Kutztown University to Celebrate 2019 Spring Commencement May 10-11

KUTZTOWN, Pa. - More than 1,300 students will be awarded degrees during Kutztown University's spring commencement ceremonies on May 10-11, 2019, in O'Pake Fieldhouse. Dr. Kenneth S. Hawkinson, university president, and Dr. Anne Zayaitz, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, will preside.

On Friday, May 10, graduate students will receive their degrees, including six doctoral candidates, at 5 p.m. Letecia Garcia, a clinical counseling major, will serve as the student speaker and Dr. Paula Holoviak, professor of Political Science and Public Administration, will represent the faculty.

On Saturday, May 11, undergraduate students in the Colleges of Education and Liberal Arts and Sciences will graduate at 9 a.m. Grant Fickes, a mathematics major, will represent the student body and Dr. Kurt Friehauf, professor of Physical Sciences, will serve as the faculty speaker.

On Saturday, May 11, undergraduate students in the Colleges of Business and Visual and Performing Arts will graduate at 2:30 p.m. Amanda Meck, a business administration major, will serve as the student speaker and Dr. Amy Pfeiler-Wunder, professor of Art Education, will serve as the faculty speaker.

Letecia Garcia, of Schuylkill Haven, Pa., will graduate with a Master of Arts in clinical mental health counseling. She is a certified trainer and program facilitator for the Safe Space Training Program, as well as a group facilitator for the Trans* and Non-Binary Support Group at the GLBTQ Resource Center. She is also a member of Psi Chi, International Honor Society of Psychology; Alpha Phi Sigma, National Criminal Justice Honor Society; Chi Sigma Iota, International Counseling Academic and Professional Honor Society; and Alpha Epsilon Lambda, National Honor Society of Graduate and Professional School Students.

During her time at Kutztown, Garcia served as a graduate assistant to the GLBTQ Resource Center and created the Gender and Sexual Minorities Conference, serving as the conference curator for the first two years. Garcia was also a psychotherapy intern at Sanctuary Counseling, LLC, where she worked with the LGBTQ+ population and currently works as a Psychotherapist and Program Coordinator.

In the future, Garcia plans to pursue certification in Sex and Gender Therapy to serve underrepresented and marginalized identities and lifestyles. Her long-term goal is to obtain a Ph.D. in East-West Psychology from California Institute of Integral Studies and open a retreat-style private practice and botanical garden.

Dr. Paula Holoviak is a professor of Political Science and Public Administration and is the program coordinator for KU's Master of Public Administration. She has served as an educator for more than 33 years, teaching courses in public administration, state and local government, policy evaluation and human resource management at the graduate and undergraduate level. Dr. Holoviak is a member of the Graduate Council, campus coordinator for The Harrisburg Internship Semester (THIS) and an advisor to the university Slavic Club.

In addition to her work at KU, Dr. Holoviak is very involved at the state level, serving as the chairperson of the Pennsylvania Policy Forum, and secretary and webmaster of the Pennsylvania Political Science Association. She is also a member and past president of the Northeastern Political Science Association and an associate editor of Commonwealth: A Journal of Pennsylvania Politics and Policy. Dr. Holoviak is very active in the Ukrainian American community, serving as a board member of the Organization for the Rebirth of Ukraine and the Ukrainian American Heritage Foundation. She is fluent in Ukrainian and French.

Dr. Holoviak has authored seven publications and presented at a variety of conferences and professional panels at the state and national levels. Her book entitled Pennsylvania Politics:  Unlocking the Keystone State will be published by the Pennsylvania University Press this fall. She earned bachelor's degrees in government and politics and French from King's College, a Master of Public Administration from Pennsylvania State University and a Doctor of Philosophy in political science from the State University of New York at Binghamton.

Grant Fickes of Red Lion, Pa., will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in mathematics, with minors in computer science and software development. He is treasurer of the Math Club, as well as the former treasurer and fundraising chairperson of the American Music Program. He was also an inductee of Kappa Mu Epsilon Mathematics Honor Society.

While at KU, Fickes was a KU BEARS researcher and a tutor for College Algebra, Calculus I and Calculus III courses. He also served as an undergraduate mathematics and statistics researcher at Lafayette College. Fickes frequently volunteered on campus at events such as the STEM Open House, Jazz Day and Woodwind and Brass Day, as well as at many off-campus locations including Servant's Faith beyond the Pews Work Camp, the Great Chapel Picnic and as a media team member for Chapel Church.

In the future, he plans to attend the University of South Carolina as a mathematics PhD student.

Dr. Kurt C. Friehauf is a licensed professional geologist, a professor of mineral resource geology and geochemistry and is the chair of the Kutztown University Undergraduate Research Committee. In addition to introductory-level courses on the geology of America's national parks, he has taught advanced courses in economic geology, mineralogy, igneous and metamorphic petrology, hydrogeology, environmental geology, and geophysics. He taught graduate geology courses for 10 summers at the China University of Geosciences in Beijing, China.

Dr. Friehauf involves KU students in his cutting-edge research on how ore deposits form, traveling with his students on field expeditions to China, Inner Mongolia, Namibia and Alaska. He also accompanies his research students to national scientific conferences in the U.S. and Canada, where his students present their published work to professional researchers from all around the world. As the advisor to the Geology Club, Dr. Friehauf travels with KU students to explore geologic wonders in Costa Rica, Puerto Rico and many western states in the U.S., and helps organize educational outreach programs for young children in the area. Dr. Friehauf is dedicated to making a difference not only in the lives of college students, but also those of young people in the broader community. He served as an elected school board director of the Kutztown Area School District and as a local Cub Scout den leader.

Dr. Friehauf currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Council of Professional Geologists. He is a fellow of the Society of Economic Geologists, a member of the Geological Society of America and was an associate editor of the Journal of Geoscience Education. He earned a bachelor's degree in geology at Colorado State University and a PhD in geological and environmental sciences from Stanford University.

Amanda Meck of Fleetwood, Pa., will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in business marketing and finance, with a minor in economics. She is treasurer of the Student Government Board, president of KU's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and former co-chair of the PSAC East Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, as well as a member of the varsity women's volleyball team, the American Marketing Association, the Entrepreneurship Club and the National Society of Leadership and Success.

During her time at KU, Meck was a supervisor at the KU Student Recreation Center, served as a marketing intern with University Relations, worked for the College of Business in the Dean's Office and served as an intern with the Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union. She also assisted with the Surge Volleyball Club and officiated youth volleyball tournaments. She volunteered at various community service projects including the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Community Clean-Up and the Special Olympics volleyball game.

In the future, Meck intends to pursue a career in the field of marketing.

Dr. Amy Pfeiler-Wunder is a professor of art education and the coordinator of the art education graduate program. She has served as an educator in a range of settings for more than 23 years. She primarily teaches courses on pedagogy and curriculum design for undergraduates, theoretical and contemporary perspectives in the visual arts to graduate students and research methodologies focused on narrative inquiry in the education doctorate program. She has also designed and taught numerous Summer Institutes, such an art science course that focused on Wallop's Island, Va. with Dr. Erin Kraal. Additionally, Dr. Pfeiler-Wunder serves on the Editorial Review Board for the International Journal of the Arts, as the hiring chair for Department of Art Education and Crafts and as a member of the Kutztown University Commission on Human Diversity.

Dr. Pfeiler-Wunder currently serves as the higher education division director of the National Art Education Association (NAEA) Board of Directors, the higher education division representative on the NAEA Research Commission and was recently elected to the Council of Policy Studies for Art Education, where she was also invited as a panelist on topics of equity, diversity and inclusivity. She regularly volunteers in the Kutztown community, such as a guest speaker at career day at Kutztown Middle School. In 2017, she was honored as the Pennsylvania Outstanding Higher Education Art Educator from the Pennsylvania Art Education Association.

Dr. Pfeiler-Wunder has presented at a plethora of regional, state, national and international conferences on intersectionality, arts integration and critical social justice as well as authored several research articles and conducted workshops at the campus, regional and national levels. She earned a bachelor's degree from Mount Mercy College, followed by a Master of Arts in art education and a Doctor of Philosophy in teaching and learning: art education from the University of Iowa.