By Steve Harmic, Penn State DuBois
DUBOIS – Fall commencement ceremonies were held Thursday evening in Hiller Auditorium, marking the graduation of nearly 50 students from Penn State DuBois this fall semester. Bachelor and associate degrees were conferred in a wide range of disciplines.
Jim Kuterbach, campus instructor of Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) offered the commencement address. Kuterbach began teaching at Penn State DuBois in 2004. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and a Master’s degree in clinical psychology. He successfully defended his thesis for his Ph.D. in educational theory and policy in October, and will receive that degree in May. Kuterbach’s HDFS students go on to work in fields such as mental health, addiction counseling, behavioral counseling, probation and more.
Kuterbach was named the DuBois Educational Foundation (DEF) Educator of the Year for 2011-12. Nominations for the Educator of the Year Award come from campus students who feel a faculty member has had a significant impact in the lives of those they teach. Besides his classroom duties, Kuterbach acts as the academic advisor for many of the HDFS students, assisting them with scheduling classes, and providing job and graduate school guidance. He assists in advising the HDFS Club, serves on the Enrollment Management Team, the Library committee, and the Early Intervention Team. He also supervises and mentors undergraduate research for several HDFS students.
“Every one of you in this room will go on and accomplish something great, that is something that I have no doubt about,” Kuterbach told the graduates. “Whether it is starting a business, starting a family, doing great works, or helping out your fellow man, you will all make an impact on the world. And regardless if that impact seems large or small, that is accomplishing something great.”
Kuterbach stressed to his audience that they had already accomplished something great by earning a college degree. He noted many ways in which that degree would then help them to accomplish more great things. He said, “Your college degree doesn’t just make you more marketable; it doesn’t just make you educated; your diploma is piece of paper, but it is a piece of paper that sums up that you not only have learned something, but that you know how to learn for yourself. And it is that ability to learn that will serve you the most in your new beginning.”