Mansfield University recognizes local seniors

MANSFIELD — Outstanding Senior nominees from Mansfield University’s academic departments were recognized at the Academic Honors Reception. The Outstanding Senior recipient will be named at commencement on Saturday, May 4.

Nominees from the area include:

Kiana Acorn-Lopez, of Wellsboro, was nominated by the math and computer information science department. Acorn-Lopez was born in Allentown, where she grew up with two brothers playing football and participating in wrestling to the age of 10 before moving with her family to Wellsboro.

While in Wellsboro, she participated in basketball, cross country and tennis. She began college pursuing a medical technology degree but soon after transferred to Mansfield University.

While always having a good understanding of mathematics, Acorn-Lopez began to contemplate a degree in applied mathematics and after performing research, she saw many possibilities earning a degree in applied mathematics.

While attending college at Mansfield University she became more independent with a realization of preparing herself for the next step after college. The subjects she studied helped her absorb an in-depth field of knowledge increasing her logical and critical thinking skills.

Brandon Dilly, of Lawrenceville, was nominated by the business administration department. Dilly was born in Wellsboro and raised in Lawrenceville. He attended Williamson High School in Tioga where he graduated with high honors and as a member of their chapter of the national honor society.

He decided to attend Mansfield University upon graduation of high school. He is currently majoring in business administration and minoring in general computing and information systems. During Dilly’s time spent at Mansfield University, he has been named to the Dean’s List every semester that he attended.

Upon graduation from Mansfield University, Brandon plans to obtain a high-paying job in a business setting or environment and using this job to support his family and possibly create a new family of his own.

Hank Gontarz, of Lawrenceville, nominated by the math and computer information science department. Gontarz lives in Lawrenceville and his major is computer and information science with an emphasis of information systems.

He is a non-traditional student enrolled in the trade adjustment act and after 20 years in the workforce, Gontarz had an opportunity to return to college and complete his degree.

In 2016, he enrolled in the “IBM Master The Mainframe Contest” at Mansfield and completed parts one through three. He won various prizes for his speed and accuracy in completing all three levels. On level three, Gontarz finished in the top one percent of North American participants and earned an Honorable Mention in the Wall of Fame.

Hannah Swartwood, of Jersey Shore, was nominated by the education and special education department. Swartwood is from Jersey Shore, and is an aspiring educator majoring in early childhood/elementary education with a secondary certification in special education. She also has a minor in child welfare.

She has been the president of Mansfield University’s chapter of the Student Pennsylvania State Education Association (Student PSEA), as well as the vice president of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). Currently, Swartwood is the Central Region Student PSEA president and serving on the PSEA Student Committee.

She is currently student teaching in Williamsport Area School District in a kindergarten class. After graduation, she hopes to secure a teaching position in an elementary school.