University of Scranton Graduate Students Earn Awards
Ten graduate students at The University of Scranton were named recipients of Frank O’Hara Awards, which recognized students with the highest grade point average at approximately the mid-point of their master’s degree programs in each of Scranton’s graduate programs. The award is named in honor of the late Frank O’Hara, who served the University for 53 years in various administrative positions.
Cameron Afshari, Mayfield, is pursuing a doctoral degree in physical therapy. He received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Marywood University and spent a year studying molecular biology at Lehigh University, where he conducted and presented original research. Afshari volunteered at the St. Francis of Assisi kitchen, Allied Services and other organizations. While pursuing his doctoral degree, Afshari serves as a graduate assistant with the University’s Physical Therapy Department.
Sarah Goodwin, State College, is pursuing a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. She received a bachelor’s degree in general science of physics from Wheeling Jesuit University and her secondary science and math teaching certifications from the University of Pittsburgh. Goodwin currently teaches high school math and physics at the Pennsylvania Virtual Charter School and is involved with the State College Young Professionals Group.
Kristin Hextall, Paupack, N.J., is pursuing a master’s degree in the University’s Family Nurse Practitioner Program. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in nursing from LaSalle University, where she played Division I soccer for four years, Hextall played soccer professionally in Reykjavik, Iceland. She now works in the intensive care unit at the Geisinger Medical Center in Scranton.
Jared Hill, Old Forge, is pursuing a master’s degree in health administration. He graduated magna cum laude from The University of Scranton in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in biology and a minor in philosophy. During his undergraduate studies, Hill served as a teaching assistant, a research assistant and participated with the Health Professionals Organization and other clubs. He is a member of Alpha Epsilon Delta (the national premedical honor society) and the Beta Beta Beta (the national honor society for biology). While pursuing his master’s degree, he serves as a graduate assistant in biology.
David Hovey, Forty Fort, who is pursuing a master’s degree in counseling and human services, graduated summa cum laude from The University of Scranton in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in counseling and human services and a minor in theology. He was a member of the University’s swim team. He received the University’s 2012 Counseling and Human Service Department Award for Excellence, the 2012 Fr. Fitzpatrick Award for Leadership and Service, the 2012 Carlesimo Award for Academic and Athletic Excellence and the 2012 Merit Award for Academic Excellence and Athletic Achievement. He is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta (the national honor society for freshmen), Alpha Sigma Nu (the national Jesuit honor society) and several other national honor societies.
Amanda Jones, Scranton, is pursuing a master’s degree in software engineering. In 2010, she graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and secondary education from The University of Scranton. As an undergraduate, she was president of the Math Club and a member of The University of Scranton Programming Board. She is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta (the national honor society for freshman), Pi Mu Epsilon (the national mathematics society), Kappa Delta Pi (the international education honor society) and Alpha Sigma Nu (the national Jesuit honor society). She currently serves as a graduate assistant for the Computer Science Department.
Megan Keeney, Hamilton Square, N.J., is pursuing a master’s degree in reading education. She graduated cum laude from The University of Scranton in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in both elementary and special education. During the 2012-2013 academic year, Keeney worked as a graduate assistant and managed the Scranton Mentors Actively Reaching Teens (SMART) Program, which is a mentoring program involving University and Scranton High School students. She serves as a graduate assistant in the Education Department.
Thomas Lystash, Scranton, is pursing an MBA in accounting. In 2009, he received a bachelor’s degree in finance from The University of Scranton, where he graduated summa cum laude. He received the University’s 2009 O’Hara Award from the Kania School of Management and the Excellence in Finance Award. Lystash has worked in the financial service industry since 1981 and is currently the vice president, business banking relationship manager at PNC Bank.
Shannon Spring, Garnerville, N.Y. is pursuing an MBA in health care management. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in animal science from The University of Delaware and currently works at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals in Tarrytown, N.Y., where she is the senior manager of clinical trial management.
Sandra Voda, Laceyville, is pursuing a master’s degree is human resources. Before enrolling at the University, she received a bachelor’s degree in human resources management and business administration from King’s College. Currently, Voda works as the human resource manager at Excel. She has also served a Notary Public and Tax Collector, as well as on the boards of several nonprofit organizations.
Graduate student recipients of The University of Scranton’s Frank O’Hara medals from the College of Graduate and Continuing Education include, seated from left, Megan Keeney; Jared Hill; Meg Cullen Brown, assistant dean of the College of Graduate and Continuing Education; and Lisa Lobasso, assistant dean online and off-campus programs of the College of Graduate and Continuing Education. Standing are David Hovey; Kristin Hextall; Sandra Voda; Thomas Lystash; Amanda Jones; and Cameron Afshari.