INDIANA, Pa. — A former Northumberland County couple have established a scholarship at Indiana University of Pennsylvania for Northumberland County students.

Dr. Joseph Kovaleski and Susan Verano Kovaleski have established the Dr. Joseph F. and Susan Verano Kovaleski Scholarship at IUP.

Eligible candidates for the scholarship must be from Northumberland County and be enrolled in IUP’s College of Education and Communications, pursuing a degree in education or an education-related field. Preference will be given to students who have a minimum grade point average of 3.0. The scholarship is open to both new students entering IUP and ongoing IUP students who fit the criteria.

Both Kovaleskis are graduates of Our Lady of Lourdes Regional High School. He is the son of Jean Kovaleski of Mount Carmel and the late Frank Kovaleski. She is the daughter of Florence Verano of Shamokin and the late Charles Verano.

In establishing the scholarship, the Kovaleskis expressed a desire to help lower-income families access better life opportunities, believing that education is the best solution for meeting and overcoming the challenges of poverty.

“As educators ourselves, we are committed to supporting the development of effective, research-based teachers. We also want to give back to where we were raised, which in recent years have faced growing economic difficulties,” the couple said.

Joseph Kovaleski served for 14 years as a professor and was the doctoral director in the IUP Educational and School Psychology Department in the College of Education and Communications. He recently retired from a faculty position at IUP.

He received his Doctorate of Education in School Psychology from Pennsylvania State University in 1980. He then continued on to become a school psychologist (1977), director of Special Services (1981), supervisor of Clinical Services (1983), director of Pennsylvania’s Instructional Support Team Project (1990), and, finally, a director of Pupil Services (1998) until he began his career at IUP in 2003.

He is the 2018 recipient of the Pennsylvania Psychological Association’s Distinguished Contributions to the Science and Profession of Psychology Award. This award is given to a psychologist in Pennsylvania for outstanding scientific and professional achievement in areas of expertise related to psychology, including teaching, research, clinical work, and publications.

“Throughout my career I have tried to be a person who bridged the gap between research and practice, who helped schools do a better job, and who encouraged school psychologists be, in the words of Robert Bernreuter, ‘generally useful.’ I hope that I have passed on this mission to my students.”

Susan Kovaleski worked as a first grade teacher in the Lewisburg School District, as a first grade teacher at Holy Spirit School in Allentown, as a music teacher at Our Mother of Perpetual Help School in Ephrata and as an English as a Second Language teacher for Indiana County’s Armstrong-Indiana Intermediate Unit. She has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Misericordia University.

Students interested in this scholarship should contact the IUP College of Education and Communications.

This donation is part of IUP’s Imagine Unlimited $75 million comprehensive campaign, which currently has gifts totaling more than $55 million. The campaign will enable IUP to reach its vision and step forward as a national leader, distinguished by new thinking that has no limits and that cuts across traditional academic boundaries.

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