SHARON, Pa. — Penn State Shenango will hold its 2017 fall commencement ceremony at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 16, in the Shenango campus Auditorium with a reception immediately following. Jo Anne Carrick, campus director and chief academic officer, will confer baccalaureate and associate degrees on the graduating students.
This year, Penn State Shenango is proud to have LindenPointe Development Corporation’s executive director, Ketaki Desai, as its guest speaker. Desai leads the Hermitage business incubator eCenter, as well as the Entrepreneurship Academy, which is a high school business program for area students.
One of Pittsburgh’s “40 Under 40” honorees, Desai has co-founded and consulted with several startups in the Pittsburgh region. She has a doctorate in biomedical sciences from Texas A&M University, a master’s in public management from Carnegie Mellon University, and a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from Pune University, India. She was selected as a Graduate Fellow by the U.N. Council of Women World Leaders and is a graduate of the Civic Leadership Academy of Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto’s Office.
Desai was selected as a Global Talent to represent her work at the UNLEASH Innovation Lab in Denmark last summer. In 2017, she was awarded the Business Women's First Award, which honors women who have made a difference in their communities, blazed a trail for other women, and are leaving a mark on the western Pennsylvania business community.
Desai also volunteers with the United Way Women's Leadership Council and The UpPrize at The Forbes Funds.
This year’s graduating student address will be given by Riley Atterholt, who is graduating from Penn State with a bachelor’s degree in business.
Atterholt has been an exceptional student throughout his tenure at the Shenango campus receiving several awards and scholarships, including the 2016 Ann Wansack Award for his leadership and participation in the campus, the Blue and White Scholarship, and the 2016 and 2017 Paul and Eleanor Chadderton Scholarship. This past spring, Atterholt was chosen to be the student speaker at the prestigious Penn State Mount Nitttany Society Dinner at Penn State University Park.
Atterholt completed his senior business internship in March of 2016, but was asked by Executive Director Ketaki Desai to stay on at the eCenter to be the project manager of its newest initiative, Venture Investment Accelerator — a business competition for startups 18 years and older. During this part of his extended internship, Atterholt was responsible for all parameters of the Venture Investment Accelerator competition, including marketing, planning agendas, running meetings, and organizing the judging. The winner of the competition received $25,000 for a new business start-up.
This past summer, Atterholt was offered and accepted the position of director of sports and recreation at Buhl Park in Hermitage, Pennsylvania, where he is in charge of the golf course, driving range, pool, tennis, and disc golf activities and events, as well as serves as the executive director of The First Tee of Sharon.
The fall commencement ceremony will conclude with the induction of the graduates into the Penn State Alumni Society by Shenango Alumni Society President Aaron Sizer III.
For more information about this year’s graduation ceremony, please contact the Registrar’s Office at 724-983-2856.