Five of Penn State Berks community selected for Faces of Penn State campaign
Five members of the Penn State Berks campus community have been selected to be part of the University's “Faces of Penn State” campaign. Dr. David Aurentz, Gregory F. Flemming, Amanda González-Ortiz, Dr. C. Preston Scoboria, and Jeff Wike have each made their own unique contributions to improving the world through their inspiring teaching, research, and community outreach.
In September 2012, the University launched a campaign to celebrate members of the Penn State community that embodies Penn State's values of teaching, research and service. The “Faces of Penn State” represent students, faculty, staff, administrators, alumni, and local community members whose collective accomplishments and achievements better their communities and the world.
Since receiving his own doctorate in chemistry at Penn State, Dr. David Aurentz ’98 has sought to share his passion for chemistry. As an associate professor of chemistry at Penn State Berks, Aurentz has become an integral part of student life in science on the campus, teaching a range of courses from first-year seminar and introductory chemistry to laboratory and organic chemistry. Students have the utmost respect for Aurentz, citing his ability to motivate others, excellent teaching skills, and uncompromising commitment to his students.
Outside of the classroom, Aurentz advises life science and biology majors, mentors undergraduate teaching assistants, and conducts research in nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. And, in true Penn State spirit, his projects often involve biology and food science faculty members, undergraduate students, and industry collaborators.
A retired executive from IBM Corporation, Gregory F. Flemming was integrally involved in the development and rollout of the first massed-produced commercial computer, IBM System 360, early in his career. For the next thirty years at IBM he worked in various executive positions in manufacturing and product development in the United States, Europe, and Asia. In the early 1980s, he participated in forming the PC Company within IBM, which later launched the “Computers for the Masses” revolution that expanded throughout the world.
At Penn State, Flemming is a member of the Penn State Berks Advisory Board and the Industrial Advisory Board. Also, he is on the Penn State Berks Advisory Council for Entrepreneurship. He was instrumental in establishing the Learning Factory and the Engineering Entrepreneurship minor at Penn State Berks. He was awarded a Penn State Alumni Fellow Award in 2011.
Amanda González-Ortiz, a Penn State Berks senior Security and Risk Analysis major, seems to be most at ease when she's making a difference. She served as president, secretary, and treasurer for the Latino Unity Club, helping to raise funds to provide local Latino students with an award that would help them with their college expenses.
González-Ortiz is also a humanitarian. She has served as fundraising chair for THON for two years and was selected as a dancer in THON 2013. She served as a mentor at 11th & Union elementary school, is a student leader for the “Be A Penn Stater for a Day” program, and serves as a multicultural and a peer mentor. She and another Berks student composed the first class of Student Affairs AmeriCorps Scholars. In addition, she participated in the Berks Alternative Spring Break Program, traveling to Costa Rica and Belize to help develop long-term resources for their communities.
Dr. C. Preston Scoboria '65g has been a true Penn Stater for decades. After earning his master’s in physics from Penn State, he continued to devote his time teaching physics and math courses at Penn State McKeesport for two years and then at Penn State Berks for 35 years. During his tenure at Penn State, he taught thousands of future engineers, scientists, doctors, nurses and teachers. He would receive calls from his students at home the nights leading up to an exam and no matter how busy he was, he always made the time.
Penn State is fortunate to have such a loyal advocate; over the years, he and his wife, Kathleen, raised five children—who also all grew up to be Penn State graduates—and, now retired, he hopes for his 10 grandchildren will become the next generation of Nittany Lions.
Helping to shape the future of energy use in the United States, Jeff Wike, supervisor of electrical labs at Penn State Berks, was instrumental in the design and layout of the new Gaige Technology and Business Innovation Building on Berks campus. He procured the equipment for the engineering laboratories and was the lead person for reviewing plans and working with the architects on technical issues concerning the engineering areas of the buildings, which involve a solar array and an electric vehicle charging station.
Wike is also one of the lead organizers in Penn State Berks' annual celebration of Engineers Week, an annual event that gives students opportunities to network with prospective employers in a relaxed environment. Another event Wike helps coordinate is the Project Lead the Way Design Challenge, which brings high school students together with Project Lead the Way’s engineering programs from across Pennsylvania.
To view the full “Faces of Penn State” profiles, visit the Faces of Penn State site.