Greater Allegheny recognizes student and employee achievements

Award plaques on a table

Penn State Greater Allegheny hosted annual award events throughout April

Credit: Nick Trunzo

MCKEESPORT, Pa. — Penn State Greater Allegheny was in full celebration mode throughout the month of April, as it hosted annual events including Honors Convocation, the BeGreater and the Empowering Purpose through Individual and Cultural-Awareness (EPIC) Awards Ceremony, and the Spring 2024 Rising Scholars Luncheon. Each recognized student and employee excellence in various forms.

"Celebration Season", a term coined by Greater Allegheny’s Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer Megan L. Nagel, started with the campus' 38th Honors Convocation, held on April 17. First hosted by the campus alumni society, the current event both recognizes those earning University and campus awards and invites families and guests to meet student researchers and view their work presented at the campus Spring Undergraduate Student Research and Creativity Conference.

Aayushi Gandhi, a fourth year information technology (bachelor of science) student and recipient of numerous awards, discussed her recognition at the Honors Convocation ceremony.

“I felt a sense of accomplishment and it was great to see all my peers being recognized,” said Gandhi. “Receiving the Faculty Award for Academic Excellence was a significant achievement for me, and a reflection of the hard work I've put in throughout my time at Penn State Greater Allegheny.”

Gandhi also received two scholarships, including one from the Penn State Greater Alumni Society, a group she can soon join since she will graduate from the University this coming weekend.

Penn State Greater Allegheny’s Division of Student Affairs, the John H. Gruskin Learning Center, and the Center for Academic and Career Excellence (ACE) Program, co-hosted the annual BeGreater and EPIC award ceremony on April 23. Evan Williams, director of the University’s Paul Robeson Cultural Center served as the keynote speaker. In 2018, Williams co-founded the EPIC Awards with Erica Willis, director of ACE and Siobhan Brooks, learning center director.

“Penn State is not just an institution,” Williams said. “It's a kaleidoscope of opportunities and resources that nurture intellectual, personal and professional growth.”

EPIC awards honor selected first-generation college students, and students of color. Additional awards were presented to student-athletes, student clubs and organizations, and student leaders.

The final event in April recognized the Spring 2024 Rising Scholars. Initiated in August 2022, the program invites faculty and staff to nominate students who demonstrate a strong commitment to their academics. Nagel selects one student each week during the semester and features them on her Chancellor Instagram account.

"I am so fortunate to work with so many wonderful students, faculty and staff," Nagel said in a social media post. "They [the students] represent stories of excellence, achievement, perseverance, and raising the bar for us all!"

To view all of the awards presented and awardees recognized during this season of celebration at Greater Allegheny, visit the Celebration Season webpage.