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Home » Campus News » Keystone College Conducts 153rd Commencement

Keystone College Conducts 153rd Commencement

May 18, 2024

Keystone College celebrated its 153rd commencement during a ceremony on the College’s campus in La Plume on Saturday, May 18. Degrees were conferred upon 250 students.

Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas Judge and 1991 Keystone College alumnus the Honorable Frank J. Ruggiero offered the keynote address.

6V4A7796 Enhanced NRwKeystone President John F. Pullo, Sr. ’69 presided over the ceremony and outstanding graduate Alexandra Thornton, Nicholson, addressed her classmates. President Pullo, Vicki A. Stanavitch ’92, Ph.D., provost and vice president for academic and student affairs, and Daniel Haggerty, Esq., chair of Keystone’s board of trustees, presented the degrees and certificates to the graduates.

“When we tell you that you can accomplish remarkable things in your life, and that the sky is the limit for each and every one of you, please realize these are more than just polite compliments and words of encouragement. For over 150 years, Keystone has had a proud history of producing great leaders in every field and in all walks of life. Our graduates have distinguished themselves in the brightest lights and on the most prominent stages in the nation and the world. As proof of that point, we need look no further than today’s honored guest and commencement speaker,” Mr. Pullo said as he introduced Judge Ruggiero.”

“You’re all about to embark on a new phase in your life,” Judge Ruggiero told the graduates. “You are well educated, trained and many have already gained wonderful experiences in your respective disciplines. You’ve also earned and obtained your ticket,   your degree,  the validation that you have reached and attained a professional knowledge and understanding regarding your chosen subject matter. Congratulations because you’ve truly earned it!”

A native of Carbondale, Judge Ruggiero graduated from Sacred Heart High School and earned an associate of arts degree in human services from Keystone in 1991 and a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice from Penn State University in 1993.

He obtained his juris doctorate degree from City University of New York at Queens College and began his career in the Brooklyn and Queen’s District Attorney Offices. He then served as law clerk to the Honorable Chester T. Harhut of the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas and worked for the Lackawanna County Public Defender’s Office representing indigent criminal defendants in various matters ranging from summary offenses to the highest-grade felonies, including homicide.

While serving as a public defender, Judge Ruggiero entered private practice, concentrating on litigation pertaining to family, criminal, insurance, and municipal law. His client base was vastly diverse from representing individuals in their divorce and family-related matters to representing companies, corporations, and municipalities in complex civil litigation in various State, Federal, and Appellate Courts across the Commonwealth. He was also general counsel for a Reciprocal Insurance Exchange which insures hundreds of governmental entities across Pennsylvania and served as solicitor to numerous municipalities, including Carbondale and Lackawanna County.

On June 16, 2023, Gov. Josh Shapiro nominated him to fill a vacant seat on the Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County and on June 30, 2023, was unanimously confirmed by the State Senate by a 50-0 vote. He was elected to a full 10-year term in November 2023.

Judge Ruggiero has served in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard and is active in national, statewide, and local associations and has earned national and state honors for his legal and public service. He is also active in several charitable organizations across the region. He is a former president of the Keystone College National Alumni Association and, from 1998 through 2004, served as an adjunct faculty member of political science, law, and criminal justice.

The following students received degrees:

            Master of Accountancy: Donald Ross Faux Dallas; Anthony Patrick Garvey Dupont; Walter JeanPaul Gonzalez Scranton; Jonathan Thomas Grimm, Keedysville, Md.; Wendy Lu Johnson Elmhurst; Taylor Anne Reynolds Factoryville; and Stacey E. Ryan Clarks Summit.

            Master of Business Administration: Mark James Ambrose Honesdale; Jordan Michael Art, Jermyn; David William Borys, Jr., Factoryville; Levi Michael Caster, Drexel Hill; T’Keyah Chanel DeVine, Philadelphia; James Russell Faux, Scranton; Courtney Michelle, Freeman Hop Bottom; John Paul Gorel, Carbondale; Paul Joseph Kaschak, Jermyn; Charles Martin Koytek, III, Moosic; Jillian Leslie Martin, Berwick; Ashley Marie Mitchell, Roaring Brook; Michaela Marie Morales, Clarks Green; Gianna  Moschella, Revere, Mass.; Gabriel Alexander, Reyes Rockville, Md.; Sarah Elizabeth Robinson, Dupont; Lindsey Taylor Smith Buckwalter, Pocono Pines; James George Stanavitch, North Abington Twp; Sandhya  Surendran, Capitol Heights, Md.;Justin Michael Touhey, Stony Point, N.Y.; Natalie Elizabeth Werner, Clifton;  and Marie LuAnn Leopardo Wolf, Pittston.

            Master of Education: Mary Louise Anne Byrne, Blakely; Donna J. Reid-Kilgore, Forty Fort; Minelly Ivette Santiago Lebrón; and Jessica Elizabeth Vanchure, West Pittston.

            Master of Science in Criminal Justice: Jeremy Paul Collins, Dupont; Brooke Evans, Wilkes-Barre; Krystle Kowalczyk, Harding; Andres Hernan Rizo, Freehold, N.J.; Brian Skutnick, Scranton; and  Zoe Leigh White, Simpson.

            Master of Science in Sport Leadership Management: John Caines, Olyphant; James     T. Colapietro, South Plainfield; N.J.; Lauryn Victoria Rodriguez, Peckville;

Marcelo Renzo Polar, Sarasota; Fla.; Talib Morris, Philadelphia; Taylor Lyn Cercone, Dalton; Trevor Davis            Conklyn,  Bethesda; Md.; Ethan M. Heller, Benton; Darnell Jordan King-Marable,            Ossining; N.Y.; and Hugh Aiden Kirwan, Fort Meyers; Fla.

            Bachelor of Arts:  Karris Cathrine Fazzi, New Milford; Elizabeth Ann Franzo, Cresco; Robert Gray, Hop Bottom; Quin Kito McPhail Millard, East Windsor, N.J.; Jakob T. Ortola, Lake Ariel;  Scott Michael            Sienko, Vestal , N.Y.; and Andrea Celeste Walcott, Factoryville.

            Bachelor of Science: Maria D. Alonso Gomez, Scranton; Joseph E. Aponte, Hamilton Township, N.J.; Luis Antonio Arrieta, Miami, Fla.; Noah James Atkins, Factoryville; Grant Matthew Baker, Simpson; Michael Erik Bass, Jenks, Okla.; Kyara Alexis Batres, Linden, N.J.; Lewis Norton Beavers, Nicholson; Katelyn Lee Beck, Waymart; Kaylee Jade Beckage, Carbondale; Lynsey A. Bell, Oxford, N.J.; Connor James Biddle, Buffalo, N.Y.; Steven Michael Bohlman, Brentwood, N.Y.; Alyssa Mary Booth, Holland; Chase Joseph Briskie, Moosic; Lindsey  Brown, Franklin; Zackery Lee Brown, Factoryville; Gabriellia Grace Bruce, Montrose; Arielle Lee Burdett, Scranton; Ajalaya Juanita Butts, Wilkes-Barre; James Seir Campos, Tampa, FLA.; Zoe Elizabeth Castillo, Scranton; Bryanna Paige Chantelau, Richlandtown; Jonathan J. Clark, Peckville; Hermes Colon, Ruiz, Philadelphia; Jorden Rasheed Cook, New Paltz, N.Y.; Kathryn C. Cooper, Dunmore; Shellice Shaniquica Cowan, Bridgeport, Conn.; Dontez  Crawford, Marlton, N.J.; Taylah Jean Culver, Springville; David  Curreri, Beach Lake; Ana M. De Jesus, Philadelphia; Erika  De La Rosa, Hazleton; Iluminada R. Del Orbe, Fountain Hill; Ryan Jacob DeRemer, Monroe Township; Christopher  Diaz, Lodi, N.J.; Colleen Elizabeth Dolan, Archbald; Colby  Donahue, Mayfield; Ashley Sabrina Dooley, Greenfield Township; Bergenie Naïda Dorvil, Philadelphia; Francois  Elize, Fresno, TX ; Troy James Exley, Belvidere, N.J.; Robert Benny Ferraro, Jessup; Hailegebrael Mulushwa Fitsum, Peckville; Makayla Elizabeth Flynn, Ridley Park; Luis Gabriel Francisco, Laceyville; Amanda DeeAnna Friday, Scranton; Hannah Elizabeth Fryzel, Moscow; Jennifer Marie Gaughan, Carbondale; Danielle Ashley Gebert, Waymart; Zane Michael Gehman, Harleysville; Holly Frances Gibbs, Scott Twp; Mathew Todd Gilmartin, Belvidere, N.J.; EmaLee Idania Gomez, New York, N.Y.; Sulmary  Goméz Zayas, Scranton; Jazmyn  Gonzalez, Scranton; Nicholas Joseph Gravel, Sidney, N.Y.; Damir Thomas Green, Philadelphia; Michael  Green, Dalton; Madison Lee Guzzo, Hawley; Cameron Joe Hale, Renton, Wash.; Brendan S. Hamilton, Lennhartsville; Haylee Allouise Hein, Dunmore; Phoebe Louise Hnatko, Roaring Brook Twp; Xavier Robert Houser, Nicholson; Raeda  Jebrin, Philadelphia; Zoey K. Kermidas, Scranton; Berinyuy Nyuykonge Kihdze, Piscataway, N.J.; Clifford Charles Kingston, Tunkhannock; Jay Alexander Koller, Old Forge; Brendan Allan Kucharski, Throop; Alexander Christian Kuha, Moscow; Kennadi Rachele Kusmierz, Laceyville; Mandy  LaCoe, Throop; Noah  Lance, Scranton; Meira  Levin, Clarks Summit; Logan Nicholas Lixie, Tamarac, Fla.; Daisy Ann Marie Luddy, Throop; Veronica Angelis Machicote, Kingston; Victoria  Mainero, Moreno, FO ; Joseph Robert Manfredo, Levittown, N.Y.; Julia Leigh Martinez, Clarks Summit; Miranda Lillian Mascia, Blakeslee; Tyshaun  McClain, Jersey City, N.J.; Mackenzie Elizabeth Moira McElroy, Blakely; Adrianna Marie McGuire, Scranton; Tyler Patrick McManus, East Meadow, N.Y.; Charles O. McMillan, Jr., Philadelphia; Jameel  Melton, Mechanicsburg; Robxavier  Mendez Reyes, Throop; Ali  Mendoza, Hoboken, N.J.; Anthony James Merone, Waymart; Christian Joseph Micikas, Pennington, N.J.; Angelina Rose Morley, Binghamton, N.Y.; Tyqeese Keishawn Morton, New Wilmington; Joshua Michael Moyer, Emmaus; Aidan Alexander Mullen, Clarks Summit; Kevin Ryan Murphy, St. Augustine, FLA.; Megan Elizabeth Grace Myers, Telford; Seamus Owen Nichols, Factoryville; Christopher Adam Noldy, Greenfield Twp; John Thomas Noldy, Greenfield Township; Christopher Austin Odom-Hardnett, Montgomery, Texas; Donovan Scott Oliver, Hallstead; Elle Grace Olivero, Levittown; Carla M. Ortiz, Philadelphia; Nafisat Titilayo Oseni, Hanover Twp; Yudith  Paez, Hazleton; William Josh Parks, Sacramento, Calif.; Amanda Elizabeth Parry-Case, Tunkhannock; Keely Elizabeth Patton, Scranton; Brandon  Peck, Scranton; Jenna Nicole Perfilio, South Abington Twp; Sean Jovan Pettway, Grahmsville, N.Y.; Robert Taylor Pokorney, Margate, Fla.; Sara Jessica Regni, Clarks Summit; Juana J. Reyes De Rosario, Philadelphia; CJ  Riccobono, New Hyde Park, N.Y.; David Grant Rinker, Mehoopany; Susan Carlie Rode, Dunmore; Steven  Rodriguez, Tobyhanna; Maritza  Rojas, Philadelphia; Gabriel E. Rynearson, Deposit, N.Y.; Evelin C. Santana de Cueto, Wyncote; Joel  Santos, Elizabeth, N.J.; Halley Bonita Schwartz, Carbondale; Ryan Jonathan Semyon, Moosic; Kassidy Lyn Shirtz, Tunkhannock; Keysis  Sierra Feliciano, Philadelphia; Alex Jerome Simpson, Bay Shore, N.Y.; Trinity Faith Skovira, Shavertown; Melissa Anne Smith, Scranton; Andrew Michael Sorrentino, Schnecksville; LaTanya  Stone, Akron, Ohio; Casey Keiko Stratton, Ellicott City, Md.; Madison  Swanchak, New Baltimore, Mich.; McKenzie Lynn Sweigart, Trout Run; Javier Antonio Tazza, Burlington, N.J.; Nickolas Shaw Termini, Clarks Summit; Alexandra  Thornton, Nicholson; Maria Pilar Tomada, Buenos Aires, Arg, FO ; Even Marshall Tool-Reid, Bay Shore, N.Y.; Madison Marie Tremmel, Dalton; Corinne R. Trichilo, Greenfield Township; Jorge Fernando Urizar, III, Baltimore, MD ; Da’Jaun Jeremiah Vales, Dayton, N.J.; Shelby Morgan Valunas, Old Forge; Jazmine Jakeline Vega, Scranton; Luis  Villalba, Vestavia Hills, AL ; Brayan  Villar, West Orange, N.J.; Ashley Anne Waldron, Little Meadows; Elijah  Washington, Far Rockaway, N.Y.; Megan Abigail Whitman, Avoca; Jacob  Wielgopolski, Avoca; Alexus Lea Wilbur, Nicholson; Breanna Elizabeth Wood, Dalton; Christopher Nicholas Woolaston, Paterson, N.J.; Christopher Joseph Zabrowski, Jermyn; and Diane Sue Zemany, Wapwallopen;

            Associate in Arts: Lucy Marie Bower, Milton; Hailey Morgan Dunham, Southgate, Mich.; Paul E. Kelly, Thornton, Colo.; and William Luís Rodríguez, DeLand, Fla.;

Associate in Science: Yaima Masiel Baez, Hamilton, N.J.; Monica Eva Bruno, Greenwood Lake, N.Y.; Alyssa  Bulford, Pittston; Irene Chi, Norristown; Jennifer  Garcia, Wilkes-Barre; Nathan Blake Hazelton, Scranton; Beth Ann Kane, Clarks Summit; Kara Elizabeth Kilhullen, Carbondale; Jessica Jasmine Lawrence, Allentown; Juanita L. Lose, Lamar; Haley Jo McGroarty, New Albany; Kaitlyn Ann Mulshenock, Scranton; Mary Elizabeth Reid, Clarks Summit; Emily Nichole Robinson, Dunmore; Emily Rose Seward, Dalton; Gina Marie Shafer, Scranton; Gavin A. Shaffer, Throop; Jason Lee Smith, Susquehanna; Samantha  Yaron, Stillwater; and Heather L. Zaruta, Luzerne.