Academic Awards

2021 Academic Awards

Wilkes University is proud to honor the following 2021 graduates who have achieved academic distinction. Congratulations!

College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Pi Sigma Alpha Award in Political Science

Juan Astegiano

This year’s Pi Sigma Alpha Award goes to Juan Astegiano. Juan was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and is graduating with a perfect 4.0! Juan has served as a research assistant for Dr. Maierean’s research on shale gas and fracking regulation. For his senior capstone, Juan researched the “Impact of Previous Enlargements on the European Union’s Accession Criteria.” Juan was awarded the Leadership Award from the Office of International Engagement (2019), the Bierly Fellowship for Study Abroad (2019), the Outstanding Position Paper at the Model UN Conference (spring 2020), and was on the Dean’s List each of his semesters at Wilkes. In addition, Juan was a member of the Honor’s Program at Wilkes, worked at the Office of International Engagement, and interned at the Ministry of Foreign Relations in Panama.

Outstanding Graduate in Psychology

Janelle Sherman

Janelle Sherman is a double major in psychology and nursing with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. Her research in the psychology department includes assisting in the Identity and Physiology Lab with Dr. Thomas and Dr. Newell. This included a poster presentation at the Society for Research in Child Development conference in Baltimore in 2019 and at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association in 2020. Her capstone explored the relationship between social identity, risk perception, and trust during the COVID-19 pandemic. Janelle was also very active outside of the classroom. She was a member of several academic honors societies, held officer positions for the Wilkes’ chapter of Psi Chi, and was a volunteer at the Al Beech/West Side Food pantry. She was the recipient of the Athena Smith Ford Student for Peace Award in 2020 for her efforts to help reduce hunger and food insecurity in the community. She plans to work as a registered nurse at Commonwealth Health First Hospital in psychiatric unit in Kingston, PA.

Outstanding Graduate in Neuroscience Award

Jason DeBoard

Jason Deboard is a double major in Neuroscience and Biology, with minors in Chemistry and Psychology, while holding an outstanding academic record, earning him multiple academic scholarships and nominations to several honorary societies. His research work here at Wilkes University with Dr. Gregory Harms involves studying the interaction between Alzheimer’s and Traumatic Brain using a mouse model. This research won the “Best Student Presentation Award” at an international Conference in 2021. Jason is also the president of the American Medical Student Association and the Wilkes commuter council. His plans are to continue his education by applying to medical school where he will pursue his passion in Neurology

Raymond R. Ritz Award (Sociology)

Ashley Baker

This year’s Raymond Ritz Award in Sociology is Ashley Baker. Ashley is graduating with a Criminology degree but she also majored in Sociology and minored in Political Science. In her time at Wilkes, Ashley served as the Vice-President and co-founder of the “It’s On Us” chapter on campus. “It’s On Us” is a social movement created to raise awareness and fight against sexual assault on college campuses. Ashley served as a trainer during the “It’s On Us” national tour stop at Wilkes University and also presented on the sexual assault topic during first-year student orientation. During her free time, Ashley served as the manager of the football team for three years and the men’s basketball team for one year.

Outstanding Communication Studies Award

Kirsten Peters

Kirsten Peters is a communication studies major from Shohola, PA, with concentrations in multimedia journalism, broadcast production, and strategic communication. She has two minors in sports management and creative writing. The Outstanding Communication Studies Award and Tom Bigler Scholar Award recognize her high-level of academic achievement and excellence as a student-journalist at Wilkes. During her senior year, Peters served as The Beacon’s editor-in-chief, Wilkes Now! TV’s director, and The Allan P. Kirby Center for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship’s Kirby Scholar of Communication. Peters previously served as an intern for Wilkes Baseball. Peters is a member of Wilkes’ Honors Program and graduates with 22 Honors credits. She was also inducted into Lambda Pi Eta (the Communication Studies Honor Society) and Sigma Tau Delta (the International English Honor Society). Peters concluded her academic research with a capstone study on ABC’s The Bachelor, as she worked to uncover an audience’s motives for viewing reality dating television. Peters’ favorite memories at Wilkes include being known for her leadership positions, being referred to as “The Cookie Girl,” and photographing Wilkes Baseball games. She would like to thank every professor who provided her with feedback, left a note on a paper or exam, or took the time to have a meaningful conversation. Finally, Peters credits her mom, dad, and brother with providing her with confidence in her abilities. She will always struggle to find the right words to express how grateful she is to her family.

Tom Bigler Scholar Award

Kirsten Peters

Kirsten Peters is a communication studies major from Shohola, PA, with concentrations in multimedia journalism, broadcast production, and strategic communication. She has two minors in sports management and creative writing. The Outstanding Communication Studies Award and Tom Bigler Scholar Award recognize her high-level of academic achievement and excellence as a student-journalist at Wilkes. During her senior year, Peters served as The Beacon’s editor-in-chief, Wilkes Now! TV’s director, and The Allan P. Kirby Center for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship’s Kirby Scholar of Communication. Peters previously served as an intern for Wilkes Baseball. Peters is a member of Wilkes’ Honors Program and graduates with 22 Honors credits. She was also inducted into Lambda Pi Eta (the Communication Studies Honor Society) and Sigma Tau Delta (the International English Honor Society). Peters concluded her academic research with a capstone study on ABC’s The Bachelor, as she worked to uncover an audience’s motives for viewing reality dating television. Peters’ favorite memories at Wilkes include being known for her leadership positions, being referred to as “The Cookie Girl,” and photographing Wilkes Baseball games. She would like to thank every professor who provided her with feedback, left a note on a paper or exam, or took the time to have a meaningful conversation. Finally, Peters credits her mom, dad, and brother with providing her with confidence in her abilities. She will always struggle to find the right words to express how grateful she is to her family.

Annette Evans Humanities Award

Sarah Weynand

Graduating with a literature concentration in the English major, Sarah Weynand has also received the department’s Taft Achilles Rosenberg Naparsteck Scholarship (2020), the Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Paul Sangiuliano Scholarship (2019), and the William R. Gasbarro Scholarship (2018). This pandemic year she has served as Executive Editor to the Manuscript Society, coordinating a special Black Lives Matter issue, and President of the Wilkes University Alpha Gamma Alpha chapter of Sigma Tau Delta Honor Society. Sarah also had papers accepted this year at three separate conferences across the disciplines, from women’s and gender studies to the Eastern Colleges Science Conference. Her focus in how “narratives reward women for submission and subscription to hegemonic femininity” will continue this fall as she pursues an MFA in Poetry at Southern Connecticut State University.

Frank J. J. Davies Award

Hannah Bolacker

Hannah Bolacker graduates with English major concentrating in Secondary Education and certification in Special Education. Ending her Wilkes career with a 3.9 GPA, Hannah’s research included K-12 learning affected by transience and the pandemic, along with marginalized identities in the postcolonial examinations of Edward Said and novelist Toni Morrison. During her time at Wilkes, Hannah served as a Writing Center Consultant and was active in the Sigma Tau Delta, Kappa Delta Phi, and Alpha Lambda Delta honor societies. After graduation, Hannah will begin a teaching position in special education at Bridgeway Academy in Columbus, Ohio.

Taft Achilles Rosenberg Naparsteck Scholarship

Fen Farnelli

Pursuing a major in English (Writing Concentration) with a minor in Communication Studies, Honors student Fen Farnelli also serves on the Manuscript Society’s editorial board and as Secretary for the Games and Media Club. Fen has memberships in both the Sigma Tau Delta International Honor Society and the Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society.

Phi Alpha Theta Award

Megan Kocher

Megan Kocher graduated from Wilkes University in the Fall of 2020 with a double-major in History and Political Science and a minor in Women and Gender Studies. Her History capstone, “The Indoctrination of Youth into War" is a comparative study of the methods used to indoctrinate children into a militaristic way of life in Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. A native of Nanticoke, PA and a graduate of the Greater Nanticoke Area School District, Megan fell in love with history in her first college history class. The awareness that much of what she learned in high school history was not entirely accurate fueled her desire to learn more and to always seek out the truth. While at Wilkes she was member of the Debate Team and worked at a nonprofit political action group and was heavily involved in the 2018 Midterm election and the 2020 Presidential election. She is currently teaching US and world history as a long term substitute and looks forward to being politically involved in the 2022 Midterm elections.

Outstanding Graduate in Spanish

Autumn Shoener

Autumn Shoener is a double-major in both Spanish and Secondary Education with a concentration in Special Education. Autumn is a member of the Education Club, the Kappa Delta Pi Education Honor Society, and the Hispanic Honor Society. She has received the Sylvia Dworski, Ph.D. Scholarship. Recently, Autumn was selected to be the guest student speaker at the Education Department’s Teacher Education Program Pinning Ceremony. Autumn is also employed at the Wilkes0Barre Family YMCA as a lead childcare teacher. After graduation, Autumn plans to pursue her dream of making a difference by becoming an educator, either in Spanish or Special Education. Autumn is also interested in continuing her education at Wilkes University, pursuing a Master’s Degree in Instructional Technology or Online Teaching.

Outstanding Achievement in Integrative Media, Art and Design

Jess Morandi

Jess Morandi is a major in Digital Design and Media Art with two cognate minors in Art and Marketing. She has been part of the Sordoni Art Gallery staff her entire four years at Wilkes serving roles as a gallery attendant, intern, student designer, student fellow, and project lead. Because of her internship, she received the 'Intern of the Year' award for her work on the 2019 exhibition, Two Presidents, One Photographer by Pete Souza. She has been an e-mentor for two years as well as a four-year member of Studio 20, where she is now president of the club. Jess led a group of peers to participate in the highly competitive Direct Effect Innovation Challenge: America 250PA marketing competition, resulting as a semi-finalist. Jess intends to lend her talents to the non-profit sector supporting causes close to her.

Richard Fuller Excellence in Arts Award

Ana Perez

Ana Perez is a major in the BFA program in Digital Design and Media Art with a Minor in Art. She joined Wilkes after completing two associate’s degrees at Luzerne County Community College in Graphic Design & Advertising and Computer Graphics & New Media. Ana's work is highly illustrative, and she recently completed full illustrations for a children's book about grief, set for publication in 2022. She was the Allan P. Kirby Center Fellow for Digital Design and Media Art, and was the winner of the first annual holiday card design competition for Wilkes University. Ana received the BASS Award, which is a departmental juried art award given for excellence in artist skills, and has also received several universities scholarships. She recently completed an internship at Posture Interactive in Scranton and works full-time at Michaels Distribution Center as a Loss Prevention Specialist. Ana resides in Hazleton with her husband and cat. After graduation, Ana will begin her MA in Leadership at Alvernia University.

Vocal Music Award

Katelyn Sincavage

Senior B.F.A. Musical Theatre major Katelyn Sincavage from Shavertown, PA is the recipient of The Division of Performing Arts Vocal Music Award. According to University Choral Director, Leesa Levy Katelyn “is an outstanding vocalist and well worthy of an award for her work over the last four years”. Katelyn was awarded many Music scholarships while at Wilkes including The Thomas Paul Sangiuliano, Sherry Hudick, and Richard and Ellen Ayre Scholarships. For her many roles in Musical Theatre productions, Katelyn received regional recognition through The American College Theatre Festival for her role as Shelby in The Spitfire Grille and Claudia Nardi in Nine. Her scholarly efforts have earned her a 3.57 cumulative grade point average. Katelyn has participated in the University Chorus, Chamber Singers and the Student Dance Concert over the last four years. After graduation she plans to audition for Broadway plays in New York, seek voice-over work, and ultimately teach voice lessons to children who share the same passion for Musical Theatre.

Musical Theatre Award

Marcy Ledvinka

Marcy has contributed significantly to the artistic, cultural, and intellectual climate of the university. The ability for a Theatre artist to understand aesthetic style is often accompanied with a personal passion to address social issues. We often label that combination “talent”. Marcy is talented. Whether she was in the chorus of Cabaret or playing Cassius in Julius Caesar her directors would always comment “Marcy gets it!” Always self-assertive, Marcy has achieved recognition for her talent beyond the confines of this university. The South Eastern Theatre Conference (SETC) annually hosts competitive professional auditions for literally thousands of aspiring college actors and singers. There are two preliminary rounds of auditions before a student can advance to the final round. In 2019 and 2021 Marcy was able to reach that standard and competed with students from much larger Theatre programs. Before the pandemic, these auditions were used to secure professional acting jobs. In unobtrusive but very measurable ways Marcy has helped change the composition of our Theatre program. She serves as the secretary of Multicultural Student Coalition. As an organic outgrowth of her involvement with the MSC, when later working for the Admissions Office, she was more instrumental than she realized in recruiting a fair number students of color for the theatre program. This enabled us to explore more inclusive casting and cultivate an informed audience. Marcy’s highest achievement is her stunning academic record. She has been a member of the honors program for four years. She will also receive The Honors Program Academic Distinction Award for maintaining the highest average among honors students. Her cumulative GPA is a perfect 4.0. She has accomplished this while attending late night rehearsals and earning minors in Dance and Hospitality. It is clear that Marcy exemplifies all of the qualities of a distinctive Wilkes graduate.

Dance Award

Brianna Rowland

Senior B.F.A. Musical Theatre major, Brianna Rowland from Pennsauken, New Jersey is the 2021 recipient of the Division of Performing Arts Dance Award. The Dance Faculty noted that in addition to her continued substantial improvement over the years, Bri has been the Dance captain for many Wilkes university musicals. She also served as served as a class assistant and demonstrator for Dance classes. Bri has appeared in featured and chorus roles during her four years at Wilkes including Nice Work If You Can Get it, God Bless You Mr. Rosewater, Nine, and Cabaret. Bri was also the recipient of The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival’s Irene Ryan Award for her work in Clybourne Park in 2018. Also, in the summer of that year Bri was employed as a Dance Instructor for Camp Merrie-Woode, in North Carolina where she plans to return this summer. She will choreograph musicals and serve as the evening program coordinator using skills learned in her Dance and Hospitality minors. The Division of Performing Arts is proud of Bri’s role as the president of the Multicultural Student Coalition and her representation on C.O.D.I.E. Through those activities she has helped change the composition of our programs and enabled us to consider programing with diverse populations and non-traditional casting.

Instrumental Music Award

Stephanie Ko

Stephanie Ko, a Chemistry major from Audubon, PA is the Division of Performing Arts 2021 Instrumental Music Award. According to Chamber Orchestra Conductor, John Vaida, “Stephanie has been an integral member of the Chamber Orchestra since she arrives on campus. She is dedicated, hard-working, and possesses an earnest desire to learn and grow as a musician and person. It has been a rewarding experience for me to have seen her develop over the past four years.” Her important research includes: Synthesis and Characterization of Benzo[a]benzo[5,6][1,4]oxazino[3,2-c]phenoxazine and Its Potential Use as an Organic Semiconductor, 2018 – 2021, Department of Physics with Dr. Amjad Nazzal and Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry with Dr. Amy Bradley Prehospital Use of Ultrasound for Safe and Accurate Needle Thoracostomy, Spring 2021, Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital with Dr. Zachary Dewar and Dr. Christopher Berry, Emergency Department. She has been the recipient of the following prizes and awards: Burns Scholar, 2018 – present, American Chemical Society Undergraduate Award in Analytical Chemistry, Spring 2019, Dean’s List/Provost’s Letter of Distinction, Bone Award for Academic Achievemen, Spring 2021 and the Bastress Award for Research Excellence, Spring 2021. In addition to the orchestra Stephanie was the Chemistry Club Treasurer (2019-2020) and President (Fall 2020). After graduation she will be attending medical school at Penn State College of Medicine.

Instrumental Music Award

David Miller

David Miller is among the best and brightest student musicians to ever perform with Wilkes Music Ensembles. He began performing on clarinet with the Civic Band in his sophomore year in high school, as a first-year member of the young scholars program. David continued his participation in Civic Band each semester through his senior year, and he also performed with Wilkes Chamber Orchestra, Concert Choir and Chamber Singers. David will graduate with three majors from the Sidhu School of Business; accounting, corporate finance, and financial investments, as well as three minors; Economics, Business Analytics and of course, music. His cumulative GPA is 3.6. In his spare time, David performed with the Pennsylvania Intercollegiate Band in 2019 and 2020, the College Band Director’s National Association Northeastern Region Intercollegiate Band in 2020, and The Skyliners Drum and Bugle Corps. Offices David held at Wilkes include; President of the Finance Club, Treasurer of Kappa Kappa Psi National Music Fraternity, and Delta Mu Delta International Honor Society. Following graduation David plans to move to Washington DC where he has accepted a position as a Financial Advisor for Prudential Financial. The Faculty and Staff of the DPA wish David well in his post Wilkes life.

Outstanding Graduate for the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

Juan Astegiano

College of Science and Engineering

Outstanding Research Student in Biology

Jason DeBoard

Jason DeBoard of Avoca, PA is the son of Lynn and John DeBoard. He graduated from Pittston Area High School. At Wilkes, he is earning both a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience. Jason is minoring in Chemistry and Psychology. While at Wilkes, Jason has been active in a leadership capacity in a variety of extracurricular pursuits, including President of Commuter Council, President of American Medical Student Association (AMSA), and Vice President of Study Abroad Club. Jason has also been involved in the Alpha Phi Omega Startup, Psi Chi (Psychology Honor Society), Student Representative on Student Affairs Committee, Student Government Representative, and a valued member of Wilkes’s Wrestling Team. Jason is being recognized for his outstanding efforts in research. As a sophomore and junior, Jason participated in the Acorn / Weevil project under the direction of Dr. Michael Steele. As a senior, Jason is leading a team of students researching the effects of traumatic brain injury on the development of Alzheimer’s Disease. He has presented his research at scientific conferences, including the Human Brain Project, the International Conference on Cognitive Biology: Mind and Brain, the Eastern Colleges Science Conference, and plans to present at the Neurological Disorders Summit. Following graduation, Jason’s goal is to apply and to attend medical school. In the meantime, he has applied to Johns Hopkins University for a Master's in Biotechnology and is waiting for their decision at the end of May.

Outstanding Scholar in Biology/Honors in Biololgy

Jasmin Patel

Jasmin Patel of Clarks Summit is the daughter of Paresh and Ashika Patel. She graduated from Abington Heights High School. At Wilkes, she is a Biology major and is minoring in Chemistry and Spanish – where she is also enrolled in our Honors Program. Her current total Grade Point Average stands at 3.96 in our rigorous Biology Curriculum. Jasmin is the recipient of the Trustee, Kimball, and Reif Scholarships, which are all highly competitive. In addition, the 2021 Luzerne County Dental Society Legacy Scholarship was recently awarded to Jasmin. This award is a cash gift funded by the Luzerne County Dental Society to a student attending a Luzerne County college who is accepted into a dental school, and shows tremendous promise in the field of dentistry. This award is merit-based and is given to an exemplary student who excels in not only academics but has demonstrated both leadership and community service. During her time at Wilkes, Jasmin served as a Vice President for Wilkes’s Chapter of the Tri Beta Honor Society, and has been Class Representative for Wilkes’s Student Government. Jasmin has used her knowledge to benefit other students by serving as a Teaching Assistant for BIO 121, participating in Adventures in Science, helping mentor pre-health science students, and being actively involved with events run through the Office of Student Success. Jasmin conducts research on the extraction of resveratrol from the Japanese knotweed plant under the direction of Dr. William Terzaghi, Dr. Don Mencer, and Dr. Ken Klemow. Jasmin intends a career in dentistry. For several years, she shadowed a variety of dentists, and was so good, that she was hired for a part time position at Quinn, Mariotti and Abod orthodontics, Kingston, PA. Jasmin was accepted to six dental schools, and will attend the University of Pittsburgh in the fall.

Rosenthal Award for Outstanding Student in Organismal Biology

Sean McMonagle

Sean McMonagle of Shavertown, PA is the son of James Jr. and Julie McMonagle. He graduated from Lake-Lehman Senior High School. At Wilkes, he is a Biology Major and an Earth & Environmental Science minor. In addition to being an excellent student, Sean served as President for the Biology Department’s Tri Beta honor society (2020-2021), as Vice President of the Biology Club (2019-2021), and as a Biology Teaching Assistant (2018-2020). During his time at Wilkes, Sean was extensively involved in research on ecological topics. As a sophomore, Sean worked with Dr. Jeff Stratford to monitor wood thrush populations in northeastern Pennsylvania, and with Dr. Mike Steele to study weevil prevalence in acorns along the east coast as well as doing some mammal trapping. Sean’s senior capstone project was aimed at generating accurate habitat suitability models for small mammal populations at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary. Sean’s hobbies include writing, drawing, and hiking with friends. His plan after graduating is to complete the master's program of Middle Level Education here at Wilkes University.

American Chemical Society Section Award

Michael Pettit

Michael is graduating with a major in Chemistry. While at Wilkes his research included The Synthesis of 1-pentyl-3-(1-napthoyl)Indole Analogs As Potential Cannabinoid Receptor Ligands. Michael is a student athlete, a member of the Wilkes men’s swim team. He also served as Chemistry Club president and a teaching assistant for Organic, Analytical Chemistry, and Engineering Chemistry. After graduation, Michael will continue his employment at Noble Biomaterials.

Alfred Bastress Award for Research Excellence

Stephanie Ko

Stephanie, a multiple award recipient, is graduating with a major in Chemistry. While at Wilkes, her research included The Synthesis and Characterization of Benzo[a]benzo[5,6](1,4)oxazino[3,2-c)phenoxazine and its Potential Use as an Organic Semiconductor with Dr. Nazzal. She is an Honors student, played violin in the Wilkes University Chamber Orchestra, served as Chemistry Club treasurer 2019-2020, and president fall 2020, a teaching assistant for Chemistry, and a tutor for Chemistry, Biology, and Physics. After graduation Stephanie will be attending Penn State College of Medicine (Hershey).

Catherine M. Bone Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement and Service

Stephanie Ko

Stephanie, a multiple award recipient, is graduating with a major in Chemistry. While at Wilkes, her research included The Synthesis and Characterization of Benzo[a]benzo[5,6](1,4)oxazino[3,2-c)phenoxazine and its Potential Use as an Organic Semiconductor with Dr. Nazzal. She is an Honors student, played violin in the Wilkes University Chamber Orchestra, served as Chemistry Club treasurer 2019-2020, and president fall 2020, a teaching assistant for Chemistry, and a tutor for Chemistry, Biology, and Physics. After graduation Stephanie will be attending Penn State College of Medicine (Hershey).

Dr. Umid R. Nejib Award for Outstanding Graduate in Electrical Engineering

Nicolas Lorenzo

Nicolas Lorenzo of Howell, New Jersey, is a dual major in Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. Nico has sustained a 4.0 GPA in his four years at Wilkes while also fulfilling the role of speaking captain for the Men’s Lacrosse team. He recently scored his 100th career point, making him the 2nd all-time leading points’ scorer in team history. Combining his academic achievements and his leadership role, Nico often serves as a tutor for his teammates in their technical courses. He is also a member of IEEE, ASME, and the Wilkes Frisbee Club. During the summer of 2019, Nico had an internship with SubCom LLC which was scheduled to resume during the summer of 2020 but was cancelled due to COVID-19. As a result of the work that Nico did for the company, they offered him a positon as a Calibration Database Consultant during winter break to manage the migration of their calibration records. Nico has been a client of the Allan P. Kirby Center at Wilkes University since his first semester. He has been working on manufacturability and performing market analytics on his original game board design with the intention of filing a provisional patent application and licensing the game in the near future. Nico has been accepted into the Masters of Electrical Engineering programs at University of Connecticut and Stevens Institute of Technology. He is in the interview process with multiple companies including Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, T&M Associates, DLB Associates, and Sargent & Lundy. After graduation, Nico plans to obtain full-time employment while continuing his education on a part-time basis.

Electrical Engineering Service Award

Kristopher Smetana

Kristopher Smetana of Stockholm, New Jersey, is graduating with his Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering with minors in Physics and Computer Engineering. Kris is the vice president of the student chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers at Wilkes University as well as a member of the professional association outside of the University. He has participated in a departmental work study, tutoring, proctoring, and assisting in various undergraduate physics and electrical engineering courses. Kris has been a member of the Marching Colonels program each available year at Wilkes University. He has also been the recipient of the Walter S. Carpenter Scholarship in Engineering and has been on the Dean’s list for majority of the collegiate career. Much of Kris’s undergraduate research has been guided by Dr. Abas Sabouni focusing on evaluating the different properties between circular and elliptic conducting enclosures. He is exploring the opportunity to take the Fundamentals of Engineering examination (FE exam), to work on ultimately obtaining his professional engineering licensure. Kris plans to pursue his career opportunities in the field of general electrical engineering or power engineering.

Frederick E. Bellas Award for Outstanding Physics Graduate

Hunter Bowman

Hunter Bowman from Tunkhannock, PA, is a dual major in Electrical Engineering and Physics. In his first 3 years at Wilkes, Hunter has worked with Dr. Nazzal on a project to analyze the motion of a damped Harmonic Oscillator under constant friction. He used Matlab to write codes that would analyze the motion from an energy approach, instead of the traditional Equation of Motion approach. During his senior year, Hunter started a project, under the supervision of Dr. Nazzal, to analyze the electronic structure of group IV alloys using Density Functional Approach. Hunter has used his knowledge and expertise to tutor for Introductory Physics courses, grade for Physics labs, and TA for physics labs. Hunter has received a TA/RA from the Electrical Engineering Department at PSU where he will pursue his Ph. D in EE starting Fall 2021.

 

Outstanding Achievement in Environmental Engineering

Steffen Horwath

Steffen Horwath, Doylestown, PA, is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering and a minor in Geology and was in the Honors Program. He is this year’s recipient of the Outstanding Achievement in Environmental Engineering Award. Steffen has been involved with research projects with several members of the Department of Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences during his time at Wilkes. Steffen completed an internship with Carroll Engineering Corporation. He has worked with Dr. Troy on Environmental Sustainability and Zero Waste projects and presented the results at the 2018 and 2019 Wilkes University Research Symposiums. Steffen has also worked with Dr. Frederick on Pennsylvania Stormwater Management issues and will be submitting the results to the Keystone Water Quality Manager – the Pennsylvania Water Environment Association’s Technical Publication. Steffen’s Senior Project Capstone Project entails research on Reducing Pollutant Loading Through Stormwater Management Processes. Steffen was also a member of a Wilkes team that competed to solve a theoretical transportation issue in Quebec City at the 2019 Air and Waste Management Association’s Annual Conference in Quebec City, Canada. Also, during his time at Wilkes, Steffen has served as the Assistant Director of Alternative Music for WCLH and as a photographer for the Beacon. Steffen has served as President of the Geo-Explorers, and Students for Environmental Sustainability. Upon graduation, Steffen has accepted a position SET Engineering, LLC, Durango, CO.

Outstanding Achievement in Environmental Science

Kayla Eller

Kayla Eller is graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and another Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Science with a concentration in Earth Sciences. She is this year’s recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award in Environmental Sciences. Kayla has worked with Dr. Michael Steele on research regarding squirrel behavior and on tracking/estimating Borne Virus presence in squirrel populations. With Dr. Steele, she has also conducted field research at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary to collect small rodent presence data, as well as acorn and other physical data collections to contextualize and understand the changing population of small rodents within the region. She presented a poster on this work at the American Mammalogical Society Conference in June 2019. This work also served as a premise for Kayla to develop her senior project topic on modeling and predicting the presence of small rodent species in a broader area around Hawk Mountain Sanctuary and identifying environmental factors that are the best predictors of small rodent populations for the area. Kayla is working on this project with Dr. Steele, Dr. Stratford, and Dr. Karimi and another student colleague. Beyond her academic and research endeavors, Kayla is the current president of the Biology Club, was the saxophone section leader for the Wilkes Marching Colonels for the 2018 and 2019 seasons, and is a member of Tri-Beta, the Biology Honors Society. Upon graduation, Kayla plans on spending some time in the environmental industry/consulting sector and serving in the Peace Corps before attending graduate school to earn a doctorate in Ecology, with an end-goal of one day becoming a University Professor.

Outstanding Achievement in Geology

Ryan Wysocki

Ryan Wysocki is the recipient of this year’s Academic Achievement Award for Geology. Ryan completed his senior research project under the mentorship of Dr. Matt Finkenbinder where he developed a lake sediment-based paleoclimate record from Crawford Lake in southern Ontario. He received the Garmin Research Award in 2018 and worked with Dr. Bobak Karimi on a project to assess the carbon sequestration potential of the Devonian age Oriskany Sandstone in central Pennsylvania. He presented the results of this project in the form of a poster at the Geological Society of America, Northeast Regional Section Meeting in Portland, Maine in the spring of 2019. Ryan also received the GNEISS Scholarship in 2019 to attend the Field Conference of Pennsylvania Geologist’s annual fieldtrip focused on the geologic history of the Triassic basin in east-central Pennsylvania. After graduation, Ryan plans to attend West Chester University to complete the capstone Geology Field Camp course and to pursue a Master’s degree in Geoscience.

Outstanding Leadership Award in Environmental Engineering and

Kayla Acker-Carter

Kayla Acker-Carter, Annapolis, MD, is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering and a minor in Sustainability Management. Kayla is this year’s recipient of the Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences (EEES) Department’s Outstanding Leadership Award. Kayla has served as a student ambassador for the Wilkes University Admissions Office. She has also provided lab support to the EEES Department as a Work-Study Student. Kayla is President of the Wilkes University Student Chapter of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and is a member of the Wilkes’ Student for Environmental Sustainability (SES) Club, Air and Waste Management Association and Cheer Team. Kayla is also a member of the Wilkes team participating with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Agency’s Local Climate Assistance Program where she is working with the government of Middletown Township, PA to help them develop their climate action plan. Her senior capstone project entails the Design of a Minnesota Filter to Treat Phosphorus in Stormwater Runoff. Kayla is a recipient of the Ray Diversity Fellowship – Cultivating Environmental Leader of Color. She will be working at the Rocky Mountain Institute in Colorado.

Earth Sciences

 

 

 

Outstanding Senior Award in Computer Science

Adam Abad

Adam is one of two winners of this award for computer science. He is graduating with a major in Computer Science, minor in Mathematics with a 3.62 GPA. He was involved in Web development and UI with Dr. Anthony Kapolka and his senior project involved Mobile app development. Adam is currently seeking employment in data science or web development.

Outstanding Senior Award in Computer Science

James Patience

James is the second of two winners of this award for computer science. He is graduating with a major in Computer Science and a 3.56 GPA.

Outstanding Achievement in Mechanical Engineering

Jacob Demler

Jacob Demler served as a peer tutor for multiple math classes such as calculus I & II, differential equations, and multivariable calculus, as well as chemistry, physics, statistics, and philosophy. He received the Francis & Louis Maslow Memorial Scholarship and maintained a 3.95 overall GPA while pursuing a major in Mechanical Engineering. Jacob strived to challenge himself, adding a minor in Engineering Management his third semester and another minor in Mathematics his final semester. He served as an E-mentor for first year students his sophomore year, and captain of the Wilkes Ultimate Frisbee Club his junior year. Following graduation, Jacob will join Talen Energy at their Susquehanna Steam Electric Station nuclear power plant as a procurement engineer.

Top Academic Performer in Mechanical Engineering

Nicolas Lorenzo

Nico is an electrical and mechanical engineering dual major with a 4.0 GPA. He is also a 4-year offensive specialist and a senior captain of the Wilkes Lacrosse Team. He is the recipient of multiple scholarships, including the Walter S. Carpenter Engineering Scholarship and the Trustee Scholarship. Nico was the project manager for his senior project group. The five-student team worked to develop a wireless charging system for deep body implanted devices. While holding internship and consultant positions at SubCom LLC, Nico programmed multiple deliverables for the program management group. Following graduation, Nico plans to pursue a full-time job in the electrical engineering field while completing a Master of Electrical Engineering.

Mechanical Engineering Service Award

Macoy Auman

Macoy Auman is a senior mechanical engineering student at Wilkes University from Turbotville, PA. While at Wilkes, he has served the mechanical engineering department as a Teaching Assistant for several classes, including scientific programming, Statics, Strengths of Materials, Dynamics, Vibrations, and Vibrations Lab. He currently holds a GPA of 3.71. After graduation, he intends to pursue a career in the design of medical devices.

Outstanding Graduate Student in Mechanical Engineering

Richard Supkowski

Richard Supkowski is a well-rounded student with an exemplary academic record. This academic achievement earned him the Outstanding Graduate in Mechanical Engineering Award for 2021. In addition to his core studies, Rich previously graduated in 2020 from Wilkes majoring in Mechanical Engineering with minors in engineering management and physics. He is the recipient of several scholarships such as the ACEC/PA Scholarship, the BCXA Scholarship, the Alan David Sherman Scholarship and the Genevieve Todd Brennan Scholarship. Rich’s scholarly accomplishments are not limited to his stellar grades. He has worked on a project over the last few months to synthesize nanoparticles chemically using a thermal decomposition method. He has also engaged in undergraduate research with his academic advisor, Dr. Mohsen Ghamari, and has presented at conferences through his employer, Borton-Lawson. He converted MatLab code into the Python platform to model enhanced single-droplet combustion and even taught his research advisor some Python code. Rich held the distinction of being a top three finalist for the 2019 Young Professionals Intern of the Year Award from the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce. He served as a GTA for Mechanical Engineering over the last two semesters. Rich served as vice president of the Wilkes ASME Student Chapter in 2018-19 and as president in 2019-20. He plans to continue his full-time career as a mechanical designer at Borton-Lawson in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Warmest congratulations, Rich, on your many accomplishments. We wish you the best in all your future endeavors.

College of Science and Engineering Research Award

Steffen Horwath

Steffen Horwath will be graduating with a BS in Environmental Engineering and a minor in Geology. He has successfully passed the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam and is now an Engineer-in-Training (EIT). In addition to being in the Honors Program, Steffen has had an active research agenda during his time at Wilkes. Steffen has been involved with independent research projects in the Department of Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences since his freshman year. He also presented the results of these projects on Environmental Sustainability and Zero Waste at the 2018 and 2019 Wilkes University Research Symposium. It should be noted that during the 2018 Symposium he met with the Dr. Anne Skleder, the Provost at that time. She was very impressed with his poster presentation and could not believe he was a first-year student and remarked about this at a subsequent full-faculty meeting. Steffen has also been an active member of the Wilkes University Student Chapter of the Air and Waste Management Association where he was part of a Wilkes team that competed to solve a theoretical transportation issue competition that was held at the 2019 Annual Conference in Quebec City, Canada. Most recently his recent research focus has been on stormwater management issues. His senior capstone project entailed Reducing Pollutant Loading Through Stormwater Management Processes. He has also been working with Dr. Holly Frederick on a project which involved surveying Pennsylvania municipalities to learn about the current state of stormwater management in Pennsylvania. They will be submitting their results to the Keystone Water Quality Manager – the Pennsylvania Water Environment Association’s Technical Publication. Steffen and his colleagues also recently made a virtual presentation on this work to the Pennsylvania Water Environment Association’s Stormwater Committee (April 2021). Upon graduation, Steffen has accepted a position with SET Engineering, LLC, Durango, CO.

Outstanding Graduate for the College of Science and Engineering

Nicolas Lorenzo

Jay S. Sidhu School of Business and Leadership

Academic Achievement Award - Accounting

Kacee Diehl

Drums, PA

Kacee Diehl is receiving the Academic Achievement Award in Accounting, the Academic Achievement Award in Finance, and the PICPA Award for Excellence in Accounting. Kacee earned the KPMG/John R. Miller scholarship, the NFHCA Scholar of Distinction from 2017-2020, Mid Atlantic conference Sportsmanship Team 2018, MAC Academic Honor Roll 2017-2020 as well as the Dean's List. Kacee has also worked on Best Undergraduate Research Proposal Presentation at the 2019 Tourism, Hospitality, and Event conference for Researchers, Educators, Practitioners, and Students (THEREPS). Kacee has played for the Wilkes field hockey team, worked as a student ambassador in Admissions, was an E-Mentor for two years, and served as the junior coordinator for the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance. Program. After graduation, Kacee will be employed as an Audit Associate for KPMG in the Harrisburg Office and plans to begin studying for the CPA Exam.

Academic Achievement Award - Finance

Kacee Diehl

Drums, PA

Kacee Diehl is receiving the Academic Achievement Award in Accounting, the Academic Achievement Award in Finance, and the PICPA Award for Excellence in Accounting. Kacee earned the KPMG/John R. Miller scholarship, the NFHCA Scholar of Distinction from 2017-2020, Mid Atlantic conference Sportsmanship Team 2018, MAC Academic Honor Roll 2017-2020 as well as the Dean's List. Kacee has also worked on Best Undergraduate Research Proposal Presentation at the 2019 Tourism, Hospitality, and Event conference for Researchers, Educators, Practitioners, and Students (THEREPS). Kacee has played for the Wilkes field hockey team, worked as a student ambassador in Admissions, was an E-Mentor for two years, and served as the junior coordinator for the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance. Program. After graduation, Kacee will be employed as an Audit Associate for KPMG in the Harrisburg Office and plans to begin studying for the CPA Exam.

Academic Achievement Award - Management

Vanessa Musto

Forty Fort, PA

Vanessa is receiving the Academic Achievement Award in Management. Vanessa has achieved Summa Cum Laude with her 4.0 grade point average, earning a place on the Dean's List (Spring 2018-Fall 2020). She also served on the Jay S. Sidhu School of Business & Leadership Dean's Student Advisory Board as Social Media Manager since the Fall of 2019. Vanessa has also served on the student panel at Northeast Business Deans Association conference in the Fall of 2019 at a panel discussing Sidhu School's curriculum. After graduation Vanessa will be continuing on her education path to earn a Master's in Business Administration.

PICPA Award for Excellence in Accounting

Kacee Diehl

Drums, PA

Kacee Diehl is receiving the Academic Achievement Award in Accounting, the Academic Achievement Award in Finance, and the PICPA Award for Excellence in Accounting. Kacee earned the KPMG/John R. Miller scholarship, the NFHCA Scholar of Distinction from 2017-2020, Mid Atlantic conference Sportsmanship Team 2018, MAC Academic Honor Roll 2017-2020 as well as the Dean's List. Kacee has also worked on Best Undergraduate Research Proposal Presentation at the 2019 Tourism, Hospitality, and Event conference for Researchers, Educators, Practitioners, and Students (THEREPS). Kacee has played for the Wilkes field hockey team, worked as a student ambassador in Admissions, was an E-Mentor for two years, and served as the junior coordinator for the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance. Program. After graduation, Kacee will be employed as an Audit Associate for KPMG in the Harrisburg Office and plans to begin studying for the CPA Exam.

Professor Ted Engle Award for Excellence in Finance

Taylor Bommarito

Sterling Heights, MI

Taylor Bommarito is receiving the Ted Engle Award for Excellence in Finance. Taylor has served as the Vice President at Wilkes University Finance and Investment Club, Intercollegiate Leadership of Wilkes-Barre Club, NCAA Student Athlete advising club as well as playing on Wilkes University Men's Ice Hockey team. Taylor’s research includes the impact and logistics of securitized tokens on the private equity secondary market with Dr. Hughes and Dr. Wang. Taylor presented the research at the 2021 Sidhu School Research Symposium. After graduation, Taylor will be working as an Associate Financial Advisor at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Dean's Award for Excellence in Management

Joshua Eckman

Lehighton, PA

Joshua is receiving the Dean's Award for Excellence in Management. A consistent Dean’s List student, Joshua has received the Jason ‘90 and Tamara Griggs Scholarship for Civic Responsibility, Roy H Pollack Scholarship, as well as the Provost's Letter of Academic Distinction. Joshua has been working as the Lead student Ambassador with the Wilkes admission and is an active member of Wilkes Adventure Education. Josh’s extensive service to Wilkes includes membership in the Wilkes Hospitality Leadership Club, Wilkes Sports Management Club, Wilkes Marching Colonels/Wilkes Pep Band and Wilkes IEEE (institute of Electrical Engineers). Joshua plans after graduation to pursue a management career developing internal operational strategy and market position.

Academic Achievement Award - Marketing

Xavier Abdella

Albany, NY

Xavier is receiving the Academic Achievement Award in Marketing. In addition to his excellent academic performance, Xavier has been a member of the Wilkes Men's Ice Hockey team, is a representative for Student Athlete Advisory committee as well as Kirby Scholar of Marketing/Digital Design. Xavier is graduating Summa Cum Laude. Xavier will be entering the MBA program at Wilkes University upon his graduation.

Academic Achievement Award in Sports Management

Lauren Baldwin

West Abington, PA

Lauren Baldwin is receiving the Dean's Award for Excellence in Sports Management and Academic Achievement Award in Sports Management. Lauren has participated in the Sidhu School Center for Business and Leadership as a Research Assistant. Lauren is a member of the Delta Mu Delta Society, was recognized as the 2020 "Colonel Elite '' as well as the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the NFHCA Division III Academic Squad. Lauren has also received the Zag Field Hockey / NFHCA Division III National Academic Award and earned the Fall Sports MAC Academic Honor Roll. Lauren is Captain of the Wilkes University Field Hockey Team and serves as a member of the Wilkes University SAAC. Lauren's plans after graduation is to continue education in an MBA program as well as serving as Intern in Social Media Marketing for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

Academic Achievement Award - Hospitality Leadership

Emily Cholin

Williamsport, PA

Emily Cholin is receiving the Academic Achievement Award in Hospitality Leadership. Emily is a member of the Delta Mu Delta and has been the President of the Hospitality Leadership club since September 2019. Emily has been active with Wilkes University Admissions during her tenure and has been Lead Admissions Ambassador since Sept 2019. Emily is a research assistant for Dr. Hye Ryeon Lee and has presented three papers at two conferences with one of them being in Las Vegas and the other a virtual conference in 2021. Upon graduation, Emily has accepted a position at the River House at Odett's in New Hope, PA as a Food and Beverage Graduate intern for the summer and is hoping to move into a management position after the summer.

Dean's Award for Excellence in Marketing

Richard Ermeus

Sparta, NJ

Richard Ermeus is receiving the Dean's Award for Excellence in Marketing and is the Outstanding Sidhu School graduate for 2021. . Richard has received the Mid Atlantic Conference student-athlete high Academic Honor roll as well as Outstanding Athlete 2020. Richard delivered the Welcoming Address to the largest incoming class in Wilkes University history in 2018. Richard serves as the President of the Dean's Student Advisory Board, is a Student Athlete on the Wilkes Football team, and Resident Assistant for the Upperclassmen Dormitories, He also serves as the Admissions Student Ambassador and Office Assistant to the Wilkes University President’s Office. Upon graduation Richard will be returning to pursue his MBA degree from Wilkes University. He has also earned a position as a Graduate Assistant in the Marketing Communications department where he will continue to give back to the Wilkes community.

Dean's Award for Excellence in Sports Management

Lauren Baldwin

West Abington, PA

Lauren Baldwin is receiving the Dean's Award for Excellence in Sports Management and Academic Achievement Award in Sports Management. Lauren has participated in the Sidhu School Center for Business and Leadership as a Research Assistant. Lauren is a member of the Delta Mu Delta Society, was recognized as the 2020 "Colonel Elite '' as well as the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the NFHCA Division III Academic Squad. Lauren has also received the Zag Field Hockey / NFHCA Division III National Academic Award and earned the Fall Sports MAC Academic Honor Roll. Lauren is Captain of the Wilkes University Field Hockey Team and serves as a member of the Wilkes University SAAC. Lauren's plans after graduation is to continue education in an MBA program as well as serving as Intern in Social Media Marketing for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

Dean's Award for Excellence in Hospitality Leadership

Matthew Daniels

Nanticoke, PA

Matt is receiving the Dean's Award for Excellence in Hospitality Leadership. Matt has been on the Dean's List since Fall 2018. Matt’s active research includes a research project investigating how hotels can advertise their green activities on their websites and social media in order to attract more customers of the younger generation. Matt submitted and presented his paper “How can Hotels Effectively Communicate with Green Consumers" at WFChire Conference in Feb 2021. After graduation Matt will be working at Edgewood by Sand Springs in an upper management position to help him obtain his ultimate goal to be a General Manager of a golf course.

Academic Achievement Award - ABBA

Kelsey McCullough

Glen Rock, PA

Kelsey is earning her Academic Achievement Award for ABBA. Kelsey has served in numerous offices and activities before transferring to Wilkes University. Kelsey also presented a paper at conferences. Her goal for after graduation is to continue her work for the family business - Red Barn Home Renovations which works to renovate and restore old homes in south Central Pennsylvania. Her career goal is to work as a project manager and managing the design and construction teams.

Dean's Award for Excellence

William Deemer

Kingston, PA

William Demmer is receiving the Dean's Award for Excellence in Business Administration. William has been an employee with Wilkes University as an Electrician since November 2015. William has been a Journeyman Electrician with nearly 25 years of progressive experience in mechanical, electrical and specialty constructions. After graduation William will continue to work for the facilities department at Wilkes University and hopes to apply his education within his department for future opportunities with the University.

Academic Achievement Award - MBA

Aron Bender

Mountain Top, PA

Aron is receiving the Academic Achievement Award for the Masters in Business Administration. Aron graduated Cum Laude from Wilkes University in 2008. Aron is an IT professional with over 20 years in technical experience. His skills include Project Management, Critical Thinking, and Pressure Management. Aron has been employed since January 201 with CornellCookson, Inc. as a Lead Developer. Earning the President's Award from CornellCookson in 2013. Aron's plans for graduation is to maintain employment with CornellCookson in Mountain Top and thanks to Wilkes University and the past 2 years, he is in the process of being promoted to a management role where Aron will have extended authority in the company's distributor's online experience.

Academic Achievement Award - MBA

Paige Gallagher

Luzerne, PA

Paige is receiving the Academic Achievement Award for the MBA program. She completed her undergraduate degree in the top 10% of her undergraduate class and was previously included on the Wilkes University Honors Dean’s List. Paige has served as the President of the Wilkes University Class of 2018, previous board member of the Wilkes University Alumni Associations. She also worked as an intern to the President's office at Wilkes University as well as being inducted to the Alpha Chi Honors Society member. After graduation Paige plans to take a full time position as Advancement Coordinator for Wilkes University.

Academic Achievement Award - MBA

Katie Lykon

Larksville, PA

Katie is receiving the Academic Achievement Award for the MBA Program. She was inducted into Delta Mu Delta Honor Society and advanced her knowledge in sustainability practices by achieving her Sustainability Management Certificate. She also completed a case study with a local organization of Luzerne County by conducting a sustainability report including ways to improve the organization. Katie currently works within the Shine office at Wilkes University for grades pre-K to 12 in six school districts throughout Luzerne County. After graduation, Katie will continue working within the Shine Department as well as look to advance her career at Wilkes University.

Academic Achievement Award - MBA

Lance Mabus

Laporte, PA

Lance is receiving the Academic Achievement Award for the MBA program. Lance has worked on research including: Leadership and Lying in Battlestar Galactica, Remote Possibilities in Worker's Compensation as well as Establishing K-12 Pandemic-Proof In-Person and Virtual Learning. Lance has been awarded the Best Dressed Coach at the 2020 PIAA Wrestling Championships and his other extracurricular activities include chairman of the Laporte Enhancement Committee and Coach for Sullivan County School District in wrestling, soccer, math and track. After graduation, Lance plans to work as the Technology director at Sullivan County School District.

Academic Achievement Award - MBA

Tian (Katherine) Ran

Dallas, PA

Katherine is receiving the Academic Achievement Award for the MBA Program. Katherine comes to Wilkes University after receiving her Ph.D. in Psychology in Beijing, China. While in Beijing, she was also an Assistant Director for the National Centre for the Performing Arts. Katherine’s volunteer work is extensive and includes publishing social media content on Facebook and Twitter for CRRC Corp since 2017. Katherine’s immediate plans after graduation include awaiting the arrival of her child due in August 2021.

Academic Achievement Award - MBA

Evan Stollicker

Syracuse, NY

Evan is receiving the Academic Achievement Award for the MBA Program. While a Wilkes University undergraduate student, Evan was awarded with the Honors Program Community Leadership Award and the Academic Achievement Award in Sport Management. He was also the Wilkes MBA Representative at the 2020 Young Professional's Conference held in Wilkes-Barre. He was inducted into both the Colonels Elite, and the Delta Mu Delta International Business Honor Societies and also received the Academic All MAC Conference Division III athlete designation as well as first Team All MAC conference Division Ill athlete designation. Evan has worked as a Graduate Assistant for the Allan P. Kirby Center for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship. After graduation, he plans to move back to hometown Syracuse, NY and join Enterprise Holdings as an employee in their Management Trainee Program

Outstanding Graduate for the Jay S. Sidhu School of Business and Leadership

Richard Ermeus

Sparta, NJ

Passan School of Nursing

Clinical Excellence Award

Gabrielle Sarni

Gabby has received the Clinical Excellence Award for the Passan School of Nursing Class of 2021. Her research has included the comparison of “The comparison of infant outcomes for premature infants that are breast fed in mothers with HIV, Kangaroo care of premature infants and with the traditional care of premature infants”. During her academic journey Gabby has been on the Dean’s List each semester from 2018-2020, was inducted into Sigma Theta Tau the International Honor Society for Nursing, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and Psi Beta Honor Society. She was on the Sussex County Community College Dean’s List (2016-2018), and was recognized as the Woman of the Year- Sussex County Community College. Gabby’s extracurricular activities included being a Member of the Society of Student Nurses, Alzheimer Awareness Walk, Night to Shine which is a prom type activity for individuals with developmental difficulties, Inclusive Sports Day, St. Anthony’s Parrish food drive (meals to go), Covid-19 Assurance Testing on Wilkes campus, and flu and covid-19 vaccination clinics. She has accomplished all of these activities while maintaining a GPA of 3.8. Following graduation she has accepted a position in the Emergency Department of Newton Memorial Hospital. Her further aspirations are to attend Graduate School to become a Family Nurse Practitioner.

Academic Excellence Award

Katherine Shenot

Katie has received the Academic Excellence for the Passan School of Nursing for the class of 2021. Katie’s research question was the “Comparison of patient outcomes for screening of people with Alzheimers disease during each primary care office visit and upon each hospital admission with a focus on pain management and early interventions”. Katie has received the Presidential Scholarship, has named to the Dean’s List for 7 semesters, was inducted into the Wilkes University Zeta Psi National Honor Society for Nursing in the Spring of 2020, and was inducted into the National Society of Leadership and Success in the Spring of 2019. She has participated as a Representative on the Wilkes University Student Government Class of 2021, a member of the National Student Nurses’ Association, and a member of Society of Student Nurses. Katie has participated in flu and covid-19 vaccination clinics, Assurance testing, fundraising activities for nursing student organizations, Alzheimer walks, and participated in community service including card making for nursing home residents. Katie has accomplished all of this while maintaining a GPA of 3.96. Following graduation she has accepted a position at WellSpan York Hospital on the Cardiovascular Step-Down Unit. Plans to attend graduate school to become a Geriatric Nurse Practitioner or a nurse educator.

Outstanding Leadership Award

Alanah Guerrero

Alanah has received the Leadership Award for the Passan School of Nursing Class of 2021. Her research question was “In adolescents is sexual education shown to result in a decrease incidence of sexually transmitted disease compared to no sexual education”. During her academic experience she has received the Residence Life’s Outstanding Committee Work Award, Two years of the Service Award from Student Government, and Residence Assistant of Year Award. She has been the guest speaker at Open House Orientation events and the guest speaker at the convocation for freshman students. Alanah had been involved with numerous activities while at Wilkes. Those activities include: Covid vaccination clinics at Hazelton General and Wilkes-Barre General Hospitals, Chair of Residence Life Tradihobs Committee, Student body president, President of the Society of Student Nurses, Resident Assistant Orientation Coordinator, E-Mentor, Interim President of Residence Hall Council, Member of the Homecoming Welcome Team, and a Member of the Presidents Student Advisory Committee. Alanah has maintained a 3.32 GPA during her academic career at Wilkes. Following graduation she has accepted a position in the Emergency Department in a hospital in Delaware. She plans to attend graduate school in the future with a focus on nursing education.

Outstanding Graduate for the Passan School of Nursing

Rebecca Evans

Becky has been awarded the Outstanding Graduate of the Passan School of Nursing for the class of 2021. Her research focus was the question, “The comparison of the use of preventative dressing changes with injury development in critical patients”. Becky has been recognized for her military service and has received several awards while being enrolled at Wilkes. The military accomplishments include: serving in the military in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraque Freedom, received 3 Army Achievement Awards for Exemplary Duty, the Iraq Campaign Medal with 3 campaign stars, Army Commendation Medal three times, the Army Achievement Medal four times, the Nato Metal, a Meritorious Unit Commendation, the National Defense Service Metal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with 2 campaign stars, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon three times, and the Basic Aviation Badge. Becky’s Wilkes achievements include being named to the Dean’s List for 7 semesters, is a member of Sigma Theta Tau the International Honor Society for Nursing, and was named the Outstanding Student of the Semester in the spring and fall of 2020. While enrolled at Wilkes she has been a tutor for biology and for all levels of the traditional and accelerated bachelor degree nursing students. Her community service includes participation in alcohol and opioid awareness events, Alzheimer awareness activities, and participation in flu and covid -19 vaccination clinics. Becky has accomplished all of this while maintaining a GPA of 3.86 and being a mother to 3 children. Upon graduation she has accepted a position as an RN at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Hospital in the Intensive Care Unit. Her future plans include receiving pre-hospital RN certification, CCRN certification, becoming a flight nurse, and returning to graduate school for acute care nurse practitioner certification.

School of Education

Outstanding Elementary and Early Childhood Education Award - 2 winners

Cassandra Novakowski

Nanticoke, PA

Cassie has been recognized as the 2021 Outstanding Elementary and Early Childhood Education Award recipient. Cassie is a member of the International Education Honor Society, Kappa Delta Pi and is extremely active in the Education Club assisting with outreach activities to regional PK-12 educational systems and community. Cassie’s student taught at Kistler–Murray Elementary School in the Wilkes-Barre Area School District and describes this experience as exceeding all her expectations. Cassie’s cooperating teacher has helped her to feel confident and extremely effective in the PK-4 environment, whether it be in-person or virtual. Cassie plans on continuing her graduate studies at Wilkes in the ESL master’s program. We congratulate Cassie and thank her for accepting the call to teach. We know she will be a wonderful role model and will positively impact each child in her classroom.

 

Alexandra Rivera

Wilkes-Barre, PA

Alexandra has been recognized as the 2021 Outstanding Elementary and Early Childhood Education Award recipient. Alexandra has been recognized previously as a recipient of the Jane Carpenter Borr Scholarship and continues her recognition today. She is a member of the International Honor Society, Kappa Delta Pi, as well as an active member in the Education Club. Alex participated in a Professional Learning Community that researched the role of collaboration in virtual and in-person PK-12 environments and hopes to continue this important research when she has her own classroom. Alexandra will be attending Wilkes University to pursue her master’s degree in Educational Strategies. We congratulate Alexandra and are thrilled that she is part of our teaching community. We know that Alex will be an agent of change in her classroom and school district at large.

Outstanding Middle Level Education Award

Kierstin Parricelli

Wilkes-Barre, PA

Kierstin has been recognized as the 2021 Outstanding Middle Level Education Award recipient. Kierstin has been recognized previously as a recipient of the Emily Roat Gino Scholarship and the Wilkes Presidential Scholarship. Kierstin has excelled in her educational studies as well as several extracurricular endeavors that include being the Coordinator of Adventures of Science in 2020, Summer camp group leader in Women Empowered by Science (WEBS), member of Kappa Delta Pi (International Education Honor Society), member of the Education Club, Biology Department Teaching Assistant, and a tutor for the Upward Bound Program. Kierstin completed her student teaching in the Wyoming Area School District in a 100% virtual experience. This experience gave her the experience needed to secure her contract teaching position at Commonwealth Charter Academy as an 8th grade science teacher! Kierstin is one of the most talented teacher education candidates we have had the pleasure to work with and we are excited to see what the future holds for her. Congratulations, Kierstin!

Outstanding Secondary Education Award

Jamie Lapidus

Luzerne, PA

Jamie has been recognized as the 2021 Outstanding Secondary Education Award recipient as well as the overall Outstanding School of Education Graduate. Jamie has been recognized previously as a recipient of the PSEA Retired Teachers Foundation Scholarship. Jamie is a member and secretary of Kappa Delta Pi – the International Education Honors Society and a member of the English Honor Society. Jamie completed both his secondary English and Special Education student teaching placements in the Wyoming Valley West School District during the fall 2020 semester. The district was so impressed with Jamie’s skill set and they were thrilled when a contract position became available. Jamie was hired as a 6th grade learning support teacher in the Wyoming Valley West School District. Jamie is an extraordinary young man, and we know that he will continue to move mountains, so his students find success. Congratulations, Jamie!

Outstanding Special Education Award -2 winners

Kristie Najdek

Long Island, NY

Kristi has been recognized as the 2021 Outstanding Special Education Award recipient. Kristie has been recognized previously as an academic athlete, Colonel Elite, who successfully balanced her Elementary & Early Childhood and Special Education programs with volleyball, not just balancing but excelling in both. Kristie is a member of Kappa Delta Pi – International Education Honor Society, Alpha Lambada Delta National Society, and the Education Club during her time at Wilkes. As a student leader, Kristie continues her dedicated path by serving as the Graduate Assistant in our Wilkes University Master’s Program as well as working as a virtual PK-12 teacher in Long Island, NY. Kristie’s first-hand experience with virtual learning during her student teaching placement in the Wyoming Area and Tunkhannock Area School Districts gave her the tools she needed to find success as a virtual teacher. We congratulate Kristie and thank her for dedication to the field of education. We know that Kristie will be a positive role model to all children.

 

Autumn Shoener

Whte Haven, PA

Autumn has been recognized as the 2021 Outstanding Special Education Award recipient. Autumn has been recognized previously as a recipient of the Sylvia Dworski Scholarship & she is a member of both Sigma Delta Pi and Kappa Delta Pi. Autumn was also selected by the Undergraduate Education Faculty and Staff to speak at the 2021Education Induction Ceremony. Autumn has excelled in her educational studies as well as several extracurricular endeavors that include continuing her craft at the YMCA in their school-age childcare center. Autumn completed her student teaching in the Wyoming Area School District in both Secondary Spanish and Special Education. The administration in the Wyoming Area School District thought so highly of Autumn that she was asked to serve as a substitute teacher while her cooperating teacher was out for a three-week period. Autumn’s plans are to secure a teaching position and continue her master’s degree in Online Teaching or Instructional Technology at Wilkes University. Congratulations, Autumn, we are very proud of you!

Marla Hosie Award

Ana Pac

Ana has been recognized as the 2021 Marla Hosie Award recipient. The Marla Hosie Award is given to a student in the Undergraduate Education Program who shows promise to be a caring, competent, and ethical educator – living the mission of the Education Program at Wilkes University. Ana has been recognized previously as a recipient of the Joanne Basar Scholarship, Odd Fellows Scholarship, Monsignor Andrew J. McGowan Scholarship, First Generation Award, Gateway Scholarship, Guidance Counselor Award, & the Provost Scholarship. Ana has excelled in her educational studies as well as several extracurricular endeavors that include working in the Wilkes University Intramural sports program, lifeguarding and teaching swimming lessons. Ana will begin her senior year in the fall, and she hopes to secure a middle school teaching position after graduation in May 2022. Congratulations, Ana!

Outstanding Graduate for the School of Education

Jamie Lapidus

Luzerne, PA

Honors Program

Honors Program Academic Distinction Award

Marcy Ledvinka

This award recognizes the highest cumulative GPA compared to the number of credits at Wilkes among all Honors students. Marcy Ledvinka earned this award for achieving the highest cumulative GPA (4.0) relative to the highest total number of completed honors credits (25) within the Honors Program cohort of 2021. Marcy is from Parkton, Maryland and has spent most of her time at Wilkes at the Dorothy Dickson Darte Center, taking theatre and dance classes and performing in the theatre department’s productions. Coming in as a Musical Theatre major, Marcy decided she wanted to pursue other passions alongside her major, so she added a Hospitality Leadership and Dance Minor. Her final semester has been her most exciting one, deciding to take several classes outside of the theatre department to explore some of her other interests. This semester she is in Dance Composition, Writing Popular Fiction (an honors course), and Advanced Workshop in Screenwriting. Her favorite memories include the arts at Wilkes. Her sophomore and senior year, she got to attend the Southeastern Theatre Conference to represent Wilkes University at their professional auditions. She has gotten to challenge herself in a variety of roles in the theatre productions, her favorite being Percy Talbott in The Spitfire Grill. Most of the honors courses Marcy has taken have been electives, and she has gotten to expand her knowledge about a variety of subjects like Energy and Sociology. Her favorite memory in the Honors Program is taking Writing Popular Fiction this semester. The class has re-ignited her love for reading and writing, and she enjoys being in class with her fellow Honors Program students. Marcy is very grateful for the opportunities the Honors Program and Theatre department have given her these past four years. Her future plans are uncertain as to what she will be doing next. She is weighing a few options like going to graduate school or working professionally in theatre once the COVID-19 pandemic ends. Regardless, she will be pursuing the arts in some form.

Honors Program Scholarship Award

Juan Astegiano

This award recognizes substantial accomplishment in self-directed, self-motivated academic work such as research and original creative production. Juan Astegiano is from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and is a Political Science & International Relations double major with a minor in History. The relationships he made with friends and professors will always be at the top of his “best of” list during his time here at Wilkes, however, academically he would say his “best of” is his newly discovered love of learning through research. At Wilkes, Juan had the opportunity to engage in many extracurricular research projects under the guidance of his professors. It all started with a research project on Peronism in Argentina which he presented at the Wilkes Research Symposium and the Pennsylvania Political Science Association in 2019. From then on, he presented a history paper at the Wyoming Valley Undergraduate History Conference, received an award for Outstanding Position Paper at the 2020 Model UN Conference, and acted as research assistant for two different professors. All in all, Juan fell in love with research and became passionate about digging deeper and deeper into scholarly articles and books to create his own piece of scholarly work. After graduating from Wilkes University, Juan will be attending Central European University in Vienna, Austria to pursue a Master's of Arts in Economic Policy.

Honors Program Community Leadership Award

Hayley Farrell

This award recognizes substantial leadership of, participation in, and contributions to the Honors Program as well as the greater Wilkes community. Hayley Farrell is a nursing student in Honors from Pittston, Pennsylvania. Throughout her years at Wilkes, she served as a tutor for students in anatomy and physiology. As VP of the Nursing Student Organization (NSO), she helped coordinate blood donation banks for the Wilkes community, Walks to End Alzheimer's events, Ruth's Place donations for the Ruth's Place Women's Shelter, as well as participating in the organization of Night to Shine events for those with special needs. She also presented BLS (Basic Life Support) skills to students in the WEBS program throughout the summer and participated in the making of healthcare presentations for girl scouts in the local area. Before COVID, she was in the process of developing an after school program for students in the Wilkes-Barre Area at the YMCA gym. After graduation, Hayley accepted a position as an ICU Nurse at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, and plans to attend grad school to become a Sports Medicine Nurse Practitioner.