2019-20 Points of Pride


Kutztown University ranked fourth among Online Schools Report (OSR) best online Library Science master’s programs in the nation. OSR determines ranks based on six separate data points, three schoolwide and three program-specific, for every applicable school nationwide. Schoolwide data points include student satisfaction, admission rates and the number of programs the school offers online.

Best oline masters Library science logo
Best for Vets logo in front of american flag and Schaeffer Auditorium

Kutztown University has been ranked in Military Times’ Best for Vets: Colleges rankings for the sixth-straight year. KU was ranked 89th among four-year schools.  Kutztown has been a mainstay on the survey results since 2014. Last year, we saw 165 enrollments of veterans and military members.  In addition, the university was honored with the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Seven Seals Award.  The honor is one of 60 awards given to employers by the Pennsylvania Committee this year.  It a national-level award for patriotic employers, meant to recognize the consistent and outstanding support of KU employees who also serve in the Guard and Reserves.

The Kutztown University Foundation held a dedication ceremony for The Fred and Martha ’02 Hafer Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) Laboratory on Nov. 2. The microscope will be a focal point on campus, particularly within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. A scanning electron microscope (SEM) scans a focused electron beam over a surface to create an image. The electrons in the beam interact with the sample, producing various signals that may be used to obtain information about the surface topography and composition.

President hawkinson at podium in front of the SEM laboratory.
Dr Chambliss speaks at Observatory dedication.

The Kutztown University Foundation dedicated the C.R. Chambliss Astronomical Observatory, named in honor of the generous support of Dr. Carlson R. Chambliss, Professor Emeritus of astronomy, on Nov. 15. The C.R. Chambliss Astronomical Observatory is located atop the Grim Science Building. It houses a 24-inch (0.61-meter) Ritchey-Chretien optical telescope system that is used for education, community outreach, and professional research projects.

Dr. Julia L. Hovanec, department chair and associate professor of Art Education at Kutztown University, has been honored as the recipient of the 2019 Outstanding Higher Education Art Educator Award recipient from The Pennsylvania Art Education Association. Dr. Hovanec has taught art for more than 32 years, beginning with elementary and middle school education. She has served as department chair since 2017, and her major role at KU is working with student teachers.

Dr. Julia Hovanec

The National Association for the Education of Young Children has awarded its national recognition to Kutztown University’s Prek-4 Master of Education program, another step toward KU’s excellence in achieving all educational programs being Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation accredited. The program began about six years ago as a pathway for students who have undergraduate degrees in fields other than education to receive certification to teach in public elementary schools, while simultaneously earning a master's degree.

Kristina Miller of the Golden Bear Women’s Soccer was named an Academic All-America this fall. A senior defender from Lansdale, Miller is just the third Academic All-American in women’s soccer program history. A business administration (finance) major with a 3.99 cumulative grade point average, Miller is also a two-time all-region, and a past All-PSAC first team selection.

Tyler Boger and PSAC Commissioner

Tyler Boger of the PSAC East Champion Golden Bear Football team, was named a PSAC Champion Scholar. The Harrisburg native is the second Golden Bear football student-athlete to win the award all-time. The PSAC Champion Scholar Awards honor the student-athlete with the top grade-point average, who is competing at the site of each of the PSAC's championship sites. Boger has accumulated 66 credits toward his sport management degree and owns a 3.91 grade point average. Boger and his teammates advanced to the PSAC title game last month, and the second round of the NCAA Division II Playoffs.

Hannah Shirk, of the Golden Bear Field Hockey team, was named the PSAC Champion Scholar and NCAA Elite 90 winner. The senior from Hamburg is an Early Childhood/Special Education major, and carries a perfect 4.0 grade point average. Shirk is the first Golden Bear in any sport to earn the Elite 90 award. The Elite 90 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA's championships. Shirk and her teammates advanced to the NCAA Final 4 last month, after appearing in the PSAC title game two weeks earlier.

Shirk receives NCAA Elite 90 award

Princeton Review Designates KU as One of the Best Universities in the Northeast for 2020
Kutztown University has once again been featured as one of the "Best in the Northeast" by the Princeton Review for 2020. The education services company is widely known for its test prep programs and college and graduate school guides. KU is among 224 institutions named to the regional list and has been named to the list more than a dozen times in the last 20 years. Read More.

KU Rises in 2020 U.S. News and World Report Rankings
Kutztown University has once again been named a "Best Regional University" in the U.S. News and World Report's annual ranking of U.S. colleges and universities. In data released Sept. 2019, U.S. News listed KU as No. 126 in the first tier of the Best Regional Universities for the northern region, 11 spots higher than 2018 and KU’s highest jump in a decade. KU has been ranked in the first tier since 2011. Read More.

Old Main
Keystone Field ribbon cutting

Kutztown University Opens Renovated Keystone Field
Kutztown University dedicated its newest renovated facility Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019. Keystone Field was officially opened with an on-field dedication before the Golden Bears women’s soccer game against East Stroudsburg in front of a record crowd of more than 600. Keystone Field will be utilized by thousands of KU students and provides restroom facilities to be shared by O’Pake Fieldhouse. Read More.

Kutztown University to Offer Free Lifelong Learning Opportunity to Alumni
Kutztown University, in conjunction with the Kutztown University Foundation is offering free online classes for alumni of the university for the first time in Fall 2019. The one-credit classes, which are completely online, include the Ten Secrets to Great Project Management and the Science of Cooking. The classes, which provide life-long learning opportunities for KU alumni, attracted nearly 300 students for the Fall 2019 semester. Read More.

Golden Bear status on campus
Officials at agreement signing

Kutztown, Reading Area Community College and Career & Technology Centers Launch Teacher Education Pathway
Kutztown University and Reading Area Community College signed an agreement in August 2019, for KU to teach a Bachelor of Science in Education (BSED) with PreK-4 Teacher Certification program at RACC’s campus starting Fall 2020. The agreement frames a teacher certification pathway through leveraging Berks County public institutions – Kutztown University, Reading Area Community College, Reading Muhlenberg Career and Technology Centers and Berks Career and Technology Center – and addresses workforce projections for qualified early childhood teachers in the region. Read More.

KU Signs Dual Enrollment Agreements with Three Local School Districts
Kutztown University signed five-year dual enrollment agreements with Antietam, Brandywine Heights Area and Fleetwood Area School Districts in June 2019 to facilitate an advanced college-experience program to recruit outstanding students to KU and provide them with instruction and personal-growth opportunities. The agreements will allow select students from each school district to enroll in off-campus courses as non-degree students at Kutztown University. Read More.

Officials signing agreement

Kutztown University and RACC Sign Grant Agreement with Sam Inc. to Provide Social Work Graduates to Reading-Area
Kutztown University and Reading Area Community College (RACC) signed a two-year grant agreement with Service and Access Management Inc. (SAM Inc.) in June 2019 to promote innovation and partnerships between university and community agencies. The agreement will allow KU BSW graduates to secure employment upon graduation and build agency-specific skills via internships at SAM Inc. Internships will be available for up to six bilingual KU students participating in the BSW program at RACC. KU will offer each of these students a stipend of $2,500. Read More.

Peña Named KU’s Vice President for Equity, Compliance and Liaison For Legal Affairs
Jesus A. Peña, Esq., has been named vice president for Equity, Compliance and liaison for Legal Affairs at Kutztown University. He began his tenure July 6, 2019. In his new role, Peña will oversee the offices of Disability Services, Public Safety and Police Services and Social Equity. He will lead KU’s protection of minors efforts and the creation, implementation and oversight of the university’s Risk Assessment Plan. He will also conduct all Article 42, 22 and Title IX investigations. Additionally, Peña has agreed to serve as the interim Title IX coordinator for Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education, providing support and coordination for matters related to Title IX within the State System. Read More.

Jesus Peña
Sharon Picus

VP Silberman Accepts New Role after 29 Years at KU; Picus to Step Up into Interim Role
Sharon Picus, KU’s former assistant vice president of Human Resources, has been named interim vice president for Administration and Finance, effective Aug. 3, 2019. Picus has worked at KU for 34 years and replaces long-time vice president Jerry Silberman, who retired from KU in August 2019. Matt Delaney will assume the duties of Chief Financial Officer. Read More.

President Hawkinson, KU Presented Leadership Award in Support of Foster Children and Youth
Dr. Kenneth S. Hawkinson, president of Kutztown University, received the Estelle B. Richman Leadership Award on behalf of Kutztown University at the third-annual ChildPromise, Inc. Gala Oct. 10. Kutztown University earned the award in recognition of our partnership with ChildPromise, Inc. to present the one-of-a-kind PROFS program. Created for students who are current or former members of the foster care system, PROFS provides college access programs to high school students, such as college prep and financial knowledge workshops, as well as connects adult KU students to the campus resources that will help them succeed. Read More.

Trustee Pichini at commencement

Trustee Pichini Appointed to Commission on Presidential Scholars
KU Council of Trustee member Guido Pichini ’74 was one of nine individuals appointed by President Donald Trump to the Commission on Presidential Scholars. The Commission on Presidential Scholars is a group of eminent private citizens appointed by the president to select and honor the Presidential Scholars. Commissioners are selected from across the country, representing the fields of education, medicine, law, social services, business and other professions.  The Commissioners make the final selection of the 161 Presidential Scholars. The Scholars demonstrate exceptional accomplishments in academics, the arts, career and technical education and an outstanding commitment to public service. Read More.

Trustee Wabby to Receive Inaugural KU Athletics Legacy Award
KU Council of Trustee member John “Jack” Wabby is the inaugural recipient of the Kutztown University Athletics Legacy Award. The award was created to honor individuals who have made a significant contribution to the Kutztown University athletic department and the university through their time, dedication, commitment, philanthropy and/or general support. The award will be presented at the university’s Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Friday, Nov. 8. Read More.

Jack Wabby
KU at Carnegie Hall

Carnegie Hall Performance Brings Attention and Praise to KU Music Department
Kutztown University’s Chamber Players and performing faculty performed at the prestigious Carnegie Hall Monday, Sept. 30. The KU Chamber Players, conducted by Dr. Peter Isaacson, performed three compositions with two faculty soloists, Dr. Maria Asteriadou and professor Kurt Nikkanen, as well as a piece with Louisiana State University student Johanna Cox Pennington on English horn. KU’s Chamber Players and faculty had only five weeks to prepare and learn the pieces, speaking to the dedication of everyone involved.  The performance was part of a full day trip for the KU Arts Society to New York City, which included a tour of the Steinway Piano Factory. Read More.

KU Alumnus and US Secret Service Dog Awarded ‘Animal OBE” by British Charity
United States Secret Service dog, Hurricane, and canine handler officer Marshall Mirarchi ’05, a Kutztown University alumnus, will be honored with the PDSA Order of Merit medal by the United Kingdom’s leading veterinary charity, PDSA, for Hurricane’s outstanding devotion to duty. Known also as the “animal Royal Order of the British Empire (OBE),” Hurricane is the first non-British animal to receive the honor. Hurricane will formally receive his Medal from PDSA in October, during a special ceremony at the House of Lords in London.  Hurricane was trained as part of the U.S. Secret Service Emergency Response Team as a Special Operations Canine. He provided specialist protection to the White House and its grounds. Officer Mirarchi and Hurricane were on duty at the White House Oct. 22, 2014, when a man unexpectedly vaulted the White House fence and sprinted across the lawn toward the residence of President Obama and his family.  It was Hurricane who ultimately thwarted the attack. Read More.

Flowers in front of Old Main

Raritan Valley Community College, KU Sign Transfer Agreement
Kutztown University and Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) in Branchburg, N.J., have entered into a new agreement that will facilitate the transfer process for RVCC graduates interested in attending Kutztown University.  According to the agreement, RVCC students who submit a “Letter of Intent” to transfer to Kutztown University before they complete 30 transferrable credits may seamlessly transfer to KU with junior year status as long as they fulfill certain requirements. This includes graduating from RVCC with an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree with the requisite grade-point average for their intended major, as well as satisfying all KU transfer and admission requirements for their major. RVCC graduates planning to transfer to KU and major in such areas as music and art also may be required to audition for their program or submit a portfolio of their work. Read More.

Kutztown University Presented Sustaining Partner Award by Northeast Berks Chamber of Commerce
Kutztown University was presented the Sustaining Partner Award by the Northeast Berks Chamber of Commerce on Sept. 26. Founded in 1989, the Chamber has grown from 100 to 245 members with 22 of the founding members remaining. In honor of the 30th anniversary celebration, four “founder awards” were created in addition to the annual Shining Star Award to acknowledge those members who have been active in their support since the founding of the Chamber. Read More.

Hawkinson receiving Chamber award