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Kutztown University Awards Chambliss Academic Achievement Award Medals

April 22, 2016

KUTZTOWN, Pa. -  Kutztown University celebrated the recipients of its annual Chambliss Academic Achievement Awards in a ceremony on April 22 in the McFarland Student Union.  The ceremony will include remarks by Dr. Carlson R. Chambliss, Professor Emeritus, Physical Science.

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.  

COPPER MEDAL RECIPIENTS

Lisamarie Feliciano, an Allentown, Pa. native, received her bachelor's degree in biology with a focus on pre-medicine and health careers in December 2015. Feliciano received the Copper Chambliss Student Academic Achievement Award 2016 in the categories of successfully completed research projects and outstanding service to the Kutztown community. She conducted a research project in which she evaluated different methods of cleaning bird feeders with and without organic debris to remove pathogenic Salmonella; the study addresses the concern over the spread of several diseases believed to be transmitted through bird feeders, and the relatively little knowledge of proper hygiene methods for feeders. She presented her research at several conferences, including a regional biology conference and an international ornithology conference. She was the founder and organizer of KU's Global Brigades club and trip to Panama; Global Brigades is an organization that facilitates university students volunteering to help small communities around the world meet their health needs. During the Panama trip, which provided aid and medical care to approximately 350 impoverished people, she developed an educational activity station to teach good hygiene tips. The club organized a second trip to Honduras in 2016. Feliciano has also volunteered extensively in the Biology Department and for the university in general. She was chosen as a scholar in the Summer Medical and Dental Education Program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and received the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Scholarship in 2014 and 2015 and the Association of Pennsylvania State College & University Faculties Scholarship in 2014. Feliciano hopes to become a physician in an underserved area.

Wesley Hartmann from Hyde Park, Johannesburg, South Africa, will receive his bachelor's degree in biology in May. Hartmann received the Copper Chambliss Student Academic Achievement Award 2016 in the category of noteworthy achievements in athletics. He won as the USA Rugby Collegiate All-American in 2015 (Honorable Mention 2014), Rugby East Forward of the Year in 2015, Collegiate Rugby Championship in 2014 (2015 runner-up) and ACRC Champion in both 2015 and 2013. He has been the Kutztown Rugby Executive Board vice president since 2014 and also served as its secretary 2013-2014, and additionally was the rugby team's captain in 2015 and the A-side 15s and 7s team starter for KU since 2012. He has been on the Dean's List throughout his time at Kutztown and received a Board of Governors Scholarship. He was also Golden Bear of the Week for the KU Student Government Board (SGB), an SGB representative for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, a KU Admissions tour guide and founder of the Future Physicians student organization. Hartmann hopes to obtain a competitive internship position in one of the nation's top animal behaviors programs, to work towards a Master's and Ph.D. in animal sciences and to secure a position with a professional rugby team.

Corrine Kula of Allentown Pa. will receive a bachelor's degree in crafts with a specialization in ceramics and textiles this May. Kula received the Copper Chambliss Student Academic Achievement Award 2016 in the category of original artwork of high quality. Her artwork has been purchased by faculty, staff and the art department, and she has received high praise on her work. Her work has also been exhibited at the Berks County Guild of Craftsman show and at the Eckhaus Gallery in Kutztown. As the studio technician in the ceramics area of the department, she has mentored ceramics, education and non-art majors and also assisted with the department's newly developed workshops with the "Craft in America" PBS television show. She was selected to exhibit her work and represent KU at the Philadelphia Museum of Art craft show in the fall of 2014, 2015 and 2017 and in The Keystone Collegiate exhibition at the Broadway Center for the Arts and Technology in 2016. Kula received the Pawling Award for Excellence in Crafts, an internship/fellowship at the Clay Studio in Philadelphia, a Beirman Mentorship Scholarship and a scholarship for summer study at Peter's Valley School of Craft. Kula is applying to the Arrowmont School of Crafts and plans to pursue a master's degree.

Matthew Kuna, whose hometown is Allentown, Pa., will graduate this May with a bachelor's degree in secondary education with a focus on Spanish and English as a second language. Kuna received the Copper Chambliss Student Academic Achievement Award 2016 in the category of successfully completed research projects. His original research entitled "The Effects of a Dynamic Art Education Program on Middle Level Students" was conducted over a two year period. He will present his findings at the Eastern Educational Research Association and is developing a publishable article for the research. He received the Who's Who Among College Students honor, the Levi Gresh Scholarship, the President F. Javier Cevallos Latin American Scholarship, the College of Education Recognition Award, the Bartholomew Freshman Composition Award, the Class of 1954 Scholarship and the Board of Governor's Tuition Scholarship, and was a member of Sigma Delta Pi (National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society), the Catholic Newman Council, the National Association for Multicultural Education, the Association for Middle Level Education, the Dean's List and the Honor's Program at KU. He has also been a program assistant and peer tutor with KU Tutoring Services and an academic planner with the Connections Orientation Program. Kuna plans to pursue a teaching position in a high-risk area and make a difference in the lives of under-serviced students and their families.

Joseph Scoboria of Reading, Pa. graduates this May with a bachelor's degree in elementary education. Scoboria received the Copper Chambliss Student Academic Achievement Award 2016 in the category of outstanding service to the Kutztown University community. Scoboria served two terms as president of the Student Government Board (SGB) at KU. In this position, he has addressed the issue of moving the polling location several miles away from campus by meeting with the County Elections Board, with a goal of returning the polling location to campus. For this issue, he also organized and participated in two marches to the current polling location, which resulted in considerable media attention. He also initiated the Diversity Standing Committee within SGB along with a relationship building program with members of the state legislature. Joseph also serves on the executive board committee in the Board of Student Government Presidents and represents KU in the State System Advocacy Days program. He was selected by the Allentown Diocese to be one of the 200 individuals to represent the diocese at the World Meeting of Families during the visit by Pope Francis. Scoboria has plans to become an elementary school teacher.

Danielle Sienko of Philadelphia, Pa. will graduate with a bachelor's degree in mathematics this May. Sienko received the Copper Chambliss Student Academic Achievement Award 2016 in the categories of successfully completed research projects and outstanding service to the Kutztown University community. She has developed a solution procedure that can easily be used to assign class times to final exam timeslots such that the number of students that are scheduled for three exams in one day is minimized. She has been able to show that using this mathematical approach reduces the number of students with three final exams scheduled in the same day by about 50%. Due to her continued work with the registrar's office, her approach will be implemented in fall 2016. She is in the Honors Program and was on the Dean's List seven times, she has received the D2ADA Academic Achievement Award twice, and she was a two time NFCA All-American Scholar-Athlete, a three time PSAC Scholar-Athlete, and a member of Kappa Mu Epsilon. In the future, Sienko hopes to publish her mathematical approach in a peer-reviewed applied mathematics journal.   

SILVER MEDAL RECIPIENTS

Anna Behm, a resident of Kutztown, Pa., will graduate this May with a bachelor's degree in leisure and sports studies. Behm received the Silver Chambliss Student Academic Achievement Award 2016 in the category of noteworthy achievements in athletics. She is a two-time All-America First Team selection from the National Field Hockey Coaches Association and was named the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Athlete of the Year. Her 22 goals are the second-most in KU single-season history, she ranked second in Division II in scoring and her nine assists in 2015 are fifth-most in KU single-season history, while her 53 points rank second; her 56 goals and 129 points both rank third all-time in program history. She was named a finalist for the national Division II Honda Athlete of the Year and was a three-time All-PSAC forward, a three-time PSAC Scholar-Athlete and a three-time member of the coaches National Academic Squad. She has been on the Dean's List multiple semesters and taken on the president role within KU'S Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, a role in which she has raised money for KU athletic events and organized an annual Main Street cleanup and multiple canned food drives. Behm hopes to acquire a future position in athletics; she is currently interning with USA Field Hockey.

Mary Kate Henry of Bethlehem, Pa. will receive her bachelor's degree in communication design this May. Henry received the Silver Chambliss Student Academic Achievement Award 2016 in the category of original artwork of high quality. Henry received honors as a sophomore in the Flux Student Design Competition for her theater poster; more recently she was recognized in two different competitions sponsored by the Society of Publication Design (SPD). She has received the Mitch Shostak Award from the SPD 2015 Student Design Competition and received a Silver Award in the 2015 SPD-U Spotlight Online Gallery Show. On campus, Henry has worked for the Housing and Residency Life office, assisted in the university's annual Designathon, been a member of the National Residence Hall Honorary, acted as co-chair with the Angels for Angels 34 talent show, volunteered as a mentor to the Font Fellows Mentorship Program, has served on the Newman council and designed the 2016 logo for Berks Jazz Fest. She has been a member of the KU Honor's Program and the Dean's List for several years, and also was the recipient of the PSECU College of Visual & Performing Arts Scholarship and the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties Scholarship. Henry is pursuing a career as a design professional and is currently exploring ideas on using social media and the web as tools within the design industry to increase effectiveness and reach.

Benjamin Hoffman of Hatboro, Pa. received bachelor's degrees in Art Education and Fine Arts with a concentration in painting in December 2015. Hoffman received the Silver Chambliss Student Academic Achievement Award 2016 in the categories of original artwork of high quality and outstanding service to the Kutztown University community. He was a member of the honors program and graduated with a 3.90 grade point average and two minors: art history and music. He performed with the KU Marching Unit, worked as a studio monitor of the arts foundations program, served both Kappa Kappa Psi and Hillel Jewish organization, volunteered for the Kutztown Fire Department and KuBOK Neighborhood Watch, served the Art Club and various art associations and volunteered as a tutor for three years in Reading, Pa. He secured an internship at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and was later offered a part-time position there. His work has been featured in exhibitions throughout the state and Connecticut and has been reviewed in several newspapers. He created his work "Celebrating 150 Years of Music through Public Art" for his Honors Capstone project, and it is now on display at Schaeffer Auditorium. He also received the Clinical Experience Award, the Assistant Chief Harvey Merket Memorial Scholarship, the Karen Anderson Fine Arts Graduation Award, the Ready to Succeed Scholarship, the AEA Scholarship and Dean's List membership. Hoffman is currently the visual arts educator for Brooklyn Park Middle School, and may return to museum education or choose to pursue a master's degree in the future.

Lauren Sobczak of Fogelsville, Pa. will receive her bachelor's degree in secondary English and special education in May. Sobczak received the Silver Chambliss Student Academic Achievement Award 2016 in the category of successfully completed research projects. Lauren conducted research on Shakespeare's Later Plays and presented her research at the Ohio Valley Shakespeare Festival Conference at Ohio State University; her work was also featured in the Lehigh Valley Vanguard literary magazine. She created a website aimed at providing information on Shakespeare and autism, disabilities awareness and other topics. She also pursued Autism Endorsement Certification by taking graduate-level courses while an undergraduate student. She has been a member of the KU Honors program and the Dean's List, and is a recipient of the Cyrus E. Beekey Scholarship, the Dr. Walter Nott English Scholarship, the M. Rick Smith Undergraduate Award, the Ruth Bonner Scholarship and the Penn Northeast Conference Scholarship. Her campus involvement includes membership in the English Club, Sigma Tau Delta, Pi Lambda Theta, Kappa Delta Pi, the university choir, the After Hours jazz ensemble, the Allies organization, the chamber choir vocal ensemble and the KU Writing Center staff. She also received recognition in Who's Who Among College and University Students. Sobczak plans to pursue employment as a secondary education/special education teacher.  

GOLD MEDAL RECIPIENTS

David Grow, a resident of York, Pa. will graduate this May with a degree in environmental science/biology. Grow received the Gold Chambliss Student Academic Achievement Award 2016 in the category of successfully completed research projects. Grow's research has included documenting the location and size of invasive plant populations along hundreds of miles of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail in Pennsylvania and providing management and sustainable stewardship information to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and the National Parks Service, among others. He has presented his research at KU, a regional conference and a national ecological conference and is preparing a manuscript for publication. He received the Carole and Ray Neag Undergraduate Research Fund Grant to present his research at the 100th Annual Ecological Society of America Conference, the KU Promise Scholarship and an Eagle Scouts scholarship. He is a member of the KU Biology Mentoring Program and the KU Outdoors Club, and has been a member of the Dean's List for every semester of his time at KU. Grow has secured a graduate student position at Towson University, with an ultimate goal to secure a faculty position as an ecologist or conservation biologist.

Breann Young of Dallastown, Pa. will receive her bachelor's degree in fine arts with a focus on painting in May. Young received the Gold Chambliss Student Academic Achievement Award 2016 in the category of successfully completed research projects and original artwork of high quality. In pursuing a future career in conservation, she acquired an internship with the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, and chronicled her work experience in two blog publications on Smithsonian websites. Her work was also selected to be included in Professional Artist magazine and in the book, "Earn Internships, Secure Employment: a Practical Guide to Writing for the Workplace" by William Prystauk. She has shown her artwork at four exhibitions on campus and appeared in national publications. Young was a member of the Dean's List for the majority of her semesters spent at KU, and she received the Undergraduate Research Committee Grant, the Marguerite Bierman Grant, the Sharadin Award and the PSECU Scholarship. She has also served as the director of Eckhaus on Main Street and volunteered at the Miller Art Gallery on campus. Young plans to pursue a career at the Smithsonian in the paleontology division and to also acquire a master's degree in object conservation.