Summer 2003 Magazine Archive & SearchMuhlenberg Home



’Berg Scholars
Shine in National Spotlight

The Class of 2003 is an impressive one – it boasts two Fulbright Scholars, a Rotary scholar and an NCAA postgraduate scholar, with more award finalists pending notification. The underclassmen aren’t far behind, and recent graduates, too, are making their mark in the academic world.

Kristine Len ’03, Jennifer Epting ’03 and Jennifer Bradley ’97 have received Fulbright Scholarships for the 2003-04 academic year. Len and Bradley will teach in Korea, while Epting will teach and study in France. David Sobotkin ’03 was a finalist for a Fulbright Scholarship to the United Kingdom.

Rebecca Eckard ’03 has earned a Rotary Foundation Scholarship for one year of graduate study abroad; she plans to study international peace/conflict and performance studies in Australia or South Africa. Eckard is also a finalist for a graduate fellowship to work with the Environmental Protection Agency.

David Vassilaros ’03 has received an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, awarded for excellence in academics and athletics.

Christine Davies ’05 will spend her junior year studying in Scotland as a St. Andrew’s Society scholar; she will study John Knox at the University of St. Andrews. Laura Sutherland ’05 is the recipient of a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship, awarded to only 15 students nationwide from an applicant pool of nearly 600.

Heidi Kunsch ’01, a graduate student at Pennsylvania State University, has received a graduate fellowship to work with the Environmental Protection Agency in Philadelphia. Jessica Tanis ’02 and Andrea Cerrone ’02 both received honorable mentions from the National Science Foundation; Tanis is a Ph.D. student in molecular biology at Yale University and Cerrone is a Ph.D. student in biochemistry at Penn State.

Brian Tavernia ’04 has received an honorable mention for a Goldwater Scholarship, while Lindsey Moore ’04 was named a finalist for a Truman Scholarship.

New Athletic Facilities
Benefit from a Legendary Athlete

In April, Muhlenberg broke ground for the new and expanded Life Sports Center. The basketball coaches’ suite will be named for Mel Kessler ’59, who has committed $100,000 to the renovation project.

Kessler was captain of the 1958-59 men’s varsity basketball team at Muhlenberg, where he scored more than 1,000 career points. He holds Muhlenberg’s all-time records for rebounds in a season with 331 in 1958-59, when he averaged 15.0 a game. That year, he set the single-season scoring record at 21.7 points per game, which still stands, and scored 42 points against Lafayette, a mark that ranks third on ’Berg’s all-time single-game scoring list. In his senior season, Kessler was named to the Associated Press All-Pennsylvania Second Team, All Middle Atlantic Conference Division I Team and the Eastern College Athletic Conference All Division I Team. Kessler is a member of ’Berg’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

(L-R) Monica Jones ’04, Linda Andrews, Sam Miranda, Arthur Altman ’53 and John Heffer participate in the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Life Sports Center.

Upon graduating from Muhlenberg, Kessler coached basketball locally at Nazareth High School in Nazareth, Pa. He continued coaching and teaching at Valley Stream (N.Y.) High School and then at Wantagh (Long Island) High School, where he was named New York Daily News Coach of the Year in 1967-68. He then coached at the University of New Haven before joining Merrill Lynch in 1971. Kessler was made a vice president in 1982, was named first vice president in 1998 and retired Dec. 31, 2001.

Construction on the addition to the LSC began in May, and should be complete in the fall of 2004. The Mel Kessler ’59 Basketball Suite will provide expanded office space for the men’s and women’s basketball coaches. The renovated building will include additional locker rooms and office space, new recreation and fitness areas and a new health and counseling center.


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