LHU opens academic year with convocation ceremony

PHOTO PROVIDED From left, are Robert Pignatello, LHU president; and Drs. Lynette Reitz, Lissette Schillig, and Peter Campbell, Peer Choice Award winners.

LOCK HAVEN — Lock Haven University recently held its annual Founder’s Day Convocation in the Thomas Field House, marking the beginning of the 2018-19 academic year.

Founder’s Day Convocation traditionally recognizes outstanding faculty members who exemplify core values and who are acknowledged by their colleagues for exemplary scholarship, service and excellence in teaching. Five faculty members were recognized for their outstanding commitment to scholarship, service and fostering student success.

Dr. Ruben Berrios, of the Department of Business and Computer Science, received the University Award for Outstanding Scholarship. Berrios, a former Fulbright fellowship recipient, and has been visiting research fellow at The Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington, the Institute of Developing Economies in Tokyo, Cornell University, The University of Illinois and the University of Pittsburgh. Berrios has published two books and more than 40 articles in specialized journals and as chapters in books.

Dr. Holle Canatella, of the Department of History, Political Science, International Studies, and Foreign Languages, received the University Award for Outstanding Service. Canatella has served and continues to serve on a number of departmental, union and university committees and is very involved in her discipline and in the community.

The University’s Peer Choice Awards were presented by Dr. James Bean on behalf of the Linda J. Emanuel Teaching and Learning Center. The Peer Choice Award for Teaching Excellence was awarded to Dr. Lynette Reitz, program director for the undergraduate social work program her creative and inspirational instruction and getting students involved in community volunteering and scholarly activity.

The Peer Choice Award for Mentoring Excellence was awarded to Dr. Lissette Schillig, associate professor in the English Department, for her mentoring of students in their quest to become good writers and critical thinkers, as well as, her outstanding leadership in programs to ensure the safety of students and help them navigate the challenging relationships of student life.

The Peer Choice Award for Advising Excellence was awarded to Dr. Peter Campbell, professor in the Sports Studies Department, for his expert ability to guide students academically and place them into internships with high-profile sport industry organizations where they often gain full-time jobs.

Aelion, dean of the School of Public Health and Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, spoke about how the freshman class has come together from different backgrounds and shared statistics about where they’ve come from, how far they’ve traveled and encouraged them to let their differences unite them, and to take full advantage of the all The Haven has to offer.

She talked about the ways the first-year common reading, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” by Rebecca Skloot, will bring them together through discussions with their professors and peers and talked about how Skloot demonstrated traits LHU’s first-year students should work to emulate.

The Founder’s Day Convocation ceremony officially opened the 2018-19 academic year. Classes at Lock Haven University began Aug. 27.