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Penn State Fayette students receive awards for excellence

5/11/2009 —

More than 50 students of Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus received awards for leadership, scholastic excellence and athletic achievements at a special awards banquet May 1.

Among the evening’s top honors were:

The Eric A. and Josephine S. Walker Award, named in honor of the late Penn State President and Mrs. Eric Walker, was presented to John Marcolini. The award was established in 1971 to recognize a full-time undergraduate student who best demonstrates the outstanding qualities of character, scholarship, leadership and citizenship. Marcolini is involved and holds leadership roles in many campus community organizations, such as the Student Activities Committee, Student Government Association, THON Team, Lion Ambassadors, Orientation Team, Diversity Task Force, Lion Players, Coal and Coke Heritage Music Festival Committee, and Soccer Club.  He also is actively involved with Intercollegiate Athletics and volunteers for numerous community service initiatives including the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign, Youth Soccer and Tennis Camps, and Adopt-A-Highway Litter Control.

The Dennis Hippo Memorial Award, in honor of Dennis Hippo, a member of Penn State Fayette’s first graduating class who was killed in action in Vietnam, is presented to one male and one female full-time student each year who most exemplify the attributes and contributions of Dennis Hippo in the areas of service, leadership, campus and community involvement, academic persistence and altruism. This year’s recipients are Eric Long and Heather Vorrasi. Long, a sophomore majoring in nuclear and mechanical engineering, has been highly involved in a variety of campus organizations, including Student Government Association, Lion Ambassadors, Student Activities Committee, Blue and White Society, THON Team, Outing and Adventure Club, Orientation Team, and Pi Sigma Phi Honors Society.  He also has been involved with the “Hoops for Hope” campaign benefiting local charities, and is an Eagle Scout. Vorrasi, a junior majoring in administration of justice, is involved in the Administration of Justice Society, for which she serves as president, and she also is active in the community as a Girl Scout troop leader and with the Salvation Army’s Toys for Tots.

    The Penn State Fayette Student of the Year Award was presented to Brianne Nero. The award recognizes students who demonstrate strong values in teamwork, overcome obstacles to succeed in their endeavors, display altruism, aid in the improvement of the campus as a whole, and possess Penn State spirit. Nero, a sophomore special education major, has been involved in many campus activities, including Pi Sigma Phi Honors Society, Student Government Association, Student Activities Committee, Lion Ambassadors, Business Society, and Christian Club. She also served as the 2009 THON chair, an philanthropic event which raises money for children with cancer. Nero’s leadership helped the campus students raise more than $71,000 for THON.  In addition, Nero serves on the intercollegiate women’s volleyball team.

The Scholastic Excellence Award, sponsored by the Penn State Fayette Advisory Board, is the highest academic award on campus. The Scholastic Excellence Award is based not only on high grades, but also on a rigorous competition of written and oral academic research presentations. This year’s finalists were Ingrid Carlberg, Alicia Daerr and Bobbie Jo Smith. Daerr was the award recipient.

The complete list of student award winners include:

Leadership Awards
•    Eric A. and Josephine S. Walker Award: John Marcolini
•    Dennis Hippo Memorial Award: Eric Long and Heather Vorrasi

University Awards
•    Evan Pugh Scholar Award: Janice Collins
•    Rock Ethics Stand Up Award: Hilary Griffith
•    President Sparks Award: Kayla Nuccetelli, Michael Pecsko and Jessica Smell
•    Freshman President’s Awards: Erick Capenos, Roberto Delgado, Amber DiDominic, Kimberly Heisterman, Brenda Kelley, Jessica Kodric, Cody Spangler, Jill Spencer and Michael Tandarich

Academic Awards
•    Administration of Justice Student of the Year Award:  Vicky Spells
•    Undergraduate Research Award in Biology: Jamel Lewis and Robert Gratson
•    Associates in Business Award: Connie Erminio
•    Bachelors of Science in Business Award: Jared Ealy and Jamie Marciante
•    English and American Studies Award: Cynthia Simons-Bellina
•    Human Development & Family Studies Award: Cathy Zimmerman
•    Kinesiology Award: Bob Whyel (Fall), Christina Wilson (Spring)
•    Leadership Excellence in Mining Award: David Voda
•    Margaret Reilly Skomra Nursing Award: Cynthia Cale
•    Thelma Sandy Award in Nursing: Toni Thomas
•    Philosophy Award: Philip Cooper and Audra Tewell

Campus Awards
•    Student of the Year: Brianne Nero
•    Scholastic Excellence Award Winner: Alicia Daerr
•    Port Family Public Service Award: John Marcolini
•    Rita P. Peters Scholarship: Michael Pecsko
•    Learning Fair Winners: “Coal: Past, Present and Future”—Nancy Chen, Steve Keller, Claire Slack and Cynthia Simons-Bellina
•    Club of the Year Award: Administration of Justice Society

Athletic Awards
•    United States Collegiate Athletic Association Academic All-American Honors:
Lauren Golden, Brianne Nero and Bethany Novotny
•    United States Collegiate Athletic Association All-American Team Honorable Mention: Heather Kelly, Katie Sleasman and Alex Rossi
•    Penn State University Athletic Conference (PSUAC) All-Conference First Team Honors: Heather Kelly, Katie Sleasman and Samantha Hawk (volleyball); Carey Cox (women’s basketball); Jennifer Lewellen, Bethany Novotny and Jennifer Tressler (women’s softball); and Robert Fulton (baseball)
•    PSUAC All-Conference Honorable Mention: Alex Rossi (volleyball)
•    Men’s Baseball MVP: Robert Fulton
•    Men’s Baseball Most Improved: Rich Miller
•    Men’s Basketball MVP: Jonathan Eicher
•    Men’s Basketball Most Improved: Anthony Howard
•    Women’s Basketball MVP: Carey Cox
•    Women’s Basketball Most Improved: Sara Johnson
•    Women’s Softball MVP: Bethany Novotny
•    Women’s Softball Outstanding Leadership: Ashley Ruble
•    Women’s Volleyball: MVP: Heather Kelly
•    Women’s Volleyball Outstanding Freshman: Katie Sleasman

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