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KU Presents 2019 Chambliss Student Academic Achievement Awards

Apr 12, 2019

KUTZTOWN, PA (04/05/2019) Kutztown University presented the Chambliss Student Academic Achievement Awards on Friday, April 5, in the Georgian Room in Old Main. The students who received awards were nominated by staff and faculty members for meeting one or more of the six areas of achievement, which include: successfully completed research projects, high quality original artwork, high quality artistic performances (music, chorus, drama, etc.), original writing in literature or meritorious writing in other fields, noteworthy achievements in athletics, and outstanding service to the KU community.

The Academic Achievement Awards were established in 2004 through a donation provided by Dr. Carlson Chambliss, KU professor of astronomy from 1970-2003. The purpose of the awards is to recognize the exceptional individual achievements of a select group of KU graduating seniors. Specially designed coin medallions of gold, silver and copper were presented to the students.

Additional information on the Chambliss Awards can be found here.

Photo Gallery

Gold Medals

Grant Fickes is a mathematics major graduating in May from Red Lion, Pa. He is awarded the Chambliss Academic Achievement Award Gold Medal in the category of successfully completed research projects. Fickes has co-authored three papers for publicatio n during his time at KU. One of which was already accepted by the Journal of Combinatorial Mathematics and Combinatorial Computing. He is currently working on a fourth paper with mathematics professor, Dr. Tony Wong, concerning edge-distinguishing chromatic numbers. Fickes has presented on both the local and national levels, including the National Joint Mathematics Meeting. He has won three mathematics awards at KU, is a Dean’s List student, a member of the Kappa Mu Epsilon Mathematics Honor Society and is the recipient of the Sesquicentennial Scholarship and the STEM Scholarship. Fickes is also an elite-level alto saxophone player in KU’s award-winning Jazz Ensemble. He aspires to be a professor and researcher in mathematics.

Kristyn Rohrer is a native of Manheim, Pa. She graduated in December 2018 summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and minors in ceramics and German. Rohrer is awarded the Chambliss Academic Achievement Award Gold Medal in the categories of successfully completed research projects and high-quality original artwork. Rohrer’s artwork reflects her studies in sociology, as she seeks to translate her thoughts and feelings on sociological issues into powerful sculptures. She has had the distinction of having her own solo show and her work featured in two juried student exhibitions as well as a national juried exhibition. Her ongoing research about Islamic cultures is what encouraged her to write an article on her experience working with refugee women in Jordan. These interests also led her to produce published articles concerning interfaith dialogue as an avenue for diplomacy between the U.S. and Iran. Rohrer is a member of both the Tau Sigma and Alpha Kappa Delta Honor Societies. She currently serves as KU’s Artist in Residence and teaches an evening workshop on Sculpting from Life. Rohrer plans to continue her education in graduate school.

Silver Medals

Alexandra Garnand is a marine science, oceanography and geology major who will graduate in May from Waynesboro, Pa. She is awarded the Chambliss Academic Achievement Award Silver Medal in the category of successfully completed research projects. Garnard worked with geology and marine science professor, Dr. Adrienne Oakley, on a research project concerning beach replenishment and erosion on Wallops Island, Va. She was specifically tasked with organizing years of data and sand samples from previous students, as well as collecting and processing more than 600 samples of her own. Garnand’s research abstracts were accepted at four conferences, including the national meeting of the American Geophysical Union. She is president of the Marine Science Club, vice president of the Geology Club, president of the Mu Zeta Chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity, and clarinet section leader of the KU Marching Unit. Garnand has served as a supplemental instructor and student tutor for multiple introduction courses, and will begin her graduate school career this fall in marine geology.

Anthony Lee is a sport management major graduating in May from Willow Grove, Pa. He is awarded the Chambliss Academic Achievement Award Silver Medal in the category of noteworthy achievements in athletics. Lee is the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Eastern Division Athlete of the Year for 2019. He is a two-time all-region basketball player and four-time All-PSAC selection. He graduates with 2,292 career points, second in school history and fourth in PSAC history. He is also the school-record holder for points in a game, points in a season, scoring average for a season, three-pointers made in a game, season and career, as well as three-point percentage in a season and career, and free-throw percentage in a season. He is a two-year team captain, a seven-time PSAC Athlete of the Week and is a member of KU’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. He finished his basketball career scoring in double-figures in 59 straight games. Lee plans to play professional basketball before pursuing a collegiate coaching career.

Will Reichard-Flynn is a geology major graduating in May from Mertztown, Pa. He is awarded the Chambliss Academic Achievement Award Silver Medal in the category of successfully completed research projects. Reichard-Flynn worked with physical sciences professor, Dr. Ed Simpson, to discover biogenetic structures in the Early Cretaceous Cedar Mountain Formation in Utah. He researched dung beetle trace fossils and presented his findings along with two abstracts at the Northeast Geological Society of America meeting in March 2018. He then performed a detailed examination of microbial-induced sedimentary structures. Reichard-Flynn presented these findings at the National Geological Society of America’s November 2018 meeting. Reichard-Flynn has been recognized for his work by world-famous scholars and has multiple papers under review for publication. He has also co-authored several other papers and presented at regional, national and international meetings. Reichard-Flynn plans to attend graduate school to continue his research.

Devon Stackonis is a native of Boyertown, Pa. She graduated in December 2018 summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in studio art and painting. Stackonis is awarded the Chambliss Academic Achievement Award Silver Medal in the category of high-quality original artwork. Stackonis’ artwork depicts high-quality craftsmanship and drawing ability, in addition to her extensive knowledge of printmaking. Her work has been included in more than 16 regional exhibitions. She also attended the Southern Graphics International Conference in April 2018 and participated in an open portfolio session. She is the recipient of multiple KU scholarships and is a member of the Printmakers Society of the Lehigh Valley. Stackonis currently serves as an artist-in-residence printmaking assistant at Bucknell University. Stackonis plans to attend graduate school, after which she hopes to teach art and continue to produce and exhibit her paintings and prints.

Briana Zdradzinski is a native of Reading, Pa. She graduated in December 2018 magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. Zdradzinski is awarded the Chambliss Academic Achievement Award Silver Medal in the category of outstanding service to the KU community. Zdradzinski served as KU’s representative in 2017 at a regional meeting of Governor Tom Wolf’s education taskforce on improving the education system for groups such as high school students, first generation college students and people who have been incarcerated. She also served as a KU Presidential Ambassador and completed more than 85 hours of volunteer service. She has volunteered with KU’s orientation office to design logos, create videos and recruit students as part of a support program for first generation college students. Zdradzinski founded KU’s chapter of the Tau Sigma National Honors Society for Transfer Students and was a member of the Alpha Kappa Delta International Honor Society in sociology. Zdradzinski was a Dean’s List student as well as a recipient of the KU Foundation Scholarship. She is currently a graduate student in KU’s public administration program and aspires to work in higher education with her underlying goal of helping students succeed.

Copper Medals

Sara Keeny is a criminal justice major graduating in May from Warminster, Pa. She is awarded the Chambliss Academic Achievement Award Copper Medal in the category of noteworthy achievements in athletics. Keeny is one of four softball players in school history to carry a career batting average over 400. She is a three-time All-Atlantic Region and All-Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) First Team selection, as well as a three-time PSAC Scholar-Athlete. She was the 2016 PSAC Freshman of the Year, the 2016 KU Female Freshman of the Year, and is a two-time PSAC Athlete of the Week. She ranks third in school history with more than 100 career stolen bases and ranks in the top-10 with more than 200 career hits. Last summer, Keeny interned at a juvenile detention center as part of her education in criminal justice. She plans to pursue a career in law enforcement.

Justin Reel is a biology major specializing in ecology who graduates in May from Upper Chichester, Pa. He is awarded the Chambliss Academic Achievement Award Copper Medal in the category of successfully completed research projects. Reel worked with biology professor, Dr. Todd Underwood, to examine instances of parasitism by brown-headed cowbirds among red-winged blackbirds in Berks County. He performed an extensive literature review of more than 90 published studies concerning cowbird parasitism, created model cowbird eggs for his experiments, and worked in the field to collect and process his data. Reel will present his findings at the June 2019 American Ornithological Society conference in Anchorage, Alaska. He is also the recipient of the Ornithological Society’s Student Membership Award as well as multiple KU research grants. Reel plans to pursue his passion as a field biologist studying bird behavior and ecology.

Samantha Paine is a native of Allentown, Pa. She graduated in December 2018 summa cum laude with a dual degree in English and professional writing. She is awarded the Chambliss Academic Achievement Award Copper Medal in the category of outstanding service to the KU community. Paine was a tutor in the Writing Center, an honor reserved for only the best undergraduate writers, as well as the editor for Shoofly magazine and contributing writer to the HerCampus KU women’s blog. She served as a writer, section editor and the editor-in-chief of The Keystone Newspaper, the university’s student newspaper. She also served as a KU Presidential Ambassador. Paine interned for the Women’s Resource Center, where she used her writing and media skills to build the center’s online presence, created new informational materials and focused the community’s attention on gender issues. She was a Dean’s List student and the recipient of numerous KU scholarships. Paine plans to pursue a career as a writer and editor to tell the stories of her community.

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