Alumni Recognized for Success, Generosity
DuBois – Three Penn State DuBois alumni were recently honored for their accomplishments at the annual Penn State DuBois Alumni Society Awards Ceremony held in the Hiller Auditorium. Stacie Peles, originally from Glenn Campbell, PA, Brent Pasquinelli, of St Marys, and Charles Snapp, of Mount Jewett all received awards for their unique success.
Peles is the 2009 recipient of the Dave Shaffer Outstanding Young Alumni Award. Since earning her bachelor's degree in Business Administration in 2005, Peles has moved to North Carolina to work as an account executive with Motorsports Authentics, where she is responsible for more than one million dollars in sales revenue. Before moving south, Peles was also an Instructor of Marketing at Cambria-Rowe Business College. Her former Penn State DuBois Business Instructor, Laurie Breakey, presented the award.
"I've taught for 20 years, and I can honestly say I've never seen such a high quality person as Stacie Peles," Breakey said, remembering Peles as a student. "One person like that can reshape an entire classroom."
"I am so very honored and blessed to be here before you tonight," Peles said upon accepting the award. She went on to thank her family, friends, and members of the campus community in the audience for helping her to achieve her goals. "I wouldn't be where I am today without the people in this room. Thanks to all of you here tonight. You helped make me the person I am."
Pasquinelli, the recipient of the Outstanding Alumni Award, attended Penn State DuBois in 1971 and 1972. He served with the Construction Engineering Corps. of the United States Army in Vietnam, where he earned a Purple Heart. He returned home to Elk County to be elected a Fox Township Supervisor at the age of 21, while enrolled at Penn State DuBois. He also served as a delegate for President Jimmy Carter's campaign in 1976. He started his own travel company in 1978. Today, Pasquinelli's company, eTravCo, is the third largest travel network in the country. Pasquinelli also continues to be involved with public affairs, serving as Congressman Glenn Thompson's Chief of Political Operations for the Fifth District.
Pasquinelli's long-time friend, Jack Infield, presented the award. Now a Regional President with Graystone Bank, Infield taught Physical Education at Penn State DuBois when Pasquinelli was a student. Infield remembered the support he got from Pasquinelli when he lost his wife to cancer several years ago. That kind of support, Infield remarked, is what Pasquinelli also offers his community, saying, "He is a Superman in our community. I could go on forever about what he has done, but here is what's important. He doesn't just lend his name to any project. You also get his whole heart and full work ethic to get the job done."
Upon accepting the award in honor of his parents and grandfather, Pasquinelli praised the support he got from his campus mentors for preparing him for success. He said, "What this campus gave me was the confidence, the support, and the encouragement I needed."
The Lifetime Achievement Alumni Award went to Charles Snapp. Snapp graduated from Kane Area High School in 1960, and from Penn State DuBois, with an Accounting Degree, in 1963. He worked as a Field Auditor for the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue for 30 years, and retired in 1994. As a dedicated advocate of education he has established two scholarships which benefit Penn State DuBois students. The Charles E. and Charlotte J. Snapp Memorial Trustee Scholarship, which was established in his parents’ honor, is awarded primarily to business students. The Fred D. Falkinburg Trustee Scholarship, named after his cousin, assists forestry program students. As a current committee member of For the Future; the Campaign for Penn State Students, he serves on the Alumni Subcommittee. He also works closely with faculty from the Wildlife Department on research related to land and forest preservation.
Chancellor Anita McDonald presented Snapp's award. She recalled meeting Snapp when she first came to campus nearly seven years ago. "He came to my office and we talked about the campus, and the students, and the next thing I knew, Charles said he would like to establish a Trustee Matching Scholarship," McDonald said. "Charles was the first individual to establish such a scholarship here at our campus, and it was just tremendous."
McDonald went on to describe the man behind the philanthropy. "Charles is a very warm and kind individual. He cares deeply about others. I can think of no one more deserving of the Lifetime Achievement Award than Charles Snapp," she said. "He started humbly, worked hard, and became successful. Now, he's reaching back to help our campus and our students."
Snapp, while accepting his award, explained his desire to support scholarships, relating a story about a conversation he had with a teacher upon his high school graduation. "He asked what my plans were after graduation. I told him I'd find work, because I couldn't afford college. He told me to look into financial aid. I did, and it ultimately led to my graduation from Penn State DuBois in December, 1963. That's why I give back to the place that laid the foundation for all the achievements I've made in my life."
Snapp said his plans for the future are simple. To continue to invest and expand his stock portfolio, and to support Penn State DuBois.
At the closing of the ceremony, Alumni Society President Carrie Wood expressed her admiration for the award winners. Having heard their stories, Wood said, "Wow, you have all really blown me away. You give us all something to aspire to."