CENTER VALLEY, PA – The Pennsylvania Lehigh Valley celebrated its students and recipients at its annual campus scholarship dinner on Tuesday, November 9.
Among the attendees were several scholarship recipients and their family members, as well as a number of campus donors who made these scholarships possible. A gala dinner and live music were held for guests, along with notes from Chancellor Tina Keogh Richardson, Director of Academic Affairs Aníbal Torres Bernal, Assistant Teaching Professor of Mathematics Maryam Kayani, Director of Enrollment Department Dennis O’Neill, and scholarship recipients Lexis Brownstein and Christopher McBean.
Richardson thanked the donors for their commitment to the campus, and warmly acknowledged the Campus Advisory Board, Alumni Association Board, and Alumni Association Board members present.
“I must say, it is always a pleasure to be part of this celebration and to honor some of our most promising students while also acknowledging the incredible generosity of our donors,” Richardson said. “As we come together to learn about the wide range of student researchers, I also want to thank the faculty who have guided their journey and the staff who support them along the way, as well as the families and friends who play their important role in inspiring, guiding, and applauding their progress.”
Recalling her first-hand experience entering college, Richardson noted that scholarships are really an integral part of the campus mission, given the students’ financial needs.
Most of them have financial need and many of them get aid. But it’s often only part of their expenses, Richardson said. “So they work — 64% of our students have jobs, and 40% put in at least 20 hours a week while they are on full time. Many of them take student loans and hope to get scholarships. This is why scholarships are a real priority at Our campus, which is the focus of the University Park-led campaign, “Greater Pennsylvania for Excellence in the Twenty-first Century.” So, to you, our donors, once again, I want to thank you once again for your contributions and for choosing to invest and transform student lives through your generosity. Make a difference every day.”
In her statements, Kayani emphasized the important role that faculty guidance plays in student success.
The college adopts counseling as part of the job title. It gives me great pleasure to be one of the faculty mentors at Penn State Lehigh Valley,” Kiani said. “True mentorship opens the door to future possibilities for students.”
Student speakers used their time to discuss the importance of scholarships in their own lives.
Brownstein, the McGee Undergraduate Scholarship recipient, will graduate a full semester in early spring with a Bachelor’s degree in Bio-Behavioral Health. She and her other character run four companies together, including a real estate company and a private equity fund.
“Thanks to the McGee Scholarship and others, I was able to focus on academics and bring balance into my life,” Brownstein said. “I always knew I would have to pay for college myself, and scholarships were so important for that.”
A sophomore specializing in bio-behavioral health with a minor in kinesiology, McBean has received both the Gillardi Open Doors Scholarship and the Fitzinger-Heinz Open Doors Scholarship. He currently holds a job and is a member of the Watch Sports, Flag Football, and Fitness clubs on campus.
McBain said meeting the grantees in person was a very satisfying experience.
“Meeting them and being able to personally thank them for their contribution to my education means more to me than they will ever know,” McBain said. “Helping others has always been a huge part of my life, and all the help I received from all of my wonderful benefactors as well as my professors and Penn State employees has driven me to be my best. My dream is to give back to the world as much as I can, and my attendance at Penn State allows me to pursue that dream, as well About the opportunity of a lifetime. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”
“As we reflect on this evening, I think we can all agree, these students are incredibly special and meritorious,” Torres said in his closing remarks. “And thanks to our donors, our Board of Directors, faculty, staff and especially the family and friends of these individuals, they will continue to achieve and inspire generations to come.”
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