Each year, Penn State Schuylkill recognizes a select group of alumni, and sometimes friends, for their contributions to the campus, professional achievements, and impact on the greater Penn State community and society at large. This year, Penn State Schuylkill has named three honorees in two primary categories: Outstanding Alumni, and Outstanding Young Alumni.
The nomination period for the 2022 Alumni Awards begins in spring 2022. If you know a Penn Stater or friend of the campus whose commitment to the University and/or community deserves recognition, please consider filling out a submission form today.
The Outstanding Alumni Award acknowledges the achievements of Penn State Schuylkill alumni for their continued contributions to Penn State as well as their impact within their communities. This year, two nominees received the Outstanding Alumni Award: Michael G. Messina, ’79, and Scott C. Price, ’85.
Outstanding Alumni with life work in forest management and ecology: Michael G. Messina
Michael G. Messina is a Pottsville native who began his Penn State career at the Schuylkill campus, eventually earning his bachelor’s degree in forest science from Penn State in 1979 and his doctorate in forestry from North Carolina State University in 1983.
After a distinguished 20-year career at Texas A&M, Messina returned to his alma mater, as director of Penn State’s School of Forest Resources. In 2012 — with the reorganization of the College of Agricultural Sciences — Messina was tapped to head the newly established Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, a comprehensive center for renewable natural resources. While serving as director, he also helped spearhead the effort to gain reaccreditation of Penn State’s forest ecosystem management degree by the Society of American Foresters.
Messina retired from Penn State in 2019.
A distinguished career in law enforcement earns Outstanding Alumni nod: Scott C. Price
Scott C. Price is a lifelong resident of Schuylkill County who pursued an academic career in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) before pivoting to a longstanding professional career with the Pennsylvania State Police.
Lt. Col. Price currently serves as deputy commissioner of operations for the Pennsylvania State Police, a cabinet-level position in the Pennsylvania state government. He is a frequent speaker, published author, and recognized expert witness on issues ranging from budget allocation to domestic violence to gun safety reform. He also is the state police liaison to the city of Philadelphia’s Gun Violence Task Force, and by request of the governor, serves as a member of the commonwealth's COVID-19 Task Force.
Outstanding Young Alumni
The Outstanding Young Alumni Award acknowledges the achievements of Penn State Schuylkill alumni, under the age of 35, for their contributions to Penn State as well as their impact within their communities. This year, Abigayle Kaiser, '20, earned the Outstanding Young Alumni Award.
Outstanding Young Alumna displays Penn State pride: Abigayle Kaiser
Abigayle “Abbie” Kaiser is a Schuylkill County native and a 2020 graduate of Penn State Schuylkill. While at Schuylkill, Kaiser was involved in several clubs and organizations, often in leadership roles. She was a Lion Ambassador, peer tutor, chair of Schuylkill Benefiting THON, and president of the Blue and White Society, all while earning a business degree in marketing management.
Kaiser is a Penn Stater through and through. Kaiser has been an alumni society board member since her graduation in 2020 and is active in that role. She continues to engage with the campus in other ways as well. She has served in mentorship roles with current students through Penn State Schuylkill Co-Op and always makes herself available for various panels and admissions events.