Clarion University spring 2017 Commencement
Saturday, May 13, 2017
10:00 a.m. Ceremony - College of Arts, Education & Sciences
2:00 p.m. Ceremony - College of Business & Information Sciences and
Accounting, Business Administration, Business Economics, Computer Science, Economics, Finance, Human Resource Management, Information Systems,International Business, Liberal Studies: Library Science, Library Science, Management, Marketing, Real Estate, Liberal Studies concentrations in: (Athletic Coaching, Athletic Training, Sports Management), Nutrition & Fitness, Rehabilitative Sciences concentrations in (Addictions, Developmental Disabilities, Gerontology), Speech Pathology & Audiology, Sport Management, Doctor of Nursing Practice, Master of Science in Nursing
Friday, May 12, 2017 6:30 p.m.
All Associate Degrees (EXCLUDING Early Childhood), Allied Health Leadership, Criminal Justice Administration, Medical Imaging Sciences, Nursing, Rehabilitative Sciences: Court & Community Services, Technology Leadership
Dr. Syed R. Ali Zaidi
President Medallion Award
Dr. Syed R. Ali Zaidi was born and raised in Aligar, India.
He received a B.S. in glass technology from Sheffield University in England and an M.Sc. and Ph.D. in ceramic engineering, both from The Ohio State University.
In 1985, Ali-Zaidi founded and became president of the Kimaz Corp., Shippenville, which primarily operates in the consulting engineer business/industry with the engineering, accounting, research and management services sector. He retired after a 25-year career in research and development with the glass industry.
He was appointed to the Clarion University Council of Trustees in 1980 and reappointed in 1985, 1991, 1997, 2003, 2009 and 2016. He has chaired various council committees.
He was a founding member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Board of Governors, serving from 1984 to 1988 and from 1997 to 2002. In 1998, Dr. Ali-Zaidi chaired the board's Task Force on Science and Advanced Technology Education, Workforce Development, and Implementation Research.
In 2001, he established the Syed R. Ali-Zaidi Award for Academic Excellence to recognize and reward outstanding academic achievement and to inspire and honor State System students who excel in the pursuit of knowledge.
Dr. Ali-Zaidi is the recipient of the State System's 2002 Eberly Award for Volunteerism.
He resides in Shippenville.
For his deep commitment and recognition of his life of service to Clarion University,
Dr. Syed R. Ali-Zaidi will receive the President's Medallion Award at today's 10 a.m.
Robert J. "Bo" Garritano
10 a.m. Commencement Speaker
Robert J. "Bo" Garritano was an outstanding defensive lineman for the Golden Eagles from 1962 to 1965 and continues to support the football team, spearheading the Clarion Football Alumni Association, along with the Dare To Dream Scholarship Fund.
Playing for coaches Ernie "Turk" Johnson in 1962 and Al Jacks from 1963 to 1965, Garritano distinguished himself as a defensive tackle. A four-year starter, he was named a first team All-PSAC defensive tackle in 1964 (combined East and West), along with first team NAIA District 18 and NAIA HM All-American. In 1965, as co-captain, he led the Clarion Golden Eagles to a 6-2-1 record. Garritano was voted as a first team PSAC-West and NAIA District 18 choice. He again was named NAIA HM All-American.
He was named to the 1991 East Boros Sports Hall of Fame and the 2012 Class of the Clarion Sports Hall Of Fame. Also in 2012, Garritano received the Ray Mansfield Award for his service to youth as "The Terrible Fan" and later 'The Safety Fan," teaching more than 200,000 children school bus safety.
Garritano earned a bachelor's degree in education/social studies from Clarion University in 1966. He was the recipient of the Clarion University Distinguished Volunteer Award in 2007.
He retired in 2001 as a principal at Laurel Valley High in New Florence, Pa., after two years as assistant principal at Penn Hills School District in Pittsburgh. He held positions as a teacher, guidance counselor and assistant principal at Ford City, Bellevue, Norwin, Gateway, Hempfield and East Allegheny high schools and the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit. He served after retirement as a substitute assistant principal at Kiski Area High School.
Following a full liver transplant in 2007, he and his wife, Joyce, become active volunteers at the Thomas Starzl Transplantation Clinic at UPMC Montefiore, Pittsburgh. He is a former board member of the American Liver Foundation, Allegheny Division, and a member of the Community Liver Alliance "Flavors of Westmoreland" committee. He served with the American Red Cross after Hurricane Katrina.
Garritano was also well known in Pittsburgh Steelers lore as the "Terrible Fan" – and has his costume retired in the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum as part of the Heinz History Center.
The Garritanos reside in North Huntingdon and have a daughter, Nicole.
10 am Student Speaker
Mr. Torron Mollett of Pittsburgh, Homewood, PA, is a dual degree candidate for the Bachelor of Arts in political science and Bachelor of Science in criminal justice with a minor in sociology.
Torron's Clarion experience is highlighted by his work as student programs coordinator in the Office of Minority Student Services. He coordinated two mentoring programs, GEMS and RUBIES, the overall goal of which is to increase the retention and timely graduation of African American males and females. He also assisted with the Educational Talent Search and Upward Bound programs. Torron completed a summer internship with YouthPlaces, a program for at-risk youth, where he continues to volunteer.
Among his achievements, in 2017 he received the Personal Commitment to Service Award and 200 Hours Service Award, given by his peers. He received the 2016 Social Equity Outstanding Student Award, the Pennsylvania Black Conference of Higher Education Outstanding Student Award, Excellence for All Award, Excellence in Service Award, Neighborhood Star Award, Student of the Year, and 2015 Junior Outstanding Class Award.
Torron also volunteers his time for Clarion University Community Service Day and Stuff-A-Truck organization.
He is the son of Torre Mollett and the late Johnathan Bundy.
2 pm Commencement Speaker
Frank Pici serves as an executive-in-residence for Clarion University's College of Business and Information Sciences, where he functions as a career resource for students and a subject matter expert for faculty.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Clarion State College in 1977, he worked in public accounting for five years, the first two with Coopers & Lybrand (now part of PricewaterhouseCoopers). Pici spent most of the next 32 years in senior financial roles in the coal and oil and gas sectors before retiring in 2013. His roles included controller, regional accounting manager, director of internal audit and corporate controller, before spending the majority of his career as a chief financial officer in private and publicly-traded companies.
In addition to his undergraduate degree from Clarion, Pici has an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh (1985) and is a Certified Public Accountant, presently inactive. Pici serves on the board of the Clarion University Foundation, Inc., and as adjunct faculty at Clarion. He resides in Clarion.
2 pm Student Speaker
Ms. Kaley Pittsley of Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, maintains a 4.0 GPA and is an eight-time dean's list honoree while being highly involved in campus activities. She is a degree candidate for a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a dual major in marketing and management. Kaley is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma International Business Honor Society and was awarded the 2015-16 Clarion University Outstanding Marketing Student of the Year. She is the 2016-17 president of the American Marketing Association, Clarion University Chapter, and held the vice president position in 2015-16.
She was the volleyball team captain during the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons and led the team to the PSAC Championship during the 2015 season and advanced to the NCAA Division 2 Regional Tournament. In addition, during the 2015-16 volleyball season, she was named 14th in the nation in total assists. Kaley was presented with the PSAC Fall Top 10 Athlete, Academic All American Third Team, CoSida 1st Team Academic All District Division 2, PSAC Champion Scholar Award and the PSAC Scholar Athlete.
She was the vice president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee during the 2015-16 and 2016-17 academic years and developed and organized the Eagle CUP and Ernie Awards.
In summer 2016, she completed a sales and marketing internship with Blake's Hard Cider Company. Kaley participated in International Business Seminars and studied abroad in the United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, Germany and Netherlands.
After graduation, Kaley plans to return home to Michigan and begin her marketing career.
She is the daughter of Mike and Lois Pittsley.