2019-20 Points of Pride


Spring 2020 Dean's List Announced
More than 2,550 students were named to the Spring 2020 Dean's List at Kutztown University. To be eligible for the Dean's List, an undergraduate student must be registered for at least 12 credits and have a minimum grade point average of 3.60. The Spring 2020 Dean's List featured an increase of 800 students from Spring 2019. Read More.

Closeup of the golden bear statue from behind, with students walking through the plaza in the background

College of Business Renews Prestigious AACSB Accreditation
Kutztown University's College of Business celebrated continued excellence with renewed accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).   It is the first five-year renewal for the College since securing its initial accreditation in 2015. Read More.

Social Media and Public Relations Classrooms Named Finalists in International AV Experience Awards
Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association (AVIXA) announced the 2020 finalists of its international AV Experience Awards. Kutztown University ranked as a finalist in the Best Flexible Space category for its Social Media Analytics Strategic Hub (SMASH) and Public Relations Agency, referred to as "The Agency" classrooms.  Institutions from more than 20 countries submitted audiovisual (AV) projects for the annual awards. Read More.

Empty media classroom with several smart boards, displaying the golden bear University lock screen
Row of vocalists performing a piece together on stage

Downbeat Magazine Honors KU Blues and Rock Ensemble for Third-Consecutive Year
DownBeat Magazine, one of the premier and longest-running jazz and commercial music magazines in the U.S., honored Kutztown University for the third year in a row, placing KU in the Undergraduate College Outstanding Performance category of its annual Student Music Awards. In good company, KU’s Rock Ensemble I shares the honor with ensembles from University of Miami and Vanderbilt University. The ensemble is under the direction of Dr. Kevin Kjos, director of commercial music studies, jazz minor, Rock Ensemble I and commercial composition at KU since 1998. Read More.

National Science Foundation Awards KU Student-Research Grant for Exoplanet Discovery
The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded Kutztown University nearly $244,000 for a student-research grant. The grant will allow undergraduate students the opportunity to be paid research assistants at KU and travel abroad to take their research work to the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) in Australia. Beginning in 2021, four undergraduate students will be selected every year for the next three years to participate in the grant program. Read More.

Female student adjusting settings on a large telescope
Female campus field hockey player, running and lining up a shot

Field Hockey's Fuhrman Returns to COSIDA Academic All-District At-Large Team
Three-time NFHCA All-America senior midfielder Mackenzie Fuhrman represented the nationally-ranked Kutztown University field hockey program on the 2020 CoSIDA Academic All-District At-Large Team for the second straight year. A four-time member of the NFHCA National Academic Squad, Mackenzie was one of the two recipients of KU's 2020 Chambliss Academic Achievement Award gold medals and was named the 2020 Kutztown University Female Athlete of the Year. Read More.


Governor Wolf Visits Kutztown University to Discuss Nellie Bly Scholarship Program to Help Thousands of Students Afford College
Governor Tom Wolf visited Kutztown University Wednesday, March 4, to discuss how his innovative Nellie Bly Scholarship Program would help at least 25,000 students in the state's university system achieve their dream of earning a college degree while graduating with less debt and building lives in Pennsylvania. The visit was part of the governor's tour of all 14 state-owned universities. Read More.

Governor Wolf giving a presentation at a KU podium
Folk Festival sign, with a man on a ladder in the background

Kutztown Folk Festival Named One of Top Three Cultural Festivals in Nation
The USA Today 10Best Readers' Choice Travel Awards named the Kutztown Folk Festival one of the top-three cultural festivals in the country. The festival was selected as third in competition to 20 nationwide cultural festivals and placed as a finalist beside the likes of the Water Lantern Festival and the Carnaval of Quebec. Read More.

KU Radio Brings Home Gold at National Awards
Kutztown University Radio (KUR) won an illustrious Golden Microphone and two runner-up awards at the 2020 Intercollegiate Broadcasting System (IBS) Awards in March. The Awards were held in New York City at the 80th International IBS Conference. Read More.

Award-winning students smiling and holding their trophies on stage
Distant shot of the Old Main clock tower during sunset, with an image of the Transfer Honors Award seal in the top left corner

Kutztown University Named Transfer Honor Roll Recipient for Third Consecutive Year
Kutztown University has once again been named to Phi Theta Kappa's 2020 Transfer Honor Roll, which recognizes the excellence and success of the top 25% of four-year colleges and universities in creating dynamic pathways to support transfer students. This year's honor roll includes 122 schools from across the nation. Kutztown is one of eight Pennsylvania schools honored and the only member of Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education. Read More.


KU Opens Spring Semester with Day of Service
More than 50 KU students contributed a combined 600 hours of service over 12 hours at four locations in Reading as a part of the Martin Luther King Day of Service to begin the new semester Monday, Jan. 20. This year marked the 25th anniversary of the MLK Day of Service that celebrates the Civil Rights leader’s life and legacy. The MLK Day of Service is one of many activities Kutztown University recognizes annually as a part of its commitment to give back to the community and to celebrate diversity. Read More.

Three students sitting together in a classroom, reading a handout about Martin Luther King, Jr.
Crowd of new students, holding mortarboards that say "KU bound"

Kutztown University Offering $2 Million in New Student Scholarships for Fall 2020
In an effort to assist new students in their pursuit of a bachelor’s degree, Kutztown University has announced that it is investing $2 million in new scholarships for the Fall 2020 semester. The new KU Merit Scholarships, in addition to the university’s current scholarship offerings, will range from $1,000 to $7,000, and will be awarded based on the prospective student’s admission profile. Students who complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will also be considered for need-based aid. First-time students and transfers are eligible for the scholarships immediately for the 2020-21 academic year. Read More.

KU Approves First Fully-Online Undergraduate Degree Program in Sociology
Kutztown University is set to launch its first 100% online undergraduate degree program through a Bachelor of Arts in sociology beginning in the Fall 2020 semester. Read More.

Female student sitting at a laptop printed with sunflowers, taking an online class
Overhead shot of a student tracing bylines on several large regional maps

Geography Department Debuts Geospatial Information Technology Certificate
KU's Department of Geography is proud to introduce a new sub-baccalaureate certificate in Geospatial Information Technology this spring semester. The 12-credit program aims to develop the skills necessary to advance in a variety of rewarding careers in growing fields. Geospatial Information Technology refers to the forms of technology used to collect, analyze and display geographic data. Read More.

Be The Difference, Save A Life: Kutztown University To Launch Graduate Concentration In Addiction Counseling
Kutztown University will offer a new addiction counseling track of its Master of Arts in counseling graduate program. The program is one of the first in the region and will begin in the Fall 2020 semester. Read More.

Student sitting across from a guidance counselor in the health suite
Female student pointing at a board covered in statistical data

KU Introduces Pre-Baccalaureate Certificate in Social Media Strategies
Kutztown University’s Department of Communication Studies is introducing a new Social Media Strategies (SMS) certificate this semester. The certificate is industry-driven and introduces students to each area of the interdisciplinary SMS program at KU. Read More.

Kutztown University Launches Music Business Concentration
A Bachelor of Arts in music with a track in music business is the newest track introduced to Kutztown University's growing Department of Music. Designed for students interested in working behind the scenes in the music or entertainment industry, the program builds necessary skills for students with or without traditional music backgrounds who want to be successful in the music entertainment industry. Read More.

Onstage performance of the KU blues rock ensemble
Front entrance of the KU Graduate Center at night, lit up by street lamps

KU Ranked Among 2020 Best Small Colleges for Students on Autism Spectrum
In the latest ranking of Applied Behavior Analysis Programs Guide’s 30 Best Small Colleges for Students on the Autism Spectrum, Kutztown University lists proudly among the top in the nation. Pennsylvania universities have seven representatives in the top-30. This specialized ranking system excluded colleges and universities with larger populations of more than 10,000 students. The guide highlights the KU Office of Disability Services’ My Place Program, a fee-based program designed specifically for students on the autism spectrum. Read More.

Kutztown University Ranked Among Best Online Master's in Educational Instructional Technology Programs
Kutztown University's online Master of Education in Instructional Technology program has been ranked as one of the top-35 programs in the country by Online Schools Report (OSR). A Master of Education in Instructional Technology will prepare individuals to compete in the job market in everything from formal education environments to training and education programs for businesses, health organizations or government programs, working in instructional design or consulting firms creating custom learning solutions for various clients. Read More.

A student walking across the bridge to Boehm Science Center, with a seal that says "Best online master's, educational and instructional technology"
Female student asking a question in class, with more students sitting attentively at their desks in the background

Kutztown University Awarded $194,000 Gear Up Grant to Benefit Students
More than $194,000 in funds and materials has been awarded to Kutztown University through the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) grant. The grant will fund KU's GEAR-UP Summer Bridge program (GSB), providing support in conjunction with the Summer Talent Academy for Rising Stars (STARS) program for participating students. KU earned the grant with the proposed implementation of the GSB program, based on its affiliation with the established, effective STARS program. More than 90% of STARS students successfully completed the Summer Bridge program, matriculating in the fall semester. The first-year retention rate of 2018 STARS students was 88%, much higher than the national average. Read More.


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 headshot

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 holding PSAC champion scholarship trophy

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 smiling and holding her NCAA Elite 90 award between two council members
Distant shot of the Old Main clock tower behind trees and the plaza walkway

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.

Front entrance to Old Main
President Hawkinson cutting ceremonial ribbon in the middle of Keystone Field, surrounded by student athletes, faculty, and Avalanche, who are holding the ribbon for him to cut

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.

closeup shot of the Golden Bear statue from behind, with the MSU, Sharadin Arts Building and students walking along the plaza in the background
Council officials sitting around a meeting table with a Reading Area Community College banner in the background

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.

Service Access and Management 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 headshot
Sharon Picus headshot

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 wearing ceremonial robes and giving a speech behind the podium at commencement ceremony

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 headshot
KU string performance 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, with the sun shining over the roof

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.

President Hawkinson smiling as he holds up his Chamber award