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College of Education > News and Publications > News: April - June 2012 > Congratulations Students (compiled May 2012)

Congratulations Students (compiled May 2012)

An article acknowledging College of Education students for their accomplishments

Kayla Harris, doctoral candidate in counseling psychology at Penn State and a Puksar Holmes Scholar, was elected president of the national Holmes Council during the 2012 AACTE Holmes Scholars conference, held in Chicago.

The Penn State Puksar Holmes Scholars are doctoral-level graduate students enrolled in the College of Education. The PSU PH Scholars initiative is part of the Holmes Partnership, a national organization that builds sustainable partnerships between colleges of education and K–12 school districts. In 1991, the Holmes Partnership established the Holmes Scholars Program, designed for students from underrepresented groups who are entering the field of education. PSU PH Scholars support a forum that explores and addresses issues regarding their professional growth.


Lori Johnson-Vegas, a doctoral candidate in the Workforce Education and Development program, received the Penn State Commission for Women’s Achieving Women Award in the graduate student and postdoctoral student category. She was honored at the Commissions' sixth annual awards luncheon, held April 16.

An article, "Women’s History Month: Lori Johnson-Vegas makes giving back her life mission," which an informative account of Lori's life story, is available online at


David B. Knight, doctoral student in the Higher Education program, has received the 2012 Best Paper Award from the American Society for Engineering Education’s Division of Educational Research and Methods. The paper, titled "In Search of the Engineers of 2020: An Outcome-Based Typology of Engineering Undergraduates," draws on Knight’s research for his Ph.D. dissertation, which he recently defended successfully. Knight will receive the award in early June at the Society’s annual conference in San Antonio, Tex.


Jonathan Lozano, a candidate for a juris doctor degree from the Dickinson School of Law and master of education degree in college student affairs in the College of Education, has received the 2012 Graduate Student Service Award. Established in 1991, the award recognizes a graduate student who has best combined high academic achievement with leadership in University or other public activities.


Leah Matusow, a recent graduate in secondary education mathematics, and Marcellus Taylor, a recent graduate at Penn State Harrisburg in behavioral sciences and education, are co-recipients of the 2012 Ralph Dorn Hetzel Memorial Award. Named for Penn State’s 10th president, the Hetzel Award recognizes a combination of high scholastic attainment together with good citizenship, and participation and leadership in student activities.


Joanna Reissman, a senior graduating this semester in elementary education, has received the Shirley Chisholm Innovator Award from the Penn State chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The award honors an individual who has broken barriers on Penn State’s campus and beyond. Reissman received her award at the association’s second annual Image Awards ceremony, held April 15. Reissman is founder of the Penn State UNICEF chapter and co-founded the Penn State Keep A Child Alive chapter.