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Congratulations May Graduates!

Class of 2024 has plans ranging from graduate school to choosing between job offers.

On Saturday, May 4, 1,070 students will graduate from Millersville University. Of those, 860 are undergraduates, and there are 210 graduate students.

Here, we highlight some outstanding Marauders who are looking forward to graduating and taking the next steps in their career.

Aleia Baker 

Aleia Baker

Aleia Baker, from Boiling Springs, PA, graduates with a degree in technology and engineering education.  

Plans after graduation? After graduation, I will begin my teaching career at Big Spring High School in Newville, PA as a Technology Education Teacher. I will be teaching a variety of classes that could include Innovation and Design, Electronics, Robotics, Woods, Drones or Computer Aided Design Drafting. I also plan to be a Technology Student Association Advisor and a volleyball coach for the school or a neighboring district. 

Favorite memory at MU? My favorite memory at Millersville University has to be winning the co-ed intramural volleyball tournament in the Spring of 2024 with some of my best friends at school. We had been trying to win for a few semesters, and this was our last chance for the seniors on the team. We simply wanted the shirt, which was extra sweet to win since it was purple (that’s my favorite color). A close second would be my student-teaching experience at Conestoga Valley High School in their Graphic Design lab. Through this experience, I have been able to see my dream since my sophomore year of high school of becoming a tech ed teacher come true. 

Involved in any student organizations? Throughout my four years at Millersville, I have been heavily involved in a variety of organizations. I have been a member of the Technology and Engineering Education Collegiate Association for all four years of college and have held the offices of President, Vice President and Reporter. I have been a student representative on the Technology and Engineering Education Advisory Board and a student liaison for the Technology and Engineering Education Association of Pennsylvania since my sophomore year. During my junior year, I was inducted into Epsilon Pi Tau, the International Honorary for Collegiate Students and Professionals in the Field of Technology. In my senior year, I served as the President of this prestigious organization. I was also one of the first members of the Millersville Women’s Club Volleyball team for my sophomore and junior years. In my junior year, I also served as the Treasurer of the organization. Lastly, I served as the Treasurer of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and was a founding member of the Forging Club during my senior year at Millersville. 

Anything you’d like to add? Thank you to all of my professors, especially in Osburn Hall, for helping me get to the point I am at today. Dr. Sharon Brusic specifically has helped me expand my opportunities and selflessly helps anyone she crosses paths with. At the end of the semester, she will begin her extremely well-deserved retirement, but her presence will be greatly missed in Osburn Hall and in the Technology and Engineering Education department.

Photo of Somer Barrett
Somer Barrett

Somer Barrett

Somer Barrett, from Orwigsburg, PA is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in environmental earth and ocean science, with a concentration in ocean science.

What are your plans after graduation? My plan after graduation is to get my PADI International Dive Master certification and Dive Instructor certification. This is so I can professionally scuba dive and certify others to scuba dive as well. I also plan to be a Coral Restoration Technician in the Florida Keys. I want to be able to raise awareness, protect our precious coral reefs, and do lots of conservation work. I also hope to make some policies and laws to make sure our reefs are not wiped out in the future. It is so crucial to be a part of something bigger than yourself, and I want to be the hope and change.

What is your favorite memory at MU? My favorite memory at MU is meeting all the people who have had such a profound impact on my life. They have made my college experience indescribable. The support and memories on a professional and social level have shaped me into the amazing woman I am coming to be. Thank you to all my professors, advisors, and friends.

How did working at the Chincoteague Bay Field Station add to your educational experience? The skills that I learned from being a university and research intern there were immense. Some of my duties included maintaining lab equipment, identifying both aquatic and non-aquatic species and recording vital data, maintaining aquariums and handling dangerous organisms.

What was your favorite part about presenting at the International Ocean Sciences meeting in New Orleans? The research was “Are Marine Policies Reversing the Marine Organism Decline in the Chincoteague Bay and Surrounding Salt Marshes?” I was able to network and meet so many connections and apply for jobs. It was so amazing to be able to put myself out there and present relevant crucial research that my partner and I worked so hard on.

Being with like-minded people made it very easy to share and talk about each other’s work and the hopes we have for the future.

Also, I was able to see revolutionary new research and gain more cultural competence. It was an honor to support my department, my major, and the people that got me there. I have been working so hard for years to be an activist, an amazing student, a hard worker, a daughter, a friend, a volunteer, and community-oriented. This really made it feel worth it.

Are you involved in any organizations? Yes, I am the President of the Ocean Science Club. Before that, I was the vice president in 2023 and was the treasurer from 2022-2023. I am also a part of the MU Climb Club. Finally, I am involved with the Conestoga Club University Trash Cleanup. I am on the planning Committee and am doing advertising, marketing, and social media. My club is also organizing this alongside the geography club. I am also a student worker at the SMC as a fitness facility attendant and a yoga instructor.

Did you miss your high school graduation due to COVID? If so, how does that make this graduation more special? Yes, I did miss my high school graduation due to COVID in 2020. This graduation is so important to me because it is something I have never experienced and have been waiting for since I was a child. The closure was never received, and I feel like there is a part of me that must be healed from it. However, even though I felt like I missed a lot and times were trying, I wouldn’t be the strong woman I am today without COVID.

Photo of Makenzie Battavio, from West Chester, PA
Makenzie Battavio

Makenzie Battavio

Makenzie Battavio, from West Chester, PA, graduates with bachelor’s degrees in early childhood education PreK – 4th grade and special education PreK – 8th grade.

What are your plans after graduation? I have been interviewing with a few school districts, and I hope to start working next school year!

What is your favorite memory at MU? I think my favorite memory at Millersville was making lifelong connections. I also started at Millersville in 2020, so seeing the campus bloom as each year went on was really neat.

Are you involved in any organizations? I was involved in Paws on Deck. I was on the executive board for a couple of years and rotated between the Social Media Chair, Vice President and President.

Did you miss your high school graduation due to COVID? If so, how does that make this graduation more special? I graduated high school in 2020, which, unfortunately, made me miss my high school graduation. I remember the setup that my family made in our backyard, playing the live-streamed graduation. But all in all, it really makes this graduation more special since it marks the beginning of a new phase in my life. I missed that celebration from high school, so it didn’t feel like I had graduated high school.

Shanece Bowman

Shanece Bowman

Shanece Bowman, from Lancaster PA, graduates with a master’s degree in social work.

What are your plans after graduation? I plan to become an LSW, complete the clinical supervision needed for my LCSW, and ultimately own my own private mental health practice.

What is your favorite memory at MU? Meeting my BSW Online Cohort classmates in person, on campus.

Did you miss your high school graduation due to COVID? If so, how does that make this graduation more special? I missed my undergraduate graduation in December of 2020 due to COVID, and it was a bummer after all the challenges I’ve overcome with continuing my education.  I do plan to attend my graduate commencement in May, and I am extremely excited to meet the MSW online cohort students in person because most of us have been on this journey for four years together

Dominick DeLorenzo

Dominick DeLorenzo

Dominick DeLorenzo, from Carlisle, PA, graduates with a bachelor’s degree in business management with a minor in occupational safety and environmental health. DeLorenzo is the first Adams Fellow to graduate from MU.

What are your plans after graduation? I will be working as an assistant project manager at Whiting-Turner, a general contractor based out of Baltimore Maryland. I will also be operating my own excavation and concrete business, DNL Excavation.

What is your favorite memory at MU? One of my favorite memories at MU was being inducted into the Cygnus Society by President Wubah.

Are you involved in any organizations? Yes, I am very much involved in organizations on campus. I am the president of the Conestoga Outdoors Club, the treasurer of the Student Business Association, the Student Government Association Campus Safety Rep, member of the MU Cygnus Society, a Senior Analyst in the MU Marauder Fund, Student member of the MU Chapter of the American Society of Safety Professionals, Student Member on the MU Academics Outcomes and Assessment Committee, first-year and transfer/second-year mentor with the MU mentor collective, a resident assistant for MU Housing and a student worker for MU facilities.

Joseph Favoroso

Joseph Favoroso

Joseph Favoroso, from Milton, Delaware, graduates with a bachelor’s degree in automation and intelligent robotics engineering technologies.

What are your plans after graduation? I plan to go into the workforce.

What is your favorite memory at MU? The collective experience of my time with WIXQ.

Are you involved in any organizations? I am involved in the Cygnus Society, Honors College, WIXQ and the Millersville Robotics R&D Team.

Sean Harris 

Sean Harris

Sean Harris, from Lancaster, graduates with a degree in occupational safety and environmental health. 

Plans after graduation? My plan after graduation is to work as a safety professional in the construction industry or the insurance industry. In the future, I also plan to continue my education by earning a master’s degree.    

Favorite memory at MU? My favorite memory at Millersville University was attending the PA Governor’s Occupational Safety and Health conference in Hershey, PA. The conference allowed me to form connections with professionals in the safety industry, learn new information about important topics concerning health and safety, and spend time with fellow classmates.    

Involved in any student organizations? I am the treasurer for the American Society of Safety Professionals Millersville University Student Chapter.    

What was your experience like as a student veteran? The transition from being in the service to becoming a college student can be difficult, but in my experience, Millersville made the transition easy. Professors and fellow students are all incredibly welcoming and helpful. Brandyn Whitmyer, from the office of financial aid has also been extremely helpful by providing answers to any questions I may have about GI bill benefits.     

Is there anything you’d like to add? I transferred to Millersville at the beginning of my junior year from another university, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision. My experience has been significantly more enjoyable here at MU. This school provides its students with a sense of community and belonging. Students are supportive of one another, and professors are passionate about the content they teach.   

Emma Howell 

Emma Howell

Emma Howell, from Erie, PA, graduates with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in management and a minor in mathematics. 

What are your plans after graduation? I have accepted a position at Clark Associates as a vendor analyst; I start a few weeks after graduation! 

What is your favorite memory at MU? One of my favorite memories was when I went to London with the business department. I made some lifelong friends and had so many wonderful experiences. 

Are you involved in any organizations?  I was involved in the Evergreen Café for a few years, eventually becoming the student manager, and I also was a tutor for the business department! 

Did you miss your high school graduation due to Covid? If so, how does that make this graduation more special? My high school had a ceremony, but it was essentially to just go pick up our diplomas and everything that was in our lockers at the time of the lockdown. I think that the opportunity to finally get back to normalcy and be recognized for our achievements does make this more special.

Leah Miska

Leah Miska

Leah Miska, from Doylestown, PA, graduates with bachelor’s degrees in international business and marketing, and a minor in Computer Aided Drafting and Design.

What are your plans after graduation? I am attending Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law in Fall 2024 to pursue a JD/LLM degree.

What is your favorite memory at MU? My favorite memory is taking first-day-of-school pictures with my roommates every semester and watching us all grow up through them these past four years.

Are you involved in any organizations? I have been part of MU Women’s Swimming for 4 years, CEO of the Marauder Fund and have been a part of the fund for 3 years, the Metals Guild for the past year, a student worker at the International Programs and Services and a member of the Iota Delta Chapter of the International Business Honor Society at Millersville University, Delta Mu Delta.

Did you miss your high school graduation due to Covid? If so, how does that make this graduation more special? At the time I remember feeling rather upset after learning that my grade would not be able to have a high school graduation in 2020. That being said, it has made the prospect of college graduation twice as exciting since many of us will be walking across a stage to receive our diplomas for the first time.

Annie Morris

Annie Morris 

Annie Morris, from Lancaster, PA, graduates with a bachelor’s degree in biology and a minor in chemistry.  

What are your plans after graduation? I plan to work for a year in a microbiology lab and then get a PhD in microbiology. 

What is your favorite memory at MU? Attending the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania University Biologists conference this year with my friend, Jenna, and my two professors, Dr. Ramos and Dr. Klosinska. 

Did you miss your high school graduation due to COVID? If so, how does that make this graduation more special? I did miss my high school graduation, but I went to the beach instead, so it wasn’t too sad! I’m very excited about my MU graduation because I get to celebrate a degree that changed my life for the better and all of the wonderful people who helped me along the way. 

Brandon Pritchard

Brandon Pritchard (right)

Brandon Pritchard, from New Oxford, Pennsylvania, graduates with a bachelor’s degree in multidisciplinary studies, with a concentration in sports business and a minor in athletic coaching.

What are your plans after graduation? My plan after graduation is to get into athletics, whether that be football coaching or administration. I have a lot of love for athletics and plan to pursue that career field. I hope to coach college football this upcoming season.

What is your favorite memory at MU? My favorite memory at Millersville was meeting so many special people and creating connections.  The friends I have made here I will keep with me for the rest of my life. I have met so many faculty and staff whose time and attention created strong relationships and have opened so many doors. I can honestly say Millersville is like a second home to me. All the connections and relationships have changed my life and I couldn’t be more thankful.

Are you involved in any organizations? I was the founder and president of Club Basketball. I would say it is one of my biggest achievements to have started a club team on campus, which will stay active for many years to come. I worked all across campus during my time. My three main jobs were working for Campus Recreation as a recreation manager, working camps and conferences as well as in the Ticket Office as a student manager and my current job as the student manager for University Events. I also want to give a shout-out to the MU football team, as I helped with them for 4 years. They helped me find my passion in coaching.

Did you miss your high school graduation due to COVID? If so, how does that make this graduation more special? Fortunately, I did not miss my high school graduation due to COVID. This graduation is special to me because I didn’t think I was going to get to this point two years ago. Being only the second person in my family to graduate from college means a lot to me. Only my older brother was able to do it, and now I can say I have too.

Additional Thoughts? I just want to thank all the faculty and staff that I have had the privilege to work with or meet. Without any of you, my experience here at Millersville would not have been the same. I cherish every moment I was able to work with every single one of you and it was an absolute honor to be able to at the same time. I want to give a special shout-out to Lydia Yeager, director of University Events. There are not enough words to thank you for how much you have impacted my life. All I can say is thank you! I only hope that future students who come through this campus realize how important and special it is to be part of Millersville University and how much college can change your life. I know it has changed my life, and I’m thankful for the opportunity and experience that I had here.

Photo of Allison Ross
Allison Ross

Allison Ross
Allison Ross will graduate from Millersville University with her bachelor’s in early childhood education on May 4. Hailing from Havertown, PA, Ross will graduate in three years with not only her bachelor’s degree but also a Google Certificate.

Are you currently involved with any clubs or projects at MU?
I have been a part of many organizations: CHAARG, MUTV president for the 2022 – 2023 school year, director of special events on the University Activities Board and The Snapper. I also currently work as an RA in the West Village Residence Hall; I am part of the Millersville Honors College, I serve as Millersville’s Student Trustee on the Council of Trustees, and I am a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, the Millersville Cygnus Society and Kappa Delta Pi. I also serve as a peer mentor within the Millersville First Year, Second Year and Transfer Student Mentor Collective.

Tell us about the Google certificate you earned.
I completed the Google certificate through Coursera in Project Management. The course took me four and a half months to complete while I worked and learned about each stage of facilitating a project. The course began with the foundations of project management learning about the roles and expectations of a project manager. Then, participants were taken through the stages of a project: budgeting, planning, managing team dynamics and completing the project.

What was your favorite class?
My favorite class has been ERCH455: Teaching Mathematics to Young Children with Dr. Kimberly Heilshorn. She taught the course in a very practical way, where we were able to explore the materials that we were discussing, and I was able to see how they could be applied to our future classrooms. I have also been privileged to work with Dr. Jennifer Burke, Dr. Stacey Irwin, and Ms. Stephanie Thompson on my senior honors thesis, researching how educational media for young learners can be better developed and enriched to support those who cannot attend preschool and to travel to The University of South Carolina to present my work at the BEA On-Location Conference.

What made MU memorable for you?
On campus, my favorite experience was working with some of my best friends in the residence halls to create programs for residents to grow the community within our building. Throughout this past year, my student teaching experience has been unmatched, and I have been blessed with a fabulous co-op teacher and supervisor, Mrs. Carin Leisure and Mrs. Deborah Holt. I’ve learned so much about myself as a person and as a teacher, and I’m very excited to utilize what I’ve learned here at Millersville in my own classroom next year.

Who at Millerville had the most impact on you, and why?
Matthew Rutkoski (assistant director of University Housing & Conference Services) has been one of my most impactful mentors, especially over the last two years. He has helped me develop not only as a residential assistant and a young professional but also as a person. He is always available to provide support and guidance or to tell one of the best, craziest and hard-to-believe stories you will ever hear.

What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I plan to serve as a building substitute in Springfield School District for the remainder of the 2023-2024 school year. Then, I will start in the Penn Manor School District at Hambright Elementary, teaching first grade for the 2024-2025 school year. In the future, I plan to return to school to complete my master’s degree in educational psychology and school counseling.

One piece of advice you would give to future students?
Take every opportunity as a chance to learn and grow. You never know what that one Saturday morning 8 a.m. volunteer opportunity will turn into three years down the road.

Abigail Schwartz 

Abigail Schwartz

Abigail Schwartz, from Quakertown, PA, graduates with a degree in chemistry, with a concentration in secondary education.  

Favorite Memory at MU? Almost all my great memories at Millersville were with my friends. We really just tried to make the absolute most out of our college experience, and I got really lucky to meet such great people throughout my college experience.  

Involved in any student organizations? I was involved in club softball for two years as the Vice President, Head of Fundraising and as a player. I volunteered for the chemistry department for a lot of open houses and events, and I tutored for the department as well. I worked for campus recreation for three years at the facilities, and I was on Millersville’s Homecoming Court my junior year. I also was on the collegiate softball team as well, part of my freshman year. 

Plans after graduation? I will be teaching chemistry to 11th graders next year. I am the most excited to have my very own classroom! 

Anything you’d like to add? I would like to thank my mom, my dad, and my brothers for supporting me throughout my college experience. I would not have been able to have done this without them.

Kayla Tanguay 

Kayla Tanguay

Kayla Tanguay, from Philadelphia, PA, graduates with a degree in applied engineering and technology management, with a minor in strategic public relations and a concentration in graphic communication technology.  

Favorite memory at MU? My favorite memory at Millersville was attending the National Society of Black Engineers’ 50th Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, this March. While it took a lot of grant writing and networking for us to get there, 20 of our members were able to get so many new connections and beneficial opportunities on a nearly fully sponsored trip. 

Involved in any student organizations? I am an active member of the National Society of Black Engineers.  

Plans after graduation? I’m looking forward to all my hard work paying off as I enter the professional world. There are so many opportunities and new learning environments where I can apply the various skills I’ve gained through classes and clubs.   

Was your high school graduation interrupted by COVID, and if so, does that make this one particularly special? Unfortunately, my high school graduation was canceled due to COVID. Being isolated in the dorms and enduring countless online classes through my first two years demanded a lot of determination, so graduating Magnum Cum Laude is extra special. 

Michael Zettlemoyer

Michael Zettlemoyer

Michael Zettlemoyer, from Mount Joy, Pennsylvania, graduates with a bachelor’s degree in earth science education.

What are your plans after graduation?

I will begin teaching at Columbia Borough School District this fall as their 11th grade General Science Teacher.

What is your favorite memory at MU?

I loved working with the Conestoga Outdoors Club as their president my junior year. I was able to get a whole bunch of students exposed to recreation in the outdoors and share my passions of hiking, camping, rock climbing and backpacking with them. I brought students on numerous caving, hiking, camping and backpacking trips. We even got to bring students out to Shenandoah National Park over spring break.

Are you involved in any organizations? 

I am involved in the Conestoga Outdoors Club and the MU Climbing Club.

You completed internships at the NOAA Daniel Inouye Center for Education and Outreach in Hawaii! What was your favorite part about this experience?

Being Native Hawaiian, it was wonderful being able to return to Hawai’i and see my family I so rarely get to see. It was great to be able to work and live so close to my grandfather, as well as reconnect with the A’ina, or land. Reconnecting with my roots was definitely a major plus, and who doesn’t love being paid to live and work in Hawai’i?

You are also a Hollings Scholar! Can you explain how this helped your educational experience?

The NOAA Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship program is a program for undergraduate students to get experience working for NOAA as well as receive funding for their undergraduate degree. For my 10-week summer internship with them, I was able to create educational resources in Hawai’i for various different students.

Did you miss your high school graduation due to COVID? If so, how does that make this graduation more special?

My high school graduation was obviously very different from most, and we tried to make the most of it at the moment. I am incredibly excited to finally have a formal graduation and be able to celebrate with my friends and family, making this graduation much more special.

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