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Seven Graduating Students Receive ‘Penn College Awards’


This year's Penn College Award winners are, from left, Bridget M. McCall, Kirk M. Allen, Catherine V. McCall, Sabrena A. O'Keefe, Bradley S. Galloway, Jesse T. Markeveys and James Riedel. (Photo by Amanda M. Williamson, part-time student photographer)Seven Pennsylvania College of Technology students planning to graduate this calendar year received Penn College Awards during a Thursday banquet at Le Jeune Chef Restaurant on the college’s main campus in Williamsport.

The 11th annual awards recognized students who have made outstanding contributions to Penn College. Any student who expects to graduate this May, August or December and who has been actively involved in campus life, held a leadership position or contributed in the area of service to the college and/or community was eligible to apply or be nominated.

This year’s honorees, their hometowns and majors, and a summary of their achievements:

Kirk M. Allen, Birdsboro Business administration: management information systems Allen has been an SGA senator, academic vice president and executive vice president, as well as a “Student of the Month” and an “Outstanding Senator of the Year.” He has chaired the Student/Staff Judicial Council, served a number of administrative posts on the Academic Standards and Issues Committee, the Excellence in Part-Time Teaching awards committee and the Counseling, Career and Disability Services Internal Review Committee, for instance and been an orientation leader.

He is a co-founder and president of the Penn College Alliance, which recently was named “Student Organization of the Year” at the annual SGA awards banquet, and is a member of Phi Beta Lambda, a national nonprofit educational association of students preparing for careers in business or related fields

His civic involvement includes the Salvation Army, AIDS Resource Alliance and World AIDS Day events, and volunteering at a retirement home.

“I have known Kirk for several years now; there has not been a time that I can recall when he has not been involved in some campus activity,” his nominator said, referring to the full page of campus and community activities that accompanied the award application.

Bradley S. Galloway, YorkElectronics engineering technology Among his many activities, Galloway has been an Orientation Leader and member of the Wildcat Welcome Team, a Student Government Association senator and chair of SGA’s elections committee, and a member of the Academic Standards and Issues Committee.

He also was an officer in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers student chapter; treasurer and a student competitor for the Instrumentation, Systems and Automation Society; and a participant in several student-leadership initiatives and campus events that included Visitation Day and Sexual Awareness Week.

His off-campus involvement includes the Red Cross Mini-Indy, the “Alternative Spring Break” to the Gulf Coast and the IEEE chapter’s fall clothing drive.

“He exhibits the character one needs to be this generations’ leader, innovator and, above all else, friend,” a faculty nominator said. “Wherever Brad ends up in life, his strong sense of urgency, his perception of loyalty, his philosophy and values, his respect for authority, and his dedication will help make that organization the best in the industry.”

Bridget M. McCall, Media Nursing McCall has served as president and vice president of the Residence Hall Association; has been active in SGA, the Wildcat Events Board and the National Residence Hall Honorary (open to only the top 10 percent of on-campus residents throughout the country); and has attended regional and national housing-related conferences.

She has worked with charities that include the Salvation Army and the SPCA, and is a familiar face at campus educational events, such as Sexual Awareness and Eating Disorder Awareness weeks. McCall also has been an Orientation Leader, a Student Activities assistant and was chosen as SGA’s “Student of the Month” in October.

“Bridget gives 100 percent to all her endeavors,” a staff nominator wrote. “I find (her) a refreshing and unique individual. Her enthusiasm for her nursing major and future career prospects is inspiring. She is a caring, sympathetic and compassionate woman who will be the epitome of what a wonderful nurse should be.”

Catherine V. McCall, MediaApplied human services McCall has been active in student government and a variety of campus organizations during her five years at Penn College, and has served as president of NRHH, secretary of RHA, chair and treasurer of WEB, and an Orientation Leader. McCall also has been a senior resident assistant and a national communications coordinator of RHA, and was the SGA “Student of the Month” in November 2005. She has been an active fundraiser in Homecoming activities, and the SPCA is among her community-service beneficiaries.

“Kate is dedicated to everything she does,” a longtime campus friend wrote, noting her “leadership, caring heart, dedication and never-give-up attitude.”

“She is one of the people that, when working on anything, I knew I could totally trust. She has had many ‘Hhats’ throughout her (college) days in each of these, she has always remained true to herself. She also has remained true to Penn College. Kate is not afraid to stand up for anything she believes in; Penn College is something she believes in.”

Jesse T. Markeveys, DoylestownHeating, ventilation and air conditioning: mechanical systems Recently selected as “Student Leader of the Year,” Markeveys is president of the student chapter of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America, is active in the Student Government Association and completed the Emerging and Advanced CLASS student-leadership programs.

He also is a fixture at campus visits by the Red Cross Bloodmobile, helping with setup and teardown, as well as being a donor himself. In addition, he has been a volunteer maintenance troubleshooter on two commercial steam-heating systems used by a church and nonprofit agencies at the former Becht Elementary School.

“He is a leader, not only in the classroom with a 4.0 grade-point average, but on campus and in the community, as well,” an adviser said. “Jesse has used his fantastic leadership ability to take a struggling student organization (ACCA) and turn it into the first-place position in SGA Cup points. He has also given back to the community by taking part in a variety of projects with his church. Jesse is friendly, hard-working and an all-around great guy.”

Sabrena A. O’Keefe, McClureBusiness administration: human resource management O’Keefe has amassed a considerable resume of leadership positions: SGA president (2005-06), SGA vice president for finance (2003-05), Alpha Chi secretary/treasurer (2006-07) and Women in Technology treasurer (2003-04). She also has served on College Council and various internal Governance standing committees, was an Orientation Leader and an original “Link” in the summer Connections program, sat on the Student/Staff Judicial Council and was a member of the Wildcat Dance Team from 2004-06.

“Throughout the past five years, she has established herself as a role model for many on this campus. While maintaining a grade-point average to earn dean’s list almost every semester, Sabrena has managed to juggle a very demanding work schedule both on and off campus while participating in many leadership activities,” a fellow student wrote. “Her dedication to the college, scholastic achievements and ability to interact with every member of the Penn College community will surely be missed.”

James Riedel, Quogue, N.Y. Automotive technology management Twice president of SGA (in 2004-05 and 2006-07) as well as a Student of the Month in March 2006 and the Student Leader of the Year in 2004 Riedel has been involved in virtually every endeavor that touches student life: Student government, RHA, WEB, Wildcat Welcome Team/Orientation Leader and College Town, for instance. In addition, he chaired the Student/Staff Judicial Council, has served on College Council and the Student Affairs Committee of Governance, and has taken part in Homecoming and Mardi Gras.

An ambassador to the School of Transportation Technology, he was instrumental in creation of the Student Leader Legacy Scholarship, which made its first award at the end of this semester.

“James is the definition of what a Penn College student should be,” a colleague and friend wrote. “He is a role model for many, and gives his all into every task assigned to him. Even though James is leaving this year, his legacy will remain for years.”

Taking part in the awards presentation were Davie Jane Gilmour, president of Penn College; Carolyn Strickland, director of student life; and Kimberly R. Cassel, assistant director for student development.

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