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Health and Human Development Alumni Society Awards

Alumni Recognition for Student Excellence Awards

The Alumni Recognition for Student Excellence Awards are presented to a senior in each academic unit of the college for outstanding performance, achievement, and contributions within his/her major.

Jocelyn Dialectos icon-olus-circle

Jocelyn is a Biobehavioral Health major from Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, and has a 3.99 GPA. While at Penn State, Jocelyn has served as social chair on the executive board of the Biobehavioral Health Society and a research assistant for DRIVES Lab, which is an organization dedicated to studying the neurological, biological, and behavioral pathways through which emotions and interpersonal relationships impact health. She has pursued her passion for helping those in need by volunteering at the Out of the Cold daytime homeless shelter and by acting as a leadership member of the Ohana special interest THON organization, which raises money to support Four Diamonds families. Jocelyn has supplemented her curricular learning in a number of ways, including serving as a facilitator for Global Connections’ Conversation Partners, participating in Pre-Med Society, and acting as a lecture assistant for Biology 141 and a teaching assistant for HDFS 229. Her love of singing led her to become a member of Oriana Singers choir conducted by faculty member Jayne Glocke, as well as Orpheus Singers under the direction of Nathan Glocke.

Jocelyn has earned a panoply of awards and honors. These include the Evan Pugh Scholar Award for juniors, the Evan Pugh Scholar Award for seniors, the Bayard D. and Ethel M. Kunkle Scholarship, the Rachael E. Abraham Award, the Phi Eta Sigma Honors Fraternity, the Sigma Alpha Pi National Society of Leadership and Success, the Alpha Epsilon Delta National Health Preprofessional Honor Society, the Golden Key International Honour Society, Dean’s List, and a fellowship with the Schreyer Honors College.

After graduation, she will be attending medical school to pursue a career as a pediatrician or family physician.

Renee Margolis icon-olus-circle

Renee majors in Communication Sciences and Disorders and maintains a 3.96 GPA. She came to Penn State from her hometown of Newtown, Pennsylvania. Outside of her coursework, she held the prestigious position of president of the National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association. She also served as an undergraduate research assistant for the Language and Cognition Lab and a teaching assistant for CSD 300 and HDFS 129. She was thrilled to have the opportunity to travel to Benin, West Africa, as part of the Language in Africa Embedded Travel Program. Renee pursued her interest in vocal music by serving as secretary of Blue in the FACE A Cappella group. Her commitment to helping those in need led her to become involved in Boulevard, a community service and THON-related organization, as well as in Taproot Kitchen as a volunteer. Her many honors and scholarships include the Gloria Kaufman Klein Smith Scholarship, the R&R Watkins Memorial Scholarship, the Class of 1922 Memorial Scholarship, the Karen L. Weber Scholarship, and the Student Engagement Network Grant. Renee has also been part of the Health and Human Development Honors Society.

Upon graduation, Renee plans to attend graduate school of Speech-Language Pathology.

Madisen Querns icon-olus-circle

Hailing from Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, Madison is a Human Development and Family Studies major who has achieved a 3.82 GPA. While at Penn State, Madisen has been a member of The American College of Health Care Administrators and served as the treasurer of Human Development and Family Studies Undergraduate Student Organization. She also held the position of student liaison to the Human Development and Family Studies Affiliate Program Group (APG). Madisen has an immense love for singing, and she has pursued this interest as a choir singer in Essence of Joy. Madisen has been festooned with many honors and awards. These include recognition from the Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society. She has been the recipient of the Essence of Joy Alumni Singers Annual Scholarship, the Phi Eta Sigma Academic Scholarship, the Francis Hoffman Award for Excellence in Writing, and the Dr. Rosemary Bolig Scholarship.

After graduation in May, she intends to gain experience as a social worker for older adults before pursuing a Master’s Degree in Social Work. Regardless of her professional path, she is committed to bringing joy to the lives of others.

Josh Cobler icon-olus-circle

Since coming to Penn State from Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, Josh has majored in Health Policy and Administration and is now enrolled in the Master’s of Health Administration program. He has been a leader in an array of extra-curricular organizations. He served a president of Sideline Pancreatic Cancer Club and treasurer of Penn State Lion Scouts. He was a member of the Division of Undergraduate Studies Student Leadership Council and an HPA student representative for State College Area High School. Josh tied his academic interests into his leadership activities by becoming a member of the MHA Case Competition team at Cleveland Clinic and by serving as a member of the THON Rules and Regulation Committee. Seizing an opportunity for embedded learning, he also earned a place as an administrative intern at Mount Nittany Medical Center. Josh has accumulated an impressive range of honors and scholarships, including Dean’s List every semester of his entire undergraduate career, a bronze finish by the MHA team in Penn State Case Competition, a Joyce Buck Division of Undergraduate Studies Award, and Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society, and a National Society of Leadership and Success recognition.

As president of Sideline Pancreatic Cancer Club at Penn State, Josh will play an instrumental role in delivering the opening and closing remarks for the April 17 forum, or whatever form this event takes as the organization responds to ongoing changes necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic.

Blake Gillikin icon-olus-circle

Blake is a Kinesiology major with a 4.0 GPA who came to State College from his hometown of Smyrna, Georgia. As a two-time captain of the Penn State Football Team, he is well known within the State College community and nationally to college football audiences. Blake took the initiative to serve as a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Board. He is particularly proud of piloting a program to provide backpacks and school supplies to the Youth Service Bureau. During the summer of 2019, he doubled down on service to the community by making countless hospital visits to cheer ailing patients. He also participated in Lift for Life from 2016 to 2019. Blake has distinguished himself through an assortment of honors and scholarships. Among these are the Time CoSIDA First Team Academic All-American ranking (which he earned for two consecutive years), the Evan Pugh Scholar Award, the President’s Sparks Award, the Time Big Ten Distinguished Scholar designation (which he secured two years in a row), the Time Academic All-Big Ten designation (three years in a row), Semifinalist for the William B. Campbell Award, Finalist for the Pop Warner Award, Finalist for the Senior Class Award, Big Ten Scholarship Award recipient, and a John W. Oswald Award recipient.

Blake harbors ambitious plans for the future. He is currently in training for the NFL draft, and at the same time, he is studying for the MCAT. After a career in professional football, he intends to attend medical school in order to become a surgeon.

Siwei Zhu icon-olus-circle

Siwei is a Nutritional Sciences major with a 3.95 GPA. She comes to Penn State after growing up in the Guangdong Province of China and attending Lancaster Mennonite School in 2016. In addition to her work within Nutritional Sciences, she serves as a member of Phi Sigma Pi National Honors Fraternity, as well as in the Student Nutrition Association and the Student Red Cross Club. Siwei has accrued a number of distinctions at Penn State, which include membership in the Schreyer Honors College, a scholarship from the Dorothy Huck Research Endowment in Nutrition, and the Woot-Tsuen Wu Leung Scholarship in Nutrition.

Once she has received her degree, her immediate plan is to apply for a dietetic internship, and afterwards, to pursue a Ph.D. in epidemiology.

Madison Mitchell icon-olus-circle

Madison “Maddy” Mitchell is a Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management major with a 3.95 GPA. She came to Penn State from the nearby town of Boalsburg. During her time at the University, she has taken on leadership roles across a range of organizations. She served as director of the Council of Sustainable Leaders and as Teen Leadership Program Coordinator for Camp Kesem Central PA, which is a nationwide community that supports children through and beyond their parent's cancer. Maddy also acted as a Site Leader for Penn State Alternative Breaks. By participating as an assistant program coordinator for Penn State EcoReps, she helped spread awareness about strategies for achieving sustainability within the Penn State community. Maddy has received a number of honors and scholarships during her time at University Park, which include the Fred M. Coombs Scholarship, the AT&T Scholarship in the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management, and Dean’s List status across every semester.

After graduation, Maddy plans to work for a nonprofit organization that advocates for more sustainable practices in tourism—a role that would combine her love of travel, sustainability, and community development.

Miles Lamborn icon-olus-circle

Miles came to University Park from his hometown of Martinsburg, Pennsylvania. He majors in Hospitality Management and maintains a 3.8 GPA. Outside of his coursework, he has held a number of positions, including Vice President of the Penn State Chapter of the American Hotels and Lodging Association. He also served as Vice President of the Penn State Chapter of Eta Sigma Delta, which is the hospitality honors society at Penn State. Miles has been the recipient of many awards and scholarships. Among these are the Alpha Sigma Lambda honors society, the Statler Foundation Scholarship, the Minaz Abji Scholarship, the American Express Fund Scholarship, the O’Leary Memorial Scholarship, the Johnson Memorial Scholarship (two-time recipient), the Mircos Systems Scholarship (two-time recipient), and the HFL Hotels Scholarship.

Edith Pitt Chace Award

The Edith Pitt Chace Award is presented annually to two students who demonstrate outstanding scholarship and leadership in the College of Health and Human Development and at Penn State.

Courtney McDowell icon-olus-circle

Courtney majors in Hospitality Management and maintains a 3.95 GPA. She moved from her hometown of Windsor, California on the West Coast to attend Penn State. During her time here, she has been an active leader in the University community and beyond. She served as Secretary of Eta Sigma Delta International Hospitality Honors Society, and as a Worship Leader for The Navigators at Penn State, which is a Christian campus ministry that is committed to discipleship as a catalyst to knowing Christ. She took a lead role as Communications Director for The Wedding Expo. Courtney also supplemented her core academic coursework by acting as an undergraduate researcher for the School of Hospitality Management and Communication Sciences and Disorders. She honed her professional skills in acting as a special project manager for Ellington Events, which is a customizable event space in Santa Rosa, California. She also collaborated with her organization peers to serve as a reviewer for the 2020 Eisenhower / Atherton / Alumni Teaching Fellow Awards. Given her leadership across so many organizations, Courtney has earned a wide range of distinctions, which include being selected as one of two Penn State delegates at the International Young Hotelier Summit in Lausanne, Switzerland. She was selected as a Schreyer Honors Scholar. She was also inducted into the Etna Sigma Delta Hospitality Honors Society. In 2018, she was awarded a number of scholarships, including the Virginia L. Mayers Memorial Scholarship, the Provost Award, the Louis E. and Patricia Harvey Silvi Trustee Scholarship, and the T. S. Mincemoyer Scholarship.

Upon graduation, Courtney intends to take a semester away from academic pursuits to consider the best fit for graduate degree programs in the future.

Laura Guay icon-olus-circle

Laura is a double major in Biobehavioral Health and French and Francophone Studies, with a minor in Global Health. She has a 3.94 GPA. As a local of the State College area, she chose Penn State as the institution best suited to her academic and professional ambitions. Laura took on many opportunities for service and leadership at Penn State. She was a lab research assistant for two labs: the Stress, Health and Daily Experiences Lab and the Health and Human Development Design for Impact Lab. She was a peer educator at the State College office of AIDS Resource and Penn State Student Health advisory board member. She also served as a customer service representative and tennis instructor for the Penn State Tennis Center, and she sat on the advisory council for Penn State Campus Recreation. During her tenure in these roles and beyond, she has been recognized for her achievements. She earned membership in the Schreyer Honors College and also received the Boren Scholar award, which is a national scholarship that underwrites study abroad opportunities in Senegal.

Laura has excited plans ahead of her. On the heels of completing her 2019 study abroad program in Dakar Senegal and her summer internship with the State Department at the US Embassy Kinshasa, DRC, she will be a 2021 UNESCO Fellow in Paris. Her path afterwards will fulfill the Boren federal service requirement.

Student Service Award

The Student Service Award is presented to one student annually whose interests and actions enhance the College of Health and Human Development and its Alumni Society by promoting service to individuals, families, and communities and encouraging and fostering personal and professional development.

Henry Deteskey icon-olus-circle

Henry is a native of Brooklyn, New York who came to Penn State to major in Biobehavioral Health. He has a 3.91 GPA. Beyond his coursework, Henry has involved himself in many extracurricular activities. He is an executive board member and undergraduate liaison to the Restorative Justice Initiative. Within this capacity, he served as an intramural sports coordinator with SCI-Benner Prison and a creative writing class instructor for the Centre County Correctional Facility. He has also been a research assistant for the Penn State Criminal Justice Center. Under the leadership of Primary Investigator Diana Fishbein, Henry also acted as a research assistant for a project titled “Exploring Trauma-Related Needs of Incarcerated Youthful and Young Adult Offenders.” He is a coalition member of Centre County Reentry Coalition, which facilitates successful transition from jail or prison to life in the community. He also is an orientation mentor for the Schreyer Honors College, and in his capacity as a Sigma Pi Fraternity Member, he served on the THON and Philanthropy committees. Henry’s dedication to leadership has earned him many awards and honors, which include a Schreyer Honors College Academic Excellence Scholarship, and College of Health and Human Development Alumni Board Honors Scholarship, a Mary Boyle Weaver and Rebecca Boyle Sutherland Scholarship, and a NYPD Captains Endowment Association Scholarship.

Henry plans to attend law school after graduation in the spring. He intends to sustain his commitment to criminal justice reform and to act as an advocate for incarcerated people across the country.

Faculty Appreciation Award

The Faculty Appreciation Award is presented to one individual annually who actively promotes relationships among students, faculty members, staff members, and alumni above and beyond the demands of his/her job.

Mary Dean Coleman-Kelly icon-olus-circle

Dr. Coleman-Kelly is Director of the Undergraduate Dietetics Program and serves as an associate teaching professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences. As a teacher, she is extraordinarily committed to helping her students learn and develop the disciplinary expertise and professional skills to thrive in their careers and graduate study. Among her many contributions to the college are her creation of the National Nutrition Month cooking classes and a partnership with University Health Services that promotes the cooking events, which have now stretched into their fifth year. Dr. Coleman-Kelly is highly regarded by students, alumni, and faculty for her relentless pursuit of educational excellence.

Got Grit Award

The “Got Grit” Award recognizes outstanding achievement by an undergraduate, of at least sophomore standing, who has demonstrated progressive and positive growth in their performance and who has exhibited perseverance and passion in pursuit of their education.

Jess Hess icon-olus-circle

Jess is a Human Development and Family Studies major with a 3.57 GPA. She currently resides in her hometown of Fayetteville, North Carolina. She is a member of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. A military widow and busy mother of five daughters, she plans after graduation to enroll in a Master of Social Work program with a military social work focus. She aspires to assist military families like her own while they navigate unique challenges of military life. She experienced firsthand the loss of a military spouse, and she is committed to helping other fellow military widows as they continue their lives, families, and careers.