Central Penn College - Sen. Teplitz to deliver 2014 commencement address

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April 18, 2014 Sen. Teplitz to deliver 2014 commencement address

Sen. Rob Teplitz will deliver the May 2 commencement address at Central Penn College’s 132nd commencement ceremony, and New York City firefighter Lt. Manuel DelValle Jr., will receive a posthumous honorary doctorate degree from the college. More than 430 bachelor’s and associate degree students from Central Penn’s Summerdale, Lancaster and Lehigh Valley locations—as well as its bachelor’s degree completion programs with the McCann School of Business & Technology campuses—are eligible to participate in the 2014 commencement.

Sen. Teplitz represents the 15th district, which currently consists of portions of Dauphin and York counties. He has focused his public service career on protecting Pennsylvanians’ hard-earned tax dollars, making government programs work better, and bringing transparency, accountability and reform to all levels of government. A member of the Education, Finance, Public Health & Welfare, Intergovernmental Operations, Policy and Capitol Preservation committees, Sen. Teplitz is also a part-time faculty member at Central Penn.

Sen. Teplitz’s message to the class of 2014 will focus on the importance of Central Penn's role in educating our future workforce and the importance of a strong economy with skilled employees in central Pa. According to Central Penn’s most recent One-Year Graduate Survey, 87.8 percent of the college’s graduates were employed in their chosen field or continuing their education within one year of graduation.

"Workforce development is crucial to ensuring that central Pennsylvania and the entire state thrive,” says Sen. Teplitz. “Central Penn prepares students of all backgrounds, whether they are recent high school graduates or adults looking to enhance or change their career choices, to enter or re-enter the workforce with the professional skills they need to succeed. My wife Randi and I are proud to be part of the faculty at Central Penn and I am looking forward to sharing this exciting milestone with the graduates."

The recipient of the honorary doctorate degree, Lt. Manuel DelValle Jr., served his community as a New York City firefighter from 2003 until his heroic death at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Described as handsome, humorous, gentle, dedicated, adventurous, intelligent and a story-teller, he made a positive impact on many.

The honorary doctorate being awarded to DelValle is conferred upon individuals whose intellectual, spiritual and cultural values have contributed significantly to society and the community at large. Specifically, the honoree exemplifies charitable/civic service, a commitment to the betterment of humanity, contributions that reflect the mission of the college, unselfish leadership, personal contributions to civic, cultural or community causes, and who serves as an exemplary role model for graduates of Central Penn College.

“Manny would have been very proud to receive an honorary doctorate from Central Penn,” says stepfather Peter Moyer, who will be accepting the award along with DelValle’s mother, Gricel. “He would have been proud of the college's mission and especially proud of his cousin, Luis Rosa, who is a part-time professor of criminal justice at Central Penn.”

Rosa was one of five faculty members nominated for the Todd A. Milano Faculty Excellence award during last year’s commencement ceremony.

The Central Penn College commencement ceremony will begin at 8 p.m. on Friday, May 2 at the Forum, located at 5th and Walnut Streets, Harrisburg, PA. Tickets are required for admission. The ceremony will be streamed live online through Central Penn Presents at www.centralpenn.edu/presents. The live stream gives family, friends and community members who cannot attend an option to watch commencement from their computers, smartphones or tablets.

Sen. Rob Teplitz – Commencement speaker

Senator Rob Teplitz was elected to represent the 15th senatorial district in November 2012. The 15th district currently consists of portions of Dauphin and York counties. Beginning on December 1, 2014, the district will consist of part of Dauphin County and all of Perry County.

Senator Teplitz serves as the Democratic chair of the Senate Local Government Committee and is a member of the Education, Finance, Public Health & Welfare, Intergovernmental Operations, Policy and Capitol Preservation committees. He is the founder and co-chair of the new bipartisan, bicameral Government Reform Caucus and is a member of the following other caucuses and task forces: Act 47, Arts and Culture, Autism, Bicycle, Cancer, Community Colleges, Early Childhood Education, LGBT Equality, Life Sciences, Manufacturing, Sportsmen’s, State Tax Equalization Board, Third Class Cities and Women’s Health.

Senator Teplitz is a lifelong central Pennsylvanian who grew up in Lower Paxton Township, Dauphin County. He is an honors graduate of Central Dauphin High School, Franklin & Marshall College and Cornell Law School.

Immediately prior to his election, Senator Teplitz served for eight years as chief counsel and policy director at the Pennsylvania Department of the Auditor General. He has focused his public service career on protecting Pennsylvanians’ hard-earned tax dollars, making government programs work better, and bringing transparency, accountability and reform to all levels of government.

Senator Teplitz began his professional career as a lawyer with a large Harrisburg law firm, where he represented a variety of businesses headquartered in central Pennsylvania. After several years in the private sector, he began working with state-elected officials Bob Casey Jr. and Jack Wagner. He also has taught at Central Penn College in Summerdale and at the Harrisburg campus of Widener University School of Law.

Senator Teplitz’s wife Randi is a lawyer, professor and long-time advocate for victims of domestic violence. They make their home in Susquehanna Township, Dauphin County, where they are teaching central Pennsylvania values to their two young sons and raising their rescued whippet puppy Braxton. Rob spends his rare free time exercising, watching television and driving his kids around.

Lt. Manuel DelValle Jr., Lt., FDNY (1969-2001) – Honorary doctorate degree recipient

Manuel DelValle was born in the Bronx, N.Y., in 1969. He attended New York City public schools until he moved with his family to Brookline, Mass., where he attended Brookline High School. After earning a degree in sociology from the University of Maryland in 1992, DelValle returned to New York City where he worked as a firefighter and lieutenant from 1993 until his heroic death at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Three-hundred forty-three New York City Fire Department (FDNY) firefighters died that day.

DelValle’s body was recovered on October 8, 2001 with two other firefighters. He is buried in Woodlawn Cemetary in the Bronx. From his gravesite, one can look across to his elementary school of 25 years ago.

DelValle loved his job and his fellow firefighters. Described as handsome, humorous, gentle, dedicated, adventurous, intelligent and a story-teller, he made a positive impact on many. A sports lover, DelValle ran track in high school, skied with his family, and played baseball and basketball for the FDNY.

His high school physics teacher wrote, “I remember him as a student who did his best, who came for extra help after class without being asked. Above all, I remember him as smiling and caring; it doesn’t surprise me that he dedicated himself to helping others as a firefighter.” 

His hobbies included Latin music and dance, as well as visiting Puerto Rico—the land of his heritage. He was Engine Co. #5’s ambassador to the Hispanic community of the lower east side, and proudly drove his fire truck in the Puerto Rican Day Parade. To commemorate DelValle’s legacy, his family established a Central Penn College scholarship in his name. This scholarship is funded by Gricel and Peter Moyer (DelValle’s mother and stepfather) and Luis Rosa, a Central Penn part-time faculty member and DelValle’s cousin; and has been awarded annually since 2008.

A garden plaque in the Student Fellowship Area on the Summerdale campus recognizes the Lt. Manuel DelValle Endowed Scholarship Fund. To date, there have been 12 recipients of scholarships in DelValle’s name in the total amount of $9,500.

 A memorial fund (Manuel DelValle/FDNY Engine Co. #5 Memorial Fund, 93 Ivy Street, Brookline, MA 02446) has raised more than $20,000. The money raised has been used for scholarships at a day care center next to DelValle’s firehouse (he enjoyed having the center’s children climb on the fire trucks), and the All Dorchester Sports League in Boston.

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Central Penn College has been helping students turn potential into career success since 1881, now offering career-focused associate, bachelor's and master’s degrees in a variety of fields. Degree programs are available in: accounting, business administration, criminal justice, information technology, communications, healthcare, homeland security, legal studies and organizational leadership. The college, currently serving students at its Harrisburg, Lancaster and Lehigh Valley locations, attributes its high rate of student success to a caring faculty and its hands-on learning approach. Based on Central Penn’s most recent One-Year Graduate Survey, 87.8 percent of graduates were employed in their chosen field or continuing their education within one year of graduation. Central Penn College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (267-284-5000). The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. www.centralpenn.edu