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News and Events

  Chambliss Academic Achievement Awards



KUTZTOWN, April 27 – Kutztown University has awarded 13 students the Dr. Carlson R. Chambliss Academic Achievement Award.   

Faculty members nominate students after they have met one or more of the six areas of achievement. Areas in which achievement can occur include: successfully completed research projects, original artwork of high quality, artistic performances (music, chorus, drama, etc.) of high quality, original writing in literature or meritorious writing in other fields, noteworthy athletics, and outstanding service to the KU community.  

The Academic Achievement Award was established through a donation provided by Dr. Carlson R. Chambliss, KU faculty member from 1970-2003. The purpose of the awards is to recognize the exceptional individual achievements of a select group of KU graduating seniors. Specially designed coin medallions of gold, silver, and copper were presented to the 13 students. 

The Academic Achievement Award winners are below.

Patrick Donmoyer
(with Dr. F. Javier Cevallos, left, and Dr. Carlson Chambliss, right)

Patrick Donmoyer (Lebanon, Pa.), a studio art/printmaking major, was awarded a gold medal for successfully completing a research project during which he photographed over 400 barn stars (hex signs), in Berks County. His photographs resulted in the first comprehensive survey of this folk art tradition in the U.S., and are now part of the Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center’s permanent archive. Additionally, Donmoyer was invited to present his work at the Lower Macungie Historical Society, the Three Sisters Center for the Healing Arts, the National Barn Alliance Conference, and the Pennsylvania German Society’s annual conference.

As a result of his research, Donmoyer received the 2008 Albert T. and Elizabeth Gamon Scholarship from the Peter Wentz Farmstead Society. The scholarship provided $5,000 to support his research, allowing him to pursue his additional research at the Heritage Center. 

Donmoyer plans to continue his research in order to complete an online interactive map of Berks County that people can use to locate hex signs. He’d also like to branch out to research hex signs in other parts of southeastern Pa.

Casey Smith
(with Dr. F. Javier Cevallos, left, and Dr. Carlson Chambliss, right)

Casey Smith (Nesquehoning, Pa), a geology and criminal justice major, was honored with a gold medal for successfully completing a paleontological research project. His work resulted in publishable findings that have been accepted for presentation at the Geological Society of America meeting in March, to geologists from all over North America. He is currently writing the results for an upcoming chapter in the Pennsylvania Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey. 

Because of his research, Smith was selected for an Arch Coal summer internship with Ark Land Western Exploration. In addition, he is the Geology club president, a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, and a member of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. 

After graduation, Smith plans to investigate various graduate schools based on his success in research.

Michael Barkasi
(with Dr. F. Javier Cevallos, left, and Dr. Carlson Chambliss, right)

Michael Barkasi (Bechtelsville, Pa), a philosophy major, was awarded a silver medal for successfully completing research projects and outstanding service to the Kutztown University community. He is known for consistently learning more than is required in math and logic courses, for writing more than the minimum for papers, and for revising papers for conferences and publications.

His article “Analysing the Implications of Gracia’s Familial Historical View of Ethnicity for Ethnic Inclusion,” was published in Reinvention: a Journal of Undergraduate Research, in October 2008, and “An Impromptu Visit to Rien--Faire: A Tribute to Bernard Suits,” in Journal of the Philosophy of Sport. For the spring 2009 semester, Barkasi was awarded the Helen Marcks Honors Program Scholarship. 

Barkasi has accepted a fellowship at Rice University's PhD program in philosophy.

John Burnett
(with Dr. F. Javier Cevallos, left, and Dr. Carlson Chambliss, right)

John Burnett (Nazareth, Pa), a psychology major, has been selected for a silver medal for successfully completing research projects relating to the investigation of differences and disparities in environments in which older adults reside. His findings were published in The Undergraduate Research Journal for the Human Sciences, in September 2008. Additionally, Burnett was invited to present on “Psychology in the Geriatric Environment,” at the Kutztown University Psychology Undergraduate Research Symposium in March 2008. 

Burnett has maintained a presence on the dean’s list from 2005-2008, is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor’s Society, and of Psi Chi. 

Following graduation, Burnett plans to attend Georgia Tech University, where he has been accepted into the Ph.D. program in Experimental Psychology. 

Amanda Keith
(with Dr. F. Javier Cevallos, left, and Dr. Carlson Chambliss, right)

Amanda Keith (Lake Ariel, Pa), an English major, was honored with a silver medal for outstanding service to the Kutztown University community. Keith is currently an Off-Campus Advisory Council Saucony Cross Senior Center Student Volunteer Coordinator, and works in the New Student Programs Connections office. Last year, she was instrumental in planning and executing the freshman orientation program at Kutztown University. Additionally, Keith has been an Alternative Spring Break Coordinator, through which she organized service projects for Kutztown students over spring breaks to serve Habitat for Humanity in Boston, Cleveland, and New Orleans. Along with many other projects, Keith is a Special Olympics Regional Committee Member, and over the 2008 winter break, she served in the Honduras MAMA Project as a team leader, working on medical teams and construction projects.

Keith was a 2008 Who’s Who among American University Students inductee. She was also awarded a Scholars in Service Award from Kutztown University in 2008, an APSCUF Student Scholarship, in 2008, and a PSECU Student Scholarship, in 2008.

Following graduation, Keith will be beginning The Master’s of Social Work program in the Fall of 2009. 

Matthew Twombly
(with Dr. F. Javier Cevallos, left, and Dr. Carlson Chambliss, right)

Matthew Twombly (Easton, Pa), a communication design major, was awarded a silver medal for original artwork of high quality. Twombly spent the last 18 months of his undergraduate career working on Distances, a 32-page science-fiction graphic novel that is both complex and subtle in its concept and technique, and shows great professionalism. 

His work was recognized by the Marvel Comics Group, who awarded him an internship in the summer of 2008. Twombly received Honorable Mention Awards in the American Institute for Graphic Arts FLUX Student Design Competition 2008. He has also been on the dean’s list from 2005-2008. 

In the future, Twombly plans to create more graphic novels and illustrations. He has applied to the graduate program Illustration-The Visual Essay at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.  

Stephanie Petrucci,
Sara Anthony

(with Dr. F. Javier Cevallos, left, and Dr. Carlson Chambliss, right)

Sara Anthony (Hellertown, Pa), and Stephanie Petrucci (Lehighton, Pa), both biology majors, were honored with copper medals for their outstanding research in biology. They conducted a study to determine the effect of various iron sources in fertilizer on the development of a physiological condition of geraniums known as micronutrient toxicity.  To conduct this study, Anthony and Petrucci researched current literature, designed, formulated and mixed their own fertilizer solutions, grew and treated plants, collected data, harvested plants, and analyzed the data. 

Based on the research, Anthony won the Outstanding Undergraduate Research Presentation Award at the Northeast Division meeting of the American Society of Horticultural Science (ASHS), held at the University of Delaware in January 2009. In the future, Sara plans to attend graduate school. 

Petrucci won second place for the Outstanding Undergraduate Research Presentation Award with the ASHS. After graduation, she plans to work as a science educator. Her background in hands-on research will be a great benefit for Petrucci and her future students.

Kelley Healey
(with Dr. F. Javier Cevallos, left, and Dr. Carlson Chambliss, right)

Kelley Healey (Toms River, N.J.), a biology major, was awarded a copper medal for successfully completing research projects and noteworthy achievements in athletics. Healey has received high honors in the classroom as well as completed independent and group research projects throughout her four years at Kutztown University. While maintaining an impressive GPA Healey also excelled in field hockey as a two year captain and four year starting forward. In 2005 she was awarded the PSAC Rookie of the Year Award, and has been selected for All-PSAC teams, and the Division II All American first team. Additionally, in 2008, Healy was selected for ESPN the Magazine’s Academic all District first team, and the All America second team. In the future, she plans to be accepted into a biomedical graduate program

Andrew Smouse

Andrew Smouse (Bedford, Pa.), a music education major, was honored with a copper medal based on successfully completing research projects. Smouse researched the “March-Style” music of Reading native, Forrest Hunsicker. He also prepared critical full-score editions of six of Hunsicker’s Marches for performances by the Kutztown University Symphonic Band. Additionally, Smouse undertook a major research project involving an analysis of 50 masterworks for wind band, which he plans to submit to the Guide Book to Meredith Music Publications. Smouse also serves as a Student Trustee for the Kutztown University Council of Trustees, as well as a percussion teacher for an outreach program designed by the Reading Musical Foundation to work with at-risk students, and has conducted a Community Band in his hometown. In the future, Smouse plans to pursue a master’s degree in music/instrumental conducting. 

Justin Sorensen
(with Dr. F. Javier Cevallos, left, and Dr. Carlson Chambliss, right)

Justin Sorensen (Russell, Pa), a fine arts major, was awarded a copper medal for original artwork of high quality. His intaglio prints, created with etched zinc plates, are characterized by ambitious size and technical complexity which shows a degree of sophistication that is uncommon among undergraduates. In 2008, Sorensen’s work was selected for the Ninth Annual National Exhibition at Shippensburg University, where it won a Purchase Award and became part of Shippensburg’s Permanent Collection. Sorensen also received a Commission Award for Drawing in the 32nd Annual Student Art Exhibition in Jamestown, NY (2007), the Weeks Gallery Student Purchase Award (2006), and the Critics Choice Award in the 2005 SUNY Student Art Exhibition in Albany, NY. After graduation, Sorensen plans to attend graduate school to earn a master’s degree in printmaking. 

Mary Lord
(with Dr. F. Javier Cevallos, left, and Dr. Carlson Chambliss, right)

Mary N. Lord (Dingmans Ferry, Pa.), a history major, was selected for a copper medal based on her honors thesis, “The Boone Family in the American Revolution: The Ethnic and Religious Ties of Frontier Quakers.” The study examined how Quakers in Berks County, Pa responded to the American Revolution. During her research, Lord visited and collected data from Swarthmore College, the Berks County Genealogical Society, the Berks Country Register of Wills, and the David Library of the American Revolution in Washington’s Crossing, Pa. Her research was funded by a grant from the Kutztown University Honors Program. Additionally, Lord received admittance to the Phi Alpha Theta History Honorary Society, the David and Charlotte Valuska Endowed Internship for Pennsylvania German Studies, and Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. After graduation Lord intends to pursue a master’s degree and ultimately a Ph.D. in American history.

Kelsey Shelton
(with Dr. F. Javier Cevallos, left, and Dr. Carlson Chambliss, right)

Kelsey Shelton (North Wales, Pa) a communication design major, was awarded a copper medal for original artwork of high quality. Shelton produces work that is both creative and polished to a professional level. Her dedication and effort serves as an example to other students. Shelton was selected by Hallmark as a finalist for a Holiday Card competition, and has self-authored and illustrated a children’s book. She has also been awarded the John K. Landis Honorary Scholarship, the Marcks Honor Scholarship, and the Beacon Scholarship. Shelton plans to seek publication of her self-authored/illustrated children’s book, “The Little Buffalo,” before moving into a design firm full-time. 

2009 Chambliss Academic Achievement Award Winners
front (left to right: Dr. Carlson Chambliss, Michael Barkasi, Kelley Healey, Sara Anthony, Casey Smith, Amanda Keith, Mary Lord, Dr. F. Javier Cevallos
back: Stephanie Petrucci, Brian Klippel (on behalf of Andrew Smouse), Patrick Donmoyer, Matthew Twombly, Justin Sorensen, John Burnett, Kelsey Shelton

Academic Achievement Award home
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