Schuylkill Speaks! is part of an ongoing conversation with Penn State Schuylkill alumni, both new and established. In this edition, we feature standout graduates from our spring 2022 graduating class.
These exceptional students include athletes, scholars, givers of time, and campus leaders. All of these students have distinguished themselves during their time on campus, and they all embody the proud tradition of Penn State graduates making a difference in the world—locally and globally.
We expect amazing things from this cohort, and we wish them great success as they continue on to their next endeavors.
Schuylkill Speaks: For Bethany Hollenbush, undergraduate research leads to new ambition
Growing up, Bethany Hollenbush had never really considered a career in the natural sciences or college for that matter. But after a few years in the workforce, she knew that getting a degree was the best path forward. And once enrolled, she discovered an aptitude for and love of fieldwork and ecology.
Schuylkill Speaks: Mike Russell finds pathway to medical school via Penn State Schuylkill
Mike Russell’s passion for research began his first semester at Penn State Schuylkill and helped spur the academic successes that led to offers of admission to eight medical schools. With his sights set on the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine this fall, Mike continues to rack up accolades as he concludes his time at Schuylkill.
This month, Russell received one of Penn State’s Student Service and Leadership Awards— the Jane Wood Reno Memorial Scholarship. These awards are granted to a select few students across the University who demonstrate exceptional service and leadership qualities.
Schuylkill Speaks: Veteran Carol Rayos returns to college for second degree
This summer, Air Force veteran Carol Rayos will graduate with her degree in criminal justice. Rayos is an adult learner who decided to pursue a career change, transitioning from a career in nursing to one in law. During her time at Penn State Schuylkill, she forged close relationships with instructors that helped her conduct poignant research related to juvenile justice, and these relationships and research will help launch the next step of her journey as she begins to work in pre-trial legal services in Berks County following the spring semester.
Schuylkill Speaks: John Lindenmuth channels creativity into degree and career
Penn State Schuylkill business student John Lindenmuth will graduate this semester with a marketing/management degree option. As a child, Lindenmuth’s career path was inspired by the commercials he saw during the Super Bowl, translating into videos he created during his tenure as a college student and informing his career path. After commencement, Lindenmuth will begin his position as an account manager for The Seltzer Group, a local insurance company.
Schuylkill Speaks: Softball ace Sierra Santarsiero finds academic home
Sierra Santarsiero came to Penn State Schuylkill to play softball for the Lady Lions as a 2+2 student. But after some time on campus, she found a community where she could thrive — both athletically and academically. It didn't take long for Santarsiero to decide to complete all four years of her degree at Penn State Schuylkill.
Schuylkill Speaks: Adult learner Debra Terraciano achieves lifelong dreams
Business student and adult learner Debra Terraciano will earn her degree in the program’s accounting option at Penn State Schuylkill this spring, and she is eager to return to a workforce that works for her. For over a decade, Terraciano operated a daycare from her house — her dream job — working from home long before the pandemic made it commonplace. But when she was diagnosed with transverse myelitis, she had to close her small business. With so much life ahead of her, Terraciano refused to give up. Instead, she returned to school to establish a career in a field she only dreamed about as a high school student.
Schuylkill Speaks: Lamonttea Brown grabs opportunity to earn college degree
Lamonttea Brown saw in Penn State Schuylkill a small diverse campus where he could play college-level ball, while being the first in his family to earn a college degree. A two-season athlete—Brown found success as both a member of the baseball team and men's basketball team where he closed out a 900-point career.
Schuylkill Speaks: Savannah Berardino seizes every opportunity for success
Penn State Schuylkill psychology graduate Savannah Berardino earned her bachelor’s degree this spring, punctuating a history of success throughout her college career. Berardino seized every opportunity Penn State presented her, including participating in the Pathway to Success: Summer Start (PaSSS) program, serving as a Lion Ambassador, earning a child development certificate, and working in her field prior to graduation.
Schuylkill Speaks: Saliyah Sebro-McQueen's future blends wanderlust, altruism
Corporate communication graduate Saliyah Sebro-McQueen earned her degree from Penn State Schuylkill on May 7, concluding a college career filled with volunteer work and perpetuating her interest in travel. With her undergraduate career complete, Sebro-McQueen intends to take time off to travel and volunteer, with the ultimate goal of pursuing a master’s degree internationally.
Schuylkill Speaks: Steele Fekette finds pride and distinction as student-athlete
Steele Fekette’s love of the game of baseball shines through in everything he does. His career as one of the top players in the PSUAC East is marked with consecutive first-team picks, and he finds pride in representing the Penn State Schuylkill baseball program.