Alumni honored at Penn College commencement
Pennsylvania College of Technology bestowed honors on two alumni during the spring commencement ceremonies held May 16 and 17 at the Community Arts Center.
Carol A. Savoy, of Montoursville, was presented with a Distinguished Alumni Award on May 17. Lee D. Michels, of Herndon, Virginia, received a Mentorship Award on May 16.
Distinguished Alumni Award
The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented to those who have made significant contributions in their chosen fields, demonstrated the importance of their education at Penn College, participated in leadership roles within the community and demonstrated a commitment to the college and community relations.
Savoy graduated from Penn College predecessor Williamsport Area Community College in 1973. She earned an associate degree in social work while working full time and juggling the duties of being a single mother.
Savoy is president of Savoy Contract Furniture, formerly John Savoy & Son Inc., a Montoursville furniture manufacturing firm, which employs 125 people. She is also owner of J. Savoy Realty Co., a commercial real estate development business.
Savoy and her late husband established the John A. Savoy Scholarship Fund, which benefits automated manufacturing and manufacturing engineering technology students.
She also established the Savoy Health Scholarship to assist female students 23 or older who are enrolled full time in any major offered by the School of Health Sciences.
Savoy was honored in 2012 as Penn College’s Alumna of the Year at the Williamsport-Lycoming Chamber of Commerce’s annual Education Celebration.
In 2005, she and her late husband were the first recipients of the Director’s Chair Award from the Community Arts Center; the award is given to persons or organizations exemplifying a strong and enduring commitment to the mission of the CAC.
She is a member of the Lycoming Foundation Board of Directors and is an active volunteer in the local community, having served on the Parent Board at Bishop Neumann High School and as a coach for Odyssey of the Mind.
Savoy was profiled in the fall 2013 issue of the college’s One College Avenue magazine: www.pct.edu/oca/articles /13fall/TheGiftsWeGive.htm.
The Mentorship Award recognizes alumni, individuals or business who have made significant or ongoing contributions to the education or development of Penn College students by providing mentorship opportunities or professional guidance.
Michels, who earned a bachelor’s degree in construction management in 2011, is an assistant project manager at Honeywell in Herndon.
He has been an alumni volunteer since 2011, when he returned during the fall semester to share his professional experience with current students during a construction management reunion.
He has since volunteered during open house and assisted the admissions office in its efforts to recruit prospective students by representing Penn College at a college fair in northern Virginia.
An advocate for Penn College, Michels passionately stresses the importance of technical education and shares his success with high school students throughout Fairfax County, Virginia.
He is a member of the Edison Academy Board and has hosted information sessions about Penn College at Hayfield, Edison and Chantilly.
He continues to build relationships with the academy staff and career counselors.
“My hope,” Michels said, “is that by doing these sessions and increasing awareness, one day I will reach and make that one difference in a high school student in our area that provides them with an opportunity to do something they love and get a college experience, as I did. That makes it all worth it to me.”
As a Penn College student, Michels served as a resident assistant and was the first recipient of the Tracy Garis Leadership Award. He was active in the Construction Management Association, serving as president; instrumental in the launching of a Sigma Nu Fraternity chapter; and active in the college’s alternative spring break efforts, including volunteering for Habitat for Humanity.
At the May 2011 commencement, Michels received the Marilyn G. Bodnar Library Award for Excellence in Research for Theoretical Research.