Ivy Leaf - Winter 2008

Class Notes


Margaret “Peg” (McCartney) Smith ’48, was recently inducted into the Blair County Arts Hall of Fame in the Literary Arts category. The Blair County Arts Hall of Fame exists to honor past and present Blair County citizens who, through their talent, leadership, and dedication, have enriched the quality of lives and continue to bring joy and inspiration to many. Following her retirement as an English teacher, Peg returned to Penn State Altoona and began a study of the life and history of the railroads. She rode engine cabs and coaches, writing constantly about her experiences, mostly in verse form. With Joe Servello providing illustrations, Peg subsequently published a book entitled The Railroad Revisited, in which Peg’s husband, Bob, took the photographs and slides that were printed in the book. The Smiths also presented a program called “The Railroad Revisited,” both in the Blair County area as well as in Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, and at several Elderhostels. Peg’s work has been published in Pennsylvania magazine and Common Ground, as well as numerous newspapers and small magazines. She has been the recipient of the poetry award for the Blair County Arts Festival and has served as the “poet in residence” at Keith Junior High School in Altoona, where she received an award for encouraging students to read and write poetry.

Nicholas J. Hanna, Ph.D. ’57, ’62g, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, received two awards for career achievement. A professor of counselor education at Duquesne University, Hanna has taught and supervised graduate students throughout his thirty-eight-year tenure at the university. He was presented the Outstanding Practitioner Award at the American Counseling Association Conference in March 2007 and the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Pennsylvania Counseling Association Conference in October 2007. (Penn State Altoona 1951-53)

Dan Woods ’69, is president of Collegiate Marketing Concepts and CMC Printing and Graphics, located in Midlothian, Virginia. Collegiate Marketing Concepts specializes in targeting prospective students for small to mid-size colleges and universities through personalized letters, direct mail, and electronic communications, while CMC Printing and Graphics provides full-service printing, graphic design, and direct mail services. Dan’s wife, Cyndi, a retired middle school teacher, coordinates CMC’s special event printing service. Born and raised in Altoona, Dan retired with twenty-two years of service as a Lieutenant Colonel from the U.S. Army and formerly served in the Army ROTC program at Penn State Altoona. Dan and Cyndi are the parents of two daughters, Pam and Jenny, and two grandsons (whom Dan hopes will be future Penn Staters!), Grayson (4 1/2) and Nolan (1). (Penn State Altoona 1965-67)

Mary Lee (Fleck) Kelly ’73, works as a career and personal counselor at the Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. She is married to fellow alumnus Bill Kelly ’73, who retired from the U.S. Air Force and now serves as Deputy Director for Planning and Economic Development of Lycoming County. Mary and Bill met during freshman orientation at Penn State Altoona and were among the first couples to be married in the Edith Davis Eve Chapel on campus following its construction thirty-four years ago. (Penn State Altoona 1969-71)

Chester Trybus ’74, has worked as a program analyst with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in Rockville, Maryland, for the past three years. Prior to that, he was employed with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for twenty-seven years as a microbiologist. Chet, wife Lisa, and their children Cecelia (13) and Andrew (11) reside in Hagerstown, Maryland. Originally from Portage, Pennsylvania, Chet and his family enjoy returning often to Pennsylvania to visit family and cheer on the Nittany Lions at football games each fall. He is instilling Penn State pride in his children and hopes they, too, are one day Penn State Altoona students. (Penn State Altoona 1970-72)

John Peterson ’79, was appointed chief financial officer of KraftMaid Cabinetry in Middlefield, Ohio. John and wife Denise are the parents of John (12), Lindsey (16), and Kristen (17). Kristen is excited to be starting as a freshman at Penn State Altoona this coming fall. (Penn State Altoona 1975-77)

Mary Speece Klemish ’79, works as a freelance artist in Kingston, Pennsylvania. A graduate of the College of Communications, Mary worked in the advertising field for a number of years and lived in Texas for six years before returning to Pennsylvania. She has one son, Justin (13). (Penn State Altoona 1975-77)

Jacqueline Smith-Bennett ’86, after working for three Pennsylvania governors at the executive level, has segued to the private sector to expand GREAT CELEBRATIONS, an event planning business that she began in 2000. Initially begun as a wedding planning business, she has managed wedding budgets ranging from $5,000 to $200,000, produced a wedding expo, and the 2007 ‘A Celebration of Marriage’ that attracted several local sponsors. GREAT CELEBRATIONS is a full service event design and management company located in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, offering grand openings, employee recognition dinners, gala, annual dinners, and other types of marketing events to businesses, as well as all types of social events for family celebrations, birthday parties, anniversary celebrations, holiday parties, and weddings planning.

Smith-Bennett is an Altoona native. She holds three Penn State degrees: associate degree in Liberal Arts, bachelor’s degree in Labor Studies, and master’s degree in Public Administration.

She is the mother of Mylah N. Martin (also a Penn State alumnus) and is married to Gerald A. Bennett, who works for the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Christine Ann Pacifico ’86, of State College, Pennsylvania, received a master’s degree in Higher Education from Penn State in December 2007. As a graduate student, she was awarded the Doris M. Niebel Scholarship in Education and served on the boards of the Penn State Commission for Women and Higher Education Student Association. A Certified Public Accountant, Pacifico was a member of the Penn State Altoona Alumni Society Board of Directors from 1995 to 2001. Her husband, Ronald Stellabotte, II, is pursuing a baccalaureate degree at University Park where the couple’s daughter, Marissa Ann Pacifico is enrolled as a sophomore in the College of Education. (Penn State Altoona 1981-83)

Robert Gioiosa ’97, married Brionne Park on October 6, 2007. They reside in Altoona.

Nicholas Revak ’99, married Kelly Benson on October 20, 2007. They reside in Reston, Virginia.

Kristie (Mason) Carruthers ’00, and husband Jason have a daughter Taryn Samantha, born September 18, 2007. They live in Altoona.

Renee Frucella ’00, married Phillip Kearney on July 7, 2007. They reside in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania.

Shelly (Steiner) Beaver ’01, is employed as a part-time recreational therapist at Health South Rehabilitation Hospital of Altoona. She is married to fellow Penn State alumnus Eric Beaver ’02, who works as an operations engineer for Winbeam, Inc. They are the proud parents of two young children, Emily (3) and Jacob (1), and reside in Altoona. (Penn State Altoona 1998-2001)

Sgt. Jeremy Koeck ’01, married Jessica Kowalski on May 19, 2007.

Tennille Oakes ’03, married Dr. Chris McClellan on June 2, 2007. They reside in Duncansville.

Michael Davis ’05, married Emily Lanzel on August 4, 2007. They reside in Altoona.

Jennifer Cole ’06, married Christopher Lynch on July 7, 2007. They reside in Eldersburg, Maryland.

Mindy Weiss ’06, is employed as bus marketing coordinator for Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Mohegan Sun was the first horse racing venue in Pennsylvania to become a casino, and offers slots, video poker, and harness horse racing to attendees. (Penn State Altoona 2002-06)