriching the lives of your fellow students and the lives of the faculty and staff you have encountered.”

A list of all student achievement awards presented to Spring 2024 graduates was published earlier.