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Achievements: Spring 2019

Young Alumni Achievement 

In November, IUP recognized six alumni—one from each academic college—with the Young Alumni Achievement Award. Recipients must have graduated within the last 15 years.

Young Alumni Achievement Award recipients for 2018

Young Alumni Achievement Award recipients for 2018 are, front row, from left, Eric Palmer, Natalie Palamides, Maria McCollester, and Chad Nease and, in back with IUP President Michael Driscoll, Justin Brown and Brandon Hody. (Keith Boyer)

  • Eberly College of Business and Information Technology: Eric Palmer ’06, M’07, executive director, Greater Altoona Career and Technology Center

  • College of Education and Communications: Justin Brown M’13, resident director, West Chester University; founder and president, Diversity Awareness Program; president and chief executive officer, Onward and Upward mentoring program

  • College of Fine Arts: Natalie Palamides ’12, award-winning actress and Cook Honors College graduate

  • College of Health and Human Services: Brandon Hody ’12, M’15, safety and occupational health professional, Concurrent Technologies Corporation

  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Maria McCollester ’07, associate political scientist, RAND Corporation

  • Kopchick College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics: Chad Nease M’10, senior data scientist, Caterpillar, Inc.

Halls of Distinction

In April, IUP’s Eberly College of Business and Information Technology inducted four alumni into its Hall of Distinction: Greg Steve ’88, Susan Kang Oh ’90, Wendy Pardee ’94, M’95, D’10, and Tami Yohe Dotter ’02, M’03.

Four other IUP academic colleges have recently established halls of distinction and inducted the following members:

College of Education and Communications: Diane Usell Sobolewski ’75, M’80, Janet Berkebile Kennerknecht ’76, M’77, David Lillenstein M’92, D’02, Megan Baker ’96, Leigh Wolff Heidenthal ’96, M’02, Brian Root M’06, and Maya Cryor ’14

College of Fine Arts: Joan Frey Boytim ’55, M’64, John Ritter ’88, and Patreshettarlini “Pat” Adams ’89

College of Health and Human Services: Gregory Palchak ’73, Susan Nicoll Heck ’76, Bryan Marince ’79, Kathleen Martin Lang ’81, Paul McIntyre ’82, M’84, David Holben ’85, Brian Payne ’88, M’90, D’93, Christopher Stewart ’93, M’96, and Kristin Butterworth CA’02

College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Charles Cashdollar ’65, Blane Dessy ’73, Mary Jane Kuffner Hirt ’73, Terry Yosie ’74, John McNulty ’75, Karl McDermott ’76, George Chressanthis ’77, John Esposito ’78, Robert Hurley ’83, M’84, Susan Snyder ’85, Sandy Koeppl Barsotti ’87, Denise Anthony ’90, Almar Latour ’94, Thomas Farrell D’96, Mandy Fleming Menke ’01*, Luke Matthews ’02*, Timothy DeBold ’03*, Mileah Kromer ’03, Caleb Moore ’07, M’18, Jennifer Swartz Quinlan ’07*, Danielle Wylie ’07, and David Truby, IUP professor emeritus

*Cook Honors College graduate

Student Honors

In March, Adrianna Branin, a junior from Philadelphia majoring in political science and religious studies, received the 2019 Biden Courage Award for her role in stopping a sexual assault. As a peer educator in IUP’s Haven Project, Branin teaches others how bystanders can intervene in high-risk situations.

Jedediah Pancoast, a junior majoring in international business, received the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, which allowed him to study in Japan this spring. He came to IUP from Blairsville High School.

Daniel Wethli, a senior from Cranberry Township in the Philosophy and Asian Studies Honors Track programs, became IUP’s 16th student Fulbright recipient. With his research grant, he will spend a year in China continuing his honors thesis research on the country’s 1911 revolution. The program’s Critical Language Enhancement Award will fund his advanced study in Mandarin.

Safety Program Recognized

IUP’s Safety, Health, and Environmental Applied Sciences program, offered by the Department of Safety Sciences, has become an Institute for Safety and Health Management board-approved program. This recognition makes graduates of the program eligible to receive the associate safety and health manager designation.


IUP’s Health Service, part of the Luckey Center for Health and Well-Being, has become one of only 10 college health centers in Pennsylvania to achieve accreditation from the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care.

The IUP Department of Hospitality Management recently received a seven-year reaccreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration.

Women’s Leadership

In March, the President’s Commission on the Status of Women at IUP presented the Jane Leonard Award for the Advancement of Women to Maureen McHugh, psychology professor and IUP’s 2014–15 Distinguished University Professor. Michelle Sandhoff, associate professor of sociology, received the commission’s Maureen McHugh Rising Leader Award.

National Recognitions 

  • Last year, OnlineMasters.com named IUP’s Master of Arts in Criminology online program a “best online program” and “best new program.” US News & World Report also recognized the program for a fourth consecutive year as a top online graduate criminal justice program. 

  • OnlineMasters.com recognized IUP’s Master of Arts in Adult Education online program as one of the best in the nation.

  • IUP’s Eberly College of Business and Information Technology ranked fourth in the nation in US News and World Report’s 2018 Best Business Schools listing for the number of international students (82.7 percent) in its Master of Business Administration program.