Scranton campus invited to attend this year's virtual Student Recognition Dinner

DUNMORE, Pa. — Penn State Scranton’s student body will still see their hard work and dedication rewarded despite the stay-at-home mandated instituted by the state in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In keeping with the campus’ continuing adjustment to an all-virtual environment, the annual Student Recognition Dinner will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 22, on Zoom.

The entire campus community is invited to attend the event, which acknowledges students who have distinguished themselves through their campus involvement, academic achievements and community service.

“We are continuing to keep the out-of-classroom experiences as normal as possible in the remote learning period for the students. So, in an effort to recognize our students who worked tirelessly throughout the year, we are continuing our annual Student Recognition Dinner,” said Coordinator of Student Activities Julie Gilpatrick.

Minus the actual catered dinner, the event will include all of its usual elements, including its extensive list of awards honoring students for all manner of good works.

Among them are the Patrick J. Rose Award for Excellence in Student Leadership and Service; the Eric A. and Josephine S. Walker Award; and the Penn State Alumni Association Greater Scranton Chapter’s Pride of the Lions Award. Faculty and staff members, meanwhile, are recognized via the Excellent Service to Students awards.

In addition, the Student Government Association (SGA) will hold its traditional swearing-in ceremony for new officers, who were selected during recent online elections. And, the evening will feature remarks by Lecturer in Information Sciences and Technology (IST) and campus alumnus Fred Aebli.

“In this virtual world, the only element that is different is the dress code, because now everyone only needs to dress up from the waist up!” Gilpatrick joked.

The dinner typically draws about 125 students, as well as club advisers, Gilpatrick said. However, since this is the first virtual version of the event, and because solidarity is crucial during these challenging times, the hope is that “everyone in our Penn State Scranton community will attend,” she noted.

“The past year has been very robust on campus physically as well as virtually,” Gilpatrick said. “Students are continuing their club meetings, events and involvement in the remote learning period.”

SGA President Emily Scarfo is happy the dinner is still taking place, especially since it’s her favorite campus event of the year.

“It’s a time to look back and celebrate the year we’ve had together as clubs and organizations,” Scarfo said. “Although having a virtual celebration is not ideal, I appreciate the staff still wanting to celebrate the students’ work. SGA will work with our advisers to make sure that this virtual event is the best it can be to honor the work of our peers.”

“The Recognition Dinner is an important way to recognize individuals that have really worked hard through the year to better their campus and community,” added SGA Treasurer Dan York. “I'm hoping everyone comes because this year it is open to everyone!”

For more information on the Student Recognition Dinner, contact Gilpatrick at [email protected].