ALTOONA – The seventh class of Sheetz Fellows was inducted during a formal ceremony at the Sheetz Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence Saturday, February 17, 2018. A competitive academic program, the Sheetz Fellows Program mission is to create 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.
Sixteen students were inducted into the program—Dennis Abramov, of Fair Lawn, NJ; Gregory Bayles, of Altoona, PA; Katherine Christoff, of Mount Union, PA; Vincent DeFazio, of Greensburg, PA; Keon Diggs, of Pittsburgh, PA; Sam Evans, of Harrisburg, PA; Chase Galbraith, of Lebanon, PA; Scott Glenn, of Altoona, PA; Jose’ Hernandez, of Bronx, NY; Kyrstin Johnson, of Altoona, PA; Hunter Lewis, of Downingtown, PA; Eric Neff, of Tyrone, PA; Matthew Pettinato, of Scranton, PA; Dominic Pezzotti, of Newtown Square, PA; Makayla Plants, of Washington, PA; and Nicole Watt, of Altoona, PA. The 16 inductees celebrated alongside family and friends; Penn State Altoona faculty and staff; previously inducted Sheetz Fellows; Sheetz Fellows alumni; and founders of the Sheetz Fellows Program, Steve and Nancy Sheetz.
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.
Steve Sheetz, a 1969 Penn State graduate and former Penn State Altoona student, encouraged the new inductees to consider their legacies as they progress in the program. Steve urged the inductees to remember that the joy of helping others is derived most effectively by offering one’s talents and treasure willfully and unconditionally, whether it is through service, philanthropy, or advocacy. 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 the numerous leadership and travel opportunities provided to aspiring Sheetz Fellows.
Remarks were also given by Donna Bon, director of the Sheetz Fellows Program; Logan McHale, president of the Sheetz Fellows Program; and Dr. Darin Zimmerman, Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Associate Dean for Research at Penn State Altoona.
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 study abroad experience, a credit-bearing internship or research initiative, and an ethics course. Sheetz Fellows must also fulfill a minimum of 80 hours of servant leadership.
A unique component to the Sheetz Fellows Program is the Entrepreneurial Mentors Program. Sheetz Fellows are paired with mentors in an effort to provide students with successful entrepreneurial role models to encourage the development of attitudes that result in entrepreneurial success, such as persistence, focus, calculated risk taking, salesmanship, and ethical practices, and provide a context for the mentee to discuss and see the real-world application of concepts taught in the classroom.
All students graduating with the status as a Sheetz Fellow receive a medallion and special recognition at commencement.