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First Class of Sheetz Fellows Inducted at Penn State Altoona

Monday, March 12, 2012 - 2037 hits


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Penn State Altoona celebrated the induction of its inaugural class of Sheetz Fellows during a ceremony February 25, 2012.

The eight students selected for the program are Donald Cella, James L. Coonan, Tyler Grazier, Jennifer Gummo, Christa Hetrick, Jayme D. Hileman, Daniel B. Kennedy, and D. Cody Stitt. All eight share an academic focus on entrepreneurship.

The Sheetz Fellows Program was established as part of the historic $3 million gift presented to Penn State Altoona by Steve and Nancy Sheetz in 2009. Sheetz Fellows aspire to levels of achievement, values, and integrity associated with the Sheetz name and Penn State’s reputation. Established academic standards must be met to maintain status within the program. Other requirements include completion of a study abroad experience, credit-bearing internship, ethics course, one-year community service commitment, and self-sponsored research or creative project. The mentoring component of the Sheetz Fellows Program pairs seniors with selected professionals who will offer guidance and insights divined throughout their careers as successful business executives and entrepreneurs.

The rigorous and stimulating experiences of the Sheetz Fellows Program are designed to provide students with the knowledge and skill set necessary to achieve their academic goals and professional aspirations. All students graduating with the status as a Sheetz Fellow will receive special recognition at commencement.

“Today, your primary goals relate to academic achievement,” said Steve Sheetz, co-founding benefactor of the Sheetz Fellows program along with his wife Nancy. “Upon graduation, that focus will shift. As Penn State Altoona alumni, your concerns will turn from group projects and grades to innovative business plans and profit margins. But Nan and I invite you to always consider how best to leave an indelible imprint on society beyond the success you experience in business. It is never too early to contemplate what you want your legacy to be.”

During her remarks, Chancellor Lori J. Bechtel-Wherry said the induction ceremony was a tribute to both the philanthropic spirit of Steve and Nancy Sheetz and the students’ commitment to academic excellence.

“The lives of Steve and Nancy, and their longstanding devotion to our college through service, leadership, and giving are powerful examples to all students, alumni, and friends of Penn State Altoona,” Bechtel-Wherry said. “The Sheetz Fellows program will empower our students with the skills necessary to achieve personal and societal goals. I commend each of our students for pursuing this extraordinary opportunity to participate in advanced instruction and activities that will promote an enhanced awareness and understanding of business theory and practice.”

To view a video that was shown as part of the induction ceremony, visit www.altoona.psu.edu/development/2012sheetzfellows.php online.

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