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Penn College to Hold Three Commencement Ceremonies May 16-17

More than 900 Pennsylvania College of Technology students have petitioned to graduate at the completion of the Spring 2014 semester, and the college has scheduled three ceremonies May 16-17 for those who will march at commencement.

All of the ceremonies will be held at the Community Arts Center, Williamsport.

At 3 p.m. Friday, May 16, students in the School of Business & Hospitality and the School of Construction & Design Technologies will march. The student speaker will be Lewis Damase Robinson, of Bellefonte, who will be awarded a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts and systems and an associate degree in baking and pastry arts.

At 10 a.m. Saturday, May 17, a ceremony will be held for students in the School of Industrial, Computing & Engineering Technologies and the School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies. The student speaker will be Benjamin Michael Schappell, of Mohrsville, who will receive a bachelor’s degree in computer aided product design.

At 1:30 p.m. May 17, a ceremony will be held for students in the School of Health Sciences and the School of Sciences, Humanities & Visual Communications. The student speaker will be Ashley Grace Maietta, of Hughesville, who will receive an associate degree in nursing.

Degrees will be conferred by Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour, assisted by Board of Directors Chairman Sen. Gene Yaw. During the commencement ceremonies, the college will bestow Alumni Achievement and Mentorship Awards, and Distinguished Teaching Awards will be presented to faculty. The college will present posthumous degrees to three families.

Student Speaker Biographies
Before commencement, Robinson, a Dean’s List student, will receive the Lewis H. Bardo Memorial Award, presented to a graduate who exemplifies the ideals of Lewis H. Bardo (devotion to duty, helpfulness to others, friendliness and high ideals). He has been selected to work with other Penn College culinary students and faculty at Kentucky Derby events.

Robinson has medaled several times in the Culinary Arts category at SkillsUSA national competitions. In December, he earned second place in the Classical and Specialty Dessert Presentation category in Penn College’s annual Food Show. The previous year, he took first place in the Cakes and Decorations and Classical Cuisines of the World categories. In 2011, he earned third place for Artistic Buffet Decoration: Tallow. Robinson interned at Eleven Madison Park in New York, which was recently listed at No. 4 in Restaurant magazine’s “World’s 50 Best Restaurants” for 2014.

Schappell, a Dean’s List student, will receive three awards before commencement: the Rose Staiman Memorial Award, presented for brotherhood, service to college and community, and scholastic achievement; the Engineering Design Technology Faculty Award, presented to a faculty-selected graduate of the bachelor-degree major who has demonstrated scholastic achievement, interest in the field and potential for success in the future; and the Mathematics Faculty Award, presented to a graduate who demonstrates outstanding achievement in mathematics.

Schappell produced a design model for Lifland Skatepark in Williamsport, which was approved by City Council. He was the college’s first Commuter Assistant and served as a peer mentor/tutor for the CAD department. He was selected to speak at a donor-recognition event sponsored by the college. He is active with his church, for which he plays drums at three services each weekend. He also formed his own company, Smorgas Board Co., selling skateboards and related accessories.

Maietta, also a Dean’s List student, is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society chapter at Penn College, for which she served as secretary. She has served the college as a Student Ambassador, a Resident Assistant and a Connections (summer orientation) Link, and she also worked at the college’s Fitness Center.

Maietta has been involved with the Student Government Association, Students Making a Contribution, the Student Nurses’ Association and EarthSmart, for which she served as vice president. She has been recognized as Resident Assistant of the Month and Resident Assistant of the Year, as well as SGA Student Leader of the Year.

For more information about Penn College, which is celebrating its Centennial throughout 2014, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free, 800-367-9222.

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