Kutztown University presents 2024 Chambliss Student Academic Achievement Awards

Kutztown University presented the Chambliss Student Academic Achievement Awards to six accomplished students Friday, April 5. Students who received awards were nominated by staff and faculty members for meeting one or more of the six areas of achievement: successfully completed research projects, high-quality original artwork, high-quality artistic performances (music, chorus, drama, etc.), original writing in literature or meritorious writing in other fields, noteworthy achievements in athletics, and outstanding service to the KU community.

The Academic Achievement Awards were established in 2004 through a donation provided by Dr. Carlson Chambliss, KU professor of astronomy from 1970-2003. The purpose of the awards is to recognize the exceptional individual achievements of a select group of KU graduating seniors. Specially designed coin medallions of gold, silver and copper were presented to the students.

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Sarah Gatehouse – Gold

Sarah Gatehouse is from Sinking Spring, Pa., graduated summa cum laude in December with a degree in sport management and is pursuing her Master of Business Administration. She was awarded the Chambliss Academic Gold Medal for noteworthy achievements in athletics.

Gatehouse is a two-time First Team All-America selection for the Golden Bear field hockey team and helped lead KU to the school’s first-ever national championship in 2023. She was voted the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Defensive Athlete of the Year, along with being named to the All-PSAC First Team for the second-straight season. She was the backbone of a KU defense that finished first in the nation in goals allowed (11) and goals against average (.497), starting all 22 games at center back. She ranked second on KU in points (19) and assists (5) and was fourth in goals scored (7).

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Gatehouse also received the PSAC Champion Scholar, NCAA Elite 90 award, was named to the PSAC Fall Top-10 list and was a National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) National Scholar of Distinction and a part of the National Academic Squad. Gatehouse’s dual excellence in athletics and academics embodies the spirit of determination, leadership and scholarly achievement, making her a true role model for student-athletes everywhere.

Chase Altemose – Silver

Chase Altemose is from Whitehall, Pa. and graduated magna cum laude in December with a degree in communication design. He was awarded the Chambliss Academic Silver Medal for original artwork of high quality.

Altemose specializes in User Experience and User Interface design and rapidly emerged as a visionary artist at Kutztown University. Transferring from Lehigh Carbon Community College, his creative genius has been recognized through numerous national awards, including a Gold Student ADDY Award for his innovative Pet Watch App project. This project, addressing the critical issue of missing your pets, showcased his ability to blend design with societal needs creatively.

His recognition in competitions such as AIGA Flux and the AAF Greater Lehigh Valley American Advertising Awards underscores his exceptional talent and forward-thinking approach to design. Altemose’s commitment to using design as a tool for social good, along with his impressive array of awards and recognitions, positions him as a leader in shaping the future of User Experience Design.

Michael Alberto – Copper

Michael Alberto is a political science and philosophy dual major with minors in Spanish and international studies, graduating in May from Doylestown, Pa. He was awarded the Chambliss Academic Copper Medal for successfully completed research project.

Alberto’s academic journey is distinguished by a profound commitment to research, scholarship and comprehensive involvement in various capacities. His groundbreaking research project, titled “Abstention as a Means of Non-Alignment: Voting Patterns of Latin American States in the United Nations General Assembly,” examines emerging patterns of abstention voting by Latin American states in the United Nations in the aftermath of the Russia-Ukraine War. His work seeks to identify new regional trends of non-alignment as a policy decision for states in Latin America and to explore the relationship between Global South states and the rest of the international community. This research not only significantly contributes to the field of political science, but also highlights Alberto’s ability to conduct complex analyses and present findings that challenge conventional wisdom.

Alberto has completed the Honors program, received the Joseph Peters/Albert Dixon Award from the Philosophy and Government Department, a senior award for excellence in political science. He has actively presented his research at conferences across the country, demonstrating his commitment to disseminating knowledge and engaging with the academic community on a national level.

Maria Del Carmen Angeles-Molinelli – Copper

Maria Del Carmen Angeles-Molinelli is a history and political science dual major graduating in May from Hawthorne, N.J. She was awarded the Chambliss Academic Copper Medal for outstanding service to the KU community.

Angeles-Molinelli’s leadership within the Model United Nations club and her dedication to enhancing campus life at Kutztown University have left an indelible mark. Her ascent from a dedicated member to the president of the club, coupled with her significant contributions to Greek life and diversity initiatives, showcases her commitment to fostering inclusivity and excellence. Under her leadership, mandatory DEI training for Panhellenic sororities was implemented, a milestone in the university’s efforts toward creating a more inclusive community.

Angeles-Molinelli’s work extends beyond organizational leadership, touching on crucial issues like voting rights and community engagement, thereby embodying the essence of service and leadership. Her achievements not only highlight her ability to inspire change, but also her dedication to making Kutztown University a beacon of inclusivity and student engagement.

Samantha Smith – Copper

Samantha Smith is a psychology major graduating in May from Alburtis, Pa. She was awarded the Chambliss Academic Copper Medal for outstanding service to the KU community.

Smith epitomizes the blend of academic excellence and committed service. Her leadership in the “It’s On Us” initiative, and her groundbreaking research on “Intergenerational Cycles of Domestic Violence,” have significantly contributed to addressing sexual and domestic violence. Her work, celebrated for its scholarly rigor and societal impact, has been shared at prestigious forums, underlining her commitment to making a difference through research.

An active member of several honor societies and consistently recognized for her academic achievements, Smith’s aspirations to work in forensic psychology and her vision for a career in criminal profiling demonstrate her commitment to leveraging her education for societal benefit. Her leadership and service initiatives, coupled with her academic pursuits, paint a picture of a dedicated and visionary individual poised to make significant contributions to her field.

Aubrey Zegstroo – Copper

Aubrey Zegstroo is a communication design major graduating in May from Lake Pleasant, N.Y. She was awarded the Chambliss Academic Copper Medal for outstanding service to the KU community.

As a Residence Life desk receptionist, community assistant and admissions tour guide, Zegstroo has been instrumental in creating a welcoming and supportive campus environment. Her collaborative work, recognized by the KU-VPA Student Excellence Award, highlights her commitment to community and creativity. Her roles extended to leading positions in the Communication Design Print Lab and the CVPA IDEA Studio, where her guidance and expertise supported her peers and enriched the learning environment. Her involvement in the KU Image Making Club, particularly in fundraising efforts, further exemplifies her dedication to service and her ability to inspire others towards collective goals.

Zegstroo’s multifaceted contributions have not only enhanced the student experience at Kutztown University, but also set a benchmark for leadership and engagement. Her passion for design, combined with her commitment to service, marks her as a distinguished member of the KU community, whose efforts have significantly shaped a positive and inclusive campus culture.

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