Shenango students, employees celebrated at annual awards ceremony

Penn State Shenango brick sign with yellow, green, and red trees in background

Penn State Shenango students and employees were honored at the annual 2021 Awards Ceremony and Honors Convocation to celebrate their outstanding academic and student life achievements.

Credit: Penn State

SHARON, Pa. — Penn State Shenango students and employees were honored at the annual 2021 Awards Ceremony and Honors Convocation to celebrate their outstanding academic and student life achievements.

Academic recognition

The President’s Freshman Award

The President’s Freshman Award is presented annually to those full-time, undergraduate students who have earned a 4.0 grade-point average for the first semester of their first year of study.

  • Brooke Brown, Niles, Ohio
  • William Divens, Sharpsville
  • Julianna Herriott, Sharpsville
  • Trent Morris, Hermitage
  • Karsyn Rupert, West Middlesex
  • Polina Soldatova, Sandy Lake

The Evan Pugh Scholar Award

The Evan Pugh Scholar Award began in 1933 and was given to the top five persons in both the junior and senior classes. The award is named for Evan Pugh, Penn State’s first president (1859-1864). Today, the Evan Pugh scholars are those juniors and seniors who are in the upper 0.5 percent of their respective classes and have completed at least 48 graded Penn State credits at the end of the fall semester of the academic year in which the award is given.

  • Devin Mitchell, Sharpsville

The Robert Weber Mathematics Award

The Robert Weber Mathematics Award is presented annually to the most promising Shenango math student and honors the late Robert Weber who taught math at the Shenango campus.

  • William Divens
  • Katherine Kinney, Clarks Mills

Teaching Excellence Award

  • Joan Humphrey

The Margaret Cunningham Foley Memorial Teaching Award

  • William Rudge

Academic Achievement Awards

The Shenango campus High Academic Achievement Awards are presented to those students in each college or degree program who have achieved the best cumulative grade-point average during the academic year.

Baccalaureate Programs

  • Administration of Justice: Michael Jacob, Stoneboro
  • Criminal Justice: Dien Tran, Hermitage
  • Business: Devin Mitchell
  • Corporate Communication: Jacob Rickert, Greenville
  • Division of Undergraduate Studies: Olivia Vogel, Brookfield, Ohio
  • Human Development and Family Studies: Nastasja Faison, Youngstown, Ohio; and Dakota Wildauer, New Wilmington
  • Letters, Arts, and Sciences: Chelsea Blakely, Sharpsville; and Savannah Gill, New Castle
  • Nursing: Annalise Bassetti, Hubbard, Ohio
  • Project and Supply Chain Management: Kathleen Golis, Erie

Associate Programs

  • Occupational Therapy Assistant: JoLena Stull, Hermitage; Nicole Kowalski, Youngstown, Ohio
  • Physical Therapist Assistant: Kaleigh Miller, Brookfield, Ohio

Outstanding academic performance

Outstanding academic performance recognized students with cumulative grade-point averages of 3.5 and above. 

  • Matthew Entwistle, Hermitage
  • McKenna Eversole, Fredonia
  • Shalea Fish, New Castle
  • Ashawa Gibbs, Youngstown, Ohio
  • Sha’Vonne Goosby, New Brighton
  • Magdalena Hochstetler, Sharon
  • Michael Horstman, Greenville
  • Logan Hurley, Mercer
  • Heather Ischo, Hermitage
  • Dylan Karnes, West Middlesex
  • Kelly Knicely, New Castle
  • Brittany Layman, Sharpsville
  • Chelsea Litman, Fort Worth, Texas
  • Leigha McCoy, Mercer
  • Rachel McMillin, New Castle
  • Lyndsey Mellon, Jackson Center
  • Jenna Michaels, Monaca
  • Olivia Mitcheltree, West Middlesex
  • Derek Moore, Mercer
  • Tashja Pisano, Youngstown, Ohio
  • Emily Reda, Mercer
  • Cheyenne Richards, Greenville
  • Alicia Shevitz, New Castle
  • Ryan Thiel, Sharon
  • Ian Titus, Sharpsville
  • Patricia Wilson, Mercer

Honors Program

The Honors Certificate is awarded to several of the students in the Honors Program who have fulfilled the program requirements and have maintained an excellent grade-point average.

  • Michael Horstman
  • Marissa Minehart, Greenville

Leadership Awards

Student Leadership Recognition

International Cultures Club

The purpose of the International Cultures Club is to provide an opportunity for students to learn and enjoy, as well as be aware of and promote, cultures around the world. This club promotes the utmost respect of different cultures and its importance among the campus and local community.

  • President Gianna Gargano, Hermitage
  • Vice President Savannah Gill
  • Treasurer James Roe, Cortland, Ohio
  • Secretary Polina Soldatova

Occupational Therapy Assistants’ Club

The purpose of the Occupational Therapy Club is to educate the populace as to the benefits and realities the OT profession has to offer; to provide access for information to prospective students; to provide a forum for students, faculty, parents, and professionals for discussing the problems and concerns of everyday college life; and to promote academics and moral standards of those students in the OT Assistant Program.

  • President Ashawa Gibbs
  • Vice President Alaura Hanssen, New Wilmington
  • Treasurer Dana Thomas, Niles, Ohio
  • Secretary Sophia Stewart, Meadville

Physical Therapy Assistants’ Club

The goals of the Physical Therapy Assistants’ Club are to promote a greater understanding of this profession, provide community service and education, and to perform philanthropic activities throughout the community.

  • President Brooke Dawson, Farmdale, Ohio
  • Vice President Laynie Kratko, Sharpsville
  • Treasurer Stephen Zeh, Wampum
  • Secretary McKenzie Miles, Warren, Ohio


The STEM Club's mission is to expand students’ knowledge and involvement of scientific findings on our campus and to provide the opportunity to explore the world from a scientific perspective and perform various experiments and activities.

  • President Halaina Bowers, Hermitage
  • Vice President Chelsea Spatara, Sharon

Student Government Association

Student Government Association is responsible for initiating all legislation concerning the welfare of the student body, supporting the functions and activities of the student body, vesting authority to student organizations, investigating any appeal made to it by any student concerning problems of general student welfare or well-being, assuming financial responsibility for SGA funds, and reviewing the financial records of all registered student organizations. SGA strives to create, maintain, and regulate beneficial customs and traditions at the Shenango campus.

  • President Halaina Bowers
  • Vice President Polina Soldatova
  • Treasurer Ligaya Kurelko, Hermitage
  • Secretary John Brown, New Castle
  • Senator-at-Large Michael Horstman
  • Senator-at-Large Abby Kwiatkowski, Sharpsville
  • Senator-at-Large Grace Shafer, Hermitage

Orientation Leaders

Student Orientation Leaders are students who have been recognized by faculty and/or staff for their leadership abilities and, thus, recommended for these important leadership roles on campus. These students help assist our new students through the orientation process.

  • Halaina Bowers
  • Matthew Entwistle
  • Dariann Erdmann, West Middlesex
  • McKenna Eversole
  • Laynie Kratko
  • Kaleigh Miller
  • Karsyn Rupert
  • Jaslyn Williams, Brookfield, Ohio

The Dennis W. Bartholomew Outstanding Adult Student Award

The Outstanding Adult Student Award of the Shenango campus recognizes a student over the age of 21 who has completed at least 36 credits and who is distinguished by scholarship, service and success in coping with numerous roles and overcoming difficult circumstances in the pursuit of education. This award is funded by the widow of a former Shenango student, Dennis W. Bartholomew, who attended the campus from 1970-1972 and graduated from UP in 1974 with a bachelor's in engineering.

  • Kevin Huff, Sharpsville

The Ann Wansack Award

This award was made in memory of Penn State Shenango employee, Ann “Mom” Wansack, and her devotion to the students of Shenango campus. The purpose of this award shall be to honor and recognize full-time students enrolled at Penn State Shenango who are actively involved, through leadership or participation, in the betterment of Penn State Shenango.

  • Halaina Bowers

Club Advisor of the Year

  • Geralyn Wallace

Staff Member of the Year

  • Melissa Fowler

Programming Excellence Award

  • The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee

Unsung Hero Award

  • John Brown

Emerging Leader of the Year

  • Polina Soldatova

Student Leader of the Year

  • Donovan Verges, Sharon