we are penn state banner on side of large stone building

Penn State Scranton welcomes over 136 new alumni into the pride

On Saturday, May 4, 2024, Penn State Scranton welcomed 136 new alumni into the Penn State family at its 56th commencement ceremony, which was held at the Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple in downtown Scranton.

SCRANTON, Pa. -- On Saturday, Penn State Scranton welcomed 136 new alumni into the Penn State family at its 56th commencement ceremony. 

Commencement 2024 Speakers

Penn State Scranton Chancellor Marwan A. Wafa, Ph.D. presided over the ceremony, which was held at the Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple in downtown Scranton. Penn State alumnus and Lackawanna County Commissioner Matt McGloin was commencement speaker and Associate Professor of Mathematics Bagisa Mukherjee, Ph.D., served as faculty marshal.


Faculty Senate Chair Megan Van Etten, Ph.D., associate professor of biology and program coordinator for the biology and science programs, gave the invocation. 

woman wearing graduation cap and gown at podium on stage

Faculty Senate Chair Megan Van Etten, Ph.D., associate professor of biology and program coordinator for the biology and science programs, gave the invocation at the 156th Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 4, 2024 at the Scranton Cultural Center, Scranton.

Credit: Morgan Sewack

“We come together to appreciate and admire the hard work and dedication that it took for these students make it here today. We celebrate the dreams and hopes of all within our society, that were encouraged and nourished at Penn State Scranton. We are thankful for all the support given, by our community of mentors, donors, faculty, advisors, staff, family and friends.

“May our gratitude on this grand day guide us toward peace for each person, and toward freedom to live, work, and serve throughout all our days.”


Chancellor Wafa then addressed the graduates, acknowledging that their hard work and commitment to their studies got them to where they are right now, and also acknowledged their families and loved ones in the audience who also provided them with support on their journey.

“You are here this afternoon because you have earned the right for this special and joyous occasion. It took years of hard work and long nights preparing for exams and meeting deadlines. You may have worked one or more jobs … you may have sought help from family and loved ones to assist you on this journey. But we also know that for many, there are very special individuals who stood with you and whose support was key for you to be here this morning.” He then asked the family, friends and loved ones of the graduates to stand and be acknowledged.

“Today, we mark a momentous occasion in your lives -- your graduation from college. On behalf of the Penn State Scranton community, I want to congratulate you and let you know that we are all proud of you and all that you have accomplished,” Wafa said. “I want to thank you for being a part of our campus community and for your contributions to Penn State Scranton. We wish you luck and success today and always.”

Commencement Speaker

McGloin, Lackawanna County Commissioner and Penn State alumnus, shared his experiences as a walk-on at Penn State, followed by several years playing in the NFL. 

may at podium on stage at a graduation ceremony

Lackawanna County Commissioner Matt McGloin was our Commencement Speaker on Saturday, May 4, 2024.

Credit: Morgan Sewack

“You can work your whole life for something and then have it come to an end in the blink of an eye. And then what?” he said, reflecting on the unpredictability of life. “I truly believe now I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing with my life... I loved football but I never let it define me. I encourage you to find what you're passionate about, find what motivates you, find your why for what you do next in life.”

McGloin urged the graduates to find their passion, stay prepared for opportunities, and prioritize constant self-improvement.

“I encourage you to prepare for your next opportunity, never knowing when it'll come. We have no idea when our next chance at something great will present itself, but if you're not prepared and ready for it, it'll never come,” McGloin said.

“I encourage you not to chase wins or losses, but simply chase constant and never-ending self-improvement. Be the type of person that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, the devil says, ‘they're up.’ And don't fear backing yourself in the corner and saying... ‘ok, I now need to find my own way out.’ Understand discipline will play a major role in your success.”

Chancellor’s Scholar Award

Each year Penn State Scranton identifies a high achieving student in the final year of his or her program with the highest cumulative grade point as the Chancellor’s Scholar.

Abigail Gaebel, a biology graduate, was named the recipient of the 2024 Chancellor’s Scholar Award. 

woman and man in graduation attire

Abigail Gaebel, a biology graduate, on left, pictured with Penn State Scranton Chancellor Marwan Wafa, Ph.D., was named the recipient of the 2024 Chancellor’s Scholar Award at the 56th Commencement on Saturday, May 4, 2024.

Credit: Morgan Sewack

Alongside her academic excellence, she has conducted novel independent research, served as biology student senator, tutored peers, danced for THON, and delivered the keynote speech at the undergraduate Research Fair and Exhibition. In addition, she is this year’s Greater Scranton Penn State Chapter “Pride of Lions” Award Recipient, received an Academic Excellence Award for Biological Sciences, served as the 2023-2024 Chief Justice for the Student Government Association and was recently inducted into the Beta Beta Beta Honor Society.

She addressed her fellow graduates, saying:

As we gather here today to celebrate the culmination of our academic careers, I am deeply humbled and grateful for the opportunity to address you all. Today marks a significant milestone in our lives, a moment that we have worked tirelessly to reach and one that we will remember for years to come. Along the way, I have had the privilege of getting to know many of you very well and have formed friendships that I am certain will withstand the test of time. I am profoundly grateful for the laughter, memories, and even struggles we’ve endured together.

As I stand before you, ready to reflect on our shared experiences and lessons of our time together, I am struck by a common thread that runs through each of our stories: the journey. The journey of discovery, growth, and transformation that has brought us to this very moment. As we step into our respective roles and professions, let us not lose sight of that very humanity that unites us. As we find ourselves in the uncharted territory of the future, challenges will arise along the way. The way we face these obstacles, however, is what truly defines us.

So, I challenge you, my fellow graduates, to create your own path. Don’t define yourself by the titles you obtain along the way, or the successes you can write down on paper. Let your journey be guided by the talents and traits that make you who you are.

Let us continue to be the trailblazers, the pioneers of kindness and scholarship, as we set forth on our own unique paths less traveled.

Conferring of the Degrees

Also in attendance was Penn State Board of Trustees Vice Chair David Kleppinger, whom, as approved by the University’s Board of Trustees, authorized Chancellor Wafa to confer the degrees on this year’s graduates. “On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I offer my congratulations to the Class of 2024, their families and friends.” He also encouraged them to remain active and engaged members of the Penn State community as alumni.

Alumni Society President

Penn State Scranton Alumni Society President Sean Wolfe gave the alumni charge to the new Penn State Alumni and welcomed them into the Penn State Alumni Association, to which all new graduates receive a free one-year membership.

Degrees and Honors Awarded

Penn State Scranton granted degrees in Biology, Business, Corporate Communication, English, Human Development and Family Studies, Information Sciences and Technology, Information Technology, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Nursing, Project and Supply Chain Management, Psychology and Science.

Associate degrees were awarded in Business Administration, Human Development and Family Studies and Multidisciplinary Studies.

Several students graduated with honors of distinction.

Graduating Summa Cum Laude: Abigail Gaebel and Qussai Odeh.

Graduating Magna Cum Laude:  Fernando Larrea, Ashley Torres and Grace Ursich.

Graduating Cum Laude: Alexandria Clarke, Erica Davis, Luke Gardiner, Gretchen Gilia, Antonio Pugliese and Abigail Schrader.

Recognition of graduates with Military Service:  Rudolf Null, Jalynn McFadden, Rashel Swanson and Frank Turnbaugh.

3 men in cap and gown smile at their graduation

Pictured on left, Rudolf Null, Information Sciences and Technology graduate, wearing a red white, and blue chord for military service, smiles while processing into the 56th Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 4, 2024.

Students who have honorably served, are serving, or are commissioned to serve in the U.S. military are given red, white, and blue cords at graduation in recognition of their duty and sacrifice.

The cords are given to eligible graduating students in the following groups: active duty, reserve and
National Guard service members; veterans; and graduates receiving a commission through Reserve
Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) and official U.S. Armed Forces recruiting programs.

Credit: Morgan Sewack

The Penn State Scranton 2024 graduates by Penn State degree are:

Bachelor of Science in Biology:  Alahnna Balbach, Gouldsboro; Samantha Collins, Waymart; Morgana Costanzo, Preston Park; Abigail Gaebel, Scranton; Qussai Odeh, Blakeslee; and Andrew Oudshoorn, Lake Ariel.

Bachelor of Science in Business: Xavier Bennett, Canadensis; Swapnil Bhatt, Scranton; Matthew Davis, Greenfield Township; Luke Gardiner, South Abington Township; Brian Hobbs, Scranton; Giana Krehel, Lake Ariel; Thomas Lewis,     Dunmore; Joseph Lisk, South Abington Township; Ryan Mason, South Abington Township; Charles McAvoy III, Bear Creek Township; Rylie Nealon, Roaring Brook Township; Hima Patel,    Scranton; Matthew Pendrak Jr., Taylor; Collin Scherer, Scranton; Michael Scutt, Jefferson Township; Paul Siemieniewicz, Blakely; Quinnlan Speckhardt, Lakeville; Gabriel Stack, Montrose; Temo Uvera, Scott Township; Francesca Villano, Peckville; Jared Yates, Moosic; and Erica Yatzun, Taylor.

Bachelor of Arts in Corporate Communication:  Justin Dorneman, Scranton; Andrew Gallia, Yatesville; Fiona Jordan, Dunmore; Tyler Rebello, Brackney; Sheylla Romero, Scranton; Jenna Scarfo, Clarks Summit; and Khalil White, Kingston.
Bachelor of Arts in English:  Alexandra Bouselli, Moosic; and Alex Jordan, Clarks Summit.

Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies:  Stephanie Algar, Clarks Green; Daniele Barlett, Wilmington, DE; Neena Beggin, Jessup; Marilyn Bollard, Jefferson Township; Gretchen Gilia, Carbondale; Maleah Hawley, Eynon; Alison Marshman, Susquehanna; Nidhi Patel, Scranton; Riya Patel, Scranton; Vidhi Patel, Scranton; Katrina Souryavong, Scranton; and Nicole Tinna, Tunkkhannock. 

Bachelor of Science in Information Sciences and Technology: Andrew Bednarek, Scranton; Ryan Blanchard, Eynon; Erica Davis, Archbald; Sneh Desai, Scranton; Patrick Donvito, Dunmore; Rudolf Null, Hawley; Jesus Ozuna, Olyphant; Dhruv Patel, Scranton; Harpal Patel, Scranton; Rushi Patel, Scranton; and Noah Petrucci, Pittston.

Bachelor of Science in Information Technology: Kyle Bosley, Spring Brook Township; Matthew Diehl, Mayfield; Mahek Gandhi, Scranton; and Maxwell Phillips, Newfoundland.

Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering:  Kristofer Boswell, Kingsley; Ethan Marti, Pocono Lake; Antonio Pugliese, Scranton; Eric Rine, Covington Township; Garrett Walsh, Scranton; Michael Waltman, Scranton; and Kyle Zuvic, Lakeville.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing:  Samuel Amon, Flemington; Shanay Baker, Mountain Top; Huiting Chen, Kingston; Monica Darjee, Scranton; Carissa DeLucca, Old Forge; Kayla Drutherosky, Jermyn; Natalie Faybisovich, Dickson City; Alyssa Freymuth, Milford; Alexis Fumanti, Old Forge; Madelyn Grilz, Plains; Megan Grippi, Scranton; AnnMarie Gunshannon, Spring Brook Township; Isabella Jean Philippe, Roaring Brook Township; Abryel Johnson, Lake Ariel; Isabelle Pehanick, Dunmore; Ameri Reif, Cresco; Grace Rosecrans, Kingsley; Taylor Saltkill-Mcrew, Scranton; Jacquelyn Scherer, Wilkes-Barre; Megan Schmidt, Horsham; Sadaf Sediqi, Scranton; Morgan Sharff, Tafton; Angeleah Sopko, Plymouth; Rashel Swanson, Susquehanna; Jennifer Swartz, Dallas; Jordan Symonies, Carbondale; Frank Turnbaugh, Blakely, Grace Ursich, Union Dale; Kelly Varcoe, Honesdale; Isabella Vinskofski, Dickson City; and Joseph Walser, Dallas.

Bachelor of Science in Project and Supply Chain Management:  Ryan Carrotto, Jessup; Hiral Patel, Moosic; and Gabriel Yurkanin, Archbald.

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology:  Alexandria Clarke, Gouldsboro; Jessica Hook, Lake Ariel; Mackenzie Kizer, Madison Township; Abigail LaBadie, Thornhurst; Paige Liptai, Thornhurst; Jalynn McFadden, Blakely; Kristann Mohar, Bartonsville; Ashley Torres, Lords Valley; and Morgan Truskoloski, Eynon.

Bachelor of Science in Psychology:  Hailee Bass, Scranton; Daylyn Fortuna, Stroudsburg; Lynette Guaba, Wilkes-Barre; Nicole Nafus,     Benton; Maricon Saba, Scranton; Abigail Schrader, Moscow; Ryan Weitz, Moosic; and Andrea Williams, Clarks Summit.

Bachelor of Science in Science:  Paige Hazen, Jefferson Township; Dale Ignatovich, Forty-Fort; and Matthew Walsh, Dunmore. 

Associate of Science in Business Administration:  Layla Barron, Dickson City; Robert Grzyboski, Moosic; Casey Jones, Covington Township; Fernando Larrea, Dingmans Ferry; and Kalyssa Shedd, Archbald.

Associate of Science in Human Development and Family Studies: Katherine Larsen, Simpson.

Associate of Arts in Multidisciplinary Studies:  Lauren Holzman, Scranton; Michael Renna, Old Forge; and Mary Vermac, Avoca.

Eberly College of Science/Bachelor of Science in Mathematics:  Aryan Patel, Mountain Top.

College of Health and Human Development/Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies:  Brianna Harrison, Taylor.