Graduates celebrated during commencement ceremony at Penn State DuBois

Three graduates in regalia

New Penn State graduate Kolton Lyons, who earned an associate degree in business administration, proudly displays his degree to onlooking family and friends during the commencement ceremony at Penn State DuBois.

Credit: Kirkland Photography

DuBOIS, Pa. – The end results of countless hours of hard work and dedication were on full display at the PAW Center at Penn State DuBois during the commencement ceremony held on Friday, May 3. Jungwoo Ryoo, chancellor and chief academic officer presided over the ceremony, with Arshad Khan, professor of chemistry, serving as faculty marshal. Tanisha Myers, baccalaureate award winner, and Dylan Donahue, associate award winner, served as the student marshals for this year’s ceremony.

The campus welcomed Michael Peduzzi, president and chief executive officer of CNB Financial Corporation and CNB Bank, to offer the commencement address. A Penn State alumnus, Peduzzi shared great insight with the new graduates.

“The associate degree that one student earned today is just as important to them and their life’s plan as those who will be receiving a bachelor’s degree,” Peduzzi said. “They are equally important to each of those individuals. I’ll extend this by taking this one more step for you. Your greatness, and your ability to do great things from this moment forward, is as equal and as capable for you as it is for anyone else around you. And your greatness is not just measured by what you do, but by how your efforts are received by others.”

Peduzzi holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting, which he earned at Penn State in 1997.

Penn State DuBois presents academic awards to both the associate and baccalaureate degree students with the highest grade-point average. The associate award was presented to Dylan Donahue, who graduated summa cum laude with an associate degree in information sciences and technology. The baccalaureate award was presented to Tanisha Myers, who graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in human development and family studies.

Alex Gasbarre, president of the DuBois Educational Foundation, then stepped forward to announce the Educator of the Year Award, which is given each year to recognize outstanding teaching. This year, the award was presented to Emily Thomas, associate professor of wildlife technology. An involved instructor who is immersed in service to the University, her profession and the students, nominations mention that she is passionate about her subject matter, has a positive attitude and love for her work that makes students want to learn more, and that her innovative teaching style and sincere concern for her students promotes inclusivity and a comfortable learning environment. Nominators also provided numerous examples of her dedication, her volunteerism and her genuine interest in the success of Penn State DuBois, her coworkers and her students.

The ceremony continued with Ryoo announcing the recipient of the staff excellence award. Given annually to a staff member who goes above and beyond regularly assigned job responsibilities, makes outstanding contributions to their work unit, campus and university, and embodies Penn State values, this year’s award was presented to Holly Lashinsky, assistant director of admissions. Those who nominated her noted her kind professionalism and how she also exudes positivity, always having a smile on her face. Nominators also detailed her dedication to the University, the way she has stepped up during staffing shortages, her connection with students, the manner in which she cultivates relationships with people, her willingness to collaborate on new programming and her outstanding contributions to her department.

The final award presentation was the adjunct educator of the year award. This year’s award was given posthumously to Fred Groh, lecturer in Earth sciences. Groh, who died unexpectedly in March, was a valuable member of the campus that made a huge impact on the lives of his students, as noted by several of his nominators. They also noted his love for teaching and called him a devoted instructor to all students.

After the conferring of degrees for all the graduating students, Ryoo expressed his positivity and confidence for each individual graduate.

“Going forward, we are condiment that you will ensure that Penn State’s core values of integrity, respect, responsibility, discovery, excellence and community are lived each and every day,” Ryoo said. “Go forth, be Penn State proud and remain deeply devoted to your alma mater, forever and always.”

The full commencement ceremony can be viewed online at the commencement information website.

Penn State DuBois 2023-24 degree recipients include:

Behrend College

Degree of Bachelor of Science

Management Information Systems:

  • Michael Brubaker, DuBois

Intercollege Program

Degree of Bachelor of Science


  • Brooke Long, DuBois

University College

Degree of Bachelor of Science


  • Tylor Herzing, St. Marys
  • Ethan Kness *, DuBois
  • Tanner LaBenne, Brookville
  • Luke LaBrasca, DuBois
  • Justice Williams, Reynoldsville

Criminal Justice:

  • Cierra Hoffman, Sigel

Human Development and Family Studies:

  • Emily Bryan, Philipsburg
  • Morgan Mandell, Philipsburg
  • Arizona Miller, Brockway
  • Tanisha Myers (Magna Cum Laude), Snow Shoe
  • Paige Pleta, Hudson, Ohio
  • Tyler Yough, DuBois

Information Technology:

  • Cole Dezanet, St. Marys
  • Darin Glass, DuBois
  • Franklin Lanzoni, DuBois
  • Maynard Weidman #, Clearfield
  • Ryan Zadorecky, DuBois

College of Engineering

Degree of Bachelor of Engineering


  • Alex Davis, Rockton
  • Madison LeGrys, St. Marys
  • Cory Lehman, Tyrone
  • Brandon Sicheri, Kersey

University College

Degree of Associate in Science

Business Administration:

  • Brett Beith, Sandy Lake
  • Emily Deitch, Luthersburg
  • Kolton Lyons #, Brookville

Information Sciences and Technology:

  • Dylan Donahue (Summa Cum Laude), DuBois
  • Michael Johnson, Ridgway

College of Agricultural Sciences

Degree of Associate in Science

Wildlife Technology:

  • Isaac Anthony, Lyndora
  • Brett Beith, Sandy Lake
  • Salle Boose, Allentown
  • Elizabeth Bruner (Magna Cum Laude), Blairsville
  • Connor Carnahan (Magna Cum Laude), Tidioute
  • Kyle Elensky, Clearfield
  • Terra Haines, Bellefonte
  • Joseph Hertel, Brockway
  • Aaron Hottel, Kane
  • Caleb Leonard, Berlin
  • Cody Long, Belleville
  • Aaron Miller *, Lock Haven
  • Allan Myers, Woodland
  • Tayler Rafferty (Cum Laude), Brookville
  • Logan Rode, Indiana
  • Colton Roush, Mifflintown
  • Chase Streich, Emporium
  • Emma Walters, Quakertown
  • Caitlyn Watson (Cum Laude), Beech Creek
  • Andrew White, Jr., Ronks
  • Kane Witter, Bethlehem

College of Engineering

Degree of Associate in Engineering Technology

Mechanical Engineering Technology:

  • James Spengler, Akron, Ohio

+ - Indicates fall 2023 graduate

* - Indicates summer 2024 graduate

# - Indicates honors scholar