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Fourteen Student Leaders Honored With Penn College Awards


Fourteen Pennsylvania College of Technology students, chosen from the largest pool of nominations in the program’s 20-year history, were presented with Penn College Awards during a banquet at Le Jeune Chef Restaurant on Thursday evening. The awards recognize graduating students who have made outstanding contributions to the college and who have risen above their peers as a result of their leadership.

The 2016 Penn College Awards recipients
The 2016 Penn College Awards recipients

Elliott Strickland, chief student affairs officer, emceed the event before a dining room full of proud families and supportive faculty and staff. College President Davie Jane Gilmour welcomed the students and their guests, pinned each award-winner, then stood for photos with honorees and their sponsors.

An alphabetical list of recipients, their hometowns and majors, highlights of their many activities and representative comments from their nominators:

Max C. Bower
Max C. Bower

Max C. Bower
Lewisberry
Heavy construction equipment technology: operator emphasis

Introduced by Katie L. Mackey, coordinator of off-campus living and commuter services

Service and Operation of Heavy Equipment Club (2015-16 secretary), Off-Campus Housing Organization (Spring 2015 secretary), Penn College Construction Association, Penn College Benefiting THON (2015-16 president). Phi Theta Kappa, Governance (Elections and Communications Committee), Commuter Assistant (2015-16), Presidential Leadership Boot Camp

“Although Max’s time at Penn College has been short, the impact and influence he has made will leave a legacy for a long time. He is, by far, one of the most giving, hardworking and dependable students Penn College has ever had. His giving heart, strong morals and willingness to lend a hand are evident in everything that he has done.”

Trevor I. Brandt
Trevor I. Brandt

Trevor I. Brandt
Williamsport,
Applied technology studies

Introduced by Elizabeth G. Verbos, manager of conference and guest relations (and former coordinator of Presidential Student Ambassadors)

Presidential Student Ambassador (2012-15), Connections Link (2012-14), Resident Assistant (2012-14), Penn College Alliance (treasurer 2013), Web Developers Group (treasurer 2011)

“His biggest contribution to Penn College are his years as a student leader. I have no doubt that he positively influenced countless students and staff through those roles with his nurturing and positive personality. He has always demonstrated a willingness to go above and beyond normal expectations in order to help others or contribute to a good cause.”

Jeffrey C. Comitz
Jeffrey C. Comitz

Jeffrey C. Comitz
Williamsport
Heating, ventilation and air conditioning design technology

Introduced by John D. Maize, instructor of speech communication-composition

Alpha Chi National Honor Society (inducted 2015), September 2015 Student of the Month, student chapter of ASHRAE, “adult learner” model for college’s online tour, Open House volunteer, energy management intern with college General Services

“I find him to be a person of outstanding character, a man of integrity and honesty, someone who leads by example. Through his hard work, commitment to excellence, attention to detail and respect for himself and others, he has modeled the best aspects of a college student and thus has made a substantive contribution to student life on campus.”

Ryan A. Gibson
Ryan A. Gibson

Ryan A. Gibson
Lansdale
Aviation maintenance technology

Introduced by Jan Jost, manager of telephone systems/call center/help desk and chair of College Council

Student Government Association (president, Senate speaker and School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies senator, PC Alliance (Fall 2015 treasurer), Current Events Forum, College Council (including service as the first-ever interim student vice chair), Resident Assistant (including “RA of the Year” in 2014-15 and interim mentor for the Leadership Living-Learning Community), Student Conduct Board (chair 2014-16), Dining Services Focus Group

“While president of SGA, he initiated several innovative ideas, increased partnership with Lycoming College for events. He also presided over the Executive Board that voted to move the Silent Auction to the library, increasing visibility and attendance. Ryan enjoys leadership opportunities, supplies good ideas to Governance, speaks well and maintains a (solid) GPA.”

Anthony D. Gobbi
Anthony D. Gobbi

Anthony D. Gobbi
Haymarket, Virginia
Building automation technology

Introduced by Allison A. Bressler, assistant director of student activities for programming and Greek life

Phi Mu Delta fraternity (president and two-time social chair), Presidential Student Ambassador, New Student Leader of the Year (2015), Greek Chapter of the Year (as president, 2015), October 2014 Student of the Month, Blue Crew, men’s lacrosse club

“Anthony has been an incredible asset to the Student Ambassador team. He is always willing to lend a hand when needed, and is the type of student who can put a smile on anyone’s face. His passion for the college and his major shines through with each conversation he has with prospective students and guests. He is a hard worker and often stands out as a leader. His infectious personality and motivation are contagious!”

Eileen N. Harrington
Eileen N. Harrington

Eileen N. Harrington
Etters
Technology management

Introduced by Michael D. Penwell, Residence Life coordinator

Resident Assistant (2013-16), Senior Resident Assistant (2014-16), Autism Spectrum Disorder social mentor, Student Government Association (2013), Living-Learning Community for Hospitality and Business, cross-country team, Diner’s Club, student worker in Disability Services

“I have come to consider her a person of character and integrity. Eileen has been consistently well-prepared, organized, a creative problem-solver and team player. (Her) overall manner and approach enable her to establish and maintain excellent rapport, as well as a high level of respect among fellow staff members, the overall campus community and, most importantly, our students.”

Cavan R. Irvine
Cavan R. Irvine

Cavan R. Irvine
York
Physician assistant

Introduced by Elizabeth G. Verbos

Resident Assistant, Presidential Student Ambassador, Connections Link, Penn College Awards Selection Committee (2014-15), 150-plus hours volunteering with Williamsport Regional Medical Center Emergency Department, Physician Assistant Club, Healthy Wildcats, Penn College Benefiting THON

“Mr. Irvine has served in many roles on campus. His dedication to the college … speaks highly of his character, his leadership ability and of his communication skills, as he has interacted with faculty, staff, students and families. He has represented our institution well.”

Emily K. Lutz
Emily K. Lutz

Emily K. Lutz
Wading River, New York
Applied management

Introduced by Jen L. Hammond, coordinator of tutoring

Presidential Student Ambassador; Phi Theta Kappa, Delta Mu Delta and Alpha Chi honor societies; Kentucky Derby hospitality internship; Awesome Woman Exemplar (2015); writing tutor

“Emily has been a helpful, reliable tutor, served as a student ambassador and has been part of two college videos. In between time spent on these multiple responsibilities, she has been active in her major, traveling to the Kentucky Derby … and maintaining Dean’s List grades. She is one of the most well-rounded students I’ve met in a long time, and she has managed to find an almost-perfect balance between academic and extracurricular pursuits.”

Caleb G. Schirmer
Caleb G. Schirmer

Caleb G. Schirmer
Sugarloaf
Applied management

Introduced by Katie L. Mackey

Off Campus Housing Organization (president), Students Making a Contribution (vice president and secretary), Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ), Student Government Association (senator for the School of Business & Hospitality), February 2015 Student of the Month, Penn College Benefiting THON, Horticulture Club, Connections, Summer Camps, Student Photographer, writing tutor, Summer Residence Life Conference Assistant

“Caleb arrived at Penn College as an unsure student who, like many students, faced some challenges related to adjusting to college life. However, through his faith and perseverance, he has turned his challenges into opportunities. He made it a goal to get involved with many organizations in which he showed genuine interest by meeting other students and creating engagement among his peers. Caleb reminds me of the amazing photographs he has taken: astonishing, surprising, deep and passionate.”

Benjamin L. Thayer
Benjamin L. Thayer

Benjamin L. Thayer
Hampton, New Jersey
Residential construction technology and management

Introduced by Levon A. Whitmyer, instructor of building construction technology

Student Government Association (executive vice president and senator for the School of Construction & Design Technologies), Penn College Construction Association (secretary and historian)

“Ben has been a fantastic member of the Penn College community. The PCCA has been very successful in his time here; I believe it is because he set the tone for other members to see how hard he has worked at it. Ben has shown tremendous personal growth and has become a model for other students to follow. He will be a tough act to follow for the next student who has a desire to make a difference.”

LaQuinn N. Thompson
LaQuinn N. Thompson

LaQuinn N. Thompson
York
Applied human services

Introduced by Deb Q. Bechtel, instructor of human services/social science

Men’s basketball team (2016 Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Penn State University Athletic Conference All-Academic Team), Residence Life (RA, Summer RA and Senior RA; 2013-14 “Rising Star”), Students Making a Contribution (president), Minorities Lending Knowledge, Bystander Intervention Committee, Student Conduct Board

“LaQuinn is one of the most outstanding and positive people that I know. He has a work ethic and a dedication to those causes important to him that make him a complete powerhouse of a Penn College student. He has demonstrated countless times his talent and ability to work with people, always demonstrating respect, compassion, enthusiasm and – above all – treating others with dignity.”

April M. Tucker
April M. Tucker

April M. Tucker
Muncy
Applied human services

Introduced by Allison A. Bressler

College Women of Williamsport (president and co-founder), Connections Link, Running Without ED (executive board member), Human Service peer mentor, Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week Resident Assistant, Awesome Woman Exemplar (2014), Release Your Inner Wildcat self-defense class, Dignity Project, Random Acts of Kindness, Penn College Benefiting THON, Minorities Lending Knowledge, PC Alliance, United Campus Ministry

“April truly has a heart of gold and wants the best for everyone. If it’s welcoming a family to campus during orientation, waiting on a customer at the information desk, making buttons for other organizations or learning self-defense, she does it with a smile and genuine attitude. We need more people like April in this world, and I hope her attitude continues to spread to others.”

Kacie L. Weaver
Kacie L. Weaver

Kacie L. Weaver
Harrisburg
Applied human services

Introduced by Michael D. Penwell

Resident Life (Resident Assistant, Senior RA, 2013-14 “RA of the Year”), Minorities Lending Knowledge (president), Connections Link, March 2016 Student of the Month, Student Conduct Board, Bystander Intervention Committee, Camp ESCAPE counselor, Penn Pal, Blue Crew, College Women of Williamsport, Awesome Woman Exemplar

“My life will never be the same, for the better, after meeting and working with her. Kacie has an amazing personality, a huge heart and has shown me what it means to be a rock-star student leader at Penn College. She brings people together from all walks of life, whether that’s in the residence halls, through Minorities Lending Knowledge or just sharing her opinion randomly.”

Jessica R. Wiegand
Jessica R. Wiegand

Jessica R. Wiegand
Trout Run
Business administration: marketing concentration

Introduced by Katie L. Mackey
(Wiegand was unable to attend due to an internship in western Pennsylvania award; her award was accepted by Kacie L. Weaver)

Student Government Association (vice president of public relations and School of Health Sciences senator), OCHO, Connections Link, Autism Spectrum Disorder social mentor, Blue Crew (refounder/director for community, College Women of Williamsport (external relations officer in 2015), Alpha Chi (2015-16 president) and Delta Mu Delta honor societies, member of the cross-country team, September 2015 Student of the Month, Awesome Woman Exemplar

“Jess is a no-nonsense type of woman, who looks deep into her humanness and is not afraid to respectfully question life, peers, work and experiences. Her passion and understanding for diverse situations and sticking up for what she believes to be right is one of her most excelling attributes. These are just a few of the stellar characteristic that I saw in her as a student leader among her Penn College peers.”

Among others attending the awards banquet were Carolyn R. Strickland, vice president for enrollment management/associate provost; Kimberly R. Cassel, director of student activities; and Kayla M. Jackson, who served on the selection committee. Jackson will graduate this weekend with a degree in exercise science, and is returning in the fall as a general studies-physical therapy assistant major.

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