FALL SEMESTER 2022
PENN STATE ERIE, THE BEHREND COLLEGE
Friday, December 16, 2022
Use these links to jump to a specific part of the program below.
- To Our Guests
- Program (Schedule)
- Commencement Marshals
- Program Notes
- Presentation of Candidates (follow links below to individual sections)
- Penn State Behrend Council of Fellows
- Publication Information
To Our Guests
We Welcome You to Penn State Behrend’s Fall Commencement Ceremony.
Commencement, the solemn but joyful recognition of the graduates’ years of study, is an important occasion to the college and its faculty, staff, students, and guests. The ceremony will be streamed live at behrend.psu.edu so that graduates’ family members and friends who are unable to join us at Junker Center today may be included in our celebration.
Please silence all mobile devices prior to the Presentation of Colors. When the Processional begins, we ask that you rise to welcome the Class of 2022. Remain standing until all the candidates have reached their seats and during the singing of the National Anthem.
To commemorate this milestone occasion, a professional photograph is taken of each graduate. This photo may be purchased online at events.lifetouch.com ten days after the ceremony.
To avoid congestion and to maintain decorum in the ceremony, we ask that family members refrain from approaching the stage when taking pictures.
Commencement takes time and yet has special significance for each individual and family. Members of the audience are asked to remain in their seats throughout the ceremony so they do not disrupt the program or interfere with the special moments of others. Commencement is our most important occasion, and we ask you to respect its significance to the college community and to those who are being honored.
Everyone stands for the singing of the Alma Mater. Guests should remain seated throughout the Recessional to allow faculty, staff, and graduates to exit.
If needed, medical assistance is available at the back of the gymnasium.
Thank you for your cooperation. We hope that you will enjoy the ceremony and celebrate the achievements of our students.
- Presentation of Colors: Pride of Pennsylvania Army ROTC Battalion Color Guard
- Academic Processional
- Excerpts from Pomp and Circumstance, Edward Elgar
- March of the Priests, W.A. Mozart
- Hail the Conquering Hero, G.F. Handel
- National Anthem
The audience is asked to stand
- Greetings: Dr. Ralph M. Ford, Chancellor
- Welcome: Donovin Jones ’22
- Faculty Address: Dr. Massimo Verzella, Associate Professor of English Composition
- Greetings from the Council of Fellows: Ann Karmazon Scott ’82, ’99, Chair
- Commencement Address: Joseph W. Snyder ’97, retired president, Process and Data Automation
- Presentation of Candidates
- In the Bleak Midwinter, Gustav Holst
- Conferral of Degrees: Robert D. Metzgar ’60, Penn State Trustee Emeritus
- Alumni Association Induction: Glenn Brooks ’86, Penn State Behrend Alumni Society
- Alma Mater: Alexander McAuley ’23
The audience is asked to stand and join in the singing
- Farewell: Mandy Zheng ’22
- Selections from La Danserye, Tylman Susato
- The College Marshal
- Dr. Thomas Hemminger, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
- Faculty Marshals
- Student Marshals
- Mohamed Rashed Alhmoudi, School of Engineering
- Brittany Anderson, Black School of Business
- Timothy Lehman, School of Science
- Amaya Willis, School of Humanities and Social Sciences
- Dr. Kenneth Miller, Senior Director of Administration and Student Affairs
- Performed by the Behrend Ceremonial Brass and Percussion Ensemble
- Dr. Gary A. Viebranz, Director of Instrumental Ensembles, Conductor
- Ushers: Lambda Sigma Honor Society and Lion Ambassadors
by Francis Scott Key
O say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming;
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro’ the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air
Gave proof thro’ the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that Star-Spangled Banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
by Fred Lewis Pattee
For the glory of old State,
For her founders, strong and great,
For the future that we wait,
Raise the song, raise the song,
Sing our love and loyalty,
Sing our hopes that, bright and free,
Rest, O Mother dear, with thee.
All with thee, all with thee.
When we stood at childhood’s gate,
Shapeless in the hands of fate,
Thou didst mold us, dear old State,
Dear old State, dear old State.
May no act of ours bring shame
To one heart that loves thy name,
May our lives but swell thy fame,
Dear old State, dear old State!
The mace, which symbolizes the University President’s authority, is carried at the head of the academic procession by the College Marshal. It was carved by a local artist from native fiddleback maple and is engraved with the University seal and Glenhill Farmhouse.
Academic dress had its beginnings in the Middle Ages. When the English universities were taking form in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, the scholars were also clerics and adopted robes similar to those of their monastic orders. Caps were a necessity in the drafty buildings, and capes with hoods attached were needed for warmth. The use of academic costume in the United States has been continuous since colonial times. A uniform system was not widespread, however, until about 1895 when the well-defined code of the Intercollegiate Commission was adopted by nearly all institutions of higher learning.
The gown worn by those in the procession represents the degree held. The academic gown has pointed sleeves for the bachelor’s degrees, short or regular sleeves for the master’s degrees, and round, full sleeves for the doctorate. The bachelor’s and master’s gowns have no trimmings, but the doctoral gown is faced in front on the sleeves, usually with black velvet.
The standard academic cap is the mortarboard, usually the color of the gown. Undergraduates wear the tassel on the right side of the cap until the moment the degree is conferred.
Hoods are usually worn only for the master’s degree or the doctorate, with the doctoral hood being the longer of the two and marked by distinguishing panels. Hoods are lined with the colors of the college or university in which the degree was granted. In tonight’s ceremony, Dr. Alicyn Rhoades, Interim Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, drapes hoods over the master’s degree candidates.
Advanced degrees granted by the University are of two types, academic and professional.
The baccalaureate degree is conferred after the satisfactory completion of eight semesters of study in one of the four-year majors. The associate degree is conferred after the satisfactory completion of a minimum of 60 credits in one of the two-year majors.
Scholastic Distinction for Undergraduate Degree Candidates
Subject to completion of all degree requirements and satisfaction of minimum criteria, distinction may be conferred as indicated upon the individuals listed herein and upon such others as may meet the requirements. Distinction candidates have completed the required number of credits at the University and are in the top 12 percent of their graduating class in their college. The 12 percent is divided into 2 percent Summa Cum Laude, 4 percent Magna Cum Laude, and 6 percent Cum Laude.
About Penn State Behrend
Penn State Behrend, a four-year and graduate college of Penn State, offers students the resources and opportunities of a major research university in a welcoming student-centered learning environment. As part of Pennsylvania’s land-grant university, the college also works to advance the economic, social, and intellectual welfare of our region through research and outreach.
Penn State Behrend was established in 1948 with Mary Behrend’s gift of her 400-acre Glenhill Farm. Mrs. Behrend made the gift in memory of her husband, Ernst, co-founder with his father and brother of the Hammermill Paper Company, which later became part of International Paper.
From the first class of 146 students at what was then known as Behrend Center, enrollment in the college has grown to 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students learning on campus and online in nearly fifty degree programs at the associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree levels. Behrend alumni now number 40,000.
The college ranks among the top public educational institutions in Pennsylvania for return on tuition investment, student-to-faculty ratio, SAT scores, first-year student retention rate, and graduation rate.
More than 1,200 of the college’s students live on campus in traditional-style rooms or in suites or apartments. There are myriad activities for students to get involved in outside the classroom, including 140 student clubs and organizations, twenty-four NCAA Division III teams, and intramural sports.
The college has more than 750 full-time and part-time employees, including 350 faculty members in four academic schools. Today’s 854-acre campus has fifty-three buildings, from the original Glenhill Farmhouse to the new Susan Hirt Hagen CORE at Federal House. Knowledge Park, on the eastern edge of campus, gives companies housed there access to the college’s strengths in applied research and technology transfer, while providing internship and job opportunities for students and graduates.
Research is a critical area of focus for the college’s students and faculty. Annually, Penn State Behrend funds many undergraduate research opportunities, and faculty members participate in more than $8 million of sponsored research. In outreach, the college has more than two dozen centers, programs, and initiatives serving business and industry, area youth, and the community. Each year, the college contributes more than $175 million to the Commonwealth’s economy.
Vision of a Behrend Graduate
Penn State Behrend has a history and future of developing thinkers, creators, and innovators who build opportunities out of challenges, competence out of curiosity, and proficiency out of potential.
We produce graduates who are prepared for success in their professions, passionate about their work, and committed to lifelong learning; who are open to new experiences and diverse perspectives; and who possess interdisciplinary knowledge and a global and ethical outlook—all critical to thriving in an ever- changing world.
We empower our students through highly engaged instruction, research, and out-of-class opportunities, combined with a distinctive Open Laboratory model of learning and discovery that connects students to business, industry, alumni, and community partners—giving them real-world experiences while benefitting these partners.
With purpose, we develop graduates who are widely recognized for the contributions they make to their professions, their communities, and the world around them.
Mohamed Rashed Alhmoudi, School of Engineering
Mohamed Rashed Alhmoudi, a native of Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, is graduating with a bachelor of science degree in Software Engineering with a minor in Computer Science. While at Behrend, he was active in activities through the Multi-Cultural Council and played intramural sports. He plans to return to the United Arab Emirates to join the workforce and help develop his country’s rapidly growing technology sector.
Brittany Anderson, Black School of Business
Brittany Anderson is graduating with dual bachelor of science degrees in Accounting and Finance. A resident of Magnolia, Texas, she earned her Penn State degrees remotely through World Campus. During her time as a Behrend student, she earned many professional certifications. A wife and mother and volunteer mentor, she worked full-time as a director of real estate while earning her degrees. She plans to move into a mergers and acquisitions role.
Timothy Lehman, School of Science
Timothy Lehman, a native of Girard, Pennsylvania, is graduating with a bachelor of science degree in Chemistry with a minor
in Technical Sales. While at Behrend, he was president of the Chemistry Club and received the award for academic excellence in Chemistry. After graduation, he plans to pursue a career in technical sales, particularly in the medical device and scientific instrumentation fields.
Amaya Willis, School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Amaya Willis, a native of Spartansburg, Pennsylvania, is graduating with a bachelor of arts degree in Digital Media, Arts, and Technology. While at Behrend, she completed the Behrend Honors Program and participated in the Lambda Sigma National Honor Society. She was also active in Theta Phi Alpha sorority. She plans to pursue employment opportunities in the Erie region after graduation to be near her family.
Dr. Massimo Verzella
Associate Professor of English Composition
Dr. Massimo Verzella is an associate professor and coordinator of English composition at Penn State Behrend. His work focuses on intercultural communication: He studies conversations between native and non-native speakers of English to understand what type of communication strategies they use to achieve mutual understanding. His research is interdisciplinary in scope and involves education faculty as well as undergraduate students.
Verzella teaches several courses in English composition and linguistics, and his students regularly participate in telecollaboration—an internet-based virtual exchange between students of different cultural backgrounds that helps them to develop intercultural sensitivity and competence in the use of global English.
As a member of Penn State’s EDGE (Experiential Digital Global Engagement), Verzella promotes globally networked learning. Students who collaborate with peers abroad understand communication as an act of negotiation. They also learn how to manage complex projects and how to work effectively in cross-cultural virtual teams.
Verzella is the author of a book that tells the stories of the first women who published original works in England. More recently, he published several articles on technical translation, global English, and intercultural communication in peer-reviewed journals.
Verzella earned a doctorate in English language and literature from University of Chieti-Pescara in Abruzzo, Italy, and a doctorate in rhetoric and composition from North Dakota State University. A native speaker of Italian, he loves to discuss how languages influence the way we think and behave, and how languages help build our social and cultural identities.
Verzella volunteers in the community as a soccer coach and teacher of Italian. He is always available to teach Americans how to properly cook pasta. He and his wife, Stefania, live in Erie.
Joseph W. Snyder ’97
Retired president, Process and Data Automation
Joseph Snyder is the retired president of Process and Data Automation, a member of the Krones Group. Process and Data Automation is a full-service industrial integration firm that specializes in the design, programming, and commissioning of automated equipment and systems as well as the connection of automated manufacturing systems to the business environment.
Snyder graduated from Behrend with an associate degree in electrical engineering technology in 1997. He co-founded Process and Data Automation in 2002 as a three-person business and grew it into a premier control systems integration and data services company with nearly fifty employees. As president, Snyder facilitated the purchase of his company in 2017 to Krones Group, a $4 billion global beverage and liquid-food packaging company.
In 2015, Snyder relocated Process and Data Automation to Knowledge Park at Penn State Behrend. Moving to campus allowed the company to further integrate its connections to the college, continue its longtime sponsorships of the capstone engineering design projects, and offer a robust, well-designed internship program with a global experience for Behrend students. The company is a long-time partner in Behrend’s Open Lab philosophy.
In 2022, Snyder was named a Penn State Alumni Fellow, the highest award given by the Penn State Alumni Association. He serves on Behrend’s School of Engineering advisory board and Electrical Engineering Technology Industry Advancement Committee. Snyder is a SCUBA diving instructor and also works with a variety of nonprofit organizations, several of which focus on youth and environmental connections. He and his wife, Cheryll, split time between their homes in Erie and in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.
They have three adult children, two of whom are Behrend alumni, Tim Snyder ’21 and Nicholas Jones ’22.
Penn State Behrend Council of Fellows
Penn State Behrend Council of Fellows members serve as valued advisers to the college Chancellor; as advocates for the mission, vision, and activities of the college; and as ambassadors for the college in the Erie region, across the country, and around the world.
Council members represent a cross-section of business, industrial, service, and community organizations and contribute their professional expertise and personal insights to conversations about the future direction of Penn State Behrend. Members may provide counsel on matters ranging from strategic planning and community and business relations to fundraising and alumni affairs.
The business of the Council is managed by a Board of Directors. Focused activities of the group are undertaken through five committees: Executive; Governance; Council Engagement and Membership; Strategic Communications; and Development.
Board of Directors
Ann Karmazon Scott
- Vice Chair
- Director Emeritus/University Trustee Emeritus
Robert D. Metzgar
Edward L. Auslander
Samuel P. Black III
Christopher C. Clark
Gary L. Clark
Ralph M. Ford
Priscilla H. Hamilton
Thomas C. Hoffman II
Karen Burton Horstman
Brian M. Kupchella
J. Scott McCain
Matthew W. Totzke
Ashleigh E. Walters
Gregory M. Yahn
Halina M. Zyczynski
- Executive Director
Kenneth P. Miller
- Ex Officio Director
Kevin E. Moore
This program contains the list of candidates for graduation as of November 20, 2022, and distinction notations as of November 7, 2022.
Subject to completion of all degree requirements, degrees will be conferred as indicated upon the individuals listed herein and upon such others as may meet the requirements.
This publication is available in alternative media on request. Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. U.Ed. EBO 23-253