Students Receive Frank O’Hara Awards for Academic Achievement

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Recipients of the Frank O’Hara medals from the Kania School of Management: From left: Murli Rajan, Ph.D., associate dean of the Kania School of Management, with the recipients of The University of Scranton’s Frank O’Hara medals from the Kania School of Management: Shannon McKenna, Patrick Tuzzo and Alexandra Turner.

Frank O’Hara medals were given to the first-, second- and third-year University of Scranton students with the highest grade-point averages in the Kania School of Management, the Panuska College of Professional Studies and the College of Arts and Sciences for the 2015-16 academic year. The awards, named in honor of the late Frank O’Hara who served the University for 53 years in various administrative positions, were presented at a ceremony held recently on campus.


Recipients of the Frank O’Hara medals from the Kania School of Management:

Alexandra Turner, West Chester, received a medal for academic achievement for her freshman year at the University. Currently a sophomore accounting and international business double major, Turner is co-chair of The University of Scranton Programming Board’s comedy committee, a member of the University Review Board, a singer for the music ministry choir and a resident of the Cura Personalis residential living-learning community. Turner is also a member of both the school’s Business Club and Society of Accounting Students. She also participates in the President’s Business Council networking trips, the Career Coaches Program and the PwC Challenge.

Patrick Tuzzo, Bayville, New Jersey, received a medal for academic achievement for his sophomore year. Currently a junior accounting and finance double major at Scranton, Tuzzo also participates in the University’s Business Leadership Honors Program. He also received the Frank O’Hara Award for academic achievement for his freshman year. He is a member of the International Business Club, the Society of Accounting Students and PRISM, which is a select group of undergraduate students who have the responsibility of managing a portion of the University’s endowment fund. Tuzzo is a resident assistant for first-year students and is a member of the Kania Young Alumni Day planning committee.

Shannon McKenna, Islip, New York, received a medal for academic achievement for her junior year. Currently a senior accounting major with minors in a mathematics and business leadership, McKenna is also a member of the University’s Business Leadership Honors Program. She is a former recipient of the Frank O’Hara Award and a Rose Kelly Award, as a sophomore and junior, respectively. She is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the business honor society; Alpha Lambda Delta, the national honor society; and Omega Beta Sigma, the women’s business honor society. McKenna is the president of Beta Alpha Psi, as well as the Society of Accounting Students. She is also a member of Circle K club, the Business Club and is the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) student ambassador.

Recipients of the Frank O’Hara medals from the College of Arts and Sciences:

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CAPTION: Recipients of the Frank O’Hara medals from the College of Arts and Sciences: From left: the recipients of The University of Scranton’s Frank O’Hara medals from the College of Arts and Sciences: Robert McGowan, Matthew Owens and Zachary Fiscus; and Brian Conniff, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Robert McGowan, Scranton, received a medal for academic achievement for his freshman year. Currently a sophomore psychology and philosophy double major, McGowan is also pursuing a minor in criminology at Scranton. In addition to being a member of the Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program, McGowan is the recipient of the University’s full-tuition Presidential Scholarship. He is a graduate of the Scranton Emerging Leaders Program, an orientation assistant and an orientation team leader. McGowan is also an executive member of the Commuter Student Association and the treasurer of the University’s College Democrats club.

Zachary Fiscus, Scranton, received a medal for academic achievement for his sophomore year. Currently a junior applied mathematics major at Scranton, Fiscus serves as the vice president of the mathematics club. He was a finalist in the college division of the University’s Integration Bee in both 2015 and 2016. Fiscus is also active in the school’s intramural sports program, playing flag football, basketball, softball and volleyball.

Matthew Owens, King of Prussia, received a medal for academic achievement for his junior year. Currently a senior computer science and applied mathematics double major, Owens is the recipient of a full-tuition Presidential Scholarship at the University. He is a member of the University’s Honors Program, currently completing his thesis research under the direction of Yaodong Bi, Ph.D. He is also a member of Alpha Lambda Delta, the first-year students honor society; Pi Mu Epsilon, the mathematics honor society; and Upsilon Pi Epsilon, the computer science honor society. Owens is also an active member of the University’s Performance Music Department.

Recipients of the Frank O’Hara Awards from the Panuska College of Professional Studies:

pcpsCAPTION: Recipients of the Frank O’Hara medals from the Panuska College of Professional Studies: From left: Debra Pellegrino, Ed.D., dean of the Panuska College of Professional Studies, with the recipients of The University of Scranton’s Frank O’Hara medals from the Panuska College of Professional Studies: Kellie Smigel, Jennifer Gold, Alexandra Brennan and Melissa Busch.

Jennifer Gold, Somers, New York, received a medal for academic achievement for her freshman year. Currently a sophomore early and primary education major with a Spanish minor, Gold is a member of the University’s Student Education Club. In addition to playing in the University Orchestra, Gold partakes in the school’s Church Choir and Praise and Worship Club. Gold is a resident of the Cura Personalis residential living-learning community, for which she served as the student-staff liaison during her freshman year and currently serves as the mentoring program coordinator.

Kellie Smigel, Blairstown, New Jersey, received a medal for academic achievement for her freshman year. Currently a sophomore exercise science major with a concentration in nutrition, Smigel tutors both general chemistry and pre-calculus in the University’s Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence. In addition to working as a Royal Ambassador, Smigel is a member of the school’s varsity swim team and works as a peer health educator on campus.

Melissa Busch, Yardley, received a medal for academic achievement for her sophomore year. Currently a junior occupational therapy major with minors in psychology and counseling and human services, Busch is also pursuing a human development concentration. Last year, Busch was awarded the Frank O’Hara Award for her freshman year at Scranton. In addition to her role as teaching assistant for the Human Anatomy/Physiology 110 lab, Busch is the secretary of the Circle K Club, a member of the Student Occupational Therapy Association, and a mentor with Big Friends Little Friends. Busch has participated in the University’s International Service Program, traveling to Jamaica, and she volunteers for Habitat for Humanity.

Alexandra Brennan, Downingtown, received a medal for academic achievement for her junior year. Currently a senior exercise science major with a psychology minor, Brennan has a guaranteed seat in the University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program. As a member of the University’s honors program, Brennan has researched and developed her thesis, “The Effects of Various Dual-Task Activities and Prioritization Tendencies of Gait Kinematics,” which she will present and defend in the spring of 2017. She also received the Frank O’Hara Award for academic achievement for her sophomore year.  Brennan is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta, the freshmen honor society; Alpha Epsilon Delta, the health pre-professional honor society; and Phi Epsilon Kappa, the exercise science honor society. She was granted the President’s Fellowship for Summer Research in 2016, and presented her research at the National Conference of the American Society of Biomechanics in the summer of 2016. Brennan is the vice president of the Exercise Science Club and a member of the Physical Therapy Club and Move for Those Who Can’t. She also volunteers at United Neighborhood Centers.


Press Release Contact:
Stan Zygmunt
Director of News & Media Relations
The University of Scranton
(570)-941-7662