READING, Pa. — Joseph Chletsos will graduate this Saturday, May 6, with a Bachelor of Science in business. During his time at Penn State Berks, he has done more than earn a degree: He has made a lasting contribution to the college. Chletsos has been accepted to Michigan State College of Law in East Lansing, Michigan, where he hopes to continue making a difference in the lives of others.
The student government president and Easton, Pennsylvania, native has definitely made his mark on campus.
Chletsos has been recognized with Penn State’s Eric A. and Josephine S. Walker Award, the most prestigious award given by the University to a student at Berks. The award recognizes outstanding qualities of character, scholarship, leadership and citizenship that have been directed into programs and services that have positively influenced fellow students and have contributed to the prestige and well-being of their campus.
Teri Sabatelli, director of student affairs and enrollment management, stated the following at the award ceremony: “Joey has been involved in many campus activities and organizations and has held several leadership positions. These include SGA, Lion Ambassadors, THON, Residence Hall Council, resident assistant, and the Senior Class Gift Committee. Joey was also the Berks student representative to Faculty Senate at University Park.
"Those who nominated Joey provided many words to describe him but the best description is ‘student advocate.’ As a respected leader, Joey has worked tirelessly on behalf of and for his fellow students while never seeking recognition or accolades. Because of the many opportunities he received at Berks, he felt it was his obligation to give back to the campus, our community and his fellow students. And, he did.”
Most recently, Chletsos has served as the chair of the Penn State Berks Senior Class Gift Committee. Under his leadership, this year’s committee is working to raise funds to establish a food pantry dubbed “Nittany Corner.” It will be located within the Office of Student Affairs in the Perkins Student Center to ensure that students have confidential, private access to not only the food and personal items, but also to campus staff who can assess additional needs that the students may have.
The main goal will be to address the issue of hunger at Penn State Berks, according to Chletsos. Funds raised by the senior class gift will provide the basics to get the food pantry started. So far, Nittany Corner has received 50 monetary donations. Chletsos and others are hoping to raise awareness of the hunger issue on campus and the important legacy this senior class gift would make possible.
In addition, Chletsos has completed several internships, including spending the summer working at Johnson & Johnson in Skillman, New Jersey. He also completed an internship in the Penn State Office of Development and Alumni Relations during his senior year. He has been awarded for his academic performance, receiving the President’s Freshman Award and making the Dean’s List every semester. This year, he also received the Eugene R. Curry, Jr. '59 and Frances Franks Curry Scholarship.
When asked how his time at the college is preparing him for the future, he states, “A lot of the professors here have real-world experience, which adds value to the classroom. And it’s Penn State — if you go anywhere in the world, you are still connected to the world’s largest alumni association and have a degree from a world-renowned university.”