​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​System Success stories

The State System celebrated the achievements of thousands of students who graduated from our universities in 2022.​​

 Content Editor

Success Highlights​​

As a teenager, Kerby Confer would lie awake at night listening through the crackle and hiss of faraway stations on his transistor radio, hoping one day to be that voice on the other end of the mic. Sixty-five years later, Confer, a legend in the radio industry, is focusing his creative energy to create a new legacy with a $5.3 million gift to the Bloomsburg University Foundation designed to support and inspire the next generation of students to become professionals in the broadcasting industry.

The California University of Pennsylvania Career & Professional Development Center hosted Pennsylvania Auditor General Timothy DeFoor on April 13 to speak to accounting and finance students regarding internship and job opportunities. State Auditor General Timothy DeFoor’s visit was part of an initiative to highlight career opportunities for all majors across the state.

Cheyney University students Zainab Sulaiman and Kishore Owusu proudly showcased their research and work using Waters Corporation's high-tech scientific lab equipment. This is an experience like no other and happening on Cheyney’s campus with ASI Chemicals, a start-up that manufactures chemicals for pharmaceutical products.

When Judge Ruth Bermudez Montenegro ’89 came to Clarion University in the 80s on a full-ride scholarship, the young Latina had no idea how much Clarion would shape the trajectory of her life. Montenegro was recently nominated by the Biden administration to serve as the United States District Court judge for the Southern District of California. Congress confirmed the nomination March 22.

The Center for First-Generation Student Success has recognized East Stroudsburg University as one of 53 higher education institutions nationally to be named to its First-Gen Forward cohort for its “demonstrated commitment to advancing first-generation student success.” First-Gen Forward is the first national recognition program to acknowledge institutions of higher education for their commitment to first-generation student success.

Edinboro University student Elizabeth Bennett was selected among candidates at all 14 institutions in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education to receive the 2022 Syed R. Ali-Zaidi Award for Academic Achievement. Bennett, who expects to graduate in December with dual degrees in psychology and data analytics and minors in applied mathematics and music, was recognized April 14 at the State System’s Board of Governors quarterly meeting. 

A graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s nursing program has made a donation designed to create generational change for IUP nursing students. Marla J. Weston, RN, FAAN, a 1980 nursing graduate of IUP, has donated $850,000 to establish the Marla Weston New Horizons Scholarship, which provides qualified nursing majors with a scholarship covering all fees, tuition, room, board, and books for up to four years.

Kutztown University students Shantal Ewell and Kevin Smyth won the $10,000 first place prize in the annual State System Startup Challenge, sponsored by Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education. Ewell, an MBA student, and Smyth, a Master's in Student Affairs student, created a business plan for the Schedula Degree Planner, an online platform that would redefine the way college students and advisors interact.

Riyana Owens, a senior dual majoring in biology (pre-medicine) and psychology with a chemistry minor, is a 2021-22 recipient of Lock Haven University's Frederick Douglass Emerging Leader Scholarship. Outside the classroom, Owens is a standout sprinter for the LHU track team. She received the Frederick Douglass Emerging Leader Scholarship for her leadership skills both in the classroom and on the track.

Junior Lauren Griffith, a Mansfield University cell and molecular biology major, received a $4,000 research scholarship from the NASA Pennsylvania State Grant Consortium. Griffith’s funded proposal focuses on the link between the gut microbiome and cancer development and spread. Griffith was also awarded a Summer 2022 internship through the National Institute of Health’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Short-Term Research Experience Program to Unlock Potential (STEP-UP) program.

Earth Day was April 22, and to celebrate the week, the Millersville University Watershed Education Training institute announced its first-ever Environmental Justice Fellowship. The award went to sophomore Pearl Ramos. The year-long fellowship aims to expand student involvement in watershed education and applied aspects of environmental management to preserve waterways. The fellowship is awarded to an underrepresented student studying biology or chemistry with a focus on secondary education.

Shippensburg University senior international studies major with a Spanish minor Isabel Weaver was awarded a prestigious Freeman-Asia scholarship to study abroad in South Korea during the spring 2022 semester. This need-based national scholarship program supports U.S.- based undergraduates planning to study abroad in East or Southeast Asia. The goal of the program is to increase the number of U.S. citizens and permanent residents with firsthand exposure to and understanding of Asia and its peoples and cultures.

Pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer are well known for making vaccines that protect people from COVID-19, but those same companies need to be protected from all sorts of risks as well. That protection is now becoming well known to Slippery Rock University students who are benefitting from two internship agreements between Pfizer and SRU's Homeland and Corporate Security Studies Department.

West Chester University has extended its accreditation in business with AACSB International (AACSB), a global nonprofit association that connects educators, students, and business to achieve a common goal: to create the next generation of great leaders. Since 1916, AACSB accreditation has been synonymous with the highest standards in business education. Today, a total of 935 institutions across 59 countries and territories have earned AACSB accreditation in business.​