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  Chambliss Academic Achievement Awards

 


April 20, 2011

KUTZTOWN UNIVERSITY HONORS RECIPIENTS OF 2011
ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS

KUTZTOWN - Kutztown University celebrated the 11 recipients of its annual Academic Achievement Awards in a ceremony on April 20 in the McFarland Student Union building.

The ceremony included remarks by Mr. Robert Watrous, Associate Vice President and Dean for Student Services and Campus Life, Dr. Carlson R. Chambliss, Professor Emeritus, Physical Science, and Dr. F. Javier Cevallos, University President, with an introduction to the award recipients by Dr. Carlos Vargas-Aburto, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

FlickrView photos of the ceremony on Flickr

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 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 students. 

The following students will receive awards for their excellent individual accomplishments and commitment to making Kutztown University an institution of distinction:
Ali Koser
Alison Koser
(with Dr. F. Javier Cevallos, right, and Dr. Carlson Chambliss, left)
Ephrata, Pa. resident and physics and mathematics major, Alison Koser ’11, receives recognition for outstanding research. Ali’s involvement in research began as a freshman when she started working with Dr. Paul Quinn, Associate Professor of Physical Science on granular materials theory research. As a result of her high quality work, she had the opportunity to present her work, as a freshman, at the 2008 March meeting of the American Physical Society. Her research intensified throughout her college career and as a sophomore, Ali was awarded the Physical Science Faculty Scholarship, the highest recognition of a student’s academic accomplishments and service to the community in the department.

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

Fleetwood, Pa.-native and geology major, Helen Malenda ’11, receives recognition for outstanding research. Helen has successfully undertaken and completed three separate extracurricular research projects on which she served as the principal, lead investigator. She presented all three projects at major national scientific conferences attended normally by university faculty, industry researchers and Ph.D. students. Additionally, Helen co-authored two full scientific papers published in prestigious peer-reviewed journals which will be applied towards other paleontological research papers. As a result of her hard work and advanced graduate student caliber, Helen was selected as one of two undergraduate students to travel to South Africa for preliminary research on Precambrian biological soil crusts with KU’s Dr. Ed Simpson, professor of Geology and Chairperson, Department of Physical Sciences.


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

Pittsburgh, Pa.-resident and elementary education major, Melissa McQuade ’11, received recognition for achievements in athletics. For the last four years, Melissa McQuade has worked extremely hard to balance academics and sports without compromising either one. As an Elementary Education major, Melissa’s enthusiasm for learning and passion for teaching has positioned her as a model teacher candidate and a 3.94 grade point average. On the basket ball court, Melissa’s performance was simply extraordinary. For the third straight season, she led the Golden Bears to qualify for the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSCA) with a 15-12 overall record. She has been a starter for the team since her freshmen year, leading the team in scoring and rebounding all four years. Melissa finished her spectacular career as Kutztown’s all-time leading scorer (1,624 points) and rebounder (973) in program history. She was named to the CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All America team; earning her fist career Academic All-American recognition. Her honor marks the first time since 2004 that a PSAC women’s basketball player achieved such an distinction.


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

Allentown, Pa.-resident and fine arts major, Christina Yesenofski ’10, receives recognition for her original artwork. Christina Yesenofski graduated in December summa cum laude with a degree in Fine Arts/Printmaking and a minor of Spanish. Her work captures her interest in portraiture and the human condition, sometimes addressing very difficult and sophisticated subject matter. While at KU, Christina exhibited in eight exhibitions including a solo show at the McFarland Student Union Gallery. In 2009, she was received KU’s Sharadin Award for Distinguished Achievement in Fine Arts. Beyond Kutztown, Christina’s work has been exhibited in Harrisburg, New York City, Chicago and later this year, Lancaster. At the young age of 22, she was one of the youngest artists at the 43rd Annual Art of the State: Pennsylvania Show at the State Museum of Pennsylvania.


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

Allentown, Pa.-resident and geology major, Mattathias Needle ’10, receives recognition for outstanding research. Mattathias (Max) Needle graduated in December with a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology. Max’s research at KU has been described as being intense, varied, Ph.D. quality and extremely successful. One of his most noted accomplishments was his work on the physical modeling of orogenic curvature (the study of curved patterns exhibited by large mountain systems like the Appalachians and the Pyrenees). Max was not just the collaborator or research assistant, he initiated the concept, designed the experiments, conducted all of the research and analysis, summarized key findings and published and presented his results at regional and national scientific meetings. In short, he was the primary scientist and the driving force on the project at every stage.


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

Lancaster, Pa.-resident and professional writing major, Irelyn Akers ’11, receives recognition for successfully leading three KU student publications, excelling in her contributions to efforts on behalf of KU’s University Relations Office and leadership with several student organizations. Irelyn is a “top-notch,” soon- to-be-graduate who will leave KU with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Professional Writing. She is being recognized for her vision, leadership and fortitude in resurrecting KU’s literary magazine, Essence. Since her freshmen year, Irelyn has been involved with Essence, serving in various roles. In 2008-2009, holding the position of co-editor, Irelyn recognized the publication could be so much more than its present state. As a result of her hard work and determination, Essence moved from an art and design journal to a publication more identified for its editorial content. The outcome – a greater appreciation of the work submitted by students in the English and Fine Arts Departments. The changes ultimately lead to higher quality and an increase in submissions to the magazine plus a greater respect for the publication by faculty and students. In 2009, the magazine was the University’s & College Design Association’s ‘Best Student Produced Work.’


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

Scranton, Pa.-resident and art education and fine arts major, Jeffery Hartman ’11, receives recognition for original artwork. Jeffrey will graduate from Kutztown University with two majors - a Bachelor of Science degree in Art Education and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Crafts. His ultimate goal is to share his passion for art with students in a K-12 environment. His professors regard Jeffrey as one of the most accomplished, dedicated, prolific and successful ceramic artists they have ever had the pleasure of teaching. His work has been featured in exhibitions, both on campus as well as off site. Jeffrey’s portfolio of ceramic work has been recognized at various professional levels, verified by the numerous scholarships, awards, apprenticeship venues and internships he has been granted. As a result, his work caught the attention of some of the premier and foremost craft schools in the country providing him with the opportunity to work side by side with some of the country’s finest craftsmen, gaining additional educational experience.


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

Kutztown, Pa.-resident and secondary education-history major, Luna McMahon ’11, receives recognition for successfully completed research projects. As a secondary education major with concentration in Social Studies/History, Luna stepped back in time to research marginalia in medieval manuscripts; specifically plant themes. Her thesis focused on the detailed art found around the margins of manuscripts. This feature was often viewed as random ornamentation by scholars whose primary interest was the main subject at hand. Luna hypothesis was this detailed art had to have more significant meaning since it often required a lot of time and financial resources (medieval paints were extremely expensive plus the artists use a lot of gold leaf during that time period,). She identified some of the plants used in the margin paintings and traced the allegorical meaning for those plants (love, sacrifice, remembrance) to the scenes depicted in the manuscript illumination itself. Her research is regarded as highly original and sophisticated and may be basis for a doctoral dissertation.


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

Penn Argyl, Pa.-resident and fine arts major, Christina Taylor ‘11, receives recognition for her original artwork of high quality and outstanding service to the Kutztown University community. Christina is being recognized not only for artwork but also for her outstanding service to the KU community. As a Fine Arts major with a concentration in Printmaking plus minors in German and Chemistry, she has applied her skills and interests to the area of art conservation. In January, she was awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship to study in Peru and develop hands-on skills pertaining to textile and wall painting conservation. As an intern and student worker for the Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center, Christina to date, has stabilized and conserved over 1,000 books and has created more than 80 enclosures for books and artifacts in the collection. This preservation of irreplaceable historical objects constitutes a great service to the University and the community at large.


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

Bensalem, Pa.-resident and fine arts major, Josh Dannin ’11, receives recognition for original artwork of high quality. Scheduled to graduate summa cum laude this May with a degree in Fine Arts and dual concentrations in printmaking plus photography, Josh Dannin has already achieved a great deal of success during his time at KU. Josh’s portfolio centers on printmaking and woodcuts; an interest he only picked up in 2009. Much of Josh’s art include images of animals depicting political messages. His 2010 solo exhibition, ANIMALISM, received high praise on campus. Josh’s artwork has been showed on campus as well as in juried and invitational exhibitions/portfolios, nationally and internationally. Most recently, his work was exhibited across Canada and later this spring, it will be included in an exhibition in Seoul, South Korea as part of the first ever International Print Exchange of South Korea.


  Jessie Horning
Jessie Horning

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

Bethlehem, Pa.-resident and fine arts major, Jessie Horning ’11, receives recognition for her original artwork of high quality and outstanding service to the Kutztown University community. Throughout her time at KU, Jessie Horning made sure ‘no grass grew under her feet!’ Set to graduate in May with Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in printmaking, Jessie will be leaving KU with many feathers in her cap. Not only is Jessie an exceptional artist whose work has been described as being intelligent, innovative, humorous and serious all at the same time but she has also been a Dean’s Scholar in the College of Visual and Performing Arts for the last four years; an Honors Student with a 4.0 GPA and Dean’s list recipient. Jessie’s work has been featured in exhibitions, both on campus as well as off site. Additionally, Jessie serves as co-director of Eckhaus, a non-profit student run gallery located in Kutztown. Her responsibilities include managing, maintaining and marketing the gallery, promoting events and organizing workshops. Lastly, Jessie holds the office of president of KU’s Art Club. Under her leadership, the organization experienced an enthusiastic resurgence, engaging in various activities and hosting visiting artists on campus. Her accomplishments have had a positive effect on KU and the community as well as preparing herself as budding professional.


2011 Chambliss Academic Achievement Award Winners
2011 Chambliss Academic Achievement Award Winners
Sitting (left to right): Helen Malenda, Alison Koser, Jessie Horning, Luna McMahon
Standing: Dr. Carlson Chambliss, Jeffrey Hartman, Josh Dannin, Christina Taylor, Mattathias Needle, Melissa McQuade, Irelyn Akers, Christina Yesenofski, Dr. F. Javier Cevallos


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