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    A photo of the crowd of graduating Cal U students at commencement.A photo of the crowd of graduating Cal U students at commencement.

    Distinguished Alumni to Address Winter Graduates at 2009 Commencement

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    Posted on December 8, 2009

    Bruce Wald

    CALIFORNIA, Pa. (Dec. 8, 2009)... University President Angelo Armenti, Jr. will confer degrees upon 613 undergraduate and 594 graduate students during the 169th Commencement at California University of Pennsylvania.
    The School of Graduate Studies and Research will award master's degrees at 7 p.m. Dec. 18. The ceremony will include the vesting of the academic hood on each of the graduates.

    Undergraduates in the College of Education and Human Services, the College of Liberal Arts and the Eberly College of Science and Technology will receive their diplomas at 10 a.m. Dec. 19.

    Both ceremonies will he held in the Hamer Hall auditorium on the Cal U campus. Some degrees will be conferred in absentia.

    Alumnus Richard Sabo, Class of 1956, will speak to master's degree candidates, and Jerry Salandro, Class of 1970, will address the undergraduates. Both men are corporate leaders who have received the Cal U Alumni Association's W.S. Jackman Award of Distinction. Sabo was honored in 1990 and Salandro in 2002.

    An honorary doctorate will be awarded to Carol B. Mitchell, co-founder and CEO of the nonprofit organization Verland, which provides services to people with disabilities. Mitchell earned a bachelor's degree at Cal U in 1972 and a master's degree in 1975.

    Provost Geraldine Jones '71 will introduce the platform party and present the candidates at the graduate ceremony, with Dr. John Cencich, interim dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research. Cencich also will give the Explanation of the Academic Hood.

    Jones also will introduce the platform party at the undergraduate ceremony. She will present the candidates along with Dr. Kevin Koury, acting dean of the College of Education and Human Services; Dr. Michael Hummel, dean of the College of Liberal Arts; and Dr. Leonard A. Colelli, dean of the Eberly College of Science and Technology.

    CUTV will broadcast both ceremonies live on Armstrong Cable (Channel 61 Armstrong-Connellsville) and Atlantic Broadband Communications (Channel 21). In case of an overflow crowd on Saturday, guests will be directed to viewing areas in Steele Hall.


    Richard Sabo

    Richard Sabo retired three years ago as the Assistant to the CEO of Lincoln Electric, the world leader in the design, development and manufacture of arc welding products, robotic welding systems, plasma and oxy-fuel cutting equipment.

    With more than 9,000 employees, Lincoln has 39 manufacturing locations, including operations and joint ventures in 19 countries and a worldwide network of distributors and sales offices covering more than 160 countries.
    Before his distinguished career as a corporate executive, Sabo was a teacher for 10 years. He came to California State College from California High School on a football scholarship and graduated in 1956. In honor of his parents, Sabo and his wife, Gail, have established an endowment at Cal U, the Alex S. and Elizabeth Memorial Scholarship.

    Jerry Salandro

    Jerry Salandro is founder and CEO of Iris Technologies, a communications industry leader that develops, produces, sells, services and supports PC-based control hardware and Windows-based software. The firm received the 2003 American Business Ethics Award for small companies.

    The company's flagship product, the Video Commander, is the world's first icon-based device routing system operable from anywhere in the world. Another Salandro invention, The Landro Play Analyzer, is a self-contained unit that digitizes video, enabling teachers and coaches to access 100,000 video clips at the touch of a button.

    Salandro, who graduated in 1970, is also is a motivational speaker. He began his career as a science teacher and in the mid-1970s served as supervisor of education and training for the Volkswagon assembly plant in New Stanton, Pa.

    Carol B. Mitchell

    Carol B. Mitchell is president and chief executive officer of Verland, a nonprofit parent company whose nonprofit subsidiaries serve 225 people with disabilities in western Pennsylvania.

    A Qualified Intellectual Disabilities Professional (QIDP) with more than 45 years of experience in the human services field, Mitchell founded Verland in 1978. She has more than 27 years as a CEO in administration of health care.
    Her work has been recognized by organizations including the Pennsylvania Association of Resources for Persons with Autism and Intellectual Disabilities (PAR), which has given her its Outstanding Service and National Advocate of the Year awards.

    At Cal U, Mitchell has received the 2009 College of Education and Human Services' Alumna of the Year Award and the Alumni Association's Pavlak/Shutsy Special Service Award.