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A photo from the 2017 Outstanding Student Awards. Photo | John Altdorfer

Point Park University students were recognized for their academic excellence, talent and leadership at the 2017 Outstanding Student Awards banquet April 21 at the Fairmont Pittsburgh.

Jess Paterchak, a broadcast production and media management major from Blackhawk High School in Chippewa, Pa., received the Sophomore Emerging Leader Award.

"There are not enough words to explain how much this award means to me," Paterchak said. "The hooks life has tried to throw at me have not stopped me from continually persevering and making a name for myself, and I have Point Park to thank for that."

"It means the world to receive the Sports, Arts and Entertainment Management Academic Excellence Award, especially knowing that it came from my professors," said Caitlin Leasure, a senior from Penn-Trafford High School in Harrison City, Pa. "Point Park has been the most wonderful coming-of-age experience."

Senior McKenzie Wilson from Carroll High School in Dayton, Ohio, received the Intelligence and National Security Academic Excellence Award.

"My time at Point Park has made me more passionate about my field of study, and even more excited to enter the workforce than before," Wilson said. "It's really nice to be recognized for the hard work that you do."

"Receiving the Forensic Science Academic Excellence Award helps to represent the hard work I've done at Point Park," said Alex Pochiba, a senior from McGuffey High School in Claysville, Pa. "I would really like to thank the entire criminal justice and intelligence studies department for their dedication to their students' success."

Earlier in the evening, Point Park inducted 19 new members into the Alpha Chi National College Honor Society. The students are juniors and seniors who were selected based on their grade point averages.

2017 Point Park University Student Award Recipients

Academic Excellence

School of Arts and Sciences
  • Kellie McIntyre, Criminal Justice
  • McKenzie Wilson, Intelligence and National Security
  • Alex Pochiba, Forensic Science
  • John Kaufmann III, Education
  • Lena Faustel, Humanities and Human Sciences
  • Cassie Bruno, Literary Arts
  • Paul Glance, Natural Sciences and Engineering Technology
School of Business School of Communication Conservatory of Performing Arts
  • Olivia Shipman, Cinema
  • Annette Elphinstone, Dance
  • Maggie Crockarell, Theatre

Co-curricular Awards

Student Media: Outstanding Contribution Honors Program: Outstanding Seniors Don Kelly Student Athlete Leadership Award Student Affairs
  • Emily Bennett, Hannah Hepler, Emily Yount and Enrico Caparelli, Outstanding Resident Educators
  • Adam Rossi, Pioneer Ambassador
  • Samantha Perez, Freshman Emerging Leader
  • Jessica Paterchak, Sophomore Emerging Leader
  • Megan Law, Outstanding Student Organization Officer
  • Kelsey Wolfe, Outstanding Student Organization Member
  • GSSA, Outstanding Student Organization
  • Phi Beta Lambda, Outstanding New Student Organization
  • 10th Leading Cause, Program of the Year
  • Colten Gill, Campus Activities Board
  • Blaine King, United Student Government
  • Joshua Croup, Outstanding Student Leader
Point Park University Alumni Association
  • Laura Miller, Distinguished Doctoral Student
  • Colten Gill, Distinguished Undergraduate Student

More About: Penn-Trafford High School, Conservatory of Performing Arts, School of Arts and Sciences, Fairmont Pittsburgh, Outstanding Student Awards, Rowland School of Business, School of Communication