SPRING SEMESTER 2023
PENN STATE ERIE, THE BEHREND COLLEGE
Friday, May 5, 2023
Penn State Behrend Commencement Program — Spring 2023
View the Commencement Program by clicking the "Full Screen" button on the lower-right corner of the Issuu window above. You also can access the program in the file formats below.
- Spring 2023 Commencement Program (PDF)
- Web (Accessible Version)
- Part 1, Commencement Program Text, Below
- Part 2, Commencement Candidates Text Listing
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
- A Note from the Penn State Alumni Association
- Publication Information
To Our Guests
We Welcome You to Penn State Behrend's Spring 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 Erie Insurance Arena tonight 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 graduates. 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 from Lifetouch using the PhotoDay platform. Text the ordering code 448511GY23 to 90738 to receive notice when your commencement photos are available to view.
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 outside Section 214.
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
- Marching Tune, P.A. Grainger
- National Anthem
The audience is asked to stand
- Greetings: Dr. Ralph M. Ford, Chancellor
- Welcome: Emily Clopp '23
- Faculty Address: Dr. Greg Dillon, Professor of Polymer Engineering and Science
- Greetings from the Council of Fellows: Ann Karmazon Scott '82, '99, Chair
- Commencement Address: Dr. Ala Stanford '91, '97
- Presentation of Candidates
- Schreyer Honors College: Dr. Pamela Silver, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
- School of Science: Dr. Michael Campbell, Distinguished Professor of Biology
- School of Humanities and Social Sciences: Dr. Melanie Hetzel-Riggin, Director
- School of Engineering: Dr. Timothy Kurzweg '94, Director
- Black School of Business: Dr. Greg Filbeck '13, Director
- Amazing Grace, John Newton
- Conferral of Degrees: Robert D. Metzgar '60, Penn State Trustee Emeritus
- Alumni Association Induction: Glenn Brooks '86
- Alma Mater: Jenna Alberti '24, Hadleigh Bills '26, Oliver Brooke '25, Anthea Chou '26, Norah Dana '26, Michael Graham, Molly Hellhake '26, and Jordan Loy '24
The audience is asked to stand and join in the singing
- Farewell: Olivia Hodgson '23
- Selections from La Danserye, Tylman Susato
- The College Marshal
- Dr. Ashutosh Deshmukh, Distinguished Professor of Accounting and Management Information Systems
- Faculty Marshals
- Student Marshals
- Hannah Gampe, School of Science
- Catlin Lowes, School of Humanities and Social Sciences
- Zoe Mouchantaf, Schreyer Honors College
- Ryan Scott, Black School of Business
- Zachary Vandervort, School of Engineering
- 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 candidates' shoulders.
Schreyer Honors College
The Schreyer Scholars program is Penn State's University-wide Honors program. Students who have completed the requirements of the program, including an Honors thesis or comprehensive examination, receive an Honors degree. Scholars graduating with an Honors degree receive a bronze medal designed by John A. Cook, professor of art emeritus and noted medalist. The medal, which bears the inscription "Intellectual Curiosity—Integrity of Purpose—Scholarly Achievement," is presented tonight by Dr. Pamela Silver, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Students graduating as Schreyer Scholars with an Honors degree are noted with a double dagger (††).
Evan Pugh Scholars
The Evan Pugh Scholars are students who were in the upper 0.5 percent of their respective classes. All have been full-time students for at least four semesters prior to selection. The award is named for Evan Pugh, Penn State's first president (1859–1864).
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 student-to-faculty ratio, SAT scores, first-year student retention rate, and graduation rate, according to data published by U.S. News & World Report.
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 Erie Hall and 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.
Hannah Gampe, School of Science
Hannah Gampe is graduating with a degree in Mathematics with minors in Statistics and Computer Science. A native of Tyrone, Pennsylvania, she is an Evan Pugh Scholar and is the recipient of the 2023 Irvin H. Kochel Award, and the 2020 Most Promising Freshman in Mathematics Award. She also served in leadership roles of many campus organizations, including Random Acts of Kindness, Pi Mu Epsilon, and Disability Awareness and Resources for Equity. She plans to work in statistics and data analysis.
Catlin Lowes, School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Catlin Lowes, of Harborcreek, Pennsylvania, is graduating with a degree in History and minors in Spanish and Psychology. A Schreyer scholar and Evan Pugh scholar, he also has received the Dr. John Rossi Excellence in Undergraduate Research Award and the Undergraduate Research Award. While at Behrend, he received a Gillman Scholarship to study in Mexico. He plans to attend graduate school to pursue a doctorate in history.
Zoe Mouchantaf, Schreyer Honors College
Zoe Mouchantaf, a native of Beirut, Lebanon, is graduating with a degree in Industrial Engineering and a minor in Operations and Supply Chain Management. A Schreyer scholar, she received the Eric A. and Josephine S. Walker Award, as well as the award for Outstanding Tutor in Engineering, and served as president of the Multi-Cultural Council and as a Global Ambassador, among other activities at Behrend. She plans to work as a consultant at McKinsey & Company after graduation.
Ryan Scott, Black School of Business
Ryan Scott, a native of Erie, Pennsylvania, is graduating with a degree in Management Information Systems. A Schreyer scholar, he has been active in campus activities and organizations including Partnership Erie, the Lake Erie Litter Project, and peer tutoring. He also received the Black School of Business Delta Sigma Pi Scholarship Key Award. He plans to work as a business analyst at PPG.
Zachary Vandervort, School of Engineering
Zachary Vandervort, of Reynoldsville, Pennsylvania, is graduating with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. A Schreyer scholar and Evan Pugh scholar, he also received the School of Engineering's Outstanding Mechanical Engineering Student Award and the James R. Meehl Engineering Award. After graduation, he plans to join the LEAD Engineering program at Wabtec and pursue a master's degree in mechanical engineering.
Dr. Greg Dillon
Dr. Greg Dillon is Professor and Chair of Polymer Engineering and Science at Penn State Behrend. His research focus is on materials and manufacturing, particularly pertaining to polymers and advanced composites. He has had a career-long passion for interdisciplinary research, which has recently manifested in new initiatives in sustainability, carbon capture, and human cell/material interactions. He champions undergraduate research and views independent scholarly activity as central to the educational mission.
Dr. Dillon teaches several courses focused on materials and manufacturing, touching on many topics including polymer structure, biomedical materials, additive manufacturing, polymer chemistry, aerospace composites, and materials for manufacturing. He co-taught the capstone course in Interdisciplinary Business with Engineering studies.
He has more than forty publications in a wide variety of manufacturing related fields, focusing on process optimization, economics, and structure/processing/property relationships. He also holds eight patents in materials and processing, including a left ventricular assist device that was given CE Mark approval in the European Community.
Dr. Dillon received doctorate and bachelor's degrees in Materials Engineering from the University of Limerick, Ireland. He served as Associate Director for Research and Technology Transfer in the School of Engineering at Behrend following twelve years as Deputy Head of the Composite Materials Division of Penn State's Applied Research Laboratory. He previously worked as Principal Engineer in Advanced Development at Northrop Grumman in Bethpage, New York; Senior Development Engineer at Lawrie Technology Inc. in Girard, Pennsylvania; and Assistant Director of the Composites and Polymer Processing Program at MIT.
He enjoys outdoor activities, and is more than willing to argue with anyone about English Premier League Soccer, international rugby, Gaelic Games, Tom Brady, or the National Hockey League.
Dr. Ala Stanford '91, '97
Dr. Ala Stanford '91, '97 is a health policy adviser and a national leader in health equity. She most recently served as the Mid-Atlantic Regional Director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, appointed by President Joseph Biden.
A practicing physician for more than 20 years, she created the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium early in the COVID-19 pandemic. This grassroots organization brought testing, contact tracing, education, and vaccination to more than 100,000 people primarily in Philadelphia's minority neighborhoods, addressing barriers to care and exposing disparities in the health-care system. Her work gained her international recognition.
She subsequently opened the Center for Health Equity in a Philadelphia neighborhood with the lowest life-expectancy in the city, providing expert health care and improving health outcomes for residents. She previously founded R.E.A.L. Concierge Medicine, a medical consulting and health advocacy service, and served as director of pediatric surgery at Abington Memorial Hospital and as director of the Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities at Temple University's School of Medicine.
Stanford began her college career at Penn State Behrend, where she created the track and field program. She graduated from Penn State Eberly College of Science with a degree in biology before continuing her education at the Penn State College of Medicine, where she received her medical degree. She is the first African-American female pediatric surgeon to be trained entirely in the United States.
She was named a Top 10 CNN Hero in 2021, one of Fortune Magazine's World's Greatest Leaders in 2021, and one of Forbes Magazine's Most Influential Women in 2021 and 2022. She received the George H.W. Bush Points of Light Award in 2021 and was named a Penn State Alumni Fellow in 2022. Her memoir and roadmap for achieving health equity will be published by Simon & Schuster in 2024.
She lives in Philadelphia with her husband, Byron Drayton, and three teenage sons.
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 four committees: Executive; Governance; Council Communications and Engagement; 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
A Note from the Penn State Alumni Association
Welcome to the PRIDE!
Congratulations on your graduation, and welcome to the Penn State Alumni Association—the largest and most powerful alumni network in the world.
New graduates receive a complimentary one-year membership in the Penn State Alumni Association. As you enter the pride, you'll join the ranks of alumni who keep their connection to Penn State strong through membership. We encourage you to stay connected and learn more about the 30+ benefits that are included with your membership.
Membership materials, including your membership card, will be mailed to you after graduation. Benefits are available to you immediately upon receiving your membership card.
Exclusive Member Benefits
Career and Education
- Alumni Career Services: Attend premium Alumni Career Service events for free or at a substantial discount.
- Discounts on Kaplan Test Preparation Services
- Alumni Library Online: Exclusive access to Penn State Libraries Digitized Collections and University library databases.
Networking and Events
Make new connections, reconnect with classmates and friends, have new experiences, and be enriched by participating in the world's largest alumni network.
Members receive access to discounts including merchandise at Penn State Bookstore campus locations; access to discounted health, auto, renters, home, life, long-term care, and pet insurance; and more national and local discounts.
Additional benefits include early invitations to Alumni Association events, access to the Alumni Directory, publications including the Penn Stater magazine, and much more!
To access a full list of membership benefits and to find your local Penn State Alumni Association chapter, visit: alumni.psu.edu/newalumni.
This program contains the list of candidates for graduation as of April 20, 2023, and distinction notations as of February 22, 2023. 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 23-337