Lehigh Valley student award winners announced

Students in a classroom

Students attend a class at Penn State Lehigh Valley, pre-pandemic.

Credit: Penn State

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — The Penn State Lehigh Valley Student Awards Ceremony honored and celebrated outstanding students for their academic excellence, notable service and exceptional leadership. This year’s award ceremony was held via Zoom on April 27. 

Students honored for outstanding achievement included: 

Eric A. and Josephine Walker Award: Hemil Patel 

This honor recognizes a student who has completed two full years at a Commonwealth Campus, and whose outstanding qualities of character, scholarship, leadership and citizenship have positively influenced fellow students and contributed to the prestige and well-being of his or her campus and hence, to the reputation of the University as a whole. 

Heart of the Lion Award: Lynette Nieves 

The Heart of the Lion Award is presented to a Penn State Lehigh Valley student who has overcome notable obstacles of any kind and has demonstrated grit, gumption and sheer determination. 

Campus Engagement Committee Achieving Student Award: Megan O’Donnell and Hemil Patel 

The Penn State Lehigh Valley Campus Engagement Committee (CEC) awarded scholarships to Penn State Lehigh Valley students.  The recipients for the CEC Achieving Student award were selected for their demonstrated leadership and accomplishments on campus and/or in their local communities. 

2021 President’s Freshman Award: Dylan James Arnold, Fouad Awwad, Alex R Boshnakov, Kaitlyn Elizabeth Carlin, Ryan Carpenter, Matthew Jared Cascioli, Dany Chammas, Aaron David Denker, Alexa Guerrieri, Henry Lawrence Hoffman, Murshed Hyass, Emily Kiefer, Jason Lee, Henry Albert Li, Riggie Lin, Alex Christopher Macri, Shannon McHugh, Samantha Meeker, Hannah Lou Lauren Pais, Garret Andrew Pavlacka, Jonathan Perez, Kelee Kim Phan, Angelica Pirog, Abdul Rahman Rafie, Zara Riaz, Daniel Roose, Jacob Andew Schwartz, Sabrina A Sleiman, Emma Elizabeth Stolinas, Kayla S Vega, James Alexander Waterstradt and Mikayla Wilkins. 

This award is presented annually to undergraduate degree candidates and degree-seeking provisional students who have earned a 4.0 cumulative grade-point average based on at least 12 graded Penn State credits completed during their first semester of admission, Candidates are eligible for this award if they have not exceeded 35 Penn State credits earned. 

2021 President’s Sparks Awards: Guillermo Andres Buelvas, Paul Jay Connolly, Nicholas David George, Tanner Mahlon Hillegas, Josiah W Johnson, Jenna Kurtz, Sherina E Suthakar and Mansi Sunilkumar Desai.  

This award is presented annually to those undergraduate degree candidates who have earned a 4.00 (A) cumulative grade point average based on at least 36 graded Penn State credits completed by the end of the fall semester of the academic year the award is given. Candidates are eligible for this award if they have not exceeded 59 total credits earned. 

The Alexandria Downing Outstanding Student in Sociology Award: Isabella Hanna 

This award is presented to the student who has demonstrated outstanding academic performance and promise in the field of sociology.

First-Year Chemistry Achievement Award: Angelica Pirog

This award is presented to a first-year student for outstanding academic achievement in all four lecture and laboratory courses in chemistry.

Outstanding Student in Biology Award: Sherina Suthakar

This award is presented to a sophomore majoring in biology who has a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above and displays a strong ability for scientific writing, scholarship and a talent for research.

Outstanding Student in Psychology Award: Christopher Fiegel

This award is presented to a junior or senior who has demonstrated outstanding performance in the major.

Outstanding Student in Rehabilitation and Human Services Award: Makayla Brown-Paul and Melissa Mayer

This award is presented to a senior who has demonstrated outstanding performance in the major.

Outstanding Student in Health Policy and Administrative Award: Simon Tomaszewski

This award is presented to a student who exemplifies high academic achievement and leadership and excellence in healthcare engagement and/or research.

Mathematical Excellence Award: Josiah Johnson 

This award is presented to a sophomore who has demonstrated excellence in the calculus, and differential equations series of courses.

Outstanding Student in Marketing/Management Award: Georgia Gonzalez

This award is presented to a senior in the marketing management option who has demonstrated outstanding achievement.

Outstanding Student in Project and Supply Chain Management Award: Hemil Patel

This award is presented to a senior who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in Project and Supply Chain Management.

The Information Sciences and Technology Achievement Award: Quenten Calvano and Yaroslav Naumenko

This is presented to PSU-LV student who has achieved a cumulative GPA of at least 3.67, has earned at least 60 cumulative credits in the IST program by the end of his/her fifth semester and who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and academic achievement.

Outstanding Tutor Award: Vinay Singh

This award is presented to a tutor who has demonstrated knowledge, dedication, and enthusiasm while tutoring fellow students.

Outstanding Student in Corporate Communication Award: Kevin Black and Savannah Malesky

This award is presented to a graduating student who has achieved one of the highest GPA in the major and demonstrated outstanding academic performance and contribution to campus and community welfare.

English Department Award for Exceptional Achievement in Expository Writing: Victoria Sheeler

This award is presented to a student(s) whose writing demonstrates sophisticated analysis or interpretation of literature, and exceptional management of voice, content and form.

Creative Writing Award: Tommy Gutekunst

The Creative Writing Award is our campus's oldest faculty-sponsored award, founded by English faculty member Margaret Smart on her retirement in 1989. The award recognizes the best poetry or short fiction produced by a Penn State Lehigh Valley student during the past academic year. The Creative Writing Award goes to Tommy Gutekunst.

Excellence in Public Speaking Award: Miyeli A Vazquez

This award is presented to a student who demonstrates excellence in public communication.  Criteria for selection includes excellence in researching a speech as part of a PSU-LV course.

Outstanding Student in Biobehavioral Health Award: Simranpreet Kaur 

This award is presented to a student who demonstrates exceptional academic achievement, scholarship and leadership in the major.   

Outstanding Art Student Award: Delycia Echevarria

This award is presented to a student whose work demonstrates excellence in a variety of media for art projects created during courses at PSU-LV.

Outstanding Arts Administration Student Award: Victor Velez

This award is presented to a student who demonstrates outstanding performance in the major.

Outstanding Spanish Student Award: Satbir Saini

This award is presented to student who has earned an A in at least three semesters of Spanish at PSU-LV, and is an active member in classes and activities organized to promote Hispanic culture and has shown serious interest in pursuing language studies.

Students with the highest GPA by college for academic year 2020-21

Agricultural Sciences: Stephen Botek and Hannah Nordstrom

Business Administration: Jenna Kurtz and Paul Connolly

Communications: Steven Bronzo

Division of Undergraduate Studies: Fouad Awwad, Guillermo Buelvas, Nicholas George, Denise Hassick, Abdul Rahman Rafie, Daniel Roose and Sherina Suthakar

Education: Matthew Cascioli and Shannon McHugh   

Earth and Mineral Sciences: Emma Stolinas and Zachary Terefenko      

Engineering: Aaron Denker, Riggie Lin, Alex Boshnakov

Health and Human Development: Hannah Pais and Grace Hambly

Information Sciences and Technology: Henry Hoffman and Satbir Saini

Liberal Arts: Marishelle Pacheco, Zara Riaz, Mikayla Wilkins

Science: Henry Li, Angelica Pirog, Garret Pavlacka

Students with the highest GPA by Lehigh Valley major for academic year 2020-21 

Arts Administration: Allyshia Mohr                              

Biobehavioral Health: Josiah Johnson, Adrian Bachman, and Avery Taylor

Business Administration: Alec Welsh and Mariah Keeler

Corporate Communication: Savannah Malesky and Megan O’Donnell 

Health Policy and Administration: Simon Tomaszewski and Nicole Grazio

Information Sciences and Technology: Yaroslav Naumenko and Mansi Desai

Psychology, Bachelor of Arts: Kayla Vega and Kaitlyn Carlin

Psychology, Bachelor of Science: Riley Koch, Viacmely Jimenez and Rebecca Fuehrer

Rehabilitation and Human Services: Samantha Meeker and Katie Green

Project and Supply Chain Management: Hemil Patel and Conor Heitzer

Schreyer Scholars: Thomas Mikhail and Mikayla Wilkins

Honors Students: Miguel Abadilla, Ferris Abu-Ghosh, Nawal Afzal, Aemen Ali, Askari Asaiil, Princeton Bijou, Connor Chase, Tobey Field, Nicholas George, Manasvini Gurusankar, Thomas Gutekunst, Grace Hambly, Emma Herceg, Delilah Jabbour, Lukas Jones-Godshalk, Christopher Kern, Maya Kita, Samar Latefa, Henry Li, Tyler Lindsay, Andrew Lucas, Kevin Lucas, Ahmad Mahmud, Tyler Mahr, Mahnoor Malik, Jeffrey McConnell, Melanie Mele, Boaz Mokaya, Rima Namous, Robert Palonis, Angelica Pirog, Abdul Rahman Rafie, Daniel Henrick Rodrigues Do Nascimento, Sabrina Santo, Nicholas Saylor, Alexandra Spear, Sherina Suthakar, Miyeli Vazquez, Abigayle Ward and Carlos Zayas-Tatis

Honors Program

Each year, Penn State Lehigh Valley offers students the opportunity to enhance their education by becoming members of the Penn State Lehigh Valley Honors Program. Students take 6 to 9 credits of Honors work while maintaining a high GPA, conducting research with faculty and taking trips to cultural events. They also have a chance to participate in the Honors international travel program. 

Psi Chi International Honor Society members: Kate Byrnes, Christopher Fiegel, Carly Kocher, Thomas Mikhail, Kaitlyn Phifer, Laura Smith, Jonathan Vargas, Kevin Wertz and Margaret Williams 

Psi Chi is the International Honor Society for undergraduates in psychology. Founded in 1929, the society now boasts more than 1,000 chapters and 300,000 lifetime members. Penn State Lehigh Valley’s Chapter was founded in 2005. Psi Chi students are actively involved in psychology on and off the campus.

Sigma Beta Delta International Business Society new members: Tracy Burns, Abby Feichtel, Conor Heitzer, Dominic Lucci, Melody Mendez, Hemil Patel and Nicholas Young

Sigma Beta Delta is an international business society. To be eligible for membership, a business student must rank in the upper 20% of the junior or senior class and be invited to membership by the faculty officers. 

Lambda Pi Eta national communication honorary members: Kevin Black, Ryan Dieterly, Michael Fleisch, Hayley Gizzo, Taylor Hamscher, Olivia Howe, Dillon Lee, Savannah Malesky, Sierra Mamay, Kalista Mitrisin, Megan O’Donnell, Jason Paulus and Madison Shupp

Lambda Pi Eta is composed of communication undergraduate students who have achieved a high level of academic excellence. To be eligible for membership, students must have completed 60 semester hours in undergraduate credit courses; have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0; have completed the equivalent of 12 semester hours in courses in communication; have a grade point average of at least 3.25 in these courses; be in the upper 35 percent of their graduating class; and be currently enrolled as a full-time student in good standing with their institution.