Spring commencement celebrated at Penn State DuBois

Chrtistine Beretsel delivers the commencement address.

Successful businesswoman, campus donor, and alumna Christina Beretsel urged students to build upon their knowledge and never stop learning throughout their careers during her commencement address on Friday evening.

Credit: Steve Harmic

DuBOIS, Pa. — Nearly 80 members of the Penn State DuBois class of 2018 made the transition from students to alumni on Friday evening (May 4) at the campus' spring commencement ceremony. Chancellor M. Scott McBride presided over the ceremony, with Professor of Chemistry Arshad Khan serving as faculty marshal. Special guest speaker Christine Beretsel provided the commencement address. Music for the ceremony was provided by the Penn State School of Music Graduate Brass Quintet. Academic achievement awards were presented to Tristan Smith, for associate degrees, and to Julia Test, for baccalaureate degrees.

A highly successful business woman who was able to take an early retirement from Fortune 500 pharmaceutical company Merck, Beretsel was able to offer the new graduates firsthand advice on achieving success in their careers during her address.

A campus alumna, and supporter of campus programs, Beretsel began her long relationship with Penn State DuBois as an undergraduate in 1986. She earned her bachelor's degree in accounting and went on to complete an MBA from Villanova. She also completed the Certified Financial Planning program at the American College for Financial Services.

Beretsel worked for Merck for 29 years in finance, manufacturing and information technology. She had the opportunity to support both U.S. and international operations, traveling to locations in Europe and Asia. She retired in 2015 and now teaches personal finance at DeSales University as an adjunct professor. She also volunteers her time as an AARP tax counselor during tax season.

Beretsel has remembered where her journey started, becoming a steadfast supporter of Penn State DuBois. She is a member of the Greater Penn State Campaign Committee, a supporter of BEST Robotics at Penn State DuBois, and recently established an Open Doors Scholarship at the campus.

"Build on what you know," Beretsel told new graduates. "You have achieved a degree from a nationally recognized university, which signifies a great deal of study, understanding and demonstrated knowledge. Use that, put it to work. Many of you have worked while you were in school, I know I did. Take that practical understanding that you’ve gained from real life experience, plus the technical knowledge that you obtained in the classroom, and use it as a launching point; build on it. The retail job I had in high school gave me insight into the business world. While at Penn State, I worked in a bank, first here in DuBois, then later in State College, which exposed me to the finance world."

Beretsel also told graduates to tackle the hard things in life, head on. She said, "Don’t shy away from something that is hard, complex, messy or ambiguous. Those are the opportunities that provide the most growth, sense of accomplishment, and chance to make the biggest impact. I want you to think about the classes that you learned the most in. Were they the easy 'A' classes that you breezed right through? Or was it anatomy, biology, law, statistics or effective speech? Classes that you spent more time on than you thought possible just to get through. Don’t shy away from the hard or unknown, you’re missing a great opportunity to grow."

In her final point, Beretsel told those embarking on their careers that even though they've now earned their degree, they should never stop learning.

"If you’ve recovered from the exhaustion that comes with the last week of finals you should be pretty proud of yourself right now. You’ve achieved a huge goal, " Beretsel said. "Many of you have uttered, 'I’m finished with school, and I’ll never go back again.' Sorry my friends, that’s not the case. To be successful, education needs to be an integral part of your life. Your brain is like a muscle and it needs to be exercised. Never stop learning."

Beretsel explained that professionals can constantly evolve and continue to learn throughout their careers, building new skills on the job, or continuing with new trainings, degree programs or certifications that will enrich their knowledge and better qualify them for future success.

"In closing, I would encourage you to build on your knowledge, look for opportunities in growth fields, even if that field isn’t well defined. Many of you have interest in health care, engineering and sustaining our environment. I’m sure many of the business majors are budding entrepreneurs," Beretsel said. 

She concluded by saying, "I’ve touched on what I’ve done in the last 30 years. I never imaged that I would get to travel around the world when I first stepped onto this campus. What do you imagine you’ll be doing in 30 years?"

Penn State DuBois's spring 2018 graduates are:

University College

Degree of Bachelor of Arts

Administration of Justice

Grace Earle, Osceola, Pa.

Letters, Arts, and Sciences

Tory Anderson, Curwensville, Pa.


University College

Degree of Bachelor of Science

Administration of Justice

Timothy Smith, State College, Pa.


Caleb Bennett, Kersey, Pa.

Laura Breakey, Brookville, Pa.

Roger Mikulec, Falls Creek, Pa.

Marissa Pearce, Falls Creek, Pa.

Jacob Perrin, DuBois, Pa.

Austin Sabatucci, Punxsutawney, Pa.

Rachel Schreiber, Saint Marys, Pa.

Julie Shimmel (Cum Laude), Wallaceton, Pa.

Jacob Skubisz, DuBois, Pa.

Julia Test (Summa Cum Laude), Curwensville, Pa.

Human Development and Family Studies

Kylee Barrett, DuBois, Pa.

Daniel Bowman, Ebensburg, Pa.

Tosha Hahn, DuBois, Pa.

Krista Kolesar, Curwensville, Pa.

Mckayla Meyer, Saint Marys, Pa.

Austin Miller (Cum Laude), Rockton, Pa.

Brittany Renaud, Clearfield, Pa.

Alaina Shaffer, Clearfield, Pa.

Brooke Simcox, Curwensville, Pa.

Andrew Smith, Hamilton, Pa.

Fayeanna Tarner, Grassflat, Pa.

Kylee Turek, DuBois, Pa.

Information Sciences and Technology

Alexander Chezosky, DuBois, Pa.

Ryan Lingle, Clearfield, Pa.

Brandon Pash, Grassflat, Pa.

Ethan Wawrynovic (Magna Cum Laude), Philipsburg, Pa.


College of Engineering

Degree of Bachelor of Engineering


Cory Jamieson (Magna Cum Laude), Punxsutawney, Pa.

Matthew Lingle, DuBois, Pa.

Christian Muth, Reynoldsville, Pa.


College of Health and Human Development

Degree of Bachelor of Science

Health Policy and Administration

Taylor Stott, Clearfield, Pa.


University College

Degree of Associate in Science

Business Administration

Kendell Sherwood, DuBois, Pa.                                    

Information Sciences and Technology

Jacob Chileski (Summa Cum Laude), Saint Marys, Pa.

Kevin Decker, Curwensville, Pa.

Matthew Jones, Clearfield, Pa.

Ryan Kemerer, Falls Creek, Pa.

Kameron Kemmer, DuBois, Pa.

Jess Polohonki (Magna Cum Laude), Falls Creek, Pa.

Charles Seitz, DuBois, Pa.

Occupational Therapy

Ashley Mangiantini, Mayport, Pa.

Physical Therapist Assistant

Christa August, Reynoldsville, Pa.

Hannah Eckert, Saint Marys, Pa.

Logan Hutton (Magna Cum Laude), Irvona, Pa.

Derek Knittle, Mahaffey, Pa.

Danielle Kocjancic (Cum Laude), Kane, Pa.

Zachary Kovacik (Cum Laude), Altoona, Pa.

Kelli Lingenfelter, Reynoldsville, Pa.

Samantha Reinard, Brookville, Pa.

Andrew Zilkofski, Kane, Pa.


College of Agricultural Sciences

Degree of Associate in Science

Wildlife Technology

Hope Bridge, Punxsutawney, Pa.

Logan Bubb, Jersey Shore, Pa.

Zachary Byers, James Creek, Pa.

Adam Chorba, Dallas, Pa.

Cody Farmery, Arcadia, Pa.

Jakob Felix, DuBois, Pa.

Tyler Hilliard, DuBois, Pa.

Cali Housler, Emporium, Pa.

Daniel Jenkins, Warren, Pa.

Carter Johnson, Middletown, Pa.

Sean Lauer (Cum Laude), Felton, Pa.

Caleb Lorson, Williamsport, Pa.

Kory Mcconnell, New Florence, Pa.

Lane Potts, Indiana, Pa.

Aaron Reinard, Brookville, Pa.

Darby Richard, New Bloomfield, Pa.

Colin Rohrback, Saint Marys, Pa.

Jacob Seifert, Buffalo Mills, Pa.

Tristan Smith (Summa Cum Laude), DuBois, Pa.

Alexis Stine, Dover, Pa.

Colton Treaster, Rebersburg, Pa.


College of Engineering

Degree of Associate in Engineering Technology

Mechanical Engineering Technology

Brenda Greenthaner, Kersey, Pa.

Chloe Hanes, Saint Marys, Pa.

Cole Kriner, DuBois, Pa.

Timothy Sutley (Magna Cum Laude), Cranberry, Pa.