College of Education > News and Publications > 2019: 01-03 news > College of Education alumnus earns Alumni Achievement Award

College of Education alumnus earns Alumni Achievement Award

Brian Patchcoski, a 2010 graduate of the College of Education with a master's degree in college student affairs/higher education, is one of 15 prominent young alumni to be honored by the Penn State Alumni Association with the Alumni Achievement Award.

Brian PatchcoskiBrian Patchcoski, a 2010 graduate of the College of Education with a master's degree in college student affairs/higher education, is one of 15 prominent young alumni to be honored by the Penn State Alumni Association with the Alumni Achievement Award.

The honorees officially will be recognized this month, when they visit the University Park campus for guest lectures, student engagements and an award ceremony.

Patchcoski won't have to travel far to receive his award, because he is director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Ally (LGBTQA) Student Resource Center at Penn State, providing a comprehensive range of education, information, and advocacy to students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

Prior to returning to Penn State, Patchcoski served as an associate dean of students at Cornell University, focusing on student support, sexual violence, and advocacy while also directing their LGBT Resource Center. While at Cornell, Patchcoski also co-directed the Center for Intercultural Dialogue.

Before joining Cornell, Patchcoski was the founding director of the Office of LGBTQ Services and Deputy Title IX Officer at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. While at Dickinson, he hosted the Gay-Straight Alliance Leadership Summit, the only event of its kind in Central Pennsylvania. During his career, Patchcoski has participated in several national research projects examining student identity development and campus climate and has served as the Mid-Atlantic representative for the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals. Patchcoski is published in areas of gender inclusion in higher education as well as inclusive faith-based practices for queer individuals.

On Aug. 6, 2018, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf signed an executive order creating the United States' only Commission on LGBTQ Affairs. Patchcoski was chosen as one of only 40 members of the new commission, giving him a unique opportunity to be a critical driving force for equity and inclusion across Pennsylvania. Patchcoski has worked extensively providing discussions exploring issues of sexual and gender diversity and more broadly equity and inclusion at Penn State, and across the field of higher education.

Alumni Achievement Award recipients are nominated by an academic college or campus and invited by the president of the University to return to Penn State to share their expertise with students and the University community. Honorees demonstrate to students that Penn State alumni succeed in exceptional fashion at an early age.

Many recipients will meet with students and guest lecture in classrooms to share insights on their successes in life and business. 

Following are the names, graduation year(s), and majors of this year's other honorees; bios and information are available on the Alumni Association's website

  • Iyadh Abid, 2016g Penn State Law
  • Donald J. Cella, 2013 Smeal College of Business
  • Teleicia Dambreville, 2013g Penn State Law
  • Laura M. K. Dassama, 2013g Eberly College of Science (The Graduate School)
  • Renee N. Donahue, 2011g College of Medicine
  • Shadi Ghrayeb, 2008g College of Engineering, 2012g School of International Affairs, 2013g College of Engineering
  • Brittany Hawkins, 2008 College of Health and Human Development
  • Daniel A. Kapinos, 2008 Eberly College of Science
  • Daniel M. Lentz, 2010g College of Earth and Mineral Sciences
  • James Riney, 2011 Smeal College of Business, College of the Liberal Arts
  • Benjamin M. Ross, 2006, 2007g College of Engineering
  • Devan Shimoyama, 2011 College of Arts and Architecture
  • Aniyia L. Williams, 2007 College of Arts and Architecture (Penn State Berks)
  • Jay Yonamine, 2013g College of the Liberal Arts

*Honorees nominated by a unit other than their graduating college are denoted in parentheses.