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Presidential Scholars, Penn College Scholars Selected for 2003-04


Twelve students enrolled for the Fall 2003 semester at Pennsylvania College of Technology have been honored as “Presidential Scholars” for academic excellence and service to their schools and communities.

In addition, three adults who are returning to the classroom have been selected as “Penn College Scholars” for their achievements.

The Presidential Scholars are among the top students at their respective high schools. Each Scholar will receive a $2,500 scholarship for the 2003-04 academic year, and each will be given the opportunity to work on special projects, such as the Student Ambassador Program. Student Ambassadors represent the College at various official functions and conduct campus tours for visitors.

The Penn College Scholars also receive annual scholarship awards of $2,500. As Student Ambassadors, they will work with the Office of Counseling and Career Services, assisting with operational tasks and serving as role models for the pre-enrollment career-exploration programs. They also represent the College at special events, assist with the Successful Transitioning and Retention Track program and perform outreach at their academic schools.

At a dinner at the College’s Le Jeune Chef Restaurant, the Presidential Scholars and Penn College Scholars were welcomed to the campus by President Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour and other College representatives. Dr. Gilmour presented the students with gifts.

The Presidential Scholars for 2002-03, their programs of study and high schools are:

Jason S. Dibler, Electrical Technology Schuylkill Valley High School, Leesport Dibler’s school and community activities include: National Honor Society, VICA, Environmental Club, LEO Club, SODAA Club, Eagle Scout, Principal’s List-Year End, Honor Roll, Student of the Quarter.

“Course quality at Penn College is one of the best around for an electrical major,” Dibler said. “Outstanding opportunities to further my career, modern facilities and a welcoming environment all contributed to my decision to attend Pennsylvania College of Technology.”

Leslie A. Frey, Hospitality Management Warrior Run High School, Turbotville Frey’s school and community activities include: French Club, Drama Club (president), Concert Band, Milton Rotary Student of the Month, school newspaper, Marching Band, Union County Library volunteer, National Honor Society.

“After hearing nothing but good reports from past and current students in the (Hospitality) program, speaking to the faculty and reading all I could find about it, I knew it was the right school for me,” Frey said. “I enjoy the cleanliness and beauty that the campus offers. Its size, location and security also appeal to me.”

Andrew J. Hamelly, Building Construction Technology Lakeview High School, Stoneboro Hamelly’s school and community activities include: National Honor Society, Emmanuel Christian Church member, drummer for FOM Praise Band, Marching and Pep Bands, Stoneboro Helping Hands Center volunteer, Who’s Who Among American High School Students, Bible Club, ECC Youth Group, High School Concert, student head of Production Team.

“I was overjoyed to find a college that offers a major in residential construction and is very much involved with hands-on learning,” Hamelly said. “That appeals to me, because, even though I do well in the classroom, I love working with my hands.”

Sara E. Jinar, Physician Assistant Lincoln High School, Ellwood City Jinar’s school and community activities include: Y-Teens, Key Club, Spanish Club, Women’s Chorale, National Honor Society, Who’s Who, Powder Puff, Academic Achievement Award, Junior Capers, SADD Club, Concert Choir, track and field, National Honor Roll, Relay for Life, altar server.

“The labs are very extensive and thorough, helping to teach the students by challenging them to think in different aspects,” Jinar said. “Another important characteristic is the clinical rotations, which will allow me to experience the real-life situations that Physician Assistants confront every day.”

Elizabeth Z. Mast, Accounting Twin Valley High School, Elverson Mast’s school and community activities include: National Honor Society, Band, Church Youth Group, Happy Valley Heroes (tutoring elementary-school students), Future Business Leaders of America, German Club, Spirit Club.

“Not only does Penn College have an Accounting program, it has what I was looking for: an associate degree that had the potential of a bachelor’s degree, Mast said. “To this day, I have never found a college that I thought had more to offer me than Penn College.”

Brandon J. McDowell, Civil Engineering Technology West Branch High School, Morrisdale McDowell’s school and community activities include: National Honor Society, Student Government, Science Club, International Club, Power Club, varsity football, track and field, Ski Club, Varsity Club, Teen Court.

“Penn State was an obvious choice because its engineering program is second to none, but, coming from a small high school, I wanted to attend a smaller college,” McDowell said. “Being a Penn State affiliate, Penn College has the same great reputation and is a much smaller environment with more personal teacher-to-student relationships.”

Jessica D. Quinn, Electronics Technology Clearfield Area High School, Clearfield Quinn’s school and community activities include: National Honor Society, National Leadership Merit Award, All-American Scholar, 2003 Senior Class Officer, Student Council, C-Tech networking trained, C-Tech fiber optics trained, Red Cross Bloodmobile volunteer, Green Belt in Okinowan Kenpo, National Society of High School Scholars, 1999-2003 Honor Roll (Straight “A” Club), top five at American Royal Arabian Horse Show (in showmanship), National Honor Roll, Who’s Who, 2002 Junior Class Officer, VICA delegate and competitor, Teen Court juror and attorney, community service: Personal Effex.

“I want to better my education and secure a solid foundation for my future,” Quinn said. “I believe Penn College is the most promising way for me to capture this dream. Penn College also offers me an education at a more affordable rate than some of the other schools I’ve researched.”

Brian D. Rice, Electronics Engineering Technology Jersey Shore Area High School, Jersey Shore Rice’s school and community activities include: Boy Scouts of America-Eagle rank, Boy Scouts of America-adult leader, Honor Roll, Prom Committee, Who’s Who Among American High School Students, Foreign Language Award-French.

“In my quest to find a good mix of theory and experience, I signed up for a tour at Penn College,” Rice said. “Subject knowledge and hands-on experience aren’t just preferred by employers, they’re a necessity. Pennsylvania College of Technology provides the perfect mix.”

Derek J. Rinaldo, Civil Engineering Technology Minersville Area High School, Minersville Rinaldo’s school and community activities include: football, baseball, basketball, German Club, Peer Tutor, Red Cross Bloodmobile volunteer, Prom Committee, Good Will Hose Co. member, Presidential Academic Award, T102 Scholars Athlete of the Week, Second Place-Pottsville Republican Essay Contest, Student of the Month-November 2002, Dandy Dozen (one of top 12 in his class), president and vice president of Interact (community service club), participant in Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week at Lycoming College, 1100 Club (score above 1100 on the SAT), Student Council, yearbook editor, Food Bank volunteer, Class Advisory Board, Annual Musical (tech crew), National Honor Society, Honor Roll.

“One always hears the generic phrase that ‘it just felt right,'” Rinaldo said. “In the case of Penn College, this phrase held true. As I walked around the campus as an interested high school senior, I knew that, one day, I could see myself walking around the same campus as a happy and fulfilled College senior.”

Tracey L. Seylar, Physician Assistant Chambersburg Area Senior High School, Chambersburg Seylar’s school and community activities include: National Honor Society, Latin Club, 4-H Club, Mu Alpha Theta, FFA.

“I am confident that my choice to go to Penn College is right for me,” Seylar said. “At many other colleges, I would have had to transfer to another school to complete the (Physician Assistant) program. However, at Penn College, I can get all the education I need at one school.”

Kara J. Spangler, Graphic Communications Management Columbia-Montour Area Vocational-Technical School, Bloomsburg Spangler’s school and community activities include: National Honor Society, school newspaper, Hoops for Heart Competition, yearbook, Red Cross volunteer.

“The program I am entering is said to be one of the best in the nation,” Spangler said. “One of the students from my vocational area who graduated last year currently attends in the same program, and she recommended Penn College and its program.”

Brian D. Tretter, Building Construction Technology Bloomsburg High School, Bloomsburg Tretter’s school and community activities include: National Honor Society, cross country, active church member, Scouting, Balloon Ministry for Seniors, Super Saturday snack coordinator, Band officer, Technical Theater, Sunday School member, Patchwork Project director, Vacation Bible School assistant.

“One of the most important details that led me to finally decide on Penn College is the quality of the education I feel I will receive there,” Tretter said. “The hands-on experience, along with the classroom learning, will be more productive for me than just textbook teaching.”

The Penn College Scholars for 2003-04 and their academic programs are:

April J. Bevans, Bloomsburg Landscape/Nursery Technology “During my decision process, I was impressed with the number of greenhouses and the spacious grounds that are available to students at the Schneebeli Earth Science Center,” Bevans said. “I believe that a hands-on program is the best preparation for a successful career in the industry, and I could tell that is exactly what Penn College is offering.”

Sara A. Street, Laporte Landscape/Nursery Technology “With my B.S. degree, I have held several stimulating and challenging positions, (including) river guide and a member of a National Park trail crew,” Street said. “As I have gained experience in the work field, the general aspects of this degree have become limiting. In order to accomplish my future goals, I need a more focused, specialized degree.”

Melissa A. Styer, Muncy Paramedic Technology “I held what I would consider a very good position as an office manager,” Styer said. “However, I found that I was basically working to pay my day-care provider. I believe that it is my responsibility to find a career from which I can support my family without being a burden to state programs, yet allow me to be the person who is raising my son.”

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