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Commencement set for May 15 at Penn State York

5/11/2009 —
“If you’re going to go back to school, get the full college experience,  do something for your school and your community,” that’s advice from Eric A. Hudak, York, who will be receiving a bachelor of arts in letters, arts, and sciences on Friday, May 15 at Penn State York. Penn State York will celebrate its 39th annual spring commencement at 6 p.m. in the campus’ Pullo Family Performing Arts Center.  The campus will award associate and baccalaureate degrees and recognize master's degree graduates during the program.  The ceremony is free and open to the public.  For those who cannot attend the event, Penn State York's commencement can be viewed on Comcast cable channel 18 or streaming on the Web site at www2.yk.psu.edu/commencement.
Hudak, 30, returned to school at age 28 after two tours of duty in the army, one in Bosnia and the other in Iraq.  He served 12 years in the military and rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant in the 108th division.  Hudak decided to finish the degree he had started 10 years earlier and chose Penn State York because of the small class size.  Hudak was involved on campus from day one.  He served as a senator for the student government , was a member and became president of the Veterans Club, volunteered with Habitat for Humanity,  worked with numerous other volunteer groups, and also was one of the stars of the men’s basketball team.  Army, as he is known by his teammates, earned numerous athletic awards for his skill on the court but more importantly, was honored for his academic abilities as well. 
As part of a public relations class, Hudak shared his military experiences with his fellow students when they were trying to decide on a project to do.  The class was inspired by what Hudak had to say and as a result they decided to take on a project to sell dog tags and from the proceeds purchase items to send to the troops.  The dog tags which read, PSY Be Their Hero, were a huge success and the class received numerous donations and publicity.  More than 60 care packages were sent to troops in Afghanistan in time for the holidays thanks to this effort inspired by Hudak.
In recognition of all efforts, Hudak was named the winner of the Eric A. and Josephine Walker Award, the highest award a student can receive.  The award is given to a student who has exhibited outstanding qualities of character, scholarship, leadership, and citizenship.
Penn State York’s commencement speaker is Jon Landis, alum and an assistant professor in the areas of educational leadership and educational technology at Millersville University. 
Landis joined the faculty at Millersville in 2008 and is the graduate coordinator of the educational leadership program and teaches educational law and educational leadership theory classes for that program.  He also teaches educational technology and educational methods courses to undergraduates.  He has developed and delivered more than 240 staff development sessions covering more than 50 topics.
Prior to his position at Millersville, Landis served in Pennsylvania as a chemistry teacher, curriculum director, technology coordinator, and principal.   He continues to do consulting work in the technology field with Waynesboro School District and the Camp Hill School District.  In addition, Landis is an active speaker and advocate for internet safety and technology integration for area schools and organizations.  He recently spoke at a seminar on Internet predators and Megan’s Law sponsored by Representative Stan Saylor (R-York), the Child Abuse Prevention Council (CAPC) of York County, and the York County Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for children. 
Landis began his Penn State education at Penn State York and then moved on to University Park where he graduated in 1991 with a bachelor of science in chemistry education from Penn State.   He earned a master’s in educational leadership in 2002 from Millersville University, and is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.  He plans to complete the doctoral program this summer. 
While a student at Penn State York, Landis was president of the Lion Ambassadors, a student group that volunteers their time to promote the campus, and was always a familiar face at student events.  Ironically, Landis was not exactly thrilled to attend the local campus of Penn State but once he was here, he gave of his time and became a campus supporter. Faculty and staff remember him as a dedicated student, hard worker, and always willing to help.  In recognition of his outstanding student efforts, Landis was the winner of the prestigious Eric A. and Josephine Walker Award. 
Another perk of starting at York, Landis met his wife, formerly Kim Werner, who was also a student here.  The Landis’ and their two children, a son and daughter, reside in York not far from Penn State York.
In addition to hearing from Landis, Penn State York will continue its tradition of the open microphone where graduates can speak for a moment.  Top associate degree graduate W. Craig. Myers, Manheim, associate degree graduate in business administration; top baccalaureate degree graduate Mary K. Ott, York, baccalaureate of arts in American studies; and Jennifer M. Wilson, Hanover, representing the master of education degree program in teaching and curriculum; will also say a few words. 
Penn State York will award 25 associate degrees: 8 in business administration, 3 in electrical engineering technology, 4 in human development and family studies, 3 in information sciences and technology, five in letters, arts, and sciences, 1 in mechanical engineering technology, and 1 in nanofabrication manufacturing technology; 50 baccalaureate degrees:  1 in American studies, 3 in English, 2 in letters, arts, and sciences, 21 in business, 3 in electro-mechanical engineering technology, 12 in human development and family studies, 5 in information sciences and technology, and 3 in science; and 26 master of education degrees in teaching and curriculum.
Eight former Penn State York students who completed their degree work at another campus of Penn State will return to their home campus, York, to receive their degrees during the ceremony.  The campus will also recognize 172 baccalaureate students who began their work at Penn State York and are now eligible to move on to University Park or other campuses to complete their degree work.  Penn State York offers the first two years of more than 160 Penn State majors and those students comprise most of the campus.
A reception, sponsored by the Penn State York Alumni Society, will follow the ceremony on the first and third floor atriums of  The Pullo Center.
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