GREENVILLE, Pa.—Thiel College announces Kara Baumgardner ’22, of Summerhill, Pa., and Rachel Breckenridge ’22, of Hiram, Ohio, as the Student of the Month honorees for October.
The Student of the Month honor is awarded to seniors. It is among the most prestigious student awards at Thiel College with only about six students each semester earning the honor.
Baumgardner is pursuing majors in accounting and actuarial studies as well as a minor in mathematics. She is a member of the Dietrich Honors Institute, the Chi Eta Sigma business honor society, and the Kappa Mu Epsilon mathematics honor society, in which she also served as treasurer from 2020-2021. She was a member of the Lambda Sigma sophomore honor society, and she served as treasurer of her class during her sophomore and junior years. She has also worked as a supplemental instruction mentor in the Thiel Learning Commons, and she is a recipient of the Arthur McGonigal Department of Business Administration and Accounting departmental honors award.
In the past year, Baumgardner has worked as an intern at Campbell & Sherbondy, CPA, in Greenville, Pa., and at Boyer & Ritter, LLC, in Camp Hill, Pa. She will start working in the accounting field in January 2022 following her graduation in December 2021. She also plans to complete the CPA exam.
Baumgardner is a 2018 graduate of Forest Hills High School. She is the daughter of Joseph and Karmen Baumgardner, of Summerhill, Pa.
“I have been able to grow so much throughout my time at Thiel,” said Baumgardner. “Coming to a new school, town, and environment out of high school was scary, but it was one of the best decisions I could have made. My favorite thing about Thiel is the professors. I have never had educators that care so much about my success. I truly owe everything to the people who guided me through this journey. I want to give a special thanks to Professor (Melissa) Oakes, Professor (Gary) Witosky, and Dr. (Jie) Wu for always pushing me to do my best and never letting me give up. I also want to thank Nancy Katz for allowing me to be a part of The Learning Commons. The TLC was a great way for me to practice leadership and responsibility. I do not think I could be the person I am without the people at Thiel College.”
Breckenridge is pursuing a major in media and journalism and a minor in religion. She is a member of the women’s basketball team, the campus radio station, WXTC, Thiel College TV, the Tomcast Podcast club, and has worked for Thiel athletics and the Accessibility Resource Center. She also interned with CBS affiliate WBKN 27 in Youngstown, Ohio.
Breckenridge is a 2018 graduate of Berkshire Junior/Senior High School. Following graduation, she plans to work in the sports media field or with a professional sports team. Breckenridge is the daughter of Donn Breckenridge and Darlene Fury (father and stepmother) of Hiram, Ohio, and Ron and Lisa Bieznieks (stepfather and mother) of Chardon, Ohio.
“All the professors, coaches, and faculty care so much for the students and athletes in helping them achieve their goals,” Breckenridge said. “I have made so many memories and friendships that will last forever and am so grateful for all the wonderful people I have met at Thiel along the way. I have thoroughly enjoyed every experience I have had at Thiel. Coming from a small high school, I was drawn to small colleges where students would be known by their name and not a number. Thiel is a place where they want you to succeed not only as a student but as a person. The College and professors will do anything they can to help guide you to success.”
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