Beaver celebrates its 2016 graduates

graduates posing at lion shrine

Ashley Cutrona, left, and Jessica Findling pose at the Lion Shrine at Penn State Beaver before graduation. Both received a bachelor of science in psychology.

Credit: Cathy Benscoter

MONACA, Pa. — “Find your passion.”

That was the advice from Jill Marsilio-Colonna to Penn State Beaver’s graduating class of 2016.

More than 50 students received their diplomas on Friday evening (May 6) in business, administration of justice, biology, communications, history, information sciences and technology, mathematics and psychology.

Among the graduates were psychology major Maura Francis, who has been accepted to St. John’s University’s prestigious graduate program; double major Josh Nussbaum, who spent the year working for pharmaceutical company Mylan and is hoping for a job in ergonomics; and business major Amy Arnold, who begins her job at UPMC Cranberry on June 1.

As is Beaver’s tradition, former student Marsilio-Colonna delivered the keynote address. Marsilio-Colonna is the retired director of the Women’s Center of Beaver County and dedicated her career to her passion — helping women and children in the community.

During her 23-year tenure, the center grew immensely, in both size and reach. She added 10 employees, two buildings and countless programming, including a children’s counseling program, an adult psycho-therapeutic counseling program and a transitional housing program.

Numerous organizations have recognized her for her efforts, including the U.S. Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus, the Beaver Valley Business and Professional Women’s Club and the Beaver County District Attorney’s office.

“My hope and wish for you all is that you will find, and keep, your passion,” Marsilio-Colonna said. “Risk failure, take a chance and see where it takes you.”


April Johnston

Public Relations Director, Penn State Beaver

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