Office of Disability Services and Alpha Pi International Honor Society Presents Awards

Posted by: admin on May 30, 2013, No Comments

The East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania (ESU) Office of Disability Services and the Alpha Pi international honor society recently sponsored the ninth annual Delta Alpha Pi honor society initiation ceremony and Ralph Vitello awards for the 2012-2013 academic year.

Seventeen students were inducted into the honor society this year:

Jessica Braverman, a sophomore majoring in English from Paramus, N.J.; Brendan Cross, a sophomore majoring hotel, restaurant and tourism management from Stroudsburg, Pa.; Nicole Cruikshank, a junior majoring in English from Westfield, N.J.; Alex Curtin, majoring in the education administration and leadership doctoral program, from Dingmans Ferry, Pa.; Amanda Czonstka, a junior majoring in education from East Stroudsburg, Pa.; Nicholas Deliantis, a sophomore majoring in criminal justice from Carlstadt, N.J.; Rebecca Diehl, a senior majoring in environmental studies from East Stroudsburg, Pa.; Dennis Douvanis, a junior majoring in sports management from Bethlehem, Pa.; Dawn Dunbar-Gerenday, a senior majoring in communications studies from Effort, Pa.; Liana Ercan, a sophomore majoring in psychology from Ringwood, N.J.; Alyssa Garcia, a junior majoring in communication studies from East Stroudsburg, Pa.; Elliot Hernandez, a junior majoring in history from East Stroudsburg, Pa.; Kyle Hoffman, a sophomore majoring in biology/environmental studies from Emmaus, Pa.; Alexa Jarvis, a senior majoring in education from Hillsborough, N.J.; Andrea Keenan, a senior, majoring in education from River Vale, N.J.; James Lapinski, a senior majoring in education from Doylestown, Pa.; Briana Magistro, a sophomore majoring in biotechnology from Archbald, Pa.; Laura Suits, a junior majoring in education from New Paltz, N.Y.; and Kylee Witmer, a senior majoring in medical technology from Sunbury, Pa.

Two honorary members were inducted: David Rheinheimer, Ed.D., a distinguished professor and member of the ESU Department of Academic Enrichment and Learning and Gina Scala, Ed.D., professor and chair of the ESU Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation.

The guest speaker was Dr. Pam Kramer Ertel, dean of the ESU College of Education.

Delta Alpha Pi Honor Society is an academic honor society for students with disabilities in colleges and universities. It was founded at East Stroudsburg University in 2004. Membership is open to both undergraduate and graduate students at colleges and universities who have established chapters and who meet the following criteria: All students must present with a documented disability and work with one of the faculty / advisors in the Office of Disability Services; students must demonstrate an interest in disability issues. Undergraduate students must have completed a minimum of 24 credits and earned an overall Quality Point Average of 3.10. Graduate students must have completed a minimum of 18 credits and earned an overall Quality Point Average of 3.30. All students who meet the approved criteria are invited to become members of this Honor Society without regard to gender, race, color, ethnicity, religion, national origin, age, type of disability, or sexual orientation.

Following the Delta Alpha Pi initiation, the students and staff of the ESU Office of Disability Services presented the Ralph Vitello Award for Disability Services. Recognition awards were established in 1997 for individuals who were chosen because of their sensitivity to disability issues and to the individual concerns of students with disabilities. This recognition award was renamed in 2008 in honor of our colleague, Dr. Ralph Vitello. Ralph is remembered for his dedication to learning and commitment to students with disabilities. The recipients were nominated by the students who receive services through the Office of Disability Services at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania.

The Ralph Vitello Award recipients for 2012-2013 are: Tracey Bajadek, instructor, speech-language pathology; Esther Daganzo-Cantens, Ph.D., assistant professor, modern languages; Patricia Graham, D.Ed., professor, intercultural and interdisciplinary studies; Christine Hofmeister, Ph.D., associate professor, computer science; Sharon Lee, (Duplicating Supervisor) ESU Printing and Duplication Services; Robert Moses, director, Residence Life and Housing; Mary Jane O’Merle, instructor, health studies; Nico Ramirez, a senior from Dingmans Ferry, Pa., a resident assistant majoring in biology with a concentration in organism biology; Eman Sharaf, (professional tutor), tutoring and Jill Silvius, instructor,  English department.

Also honored were graduating members of Delta Alpha Pi Honor Society:

Jennifer Alpers, an education major from Dingmans Ferry, Pa.; Carina Amato, a speech-language pathology major from East Stroudsburg, Pa.; Cruikshank; Dunbar-Gerenday; Virginia George, a rehabilitation major from Easton, Pa.; Danielle Gyuricza, a speech-language pathology major from Bangor, Pa.; Kathryn Happe, a rehabilitation services major from Pocono Summit, Pa.; Jarvis; Kimberly Lawson, an education major from Lake Hiawatha, N.J,; Megan Murphy, a rehabilitation services major from Carbondale, Pa.; Jillian Nemeth, an education major from Middleton, N.Y.; Jessica Ras, an education major from Kingston, Pa.; and Lauren C. Smith, a sociology major from Mt. Bethel, Pa.

Because of the negative stereotyping associated with disability, students have been reluctant to identify themselves publicly. The Delta Alpha Pi Honor Society presents an opportunity to change that perception by recognizing students with disabilities for their academic accomplishments. In addition this honor society facilitates development of skills in leadership, advocacy and education for participating students.

For more information about Delta Alpha Pi,, please contact Julianne Albiero-Walton, Ed.D., professor, academic enrichment and learning and disabilities specialist and director, ESU Disability Services,  at 570-422-3954 or by email at