LHU holds 145th spring commencement, recognizes top honor grads

PHOTO PROVIDED McCartney Register, top honor graduate, gives a smile and a thumbs up before the undergraduate ceremony.

LOCK HAVEN — Lock Haven University recently celebrated the graduating Class of 2022 during the 145th spring commencement ceremonies. At 5:30 p.m. on Friday, May 13, graduate students received their degrees in the Thomas Fieldhouse. At 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 14, undergraduate students received degrees at Hubert Jack Stadium.

At both ceremonies, Dr. Cori Myers, associate provost, welcomed the guests and a greeting from the faculty and coaches was given by Dr. Richard Goulet, president of LHU APSCUF and associate professor.

The student speaker for the Friday night graduate ceremony was Savanna Harrison, a sport science major from Perkasie. Student speaker for the Saturday undergraduate ceremony was Tess English, a communication major from Bellefonte.

Dr. Bashar Hanna, interim president, offered congratulations to the graduates during both ceremonies.

“You are a class who has persevered and persisted through numerous challenges during your academic journey,” Hanna said. “The course of your education has been anything but conventional. I hope you choose to look on the experiences behind you with a sense of both accomplishment and optimism. You have already achieved so much to get here today, and in the process, have prepared yourselves to take on any challenge that comes your way.”

PHOTO PROVIDED Dr. Bashar Hanna, LHU interim president, presents student speaker, Savanna Harrison, with her diploma cover during LHU’s graduate commencement ceremony.

Top honor graduates for spring 2022 also were recognized by Hanna during the undergraduate ceremony for achieving the highest academic honors in their class. Top honors went to Olivia Hope Artz, of Harrisburg; Sara Louise Caputo, of South Williamsport; Marissa Allison Iraca, of Irvona; Taylor Moritz, of Harleysville; McCartney Register, of Lock Haven; and Rachel Riley, of Knox.

Artz graduated with a degree in health science with a concentration in pre-physician assistant. She has received the Perna Family Memorial Scholarship, LHU’s Foundation Scholarship and LHU’s Merit Eagle Scholarship. She made the dean’s list from 2018-22, was a member of the LHU Global Honors Program and the Health Science Club. She will attend LHU’s physician assistant program this summer in pursuit of becoming a physician assistant.

Caputo received a degree in secondary education English and special education. She was the 2020-21 Outstanding English major and was a member of the Kappa Delta Pi International Honors Society in Education and the Sigma Tau Delta International English Honors Society. She plans to become employed as a teacher while pursuing a master’s degree.

Iraca graduated with a degree in physics and a minor in math with a concentration in applied physics/nanotechnology. She has received the Tyco Electronics Academic Excellence Award, Best Presentation Award at the APS Four Corners Conference in 2020 and Best Presentation Award at the PASSHE STEM Student Research Conference in 2021. She was a member of the Global Honors Program, president of the Physics Club and tutored math and physics. In the summer of 2019, she studied abroad in London and Paris. She completed a summer research internship with Brigham Young University in 2020 and received the AAPM Summer Undergraduate Fellowship in the summer of 2021, working with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. She plans to attend University of Rhode Island in the fall with a teaching assistantship to study for a master’s degree in medical physics, with hopes of working for a rural hospital for those with limited access to care.

Moritz received a degree in health science pre-physician assistant 4+2 track with a minor in psychology. She was the recipient of an LHU Talon Award for Top Female Student-Athlete GPA both her junior and senior years and also was named a PSAC Scholar Athlete. She was a member of the women’s soccer team all four years and was captain her senior year. She also was a member of the Global Honor’s Program and a member of the Health Science Club. Her senior year she completed an independent study that investigated the effect of soccer cleats and running shoes on postural sway. She plans to attend Thomas Jefferson University this summer to attend physician assistant school. Her career goal is to obtain her master’s degree and become a certified PA working in the Philadelphia area.

Register was a dual major in health science, pre-professional track and nursing. She received the LHU Talon Award for Top Senior Female Student-Athlete GPA, was named a PSAC Scholar Athlete and was the recipient of the Global Honors Program Academic Excellence Scholarship. She was a resident assistant and a member of the women’s tennis team, the Scuba Diving Club, the Ski Club, the Global Honors Program, Nursing National Honor Society and the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. She also was a member of LHU’s COVID Institutional Response Team (IRT), helping the team win 2021 Pennsylvania Rural Health Program of the Year. As part of the IRT, Register helped publish a research paper in the International Journal of Nursing and Health Care Research. She also studied abroad for a semester in Seville, Spain, and was one of the first mentors in the Presidential Mentoring Program. She plans to work as a registered nurse in a medical intensive care unit to gain experience before returning to the classroom to pursue a doctorate degree in nursing, with further plans to become a nurse anesthetist.

Riley was a dual major in pre-K grade 4 education and special education. She made the dean’s list from 2018-22 and was the recipient of the Mary Alice Smith Special Education Scholarship, the Guaranteed Merit Scholarship and the Catherine Frantz Scholarship. She was the president of Council for Exceptional Children and a member and social chair of the Kappa Delta Pi educational honor society. She was a residence assistant and was a student-worker at the Student Recreation Center on campus. She has accepted a full-time teaching position with Williamsport Area School District, where she will teach primary autistic support at Hepburn Lycoming Primary School.


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