Behrend students recognized for leadership and service awards

Penn State Behrend student Celeste Makay shows two children vegetables growing in Penn State Behrend's community garden.

Celeste Makay, at left, received the Guy W. Wilson Award for service to Penn State Behrend. She has been active in the college's Sustainable Food Systems Program, including the community garden.

Credit: Penn State Behrend

ERIE, Pa. — Every April, Penn State Behrend recognizes its student leaders during the annual Excellence in Student Leadership and Service Awards. While the COVID-19 crisis forced the cancellation of the in-person awards event in 2020, it didn’t diminish the achievements of the following students, who were all named award recipients and honored for their accomplishments this year.


Guy Wilson Award: Celeste Makay, Erie

Outstanding Adult Student Award: Jennifer Kerestes­, Erie

Outstanding Advisor Award: Hannah Moran, Erie

Outstanding Student Organization President Award: Alexandra Sienerth, Erie

Outstanding Student Organization Officer, Non-President Award: Joshua Slayton, Venango

Outstanding Student Organization, Non-Officer Award: Mercedes Myers, Bethel Park

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Service Award: Lingjie Xiao, Nanjing, China

Outstanding Student Organization Award: Multi-Cultural Council

Outstanding Service by a Group or Organization Award: Lambda Sigma

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award: Asian Student Organization

Outstanding Program Award: Chinese Cultural Advancement Club

Outstanding Collaborative Award: Delta Sigma Pi

Outstanding Diversity and Inclusion Award: Chinese Cultural Advancement Club

Larry and Kathryn Smith Philanthropy Award: Asian Student Organization

Student Government Association President’s Award: Kris Motta Torok, Millcreek

Conor F. MacMannis Memorial Award: Shaelyn McQuillen, Girard


Christopher M. Geitner Award: Larissa Henderson, Longwood, Florida

Pride of the Lion Award: Safinaz Elhadary, Alexandria, Egypt

Penn State Behrend Alumni Society Leadership Award: Ashley Jankowski, Murrysville

Irvin H. Kochel Lion Ambassador Awards: Nicholas Kane, Erie; Vishal Shah, Clifton, New Jersey; Jennifer Gustafson, Natrona Heights; Jordan Belfiore, Darlington

Jane Wood Reno Memorial Scholarship Award: Kara Dobson, Girard

Ralph Dorn Hetzel Award: Celeste Makay, Erie


John Zahniser Female Scholar-Athlete Award: Erica Koenig, Pittsburgh

John Zahniser Male Scholar-Athlete Award: Chris Drozynski, Stoneboro

Cheryl Ramsdell-Anderson Female Athlete of the Year Award: Savannah Carr, Franklin

James Frye Male Athlete of the Year Award: Dillon Hildebrand, Red Lion