IUP May Commencement 2016 Overview

Posted on 5/2/2016 3:28:35 PM

Indiana University of Pennsylvania will hold commencement ceremonies for 2,002 new graduates May 7 at 9:00 a.m. and at 2:00 p.m. at Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex. The ceremonies will combine undergraduate and graduate students.

The 9:00 a.m. ceremony will be for students from the colleges of Fine Arts, Health and Human Services, and Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

The 2:00 p.m. ceremony will be for students from the Eberly College of Business and Information Technology and the colleges of Education and Educational Technology, and Humanities and Social Sciences.

The breakdown of degrees to be awarded is as follows: 1,644 bachelor’s degrees, 321 master’s degrees, 35 doctoral degrees, and two associate degrees. Of the bachelor’s degree applicants, 845 qualify for Latin honors with a grade point average of 3.25 or above.

The number of graduates by college are 346 from the Eberly College of Business and Information Technology, 140 from the College of Education and Educational Technology, 78 from the College of Fine Arts, 614 from the College of Health and Human Services, 206 from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, 262 from the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and 356 from the School of Graduate Studies and Research.

John E. Wetzel to receive honorary degree from IUP at May Commencement

Keynote Speaker

Both ceremonies will feature John E. Wetzel, secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, as the keynote speaker. Secretary Wetzel has more than 26 years of experience in the corrections field. He will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree at the ceremony.

His career began in 1989 in Lebanon County, where he served as a corrections officer. He spent nine years in Berks County, where he served as a correctional officer, counselor, treatment supervisor, and finally director of the Training Academy.

In January 2002, he began his nine-year tenure as warden of the Franklin County Jail, where he is credited with leading an effort that resulted in the transformation of that correctional system. Under his leadership, Franklin County saw a 20 percent reduction in their population while the crime rate declined. Franklin County was at the forefront of maximizing their correctional continuum to reduce reliance on incarceration while focusing on improving outcomes for offenders. Specifically, they developed a Day Reporting Center, established a Jail Industries Program, and initiated several programs targeting improved services for mentally ill offenders, including a Certified Peer Specialist program in 2006.

Secretary Wetzel was appointed to the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons by then-Governor Edward Rendell as the board’s corrections expert, where he subsequently led a change in the pardons process resulting in an increased production of the board while alleviating an elevated waiting time for applicants.

In December 2010, he was selected as the 11th secretary of Corrections for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania by Governor-elect Tom Corbett. His tenure there saw an elimination of a 24-year average growth of 1,500 inmates per year, presiding over the first population reduction in Pennsylvania in more than four decades. Additionally, he oversaw the restructuring of the Community Corrections system and the mental health system, and a re-engineering of internal processes to yield a more efficient system of program delivery.

In January 2015, Governor Tom Wolf asked Wetzel to continue as the secretary of Corrections, making him the 12th person to hold that position for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

He is a member of Harvard’s Executive Session on Community Corrections, which is a joint project of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and the National Institute of Justice.  Consisting of 30 of the leading policymakers, practitioners, and researchers from across the country, the intent is to shape the meaning and future of community corrections policy in the United States. The Executive Session will develop best practices and thinking for professionals across the public safety and criminal justice spectrum.

Secretary Wetzel has been selected as the vice chair of the Council of State Government Justice Center Executive Board and is a member of the Colston Task Force on federal prison overcrowding.

He also serves as a national consultant and speaker whose areas of expertise include staffing, vulnerability assessment, mentally ill offenders, developing employment opportunities for formerly incarcerated offenders, population management, mitigating impacts on the families/children of incarcerated individuals, and effecting system change.

He is the former offensive line coach for Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania and a founding member of the St. Seraphim homeless shelter. He also initiated a program to positively impact disadvantaged youth by inviting private sector/higher education entities to develop programs specifically focused on them, similar to the president’s My Brother's Keeper initiative. He is married with four daughters.

Class of 1966

The ceremonies also will continue the tradition of honoring the 50-year reunion class—this year the Class of 1966. These alumni will lead the procession into Ed Fry Arena during the morning ceremony.

Student Speakers

The student speaker for the morning ceremony is Dana Marie Peles, a music education major from Hastings.

The student speaker for the afternoon ceremony is Leigh Casey Campetti, of Pittsburgh, a student in the Applied Archaeology master’s program in the Department of Anthropology, originally from Stockbridge, Mass.

Peles, daughter of Harry and Theresa Peles, is a 2012 graduate of Cambria Heights High School. She is the recipient of a Board of Governor’s Scholarship, the Charles Davis Scholarship, and the Vyrle Haley Troxell music scholarship. She participated in Campus Crusade for Christ, Amplify, Cogswell Hall Bible Study, and the Lively Arts Council, was in the Master’s Jazz Ensemble at Grace United Methodist Church, and volunteers with Whatsoever Lovely Designs, a fundraising program associated with Victory Christian Assembly church.

Campetti came to IUP after working in the private archaeology sector for a number of years. While a student, she was a graduate assistant in the department and served on the department’s Ethics Bowl team in 2014 and as captain in 2015. In 2014 she also was invited to attend the National Park Service’s Park Break Program. She won the student poster award at the 2015 Mid-Atlantic Archaeological Conference and was a 2015 Graduate Scholars Forum award winner in the Social Media category.

In 2015 she received a $1,000 graduate scholarship from EnerGIS and a $2,500 grant from the National Park Service’s Great Lakes Research and Education Center to support her thesis research on Isle Royale National Park. She was also selected to serve on the Society for American Archaeology’s task force on Employment Services. 

IUP Faculty and Staff Honored with University Senate Awards

University Senate Awards

Recipients of the 2016 University Senate Awards also will be recognized. They are Dr. Mary Beth Leidman, professor, Department of Communications Media, Distinguished Faculty Award for Creative Arts; Dr. Bitna Kim, associate professor, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Distinguished Faculty Award for Research; Dr. Joann Migyanka, professor, Department of Communications Disorders, Special Education, and Disability Services, Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching; Dr. David Lorenzi, associate professor, Department of Kinesiology, Health, and Sport Science, Distinguished Faculty Award for Service; Dr. Raj Murthy, Eberly College of Business and Information Technology and Dr. Michele Norwood, Office of the Provost, co-recipients, Staff Service Award.

What to Expect on Commencement Day

President Driscoll will preside over both commencement ceremonies. All students participating will be recognized by name and congratulated on stage. 

With increased traffic on and around campus for Commencement, persons are asked to arrive early for each ceremony to allow for adequate travel time from parking areas to Kovalchick Complex. Designated parking lots near Kovalchick Complex and across the IUP campus will be used for Commencement parking at no charge. The majority of parking will be available off of Wayne Avenue or Oakland Avenue. Parking attendants will direct drivers to available lots and parking spaces in the area.

Complimentary shuttle bus service will be available from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to provide transportation from the public parking areas to Kovalchick Complex before the Commencement ceremony, and from the facility back to the parking areas and around the IUP campus after the ceremony.

The Indigo Shuttle Service “Route Shout” application is available for downloading for real-time access to the shuttle schedules.

Shuttle service will be available throughout the day; a parking and shuttle map is available on the Commencement website.

Guests who require handicapped (ADA) accessible parking may park in the lot directly in front of Kovalchick Complex or directly west of the facility; parking attendants on-site will direct drivers to the available spaces in the area. A disability parking placard is required to park in these areas; drivers are asked to have this placard displayed when arriving on campus.

For the safety of IUP guests and to maintain traffic flow, stopping and drop-off is prohibited along Pratt Drive. Limited accessibility drop-off is permitted in the drive through circle directly in front of Kovalchick Complex. Persons who have difficulty walking extended distances are asked to use the Indigo shuttle service available in each primary parking lot.

For questions about Commencement parking, persons should call the IUP Parking and Visitors Services office at (724) 357-8748.

Many departments are holding individual commencement ceremonies. A complete list is available on the IUP Commencement website.

A link to the live webcast of the commencement ceremonies is also available on the Commencement website.