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gary b. keefer message from the chancellor

Campus ready for county’s future Our nation is currently experiencing a shortage of graduates in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) disciplines, yet a significant portion of future job growth is projected to be in these areas. High schools students who pursue STEM degrees will have excellent job prospects upon graduation. As a civil/environmental engineer, I am passionate about the role that Penn State Beaver can play in preparing the STEM workforce of tomorrow. I have met and spoken with many STEM business leaders who have shared their difficulty in filling positions with qualified graduates. Locally, this shortage is likely to become even more pronounced as Beaver County is poised for significant growth in the energy and manufacturing sectors in the next decade. Royal Dutch Shell has announced that they have identified a local site for a new multibillion-dollar “cracker plant.” This facility will use the abundant shale gas from our area and convert it to ethylene, the raw material used in the production of plastics, antifreeze, tires, and other related products. The Beaver County site was selected because of the local availability of natural gas and its easy access to the river, interstate system, railways, and Pittsburgh International Airport. This plant will likely attract many new “downstream” businesses that will utilize the ethylene.

Governor Tom Corbett and the Allegheny Conference on Economic Development have called this project the single largest manufacturing initiative in Southwestern Pennsylvania in a generation. When completed, the facility will employ between 400 and 800 people, but at the peak of construction, approximately 10,000 workers will be needed. While Shell had not made a final decision about the project as this magazine went to press, we know that the Beaver County site is the only one being considered. Shell has already spent millions of dollars in analysis and preparation. It appears that the cracker plant is very likely to move forward, but even if it does not occur, there are many other energy-related businesses planning to come to our area. Penn State has a national reputation for producing well-educated, highly qualified graduates in business, engineering, science, and information technology, all of which will be needed to form the core of the professional staff at the new facility. Our campus will play a significant role in preparing area students for these local positions. In fact, engineering is the most popular declared major among incoming freshmen at Penn State Beaver. However, engineering students are faced with extremely challenging courses, and there is an attrition rate of more than 50 percent within the first two years of study. So I am pleased to tell you that our campus has taken the lead in discussing and promoting a strong partnership with our Beaver County schools in order to strengthen STEM education. In mid-February, we partnered with the

amy M. krebs a note to our readers We hope you enjoy this edition of the Penn State Beaver Nittany News. In order to conserve funds and include a full academic year, the magazine will now be published in early summer instead of every fall and spring. Because there was no fall edition, you’ll find some news we wanted to share from spring and summer 2012. Look for the magazine again next June, and thanks for joining us.

Beaver Valley Intermediate Unit to host a kick-off meeting attended by some of our best STEM high school teachers as well as Beaver campus STEM faculty. Through a facilitated, in-depth focus group discussion, the participants identified challenges that school districts face in preparing students adequately for success in college or moving into the workforce directly after graduation. More importantly, the group is exploring the question of why more talented high school and college students are not pursuing STEM careers and how to change that. Our professors and the high school teachers were in almost complete agreement on all of the topics and questions that were raised. While I believe that more questions than answers were identified during this initial session, I was impressed by the participants’ passion about the subject. I was also excited about the possibilities that we have to create a more seamless education process for students in our communities. Beaver County is poised to be the center of a vital and resurgent economy in southwestern Pennsylvania, and I believe our campus is a key player as we move forward with other community leaders and businesses. The future holds a tremendous amount of potential growth for Penn State Beaver, and I assure you that our faculty and staff eagerly await the chance to meet the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Want a free shirt? John Grace ’90 Eng was excited to spot a Penn State Beaver T-shirt on a crowded Michigan street, and we made sure he got one of his own. (Read John’s story starting on page 15.) We’re betting some of you might want a shirt, too. Unfortunately, we can’t give one to everyone, but we are giving away several. LIKE US on Facebook (facebook. com/PSUBeaver) and tell us your favorite memory of your time at the Beave. We’ll pick our favorites and send out some shirts. We might even feature you in an upcoming edition. WE ARE ... PENN STATE BEAVER.


Inside this edition SUMMER 2013



ford focus

on campus

10 Little engine, big impact. When students in one of Jim Hendrickson’s engineering classes took up his challenge to recreate Henry Ford’s first combustion engine with only a $1 budget, they had no idea it would take them all the way to Detroit. 16 Old wheels, new wheels. John Grace has a thing for things that go around, whether it’s high-wheel bikes, Model A Fords, or the shiny new trucks he paints at Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant.

4 Wellness for all. The new Wellness Center is open for business and drawing attention from everyone from students to Penn State President Rodney Erickson. 8 New look. A new patio and seating area being built outside the Brodhead Bistro is one of many projects this summer. 9 End of an era. The Hartenbach house, which stood sentry over campus for years, has succumbed to the passing of time. 22 Outstanding faculty. Two faculty members were honored with top University awards. 24 That Penn State pride. As a student, Amy Gartley loved being at Penn State Beaver. As associate director of student affairs, she hasn’t stopped being one of the campus’s biggest cheerleaders. 29 Overcoming obstacles. Illness and paralysis won’t keep adult student Brenton Rhone from succeeding. 31 View to a murder. A student’s video project could help find a killer.

our alumni



32 Outstanding. Nicholas Andrews wins award for service to the campus and his community. 36 Living on the air. After graduation, Marques White got a job in finance at PNC Bank. It didn’t take him too long to realize that what he really wanted to do was be a TV news anchor.


7 Development update 21 Faculty retirements 21 Faculty and staff awards 22 New faculty appointment 23 Faculty update 28 New staff on campus 28 In Memoriam: Dawn Steele 30 Student awards 38 Athletics news

on the cover

Photo courtesy of the henry ford

Editor Amy M. Krebs

Fax 724.773.3578

Designer Cathy Benscoter


Phone 724.773.3816


© 2013 Penn State Beaver


Penn State Beaver students Jeremy Canonge, left, Russel Diehl and Brodie Schultz supervise Henry Ford Museum engineer Tim Brewer, right, as he learns to operate the campus’s replica of Henry Ford’s first combustion engine at Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Mich. Story page 10.

The Nittany News is a publication of the Penn State Beaver Office of Campus and Community Relations, 100 University Drive, Monaca, PA 15061. Please direct all inquiries about this newsletter to 724.773.3816 or amk6@ This publication is available in alternative media upon request. U.Ed. BR 13-04

Penn State Beaver Nittany News |

33 Alumni update 33 Alumnus’ words make it into President Obama’s speech. 35 In Memoriam: Thomas P. Woolaway 39 Alumni Chapter and Society News




Penn State Beaver Nittany News

Penn State Beaver Chancellor Gary Keefer, Penn State President Rodney Erickson, Penn State Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses Madlyn Hanes and student Steven Dusicsko gather outside the Wellness Center before its dedication Sept. 6.


Wellness for all P

enn State President Rodney Erickson stood above the crowd, his shoulders washed in the afternoon sun cascading through the glass front of Penn State Beaver’s Wellness Center. After years of planning and months of unavoidable delays, the $3.3 million, state-of-the-art facility was finally getting its moment in the sun. “This is a wonderful space,” Erickson said. “The campus looks magnificent.” Story by Zak Taylor ‘12 Com


Photos by Cathy Benscoter

Students work out in the Wellness Center. The center was completed last summer and quickly became a hub of campus activity.

Dr. Jennifer Unis Sullivan, left, Penn State President Rodney Erickson, Dr. Nicholas Unis and Nadine Unis pose in front of the Unis Dental Associates Concession Stand outside the gymnasium at Penn State Beaver.


continued on page 6


whether student or faculty, that was opposed to the project. That went a long way toward getting it done,” said Chancellor Gary Keefer, who joined Erickson on stage, along with Vice President of Commonwealth Campuses Madlyn Hanes and student representative Steven Dusicsko ’13 Bus, then a senior business major. The ample tab for the project was picked up by Beaver campus and other University sources, as well as private donors, according to Director of Finance and Business Luke Taiclet ’82 ’83 Lib, ’85 MEd. In addition, the project had the students’ fi-

nancial support. During the last four years, they designated $400,000 of their student facility fees to help fund the Wellness Center. Many of the students whose fees went into the building knew they wouldn’t be on campus to use it by the time it opened, but they recognized the impact the facility would have on future generations of students. Students were also heavily involved in the design process, thanks to Taiclet and Dr. Chris Rizzo, director of student affairs, who insisted on fostering an open dialogue. Dusicsko, who was involved in the project from the beginning, told the crowd at the dedication that was a key to its success. “We discussed all the different parameters of the Wellness Center, from initial designs to more detailed things like the equipment. It was really nice because there was always a student voice there. There was always student input from beginning to end, and I think that’s really important,” Dusicsko said. “The student input kind of shaped it into what it is now.” Additional funds were donated to the project by Dr. Nicholas Unis; his sister, Dr. Jennifer Unis Sullivan; and his wife, Nadine Unis. They own a dental practice in Hopewell Township and made a generous gift of $25,000, which

Penn State Beaver Nittany News

More than 160 people descended on the 4,980-square-foot building to take part in its dedication Sept. 6. Government officials rubbed elbows with wide-eyed freshmen, while reporters jockeyed for position with campus staff members along the mezzanine overlooking the main floor. The muted popping of cameras drifted above the room. The floor-to-ceiling windows offered guests a panoramic snapshot of the sprawling campus grounds as Erickson lauded the efforts of students, staff, faculty, alumni, and Pittsburghbased WTW Architects. “This simply wouldn’t have happened without everyone pulling together,” Erickson said. “I want to thank the students. They put a high priority on having a facility like this. It was much needed and much awaited.” After breaking ground in March 2011, the project was hit with numerous setbacks. State budget cuts that spring led to a Universitymandated spending freeze, bringing construction to a halt. Once the project was back on track, delays in materials arriving at crucial times added to the wait. Despite these obstacles, students, faculty and administrators pushed on, and on July 24, 2012, the Wellness Center opened for business. “I never spoke to a single person on campus,





Penn State Beaver Nittany News

continued from page 5


enabled the campus to build a new concession stand outside the gymnasium. The stand includes a trophy case that displays athletic achievements of the campus throughout the years. “I wanted to do something for Penn State Beaver because I’m local, and they’re local, and I wanted to support the community. I thought the concession stand was a nice way of doing it,” Nick Unis said. Unis said he has strong ties to the University, and he would like nothing more than to pass on the blue and white torch to his children. “I have four kids, and I hope they all go to Penn State,” he said. “My daughter actually has hopes of going there to be a veterinarian.” Another Beaver alumnus and generous donor to the Wellness Center project was Carl Bartuch ’75 Bus, who made a gift of $100,000 several years ago. Bartuch, who was unable to attend the dedication ceremony, lives in Houston, where he owns High Tech Finishing, the world’s leading supplier of high-quality metal plating finishes for high-end business and luxury aircraft interiors. He also owns Kegg’s Candies, a Houston-based manufacturer of gourmet chocolates, and Bartuch Holdings Ltd., an acquisition investment firm. Though Bartuch has led a successful life, he hasn’t forgotten his roots. He’s continued to support Beaver campus through scholarship donations and his Wellness Center gift. “This is home to me. That played a big role in wanting to help out the campus as much as I could,” Bartuch said. “It brings a lot of great feelings knowing that for decades students will be able to enjoy a new Wellness Center.” With its shimmering facade and its modern blueprint, it’s easy to understand why the Wellness Center has so many people talking. “It’s absolutely spectacular. It’s one of the nicest facilities among our campuses,” Hanes said. Most importantly, it’s the unified front it took to forge ahead with such a major project that makes it a source of pride for all those involved. “I’m proud of the work and effort folks have put into this. It was really a team effort to get the project from concept to reality, from start to finish,” said Rizzo. “What really struck me

Above, local dignitaries, donors and friends of the University gathered with the campus community to dedicate the new Wellness Center at Penn State Beaver in September. At left, President Erickson greets Carin Batchelor, left, Dr. Emma S. Rocco and Valentino Rocco at a reception before the dedication. Photo by Kevin r. Cooke/Graule Studios

was seeing Steve go from the planning of the Wellness Center to being on stage with the president. That gives you a great sense of satisfaction.” This synergy within the Penn State community is not something new, Erickson said. “It’s characteristic of Penn State, where we get strong collaboration between students, faculty, staff, and members of the community, and this was a wonderful example of that. We had everybody working together toward a common goal,” he said. On the unofficial opening day of the Well-

ness Center last summer, about 200 students signed up to use its cutting-edge equipment. Many more students, plus faculty and staff, have registered since. That’s the result the University had been hoping for, Erickson said. “The health and wellness of our students, faculty, and staff is very important to us. It can have many significant effects,” he said. “It makes us able to perform our functions at a higher level. Whether we’re studying or serving in a leadership capacity, a sound body and a sound mind certainly go together.”

diana l. patterson development update

Help us develop something great As Penn State Beaver’s director of development, I think my title clearly describes my role as well as my goal. If you consult the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, you’ll find plenty of definitions of the word “develop,” including “to expand by a process of growth,” “to create or produce especially by deliberate effort over time,” “to work out the possibilities of,” and “to make visible or manifest.” I like these definitions; they define what I try to do every day. But if I had to select only one to describe what development means here at Beaver campus, I don’t think I could do it. Because in order to talk about the process of development, I have to use words drawn from all of these definitions, such as “expand,” “growth,” “effort,” “time,” “possibilities,” and “visible,” to name a few. All of these are essen-

tial, wonderful words that illustrate what development means to Beaver campus and why it’s so crucial, most especially to our students. Since we opened our campus doors in 1965, we’ve seen an amazing array of changes that have developed as a result of the generous time and energy of our alumni and friends. You’ve helped us to expand, programmatically and physically, and you’ve encouraged our growth. With time, your gifts continue to produce visible, valuable results, and your generosity shows how endless the possibilities can be when people proactively work together to achieve the best possible outcomes. As you read this, our campus is one year and $500,000 away from our $3 million goal as part of “For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students.” Not that long ago, this goal might have seemed out of our reach. However, I’ve learned that Beaver campus alumni and friends are as generous as any people you could ever hope to know. I’m truly fortunate because I continue to meet so many

terrific people who understand what our campus needs, which allows us to share our stories and our success. Gifts continue to come to Beaver campus in all sizes, and every single donation is truly appreciated. Some people make six-figure gifts, others make estate plan commitments, and many support us with donations that vary greatly, from $10 to $10,000. What matters is your determination to help us continue to grow, which in turn will provide outstanding educational opportunities for today’s students as well as those in the future. You can help us to expand our offerings, provide financial support, and give our students the best possible Penn State experience. So please, take a moment now to review the donation form below, then clip and mail it with your check. Your help is so very important. We can’t develop without you.

Penn State Beaver Donor Form I am happy to support Penn State Beaver with this tax-deductible gift. $50





Matching Gifts Program: I will arrange to have my gift matched.

Name������������������������������������������������� Address ����������������������������������������������� City��������������������������������������������������� State __________________________ Zip �������������������� Email __________________________ Phone �����������������

Company name __________________________________ Visa


Name as it appears on card __________________________________ Exp. Date _______________ Account Number ___________________________________________________________________ Signature _________________________________________________________________________ Mail to: Development Office, 201 Ross Administration Bldg., 100 University Drive, Monaca, PA 15061. Questions: Call Diana Patterson at 724-773-3558 or email her at


Please charge my


My check is enclosed and payable to Penn State.

Penn State Beaver Nittany News

Please designate my gift for: Academic and/or Financial Need Scholarships Student Travel Abroad Scholarship Athletics Brodhead Cultural Center

Other ___________


LaQuatra Bonci Associates

A new plaza outside the Brodhead Bistro is one of several campus projects being completed this summer.

Outside spaces get makeovers



Penn State Beaver Nittany News

By Monica M. Pitcher Com student


Work on Penn State Beaver’s facilities has been ongoing since the campus opened its doors in fall 1965, and this year is no exception. “We work year-round to make needed upgrades, renovations, and, when possible, additions that will enhance the campus,” said Luke Taiclet ’82 ’83 Lib, ’85 MEd, director of business and finance. “However, summer is an especially busy time.” Renovations this summer will include changes to the main parking lot near the Lion Shrine, an expanded patio area for the Brodhead Bistro, and updates to the Student Union Building (SUB). The parking lot near the Ross Administration Building (RAB) and the Lion Shrine will take on more of an oval shape, with wider parking spaces in the center and around the edges and new walkways. The new design will make it easier for drivers and pedestrians to navigate through the lot, Taiclet said. The parking lot’s entrance will be relocated closer to the Laboratory Classroom Building to improve traffic flow. Taiclet noted that the Brodhead Bistro patio will undergo significant changes. The renovated

patio will be four times the size of the original and will have a tiered design with more seating areas. Jeremy Lindner ’00 Bus, director of housing and food services, said entertainers will be able to perform on the patio, with students sitting around them as well as on the hillside steps. Students seem to love the idea. “I’m excited for a newer Bistro patio,” said freshman Emily Winters, Division of Undergraduate Studies. “There isn’t too much room out there now, and I think more people would like to sit outside on pretty days. I’m excited to see how it all turns out.” The SUB will also receive upgrades, beginning with the Lodge windows that face the neighboring Ross Administration Building. In the 1970s and 1980s, campus musical productions were staged in the Lodge, and students painted elaborate backdrops directly on the windows. After productions were over, students scraped the paint off using razor blades, which resulted in long, deep scratches in the glass. Since then, time has taken a toll on the windows, which can’t be repaired, only replaced. The original SUB entrance, located a short distance down the hall from the Lodge, will be renovated as well. A new entryway will be

installed, including new windows and doors, and the sidewalk leading into the building will be replaced. Taiclet said funding for the upcoming projects is provided by several sources at Penn State University Park and the campus. Last year changes were made to the library’s entrance, including the removal of the concrete bridge that led to the main doors. The empty area under the bridge was filled in and replaced with an attractive walkway. Plants and new seating areas give the entrance a fresh look. Other campus improvements are under consideration, Taiclet said. The University is exploring a complete renovation of the Michael Baker Building (MBB). Last fall an architectural firm conducted a feasibility study to examine the entire building. If plans are approved, renovations would include installing an elevator and accessible restrooms on both floors. Currently, restrooms are located on the top floor only. “I think it would be awesome to finally have bathrooms downstairs,” said junior Danielle Joyner, liberal arts. Construction on the MBB couldn’t begin until spring 2015, with completion anticipated sometime during the 2016-17 academic year.

End of an era

Campus razes house that stood sentry over entrance

Penn State Beaver/Cathy Benscoter

A wrecking crew tears down the old Hartenbach farmhouse, which stood on Old Brodhead Road for many years before the campus was formed.

Above, the Hartenbach’s dairy wagon stands in front of the farmhouse in the early 20th century. At left, a grand, spindled bannister climbed the hardwood stairs. At the back of the second floor was a bathroom addition decorated in pink tile, pink cabinets and pink, flowered wallpaper.

| SUMMER 2013

The old kitchen featured a narrow passthrough to the back porch where Mrs. Hartenbach once handed meals to farmhands. A wooden staircase with hand-turned spindles and intricate scrollwork trim climbed

impressively to the second floor, and the tiny painted handprints of the Hartenbach children lined the wall. On the second floor three bedrooms were carpeted in braided rag-wool rugs, and a steep staircase led to the attic. The Hartenbach family took items they wanted to keep prior to the demolition of the farmhouse. The campus has turned the site and its surrounding mature trees into a green space and has no plans to put another building there.

Penn State Beaver Nittany News

The 1880s-era farmhouse that stood at the front of Penn State Beaver along Old Brodhead Road was torn down last summer. Once the home of Ralph and Margaret Hartenbach and their son and daughter, the house was the hub of a large farm that took up much of the property on which Penn State Beaver sits. The Hartenbach’s children eventually grew and moved out of the house. Their son, Henry, took over half of the farm and built the small blue house on the hill that now overlooks the Brodhead Cultural Center J.P. Giusti Amphitheater. Henry had a son, Ralph, whose family now owns Beaver County Fruit and Garden on Brodhead Road. Henry died before both of his parents, and his part of the land went back to his father. The Hartenbach’s daughter, Vivian, and her husband, David, had a family and now live in Frederick, Pa. In the 1970s, the Hartenbachs sold their farm to Penn State, contingent on them keeping the farmhouse and land around it until their deaths. After her husband died, Margaret, affectionately known by many as “Mrs. H.,” was determined to stay in her home. As she aged, she decided to live on the first floor of the house to avoid climbing the stairs to the second story. “I toured the house when I met Mrs. H. for the first time,” said Amy M. Krebs ’78 Lib, director of campus and community relations. “It really was beautiful.” After Mrs. Hartenbach died 15 years ago, the campus used it for storage. Over the years officials discussed a variety of uses for the house, but its age and the high cost of renovating the building prevented any plans from being finalized. Before being razed, the once-elegant interior still showed signs of its past glory. On the main floor a beautiful wooden fireplace surround leaned against the wall of the living room, and the carpet had been removed to reveal hardwood floors.


Penn State Beaver Nittany News | SUMMER 2013

10 Allie Stewart, center, Valerie Fudurich and Branden Kraus show Penn State Beaver’s replica of Henry Ford’s first combustion engine to visitors at Maker Faire Detroit in July 2012.

little engine

big impact


nder the trees outside a one-room schoolhouse a few miles from Detroit, just down the street from the birthplace of the man best known for bringing cars to the masses, a piece of Penn State Beaver ingenuity will educate and entertain nearly 300,000 people this summer. safely in storage. They also have a nearly identical replica of it on display in Greenfield Village. So why would The Henry Ford want to borrow Penn State Beaver’s model? “The replica they have doesn’t work,” Hendrickson said. “Ours does.” But if Hendrickson has his way, that could soon change.

The Project


Story and photos by Cathy Benscoter, Marketing and Web Specialist

continued on page 12


Hendrickson is famous for the projects he gives his students. Over the years they’ve created a 3D model of a mill in Ohio, worked on the restoration and redesign of the waterwheel at Gaston’s Mill at Beaver Creek, and reverse engineered the Bessemer oil field pumping engine at Moraine State Park in Butler County. “The test of a good project to me is: Does it have historical significance?” Hendrickson said.

“One of the things I try to do is make students appreciate how great something actually was in that time period because it’s hard to do now.” His second test is, “Have any college students ever accomplished such a thing before? And if the answer is ‘no,’ it moves up on the list,” he said. “And the last one is, ‘Could I actually do that?’ If I’m not completely certain I could, then it’s a good student project,” he said with a small smile. The engine project occurred to Hendrickson after he read the owner’s manual to his grandfather’s 1908 Model T. “I started to think about it. This might be a neat project. We could build a car here,” he said. “So I started puttering around a little bit, and I discovered this

Penn State Beaver Nittany News

A replica of Henry Ford’s first combustion engine built by Beaver engineering students will be the highlight of an exhibit at The Henry Ford Museum’s Greenfield Village celebrating Ford’s 150th birthday. “Anything that does stuff that people can get up close to is great for us,” said Tom Varitek, senior manager of program operations at the Dearborn, Mich., museum. “We’re benefitting greatly from having the engine on display. All our guests this summer will as well.” The engine was built as a class project for Engineering Mechanics: Dynamics taught by James Hendrickson ’82 Eng, instructor in engineering. While researching the project, students found several sources that said Ford destroyed the original. In point of fact, museum curators have it


Allie Stewart, center, regulates the gas intake of the engine while Dalton Petrillo, right, cranks the wheel to start it at Maker Faire Detroit. Other team members pictured are, from left, Valerie Fudurich, Nicole Bing, Christina Corraini (behind Stewart) and Wesley Mummert.


Clara Deck, center, senior conservator of historical resources for The Henry Ford, talks with students about the original Ford engine, which is housed in a museum storage room.



Penn State Beaver Nittany News

continued from page 11


engine which nobody seems to know a whole lot about.” It seemed like a great idea for a project, Hendrickson said, and he handed it over to his class of 11 sophomores with ample funding. “Being a generous sort, I gave them a budget of $1,” he said. The class was thrilled. “When Mr. Hendrickson gave us the Henry Ford project, I looked at what was required and I thought, ‘Oh, we are all so dead,’ ” said Valerie Fudurich, a nuclear engineering major from Monaca. “We got this massive project. It was just horrendous, so many things to do,” said project manager Michael Eiben, an architectural engineering major from Wexford. “And little by little we got pieces and pieces together, and it just came together. Everyone worked so well together. It brought out our efforts as the engineering team.” The lack of funding meant that the students had to fabricate the parts themselves or get them donated. Mostly, they made the parts in the garage of team member Allie Stewart, whose father owns a machine shop. “We hand-machined parts and put them to-

gether to create a running engine,” said Stewart, an aerospace engineering major from Georgetown, Pa. “We built a working engine out of scratch,” said Brennen Koji, petroleum engineering major from McMurray, Pa. “We harnessed explosions and turned them into mechanical energy.” The $1 budget went to a cup of coffee, Koji said. “We shared it to stay awake while we were working on the engine.” Ford’s first combustion engine, historically known as the Kitchen Sink Engine, was never installed in a vehicle. Instead, it served as a proof of concept for his 1896 Quadricycle. “The story goes that on Christmas Eve 1893

Henry Ford had his wife put down the turkey and come to the kitchen sink to help him start this thing,” Hendrickson said. The engine was plugged into a light socket, and Ford and his wife regulated the fuel intake by hand. They got it started, and Ford went on to automotive history.

Detroit Road Trip, Part 1

Hendrickson wanted to claim a tiny slice of that history for his students. Once their engine was working, he contacted Ford Motor Co. to invite Chairman William Clay Ford Jr. to campus for a demonstration. “Our understanding was that Henry Ford’s original was thrown out somewhere along the

Students examine Ford’s original engine in an upstairs storage room at The Henry Ford. Above are Jim Coelho and Michael Eiben. Below are Brennen Koji and Allie Stewart.

Detroit Road Trip, Part 2

continued on page 14


And it just keeps going. After the campus’s successful appearance at Maker Faire, it was clear that Hendrickson and museum officials were both interested in forging a lasting relationship. Hendrickson offered to lend them the engine. “I thought it would be great for them to put it on display,” he said. In the fall Hendrickson entered into discussions with Varitek, who was heading up Green-


the engine’s wheel in place and gently turned it. Ford’s original was smaller than the students’ replica, but it was obvious they had taken care to reproduce his work. It was also obvious they were itching to do more than look at it. “We’ll get it started for you,” Koji said, grinning up at Deck from where he squatted next to the engine. Deck laughed and declined. “We preserve the artifacts. We don’t start them,” she said. Going into the storage area of the museum was a rare opportunity, said Hendrickson. “We actually got to see it. These students will never forget that.” Dalton Petrillo, a mechanical engineering major who traveled to Detroit from his home in Cheyenne, Wyo., found out how big an honor

it was when he told one of the museum workers about it. “He was jealous. He said they never show it to anyone.” That only added to his pride in their work. “When you make a project, most of the time you’re going to be proud of it, no matter if it’s crappy or not,” said Petrillo, leader of the technical research and 3D modeling team. “But when Mr. Hendrickson told us that he had contacted Ford Motor Co. about it, at that moment I was really, really proud of the project.” Eiben also was pleased. “Taking the engine out and talking to people about it is great,” he said. “They get really excited about it because you’re excited. You can see it in their faces. And you think, ‘We did that for a dollar.’ “At the start, I promised the team that this was going to be our best project,” Eiben said. “I knew it was going to be good, but I didn’t know it would go this far.”

Penn State Beaver Nittany News

way. I thought his great-grandson would like to see one running,” Hendrickson said. When that effort faltered (“Apparently, there are several layers of people you have to go through to talk with Mr. Ford,” Hendrickson said wryly), Beaver alumnus John Grace ’90 Eng, managing engineer of the paint facility at Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant, was called in to help. Though Grace has little access to the executive suite, he knows many people at the museum thanks to his interest in antique cars and bicycles. He put the professor in touch with Jim Johnson, senior manager of creative programs at The Henry Ford. “When we found out that the students had a reproduction that actually works, we were very interested,” said Johnson, who invited Hendrickson and his students to display their replica at the 2012 Maker Faire Detroit, an invention fair hosted annually by the museum. The students were given space in the museum’s tent alongside reproductions of the Quadricycle, an 1885 Benz Patent-Motorwagen, an 1885 Daimler Reitwagen, and Ford’s 1901 “Sweepstakes” race car. “Everyone loved seeing the engine run and hearing the students talk about it,” Johnson said. That included the judges of the fair, who awarded the students three blue ribbons for their project. Christian Overland, executive vice president of The Henry Ford, was particularly impressed. “I liked Penn State Beaver’s engine because it’s using a preeminent historical story and object and reinvestigating that,” Overland said after presenting the first of the ribbons to the students. “It’s obviously a piece that works. More importantly, when I talked to the students about it, I could see there’s a real team here.” Clara Deck, the museum’s senior conservator of historical resources, choked up when she saw the reproduction running. “We have the original, but I’ve never seen it run,” she said, swiping at a tear. “We’ve thought about getting our replica started. Every year we want to make it run and get it out here for people to see, but we’ve never had anyone who had the time to tinker with it.” Deck arranged for the students to visit a storage room in the museum. There, among long rows of shelves filled with history, she showed them the uncrated engine in all its glory. At the students’ request, she carefully set


The second group of engineering students to work with the engine prepares to take it to Detroit to be displayed at Greenfield Village for the summer. From left are Brodie Schultz, Russel Diehl, Matthew Haig, Jeremy Canonge and Donald Bradfield.




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field Village’s plans for Ford’s 150th birthday celebration. At the time, he and his team were working on a hands-on, interactive display at the Village. The exhibit, “Henry Ford and His Machines,” is housed in a reproduction of Miller School, which Ford attended as a youth. The school is next to Ford’s rebuilt childhood home and stands near other buildings important to Ford and his work, including the shed where he created the Kitchen Sink Engine and the Quadricycle. The exhibit follows a young Ford at three crucial stages in his life: at 12, when he took apart his father’s watch; at 19, when he became interested in steam engines; and at 30, when he began investigating gasoline engines. “We thought there’s no better way to illustrate that than to show the Kitchen Sink Engine,” Varitek said. “We wondered, ‘Can we get our model working for the anniversary?’ When we saw (the Penn State) engine at Maker

See the engine in action The engine will run several times a day from June 17 through Aug. 18 at Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Mich. Find information and directions to the museum at Can’t get to Michigan? See it online at

Faire, the question became, ‘What if we get that engine and show it?’ ” Penn State Beaver’s engine was a perfect match for the exhibit, Varitek said. “One of the things we like to stress about Henry Ford, and history in general, is its relevance points. The fact that Jim and his class decided to do this smacked of relevancy. Here’s how history is being used today in the classroom. That, to me, worked better than trying to restore our own model.” Varitek is excited about having the engine in the exhibit. “The ability to actually show it working is a perfect diagram for young people

to be able to see how the engine in their car works, with the piston going in and out and the wheel turning. It’s like being able to get inside their car’s engine,” Varitek said. In early May, five students accompanied Hendrickson to the museum to deliver the engine to Varitek. They weren’t involved in the actual build but had been analyzing it for several months. In addition, they’d been running it at campus events and professional engineering group meetings since the fall. “It’s better to start part of the way through than to never have worked on it at all,” said Jeremy Canonge, a mechanical engineering major from Freedom. The students were instrumental in training museum staff how to operate the engine. “All of us are pretty knowledgeable on how the engine runs,” said Matthew Haig, a mechanical engineering major from Stephens City, Va. “We’re not trying to take credit for building it. We’re just teaching the people there how to run it.” Staff members and trusted volunteers will be running the engine outside Miller School several times a day from June 17 through August

story behind the story

A T-shirt, an alumnus and a trip to Detroit

Penn State Beaver/Jim Hendrickson

Greenfield Village employees Conlan Campbell, left, and Luke Bochenek hold onto the engine in a 1930 dump truck after The Henry Ford took possession of it for the summer. 18. And if it breaks down while it’s there, Hendrickson isn’t worried. “I’m sure that if there’s a problem with it, I’ll never know about it. They’ll just fix it and get it running again,” he said. “These people fix Model Ts and keep the Quadricycle running. There’s no one better to take care of it.” Hendrickson is still a bit awed by the attention the project has gotten from museum officials. “My biggest surprise is how it’s been adopted by them,” he said. “I didn’t really expect it was going to be something that would end up on display at The Henry Ford. That part of it kind of took on a life of its own.”

Penn State Beaver Nittany News

Road Trip to Beaver?

| SUMMER 2013

Now that the engine is on display, Hendrickson has set his sights higher. “My goal is to get their replica and bring it back to get it started,” he said. Though it sounds like a pipe dream, it might be possible, and Varitek is pushing to make it happen. “Having Jim and his students work on it seems like something that would be really good,” he said. To help move things along, Hendrickson is willing to offer a trade. “If it makes our case easier, we could just leave ours up there while we’re working on their replica,” he said. “I think if they see that our engine draws a big crowd at the Miller School every time they run it this summer, that’s going to help the cause. Plus, that’s what Henry Ford wanted. He didn’t want static displays. He wanted things to run. That’s why the village is there.” Varitek believes the museum’s replica was

originally created in the 1930s at the direction of Henry Ford to take to world’s fairs. It’s not known when it last worked, but Varitek said it’s been part of the static display in Ford’s 58 Bagley Ave. shed for at least 15 years. The problem is that “sometimes the reproductions get so old that they become artifacts themselves,” he said. In deciding whether it can be loaned out to be repaired, the museum must look into its history and how it is being used. “We believe it was built to be in working order. If that turns out to be the case, then it’s likely we’ll decide it’s appropriate for it to be used that way again.” Once the museum gives the go-ahead, the University will have to assess the risks as well, and both parties will have to come to an agreement on the particulars of the loan. “I’m sure it will come with stipulations,” Hendrickson said. “I’d have to have pretty heavy-handed involvement with it. We’ll have to find someplace secure to lock it up.” Hendrickson said he’s likely to hand-pick some students to work with him on it as an independent study. “The museum people love the notion of student involvement, but I also know they’re not going to take any risk of destroying that thing.” Varitek and Hendrickson are both hoping the Ford’s replica can be in Penn State Beaver’s hands by mid-September when Hendrickson returns to Dearborn to retrieve Beaver’s engine. “It depends on how big a priority I put on the research,” Varitek said. “It’s the main thing I’ll be pushing for this summer.”

I was headed for the fudge shops on Mackinac Island, Mich., the day before my nephew’s wedding when my husband called from three blocks away. “Come back up the street,” he said. “There’s someone you need to meet.” When I reached him, my husband, Chuck, was standing with John Grace ’90 Eng on a busy sidewalk. Chuck was wearing a Penn State Beaver T-shirt, and John was grinning. “I went there,” John said, emphasizing “there” with a jab at Chuck’s shirt. “I went to Beaver campus.” We quickly cleared up that neither Chuck nor I are alumni. Our son Joe is a student, and I’m on the staff. But John was still floored by the shirt. “You see Penn State shirts all over the place, but you never see a Penn State Beaver shirt,” he said. “I keep meaning to go down to campus when I’m in town to get one.” John told me that he’s in charge of the Ford Truck Plant’s paint facility and that he was on the island for an antique bicycle event. We exchanged cards, and I asked if I could contact him to do a story on his job and his bicycle hobby. That was in June 2011. Fast forward to April 2012. During a speech at our campus’s annual awards banquet, Jim Hendrickson ’82 Eng, instructor in engineering, told the crowd he was trying to get the attention of William Clay Ford Jr., great-grandson of Henry Ford and executive chairman of Ford Motor Company. Hendrickson wanted to show Ford a replica of his great-grandfather’s first combustion engine, which a group of his students had made. Unfortunately, he wasn’t having much luck. After the banquet I offered to contact John Grace and see if he could help. John didn’t have many contacts in the executive suites, but because of his interest in antique vehicles, he did know people at The Henry Ford Museum, including Jim Johnson, senior manager of creative programs. Getting in touch with Johnson led to the students’ appearance at Maker Faire Detroit in July 2012. It led to the engine going on display in Greenfield Village this summer. And it led to John Grace getting a Penn State Beaver shirt of his own. — Cathy Benscoter


in love


with wheels



Penn State Beaver Nittany News

t’s 2 p.m. on a sweltering July Saturday, and John Grace is at the tail end of a parade in Findlay, Ohio. In front of him 70 men and women decked out in knickers, white shirts and sporty red ties peddle antique high-wheel bicycles in a dizzying display of spokes and wooden tires straight out of the 19th century.


Behind them come another 70 or so men, women and children in period dress mounted on antique safety bikes, the women’s skirts swaying modestly as they peddle along, the children’s heads encased in shiny, new helmets. Sheriff’s deputies ride shotgun in the outside lane, their bright yellow shirts looking out of place among the styles and fashions of an earlier age, their modern touring bikes almost, but not quite, blending in with the crowd. And Grace ’90 Eng is at the back of the pack, a police cruiser off to his right. But today Grace isn’t out in the sun riding his high-wheeler alongside his wife and daughters. Today he’s in his 2004 Ford F-250, hauling water, tools and a couple of tired riders. “It was my turn to drive the chase truck,” he says with a sheepish smile. “Somebody has to do it.” Driving is something Grace, who attended Penn State Beaver from 1985 to 1987, does a lot of, and he doesn’t seem to mind whether what he’s driving is old or new. Most days it’s new. As the managing en-

John Grace takes a running start to hop on a high-wheel bicycle from the late 1880s. “It’s not as hard as it looks,” he says. gineer of the paint facility at the Ford Motor Company’s Dearborn Truck Plant near Detroit, Grace has access to plenty of newborn F-150s. Nearly every night when he leaves work, he slides into one of the 1,260 trucks made that day to evaluate it on his daily commute.

“I take them out to see how they run,” he says, smiling the smile of a confirmed car junkie. In his basement at home in suburban Detroit and in a garage in a nearby industrial park, there’s plenty of old. Grace and his wife, Dorothy ’91 Lib, own 16 antique cars, 11 of them made prior to 1915, and 120 bikes, ranging in era from the 1880s to the present. They drive the cars in a variety of parades, shows and road rallies each year, including the Old Car Festival, which they help organize each fall at The Henry Ford Museum’s Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Mich. When the couple was married at Old Economy Village in Ambridge in 1995, their wedding party drove to the reception in John’s 1907 Cadillac and 1915 Ford Model T and John’s father’s 1904 Oldsmobile. The couple honeymooned by driving the Model T around eastern Pennsylvania. Antique cars seem to run in the family. “I

Story and photos by Cathy Benscoter, Marketing and Web Specialist

continued on page 18

Penn State Beaver Nittany News | SUMMER 2013

17 Grace talks about his 1915 Model T Ford while Jim Hendrickson, Penn State Beaver instructor in engineering, studies the dash. “It’s been a great car,” Grace tells a group of engineering students. “It’s a car I’d jump in and take anywhere.”

Truck beds and cabs move along conveyors in the Automated Selection and Retrieval System Building as giant robots line them up in the right order to send to the assembly plant floor next door. “When both the cab and the bed are in the building, they get scheduled to go,” Grace says.




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actually got the Model T from my grandfather,” he says. “He didn’t buy it new or anything. He bought it as a collector car and never did anything with it.” In 2009 Dorothy and their oldest daughter, Emma, drove their 1911 Regal and, after the Regal broke down, the Model T across the United States to mark the 100th anniversary of the first coast-to-coast drive by a woman. “The hills in New York were tough,” Dorothy says. “The Rockies were fine. I went across the Rockies on I-80. It was relatively flat.” “There was this one town in New York,” John says. “We came across a river, and the road was going straight up, like being in downtown Pittsburgh. Straight up. I thought she was going to have trouble with it. She got over it, but I was surprised. It was right up the side of a mountain.” But despite the couple’s love for cars, it was the bikes — and Penn State — that drew them together. “I’ve been into bikes since before I was

Grace uncovers his 1904 Model A, which was built the year after the Ford Motor Company was founded. It has serial number 852. born,” says Dorothy, who attended Penn State Abington Campus before moving on to Penn State University Park. Her dad put her in a baby backpack and took her on a high-wheeler when she was a few weeks old. “When my mom found out, she wanted to kill him,” she says. Grace’s introduction to antique bicycles

came a little later. “My dad in the early ’80s decided he wanted to get one of those balloon tire Schwinns like he had as a kid, so we started going to bike meets,” he says. “My brother (Ed Grace ’92 Eng) and I got fascinated with the early bikes and became part of the Wheelmen.” Dorothy’s father is a founding member of the Wheelmen, a national organization dedicated to keeping the heritage of American cycling alive. The group participates in parades, swap meets and other cycling events across the country. At its national convention in Findlay, Ohio, last July, members got together to set a world record for the number of high-wheelers stacked next to each other. John joined 155 other riders who lined up shoulder-to-shoulder to blast the previous record of 131 set in England in 2003. John and Dorothy met in an elevator in Wisconsin during a Wheelmen event in the late 1980s when John overheard Dorothy say something about Penn State. Both were students at University Park at the time, and John looked her up when they returned to campus. “We had a nice conversation one night on the phone, and that was it,” he says. “We really didn’t cross

From below, the Automated Selection and Retrieval System looks like a giant stacked parking garage full of rows and rows of empty truck shells. Grace supervises this building and the one where they paint the trucks.


continued on page 20


fast,” he says. “It would be nice to have a spare shop that you could just flip a switch and move production over to, but that’s not reality. Reality is that you have to figure out how to fix it very quickly. It’s the challenge of engineering on the fly.” After a series of quality checks and the application of plastic to mask out two-tone paint jobs, the trucks hit the carwash-like paint booths. Computers read the bar codes on the skids and tell the paint robots what color to use. “People think we only run one color at a time, maybe doing blue one day and red the next,” Grace says. “That would really slow down production.”

After the robots purge the previous color from their nozzles, a series of reticulated arms spray every nook and cranny of the beds and cabs. The process ends with a final check for quality by both robots and humans. Cabs and beds with too many flaws are sent back for a new coat of paint or are scrapped if they have been through the paint booth too many times. Those that pass inspection are hoisted on an elevator to an overhead conveyor that sends them to an enormous holding building next door. In a scene reminiscent of the closet-door sorting machine in Disney/Pixar’s “Monsters, Inc.,” huge robots in the holding building shuffle the fronts and backs of trucks into and out of what amounts to 756 oversized mail slots. A bed or cab may be moved and refiled several times before its mate makes it to the building, the computerized sorting system keeping track of where each has been placed. Once both pieces are in the building, the truck is scheduled for assembly, reunited in the correct order and sent overhead to the assembly plant next door. “If a line goes down and it’s not painting vehicles, it’s not just our department that’s affected,” Grace says. “We’re not able to send any vehicles to final build. There are 200 people standing around over there not working.” Grace credits his time at Beaver campus and University Park for teaching him to think under pressure. “The whole thing about engineering is being able to take the conditions that are given to you, organize them and solve the problem,” he says. “Some days are a little more painful than others, but it’s fun to leave every day and say, ‘We painted those trucks today.’ ” Grace, who graduated from Ambridge High School in 1985 after growing up in Sharon, says having the opportunity to go to Penn State while living at home was a big plus. “I wanted to go to Beaver Campus. I’m not a person who likes crowds, so going to the main campus was a little intimidating. Beaver campus was a little more casual. You could just concentrate on your studies and didn’t have to worry about the dynamics of a big campus,” he says. Grace took five years to finish his bachelor’s degree because he participated in the College of Engineering’s Co-op Program at University Park. In only its second year when Grace entered the program, the co-op pairs employers

Penn State Beaver Nittany News

paths anymore.” A few years later he saw her again at a meet in Vermont. “I was standing there with my bike, and Dorothy and her sister were standing in front of me with their bikes, and I said, ‘Didn’t one of you go to Penn State?’ I couldn’t remember which one she was.” It turned out that John and Dorothy had both moved to the Detroit area after graduation, and he convinced her to get involved in the local Wheelmen’s chapter. “We started riding in parades and hanging out, and there you go.” Grace moved to Michigan to take a job at Ford’s River Rouge Plant after getting his Penn State degree in electrical engineering. He started in the Ford College Graduate Program making Mustangs. “It was all about the cars,” he says, grinning. Mustangs eventually gave way to pickups at River Rouge, and Grace advanced to paint manufacturing engineering manager of the Ford Truck Plant. He’s second in charge of the plant, supervising 90 hourly and 12 salary employees in two buildings, and is responsible for all maintenance, automation, processing and cleaning activities in the paint shop. As Grace walks around the plant dressed in coveralls and a Ford hat, he explains the paint process. He points to a roller-coaster-like track overhead where the shells of the truck cabs and beds come into the plant on separate skids. Though they start off next to each other, the pieces are inevitably separated during painting and must be reunited before heading to the assembly plant floor. A barcode system built into the skids allows machines and workers to keep track of which bed goes with which cab, as well as the truck’s paint scheme and history. The first step in the painting process is cleaning and priming the metal by dipping both pieces in several vats of chemicals. As the tour progresses past one of the dip tanks, the moving line of trucks comes to a halt, cabs and beds dangling on chains from an overhead track. Grace radios the control room to alert them to the problem. “They’d have caught that in about 30 seconds, but I figured as long as I was here I’d let them know,” he says as the line starts back up again. Had the problem not been corrected quickly, millions of dollars of solvent would have been ruined. “There’s a lot of pressure placed on us when things break. You’ve got to be able to react


Above, Grace talks with students Brennen Koji and Jim Coelho about his 1953 Lincoln Capri. “We wanted a car that had its own starter so I wouldn’t have to hand-crank it,” he says. Below, Grace gives a lesson on the history of bicycles while showing off two of the high-wheelers in his collection.


I’m not an engineer who makes things. I keep things going. ... When you’re broken down on the side of the road, there’s no one to fix your car. There are no standardized parts for pre-1915 cars. You can’t call AAA to fix it. It’s just you and your tools and your ability to make it work.



Penn State Beaver Nittany News

continued from page 19


with students, who alternate semesters of classes with semesters of working full time. Grace says working in the maintenance department at Cytemp Specialty Steel in Titusville helped him understand what he was learning in class. “I can comprehend things so much better when I can get my hands on them. You can understand the theory, but it’s still theory until you actually do it. When you’re actually using what you’re learning, it becomes real,” he says. “At the steel mill, I kind of decided that I liked that challenge of keeping the place running to provide a product,” Grace says. “I’m not an engineer who makes things. I keep things going.” Sometimes that means keeping something going just long enough to get it repaired. “The other day a conveyor broke and stopped the line,” he says. “I got the idea to prop it up with a pneumatic jack until Sunday when we could get in there and figure out how to fix it. “It’s the same thing with the antique cars. When you’re broken down on the side of the

road, there’s no one to fix your car. There are no standardized parts for pre-1915 cars. You can’t call AAA to fix it,” he says. “It’s just you and your tools and your ability to make it work.” For the most part, his goal with his cars and bikes is to preserve them rather than restore them. Sometimes, though, preservation alone isn’t possible. “The bikes I restore are really basket cases that are unusable as they are,” he says. “Usually they need frames welded back together and things like that. I have a men’s hard-tire safety

that I restored that literally looked like it had been at the bottom of a lake for years. It’s beautiful now.” Unlike many collectors, Grace expects to use the vehicles he buys and repairs. “People see these cars in museums. And they just say, ‘Yeah, that’s a cool looking old car,’ ” Grace says. “But when we have a car show around here and we come driving in, it just blows everyone’s minds. They say, ‘You’re actually driving it? On roads?’ Yeah, we are. It’s a blast.”

Dinello, Goldberg announce retirements Carleen Dinello, assistant to the director of academic affairs and senior instructor in English, and Martin Goldberg, associate librarian, will retire June 30 after a combined total of 49 years at Penn State Beaver.

Carleen Dinello Dinello began working as a teaching assistant in the College of Education for Adult Literacy Action in 1987. In 1989 she became an instructor in language and literacy education and was named coordinator of the campus Center for Academic Achievement in 1996. In 2002 she was appointed to her current position, with duties that included hiring adjunct faculty members; serving as Freshman Year Seminar coordinator; forming and coordinating five academic advisory boards and meetings; coordinating student internships with appropriate faculty; working on the campus Strategic Plan; serving as the Dean’s Representative/academic advisor for the College of Education; and coordinating testing for the World Campus. She received the Academic Advisor Award twice, an honor given by campus students, and she received the campus Quarterly Quality Award. Dinello holds a master’s degree in education and a K-12 reading specialist certifica-



tion from Slippery Rock University and a bachelor’s degree in English and social studies from Geneva College.

Martin Goldberg Goldberg joined Beaver campus in 1990 and has worked with all facets of operations, staffing, and acquisitions for the library, which has more than 50,000 volumes. Goldberg oversaw the establishment of the African-American Autobiography Collection honoring Dr. Russell C. Brignano, professor emeritus of English. The collection contains more than 600 African-American autobiographies representing a variety of professions and experiences. He has worked on a variety of special projects for the campus and University, including the Freshman Portal Project, the Teaching and Learning with Technology Faculty Engage-

ment Initiative Project, and Project SAILS (Standardized Assessment of Information Literacy Skills). He and his staff provide regularly scheduled support for students using the Center for Academic Achievement. Goldberg also implemented a multi-year program of phased upgrades to the library’s interior furnishings for a more usable, technologyoriented, group learning environment. Goldberg has published articles in a variety of refereed journals, given presentations at numerous national conferences, and conducted research and written extensively about the Holocaust. In addition, he was instrumental in establishing an annual Sexual Assault Survivors’ Quilt display in the library in conjunction with the Women’s Center of Beaver County and has been a longtime member of the Campus Climate and Diversity Committee. Goldberg holds a master’s degree in library science from Long Island University, a master’s degree in urban education from City College of New York, an advanced studies diploma in instructional systems from Hofstra University, and a bachelor’s degree in communications from the New York Institute of Technology.

received the Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award, and Nicholas Salpietra, lecturer in mathematics, received the Adjunct Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award. Dr. Talha Harcar, associate professor of business, received the Faculty Excellence in Research Award. James Hendrickson ’82 Eng, instructor in engineering, received the Faculty Excellence in Service Award. The Staff Excellence Award went to Amy Gartley ’90 Com, associate director of student affairs, and the Staff Service Award was given to Jay Means, laboratory preparation technician. The students presented the Outstanding Academic Advisor Award to Dr. Chris Wu, professor of mathematics, and the Outstanding Club Advisor Award to Barbara Jean (BJ) Bertges, assistant athletic director.


Division of Undergraduate Studies and Advising, won the C3 Controls Staff Excellence Award. Denise Turyan, staff assistant in the Office of Student Affairs, received the Value Ambridge Properties Inc. Staff Service Award. Students recognized Dr. Cassandra MillerButterworth, assistant professor of biology, with the Outstanding Academic Advisor Award, and Dr. Chris Rizzo, director of student affairs, with the Outstanding Club Advisor Award. The 2013 Advisory Board awards were underwritten by Linda Kuga Pikulin, retired president of PepsiCo Beverages Canada, in honor of her sister, Dr. Donna J. Kuga ’78 H&HD, director of academic affairs. Karen Barr, senior instructor in business,


Fifteen faculty and staff members were honored for their contributions in and out of the classroom at the 2012 and 2013 awards banquets. In 2012, members of the Penn State Beaver Advisory Board sponsored six $500 awards. Kevin Bennett, senior instructor in psychology, received the Andrews Industrial Controls Inc. Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award, and Kristen Oberg, lecturer in English, received the ESB Bank Adjunct Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award. Dr. Mari Pierce, assistant professor of administration of justice, received the Michael Baker Corp. Faculty Excellence in Research Award and the NOVA Chemicals Inc. Faculty Excellence in Service Award. Gretchen Samchuck, coordinator of the

Penn State Beaver Nittany News

Advisory board, students honor faculty, staff


Bower, Barr win University awards As she normally does several times a week, Dr. Robin Bower greets her students as they enter Room 4 of the General Classroom Building with a warm, friendly “good morning.” “Class has begun. Let’s get started on today’s topic,” she says, immediately receiving her students’ full attention. It’s Comparative Literature 131: Crime and Detection in World Literature and, unlike her typical Spanish language classes, Bower teaches this class in English. She fires up her PowerPoint presentation, hits the lights, and begins the conversation for the day. However, instead of sitting in a chair in front of the class or simply standing at the podium, she constantly moves around her attentive audience. Bower, associate professor of Spanish, has been teaching at Penn State Beaver for 12 years and, during that time, she’s served the University well. She’s been the Beaver campus faculty representative to the University Faculty Senate since 2004, during which time she has chaired the Committee on Undergraduate Education and the Committee on Educational Equity and Campus Environment. In addition, Bower has taken Beaver students to Spain for education abroad experiences during spring breaks in 2005 and 2010 and coordinates the campus Honors Program. But it’s the countless students she’s taught over the years that have brought Bower the most joy, and it’s her outstanding teaching skills for which she’s most recently been recognized. In April 2012, Bower was honored with the Penn State Milton S. Eisenhower Award for Distinguished Teaching.



students. I’m just trying to teach them to believe in themselves.”

Barr wins Atherton Award



She was one of only two faculty members across the University to receive the prestigious award last year. “I was thrilled. There are no words to say about winning. I was grateful to my students for having put me in the ring to be considered,” Bower said. The Eisenhower Award for Distinguished Teaching, established in 1992, is bestowed upon faculty members who are outstanding professors as well as mentors or sources of support for others. Nominees must be tenured, full-time faculty members for at least five years and must carry undergraduate teaching as a major portion of their academic duties. Bower’s award nomination was submitted by Dr. Donna J. Kuga ’78 H&HD, director of academic affairs, as well as by students who have taken a course with Bower. Kuga said the ability to win is determined by classroom evidence, student evaluations, and the comments and content of colleagues’ reviews. “I rely very heavily on what students think, not just for a certain semester, but semester after semester after semester,” Kuga said. “The fact that our faculty is receiving these prestigious, University-wide awards is outstanding.” Bower, who is highly respected by her students, past and present, said, “I believe in my

Bower wasn’t the only Penn State Beaver faculty member to receive a University-wide teaching award last year. Karen Barr, senior instructor in business, received Penn State’s 2012 George W. Atherton Award for Excellence in Teaching. Named for Penn State’s seventh president, the award honors excellence in teaching at the undergraduate level. She was one of only six faculty members across the University to receive the 2012 award. Barr has taught at Beaver campus for 13 years. Her course load typically includes accounting, finance, and business law and ethics, classes that are prerequisites for all business majors. While Barr’s classes are often taught in a large lecture format, her dynamic teaching style, entertaining wit, and personal attention to each student make her classes feel far more intimate. “It’s nice to be recognized for the dedication and hard work,” she said. “Everyone deserves to be recognized.” Bower and Barr join other Beaver faculty members who have been recognized by the University over the years. Dr. Robert Szymczak, associate professor of history, and the late Dr. John Simpson, retired associate professor of chemistry, received the Atherton Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2002 and 2001, respectively. Dr. James Monroe, retired associate professor of physics, received the Eisenhower Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1989. At the time, the award was called the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching.

Campus hires new assistant to director of academic affairs


Penn State Beaver Nittany News

By Pasquale Coppola ’13 Com


Michelle Kurtyka ’11 MEd has been hired as assistant to the director of academic affairs and an instructor in kinesiology, effective July 1. She replaces Carleen Dinello, who will retire June 30. Kurtyka has been a lecturer in kinesiology at Penn State Beaver since 2005 and has taught a variety of related courses. She has been a youth camp instructor for the Office of Continuing Education since 2003 and served on the Oversight Committee for the development of the Wellness Center.

She has also been an adjunct instructor in health, physical education, recreation, and dance at Community College of Beaver County. Kurtyka is a certified instructor in first aid and safety, CPR, and AED. She holds a master of education in teaching and curriculum from Penn State and a bachelor’s degree in physical education, health, and exercise science from Slippery Rock University.

Faculty publications & honors Kevin Bennett, senior instructor in psychology, wrote a book, “Jealousy’s Design: Maladaptive Trait or Psychological Solution?” published by Lambert Academic Publishing. Cathy Benscoter, lecturer in communications, webmaster, and marketing and web specialist, received a master’s degree in multimedia arts and technology with an emphasis in web design and development from Duquesne University in December. Last spring she was inducted into Duquesne’s chapter of Kappa Tau Alpha, the journalism honor society, and is also a chapter member at her alma mater, Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa. Dr. John R. Chapin, professor of communications, co-authored “Optimistic Bias About Dating/ Relationship Violence Among Teens” in The Journal of Youth Studies and “Third-person Perception and Myths About Crime and Victims of Crime” in The Southwest Journal of Criminal Justice. Last year he received the United States House of Representatives Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus Certificate, the Outstanding Citizenship Award for contributions to local law enforcement, and the Pennsylvania Governor’s Victim Service Pathfinder Organizational Capacity Building Award. In March Chapin implemented the 13th Annual Forensics Tournament, which brought 128 students from nine area middle and high schools on campus to compete in six public speaking categories. Chapin and Dr. Mari B. Pierce, assistant professor of administration of justice, co-authored “Optimistic Bias, Sexual Assault, and Fear,” which was published in The Journal of General Psychology.

Conry-Murray co-authored “Reciprocal Associa-

In spring 2012 Goldberg invited the Women’s Center of Beaver County to display two exhibits as part of his annual efforts to increase awareness of sexual assault and child abuse. “Survivors Wall” was a quilt that depicted personal experiences of abuse victims. “Take a Walk in My Shoes” was a display of victims’ shoes with their personal stories attached. Harcar co-edited a book, “Advances in Global Research,” with a theme of “Global Competitiveness in a Time of Economic Uncertainty and Social Change: Challenges and Opportunities-Current Issues and Future Expectations.” He co-authored “American Consumers’ Attitudes Toward Different Airline Companies Channels: A Comparison of Transaction Methods,” which appeared in PASOS-Journal of Tourism and Cultural Heritage. Harcar also co-authored three conference proceedings: “Consumer Taste Preferences for Soft Drinks: Country-of-Origin Impact” and “The Determinants of Mobile Advertising Success in Morocco” for Advances in Global Management Development and “User Behavior of Peer-to-Peer Music File Sharing Technology: A Cross-National Comparison of American and Moroccan University Students” for the Business Research Year Book, International Academy

Dr. Michael Hay, associate professor of chemistry, co-authored “Analytical Methods for Pesticide Residues” in Water Environment Research, Water Environment Federation. “Tetrabutylammonium tetrakis(trimethylsilanolato-kO)ferrate(III)” appeared in Acta Crystallographica Section E: Structure Reports Online, International Union of Crystallography. In addition, Hay was co-coordinator of the Seventeenth Annual Penn State Beaver/Midwestern Pennsylvania Association of Science Teachers Science Challenge held on campus. James Hendrickson ’82 Eng, instructor in engineering, received his eighth U.S. patent on an invention used for self-contained breathing apparatus and firefighter safety. This spring Chancellor Gary Keefer co-hosted a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) K-16 initiative program for campus faculty and area high school STEM teachers. Dr. Donald Sheffield, education consultant and former affiliate professor of education, facilitated the program, which included Beaver faculty members Abhijit Dutt, instructor in information sciences and technology; Dr. Angela Fishman, instructor in mathematics; Hay; Hendrickson; Leo Takahashi, assistant professor of physics; Dr. Kay Wijekumar ’00 Edu, associate professor of information sciences and technology; and Dr. Chris Wu, professor of mathematics. In November Keefer co-sponsored and participated in “Building the New Beaver County Economy: Higher Education Partners in Economic Development Forum” at Starting Gate, a regional small business incubator in Chippewa Township. In addition, Wu and Daniel J. Pinchot ’91 Com, ’04 MEd, director of enrollment and lecturer in communications, implemented last spring’s annual High School Math Competition, which brought 65 ninththrough 12th-grade students on campus. Dr. Rajen Mookerjee was promoted to professor of economics in 2012. His research focuses on macroeconomics, monetary/financial economics, development/emerging economics/finance, public finance, and political economy. He holds a doctorate and a master’s degree in economics from Northeastern University and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Wittenberg University.

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Dr. JoAnn Chirico, senior instructor in sociology, wrote a book, “Globalization: Prospects and Problems,” Sage Publications Inc. She also held a poverty simulation on campus in October, which included role-playing experiences that revealed daily realities faced by low-income people.

Martin Goldberg, associate librarian, authored “Extracurricular Reading: Creating and Sustaining On-Campus Book Clubs,” in the Reference & User Services Quarterly, American Library Association. In addition, Goldberg wrote eight book reviews: “The Holocaust Conspiracy: An International Policy of Genocide” by William Perl; “Millions of Souls: The Philip Riteman Story” by Philip Riteman; “Two Rings: A Story of Love and War” by Millie Werber and Eve Keller; “Our Journey in the Valley of Tears” by Andrej and Karolina Jus; “Jews Without Power: American Jewry During the Holocaust” by Ariel Hurwitz; “The Man Who Broke Into Auschwitz: A True Story of World War II” by Denis Avey; and “Millions of Jews to Rescue: A Bergson Group Account of the Campaign to Save Jews from the Holocaust” by Samuel Merlin.

Harcar and Daniel W. Smith, instructor in business, co-authored “Soccer Club Jersey Sponsorship: Customer Recall and Awareness in the Turkish Super League” in the Business Research Yearbook, International Academy of Business Disciplines. In addition, the two took 10 students to Turkey over spring break 2013 to tour various manufacturing, business, and cultural sites. While in Turkey, Smith gave a presentation titled “Factors Impacting U.S. Investment Markets” for students and faculty at İstanbul Kültür University.


Dr. Zhongyuan Che, associate professor of mathematics, co-authored “Forcing Faces in Plane Bipartite Graphs (II),” in Discrete Applied Mathematics and “The Distinguishing Chromatic Number of Kneser Graphs” in The Electronic Journal of Combinatorics. In addition, Che chaired the Planning Committee for the Undergraduate Research Fair. Committee members were Dr. Clare Conry-Murray, assistant professor of psychology; Dr. W. Timothy Few, assistant professor of business; Dr. Matt Grunstra, assistant professor of earth and mineral sciences; Dr. Talha Harcar, associate professor of business; and Dr. Irene Wolf, senior instructor in philosophy.

Dr. Ana Beatriz Arêas da Luz Fontes, assistant professor of psychology, co-authored an article, “Attributional Gender Bias: Teachers’ Ability and Effort Explanations for Students’ Math Performance,” in the international journal Social Psychology of Education, volume 16, No. 1, 2013. The article explores various tendencies and explanations for the differences in math competencies for males versus females. Fontes also presented “Teaching a Reading Strategy to Students of Different English Proficiency Levels: Who Benefits from It?” as the second program in the Spring Faculty Speakers Series.

of Business Disciplines. He presented “Country of Origin Impact: Taste Preferences for a Soft Drink Brand” for the Fall Faculty Speakers Series.

Penn State Beaver Nittany News

In addition, Pierce wrote “Continuing the Conversation: The Operationalization of Focal Concerns Perspective: Assessing Sentencing Decisions for Criminal Child Neglect” in The Southwest Journal of Criminal Justice and authored a book chapter, “Examining the Impact of Familial Paternalism on the Sentencing Decision: Gender Leniency or Legitimate Judicial Consideration?” published in Perceptions of Female Offenders.

tions Between Young Children’s Developing Moral Judgments and Theory of Mind” in Developmental Psychology. She also co-authored “Jimmy’s Baby Doll and Jenny’s Truck: Young Children’s Reasoning About Gender Norms” in Child Development and “Adolescents’ Reasoning About Parental Gender Roles” in The Journal of Genetic Psychology. ConryMurray opened this spring’s Faculty Speakers Series with a presentation on “Culture and Development: Effects on Reasoning about Gender Equity.”





Penn State Beaver Nittany News

from student leader to leader of students


always a penn stater

t’s 1987, and a young sophomore poses in front of the Brodhead Cultural Center for the cover of a new admissions recruitment brochure. She appears unsure about who she is and what she wants to do, but ready to embark on her future. She is the personification of an ’80s coed — short, permed hair, big earrings and a chunky bracelet, wearing red knit pants and a bright blue sweatshirt.


Photos by Cathy Benscoter


Story by Jennifer Durbin ‘13 Com

continued on page 26


other job and home responsibilities cut into that, face time with students still brings great rewards. Recently at a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game, she saw a young woman whom she

recognized as a Beaver student from the early ’90s. Gartley remembered the former student’s struggle with an eating disorder and recalled connecting her with a counseling center. “She looked wonderful,” Gartley said. “It was awesome to see 20 years later that she had overcome that bump in the road and made it through.” But it was when Gartley recalled the night a few years ago when she presented an award to a student that her true compassion really shone through. Tears began to pool in her eyes, and she found it difficult to speak as she related the moment. Being careful not to mention specifics, she described the student’s bad home life and how much she had to overcome. “I knew what appeared to be very normal, behind the curtain for her it wasn’t normal at all,” Gartley said. “She persevered through all this family stuff. I’m not sure anybody had heartstrings tugged harder

Penn State Beaver Nittany News

Fast forward to New Student Day 2012, 25 years later, and that same woman is now the embodiment of Penn State, wearing khaki capris embroidered with the Penn State logo, a white Penn State golf shirt, and Penn State dangle earrings. Only now she is a woman sure of herself and her job. She’s hustling between rooms, handling problems and getting nervous students excited as they prepare to start classes at Penn State Beaver. The woman is 44-year-old Amy (Blinn) Gartley ’90 Com, associate director of student affairs, and she’s no less a Penn Stater now than she was as a student back in 1987. Gartley’s position encompasses residence life, student activities, career and personal counseling, health services, and athletics. “In student affairs, you have to wear many hats,” said Jill Bender, staff assistant for the Offices of Student Affairs and Residence Life. Of the many hats Gartley wears, her favorite is working directly with students. Though her


Amy Gartley and Chris Rizzo, both standing, cheer on the men’s basketball team in the PSUAC finals against Penn State York.




Penn State Beaver Nittany News

continued from page 25


than me, knowing what I did,” she added. “Amy genuinely cares about the students that she serves and the people she works with,” said Dr. Christopher Rizzo, director of student affairs. Gartley has been a presence on the Beaver campus for more than 20 years. She attended Beaver and Penn State Behrend in the late ’80s before graduating from Penn State Harrisburg in 1990 with a bachelor’s degree in communications. After her graduation in May, Gartley felt she was being drawn to higher education and started exploring how she could become involved with student activities. She contacted Dr. Robert DeWitt ’76 Lib, ’77 MEd, Beaver’s former director of student affairs, whom she knew from her job as a resident assistant (RA), and found out about an open position in residence life at Beaver. Having been an RA at the three campuses she attended, Gartley had the necessary experience. But she never thought that being an RA would set her on a career path she didn’t even know existed. Three months after graduating from Penn State, she was hired for the residence life posi-

tion at Beaver. However, she was told that if she wanted to continue to move ahead in higher education, she would need to obtain an advanced degree. At DeWitt’s urging, she earned a master’s degree in counseling services from Slippery Rock University. “He had an impact on me as a student and continued to have an impact as a professional,” Gartley said. “He set the bar high. He was always about developing me more and telling me I needed experience in this area or that.” Soon after getting her master’s degree, a student activities job opened at Beaver. Gartley moved into it and maintained the position until she became associate director of student affairs in 1996. She admits that at first she wasn’t sure about her new job because it encompassed student conduct, a position she likened to being the principal. “I’m the fun person,” Gartley said. “I was afraid it would change who I was.” After much reflection, she decided that student conduct didn’t need to be viewed that way and she could do it differently. She wanted to be seen as “someone who would be fair and equitable in the system and still want to be strong about what the policy is, but approachable at the same time.” Rizzo said, “In this job, you run into students in crisis or having a conduct issue, and Amy has a really strong ability to make meaning out of those situations and apply that to life

lessons or to help them to get the help they may need.” “She is firm and caring together,” added Jeremy Lindner ’00 Bus, director of housing and food services. “She can tell students the message they don’t want to hear in a caring manner so they can accept it.” Gartley has the same caring manner with her students’ parents, Bender said. “I’ve had parents screaming at me in the office or over the phone, but I pass that on to Amy, and they always leave her office happy,” she said. “They may not have gotten the end result they wanted, but they’re happy with the process that she gave them.” Lindner, for one, is happy that Gartley has a relationship with the parents. He met Gartley in the fall of 1996 when he was a student at Beaver. His mother met her then, too. Gartley made herself so accessible that, even though Lindner lived at home, when he was so busy he wouldn’t see his mom for days, she called Gartley to check and make sure he was doing OK. In 2004 when the job of director of housing and food services opened up at Penn State Greater Allegheny, Gartley thought of Lindner. This time it was Gartley who picked up the phone and called Lindner’s mom to tell her about the open position. Lindner is grateful for that phone call. “Only special people make those phone calls,” he said.

While taking a break from the action during Move In Day 2012, Amy Gartley tells peer leader Adrijana Vukelic a story about a Harmony Hall love triangle that she had to deal with when she was a resident assistant.


clarify that her fondness for Grisham novels “is not because I wanted to be a lawyer. It’s because he writes in nice short chapters that can be easily picked up and set down.” If not a lawyer, then what did she want to be growing up? Looking back, Gartley said she’s not really sure she ever wanted to “be” anything and now she’s unsure whether she would like to be anything other than what she is. She likes the flexibility of her job. “I don’t think I could be in just residence life or just student conduct,” Gartley said. “I don’t know that I’m willing to give up the variety.” Gartley’s dedication to her job was evident in April when she received the Penn State Beaver Advisory Board Staff Excellence Award. The award is given as a result of nominations submitted by students, faculty and staff. One nominator wrote, “She has become a foundation of support on campus able to bring people together to achieve mutual goals. As a primary campus leader supporting and working with students, staff, faculty, parents, and families, she understands the critical role Student Affairs plays in supporting and constructing a safe and vibrant campus community.” Gartley said she was stunned to receive the award. “I was truly honored and didn’t expect it. For more than 20 years, I’ve been motivated by our students through residence life and student leadership experiences,” she said. “I like to learn what’s unique about each student, and I really enjoy helping them assess what they’re doing now to see how it can benefit them in the future.”


the late ’80s before leaving for another college on a baseball scholarship, but the two didn’t really know each other well. It wasn’t until the 1990s that Gartley became reacquainted with Bill. After noticing that she was always on campus, one of her adult students suggested she join a gym off campus. It was there that Gartley ran into Bill and recognized him as a former Beaver student. They reconnected, dated and were married in 1995. They have three children, Jake, 10; Grace, 9; and Faith, 6. Soon after having children, Gartley realized she would have to choose sometimes between her campus kids and her own kids. She said at first it was difficult because she was used to being on campus all the time. It helped when Bill chose to be a stay-at-home dad while obtaining his master’s degree in business administration from Robert Morris University. Now he works part-time in the evenings at FedEx Express and homeschools the children. “It might not be great for him, but it works for the family,” she said. With her husband’s help, Gartley found she had time for all the kids in her life. “It just has to be more planned and less spontaneous” when it involves her students. With all of Gartley’s responsibilities, it’s not surprising that she doesn’t have much spare time. She admits she’s a very energetic person and never sits still. She relaxes by working out in the mornings. She doesn’t watch movies or TV, or even have cable, but she does like to listen to the radio and read. She prefers newspapers and John Grisham novels, but is quick to

Penn State Beaver Nittany News

“She remembers people,” Bender said. “She might not always get it right, but she knows who you are.” Bender is grateful for that; otherwise she may not be Gartley’s assistant today. As a student in 1998, Bender worked in student activities for Gartley. Almost 10 years later she happened to run into her in the mall. Gartley remembered Bender and the work she had done and told her she was looking for an assistant. Bender applied, got the job, and has worked at Beaver since then. Gartley had good training for the hard work and multitasking expected in her position. She put herself through college by working long hours at a convenience store and helping out on her family’s small farm with barn chores, cutting acres of grass and weeding the garden. Gartley credits the lack of financial means with creating her strong work ethic. “My parents said, ‘If you want something, then you need to figure out a game plan to get it.’ ” So in junior high, when Gartley’s parents wouldn’t pay for the contact lenses she wanted, she decided to raise the $300 herself and got a paper route. “Out in the country, you do it on foot. So even though I only had 30 papers, I covered about two miles,” she said. With money also going out for other expenses, like shoes and clothes, it took Gartley three years to get her contacts, but she did it. That work ethic shines through today. “If Amy says it’s going to be done, she gets it done. You can rely on her,” Rizzo said. Hard work is not the only family tradition for Gartley; Penn State is, too. Like many Penn State alumni, Gartley was brought up frequently hearing about the University, just not through the usual rah-rah way that most people associate with Penn State families. “We heard more about Penn State through the cooperative extension than through football.” The family tradition of Penn State began with her father, an agriculture teacher and farmer who attended Penn State University Park. When her older sister decided to go away to college but didn’t want to go too far from their Lawrence County home, she chose Beaver campus. Her brother, only 15 months older, soon followed. When it came time for Gartley to choose, she briefly considered Grove City College but soon realized they didn’t have enough majors to choose from. So she opted to continue in her siblings’ footsteps and chose Beaver campus, as did her youngest brother. Gartley’s husband, Bill, attended Beaver in










Penn State Beaver Nittany News

New on Campus


Justin A. Vorbach ’11 Bus and Rachel Zughaib ’09 Lib joined the Admissions Office staff as admissions counselors last fall. Before working at Beaver, Vorbach spent a year as an undergraduate enrollment counselor and recruiter at Penn State New Kensington, where he also served as a student group coordinator, social media coordinator, and graphic designer for campus marketing. Vorbach, who graduated from Penn State Beaver, was an intern in the campus’s Admissions Office his senior year. Vorbach holds a bachelor’s degree in business management and marketing and was an active member of many campus organizations, including the Lion Ambassadors. Zughaib was hired after spending almost two years as an international and exchange student services specialist at Robert Morris University. Previously, she was an admissions counselor at Lycoming College and a client services manager for Affinity Connection Inc. She holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations and a minor in Spanish from Penn State. Joshua Hunt and Carl Malobabich Jr. are the newest staff members in the Office of

Housing and Food Services. Last spring Hunt was hired to work in the Brodhead Bistro as well as to assist with the implementation and catering of events on campus. He is a 2007 graduate of Center Area High School and attended Beaver campus for three years. In the past, he also worked periodically for the Office of Physical Plant Services. Malobabich is a chef whose positions have included second cook for Penn State Hospitality Services and executive chef at Gateway Lodge Country Inn and Restaurant and the DuBois Country Club. Among other places, he was a sous-chef at Jackson Rancheria Casino Hotel and Conference Center, Jackson, Calif., where he received the Achievement in Excellence Award and was featured in the D’Vine Wine and Visitors Guide as chef of the Bronze Eagle Restaurant. Malobabich, a U.S. Air Force veteran, graduated from the International Culinary Academy in Pittsburgh. Last spring James J. VanKirk was hired as head coach of the men’s soccer team. He is a lead provider advocate, UPMC Health Plan,

Business Support Department, and has worked in health care for 16 years. He has extensive experience in coaching youth and young adults at South Allegheny High School, Keystone Oaks High School, West Mifflin High School and Soccer Club, Three Rivers Soccer Club, and the Pittsburgh Football Club. He holds a coaching license from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. VanKirk is a graduate of South Allegheny High School and earned an associate degree in applied science from The Western School of Health and Business Careers, Pittsburgh. Marque R. Wiese was hired as a University Police Services officer in spring 2012. Previously, he was a full-time police officer at Point Park University and in Aliquippa. He is an instructor in firearms, CPR, first aid, and AED use, is Act 120 certified, and has completed the Municipal Police Officers Training Academy. Wiese studied criminology at Indiana State University for four years and holds an associate degree in police technology from Community College of Beaver County.

in memoriam: dawn steele Dawn Steele, a chef for more than 20 years in the Office of Housing and Food Services, died unexpectedly Nov. 21, 2012, at Heritage Valley Beaver, with her husband, Kurt, by her side. “Dawn was the most genuine person that I have ever met. She always spoke the truth, but she did it in a way that you knew she truly cared about you,” said Kelly Marcello, manager of Housing and Food Services. “She took such pride in her job. Dawn loved to make her customers happy.” Steele prepared meals for the campus’s Brodhead Bistro, a full-service food court. Although she cooked savory dishes on a daily basis, Steele’s real culinary passion was bak-

ing, including homemade muffins, pecan bars, cakes, and no-bake cookies. She also prepared more specialized dishes and desserts for special campus events. “Dawn was someone who loved her job, loved the students, and made this place a great place to work,” said Chris Geary, another Bistro coworker. Steele, a stepmother to two daughters, graduated from Monaca High School and earned her culinary arts degree from the Pittsburgh Culinary Institute. Longtime friend Leslie Kelly grew up with Steele, attending high school and the Culinary Institute together and finally, working alongside each other in the Bistro for 18 years. “She was

a true friend, a great mother and wife, and was always encouraging,” said Kelly. Coworker Lois Jacobs said she and Steele always thought of their late mothers when they saw butterflies. “She told me that she wanted to get wings to make the world a more beautiful place,” Jacobs said. In December the students held an on-campus memorial service for Steele, which included donating funds to Eastern Star of Aliquippa, of which Steele was a member, and distributing butterfly pins to the campus community. ——— Material for this article was taken from a story written by JeQa Powe for the December 2012 edition of The Roar, the campus’s student newspaper.


Brenton Rhone organizes his papers while listening to a lecture in one of his criminal justice classes.

Overcoming obstacles Alnycea Blackwell Com student

continued on page 30


Grunstra’s tests. He flips a page of the handout the professor provided. “I never had him before,” Rhone says. “I don’t know how the test is going to be.” And again, for a few more minutes, Rhone falls silent. The rim of his Penn State cap covers his eyes and glasses while he looks down at the material. His head slowly comes up and he looks at the clock. It’s 10:55 a.m. “Gotta go now. About to be late for class,” Rhone says. He packs his things into a briefcase-style bag and heads off for Women and the Criminal Justice System, a course taught by Dr. Mari Pierce, assistant professor of administration of justice. Rhone pushes the controls on his motorized wheelchair to get to the door. He opens it


It’s a Wednesday morning, and the room in the General Classroom Building is dimly lit from the rainy sky outside. Notebooks and papers are spread out on the table in front of Brenton Rhone, who’s bundled up in a thick coat and sweatpants. His face is down as he hides behind a book. Then he looks up and smiles. “The first thing I do when I wake up is pray,” he says. His head goes down once again, and he goes back to doing what every college student does: studying. But one thing sets Rhone apart from other students: Guillain-Barré Syndrome, which allows the body’s immune system to attack its nervous system. The illness completely paralyzed Rhone, 40,

on Halloween 2005. When he was on his way to work at UPMC, he felt sluggish. As soon as he arrived the nurses took one look at him and insisted he see a doctor. “Slowly, I started losing feeling in my body,” he says. Now, though still in a wheelchair, Rhone has recovered control of most of his body. He still isn’t able to walk, but when his nerves “reconnect,” he will. As faculty and students who see him on campus can attest, Rhone’s positive outlook on life helps him get through each day. “He answers questions and he shows enthusiasm for learning, whereas a lot of students are more going through the motions,” says Dr. Matt Grunstra, assistant professor of earth and mineral sciences. This day Rhone is studying for one of

Penn State Beaver Nittany News

Adult student’s attitude gets him past the effects of his illness


Student awards and honors Six campus students have received top honors since last spring. Stephen Dusicsko was a junior business major when he received the 2012 Eric A. and Josephine S. Walker Award, which is given annually to a student at each Penn State campus in recognition of achievements in and out of the classroom. The 2013 Walker Award recipient was Michelle Beckman, a senior business major. Both Dusicsko and Beckman graduated last month. Darlene Coulanges, then a sophomore human development and family studies




Penn State Beaver Nittany News

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slightly. It takes him a moment, but it’s just enough to get his wheelchair through. He zooms off into the next room by using the same technique. Rhone turns his wheelchair around to the front. A classmate close by gets up and pushes a small table toward him so he can use it as a desk. Today the class is working in groups to answer a set of questions. This kind of group work didn’t happen the first time Rhone went to college. He was a student at Cheney University, but he didn’t really want to be there. “It was my fault. I was a typical freshman. I wasn’t going to classes.” Rhone was put on academic probation. This time it’s a different story. Rhone has a grade-point average of 3.2 and was nominated for the campus’s prestigious Eric A. and Josephine S. Walker Award, which recognizes a student’s achievements in and out of the classroom. He expects to graduate in spring 2014. His health aide, Pam Murray of Beaver Falls, has no doubt he’ll make that happen. “I’ve been with him since the beginning. To what he used to do when I first started, to what he is now... it’s truly amazing,” Murray said. Murray accompanies Rhone to campus four days a week. Sometimes, she goes with

major, was named Outstanding Student of the Year in 2012. Coulanges is now at Penn State University Park. Carly McKinnis, a junior forensic science major, received the 2013 Outstanding Student of the Year Award. In April, Kyung Min Kim, a senior psychology major, was invited to present his paper “Problems of Market Values Placed in the U.S. Education” at the 2013 State University of New York Oneonta Undergraduate Philosophy Conference. Last fall Kim was a double winner in the International Students section of the Penn

him to class, and she drives him to campus when he’s in a regular wheelchair instead of a motorized one. Murray is the reason Rhone considered coming to Penn State Beaver. She suggested it to him after he realized his first choice college, Robert Morris University, was too expensive. Rhone called Marcess Williams, one of Beaver’s admissions counselors. “Marcess started hustling to get me into Beaver before he even met me,” Rhone says. Within a week he was a new Penn State student majoring in administration of justice. That major keeps him busy. After Pierce’s class, he heads for the library to work with other students on a group presentation. They write down ideas. Rhone makes the suggestion of doing a skit to introduce the presentation. Though all the group members turn him down, he says he’ll do whatever they need him to do. The meeting ends and the members begin to leave. “I’ve been trying to get to one of your games,” Rhone says to the two basketball players in his group. “You should come,” sophomore Marquis Samuels says as he leaves the table. Rhone smiles as they leave, and they ask why he’s always so happy. “I’m just so happy that I made it in,” he says. “Just being able to get to class …” After graduation, Rhone hopes to find a master’s degree program online and achieve his No. 1 goal: becoming more independent. “I’m definitely looking forward,” Rhone says.

State Global Perspectives Photography Contest sponsored by the University Office of Global Programs. He won in the “Places” category and in the “Me Abroad” category. Kim graduated in May. Brittany Main, a senior administration of justice major, received the 2013 Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Justice Educators Undergraduate Scholarship Award. She was honored for her criminal justice research, which she presented in a paper at the association’s conference at Penn State Schuylkill in April. Main also graduated last month.


continued from page 23 Dr. David Paoletti, assistant professor of computer science, was the primary author of “Inferring the Number of Contributors to Mixed DNA Profiles,” in IEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics. Dr. Robert Szymczak, associate professor of history, wrote “Dr. Teofil Starzynski, the Polish Falcons, and the Plan for a Polish-American Military Unit, 1942-1943,” in the Polish American Studies: Polish American Historical Association journal. He presented “The New Wave Hits Western Pennsylvania: Eastern and Southern Europeans and the Creation of a Stereotype (1900-1930)” for the New Brighton Historical Society, and co-presented “Attaining Teaching Excellence” for the Fall Faculty Speaker Series with Dr. Robin Bower, associate professor of Spanish, and Karen Barr, senior instructor in business. Wijekumar co-authored “Large-scale Randomized Controlled Trial with 4th Graders Using Intelligent Tutoring of the Structure Strategy to Improve Nonfiction Reading Comprehension” in Educational Technology Research and Development, Association for Educational Communications & Technology. In addition, she wrote a grant report, “Efficacy Grant on ITSS,” and co-authored a technical report, “The Effects of Odyssey® Math on Grade 4 Student Math Achievement in the Mid-Atlantic Region,” which were published by the Institute of Education Sciences. She also presented “Caught in the Storm: Navigating the Internet Storm,” a professional development presentation for guidance counselors from schools in the Beaver campus service area. Nancy Woods, instructor in education and executive director of Adult Literacy Action, received Pittsburgh’s Jefferson Award for Public Service, which honors public and community service.

unsolved mystery Student’s video could help investigators solve 2005 murder By Zak Taylor ’12 Com

Nancy Paoletti stepped in. “When the District Attorney’s Office and the Beaver County Detective Bureau approached him and he mentioned it to the class, I was, like, ‘I want that. It’s mine, please. Gimme,’ ” Paoletti said. “And I’m glad he did because it has opened doors for me.” The video was created for Chapin’s television field production class as part of a service learning project. Paoletti spent countless hours interviewing police, combing through evidence, and editing the audio and video. “It’s 45 minutes. I don’t know if you’ve ever done any video production, but that’s just massive,” said Chapin. Usually Paoletti was able to keep her composure, although she admits the case did eventually tear at her emotions. “It’s heartbreaking that a woman of her age was attacked that way. It was just vicious, and knowing her age, it is really hard and emotional. But as a journalist, even though you feel it on the inside, you can’t let it get to you too much,” she said. “But there was a point where if I had to listen to the 911 tape one more time, I was going to have to lock myself in a room and cry.” Gall was very pleased with Paoletti’s work. “The finished product was better than I envisioned,” he said. It was so good that he’s asked Paoletti to create another video for a different case. “She promised that the one she’s making now is going to be better. Some people would just say that, but when she tells me, I believe it.”

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Learning and doing

Penn State Beaver Nittany News

On Christmas Eve 2005, Anna Rocknick met the devil. “It was like something out of a novel,” said Beaver County District Attorney Anthony Berosh ’70 Lib. That night the 94-year-old widow was violently ripped from her sleep by a strange, dark figure. The intruder rifled through her belongings before approachrocknick ing her bed. He demanded money. She refused. What happened next was perhaps the most abhorrent crime in the history of Harmony Township. “I’m bleeding. Somebody came in the house, and they clobbered me. They split my head, and I’m all bloody. I was in the bed sleeping, and they were beating me up,” Rocknick sobbed to a 911 operator. Do you know who attacked you? she was asked. Yes, she did. “The devil did this to me.” “The devil” was what Rocknick often called people she deemed unsavory. “Is her description more about an evaluation of the person, or is it a description of the person?” Berosh wondered aloud. Rocknick went on to describe her attacker as a tall, white male wearing a hooded sweatshirt. “Initially they thought she was going to live

and this would be something that was quickly solvable,” said Beaver County Detective Andrew Gall. “And it’s been heartbreaking ever since.” Anna Rocknick died shortly after arriving at Allegheny General Hospital. More than seven years have passed since that cold December night, and while the case remains unsolved, it hasn’t been forgotten. “We don’t refer to our cases as cold cases because we never stop investigating,” said Sergeant Jim Essek of the Harmony Township Police Department. Hundreds of people have been interviewed, Essek said, and new suspects have been added to the list. “All these binders here, they all belong to that one case,” he said, waving his hand over dozens of binders crammed with evidence from the unsolved case. Essek, like many of the policemen who responded to the 911 call, has a particularly strong tie to the case. “I grew up two houses away from Mrs. Rocknick. My mother still lives there.” But with many of those same officers closing in on retirement, a new plan to keep the case alive was put into motion. The case would be immortalized as a video so that future detectives would not only have access to the written files, but could also watch first-hand accounts of what happened on the night of the crime. Last summer, Gall contacted Dr. John Chapin, professor of communications, to ask if he and one of his students would be willing to help. That’s when senior communications major



Nicholas Andrews accepts the Penn State Beaver Outstanding Alumni Award at the campus Advisory Board meeting in January.



Penn State Beaver Nittany News

Andrews receives Alumni Award


Nicholas H. Andrews ’77 Bus received the 2012 Penn State Beaver Outstanding Alumni Award at an on-campus dinner meeting of the Penn State Beaver Advisory Board in January. The award, presented by Chancellor Gary Keefer, is given on the basis of professional achievement, contributions to society and/or involvement with Beaver campus. Andrews is president and owner of Andrews Industrial Controls Inc., a company he founded in 1977 that employs more than 20 people. Located in Carnegie, the company is committed to servicing the energy industry throughout western Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, and Maryland. Its focus is on product solutions for measurement and controls for oil and gas, power generation, coal, chemicals, metals, mining, pulp, paper, and water quality. Andrews played varsity baseball during his years at Beaver campus before moving on to graduate from Penn State University Park. He is a member of the prestigious Penn State Smeal College of Business Presidents Club and Sigma Chi Fraternity (Alpha Chi Chapter) at Penn State.

“Even though I graduated from a very competitive high school at Mount Lebanon (Pittsburgh), I can assure you that scholastically, my peers at Penn State Beaver were every bit as talented and driven,” he said when he accepted his award. “Penn State’s curriculum in the business school was solid, a great mix of advanced math, physics, chemistry, biology, and all the humanities. I still interview candidates from many other schools, and trust me, not many can match this.” In 2009 Andrews became president-elect of the Beaver campus Advisory Board and also established an annual scholarship for campus students. He’s an active member of his community as well, having served as president of the Pittsburgh Section Instrument Society of America and on the board of directors of the Chartiers Country Club. He was a member of the Representative Council for the Yokogawa Corp. of America, a member of the Representative Advisory Council of G.E. Masoneilan, and a member of the

ABB Representative Advisory Council. Andrews has continued his interest in athletics by serving as coach and commissioner of the Lebanon Baseball Association, is a member of the Grounds Committee at Oakmont Country Club, and a member of the board of directors for Pittsburgh’s YMCA Camp T. F. Soles. He’s also served as a coach and business manager for various hockey organizations in and around Pittsburgh, a coach and commissioner for the Mount Lebanon Baseball Association, and a director of youth athletics at St. Nicholas Cathedral. Andrews was overwhelmed by responses he received from those at the dinner, as well as colleagues and friends who learned about his award. “It was a very nice event, and I must say I was pretty humbled by it.” He and his wife, Bernice, live in Upper St. Clair. Andrews noted that Penn State “runs in the family.” The couple’s sons, David, who attended Beaver campus, and Scott ’09 A&A, work with their father in his business.

alumni update 1970s

Thomas D. Trzcinski ’73 Bus, owner and lead designer of Kitchen & Bath Concepts of Pittsburgh, LLC, is the only Certified Master Kitchen and Bath Designer in the Pittsburgh area. He has received 11 first-place National Kitchen and Bath Association National Design Awards. He is a member of the Penn State Beaver Advisory Board and the Beaver Campaign Steering Committee. Sherman E. Hostetter ’77 Bus is the owner of Sherman Hostetter Auctioneers in Beaver Falls and is a full-time auctioneer and real estate broker licensed in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. Lisa (Custard) Majerchik ’78 H&HD retired from her career as an RN and CNOR-certified surgical nurse in April 2012 following the death of her husband, Nicholas Majerchik ’79 Eng, in May 2011. Nicholas, who built his career at PPG Industries, had most recently worked on the glass used for New York City’s new One World Trade Center. The couple met at Beaver campus in 1975 in a sociology class taught by the late Dr. Robert Devine. Cindy (Duganich) Hovanec ’79 Lib is a consultant for Mary Kay Cosmetics and owner of Cleaning by Cindy. She and her husband, Steve Hovanec ’80 Eng, are the parents of Stephen, Nicholas and Kelsey Anne. William Macon ’79 Eng is vice president of Michael Baker Jr. Inc. and a retired Air Force colonel. He and his wife, Sally D. Macon, also a retired Air Force colonel, live in San Antonio, Texas. Susan (Grau) Orochena ’79 A&A is a mortgage loan consultant for SunTrust Mortgage, Rockville, Md.


Joseph Naughton ’82 Ag is the lead designer for all sales and use tax software and data products for CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business. He has also been an adjunct instructor in accounting at Baruch College — The City University of New York since 2007.

Diane (Barna) Canning ’87 Bus is an internal auditor with West Penn Allegheny Health System and a Certified Treasury Professional. Lewis M. Farkas ’87 Bus is senior analyst and study director, Department of Defense, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. He received a master’s degree in systems management from the Florida Institute of Technology in 1997. Steve Frauenheim ’87 EMS is manager of the Business Information Group, Edison Electric Institute, in Washington, D.C. He and his wife, Susan, live in Herndon, Va., with sons John, 16, and Ryan, 11. Contact him at Tom Day ’88 Bus is CEO of West Point Products, a U.S.-based manufacturer and distributor of consumable supplies for the printing and imaging

industry that employs 550 people. Last year he established Day Capital Group, a private equity fund. He is a member of the board of directors and executive committee for the Imaging Technology Council and serves on the advisory board of GeoSpatial Innovations. Tom and his wife, Michelle (Bower) Day ’89 Eng, met at Beaver campus and live in Washington, Pa. They have two children, both of whom attend Penn State. Greg Cerminara ’89 Eng is assistant vice president at Michael Baker Jr. Inc. and vice president of the Penn State Beaver Advisory Board.


Julian E. Gray ’91 Lib is the founder and managing attorney of Julian Gray Associates, the largest elder care law practice in western Pennsylvania. He was the campus commencement speaker in May 2012. Reed Hankinson ’92 Edu is director of programs for EduLink Inc., an educational consulting and technology company he co-founded in 1998. Hankinson

continued on page 34


Graham H. Smith Jr. ’83 Eng, ’06 MEng is a senior development engineer/signal integrity engineer for TE Connectivity/Aerospace Defense and Marine Division. After 30 years with the Pennsylvania Air National Guard-211th Engineering Installation Squadron, he retired as lieutenant colonel commander in March. He lives in Mechanicsburg and has two sons, Graham III, 18, and Brandon, 15. Contact him at or

Mary Catherine (Gray) Kiliany ’86 Lib is a lecturer in English and coordinator of communications skills placement and assessment at Robert Morris University, where she received a master’s degree in instructional leadership in 1996. She and her husband, Regis P. Kiliany Jr., are the parents of Caitlin Mary, 11.

this time, you may never catch up to your peers.” The president’s plan provides free, quality preschool to all 4 year olds who live at or below 200 percent of the poverty line, Froats said. The plan includes incentives for states to provide preschool to middle-class 4 year olds as well. Froats said that moving low-income or poverty-level 4-year-old children into preschool frees up significant funds for the Office of Head Start, which serves many of these children. The funds will allow Head Start to focus on providing early childhood services to an increased number of children 0 to 3 years of age, helping them “get started on the right path from the beginning.” He also noted that President Obama said the proposal won’t add to the deficit. “I certainly can’t take credit for inventing the idea of universal preschool, but I did help get that idea to the president and into his speech, getting it one step closer to reality,” said Froats. He and his wife, Sara, had their first child, Maggie, on May 10. They live in Waldorf, Md.


Louise Hiwiller ’83 Nur, ’97 MEd is a business advisor for Enterprise Intelligence, McKesson Provider Technologies; a mentor who teaches online credit courses for the W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing at Thomas Edison State College, Trenton, N.J., and a volunteer in the surgical waiting room at Heritage Valley Health System’s Sewickley campus.

Ted L. Froats Jr. ’11 Com has caught the eye of someone well positioned in U.S. government – President Barack Obama. Froats, a public affairs specialist with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C., manages communications for a variety of agencies, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and emergency response, but his specialty is early childhood education and development. “Working closely with staff from our early childhood office, I created a proposal for ‘universal preschool,’ including talking points and the arguments for and against, so they (the President’s team) would be aware of any potential criticisms up front,” Froats said. Obama used some of Froats’ talking points in his February State of the Union Address, where he announced universal preschool for the first time. “A lot of the details are still being worked out, but, in brief, study after study shows us that 0 to 5 years old is the most important time of a person’s life when it comes to brain development,” he said. “If you don’t start on the right path at

Penn State Beaver Nittany News

Daniel L. Sheets ’79 Eng is president of Lubrizol Additives, The Lubrizol Corp., in Wickliffe, Ohio. The company is one of the world’s leading suppliers of specialty chemicals for the transportation, industrial and consumer markets.

Froats’ report ends up in State of the Union


alumni update continued from page 33 and his wife, Mandy, live in Cranberry Township with their children, Benjamin, Carson, and Reagan. He can be contacted at George Logue ’92 Sci is owner and CEO of Devware Technology Inc, Pittsburgh. He and his wife, Leah, have three children: Jackie, 24; William, 22, a Penn State student, and Tyler, 18, and a granddaughter, Adrianna, 4. The couple lives in Moon Township. Contact Logue at 412-253-0602 (office), 412-977-7494 (cell), or Michael Botte ’93 Eng is associate director of sales for EMD Millipore Corp., Billerica, Mass. The company is a division of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. He and his wife, Jodi (Petrillo) Botte ’93 Lib, were married in 1995, have a 7-year-old daughter, Teya, and live near Philadelphia. David Carlin ’93 Eng is a technical sales representative for Ribelin Sales Inc. and has traveled through Europe, Asia, South America and North America. He and his wife, Jessica Carlin ’95 Com, have been married for 11 years and own a side business of purchasing distressed properties to renovate into modern rentals. They live in Atlanta. Craig Hanselman ’93 Bus is CEO/Owner of TremTek, Palm Beach, Fla., an online advertising space company specializing in email. He and his wife are parents of Mia and Chase, 9-month-old twins. Contact him at or 561864-3378.

Sean Strickland ’93 Bus has been head men’s basketball coach and assistant director of athletics, University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, for three years. He and his wife, Tracy (Penson) Strickland ’94 Eng, have five children: Taryn, 13; Trey, 8; Tayton, 6; Tyler, 3; and Troy, 3 months.


Michael Lambert ’94 Eng is senior engineer, Fluid Systems and Turbine-Generator Engineering, Westinghouse Electric Co. He and his wife have a 15-year-old son and a daughter, 13, and live in Saxonburg. Leigh Ann (Paich) Sobzack ’94 Bus is a CPA and manager of Lally & Co., LLC, Pittsburgh.


Penn State Beaver Nittany News

Donna Newell ’93 Eng, ’96 MEng is principal owner and president of NTM Engineering, Dillsburg, which specializes in water resources and structural engineering and engineering course development and instruction. She was the speaker at the Beaver campus fall 2012 commencement.

David Tomich ’94 Sci is a doctor of osteopathy and chief of medicine at Chandler Regional Medical Center, Chandler, Ariz. He graduated from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He is part owner of Alliance Hospitals, Phoenix, Ariz. He and his wife, Rosanne, were married in 2012.


Cynthia Hamlin ’95 Bus is a financial consultant for Investors Group Financial Services Inc. of Winnipeg, Canada, where she works with women and companies owned by women. Hamlin earned an

In Memoriam: Thomas P. Woolaway Thomas Philip Woolaway ’54 Eng, 81, a longtime friend and leader of the Penn State Beaver community, died May 22, 2013, in Marco Island, Fla. In 1962, Tom co-founded Tuscarora Inc., formerly Tuscarora Plastics, in New Brighton and retired in 1993 as chief operating officer to become vice chairman of the board of directors. Forbes Magazine twice named the company as one of the Best 200 Small Companies in America. After serving as president of the Penn State Beaver Advisory Board, he became a board member emeritus. Tom led the campus’ first fundraising campaign, and he and his wife, Shirley Musgrave Woolaway

M.B.A. at Utica College of Syracuse University in New York and lives in Toronto, Canada. Kirk List ’95 Bus is first vice president and branch manager for Stifel Nicolaus Co. Inc., Beaver, and assisted with last year’s opening of the company’s office in Green Tree. He assists individuals and businesses in designing and monitoring investments in retirement and estate plans. Jill Ciciarelli ’97 Lib is a holistic health coach, founder and owner of First Comes Health, and author of “Fermented: A Four Season Approach to Paleo Probiotic Foods,” which is an educational guide and cookbook focused on the health benefits of fermented foods. Victory Belt Publishing will release the book Aug. 6 to all major books retailers. She is also an Italian language teacher. Matt Ciciarelli ’98 Lib is assistant vice president for Pershing LLC. He and his wife, Julie ’99 H&HD, live in Willow Grove with their children Aaron, 5, and Faith, 3. David Smarrelli, CLU ’98 Eng is a financial advisor with Smarrelli Financial/MassMutual, Pittsburgh, and can be contacted at or 412-562-4457.


Jeremy Lindner ’00 Bus, is director of Housing and Food Services at Penn State Beaver. He and his wife, Aubre ’09 MEd, are the parents of Tessa, 6, and Libby, 3.

’54 Com, established the Thomas P. and Shirley M. Woolaway Endowed Scholarship at Beaver. He was also a member of the Penn State National Development Council and honorary chair of the Penn State Commonwealth College Campaign Committee. In 1993, he received the Penn State Outstanding Engineering Alumni Award. Four years later, Tom and Shirley were inducted into the Penn State Mount Nittany Society, and in 1999, Tom was named an Alumni Fellow by the Penn State Alumni Association. “Tom was a driving force behind our initial fundraising efforts” said Amy M. Krebs ’78 Lib, director of campus and community relations, “but more importantly, he was a devoted and very dear friend to us.” Tom and Shirley have three sons (Thomas A. ’83 Sci; Jeffrey, deceased; and Bradley) and five grandchildren.

Melissa (Tomich) Smith ’01 Eng works for GHD, an engineering, architecture, and environmental consulting firm in Harrisburg that serves global markets of water, environment, transportation, energy and resources, and property and buildings. Her husband, Chris Smith ’06 MEng, is employed by Modjeski and Masters Inc., Mechanicsburg, one of the world’s largest bridge engineering firms. Nicole Wilson ’02 Com is a professional development coordinator for the Pittsburgh office of Reed Smith, a global law firm. She designs and facilitates continuing education courses for attorneys and paralegals. In December she received a master’s degree in instructional leadership from Robert Morris University and holds a certificate in human resources management from Penn State Continuing Education. Wilson is also a volunteer facilitator for The Highmark Caring Place, Warrendale, which aids grieving children and families. Elizabeth M. (Foley) Zona ’02 Sci is an anesthesiologist in the West Penn Allegheny Health System Anesthesia Department, Forbes regional campus. She and Christopher Zona ’03 Bus, a customer service manager at Bayer MaterialScience, were married in 2005 and have a 19-month-old son, Zachary. Zona was the Beaver campus commencement speaker in May. Anthony Budris ’03 Lib was named police services supervisor at Penn State Beaver in January 2012. He was a police officer at Penn State Mont

alumni update Alto for five years before transferring to Beaver in 2009. He is a 2003 graduate of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Police Academy. Shawntaye Scott ’03 IST recently completed the Health Information Technology certificate program at the Community College of Allegheny County, Boyce campus. In May she completed the Master of Education program in Teaching English as a Second Language at Concordia University. Justin Vendemia ’03 Eng is an automation project engineer at Harsco Metals Americas, Cranberry Township, where his duties include electrical power and controls design and project management. He recently received the Harsco Continuous Improvement Certification for Proficiency in Lean Methodology and Problem Solving. Tina (Mancini) Altman ’05 H&HD is a kindergarten teacher at Baden Academy Charter School and lives in Center Township. In 2008 she received a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in elementary education from California University of Pennsylvania. Kate Hertneky ’05 Sci is a technical service representative for DuPont in Wilmington, Del. Since 2007 she has also worked for StudyPoint as an inhome tutor in high school mathematics, chemistry, and test preparation. In addition, she is in her fifth consecutive year as a volunteer fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen 3Day event. Eric McIntosh ’05 Bus is director of human resources for UPMC International & Commercial Services Division and UPMC Cancer Center. He was featured in the International Business section of the “Pittsburgh Thought Leaders” article in Pittsburgh magazine, October 2012. He and his wife, Jamie, live with their daughter, Samantha, in Beaver.

Erik Savini ’05 IST is senior IT project coordinator for ANH Refractories, Moon Township. He also owns Savini Realty and is a part-time firearms instructor and range safety officer.

Casey Fenton ’07 Com is a communications assistant for The Steel Recycling Institute, a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute. He lives in Crescent Township. Michael Mancini ’07 Bus is a B2B Sales Consultant at Staples Business Advantage. Vicki Viskovicz ’07 Lib is a therapeutic staff sup-

Rhiana Hertneky ’08 Bus is a sales operations leader at AT&T headquarters, Dallas, Texas, and is enrolled in the master’s degree program in the School of Leadership and Professional Advancement at Duquesne University. She received the 2012 Rookie Award from Habitat for Humanity, Dallas Chapter, and is one of several AT&T employees eligible for the President’s Volunteer Service Award. Christopher Bowyer ’09 Com is a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force.and is stationed at Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City, Fla., where he’s training to be an air battle manager. Cynthia Brown ’09 Lib is a therapist for Gateway Rehabilitation Center’s Extended Care Services-Halfway House, where she provides substance abuse therapy and support for adult men in an inpatient facility. She is also co-owner and operator of Keystone Kettle Korn, Monaca. Heather (Moore) Herstine ’09 Lib received a master’s degree in secondary English from Slippery Rock University in 2011, the same year she married Ryan Herstine, an IT associate for Frank Furher Wholesale. She is a substitute teacher at Beaver Area High School, a private tutor at Laughlin Children’s Center in Sewickley, an adjunct faculty member at Pittsburgh Technical Institute, and owner of That Girl, an independent distributor of Premier Designs jewelry. Contact her via Facebook or LinkedIn, or email Melissa Swoager ’09 Bus is an executive team leader of sales floor/guest experience for Target.


Dustin Baxa ’10 IST is an intelligence analyst II at Bayer MaterialScience and is enrolled in Penn State’s master of business administration program. Rachel Blick ’10 Lib is a milieu therapist at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, General Adult Inpatient Services Division, UPMC Pittsburgh, and is enrolled in Chatham University’s doctoral program in counseling psychology. Matt Jones ’10 Com is a freelance writer for the Beaver County Times and e-commerce content coordinator for Dick’s Sporting Goods. Stephanie Shearer ’10 Lib is a human resources assistant for Godiva Chocolatier, Reading, Pa.

Seth Edwards ’11 Bus and Jennifer Hain ’10 Com moved from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles, where Edwards is a professional recruiter for Maxim Healthcare Staffing. In February Hain founded A Breath of Fresh Air, a Facebook site that provides inspirational news, comments, and advice. Alexa J. Farrell ’11 Com is a human resources specialist in the HR1 Solution Center, which she helped to launch for Thermo Fisher Scientific, Pittsburgh. Jason A. Magnotte ’11 Bus was named project manager for ECM Solutions Group, LLC, in May. He is assistant to the COO and chief engineer. In addition, he is an Apple certified Macintosh technician and is pursuing a master’s degree in management information systems from Colorado State University. Gary Miller ’11 Com is a producer at WBVP and WMBA radio stations in Beaver Falls and a board operator for CBS Radio Pittsburgh, where he oversees operations for The Fan(93.7fm), Y108fm, and Star 100.7fm. Lucas Morack ’11 Bus is a guest services representative at the Courtyard by Marriott Pittsburgh North and owner of The DJ Booth. Justin Parasida ’11 Com works in sales at Bisco Industries in Pittsburgh. He married Amanda Boswell in May 2011. Megan Platz ’11 Nur is a trauma/transplant neuro nurse specializing in neurosurgery at UPMC Presbyterian. She also has a primary role in research projects involving brain and spinal cord trauma and works with patient care, positioning, and the innovation of minimally invasive cranial and spinal surgery. Maria Shamsi ’11 Bus is a management assistant at Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s McCandless Township office, where she handles sales and customer service. Previously she worked in Enterprise’s Cranberry Township and Pittsburgh International Airport offices. Dana Sklack ’11 Com is pursuing a master’s degree in international journalism with a focus on television and entertainment from City University London. In April she was a guest speaker at Beaver’s welcome dinner for students who have been accepted to Penn State. Ashley Stansfield ’11 Com is a deduction analyst in the Credit and Finance Department of Eaton Corp., Moon Township office, headquarters for the Eaton’s Electrical Division. She married Jeffrey Peternel in May, and they have a 15-month-old daughter, Jaelyn Elizabeth Peternel. Justin A. Vorbach ’11 Bus joined Penn State Beaver as an admissions counselor in November. Previously, he spent a year as an undergraduate enrollment counselor and recruiter at Penn State New Kensington. He is also a freelance photographer for

continued on page 37


John Elsman ’07 Lib is director of marketing for Sincerely Yogurt, a Pittsburgh-based company with eight locations and plans to expand.

Justin M. Chrobak ’08 Bus is the owner and operator of Krobs Klassics LLC, which buys and sells classic cars to clients in the United States and abroad, including Germany, Asia, Africa, Australia, and Sweden. He lives in Sarasota, Fla.

Elizabeth Vincenti ’10 Bus married Dave Kremin on Oct. 27, 2012.


Jessica (Leuthold) Young ’06 Lib and Josh Young ’06 Lib live and work in Peoria, Ill. Both obtained advanced degrees from Duquesne University. Jessica is a corporate attorney with Advanced Correctional Healthcare and holds a juris doctorate. Josh is a mental health therapist for the Children’s Home and holds a master of education in community counseling.

Suzann (Salo) Charlton ’08 Bus is accounting manager/franchise support for CSI Corporate Security and Investigations, Monaca, and lives with her husband, Lee, stepdaughter, Hannah, and son, Grant, in Oakdale.

Matt Strope ’10 Bus is manager of analytics-loss prevention for Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Penn State Beaver Nittany News

Jaskaran Singh Oberoi ’05 Bus is co-owner of Temple Clothing Inc., Boston. He and his wife were married in India last year.

port for Family Behavioral Resources in Somerset, Pa. She works with special needs children, including those with autism, bipolar disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, and attention deficit disorder. She is pursuing a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy at Seton Hill University.



Beaver campus alumnus Marques White anchors the news for WVNS-TV in Ghent, W.Va.

From PNC to TV



Penn State Beaver Nittany News

Marques White studied finance at Beaver before settling on a career in news


Can I call you back? We’ve got dead people here.” The voice of Marques White filters through the receiver. There’s no hint of stress, no panic. His tone isn’t cold or uncaring. It’s matter-of-fact, the type of voice you would expect from an experienced journalist.

As a reporter, anchor, and producer for WVNS-TV in Ghent, W.Va., the charismatic Penn State Beaver alumnus is used to chaos. It’s practically in his job description. “It’s an interesting job,” White ’06 Bus said later with a laugh, recounting his most tense experience. “The most interesting thing I have probably done was cover a standoff with a man who deputies say shot and wounded one of their own. The man kidnapped an elderly woman and held her hostage. I was outside of the home

near Topeka, Kan., covering the story for about 12 hours.” White won a first place Kansas Association of Broadcasters Award and a first place Kansas City Press Club Award for his coverage of the story. White started at Penn State Beaver in 2002 and graduated from Penn State Erie in 2006, earning a bachelor’s degree in finance. “I definitely remember some of the faculty members. I don’t know if I necessarily remember what I learned, but I remember that I certainly gained an appreciation for new ways of

Story by Zak Taylor ‘12 Com

thinking. And I certainly gained and developed my thinking skills while I was there,” he said. After graduation, White took a job at PNC Financial Services, where he worked as an accountant. For about a year, he crunched numbers and balanced budgets, but the life of an accountant just didn’t appeal to him. White left PNC and enrolled in graduate school at Point Park University in Pittsburgh. He said his experience winning two consecutive continued on page 37

alumni update continued from page 35 the Pittsburgh Pirates. Kim Aurin-Davies ’12 Bus is controller for GPX Inc. and owner/manager of K&D Accounting Services, LLC. She and her husband are the parents of Clinton, 21; Kyle, 18, and Kayla, 16. Contact her at Jessica Bartges ’12 Lib is a corrections monitor for Gateway Rehab-Sheffield, where she works with the female inpatient, work release, and parole violator programs. Contact her at jessicabartges@ Matthew Collingwood ’12 Lib is a customer service representative with United States Investigation Services and plans to apply to law school. He and his girlfriend, Kaylin Clingensmith, are expecting their first child, Maxwell, in June. Valerie Cycholl ’12 IST is an operating systems engineer at UPMC and a newly elected member of the Board of Directors, Beaver Valley Area Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association. In February she was the guest speaker at Beaver’s welcome dinner for students who have been accepted to Penn State. Nicole DeFerrari ’12 Lib is pursuing a master’s degree in sport psychology from Chatham University, where she also works as a research assistant. She works part-time at the YMCA as a youth and teen instructor for hockey, basketball and flag football. Roger Garza ’12 IST is a software engineer for UPMC’s Technology Development Center in Pittsburgh. He and his wife, Jody, who also attended Beaver, live with their 5-year-old son, Ryan, in the North Hills. Amy Green ’12 Com is an adoption counselor for

continued from page 36

Animal Friends, Pittsburgh. Contact her at agreen@ Elizabeth Hain ’12 Com is a senior team lead at Target Corp. in North Fayette Township. Trey W. Hudspeth ’12 Com is a human resources representative at Sears in Center Township. Julie Leeper ’12 Com is an agent, producer, and customer service representative for Farmers

Jessica Sassic ’12 Sci is a laboratory manager and research technician with the McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge. Taylor Voss ’12 Lib is a legal advocate for Crisis Center North, a domestic violence awareness and prevention agency in Pittsburgh that offers a variety of services, including counseling, court accompaniment, and a 24-hour hotline. George E. Zeranick Jr. ’12 Bus works in customer service in the Coil Coatings Division at CENTRIA’s Ambridge plant. The company is headquartered in Moon Township. He and his wife, a nurse for Heritage Valley Health System, Beaver, live in Center Township and have two children, George III, 4, and Ashtyn, 10, who plans to study nursing at Penn State. Steven J. Dusicsko ’13 Bus is employed in the GE Commercial Leadership Program in the Erie area. He will work in various areas of business sales and marketing in four six-month rotations. In April he was a guest speaker at Beaver’s welcome dinner for students who have been accepted to Penn State.

memorable because those were epic moments in history and big moments to be working in a newsroom,” White said. He eventually left Pittsburgh and headed to Topeka, Kan., where he was a news anchor for a local CBS affiliate. In February 2012, White accepted a job at WOWK-TV, the CBS affiliate for the Charleston-Huntington area in W.Va., where he anchored the morning news. He stayed at WOWK-TV for almost a year before moving to his current job with WVNS-TV. “It’s not your typical 9-5 job,” said White. When he’s not producing the 6 and 11 o’clock newscasts, White spends his time updating the station website and Facebook pages, periodically checking the national newswires for breaking stories. “You never want some person on the street to know more about what’s happening in the world than you do,” he said.


At Point Park he was encouraged to break into the business as soon as possible. “One of my mentors told me, ‘If you want to be on TV, you may as well do it while you’re young,’ and that’s exactly what I did.” In 2008, White jumped into TV and quickly gained experience at KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh. He began his journey into the fast-paced world of news reporting as an intern, but quickly impressed his superiors and was eventually offered a full-time job with the station as an associate producer. It was during this time that he had two of his most memorable experiences. On Nov. 5, 2008, White sat before the studio cameras to announce Barack Obama’s victory over Senator John McCain, becoming the nation’s first African-American president. Three months later he covered the Pittsburgh Steelers’ road to Super Bowl glory in a 27-23 victory over the Arizona Cardinals. “The Super Bowl and the election were very

Scott O’Hara ’12 Lib is a youth caseworker for juveniles at Adelphoi Village, Rochester. He has a son, Ryan Michael, 25. Contact him at 724-6835118 or


second-place prizes in the Penn State Beaver Undergraduate Research Fair under the tutelage of Dr. John Chapin helped prepare him for this transition. “All the research I did in that fair helped me go on to use research in graduate school,” he said. It was at Point Park University that he began to study journalism, a profession that he held close to his heart as a young child. “I think I always knew I wanted to be in journalism as a kid. I would wake up and change the channel immediately to one I had an interest in. I asked my family questions about TV — why do they do this, and why do they do that?” he said.

We like to know what our Penn State Beaver alumni are doing, and your college friends would, too. Let us know about your job, where you work and live, awards, achievements, promotions, additions to your family, or any other professional or personal changes in your life. We’ll include your information in the 2014 edition of the Beaver campus Nittany News. Fill out our alumni update form online at alumniupdate. Or contact Amy Krebs at, 724-773-3816, or on LinkedIn. You can also post updates and LIKE us on our Facebook page at

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Insurance and assisted in opening the company’s Bridgeville office in January. Her job includes sales, prospecting new clients, and coordinating daily maintenance of existing clients’ policies and inquiries.


Athletics news

Teams excel in conference Penn State Beaver’s athletics teams enjoyed another successful year in 2012-13. The campus won Penn State University Athletic Conference Championships in softball and women’s basketball and was a PSUAC runner-up in men’s basketball. Three teams qualified for the United States Collegiate Athletic Association National Tournament, seven players were named USCAA All-American, and three players were named USCAA Honorable Mention. In addition, Beaver tied with Penn State Brandywine for second place in the PSUAC Chancellor’s Cup, which recognizes the athletic success of each campus. Teams are ranked according to a point system that records final league standings, playoff appearances and championships. With only eight varsity sports, Beaver finished ahead of other campuses that offer 10 or more sports. Penn College, with 11, won the Chancellor’s Cup for the fifth consecutive year.



Penn State Beaver Nittany News



Despite a slow start to the season, the Penn State Beaver Lady Lions finished spring 2013 play strong, securing a PSUAC playoff spot and ultimately bringing home the coveted trophy for the second year in a row. Beaver’s regular season record of 19-12 (10-6 conference) was enough for the team to snag the No. 2 seed in the tournament, held May 6-7 at Penn State Mont Alto. Three consecutive wins — ­ against Penn State Schuylkill, Mont Alto and Hazleton — was all it took for Beaver to capture the title. Senior Korey Freyermuth and sophomore Nicole Bowersox were named to the PSUAC All-Tournament Team, while junior Lauren Pier and sophomore Sydney Brinton received Second Team Honorable Mention. Freyermuth was also named PSUAC Pitcher of the Year. The Lady Lions didn’t fare as well as the team headed into the USCAA Tournament in May. With a 1-3 tournament record, the team finished eighth in the Small College World Series, where they placed fifth last year.


Sophomore Sydney Brinton gets a runner out at first in Beaver’s win against Penn State Hazleton April 21. The win clinched a PSUAC play-off spot for Beaver, which went on to win the conference championship.


After edging into the PSUAC championships as the No. 4 seed, the Penn State Beaver baseball team ended its season April 26 with two tournament losses and a 13-16 record. The team struggled most of the season, and it wasn’t until a five-win surge in the final week of conference play that Beaver was able to slide into the final spot in the four-team tournament. Last year, Beaver finished second in the PSUAC and placed fifth at the USCAA Small College World Series. Seniors Markus Allen and Vinny Beatty were named to the PSUAC All-Conference Team, while seniors Cory Wagner, Alex Filippi and Jim Musgrave received Second Team Honorable Mention. Allen was also named PSUAC Player of the Year.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL After a stellar season that included just three conference losses, the Penn State Beaver Lady Lions basketball team swept the PSUAC Tournament, bringing home the team’s fourth championship cup. Beaver earned decisive wins against Penn State Worthington Scranton, Fayette and

Greater Allegheny during the Feb. 12-17 tournament. The quarterfinal game was played at Beaver, while the semifinal and championship rounds took place at Penn State Brandywine. Senior Brittany Tomaselli and freshman Morgan Kurtz received PSUAC AllConference Honorable Mention. The Lady Lions were knocked out of the USCAA National Tournament March 1 with a 1-1 tournament record. The team finished the season with a 21-8 record overall.

MEN’S BASKETBALL With just one conference loss all season, the Penn State Beaver men’s basketball team was expected to easily take the PSUAC Championship once again this February. But a nail-biting finish involving a foul called with just 1.3 seconds left allowed rival Penn State York to take a one-point lead and claim the championship Feb. 17 in the Beaver campus gymnasium. Freshman Robert Agurs III and junior Nick Miller were named to the PSUAC AllConference First Team, while junior Chris Weathers received All-Conference Honorable Mention. Agurs was also named PSUAC

Athletics news

Alumni Chapter & society Beaver Valley Area Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association

Junior Chris Weathers makes a layup during the Penn State University Athletic Conference men’s basketball championship game against Penn State York Feb. 17 in the Beaver gymnasium. Beaver lost the game 80-79 in the final second.

The Beaver Valley Area Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association’s 2012 Holiday Gift Drive for Beaver County Children and Youth Services (CYS) was its most successful to date. The chapter gathered gifts for 159 children who are CYS clients. “We were able to serve this record number of children thanks to the generosity of the community, our chapter members and friends, alumni, and Beaver campus students, staff, and faculty,” said Roseann Simoni ’75 Com, chair of the Gift Drive Committee. Simoni also thanked committee members Diane (Barna) Canning ’87 Bus, Jessica Doris ’07 Lib, and Cindy (Duganich) Hovanec ’79 Lib. “They did an amazing job,” Simoni said, “and we couldn’t have reached this point without their commitment, time, and energy.” This fall the Alumni Chapter will celebrate its 20th anniversary of partnering with CYS for the gift drive. To participate in the project or for information about the chapter, contact Amy M. Krebs ’78 Lib, Beaver’s director of campus and community relations and Alumni Chapter liaison, at or 724-773-3816.

Penn state beaver/ cathy benscoter

Penn State Beaver Alumni Society

Player of the Year, and Coach Marcess Williams was named PSUAC Co-Coach of the Year. Beaver fell in its second matchup in the USCAA National Tournament March 1 after securing a tough 92-89 overtime win in its first tournament game. The team ended the season with a 21-8 record.



In only its second year of existence, the Penn State Beaver wrestling team struggled to find its first win. The team finished the combined PSUAC/USCAA Tournament Feb. 17 at Penn State University Park with a seventh-place finish. Freshman Devante Phillip finished third in his weight class.




With new coach BJ Bertges taking the helm for her first year, the Penn State Beaver Lady Lions volleyball team ended the season with an 8-20 record, including a 6-10 PSUAC record that just wasn’t strong enough to make post-season play. Sophomore Natalie Gamble was named to the PSUAC AllConference Second Team, while sophomore Kayona Ward received AllConference Honorable Mention.

Penn State Beaver Nittany News

Despite a 5-14 season record, the Penn State Beaver men’s soccer team enjoyed some success in the fall 2012 season. That success included securing a spot in the PSUAC Championship Tournament Oct. 22. But a first-round loss to Penn State New Kensington on their home field ended Beaver’s season. The women’s soccer team, meanwhile, went another year winless.

The Penn State Beaver Alumni Society broke its fundraising record with a net profit of $24,000 from the Twelfth Annual Golf Outing held last September at Seven Oaks Country Club, Brighton Township. All proceeds benefitted the group’s endowed scholarship for Beaver campus students. To date, the society has raised more than $185,000 for the campus. The team from Kip’s Ice Cream won first place with a score of 57 by members Nick Anderson, Shane Hecht, John Murawski and Don Ware. The Times team won second place with a score of 60 by members Greg Best, Larry Boggs, Bob Johnston and Vaughn Vacar. “Every year this event gets better and better,” said Diana Patterson, Beaver campus director of development and Alumni Society liaison. “The participation from our alumni, community friends, and campus was tremendous and really showed their dedication to providing scholarships for our students.” This fall the golf outing returns to Seven Oaks Country Club on Monday, Sept. 9. On May 4 the Alumni Society held its first 5K Run/1 Mile Walk, with 105 participants in downtown Beaver. Jason Barr ’94 Eng, a member of the society’s board of directors and a runner himself, proposed the idea and worked with Board President Norman J. Kraus Jr. ’77 Lib to implement it. Also involved was Laura Tocci ’82 Bus, who contacted people to encourage them to participate. At the awards ceremony, Barr said he greatly appreciated such a strong turnout for a first-time event. “We had a beautiful day today, and I think we had a great group of people, both kids and adults, who had a good time. We hope to host another run/walk next year.” Proceeds from the event will be divided between the Alumni Society’s scholarship for Beaver students and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Beaver County, which partners with campus students for mentoring programs. For information about the upcoming golf outing or next year’s run/walk, contact Patterson at or 724-773-3558.


Office of Campus and Community Relations Ross Administration Bldg., Suite 201 100 University Drive Monaca, PA 15061

Well into the future

Penn State Beaver/Justin Vorbach

Penn State president lauds campus for new Wellness Center PAGE 4

2013 Nittany News  

The 2013 edition of Penn State Beaver's alumni magazine, Nittany News.

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