LVMAC Tidbit — A’s for Veterans in Retraining

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LVMAC Announces Its 2013 Scholarship Recipients

The Lehigh Valley Military Affairs Council conducted its Scholarship awards for 2013 at the Council’s 21 August meeting and awarded twelve $1,000 scholarships. Phil Hublitz and Bob Rothenberger, Co-Chairs for our Scholarship Program, led us into uncharted waters this year.

For the first time in the nine years of this program’s existence, most of the awardees were veterans – the vast majority having served in the current war.  At the awards ceremony, it was noted applications from returning veterans soared this year in spite of the Post 9/11 GI Bill; and there were more applications than awards made.

Photo by Mike Mescavage

Photo by Mike Mescavage

Only two were recent high school graduates (Liberty and Bangor).  One is enrolling in ROTC and one is the child of a veteran with plans to serve in the military – one of our goals, in addition to assisting veterans who have served since 1981 and aiding in the transition of current war veterans, is to encourage the best of our youth to serve in the military as junior leaders.

All except one are enrolled in local colleges – our preference, for we want to encourage our veterans to settle down in the local area after college. The one exception will pursue a degree within the state at Penn State University’s main campus. Where they attend is not as important as creating productive citizens.

The Council wishes to acknowledge and laud the hard work of all the members of the Scholarship Committee in assuring us a particularly successful year. In addition to Messrs. Hublitz and Rothenberger, they are Dick Moore and Lois Binder. They will begin again early next year to find the next group of outstanding men and women dedicated to serving this nation in more ways than one.

The recipients for this year were:

•  Master Sergeant (Retired) Karen Horvath is a decorated 20-year veteran of the US Air Force and the current war. She served as public health craftsman and a career assistance advisor. From 2006 to 2008 Karen served with distinction as the NCOIC (Non-commissioned Officer in Charge) at Incirlik Air Base in Incirlik, Turkey. Karen’s educational goal is to become a certified pharmacy technician. Currently she has a 4.0 GPA at Lincoln Technical Institute, all while having a family. Her award was made in memory of Army 1st LT Jeffrey F Deprimo.

Christopher Karlic, an 8-year veteran of the Marine Corps who became a Corporal, is studying for a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work at East Stroudsburg University with plans to work as a therapist/mental health counselor. Recently transferring from the University of North Texas, his current grade point average is 3.753. His award was in memory of Marine PFC Joshua P Klinger.

Josh Tosado is an Army veteran of the current war, having served in Iraq and Korea as an intelligence analyst Specialist. As a transfer student from Kutztown University, Alex has an excellent academic record in the Wescoe School at Muhlenberg College, a GPA of 3.758 and is a member of National History Honor Society, Phi Alpha Theta. He is majoring in education and is currently doing observations in both the Parkland and Allentown School Districts. His award remembered Army PFC John F Kihm.

Cullyn Washington, a child of a veteran, graduated from Bangor Area High School in 2013. He had distinguished himself as a student at the Career Institute of Electronics Technology in a cooperative program with Bangor High School. He graduated well within the top third of his high school class. In the Fall, Cullen will enter Northampton Community College’s (NCC) Honors program seeking an associate degree in electronics and the ambition to eventually obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering. His award was given in memory of Army PFC Brandon M Styer.

Alex Tarvarez, a former Air National Guardsman who achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant, is perusing a degree in Information Science & Technology at Penn State University. Alex has demonstrated perseverance. While raising a family, he has been working on his education since 2004 at both the Devry Institute of Technology and completed 42 credit hours at Lehigh-Carbon County Community before transferring. His scholarship was in given in memory of Army SPC Dale J Kridlo.

• Current war, Army veteran Dan Fisher rose to the rank of Specialist while serving two tours in Iraq and is now attending Lincoln Technical Institute with plans of becoming an LPN or RN. He served from 2007 to 2012 and now is in his second semester. The award was presented in memory of Army SSGT Mark C. Baum.

Tony Rivera is a junior at Moravian College and a US Army veteran who obtained the rank of Specialist. He is majoring in biology and plans to seek employment with a pharmaceutical company. Tony is a transfer student from Penn State University – University Park.  He wants to continue his education in the disciplines of biology, business and engineering. His award was made in memory of Army Pvt Travis Zimmerman.

Juan Diaz is a 2007 graduate of East Stroudsburg High School and served as a Lance Corporal in the US Marine Corps. He served in Afghanistan, Kuwait and Iraq.  Juan is a sophomore at East Stroudsburg University majoring in Science with plans to pursue a master degree upon graduation. His scholarship was awarded in memory of Marine 1st LT Travis L Manion.

Ian Sell is 2013 graduate of Liberty High School. An outstanding student, Ian achieved a class rank of 100/629 and a GPA of 3.96 – and was a member of the National Honor Society. He is entering the College of Engineering at Penn State University – University Park this fall and is also enrolling as a cadet in the Navy ROTC program. Ian’s extra curricular interests run the gamut and are particularly noteworthy:  track & field, cross country, swim team, peer mentor, Boy Scouts, and life guard. His scholarship was given in memory of Army SGT Christopher Geiger.

Ian McMillen served as a Marine Corps Lance Corporal in Afghanistan. He is a particularly motivated young man. He recently graduated with an associate’s degree from NCC, where he achieved a GPA of 3.27 while also working full time and raising a family, and is now matriculating at DeSales University through their Access Program. He is seeking a major is criminal justice. This award was given in memory of Marine Lance Cpl Robert Mininger.

Donna Chillari is a 6-year veteran from the Army, having served from 1978 to 1984, and a wife.  She is currently a student at Lincoln Technical Institute. Donna had previously applied to nursing school but a series of immediate family illnesses delayed her. Her scholarship was given in memory of Army 2nd LT Michael R Girdano.

Brian Smith is an 8-year veteran from the Army who served from 1988 to 1996. Brian previously completed an Associate’s degree in management/marketing at Allentown Business School.  He is a Dean’s list student at NCC, was selected to receive the Freshman Leadership award and is also President of the Band of Brothers, the veterans’ student club on campus. His career goal is to open up three learning centers in the Lehigh Valley. He is the father of 3 children and the grandfather of two boys. Brian’s scholarship is given in memory of Army Cpl Barton R Humlhanz. It was his second LVMAC scholarship.


As of 22 August 2013