Alumni award recipients to be recognized at benefit celebration

Ross Kester, Christine Beretsel, and Robert Johnson.

From left, 2018 Alumni Award Recipients Ross Kester, Christine Beretsel and Robert Johnson.

Credit: Penn State

DUBOIS, Pa. — Three individuals will be honored for their success, as well as their support for the campus at the Penn State DuBois Alumni Society Alumni Awards Ceremony on Oct. 6. The alumni awards program will be part of the Penn State DuBois Benefit Celebration this year, with recognition of recipients preceding a performance by Leonard, Coleman and Blunt, (LCB) the former lead singers of the Temptations, the Platters and the Drifters.

To be recognized this year are Robert Johnson, receiving the Distinguished Ambassador Award, Christine Beretsel, the Outstanding Alumni Award, and Ross Kester, the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Robert Johnson has supported Penn State DuBois for many years. He is a former secretary for the DuBois Educational Foundation (DEF), and chaired the fundraising committee for the construction of the DEF Building on campus. He regularly sponsors fundraising events such as the Lion Wine and Cheese and the DEF golf outing.

Johnson graduated from Penn State with a bachelor's degree in marketing in 1971. He opened Johnson Motors in 1972, and in his 45th year in business deals in a variety of brands of new cars, as well as pre-owned vehicles.

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 a master of business administration 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 is a member of the Penn State DuBois Greater Penn State Campaign Committee, a supporter of BEST Robotics at Penn State DuBois, and recently established an Open Doors Scholarship at the campus.

Kester retired from Penn State DuBois in 2007 after nearly 30 years as a senior instructor in engineering. Before joining the campus faculty full time in 1978, Kester received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Penn State. He has worked as a consulting engineer and designed pneumatic conveying equipment. He has established several scholarships at the campus, including his most recent, an Open Doors Scholarship in honor of his friend and former colleague, the late William H. Keown.

Kester has received many awards, including the Penn State DuBois Engineering Club Award, Penn State DuBois Professor of the Year Award, the Department of General Engineering Outstanding Faculty Award and was named the Penn State DuBois Postsecondary Tech Prep Educator of the Year.

In addition to the alumni awards, the benefit celebration will also include a reception, dinner, drinks, and the LCB performance. Tickets for the event are $100, with $50 from each ticket sale being donated directly to Penn State DuBois scholarship funds.

The reception begins at 6 p.m., dinner will be served at 7 p.m., and alumni award recipients will be recognized beginning at 7:30 p.m LCB will take the stage at 8 p.m. For more information and to make reservations, contact Laura Pentz at 814-375-4705 or [email protected]