Penn State Altoona inducts ninth class of Sheetz Fellows

Ninth class of Sheetz Fellows 2020

First Row (L to R): Lori J. Bechtel-Wherry, Katelyn Sheetz, Steve Sheetz, Destinee Pfirsching, Donna Bon. Second Row (L to R): William Riggleman, Alexandra Arbanas, Velanna Skripek, Amber Newberry, Jenna Metzler, Steven Snowden. Third Row (L to R): Jacob Muthler, Luke Hoffnagle, Nathan Auman, Ryan Long, James Gillespie, Jacob Mrvos.

Credit: Penn State

ALTOONA, Pa. — The ninth class of Sheetz Fellows was inducted during a formal ceremony on Saturday, Feb. 29, at Penn State Altoona.

A competitive academic program, Sheetz Fellows offers unique opportunities that ignite and inspire the entrepreneurial mindset of students at Penn State Altoona by fostering critical thinking, ingenuity, leadership and problem-solving skills.

Fourteen students, all from Pennsylvania, were inducted into the program— Alexandra Arbanas, Chicora; Nathan Auman, of Centre Hall; James Gillespie, of Glen Mills; Luke Hoffnagle, of Hanover; Ryan Long, of Centre Hall; Jenna Metzler, of Martinsburg; Jacob Mrvos, North Huntingdon; Jacob Muthler, of Roaring Spring; Amber Newberry, of Altoona; Destinee Pfirsching, of Altoona; William Riggleman, of Altoona; Katelyn Sheetz, of Reedsville; Velanna Skripek, of Moshannon; and Steven Snowden, of Altoona.

“People sometimes ask what Nan and I get out of this program,” Steve Sheetz stated during his program remarks. “There was one student who considered dropping out of college in his sophomore year. Then he joined the Sheetz Fellows Program. He grew and developed direction through the program in his junior and senior years. I love being in the classroom with the students, and one day he tapped me on the shoulder and said, 'This program changed my life, Mr. Sheetz.' There is no better feeling than that, and we do what we do for the students.”

Other remarks during the ceremony were given by Donna Bon, director of the Sheetz Fellows Program; Conner Lazorka, senior in the Sheetz Fellows Program; and Lori J. Bechtel-Wherry, chancellor and dean at Penn State Altoona.

The Sheetz Fellows Program was established in 2009 as part of a historic gift to Penn State Altoona by Steve and Nancy Sheetz and has proven to be a visionary initiative that prepares students for professional, educational, personal, and social success.

All Sheetz Fellows are required to maintain at least a 3.25 in major GPA, in addition to completing a concentration in entrepreneurship or an entrepreneurship minor, a minimum of 80 hours of servant leadership, a mentor program, a study abroad experience, an internship or research initiative, and an ethics course.

Sheetz Fellows receive a $10,000 scholarship during their senior year, $3,000 toward travel abroad, $1,500 for a CEO conference, in addition to other numerous leadership and travel opportunities.

All students graduating Penn State Altoona as a Sheetz Fellow receive a medallion and special recognition at commencement.