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Duff, Gonzales named 2018 Greater Scranton Penn State Chapter Academic Athletes of the Year

Thomas Gonzales (junior-science), Jeff Mallas, Athletic Director and Jessica Duff (sophomore - LAS).  Duff and Gonzales will be awarded the 2018 Academic Athletic Award given by the Greater Scranton Penn State Chapter at the May 23rd dinner featuring keynote speaker, James Franklin, Penn State Football Head Coach.
Thomas Gonzales (junior-science), Jeff Mallas, Athletic Director and Jessica Duff (sophomore - LAS). Duff and Gonzales will be awarded the 2018 Academic Athletic Award given by the Greater Scranton Penn State Chapter at the May 23rd dinner featuring keynote speaker, James Franklin, Penn State Football Head Coach.

Dunmore, PA- The Greater Scranton Penn State Chapter will honor two student-athletes from the Penn State Scranton campus at its 40th annual dinner at Genetti Manor in Dickson City on May 23, 2018 at 6:00 p.m.  Penn State Football's Head Coach, James Franklin, will be the keynote speaker at this year's event.  The chapter will also honor its Alumna of the Year, Sue Thomas, a 1974 Penn State graduate in Science, Pre-Med. 

Lady Lion's softball catcher Jessica Duff and Nittany Lions men's basketball forward Thomas Gonzales are this year's Male and Female Academic Athletic Award recipients for 2018. Duff, a 2016 graduate of Vestal Senior High School in Vestal, NY, is a member of the Penn State Lion Ambassadors, serves as the current Chief of Staff for Penn Scranton's Student Government Association, is a member of the Campus Activities Board and Diversifying Minds Club, and sings in the select choir group on campus, The Rock[t]ets.  Jessica is a two-time PSUAC Academic All-Conference Team member, a USCAA National Academic All-American, a member of the Dean's List and serves as a current captain on the Penn State Scranton softball team.  

Jessica attributes her motivation in and out of the classroom to her love of the game of softball. "When I love the sport as much as I do", she stated when asked what inspires her, "I make time to balance that and keep my high marks." Jessica will be graduating next spring, a year earlier than her fellow classmates, due to her tireless work ethic in the classroom.  Jessica majors in Letters, Arts and Sciences and plans to return to New York to pursue a master's degree in Education and one day become a teacher.

Thomas, a member of the Penn State Scranton men's basketball team, is a 2016 graduate of Lancaster Catholic High School, in Lancaster, PA. As a Crusader, Thomas was the recipient of the LCHS Crusader Basketball Academic Award for the highest GPA, twice in his high school career. For his excellence on the court, Thomas received the LL League Section 4 MVP and was a two-time LL League All-Star. At Penn State Scranton, Thomas is a two-time PSUAC Academic All-Conference Team member, a USCAA Academic All-American, is on the Dean's List and has maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA in all three semesters at Penn State Scranton.

Thomas, a Science major with a Pre-Med career path, currently lives in Grand Prairie, Texas but will continue his academic career at Penn State. When asked what motivates him in the classroom and on the court Thomas said, "My parents taught me work ethic that drives me and athletics taught me the competitiveness that pushes me to succeed and to never give up no matter the circumstances." Tom, who is taking summer classes at Penn State in hopes of getting to medical school, said "I have a passion for learning that guides me to gain knowledge." Gonzales joined other Penn State students this past spring break and traveled to Beamont, Texas to assist with Hurricane Harvey relief. 

Tickets for the dinner are $50.00 with cash bar starting at 6:30 p.m. and program starting at 7:30 p.m.  For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the chapter's website at www.PSUScranton.org, email psugreaterscranton@gmail.com or call the Worthington Scranton campus at 570-963-2537.