Alumni honored at Celebration of Scholarship

By Julie Story
Guest Writer

April 18, 2013

PHOTO PROVIDED Dr. Deborah Klens-Bigman performs for Sakura Sunday at the Cherry Blossom Festival in Philadelphia.

Dr. Deborah Klens-Bigman performs for Sakura Sunday at the Cherry Blossom Festival in Philadelphia.

Lock Haven University will host its seventh annual Celebration of Scholarship (COS) April 24, which allows students, faculty, and alumni to present their research. This year, nine alumni are participating in COS.

–Deborah Klens-Bigman graduated in 1971, is a swordsmanship instruction and works in New York City as an instructor in the Aquatics and Recreation Program at LaGuardia Community College.  She will demonstrate a form of classical Japanese dance, kabuki buyo.

–After Diana Hartman graduated in 1975 she founded a business, COMP Assist, to provide safety and work cost control consulting to Central Pennsylvania employers.  Hartman received the LHU 2008 Alumni of the Year Community Service Award.

“I want graduates to understand that being actively involved in community volunteerism can be the difference between a successful career and a floundering career,” said Hartman.

–Deborah Chiappelli-LaSalle, a fourth grade teacher and 1985 alumna, said that COS “gives students an opportunity to see the outcome of various pursuits in their field of study.”

–An internationally-recognized researcher in education, Jeffrey Lear is a 1988 graduate and a doctoral candidate in a joint program between East Stroudsburg and IUP Universities. His presentation on “Leadership for Learning” will “highlight new ways for educators to meet the needs of students in the dynamic social environment that we live in.”

–Wesley Tothin graduated in 2011 and later earned a master’s degree in history. The graduate assistant for the Entrepreneurial Leadership Center  at LHU will explore the study of history.

Four scientists round out the alumni returning to LHU are as follows:

–Al Matyasovsky graduated in 1971 with a degree in chemistry and will share his work with LHU students because “experiencing different programs, ideas, and cultures is always beneficial.”

–Luke Stewart, a 2002 graduate with a degree in biology and a minor in chemistry, will showcase the ground-breaking technologies in biology.

–Renee Rosier, who has a doctorate in biology, graduated in 2007 and is currently a postdoctoral research associate and lecturer at Penn State.  She will serve as the assistant professor of biology at Penn State Wilkes-Barre in July. Rosier will present her research project on the behavior of lizards at Raystown Field Station.

–Alex Borzok is a research assistant at the University of Maryland’s School of Dentistry.  He graduated in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in health science, pre-professional track, and a minor in biology.  Borzok’s presentation will explore his interest in the pathogen chlamydia trachomatis, what Borzok calls “the secretive love bug”—because of the difficult, tedious work he needs to do in order to study the microbe.

Julie Story is the Writing Specialist for the Student Support Services program in the Department of Academic Development & Counseling as well as the COS Alumni Coordinator.  She can be contacted at

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