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PIMS Holds 145th Commencement Exercise

Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science held its 145th commencement exercise on Friday, Sept. 7, 2012 at the Calvary Episcopal Church.

The graduating class, their families and friends were welcomed to the formal cap and gown ceremony by PIMS president Eugene C. Ogrodnik. The commencement address was delivered by Mrs. Janice Mannal who delivered an inspirational address entitled “Love what You Do.” Mrs. Mannal is immediate past-president of Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association and owner of Mannal Funeral Home in Philadelphia. Prior to her address, Mrs. Mannal was presented the PIMS Lifetime Achievement Award by President Eugene Ogrodnik.

The Funeral Service Oath was administered by Mr. Barry T. Lease, and the graduating class was presented by Dr. Joseph A. Marsaglia, dean of faculty and students. Dean Marsaglia also recognized Mr. Barry T. Lease for his guidance as class faculty advisor.

Candidates to receive the Diploma in Embalming and Funeral Directing are: Satie Bhimsingh Boodoo -Summa Cum Laude- of Trindad, Tabago; Annie Cerutti of Irwin, PA; Nathan Colson of Westbrook, ME; Jennifer Ketter of Cranberry Twp., PA; Andrew Knapp of Wateska, IL; Stephen McIntire of Clarksburg, WV; Susan McPeak Robbins of Pearisburg, VA; Brittany Miller of Pittsburgh, PA; Christina Naughton of Indianapolis, IN; Jayla Pertz of Waynesburg, PA; Craig Serfozo of Pittsburgh, PA; Marie Sikorra of Oakton, VA; Alison Waite of Everett, PA and Megan Wilhelm of Leechburg, PA.

Candidates to receive the Associate in Specialized Technology Degree, Funeral Service Arts and Sciences are: Garrett Anderson of Commodore, PA; Joseph Anderson of Titusville, PA; Tracy Bailey of Dover, DE; Elijah Blake of Wind Ridge, PA; Emily Bock of Glenshaw, PA; Matthew Brooks of Connellsville, PA; Hannah Carpenter of Parkersburg, WV; Tyler Currie of Gillett, PA; Colby DeCamp of St. George, UT; Jay Ford of Fairmont, WV; Troy Gilbert of Boston, PA; Alexis Jativa of Pittsburgh, PA; Sherry Kaufmann of Monroe, LA; Cathy Mullin of Pittsburgh, PA; Kristen Norris -Student Senate President -of Morgantown, WV; Zachary Pittenger of Antes Fort, PA; Roy Raber of Cuyahoga Falls, OH; Emily Radkowski of St. Mary, PA; Alexander Rega of Mt. Pleasant, PA; Courtney Shirey -Student Senator- of Petrolia, PA; Melissa Sincek-Summa Cum Laude- of Canonsburg, PA; Jessica Smith of Ferndale, MI; Randall Stom-Student Senator/Summa Cum Laude- of Clarion, PA; Courtney Tamulonis of Boardman, OH; Justin Tate of Pittsburgh, PA; Howard Van Matre IV of Cambridge Springs, PA; Cory Wagner of New Castle, PA; JeriLyn Walsh of Struthers, OH; Melony Wauthier of Bridgeville, PA and Abbey Welker of Jersey Shore, PA.

Graduates receiving the Associate in Specialized Business Degree, Funeral Service Management are: Olivia Christy of Lower Burrell, PA; Andrew Chunko of North Cambria, PA; Cortney Cornell of Ada, OH; Adelyn Crone of Dover, PA; Megan Cruz of Quaker City, PA; Mary Dindal of Prosperity, PA; Joel Halmi of Pittsburgh, PA; Megan Harbold of Spring Grove, PA; Stephen King of Lewistown, PA; Marcella Kirkland of New Kensington, PA; David Mahlstedt –Cum Laude- of Pittsburgh, PA; Chelsea Miles of Pittsburgh, PA; Angela Perdue of East Cleveland, OH; Stephanie Ritter of Pittsburgh, PA; Gabrielle Sholes of Aspinwall, PA; Mark Stroebel of Portersville, PA; Kate Swenson of Pittsburgh, PA; Carissa Switzer of Milford, PA; Aaron Turchak of Mineral Point, PA; Beth Voss of Cochranville, PA; Chance Waters of Pittsburgh, PA; Brandon Whetsell of Albright, WV; Joshua Wilson of Clearfield, PA and Myles Zdradzinski of Wyomissing, PA.

David Miller from Thiel College presented a Bachelor of Science degree to Emily Bock and Melissa Sincek. Emily and Melissa attended Thiel College for three years and his final year at PIMS as part of a baccalaureate degree program developed in cooperation with PIMS and Thiel College.

Special Awards were also presented at the commencement. The MEMORIAL AWARD was presented to Randall Stom who was chosen by his classmates as the student who, through qualities of leadership, professional conduct and good citizenship, best typifies the ideals of the student body. The JOHN REBOL AWARD was presented to Satie Bimsingh-Boodoo who had maintained the highest scholastic average for the school year 2012. The WILLIAM J. MUSMANNO MEMORIAL AWARD was presented to Emily Radkowski in recognition of her outstanding ability, attitude, commitment and achievement in the clinical setting. The PIERCE CHEMICAL/ROYAL BOND AWARD was presented to Justin Tate in recognition of their outstanding ability, commitment, attitude and achievement in the areas of restorative art and cosmetology. Michael Kuruc, representative from the Pierce Chemical/Royal Bond company was on hand to present the awards.

Ten percent of the graduates received the MU SIGMA ALPHA AWARD which is the honorary society established by the National Association of Colleges of Mortuary Science and gives recognition to those students who have displayed outstanding merit in scholarship and who have conducted themselves as good citizens of the schools they attended. The recipients of the Mu Sigma Alpha Award are: Jay Spencer Ford, Kristen Nichol Norris, Susan McPeak-Robbins, Randall Craig Stom and Marie Raphael Sikorra.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, student senate president Kristen Norris gave her closing farewell remarks and classmate Susan McPeak Robbins lead the congregation in the traditional singing of America the Beautiful.

Posted Sept. 21


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