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Alumni News

Penn State Schuylkill Alumni Society announces award winners

Penn State Schuylkill will recognize a long-standing community member and three Schuylkill County alumni with campus alumni awards at their fall Schuylkill Alumni Society Awards dinner on October 11, 2017.

Robert S. Carl, president and CEO of the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce, will be presented with the Pride and Spirit Award.

This award honors an individual for their significant contributions in the area of public service, and who share or volunteer their talent, time, and resources on behalf of the University.

Carl is a passionate and dedicated resident of Schuylkill County and has held key leadership positions in many community organizations. He is a member of the Penn State Schuylkill Advisory Board and in 2015 was the spring commencement speaker, in which he focused on the importance of community service and involvement. He and the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce are partners in the Penn State Schuylkill LionLaunch Program, a community-based entrepreneurship initiative. The program provides funding and mentorship to assist and encourage local entrepreneurs to start or grow small businesses and new innovative projects, and Carl has been integral to the program’s success in its inaugural run.

Joshua S. Moyer will be presented the Outstanding Young Alumni Award.

This award honors alumni 35 years or younger who are achieving success in their chosen field, and who make admirable contributions within their communities.

According to his nominators, Dr. Jeffrey S. Zwiebel, superintendent of the Pottsville Area School District, and Kent E. Steinmetz, Joshua has greatly influenced many youth throughout his career at the Pottsville Area School District. Not only has he made advances in the information technology field, but he has also improved the operational procedure in his department and has developed great relationships with students and staff, resulting in commendation from the student body. 

Outstanding Alumni Award to be presented to two recipients.

Richard J. Spontak, Distinguished Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State University, and Jonathan Kukta, director of Housing and Food Services at the Penn State Schuylkill, Hazleton, Wilkes-Barre, and Worthington Scranton campuses, will each be presented the Outstanding Alumni Award.

The Outstanding Alumni Award is the highest honor that the Penn State Schuylkill Alumni Society bestows, which recognizes and salutes the achievements of outstanding alumni whose personal lives, professional achievements, and community service, exemplify the objectives of their alma mater. 

Dr. Spontak, originally from St. Clair, PA, is a 1983 graduate of Penn State University, and is described as an innovative, creative and prolific researcher who actively challenges and re-shapes fundamental ideas in the field of soft materials by his colleagues. He has published over 270 scholarly works, and his research appeared on 21 journal covers. In addition to being a world-recognized leader in his field, Dr. Spontak is a highly respected educator at North Carolina State University, having received the Distinguished Undergraduate and Graduate Professorships and the UNC system’s highest teaching award. He was recognized by the Penn State Alumni Association as an Alumni Fellow in 2012, along with an extensive list of professional awards and achievements in his field.

Jonathan Kukta is a 2000 graduate of Penn State University and currently resides in Orwigsburg, PA. He is a member of the National Association of College Auxiliary Services, in addition to many other organizations. Kukta is an advocate of his 125 member staff; has tremendous respect for policies, procedures and guidelines; and created a wonderful work environment that encompasses respect for each other, diversity and inclusion. He is involved in many community organizations including the Schuylkill United Way, the Schuylkill Country Club and the Orwigsburg Public Library. He is also an adjunct faculty member at the Penn State Schuylkill and Berks campuses. Penn State Schuylkill Chancellor Kelly M. Austin stated, “This recognition stands testament to Jonathan’s exemplary achievements in both his personal and professional life, as well as his ongoing commitment to Penn State Schuylkill.”

Members of the 2017 Teamwork and Collaboration Award gather for a photo with O. Richard Bundy, vice-president for development and alumni relations

Diane McAloon, Penn State Lehigh Valley; Karen Brace-Hodle, Penn State Wilkes-Barre; Deborah Johnson, Penn State Worthington Scranton; Patricia Shoener, Penn State Schuylkill; and Jaculin Scarcella, Penn State Hazleton were presented with the 2017 Teamwork and Collaboration Award by O. Richard Bundy, vice-president for development and alumni relations. 

Image: Penn State

Penn State Alumni Professionals recognized by the University

The Penn State Division of Development and Alumni Relations recently honored alumni professionals from the northeast region for their efforts in organizing programs that bring together Penn State alumni and friends from throughout their area and the state. They were recognized by their colleagues across the University and then presented with the 2017 Teamwork and Collaboration Award at a special reception held at the Nittany Lion Inn at the University Park campus.

Recognized for their efforts are, from left, Diane McAloon, Penn State Lehigh Valley; Karen Brace-Hodle, Penn State Wilkes-Barre; Deborah Johnson, Penn State Worthington Scranton; award presenter O. Richard Bundy, vice-president for development and alumni relations; Patricia Shoener, Penn State Schuylkill; and Jaculin Scarcella, Penn State Hazleton.