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More than 834 undergraduate students are eligible to take part in West Chester’s winter commencement exercises on Sunday, Dec. 16.
Winter commencement is split into two undergraduate ceremonies in Hollinger Field House. At 10 a.m., Cheryl Fulginiti '80, vice president for engineering at United Parcel Services, Inc., will address graduates from the colleges of Business and Public Affairs; Education; and Health Sciences. At 1:30 p.m., H. Viscount “Berky” Nelson ’61, director of the Center for Student Programming at UCLA, will address graduates of the colleges of Arts and Sciences; and Visual and Performing Arts. Read more about these two notable alumni here.
Master’s candidates will receive their degrees at a separate ceremony on Monday, Dec. 17, at 7 p.m. in Hollinger; 224 students are eligible. Their speaker is Robert McCreight ’69, who served the U.S. State Department and other federal agencies for 35 years, then became a consultant for major homeland-security and national-defense contractors.
In addition to celebrating graduates at these ceremonies, the University also honors individuals and faculty whose contributions to the University have been exemplary.
Two President's Medallions for Service will be awarded: one to Bernard J. Carrozza ’66 at the morning program; and one to James McErlane at the afternoon program.
Bernard J. Carrozza ’66 will be honored for his outstanding leadership, unwavering advocacy for excellence in education, exceptional service to West Chester University, and decades of unprecedented volunteerism in this community.
Carrozza’s early career in education included serving as a classroom teacher, junior high school counselor, and assistant principal at Ridley High School in Pennsylvania, then 15 years as assistant superintendent for Upper Darby School District, where he became superintendent in 1999.
In 2002 he became the assistant to the dean for technical education at Delaware County Community College and then served as the director for the award-winning Applied Engineering Technology Program at the college. In 2008, he became the project administrator for the college’s U.S. Department of Labor Community-Based Job Training grant.
He has created, coordinated and supervised numerous educational initiatives during his distinguished career, including the establishment of more than 90 school/business partnerships.
Carrozza helped establish the doctoral program in educational administration at Widener University, where he has served as an adjunct professor since 1988.
He was appointed to West Chester’s Council of Trustees in December 1981 and remained on that board for almost 31 years until October 2012, one of the longest tenures in the history of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. During that time, he served as board chair and also chair of presidential search committees.
Carrozza has been recognized and honored with numerous awards, including West Chester University’s Distinguished Alumni Award and two Educator 500 Awards from the University’s Institute for Educational Excellence and Entrepreneurship in 2004 and 2006. He is a member of the George Morris Philips Society, which recognizes generous supporters who have created gift plans to benefit the University.
James E. McErlane, a longtime friend of the University, will be recognized for his generosity and commitment to the University’s mission, regional economic opportunities, and community well-being.
A senior partner of the law firm Lamb McErlane PC, he practices in the areas of banking and finance, real estate, municipal law and government regulations. After earning his degree from Villanova Law School in 1967 and admittance to the Pennsylvania bar, he served with the Judge Advocate General’s Corps for the U.S. Navy until 1970. He is a Vietnam veteran.
Upon leaving the Navy, he co-founded the Lamb McErlane law firm in 1971 with two other attorneys. Today that well-respected firm has grown to 30 lawyers. In 2007 he was named a Super Lawyer in Pennsylvania for the third consecutive year.
McErlane also played a key role in the development of Chester Valley Bancorp, for which he was interim president and board of directors chair, and guided its merger with Willow Grove Bank. When Harleysville National Corporation acquired Willow Financial in 2008, he joined that board of directors.
McErlane’s volunteer activities to promote economic growth have included service as a trustee of the Chester County Economic Development Council and the Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry, which he chaired from 1989 to 1991. The chamber named him Citizen of the Year in 2005.
He also served as a board member for the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority, Paoli Hospital, Great Valley Health, Community Volunteers in Medicine, and Malvern Preparatory School. In addition, he was chair for the Chester County Library Trust.
Because his counsel has benefited so many in Chester County and the Commonwealth, he has been appointed by Pennsylvania governors and regional government leaders to numerous commissions and panels dealing with the complex issues facing the County, the Commonwealth and the nation.
At the University, he served two terms on the WCU Foundation Board and his firm has contributed to numerous University projects. In 1997, he established and continues to support the James E. McErlane Scholarship Endowment for International Studies.
• Kevin Dean, director of the Honors College and professor of communication studies, will be presented with the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching. The award recognizes faculty who demonstrate excellence in teaching; develop courses based upon innovative concepts; or create innovative methods of teaching. Dean has been awarded the “People’s Choice Award” at the annual student leadership awards ceremony, membership in the Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, recognized as “Outstanding Faculty” by the Honors Association, named “Outstanding Leader: Faculty/Administrator of the Year” by SGA, and presented with WCU Council of Trustees citation for service to student leadership development through forensics.
• Viorel Nitica has earned the University Council of Trustees Achievement Award for his significant national and international contributions as a mathematician, researcher, author and scholar. Nitica’s contributions to research mathematics have been recognized for their breadth and depth in diverse areas, including dynamical systems, linear algebra, functional analysis, and optimization; few scholars actively work in so many different subfields of mathematics. The significance of his work is exemplified by the highly rated journals that have published his research; an impressive six research papers have appeared in Ergodic Theory and Dynamical Systems, the most prestigious journal in this field. Among his collaborations is the monograph with Anatole Katok, Differential Rigidity of Abelian Group Actions, which a colleague called “one of the most important research books published in 2011.” He has received several NSF grants – an accomplishment difficult to obtain in mathematics – as well as a collaboration grant from the Simons Foundation.
• The E. Riley Holman Memorial Faculty Award, which honors faculty members who demonstrate innovative teaching techniques that foster student creativity, is being presented to College of Education faculty Lynda Baloche and Connie DiLucchio (joint award); and Linda Hanna. Baloche is author of The Cooperative Classroom and serves as co-president of the International Association for the Study of Cooperation in Education. She and DiLucchio, who is graduate coordinator for Early and Middle Grades Education, have created “Teachers’ Voices: Providing a Forum for Creative, Collaborative Community Building” to provide a space for current students and graduates of the master’s program in Applied Studies in Teaching and Learning to present their work. Hanna’s research interests are in differentiated instruction, personality types/learning styles, home schooling and classroom management.
Also, eight faculty members will earn emeriti designation: Maria Boes, Patricia Broderick, T. Hung Chu, Frank Grosshans, Peter Kyper, C. Jack Orr, Edmundo Morales, Roger Mustalish.
For additional information visit the WCU Commencement webpage.