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John Hadlock, Jeremy O’Mard Honored with University-Wide Awards

Two seniors at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, will be honored with University-wide academic excellence awards on Sunday, April 7.

John Hadlock, winner of the John W. Oswald Award for Creative/Performing Arts, and Jeremy O’Mard, co-winner of the Jackson Lethbridge Tolerance Award, will be recognized at a ceremony in Eisenhower Auditorium on the University Park campus. Penn State’s annual Student Awards exemplify best practices and achievements among Penn State students and reflect the University’s mission of teaching, research and service.

Hadlock, of Erie, will graduate in May with two degrees, a B.A. in English and a B.F.A. in Creative Writing. He was named the Outstanding English Major in 2012 and the Outstanding Creative Writing Major this year. 

As vice president and then president of The Roundtable Society, Hadlock helped revive the almost-defunct club for English majors. Under his direction, the organization produced the literary journal Three Bad Names, brought back social events like The Evening of Dubious Taste and hosted student-run workshops. He also has served as editor-in-chief of the student-run literary magazine Refractions and taken a leadership role on the international literary journal Lake Effect.

“Since John’s involvement,” a nominator said, “The Roundtable Society has become a vital organization, contributing to a sense of identity for the English and creative-writing majors.”

Hadlock plans to begin working on a graduate degree in English in the fall of 2014.

O’Mard’s Lethbridge Award recognizes a junior, senior or graduate student for outstanding efforts to enhance the understanding of diverse cultures and create a community where all individuals are accepted and valued equally. The award is name for its benefactor, a Penn State alumnus.

O’Mard , a management information systems major from Upper Marlboro, Md., served as vice president and treasurer of the Multi-Cultural Council and is a member and past vice president of the National Society of Black Engineers. He is a peer mentor in Penn State Behrend’s FastStart Program, which helps students from African American, Latino/Hispanic, Asian and Asian/Pacific American backgrounds make a smooth transition to college. He also helped develop a database so the Office of Educational Equity and Diversity Programs could more easily match FastStart student mentors and mentees.

“Jeremy has not only achieved an outstanding academic record at our institution but has also demonstrated exceptional leadership skills through his involvement in various student organizations,” a nominator said. “Jeremy is a remarkable student and role model.”

O’Mard has been accepted into IBM’s Consulting By Degrees leadership development program. After graduation he will work in the Washington, D.C., area as an IT specialist in IBM’s Application Innovation Service Group.

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