Academic Awards

Each year at spring commencement, Wilkes University presents awards honoring graduates who have achieved academic distinction. Congratulations to the following 2022 recipients!

College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Pi Sigma Alpha Award in Political Science

Jennifer Boch

Jennifer Boch is an Honors Student majoring in International Relations and History and minoring in Women's and Gender Studies, Spanish and Global Cultures. By her graduation, she will have completed five capstone research projects. Jennifer worked as a research assistant for Dr. Amy Sopcak-Joseph and Dr. Andreea Maierean. Her work was exemplary, and both professors were exceptionally pleased with Jen’s role. She also worked at the Farley Library Archives where she sorted and recorded the contents of several of the archival collections. In 2019 Jennifer has completed a challenging internship in which her outstanding work received praise from her supervisor Judge Tina Polachek-Gartley at the Luzerne County Courthouse. Most recently, she had the opportunity to intern at the Museum of the American Revolution with the Director of Collections, Dr. Aimee Newell. Furthermore, Jennifer took advantages of several opportunities to study and volunteer abroad. In 2019, she traveled to Cape Town, South Africa and worked in a daycare for a month with a local organization, Dreams to Reality Foundation. In 2022, she traveled to San Marcos, Costa Rica for a supplemental service trip as a part of the Political Economy of Coffee course. Jennifer presented several papers at academic conferences and received important grants, prizes and awards. Among those, we cite the Stephens Scholarship and the “Dr. James Rodechko Scholarship in History.”

Outstanding Graduate in Psychology

Caitlyn Pike

Caitlyn Pike is a psychology major and a member of the Wilkes Honors Program. She was a research assistant for Dr. Thomas’s research on gender equality activism and presented a poster based on this work at the annual meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association in New York City in 2022. For her senior capstone project, Caitlyn investigated the effects of testing and taking breaks on student learning. Caitlyn also held internships with the Dallas School District, Big Brothers Big Sisters of NEPA, and the Neurotraining Center at Wilkes University. She was an active member of the Wilkes chapter of Psi Chi, the international honor’s society for psychology, and served as a peer mentor for the Wilkes Honors Program. Caitlyn has provided outreach to the community by giving virtual presentations on wellness and mental health to senior citizens at senior centers throughout Pennsylvania. In the fall, Caitlyn will attend Indiana University of Pennsylvania as a student in the School Psychology Ph.D. program. In her free time, Caitlyn enjoys riding and competing with her horse, Henry.

Outstanding Graduate in Neuroscience Award

George James

George James is a double major in Neuroscience and Psychology with a minor in Chemistry. His research experience includes studying the effects of caffeine on pain perception with Dr. Ed Schictano, which was presented at the Eastern Psychological Association Conference in March, assessed the effects of the algae Microcystis on the ovary development, larval development, and metamorphosis of the polychaete annelid Capitella teleta under the supervision of Dr. William Biggers. Presented poster on this research at the Pennsylvania Academy of Science in 2021. George has been a crisis counselor for Crisis Text Line out of New York City, student member for the Wilkes University American Medical School Association, Teaching Assistant for the Biology Department, received the Provost’s letter for academic distinction in 2020, participated in Adventures in Science and is a member of the Wilkes Blue Army. George plans on taking a gap year and then will attend Medical school.

Jaroslav Moravec Award (Sociology)

Karlie Gorall

Karlie Gorall is graduating with a degree in Criminology with minors in both Sociology and Legal Studies. During her time at Wilkes, she served as the President of the Wilkes “It’s On Us” chapter, raising awareness for on-campus sexual assault. She also acted as Vice-President of both the Criminology and Sociology Club and the Pre-Law Society. While maintaining a stellar academic record and earning a place on the Dean’s List each semester, Karlie completed her degree a semester early. As a senior, Karlie assisted as a supplemental instructor for students enrolled in Quantitative Reasoning. Her research for the senior capstone studied the effects of depression on juvenile delinquency. In the Fall, Karlie will be attending the Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law to pursue her Juris Doctor degree and further her passions for the law and helping others.

Outstanding Communication Studies Award

Sara Ross

From Nazareth, Pennsylvania, Sara Ross is a communication studies major. At Wilkes, Sara presented research at the 2022 Eastern Communication Association Convention that analyzed Maya Angelou’s inaugural poem through metaphorical criticism. She also conducted her senior capstone on media framing and its impact on elite female athletes' mental health. Further, Sara was involved with co-curricular activities in the communication studies department. As part of The Beacon newspaper, she became the co-editor of the news section. In Zebra Communications, the student-run public relations agency, Sara moved into the role of director in her senior year. Also, she has been a member of the Honors Program and the Women’s Cross Country team for the past four years. A position Sara holds closely is being the Scholar of Communication at the Allan P. Kirby Center for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, where she had the opportunity to apply the skills she’s learned in the classroom to working with real-world clients. Her future plans include either staying within the Wilkes-Barre or Lehigh Valley area and working in the communications or public relations industry.

Tom Bigler Scholars Award

Breanna Ebisch

Breanna Ebisch is a Communications Studies major with minors in Women’s and Gender Studies and English. Her paper “The Significance of Taylor Swift’s ‘The Man’ Within Feminist Criticism and Beyond” was presented at the 2022 Eastern Communication Association Conference and her senior capstone explored the relationship between the portrayal of toxic masculinity in men’s ice hockey through the use of broadcast language. She was named to the Dean’s List multiple times and was inducted to both Lambda Pi Delta and Sigma Tau Delta. Outside of the classroom setting, Breanna was a very active participant in several extracurriculars, especially in the communications department. She has been involved with The Beacon, Wilkes Now!, WCLH and Zebra throughout her entire college career. She served as a Resident Assistant on campus for her junior and senior year, was the work study student for the Department of Performing Arts since her first year and was involved with Manuscript Society. She is also a Gold Award Girl Scout. After graduation, Breanna will be interning with Special Guest, an entertainment booking company, right here in Wilkes-Barre.

Annette Evans Humanities Award

Briauna Robinson

Graduating with an Education concentration in the English major, and minors in Creative Writing and Women’s and Gender Studies, Briauna Robinson has made the Dean’s List all four years of her undergraduate career. A two-year recipient of the Eugene G. Pappas ’72 Scholarship, she just completed her student teaching at Wilkes-Barre’s GAR Middle School, 7th and 8th grades. Briauna serves as Editor-in-Chief and Layout Editor for Inkwell Quarterly, and plans to either pursue an MFA in Creative Writing or teach in Vermont.

Frank J. J. Davies Award - Literature concentration

Lindsey Bowman

Lindsey Bowman graduates with an English major, Literature and Writing concentrations, along with minors in Communication Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies. A recipient of the Ruth Richards Endowed Scholarship, Lindsey’s research includes a capstone project on “Modern Mythological Poetry: The Impact of the Male and Female Gaze on Voice and Agency.” During her time at Wilkes, Lindsey has served as a Writing Center Consultant and has been active in the Sigma Tau Delta International Honor Society. After graduation, Lindsey will pursue a career in technical writing.

Frank J. J. Davies Award - Education concentration

Nicole McNelis

Nicole McNelis graduates with an English major, Secondary Education concentration. A recipient of both the Chlora Fey and Kevin Edward Barker Memorial Scholarships, Nicole has made the Dean’s List with a 3.89 GPA. During her time at Wilkes, Nicole has served as a Writing Center Consultant, a staff writer for Inkwell Quarterly, and has been active in the Education Club, and the Kappa Delta Pi and Sigma Tau Delta honors societies. Upon graduation, Nicole plans to teach and pursue a graduate degree in Education.

Frank J. J. Davies Award - Writing concentration

Lucas VerBeek

Earning a 4.0 GPA, Lucas VerBeek graduates with the Writing concentration in English major. Lucas’s writing while at Wilkes includes a pilot for a TV series, entitled Alium. Lucas works at Keystone Human Services as a Direct Care Professional and plans to pursue a career in a company specializing in the RPG realm, such as Wizards of the Coast or Paizo.

Outstanding Adult Learner

Trystan Griffith

Trystan Griffith is a history major with minors in sociology and women’s and gender studies. A gifted athlete, Trystan transferred from Frostburg State University in Maryland to play basketball, but also found a renewed passion for learning at Wilkes. In the Division of Global Cultures, he took every one of the anthropology classes that Dr. Linda Winkler taught, even an Honors-level class that required more work. He also collaborated with the Farley Library Archives to digitize a special collection of scrapbooks of Wilkes athletes from the 1940s through the 1970s, making them available online for the first time. Trystan faced some challenges during his Wilkes career, however. Several injuries limited his involvement with the men’s basketball team, and a close family member’s serious illness made it difficult to be away from home. Despite the setbacks he faced, Trystan credits the caring faculty and his basketball coach for helping him find success at Wilkes.

Phi Alpha Theta Award

Jennifer Boch

Jennifer Boch is an Honors student and double major in History and International Relations, with minors in Global Cultures, Spanish, and Women’s and Gender Studies. She completed an impressive five capstone projects: for History, The Art of Liberté, Egalité, et Fraternité: Cultural and National Symbolism of the Musée du Louvre; for International Relations, The Politics of the Past: The Relationship between Heritage and Democracy; for Global Cultures, The Movement of Human Rights: An Analysis of Immigration as a Human Right; for Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS), “Do Women have to be Naked to get into the Met Museum?” Women, Art, and Representation; and for the Honors Program, Developments in Prosthetics: What Makes Us Human? She is the recipient of the Dr. James Rodoechko Scholarship in History, the Stephens Scholarship, a Wilkes University Trustee Scholarship, a Pennsylvania House of Representatives Scholarship, and the Boilermakers Union Scholarship. She was also selected “Most Likely to Become a Diplomat” at SUNY Model European Union in 2021. Jennifer has worked with both Dr. Andreea Maierean and Dr. Amy Sopcak-Joseph as a research assistant, in the latter case conducting primary source research and presenting the results, “Selling Faith/Faith Sells: Gender, Religion, and Media in Nineteenth-Century America,” together with Dr. Sopcak-Joseph and another student at the 2022 Women’s and Gender Conference at Wilkes University. At this same conference, she presented her WGS Capstone project and served as a moderator for a panel on Contemporary Issues Surrounding Gender Equality. In 2019, she also presented papers at the Wyoming Valley Undergraduate History Conference and the Regional Phi Alpha Theta Conference. She has been very active on campus, serving as History Club President since 2019, hosting Wilkes’ History Behind the Headlines Podcast since 2021, as well as serving as a Teaching Assistant, Supplemental Instructor, and a Student Worker in the E.S. Farley Library Archives. Off campus, she was a Research Intern at The Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia, PA and a student intern with Judge Tina Polachek-Gartley at the Luzerne County Courthouse. Following graduation, she plans to take a short break and travel, being unable to study abroad due to COVID-19 restrictions. She then intends to pursue graduate studies at a European university focusing on Cultural Heritage Policy and Management.

Outstanding Graduate in Spanish

Kassandra Rinker

Kassandra Rinker is a double-major in Spanish and Sociology with a minor in Women's and Gender Studies (WGS). Her research work in her Sociology capstone involves an analysis of gender and depression while her capstone for the WGS minor was an intersectional analysis of mental health. Kassandra is also active beyond the classroom participating in competitive archery, for which she currently holds the state championship title in her division, as well as marching, civic, and pep band. She also volunteered with the LEAP Alternative Break program at Wilkes, traveling to Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic where her made good use of her Spanish fluency. She also was a tutor for Spanish and Sociology and a Supplemental Instructor for Sociology. She spent a semester abroad in Pamplona, Spain, continuing her studies while being immersed in Spanish culture. Kassandra will continue her education in graduate school and ultimately plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Spanish.

Outstanding Achievement in Integrative Media, Art and Design

Daniel Kultys

Daniel Kultys is Majoring in Digital Design and Media Arts. He has been very involved outside of the classroom during his stay at Wilkes. He has been involved in the design club on campus , Studio 20, which he was involved in during his 4 year stay here. He was heavily involved in multiple projects with people inside and outside of Wilkes that went through Studio 20 to get their requests fulfilled. He eventually worked his way into the role of president of the club. He plans on working in his preferred field of graphic design in the near future.

Zoey Rosensweet

Zoey Rosensweet is a Digital Design and Media Art Major with minors in Art, Marketing, and Business. She has been the lead layout designer for the student run newspaper, The Beacon, for two years. Zoey participated in the highly competitive Direct Effect Innovation Challenge with a group of peers and presented the research for their America250PA campaign at the 2021 iDMA Design Conference held at Winona State University. She went on to lead this year's Direct Effect Innovation Challenge team to create a winning marketing campaign for the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. Zoey recently finished an internship position with the Diamond City Partnership, where she worked closely with small business owners in the downtown area to increase their sales and social media presence. After graduating, Zoey plans on searching for a job that will allow her to work closely with an open-minded, creative team.

Richard Fuller Excellence in the Arts Award

Alyssa Roberts

Alyssa Roberts is a senior in the B.F.A. program in Digital Design & Media Art and a member of the Wilkes University Honors Program. She was awarded the Student Fellowship position at the Sordoni Art Gallery for the 2021-2022 academic year, allowing her to work closely with Professor Heather Sincavage and lead a small team of student designers working on a wide variety of design projects. Alyssa was able to curate brand identities and design title walls for multiple shows at the gallery, as well as a full exhibition catalog for State: Obvious/Not So by artist Dan R. Talley. In addition to her work at Sordoni, Alyssa has also been a part of Studio20, our student-run design club on campus since her sophomore year and acted as the Club’s Vice President this past year. Upon graduation, Alyssa will be seeking a graphic design position in the Lehigh Valley/NEPA area.

Vocal Music Award

Alexsandra Quadarella

Alexsandra Quadarella is a major in psychology with a minor in music. AJ, as she prefers to be called, will be providing in-school counseling for students in grades K-12 at Luzerne County's Nanticoke, OA location after graduation. AJ has been very active on campus during her collegiate career at Wilkes University. She has been a member of the Choral Club for eight consecutive semesters and has served as President of the Club for four semester. She has participated in University Chorus and Chamber Singers for all four years of her study at Wilkes. Additionally, AJ has been a member of the Neuroscience Club and the Psychology Club for all eight semesters. She has been a member of the Gender and Sexuality Alliance since its founding at Wilkes University in 2019. AJ is the 2021-22 recipient of the Michael J. Bogdon III Scholarship. AJ has gone above and beyond in her music studies and has served the choral music program at Wilkes University during the very difficult period of the Covid Pandemic. We thank her for her leadership and she will be missed.

Dance Award

Courtney Phox

Courtney Phox is a senior entrepreneurship major with a minor in marketing and a minor in dance. After 17 years of dance, when she began the college search she knew that she wanted to continue her passion in college. When looking for schools she attended Wilkes Universities dance summer intensive in 2018 and fell in love with the faculty and program. She has performed in all three Spring dance concerts in her time at Wilkes University. She has also performed in the Nutcracker with the Degnan Ballet Center Conservatory. Courtney has helped to assist in all different levels of dance and styles in the duration of her time here. In April of this year Courtney choreographed her first dance piece to conclude her dancer minor. Courtney will cherish all the memories, mentors, and friends she has made in the dance program over the years.

Instrumental Music Award

Trevor Fegley

Trevor Fegley is a Mechanical Engineering major and Physics Minor. Since coming to Wilkes, Trevor has played in the Wilkes Civic Band, Marching Colonels, Colonel Pep Band, and the jazz ensemble. He serves as principal alto saxophone in the civic band, consistently comes prepared to rehearsal, and is a model example for his peers. In 2022 he represented Wilkes University at the 74th annual Pennsylvania Intercollegiate Band Festival at Shippensburg University. Trevor plans to continue pursuing his passion for alto sax and music after graduation by playing in community ensembles while working as a mechanical engineer.

Outstanding Graduate for the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

Jennifer Boch

Jennifer Boch is an Honors student and double major in History and International Relations, with minors in Global Cultures, Spanish, and Women’s and Gender Studies. She completed an impressive five capstone projects: for History, The Art of Liberté, Egalité, et Fraternité: Cultural and National Symbolism of the Musée du Louvre; for International Relations, The Politics of the Past: The Relationship between Heritage and Democracy; for Global Cultures, The Movement of Human Rights: An Analysis of Immigration as a Human Right; for Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS), “Do Women have to be Naked to get into the Met Museum?” Women, Art, and Representation; and for the Honors Program, Developments in Prosthetics: What Makes Us Human? She is the recipient of the Dr. James Rodoechko Scholarship in History, the Stephens Scholarship, a Wilkes University Trustee Scholarship, a Pennsylvania House of Representatives Scholarship, and the Boilermakers Union Scholarship. She was also selected “Most Likely to Become a Diplomat” at SUNY Model European Union in 2021. Jennifer has worked with both Dr. Andreea Maierean and Dr. Amy Sopcak-Joseph as a research assistant, in the latter case conducting primary source research and presenting the results, “Selling Faith/Faith Sells: Gender, Religion, and Media in Nineteenth-Century America,” together with Dr. Sopcak-Joseph and another student at the 2022 Women’s and Gender Conference at Wilkes University. At this same conference, she presented her WGS Capstone project and served as a moderator for a panel on Contemporary Issues Surrounding Gender Equality. In 2019, she also presented papers at the Wyoming Valley Undergraduate History Conference and the Regional Phi Alpha Theta Conference. She has been very active on campus, serving as History Club President since 2019, hosting Wilkes’ History Behind the Headlines Podcast since 2021, as well as serving as a Teaching Assistant, Supplemental Instructor, and a Student Worker in the E.S. Farley Library Archives. Off campus, she was a Research Intern at The Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia, PA and a student intern with Judge Tina Polachek-Gartley at the Luzerne County Courthouse. Following graduation, she plans to take a short break and travel, being unable to study abroad due to COVID-19 restrictions. She then intends to pursue graduate studies at a European university focusing on Cultural Heritage Policy and Management.

College of Science and Engineering

Outstanding Research Student in Biology

Lauren Johnson

Lauren Johnson comes to us from Douglassville, Pennsylvania, where she went to Daniel Boone Area High School. At Wilkes she has majored in Biology with minors in Chemistry and Music. She has been doing research since her freshman year, including spending the summers of 2019 and 2021 working at the bench and working remotely during the summer of 2020 doing literature searches and preparing plans for what she would do when allowed back in the lab. She has worked on developing alternative ways for treating kidney stones by first identifying genes for enzymes that might destroy kidney stones then forcing bacteria to make them. For her senior project she switched to studying plants and is studying a gene that controls plant growth. She has made several crosses and is learning about how her mutant gene interacts with other genes to control plant size. In addition to her academics, Lauren has been very active in music. She has played in the civic band, the marching band and the jazz ensemble, and has taken enough music theory and history courses to earn a minor in music. She has also been active in several clubs, including the biology club where she served as treasurer, and has worked as a teaching assistant, a supplemental instructor and an E-Mentor. Outside of Wilkes she continues to volunteer at an equestrian stable near her home in exchange for riding lessons. This fall she will combine her love of biology with her love of horses by starting her Ph.D. in Veterinary Sciences at the Gluck Equine Research Center of the University of Kentucky.

Matthew Shelly

Matt Shelly is the son of Joann and Donald Shelly from Cochranville, PA. He graduated from Avon Grove High School. Matt is earning a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in Chemistry and is enrolled in our Honors program. Matt's current total Grade Point Average stands at 3.9 in our rigorous Biology Curriculum. He worked under the mentorship of Dr. Jeff Stratford as a research assistant starting as a freshman. He did research in a variety of projects applying Bioinformatics to urbanization and its effects on birds, DNA barcoding of insects, and the survivorship of Wood Thrush in local forests. Matt was later selected as a CHOP Research Institute Summer Scholar. During this internship, selected undergraduates across the country receive clinical shadowing, work in a research project, and have professional development opportunities focused on mentorship and career goals at the Children Hospital of Philadelphia. Under the direction of Dr. Laura Almazi, Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Matt worked in a systematic review analyzing the gene expression in schizophrenia patients, and the physiological factors affecting children with autism and attention deficit disorders. Matt has presented his research at several conferences and has co-authored a paper published in the Molecular Psychiatry journal. Matt was a Guthrie Premedical Scholar and as part of his internship he worked with Dr. Robert Behm, MD in a project evaluating the correlation between Body Mass Index and Surgical Outcomes in Vehicle Collisions. At this time, Matt continues his research at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia as a Bioinformatics Scientist and will attend the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University this Fall.

Outstanding Scholar in Biology/Honors in Biology

Yugadi Hullur

Yugadi Hullur of Nazareth PA, is the daughter of Girish and Preeti Hullur. She graduated from Nazareth Area High School. At Wilkes, Yugadi is earning a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in Chemistry and is enrolled in our Honors program. Yugadi’s current total Grade Point Average stands at 3.984 in our rigorous Biology Curriculum. She has done research with Dr. Linda Gutierrez who describes Yugadi as highly intelligent, inquisitive and extremely professional and reliable. Yugadi is currently doing an internship at the Robert Packer Hospital as a Guthrie Premedical Scholar. She is doing her clinical project in the area of gastroenterology under the direction of Dr. Luke Dombert, a Wilkes Premedical Scholar alumnus. Yugadi has been a member of several committees representing our student body and has assisted students by participating in the E-mentor program. She has been also involved in a variety of professional development activities sponsored by the Center for Student Success and Health Sciences. Yugadi has been a leader in outreach activities such as Adventures in Sciences and Women Empowered by Science. Yugadi will attend the Pennsylvania College of Medicine in Philadelphia in the fall.

Matthew Shelly

Matt Shelly is the son of Joann and Donald Shelly from Cochranville, PA. He graduated from Avon Grove High School. Matt is earning a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in Chemistry and is enrolled in our Honors program. Matt's current total Grade Point Average stands at 3.9 in our rigorous Biology Curriculum. He worked under the mentorship of Dr. Jeff Stratford as a research assistant starting as a freshman. He did research in a variety of projects applying Bioinformatics to urbanization and its effects on birds, DNA barcoding of insects, and the survivorship of Wood Thrush in local forests. Matt was later selected as a CHOP Research Institute Summer Scholar. During this internship, selected undergraduates across the country receive clinical shadowing, work in a research project, and have professional development opportunities focused on mentorship and career goals at the Children Hospital of Philadelphia. Under the direction of Dr. Laura Almazi, Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Matt worked in a systematic review analyzing the gene expression in schizophrenia patients, and the physiological factors affecting children with autism and attention deficit disorders. Matt has presented his research at several conferences and has co-authored a paper published in the Molecular Psychiatry journal. Matt was a Guthrie Premedical Scholar and as part of his internship he worked with Dr. Robert Behm, MD in a project evaluating the correlation between Body Mass Index and Surgical Outcomes in Vehicle Collisions. At this time, Matt continues his research at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia as a Bioinformatics Scientist and will attend the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University this Fall.

Biology Department Service Award

Neha Metgud

Neha Metgud of Mountain Top PA, is the daughter of Annappa and Hema Metgud. She graduated from Crestwood High School. At Wilkes, Neha is earning a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in Chemistry and is enrolled in our Honors program. Neha’s current total Grade Point Average stands at 3.9 in our rigorous Biology Curriculum. She has done research with Dr. Michael Steele. Neha is an E-mentor, an Honors Peer Mentor, President of TriBeta Biological Honor Society, Student Government Class of 2022 Representative, and has been an excellent Teaching Assistant for both BIO 121 & BIO 122 Neha was selected for the Biology Service Award, recognizing her four years of service as Student Coordinator for our highly successful Women Empowered By Science (WEBS) program and associated WEBS Camp. To that end she helped lead with the planning and facilitation of that program, which connects female students with STEM activities and concepts. In the fall, Neha will attend the Temple School of Podiatric Medicine for her Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree (DPM). Her long-term career aspiration is to be a foot and ankle surgeon specializing in sports medicine.

American Chemical Society Section Award

Matthew Widdicombe

Matt Widdicombe is graduating with a Biochemistry Degree. His capstone research project with Dr. Henkels was incorporating fluorinated unnatural amino acids into green fluorescence proteins for Fluorine NMR. Matt was active in the Chemistry and Biology Clubs and a member of the Stress Management through Art Club. He was a Teaching Assistant for various chemistry labs and also worked in the chemistry stockroom. He was also awarded the Piskorick Scholarship. Matt has been accepted in and plans to attend the doctoral program in Biochemistry at Rensselear Polytechnic Institute in the fall.

Dr. Alfred W. Bastress Award for Outstanding Research

Ryan Chapman

Ryan Chapman is a Chemistry Major with minors in Physics and Mathematics with a 4.0 GPA. His capstone research with Dr. Josh Blechle explored Characterizing the silver-alumina catalyst and nonthermal plasma couple with native optical emission spectroscopy diagnostics. Ryan was a Residential Advisor for his dorm. He was awarded the Kashatus Scholarship as well as the Alfred Bastress Award for Outstanding Research in Chemistry and Biochemistry. Ryan will be applying for a Doctoral program in Chemistry next year.

Catherine M. Bone Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement and Service

Ryan Chapman

Ryan Chapman is a Chemistry Major with minors in Physics and Mathematics with a 4.0 GPA. His capstone research with Dr. Josh Blechle explored Characterizing the silver-alumina catalyst and nonthermal plasma couple with native optical emission spectroscopy diagnostics. Ryan was a Residential Advisor for his dorm. He was awarded the Kashatus Scholarship as well as the Alfred Bastress Award for Outstanding Research in Chemistry and Biochemistry. Ryan will be applying for a Doctoral program in Chemistry next year.

Dr. Umid R. Nejib Award for Outstanding Achievement in Electrical Engineering

Matthew Costello

Matthew Costello, of Pittston, Pennsylvania is an electrical engineering major and computer engineering minor. Matt has made the Dean’s List and has achieved a 4.0 GPA in every semester thus far. Matt participated in two separate undergraduate research groups. The first was under Dr. Lucent and Dr. Chepushtanova, involving the prediction of protein folding using topological data analysis. The second was under Dr. Sha, involving deep neural networks. This work was continued as a senior capstone project where deep neural network applications were implemented onto embedded systems. Matt worked summer and winter internships as a test engineer at SRCTec in Syracuse, New York, during his senior year. Matt is also a member of the student chapter of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He secured a full-time position after graduation as a test and integration engineer with SRC Inc. in Syracuse, New York. He will be working on the testing and implementation of RF (radio frequency) systems for government and military clients. Matt is interested in attending post graduate school while working at SRC, Inc. He also plans to take the Fundamentals of Engineering exam in June so that he may pursue possible professional engineering licensure in the future

Electrical Engineering Service Award

Kyle Rosler

Kyle Rosler majors in Electrical Engineering with minors in Mathematics and Physics. His senior capstone project focuses on the development of infrared photodetectors based on a novel material germanium-tin, which features low-cost components and fully compatible with current market dominating fabrication process. His research was to improve upon the efficiency of the multi-junction solar cell with his partner Caine Carpenter and under the supervision of Dr. Wei Du. In 2022, they presented their research findings in the Morton Paper Contest hosted by the IEEE Lehigh Valley Section and placed the third. He served as both the Treasurer and President of the Wilkes IEEE Student Chapter for three years. During his presidency, he was active was the students at Wilkes and hosted the Engineering Olympics for local high schools. He gave back to his department by being a teaching assistant during lab hours and a tutor by helping students learn the material.

Ian Petro

Ian Petro is graduating from Wilkes University with a major in Electrical Engineering and minors in computer engineering and physics. Ian worked as a Teaching Assistant and tutor for numerous courses in the Electrical Engineering and Physics departments. Through his work as a teaching assistant, Ian was invited to start a research project in biomedical engineering under Dr. Abas Sabouni. His work was impressive enough to be granted acceptance to the 2021 IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society and the US National Committee for the International Union of Radio Science (AP-S/URSI) Conference in Singapore. Shortly after, Ian was awarded a microgrant from the Kirby Center, providing him with the opportunity to file a provisional patent under the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Ian’s senior capstone project, the Wireless Deep Body Implant Charger, placed second at the IEEE Morton Paper Competition. The project was also accepted into the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Conference (EMBC). Ian was accepted to both University of Wisconsin-Madison and Clemson University for graduate studies, garnering full scholarships to both to pursue his Pd.D. in biomedical applications. Ian is deferring his acceptance for up to a year and will be working at Bliley Technologies as a crystal oscillator test engineer in his hometown of Erie, PA.

Frederick E. Bellas Award for Outstanding Physics Graduate

Cordell Siggins

Cordell joined Wilkes University as an honors student in the fall of 2018, after graduating from Carbondale Area High School. He is graduating this spring with double majors in Math and Physics. His career plans have matriculated during his first few years at Wilkes, where he discovered his passion for teaching Math and Physical sciences, as he describes it in his own words : “desire to teach others and learn in kind“! His dedication to excellence is evident in his record, maintaining a top GPA, and reserving a spot on the dean’s list on a regular basis. Cordell served as a tutor for physics and math courses, as well as helping physics instructors as a teacher's assistant in the labs. Students and professors alike speak very highly of his personal and professional character. Cordell has also enjoyed the scholarship environment that Wilkes has to offer, working on several research projects with Physics and Math faculty. In his senior project, Cordell worked under the supervision of Dr. Chepushtanova and Dr. Lucent and has focused on applying topology and machine learning to problems in the fields of biophysics and pharmaceutical science. In particular, he is combining topological data analysis, an exciting new machine learning technique, with supervised and unsupervised learning to understand how drugs interact with their protein targets. This work is truly interdisciplinary and integrates applied mathematics, data science, biochemistry, and drug development topics. He presented his work at the Eastern Colleges Science Conference in 2021 and was awarded the prize for best poster in physics and mathematics. He and his colleagues are currently preparing this work for publication.

Outstanding Bioengineering Graduate Student Award

Victoria Burkhart

Victoria Burkhart comes to us from Mount Pocono, PA. Following her graduation from Pocono Mountain East High School, Victoria then earned her Bachelors of Science degree from North Carolina Wesleyan College in Rocky Mount, NC. She graduated with double majors in Biomedical Science and Mathematics. She then came to Wilkes, where she earned her Master’s in Bioengineering in the Synthetic Biology Track. For her thesis research, she designed a protein that would degrade microplastics in two steps, and that would be displayed on the surface of algae. These algae could then be used to help clean up bodies of freshwater that were contaminated with microplastics. Although she was unable to complete the project, she made good progress, and her performance in all of her other courses makes her the outstanding graduate in bioengineering. She now works as a Research Associate at Meso Scale Diagnostics in Rockville, MD. In addition to her academics, Victoria was also an outstanding soccer player at both North Carolina Wesleyan and at Wilkes University. She also did a fine job as a graduate teacher assistant in the Biology and in the Math departments at Wilkes. She hopes to eventually get her Ph.D. and become a professor at an institution of higher learning.

Outstanding Achievement in Environmental Science

Angela Fiorentino

Angela Fiorentino is graduating with a major in Environmental Science with a concentration in Earth Science. For her capstone project, she has been working with Drs. Brian Whitman and Bobby Karimi on understanding subsurface flow pathways through mine pools in the Wyoming Valley using chemical and geophysical techniques. Recently, she presented her research at the Northeastern Geological Society of America Meeting held in Lancaster, PA. While at Wilkes University, she has served three years on the Veterans Council as both a Student Aid and Secretary-elect, was a Colonel Overnight Experience Host, and is an active donor to the Red Cross. Angela is currently working as an intern with Mott Macdonald, a global engineering, management, and development firm, and has accepted a full-time position with the company upon graduation.

Genevieve Frederick

Genevieve Frederick has demonstrated her ability to successfully tackle multi-disciplinary projects while achieving bachelor’s degrees in both Earth & Environmental Science and English (with a concentration in Digital Humanities and Writing) in December 2021. She also demonstrated excellent research skills while participating in the following projects: • Senior Project titled: Isotopic composition and moisture source of precipitation study for Northeast Pennsylvania. Used the HYSPLIT model to compare trends in moisture source of precipitation in Northeast PA throughout the seasons • For a microplastic research project she was part of a team developing a protocol for airborne microplastic sampling. The student team had to perform an extensive literature review and from this develop a sampling protocol to evaluate. They devised the protocol, then performed lab and field testing. (Summer 2021) • For the university sustainability audit project, Genevieve was part of a team that bench-marked Wilkes University’s current sustainability practices and made recommendations regarding Wilkes implementing improved sustainability management practices to the Wilkes Administrative Leadership. The presentation that the students made and the recommendations that the team presented were well received and have provided a template to move this initiative forward. (Fall 2021) • Participated in research project in the summer of 2019 examining air, soil and water quality at The Lands at Hillside Farms Genny also served as a Writer, Assistant Editor, and News Editor for the campus newspaper, The Beacon. She was known for her highly professional interviewing techniques that resulted in excellent and accurate news articles. She was also a Writing Intern for Discover NEPA from September 2019-March 2020, and she published literature in the Wilkes University publication Manuscript

Outstanding Achievement in Environmental Engineering

Ian Allison

Ian Allison is graduating with a degree in Environmental Engineering, has passed the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam, and has accepted a position with an engineering firm in Harrisburg, PA Some of the projects Ian has participated in at Wilkes University include a Spring 2021 course surveying Stormwater Management throughout Pennsylvania. He also developed the report that was published in 4th Quarter Edition of the Pennsylvania Water Environment Association’s 2021 Keystone Water Quality Manager. Ian was accepted to present a paper at the 2021 PennTEC Conference in State, College in June of 2021. His Senior Project titled: Wilkes-Barre, PA Green Streets Initiative, integrated a variety of skills gained throughout the environmental engineering program to design green infrastructure for an area of Wilkes-Barre, PA Ian Served as a panelist for the Engineering Student Activity Committee’s Engineering Panel Discussion and was a 2020 Inductee into the Colonels’ Elite program for Football.

Sydney Rochette

Sydney Rochette is graduating with a degree in Environmental Engineering and a minor in Geology. For her capstone project, she has been working with Dr. Holly Frederick to design a Minnesota Filter for Phosphate Removal. In addition to her senior capstone project, Sydney has been involved with additional summer research in 2020 and 2021 that focused on phosphate removal from eutrophic lakes to reduce the growth of algae. In her time at Wilkes University, Sydney has also been actively involved as a member of the cross-country team, the Professional Society of Pennsylvania Engineers (PSPE), and the Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA). Some of Sydney’s highlights include: • 2020 Inductee into the Colonels’ Elite program for Women’s Cross Country • Participated in undergraduate summer research in the summer of 2020 focused on Phosphate-Iron Bonding and Removal from Aqueous Systems using Minteq Software. • Participated in undergraduate summer research in the summer of 2021 focused on field research at North Lake in Sweet Valley, PA. • Senior Project titled: Minnesota Filter for Phosphate Removal integrated laboratory collected data and design principles to design a iron enhanced sand filter to reduce the effects of phosphorus pollution on a local lake. • Volunteered for PA Cyber Engineering Day to share stem experiences with younger students.

Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences Leadership and Service Award

Marissa Popis

Marissa Popis will be receiving her degree in Environmental Science, with a minor in Sustainability Management and a Certificate in Geographic Information Science in Summer, 2022. Marissa has been an active leader in the WEBS (Women Empowered By Science) mini-solar car extravaganza during the last two years creating a great virtual experience via Zoom for over 100 middle-school students. Marissa is also President of the Students for Environmental Sustainability (S.E.S.) Club where she facilitates many activities such as Movie Sessions, food drives, campus energy saving ideas, Earth Day tree planting in Nesbit Park, Nature Walk in Kirby Park, Earth Day Photo Contest, Earth Day Litter Clean-up, and an air plant fundraiser. In the fall of 2021, Marissa also volunteered for the University sustainability audit project. She was part of a team that bench-marked Wilkes University’s current sustainability practices and made recommendations regarding implementing improved sustainability management practices to the Wilkes Administrative Leadership. The presentation and the recommendations that the team presented were well received, and have provided a template to move this initiative forward. Marissa’s passion, leadership, and organizational skills have been the key component to the success of all these events and we wish her all the best with her future endeavors as an environmental scientist, educator, and leader.

James DeCosmo Award in Excellence in Mathematics

John Gordon

John Gordon is a major in Mathematics and a double minor in Statistics and Actuarial Science. His research work includes work with Dr. Lucent and Dr. Chepushtanova on protein folding. His 2 capstone projects explored continued fractions and Pierre de Fermat’s Last Theorem. John achieved great academic success during his time at Wilkes, with a 3.86 GPA and regular appearances on the Wilkes University Dean’s List. John is currently seeking employment in the field of mathematics or statistics.

Thomas Quinn (TQ) Smith

Thomas Quinn (TQ) Smith is a double major in Mathematics and Computer Science. His research work was completed under the supervision of Dr. Chepushtanova and Dr. Lucent and focused on using computational topology to predict how well drug candidates would bind to molecules. He continued this work as his senior project. Since his freshman year, TQ served as a system administrator under the supervision of Dr. Sullivan where he maintained the math and computer science departmental server. TQ is also a member of the University’s Honors Program. To fulfill an honors program requirement, TQ archived Dr. Koch’s materials used to solve the famous Four-Color Theorem under the supervision of the university archivist Suzanna Calev. TQ has been accepted into and plans to attend Pennsylvania State University’s PhD program in Bioinformatics as a fellow of the Huck Institute of Life Sciences.

Outstanding Senior Award in Computer Science

Zachary Nesler

Zachary Nesler is graduating with a major in Computer Science and a 3.55 GPA. Throughout his career at Wilkes, he had taken a variety of courses in Computer Science, Mathematics, and Art. Following graduation, he will pursue a career in Web/Software Engineering.

Thomas Quinn (TQ) Smith

Thomas Quinn (TQ) Smith is a double major in Mathematics and Computer Science. His research work was completed under the supervision of Dr. Chepushtanova and Dr. Lucent and focused on using computational topology to predict how well drug candidates would bind to molecules. He continued this work as his senior project. Since his freshman year, TQ served as a system administrator under the supervision of Dr. Sullivan where he maintained the math and computer science departmental server. TQ is also a member of the University’s Honors Program. To fulfill an honors program requirement, TQ archived Dr. Koch’s materials used to solve the famous Four-Color Theorem under the supervision of the university archivist Suzanna Calev. TQ has been accepted into and plans to attend Pennsylvania State University’s PhD program in Bioinformatics as a fellow of the Huck Institute of Life Sciences.

Outstanding Achievement in Mechanical Engineering

Stephen Burton

Stephen Burton is a Mechanical Engineering Major. He has been an active member within the College of Science and Engineering. He has held various positions in different engineering clubs, most prominently of which was acting as the Lead Mechanical Engineer and Vice President of the Wilkes SAE Baja club. In these positions, he helped restart the University’s chapter of SAE Baja and oversaw the technical aspects of the project. His Senior Project entailed designing, developing, and building an unorthodox, large form factor, Fused Deposition Modeling printer. His accomplishments outside of academics include earning internships at Dawe’s Motorsports, Verde Mantis, and Procter & Gamble. In addition to his award today, he is graduating with Honors in Mechanical Engineering and as an Honors Program student. Stephen’s future plans are to work as a Process Engineer at Procter & Gamble’s Mehoopany plant, continue working on cars in his free time, and try to develop new ideas to further the world of engineering.

Top Academic Performer in Mechanical Engineering

Matt Gillenkirk

Matt Gillenkirk is a major in mechanical engineering. Throughout his time at college, he has been dedicated to academic excellence. After transferring to Wilkes in 2020, he has focused on design engineering and enjoyed many design projects over the course of the next two years. He worked with his capstone project team to design and build a self-driving snow blower. He has also enjoyed activities outside the classroom, such as competing against his peers in the Table Tennis Club. He has worked multiple internships with Victaulic in their manufacturing engineering department and will be joining the company full-time in their rotational engineering program in late May.

Mechanical Engineering Service Award

Justin Burda

Justin Burda is a double major in Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering with a minor in Physics. He is the current standing President of the American of Mechanical Engineers at Wilkes as well as the President and Re-founder of the society of Automotive Engineers Baja Club on campus. Justin’s senior project was both an electrical and machinal scope on the Wilkes Affordable Additive Massive Manufacturing team which sought to design and test a large format 3-D printer for use in investment casting and prosthetics. Outside of the department Justin was a member of the Wilkes University swim team for four years. He also participated in Wilkes Adventure Education Base camp program. During his time at Wilkes Justin completed an internship with Smith Miller associates in Pittston, PA and an internship at Energy Transfer Solutions in West Chester, PA. Looking forward, Justin has received an offer to work as a Project Engineer for Proctor & Gamble in Mehoopany, PA.

College of Science and Engineering Research Award

Matthew Shelly

Matt Shelly is the son of Joann and Donald Shelly from Cochranville, PA. He graduated from Avon Grove High School. Matt is earning a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in Chemistry and is enrolled in our Honors program. Matt's current total Grade Point Average stands at 3.9 in our rigorous Biology Curriculum. He worked under the mentorship of Dr. Jeff Stratford as a research assistant starting as a freshman. He did research in a variety of projects applying Bioinformatics to urbanization and its effects on birds, DNA barcoding of insects, and the survivorship of Wood Thrush in local forests. Matt was later selected as a CHOP Research Institute Summer Scholar. During this internship, selected undergraduates across the country receive clinical shadowing, work in a research project, and have professional development opportunities focused on mentorship and career goals at the Children Hospital of Philadelphia. Under the direction of Dr. Laura Almazi, Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Matt worked in a systematic review analyzing the gene expression in schizophrenia patients, and the physiological factors affecting children with autism and attention deficit disorders. Matt has presented his research at several conferences and has co-authored a paper published in the Molecular Psychiatry journal. Matt was a Guthrie Premedical Scholar and as part of his internship he worked with Dr. Robert Behm, MD in a project evaluating the correlation between Body Mass Index and Surgical Outcomes in Vehicle Collisions. At this time, Matt continues his research at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia as a Bioinformatics Scientist and will attend the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University this Fall.

Outstanding Graduate for the College of Science and Engineering

Thomas Quinn (TQ) Smith

Thomas Quinn (TQ) Smith is a double major in Mathematics and Computer Science. His research work was completed under the supervision of Dr. Chepushtanova and Dr. Lucent and focused on using computational topology to predict how well drug candidates would bind to molecules. He continued this work as his senior project. Since his freshman year, TQ served as a system administrator under the supervision of Dr. Sullivan where he maintained the math and computer science departmental server. TQ is also a member of the University’s Honors Program. To fulfill an honors program requirement, TQ archived Dr. Koch’s materials used to solve the famous Four-Color Theorem under the supervision of the university archivist Suzanna Calev. TQ has been accepted into and plans to attend Pennsylvania State University’s PhD program in Bioinformatics as a fellow of the Huck Institute of Life Sciences.

Jay S. Sidhu School of Business and Leadership

Academic Achievement Award - Accounting

Jessica G. Smith

Jessica Smith is receiving the Academic Achievement Award in Accounting, and the PICPA Award for Excellence in Accounting. Jessica earned the KPMG/ John R. Miller Scholarship, the PICPA Northeast Chapter Scholarship, the Mid-Atlantic Conference All Sportsmanship Team (2021), the Wilkes University Colonel Elite Award (2020), and the NFCA All-America Scholar Athlete and Dean’s List from 2019-2022. Jessica has played for the Wilkes Softball team, is a member of the Wilkes University Honors Program, a representative for the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), worked as an accounting tutor with University College, and served as the senior coordinator for the VITA Program (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance). Jessica also served as a student ambassador on campus for the Barron’s in Education Program, PICPA, and Kearney & Company. After graduation, Jessica will be employed as an Accounting Associate for Kearney & Company and plans to begin studying for the CPA Exam.

Academic Achievement Award - Finance

Ethan (Phil) Erickson

Phil has earned the following Honors and Awards: Dean's List: All Semesters, Provost's Letter of Distinction (Spring 2020), Office of Career Development & Internships - Intern of the Year (2021), Office of Athletics - Colonels Elite Award (2021), 2x Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) Champion, American Hockey Coaches Association All American Scholar, United Collegiate Hockey Conference (UCHC) All-Academic Team, Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) Academic Honor Roll. Phil has also held the following Leadership Positions: Alternate Captain on the Wilkes University Men's Ice Hockey Team; President and Vice President of the NCAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) at Wilkes University; Vice President of the Dean's Student Advisory Board for the Jay S. Sidhu School of Business and Leadership; and E-Mentor for First Year Student Orientation. Sports/Extracurricular Activities: Phil is a four year member of the Wilkes University Men’s Ice Hockey Team, a member of the Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society; Finance and Investments Club at Wilkes University; and Intercollegiate Leadership Wilkes Barre. On top of his studies, Leadership Roles and Extracurricular Activities: Phil has worked with numerous organizations to conduct community service events (1697 Hours) throughout his time at Wilkes including St. Vincent de Paul Kitchen, The Alzheimer's Association, Habitat for Humanity, Special Olympics, and Wilkes-Barre Youth Hockey. Professionally: Phil has worked at Bank of America - Merrill Lynch in Philadelphia as a Summer Analyst in the Advisor Development Program and as the Scholar of Business Operations and Financial Analysis at the Allan P. Kirby Center for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at Wilkes University. Plans following Graduation: Phil plans on returning to Wilkes University to work as the Graduate Assistant in the President’s Office as he completes his MBA and utilizes his final year of eligibility on the Men’s Ice Hockey Team.

Academic Achievement Award - Management

Juliann Duignam

Juliann has made the Dean's List every semester, member of Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society. Her Leadership and sports roles while attending Wilkes University include being a member of the Wilkes University Women's Basketball Team, Supply Chain Management and Math Tutor, Sidhu School of business office aide, and served as an Admissions Ambassador from 2018-2022. She also conducted Interdisciplinary Sustainability Research with professors at Wilkes. Through this opportunity she researched sustainable business districts striving to revitalize Wilkes Barre areas sustainability efforts through research and interviews. She has started a full time position at Mondelez International as a Customer Service Coordinator working with the customer service and logistics team.

PICPA Award for Excellence in Accounting

Jessica G. Smith

Jessica Smith is receiving the Academic Achievement Award in Accounting, and the PICPA Award for Excellence in Accounting. Jessica earned the KPMG/ John R. Miller Scholarship, the PICPA Northeast Chapter Scholarship, the Mid-Atlantic Conference All Sportsmanship Team (2021), the Wilkes University Colonel Elite Award (2020), and the NFCA All-America Scholar Athlete and Dean’s List from 2019-2022. Jessica has played for the Wilkes Softball team, is a member of the Wilkes University Honors Program, a representative for the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), worked as an accounting tutor with University College, and served as the senior coordinator for the VITA Program (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance). Jessica also served as a student ambassador on campus for the Barron’s in Education Program, PICPA, and Kearney & Company. After graduation, Jessica will be employed as an Accounting Associate for Kearney & Company and plans to begin studying for the CPA Exam.

Professor Ted Engle Award for Excellence in Finance

Ethan (Phil) Erickson

Phil has earned the following Honors and Awards: Dean's List: All Semesters, Provost's Letter of Distinction (Spring 2020), Office of Career Development & Internships - Intern of the Year (2021), Office of Athletics - Colonels Elite Award (2021), 2x Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) Champion, American Hockey Coaches Association All American Scholar, United Collegiate Hockey Conference (UCHC) All-Academic Team, Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) Academic Honor Roll. Phil has also held the following Leadership Positions: Alternate Captain on the Wilkes University Men's Ice Hockey Team; President and Vice President of the NCAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) at Wilkes University; Vice President of the Dean's Student Advisory Board for the Jay S. Sidhu School of Business and Leadership; and E-Mentor for First Year Student Orientation. Sports/Extracurricular Activities: Phil is a four year member of the Wilkes University Men’s Ice Hockey Team, a member of the Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society; Finance and Investments Club at Wilkes University; and Intercollegiate Leadership Wilkes Barre. On top of his studies, Leadership Roles and Extracurricular Activities: Phil has worked with numerous organizations to conduct community service events (1697 Hours) throughout his time at Wilkes including St. Vincent de Paul Kitchen, The Alzheimer's Association, Habitat for Humanity, Special Olympics, and Wilkes-Barre Youth Hockey. Professionally: Phil has worked at Bank of America - Merrill Lynch in Philadelphia as a Summer Analyst in the Advisor Development Program and as the Scholar of Business Operations and Financial Analysis at the Allan P. Kirby Center for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at Wilkes University. Plans following Graduation: Phil plans on returning to Wilkes University to work as the Graduate Assistant in the President’s Office as he completes his MBA and utilizes his final year of eligibility on the Men’s Ice Hockey Team.

Dean's Award for Excellence in Management

Juliann Duignam

Juliann has made the Dean's List every semester, member of Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society. Her Leadership and sports roles while attending Wilkes University include being a member of the Wilkes University Women's Basketball Team, Supply Chain Management and Math Tutor, Sidhu School of business office aide, and served as an Admissions Ambassador from 2018-2022. She also conducted Interdisciplinary Sustainability Research with professors at Wilkes. Through this opportunity she researched sustainable business districts striving to revitalize Wilkes Barre areas sustainability efforts through research and interviews. She has started a full time position at Mondelez International as a Customer Service Coordinator working with the customer service and logistics team.

Academic Achievement Award - Hospitality Leadership

Sakura Grant

Sakura Grant has worked on a research project that she has submitted to the 2022 THEREPS Conference in April 2022. the research project titled “Friend or Foe? Contactless Service Impacts on Hotel Employees' Attitudes and Behaviors.” She also has experience working within the hospitality industry from starting as a Sandwich Artist at Subway to Shift Supervisor at Rite Aid. Sakura has used her time at Wilkes University to work on several committees and public service. She has been an Executive Board Member for the Multicultural Student Coalition, worked as the Event Coordinator and Treasurer for the Hospitality Leadership club. Her community service work also included an active role with the Pennsylvania Election board as a Poll worker. Sakura completed training for US Election Day Poll working procedures in 2020-2021. And has earned two certifications one in Social Media Marketing and certification in Social & Behavioral Research. Sakura is a member of the Wilkes University chapters of the National Honor Society for leadership and Success and Delta Mu Delta. Following graduation, Sakura plans to apply her degree towards a human resource position in the hospitality industry as well as promote workplace diversity and cultural awareness through her career.

Academic Achievement Award in Sports Management

Michael Gurska

Michael Gurska, has made the Dean's List 8 semesters and was the recipient of the Wilkes University Trustee Scholarship and the Vincent and Martha Aleo Scholarship. Michael has been the captain of the Wilkes University Men’s Hockey team, an ACHA All American and Middle Atlantic Conference Defensive Player of the Year, while also being a member of the Wilkes University Men's Golf team. He is currently a player for the Birmingham Bulls of the Southern Professional Hockey League, works as a Data Tracker and Analyst for Clear Sight Analytics, and serves as a Head Coach at the Healy Hockey Development in Massachusetts and Connecticut. He's volunteered countless hours at Toyota Sportsplex @ Coal Street Park and served as a volunteer at Walk to End Alzheimer's during his time at Wilkes. Following graduation, he plans to further pursue a career playing professional hockey and wants to continue his work as a hockey coach following his playing career.

Academic Achievement Award in Marketing and Entrepreneurship

Lauren Golden

Lauren graduated Magna Cum Laude with a 3.87 GPA in 2.5 years from Wilkes. During her time at Wilkes, she was a member of the Women’s Golf Team, she acted as the Kirby Scholar of Entrepreneurship at the Allan P. Kirby Center for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship and was on the Dean’s List every semester. Lauren completed a Wharton School of Business Certification, is an acting member of the NEPA Invitational Board and completed several internships in the local community. After graduating, Lauren will continue to work with various start-ups while she continues to pursue her dream of starting her own business.

Dean's Award for Excellence in Hospitality Leadership

Matthew Franchetti

Matthew's work in the Hospitality industry has been working at Sommelier as a Food & Beverage Intern and a Valet / Bell person at The Lodge at Woodloch Hawley PA. Currently he is busy working as a Pharmacy Tech for Geisinger including preparing over 1,000 Covid 19 injections per day at community clinics. He also is a Blue Army Coordinator for Wilkes University and is working as a front of the House Member at Nina's Wing Bites in Dunmore. He is currently working on a paper for research titled "Impact of COVID-19 on the Wedding Industry”. His community service includes work with the American Cancer Society Relay for Life including working as Activities and Event Chair for the NEPA regional event. As well as a Lay Minister with St. Luke Episcopal Church, Scranton, PA. Matthew is also proficient in Spanish and earned his Social Media Certification, HubSpot Academy this year.

Dean's Award for Excellence in Marketing

Darian Yakhnis

Darian has worked in the Small Business Development Center. Worked as a Social Media Intern for Wilkes University as well as served as attendant for the Sordoni Art Gallery. Darian has worked for RedFuse in New York City provides web sup for worldwide Colgate - Palmolive clients. Other activities involved with the ENACTUS group on campus, Wilkes Honors Program and Wilkes Women's Tennis. She also achieved the Colonel Elite 2020 - for student athlete that have 60 credits and a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher. She has interned at the SBDC as a social media intern and worked at the Sordoni Art Gallery as part of their social media team and as an attendant. Has also worked as a research assistant for Dr. Ma over the summer in 2021. Interned for RedFuse, a web presence provider agency supporting worldwide Colgate-Palmolive clients, back in 2018 for a month. Served as co-captain her senior year for Wilkes Women's Tennis. Her future plans: applying for the Moelis Advance Access Program at Wharton and plans to pursue a full-time marketing job upon graduation.

Dean's Award for Excellence in Sports Management

Michael Gurska

Michael Gurska, has made the Dean's List 8 semesters and was the recipient of the Wilkes University Trustee Scholarship and the Vincent and Martha Aleo Scholarship. Michael has been the captain of the Wilkes University Men’s Hockey team, an ACHA All American and Middle Atlantic Conference Defensive Player of the Year, while also being a member of the Wilkes University Men's Golf team. He is currently a player for the Birmingham Bulls of the Southern Professional Hockey League, works as a Data Tracker and Analyst for Clear Sight Analytics, and serves as a Head Coach at the Healy Hockey Development in Massachusetts and Connecticut. He's volunteered countless hours at Toyota Sportsplex @ Coal Street Park and served as a volunteer at Walk to End Alzheimer's during his time at Wilkes. Following graduation, he plans to further pursue a career playing professional hockey and wants to continue his work as a hockey coach following his playing career.

Academic Achievement Award - ABBA

Lorrie Shearn

Lorrie has been employed by Mount Carmel Area School district for over 20 years. Not only has she worked a full time job and managed a family. She has been able to attend Wilkes University and earn her bachelors degree in Business Administration. Her future plans are to continue her education in a Sidhu School of Business and leaderships masters program, and ultimately attain a leadership position in the public school district. Lorrie is also a member of the Delta Mu Delta Honor Society.

Dean's Award for Excellence

Lorrie Shearn

Lorrie has been employed by Mount Carmel Area School district for over 20 years. Not only has she worked a full time job and managed a family. She has been able to attend Wilkes University and earn her bachelors degree in Business Administration. Her future plans are to continue her education in a Sidhu School of Business and leaderships masters program, and ultimately attain a leadership position in the public school district. Lorrie is also a member of the Delta Mu Delta Honor Society.

Academic Achievement Award - MBA

Casey Krause

Casey graduated from Wilkes University in 2018 with a B.S. in Biology along with Chemistry and Spanish minors. Will graduate in May 2022 with a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree from Wilkes University along with a Master of Business Administration (MBA). Inducted into Delta Mu Delta International Business Honor Society. Studied abroad in Madrid, Spain during undergraduate education and completed a 6-week Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience in Shiprock, New Mexico with the Indian Health Service. Post-graduation plans include pursuing a role in Medical Affairs within the pharmaceutical industry. Casey is immensely thankful for Wilkes University, the pharmacy school and the business school for creating the opportunity for students to pursue the dual PharmD/MBA degree program and incredibly grateful for the people he has met along the way.

Matthew Kaster

Other degrees: • Also pursuing Doctor of Pharmacy degree (PharmD) at Wilkes. Graduating in 2022 Important research: • Completed research at Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital regarding the efficacy and safety of synthetic mesh and vacuum assisted closure devices for trauma patients. Published to the Journal of Surgical Research Previous Prizes/Awards: • Deans List Fall 2019 – Spring 2022 • Rho Chi Society (top 20% of pharmacy school class at Wilkes) • Delta Mu Delta inductee Extracurricular activities/offices held at Wilkes: • Director of Fundraising and Treasury, Industry Pharmacists Organization • Fundraising Chair, American Society of Health System Pharmacists Plans following graduation: • Fellowship in Drug Safety and Pharmacovigilance at Sanofi Pasteur in conjunction with Wilkes University

Madison Trauger

Pharmacy (PharmD), Master of Business (MBA), and a Spanish Concentration through the pharmacy program. Madison served as the President of the Pharmacy Senate and is a member of the Rho Chi Pharmacy Honor Society. She was a co-author on a manuscript focused on the clinical and cost impact of antipsychotic use in patients with psychiatric conditions, currently pending publication. During graduate school, she has received the Dr. Joseph Donald Stephens Study Abroad Scholarship, Samuel Berk Memorial Scholarship, CVS Health Spanish Scholarship, and several rotation preceptor recognition awards. Madison has accepted a post-doctoral fellowship at Novartis in Medical Information and Advertising & Promotion beginning in July. She will also be an adjunct pharmacy professor at Rutgers University.

Outstanding Graduate for the Jay S. Sidhu School of Business and Leadership

Ethan (Phil) Erickson

Phil has earned the following Honors and Awards: Dean's List: All Semesters, Provost's Letter of Distinction (Spring 2020), Office of Career Development & Internships - Intern of the Year (2021), Office of Athletics - Colonels Elite Award (2021), 2x Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) Champion, American Hockey Coaches Association All American Scholar, United Collegiate Hockey Conference (UCHC) All-Academic Team, Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) Academic Honor Roll. Phil has also held the following Leadership Positions: Alternate Captain on the Wilkes University Men's Ice Hockey Team; President and Vice President of the NCAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) at Wilkes University; Vice President of the Dean's Student Advisory Board for the Jay S. Sidhu School of Business and Leadership; and E-Mentor for First Year Student Orientation. Sports/Extracurricular Activities: Phil is a four year member of the Wilkes University Men’s Ice Hockey Team, a member of the Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society; Finance and Investments Club at Wilkes University; and Intercollegiate Leadership Wilkes Barre. On top of his studies, Leadership Roles and Extracurricular Activities: Phil has worked with numerous organizations to conduct community service events (1697 Hours) throughout his time at Wilkes including St. Vincent de Paul Kitchen, The Alzheimer's Association, Habitat for Humanity, Special Olympics, and Wilkes-Barre Youth Hockey. Professionally: Phil has worked at Bank of America - Merrill Lynch in Philadelphia as a Summer Analyst in the Advisor Development Program and as the Scholar of Business Operations and Financial Analysis at the Allan P. Kirby Center for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at Wilkes University. Plans following Graduation: Phil plans on returning to Wilkes University to work as the Graduate Assistant in the President’s Office as he completes his MBA and utilizes his final year of eligibility on the Men’s Ice Hockey Team.

Passan School of Nursing

Clinical Excellence Award

Gabrielle Galonis

Gabrielle has received the Clinical Excellence Award for the Passan School of Nursing Class of 2022. She is a nursing major from Pittston, Pennsylvania. Her Senior Capstone Research explored the impact of complementary psychosocial nursing interventions compared to increased protocol-based sedation to reduce stress and the risk for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in mechanically ventilated ICU patients. In April, she participated in the Geisinger Student Nurse Scholarship Conference and was awarded first place for her Senior Capstone Project. Gabrielle’s passion for staying connected and helping others is reflected in her work outside of the classroom. She participated in many volunteer opportunities, including “Into the Streets,” raking and winterizing homes of Wilkes-Barre residents in need, A Walk to End Alzheimer’s, and COVID-19 Assurance Testing at Wilkes. She previously assisted with the Women Empowered by Science (WEBS) Summer Camp to educate on anatomy and physiology through interactive activities and inspire young women interested in pursuing future science careers. With her utmost love for dance and history of performing as a child, she took multiple ballet courses. She served in the Degnan Ballet Center’s “The Nutcracker” and the Wilkes University Spring Dance Concert in 2019. In addition, Gabrielle was a previous member of the Wilkes University Dance Team. In November of 2021, she was chosen to be a Passan School of Nursing team member to compete at Harrisburg's annual NCLEX bowl event. Gabrielle served as a teaching assistant in anatomy and physiology courses and completed a nurse internship program at the Regional Hospital of Scranton in COVID-19 and Intensive Care Units. She is a member of the National Student Nurses Association, the National Society of Leadership and Success, and the Wilkes’ Zeta Psi chapter of Sigma Theta Tau nursing honors society. Additionally, Gabrielle achieved these accomplishments while maintaining a 3.66 GPA and being named to the Dean’s List every semester while in the nursing program. Upon graduation, she will begin her career as a nurse at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). She plans to attend graduate school to become a nurse educator in the near future.

Academic Excellence Award

Madelyn McDonald

Madelyn McDonald is a senior nursing major from Montoursville, PA. Her GPA is 3.90. At Wilkes University, she was a member of the Society of Student Nurses and the National Student Nurses Association. Madelyn is also a member of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. During her time at Wilkes she served as a Teaching Assistant and Tutor for a variety of nursing classes and helped students. This past year, she participated in the NCLEX Bowl at the SNAP Nursing Convention in Harrisburg, and completed her capstone project on the effect of Nurse Residency Programs. After graduation, Madelyn has accepted a job a nurse in the ICU at UPMC Williamsport.

Outstanding Leadership Award

Devon Catrambone

Devon Catrambone is a Nursing major in the Passan School of Nursing. She was extremely involved academically and athletically while at Wilkes University. Devon ran on the Cross Country team sophomore through senior year. Devon was unexpectedly able to apply her nursing skills at cross country practice, performing CPR on a bystander who had overdosed on the side of the road. Devon was involved in numerous clubs and activities while at Wilkes. Devon created the big/little sister mentoring program designed to help underclassmen successfully navigate the rigorous nursing program. She worked with admissions giving tours while at Wilkes. She also served as the class representative in the Nursing Student Organization (NSO). Devon attended numerous SNAP conventions and attended meetings as a class representative. She was also chosen to represent Wilkes on the NCLEX Bowl Team at the SNAP convention. She was a Covid vaccinator at Lehigh Valley Health Systems. Devon was on the Dean’s List throughout nursing school and was inducted into Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society, the National Honor Society for Nurses. Devon was also inducted into the National Honor Society of Leadership and Success. Devon has accepted a position as a graduate nurse at Bryn Mawr Hospital, in Bryn Mawr PA, in the Labor and Delivery unit after graduation.

PSON Faculty Recognition Award

Diana Johnson

Diana Johnson is a Nursing major and will be a graduate of the RN to BSN program. Diane is also a mother of four children. Currently, she holds a practical nursing license. She has provided nursing care at varied healthcare facilities. Over the past 8 years, she has worked in long-term care facilities, home health, outpatient clinics, and group home facilities. She participated in a research group, a descriptive phenomenology study that investigated the lived experience of Licensed Practical Nurses when transitioning from nursing education to clinical practice. The investigator was Sovet Howard-Vernet, RN, Ph.D. in Nursing. She also participates in groups outside of the classroom at Wilkes University such as the Wilkes University Society of Student Nurses and Wilkes African Cultural Association. She is an active participant in the Wilkes Community. She serves as the Community Chair of the Wilkes University Society of Student Nurses, where she planned and developed community-based events with the help of her fellow student nurses. She offered her time as a mentor to younger nursing peers, and she is always willing to listen and offer advice. Her goal is to further her education as a nurse practitioner. In addition, after graduation, she plans to work full-time at a local community hospital as an emergency nurse.

Outstanding Graduate for the Passan School of Nursing

Jessica Turnitza

Jessica Turnitza is a nursing major from Cumbola, Pennsylvania. Her capstone research investigated the effect of nurse-led administration of the Ask-Suicide Questionnaire (ASQ) in detecting youth suicidality in the pediatric ED. In April, she presented her capstone project at the Geisinger Student Nurse Scholarship Conference. Jessica’s love for writing and research is additionally shared among her faculty of practice, and tight-knit group of friends within the National Student Nurse Association (NSNA) and Student Nurse Association of Pennsylvania (SNAP). Her 2021 research within the department explored the utilization of a telehealth simulation-based learning (SBL) activity for student nurses, implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their research was published in the Nurse Educator. She was allowed to present the research at the SNAP convention in November. On-campus, Jess serves as the university’s chapter president of SNAP and serves on the board of directors as the North East Regional Coordinator. Through this organization, she participated in numerous volunteer activities, most recently organizing the campus-wide Walk for Ukraine 5k and medical relief donation drive. She has worked with the Office of Civic Engagement for the past 3 three years, as Red Cross Blood Drive Ambassador. Through this position, she started the Be the Match bone marrow donation efforts and spearheaded the annual National Thank You Day project. Jessica is also a member of the Zeta Psi Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, the National Honor Society for Nurses. hroughout the past 4 years, Jess was highly involved in AF-ROTC and Arnold Air Society is a member of the Wilkes Women’s Swim team and an e-mentor for freshman nursing students. Off-campus, Jessica enjoys working as an adolescent/adult mental health tech at LVHN- South Jackson and is excited to stay within the organization, as she begins her career at LVHN-CC’s Breidegam Family Children’s ER. She wants to thank her many nursing inspirations and mentors along the way including her mom and brother.

School of Education

Outstanding Elementary and Early Childhood Education Award

Donna Reid-Kilgore

Donna Reid-Kilgore earned her Bachelor's degree in Elementary and Early Childhood Education from Wilkes University in the Fall of 2021. She is a Pre-K Counts teacher at Bloom Early Education Center in Swoyersville where she has worked for 17 years. Donna is also a Teach Plus PA policy fellow, serving in the Early Childhood Education working group. In her fellowship, Donna has met with OCDEL's leadership team to discuss potential improvements to the Child Care Works program, moderated a discussion panel with Early Childhood Education professionals, created and implemented a social media campaign highlighting the barriers and needs within the Early Childhood Education field, participated in the "Toddlers to Tassels" Fair Funding in Education Rally hosted by State Senator Vincent Hughes, and met with several state legislators including the Chairs of both the House and Senate Education Committees to advocate for the budget increases proposed by Pre-K for PA and Start Strong PA. During this past Spring semester, Donna hosted a student teacher from Wilkes University and recently met with faculty and staff to discuss future opportunities for the Early Childhood Education curriculum. She also began her Master's course at Keystone College. After earning her Master's degree in Early Childhood Education Leadership in August of 2023, Donna hopes to shift from teaching preschool to either teaching future educators as a post-secondary instructor or an instructional coach or continuing her work in Early Childhood Education advocacy.

Outstanding Middle Level Education Award

Ana Pac

Ana Pac is a Middle Level Education major with concentrations in both Mathematics and Science. She worked as a tutor for Wilkes University in the math department. She has remained on the Dean’s List throughout her time at Wilkes, while also being awarded the Marla Hosie Award, which is given to a student who has been inducted into the Teacher Preparation Program at Wilkes and shows great promise of being an extraordinary educator who exudes the characteristics of being caring, competent, and ethical. Ana is also a part of Kappa Delta Pi (International Education Honor Society), and completed both mathematics and science education field placements.

Outstanding Secondary Education Award

Juan Romero

First-generation student, Juan Romero, is a Spanish and Secondary Education double-major with a minor in English. His professional learning community research work includes a growth mindset in PK-12 schools. Juan served as a student mentor in the Office of International Engagement and was in charge of public relations for the Education Club. Juan is a member of multiple honor societies, Kappa Delta Pi - the International Education Honors Society, Sigma Delta Pi - National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society, and The National Society of Leadership and Success. He was named Sylvia Dworski, Ph.D. Scholarship recipient. He completed his student teaching placements in the Hazleton Area School District and Wyoming Valley West School District. Currently, Juan is employed at the Hazleton Area Career Center and involved in the SHINE - Schools & Homes in Education at Wilkes University. He plans to go back to school to obtain a master’s degree. Juan aspires to be a role model for minority students. He was named the recipient of the Outstanding Secondary Education Award.

Outstanding Special Education Award

Gwen MacConnell

Gwen MacConnell is an Early Childhood Education major with a concentration in Special Education and a minor in reading. She has participated in many different field experiences located at a variety of schools throughout the past few years. She has completed a split student teaching experience, beginning with teaching in kindergarten for seven weeks and then with a 3rd-6th grade autistic support classroom for eight weeks. Gwen has achieved Dean’s list each semester since she began as a freshman. She has also received the Marla Hosie Award, made the Academic Honor Roll, she was named to the MAC All-Sportsmanship Team, and recognized as Colonel Elite as well. She is a member of the women’s golf team and has been competing with the team since she was a freshman. Gwen is a member of the education club and the international honor society, Kappa Delta Pi. She plans to find an elementary or special education teaching position following graduation.

Marla Hosie Award

Jordan Harrison

Jordan Harrison is a senior Special Education Major with a Reading Minor who will student teach this upcoming fall semester. Her field experiences and professional development schools have been throughout neighboring school districts such as Northwest Area, Good Shepherd Academy, Wyoming Area, and the Graham Academy. These placements in both regular and special education have served her well in order to prepare her for student teaching this upcoming fall. She has served as the Education Club treasurer as well as participating in volunteer events with Big Brother, Big Sister, Homecoming and creating Jared Boxes for the Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia. She was named to the Kappa Delta Pi- International Education Honor Society, all while working two part time jobs that include waitressing and working at a local jewelry store. Jordan hopes to secure a teaching position after graduation in December of 2022.

Outstanding Graduate for the School of Education

Molly McAndrew

Molly McAndrew is an elementary/early childhood major with a concentration in Special Education and a minor in reading literacy. Her professional learning community research work and presentation includes work on the improvement of online learning and FIDS days for students in PK-12 schools. She has worked as a paraprofessional for the ESY program at Crestwood High School and Lynwood Elementary and has substitute taught for the Northwest School District. She was named to the Kappa Delta Pi – International Education Honor Society, National Society of Leadership and Success and has received various Dean’s list awards. She has had various field experiences at Gompers and Willard Elementary in Philadelphia, and local experiences at the Graham Academy and Heights Elementary. Molly completed her elementary student teaching experience in a third-grade classroom at Wyoming Area Primary Center and her special education student teaching experience in a 6th, 7th, and 8th grade life skills classroom at Wyoming Valley West Middle School. She plans to find a special education teaching position and will begin her teaching career in August 2022. Molly was named the outstanding graduate in the School of Education.

Honors Program

Honors Program Academic Distinction Award

Matthew Shelly

Matthew Shelly of Cochranville, PA is the son of Donald and Joann Shelly. He graduated from Avon Grove High School. At Wilkes, he completed a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in Chemistry with a total Grade Point Average of 3.99 in the Fall of 2021. In addition to his undergraduate coursework, Matthew was a member of the Honors Program. His favorite memories in the Honors Program were the nights spent studying and relaxing with his fellow classmates in Waller Hall. In addition to the Honors Program, Matthew received the Trustee, Reif, Burns, and National Merit Scholarships. At Wilkes, Matthew became involved in a variety of extracurricular activities including the Women Empowered by Science (WEBS) program, Wilkes’s Chapter of the TrI Beta Honors Society, and as a Class Representative for Wilkes’s Student Government. During the summer of his sophomore year, Matthew conducted research with Dr. Stratford barcoding the DNA of insects in the local area while mentoring young girls as a camp counselor in the WEBS program. As a junior at Wilkes, Matthew was selected to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute Summer Scholars Program (CRISSP) which allows twenty-two students to research and shadow at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. While there, Matthew utilized computational biology to research the genetics of various psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia and alcohol use disorders under the guidance of Dr. Laura Almasy. During his final semester at Wilkes, Matthew participated in the Guthrie Premedical Scholars Program where he shadowed and conducted research with physicians at Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, PA. Since completing his degree, Matthew has begun working for Dr. Almasy’s lab team and has recently published his first academic article titled “What genes are differentially expressed in individuals with schizophrenia? A systematic review”. Finally, Matthew was accepted to two medical schools and will attend Lewis Katz School of Medicine/St. Luke’s University Health Network Regional Campus in the Fall.

Honors Program Scholarship Award

Thomas Quinn (TQ) Smith

Thomas Quinn (TQ) Smith is a double major in Mathematics and Computer Science. His research work was completed under the supervision of Dr. Chepushtanova and Dr. Lucent and focused on using computational topology to predict how well drug candidates would bind to molecules. He continued this work as his senior project. Since his freshman year, TQ served as a system administrator under the supervision of Dr. Sullivan where he maintained the math and computer science departmental server. TQ is also a member of the University’s Honors Program. To fulfill an honors program requirement, TQ archived Dr. Koch’s materials used to solve the famous Four-Color Theorem under the supervision of the university archivist Suzanna Calev. TQ has been accepted into and plans to attend Pennsylvania State University’s PhD program in Bioinformatics and Genomics as a fellow of the Huck Institute of Life Sciences.

Honors Program Community Leadership Award

Sarah Markovich

Sarah Markovich is a Pharmacy major with a concentration in Public Health. Her capstone project involved providing women's health and hygiene education to underserved populations and future student leaders. She currently holds active leadership roles in Wilkes chapters of several pharmacy organizations, including: President of American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists, Secretary of the philanthropic pharmacy fraternity Lambda Kappa Sigma, and Secretary of the pharmacy honor society Rho Chi. During her time at Wilkes, she has also served as a resident assistant, e-Mentor, and lab teaching assistant for both pharmaceutics and anatomy and physiology in addition to working in the mail room on campus. Sarah is a PharmD candidate for the class of 2024, and is planning to pursue a career in compounding pharmacy practice and academia.