The Wright Center’s Road to Recovery Car Show

The Wright Center for Patient & Community Engagement, in collaboration with Lackawanna College, is relocating the “Road to Recovery” Car Show on Saturday, Aug. 6 from Lackawanna College to Nay Aug Park, 500 Arthur Ave., Scranton, due to water damage on the college campus.

Registration, which costs $10 per vehicle and $5 per motorcycle, begins at 8 a.m., with the show operating from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The “Road to Recovery” Car Show will be located on the stage immediately past the pool area at the summer concert venue at Nay Aug Park. Participants are asked to enter at the Olive Street side of the park in front of the pool area.

The family-friendly fundraiser also features prizes, music, raffles, food trucks, games and more. Proceeds from the program are used to offset transportation costs for patients of The Wright Center for Community Health’s Opioid Use Disorder Center of Excellence. For more information, contact Kara Seitzinger, director of public affairs/advisor liaison to the president and CEO at The Wright Center, at or 570-591-5170.

Pennsylvania designated The Wright Center for Community Health as an Opioid Use Disorder Center of Excellence in 2017 – one of 50 in the state. The program helps individuals in recovery reshape their lifestyles from the comfort of their own communities. Patients visit any of The Wright Center’s primary care practices in Lackawanna, Luzerne or Wayne counties to connect with supportive certified recovery specialists, case managers, social workers and medical providers who collectively help them break the cycle of addiction through outpatient care. More information about the center and its addiction and recovery services is available at

The Wright Center for Community Health’s Healthy Maternal Opiate Medical Support program, known simply as Healthy MOMS, is also linked to the Opioid Use Disorder Center of Excellence. Established in 2018, the program was co-founded with multiple agencies to assist women who are pregnant and have a substance use disorder. Healthy MOMS provides prenatal, perinatal and postpartum care, including medication-assisted treatment, to women coping with a substance use disorder. It strives to break stigma while building the self-esteem of participating mothers during and after their pregnancies, ideally engaging them in recovery support services for about two years. More information about the program is available at

Did You Know You Can Advertise with COLTS?

There’s no better way to showcase your services and products than through public transit advertising. COLTS buses and vans are literally moving billboards!!

Advertising with COLTS is a great way to reach your customers and clients because your ads will have thousands of views each day.

COLTS has opportunities for advertising on both the interior and exterior of our buses and vans, and on our bus shelters.

Contact Gretchen Wintermantel at or (570) 346-2061, ext. 1217, to get started.

Tobyhanna Performance Awards Highlight Character Traits of Extraordinary People

A successful organization needs both creative and agile leaders, common traits among award winners setting the standard for others to follow.

Panels of judges chose five individuals to receive Tobyhanna Army Depot Employee of the Quarter awards. One award winner was subsequently named the Army Materiel Command, U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command, and C5ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) employee of the quarter.

Robert Hagenbaugh earned the command- and depot-level awards for actions taken while working as an electronics technician in the Production Engineering Directorate’s Site Installation and SATCOM Engineering Branch. 

Co-workers use words like loyalty, duty, respect and integrity to describe Hagenbaugh.  In addition, they maintain he guards his teammates jealously, recognizes them regularly and never seeks recognition for himself, according to the nomination package.

“It is truly a great honor and privilege to receive these performance awards,” Hagenbaugh said. “I don’t consider these awards as an individual award, but more of a group award knowing that our team is succeeding and moving in the right direction.”

Hagenbaugh spends a great deal of time traveling the world with his team, providing life cycle engineering and sustainment support for technical control facilities, mission command facilities, strategic command centers and home station mission command centers.  His depot career began 20 years ago. 

“Tobyhanna is involved in this mission because of Bob’s superior high level communication with site and program office personnel, in addition to a word of mouth reputation spreading throughout the Army of the depot’s ability to support these missions,” said former branch chief Shawn Smith. “Bob’s work ethic and tireless dedication to duty, team and mission set the standard and is contagious within the branch.”

Jeremy Kuzmiak and Hagenbaugh were selected Tobyhanna Army Depot’s Employees of the Quarter, for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2021, junior and senior categories, respectively.

Kuzmiak is a firefighter recognized for work accomplished while assigned to the Installation Services Directorate’s Fire and Emergency Services Branch.

The depot fire department recently completed a process known as Community Risk Assessment and Standards of Cover (CRASOC). The result is a comprehensive report that provides an assessment of risk as well as sets baseline and benchmark performance goals for the organization.

“Kuzmiak surpassed expectations analyzing and updating more than 100 pages of information well ahead of the deadline,” said Daryl Gebhardt, fire chief. “He volunteered to take on this massive project while still performing his regular duties.”

Kuzmiak was able to compose the report using skills he learned during a fire department analytics class. That, combined with years of additional training and hands-on experience helped the firefighter break down emergency response operations to show areas where the fire department excels or needs improvement.

Officials noted the 14-year Tobyhanna veteran also shares knowledge gleaned from authoring the CRASOC with his co-workers, according to Gebhardt.

“This award means a great deal to me and I want to thank all the people who helped me along the way,” Kuzmiak said. “I couldn’t have done it without them.”

Robert Knecht, Joseph Twardowski and Steven Warner were selected Tobyhanna Army Depot’s Employees of the Quarter for the first quarter of fiscal year 2022, supervisor, senior and junior categories, respectively.  

Knecht’s performance as the Systems Integration and Support Directorate’s Welding Branch chief set him apart from his peers. He leads a group of skilled artisans who perform duties here and at multiple temporary duty locations around the world. His responsibilities include managing a robust welding mission by maintaining effective processes and procedures in the shop, tracking training requirements for employees, and providing necessary equipment and supplies to meet customer requirements.

“Robert keeps track of all welding certifications held by shop personnel making sure they are current for AS audit readiness and that Tobyhanna is up to industry standards,” said Hiram Gillyard, Integration Support Division chief. “He also encourages team members to find ways to cut costs by streamlining processes.”

Motivated by unwavering determination and dedication, Knecht keeps a positive mindset no matter what is going on around him, according to Gillyard. 

“This award means the world to me having been recognized for the efforts of dedication and commitment to the organization and the warfighter,” Knecht said. “Teamwork is the key to my success. Working together as a team enables us to learn from one another while working toward a common goal.”

A number of employees applauded Twardowski for accomplishments while serving as the C4ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) Directorate’s Secure Communications Branch chief.

The individuals who nominated the work leader describe him as someone who goes above and beyond to support the mission. Twardowski is the first person to step up when something needs doing, they wrote on the submission form. Coworkers also noted that the team looks up to the branch chief, saying he sets the example.

Twardowski is responsible for making sure the cost center has everything it needs to meet the monthly production schedules. For instance, he verifies assets are inducted in a timely manner, determines and order parts for individual jobs, schedules employee training, and ensures deadlines are met on time and within budget.

“The team I work with is always doing what they need to do to meet customer expectations,” Twardowski said. “I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to work with. My success is measured by the successes of those around me.”

 Warner distinguished himself while working as a firefighter in the Risk Management Division. It was his idea to develop a program to mentor new employees as they adjust and learn new processes and policies in Tobyhanna’s Fire and Emergency Services Branch.  

“Steven is an informal leader and mentor among his peers due to his vast knowledge of Tobyhanna and his experience as a firefighter and paramedic,” Gebhardt said. “This program provides peer-to-peer support and mentoring as the employee gains the knowledge, skills and abilities to effectively execute their duties in the most productive manner.”

Warner’s journey of self-improvement consists of activities that develop a person’s capabilities and potential — personally and professionally.  According to his coworkers, the fire captain continuously demonstrates a high degree of knowledge, professionalism and personal courage.

“Steven places the needs of his peers before those of himself and strives to make the department the best through his continued selfless service and contributions to the team,” Gebhardt said.

The new mentoring program ensures that all new employees will get all the pertinent information to be successful at Tobyhanna.

“Throughout my career, I’ve learned that having a strong team helps everyone,” Warner said.  “I wanted to make sure that all team members were being trained the same and all areas were being covered so I developed a new employee guide, then assigned senior firefighters to each new hire guide them through the process.”  

Recognizing employees for a job well done links to a TOBY2028 objective — Invest in our People. The objective centers on developing an agile and innovative workforce dedicated to providing the best value to the warfighter. The quarterly awards program identifies and rewards junior-, senior- and supervisor-level employees who, in the performance of their assigned duties, have established a pattern of excellence. Nominations can be submitted by co-workers, who work with the nominee, directly or indirectly, with a minimum of at least four nominators or by an employee’s supervisor.

Winners receive a special parking space for the quarter, On-The-Spot Award and plaque. Winning packages are forwarded to the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) to compete in their respective categories.

Tobyhanna Army Depot is a recognized leader in providing world-class logistics support for command, control, communications, computers, cyber, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C5ISR) systems across the Department of Defense. Tobyhanna’s Corporate Philosophy, dedicated work force and electronics expertise ensure the depot is the Joint C5ISR provider of choice for all branches of the Armed Forces and industry partners.

Tobyhanna’s unparalleled capabilities include full-spectrum logistics support for sustainment, overhaul and repair, fabrication and manufacturing, engineering design and development, systems integration, post production software support, technology insertion, modification, foreign military sales and global field support to our joint warfighters.

Penn State Scranton Program Helps Students Get a Head Start on College Career

Third-year nursing student Megan Lucey, shown here at Penn State Scranton’s 2022 Undergraduate Research Fair, where she presented a research project of her own, credits the campus’ PaSSS program with helping her become a more successful student. 

Every summer, Penn State Scranton offers the Pathway to Success: Summer Start (PaSSS) program, which is specifically for commonwealth campuses and designed to support students to make an early transition to Penn State University. Select campuses across the state started offering the program in 2015. 

Students at those select Commonwealth campuses are provided with the tools and resources needed to increase the likelihood that they will graduate and earn their Penn State degree on time, or even early in some cases, with less loan debt. 

According to Penn State Scranton Associate Director of Learning and Disability Services and PaSSS coordinator Eileen Giovagnoli, the program started being offered after a few years of offering the Summer Bridge program, which had an English and math academy as well as success sessions to help incoming students with the transition to college life. 

“Five years ago, the campus was selected by the university to participate in the PaSSS program,” Giovagnoli said. “This allowed us to expand our summer programming and to offer scholarships for summer courses and provide funding for on campus employment in addition to the well-established academic and success academies.” 

In the first summer they participate in the progam, students enroll in two general education classes for a total of six credits and scholarship support of $2,000 ($1,000 per class). The courses complement each other and the faculty work together to provide engaging classroom and community experiences. Some of these experiences have included field trips, guest speakers and service projects in the community. All students are enrolled in the same two classes in the first year, and as a result, they get to know their classmates and professors well. There is a tutor to support each class and students can seek assistance to achieve success.  

In addition to the early start in the first summer, returning PaSSS students can take up to four classes in the following summers with scholarship support of up to $4,000 total ($1,000 per class). Returning students can enroll in the courses of their choice, as long as they are a student at one of the select Commonwealth campuses. Students also develop relationships with fellow students and with faculty and learn about the resources available to help them achieve success, and these relationships turn into connections and friendships that last throughout their time at Penn State.

PaSSS participants gain additional relevant experience through on-campus jobs or through funding to participate in career-related experiences or service projects. Students can request up to $2,000 in engagement funding in the second year to support them as they participate in internships, research, or community service. Students save money through scholarship assistance for summer classes and by completing degree requirements in fewer semesters, saving both money and time. They also report feeling more prepared to start college and more comfortable to take advantage of the resources Penn State has to offer. 

Nursing major Megan Lucey, now in her third year, said that she learned about the PaSSS program when she was invited to participate in it and believed it would have immense benefits for her. 

“I decided to participate because I was coming to college from an online high school and wanted to get a head start with the new class format,” Lucey said. “I thought it would be a good way to get used to college classes with a lower course load and easier environment in the summer. I also liked that it was designed to help ease the transition to college.” 

Through participating in the PaSSS program, students also get to become part of a learning community prior to the start of the fall semester, and one of the goals of the program is provide bonding experiences through community service projects, social programing and field trips that are relevant to the topics they are learning in their courses. Previous PaSSS classes have had scavenger hunts, ice cream socials, and trips to Philadelphia as part of their summer experience.  

Alvin Binu enrolled in the PaSSS program because he was offered a scholarship to participate, which is what drew him in. 

“The PaSSS Program offered me two general education classes, which I thought would be great to take early, looking at the fact that the major-oriented course load intensified in the third and fourth years,” Binu said. 

Lucey said that being enrolled in the program has helped her in an academic sense, as well as a social sense. “The program benefitted me academically by allowing me to figure out how to study for college courses before beginning the harder classes I had in the fall semester. I also got the chance to get to know staff and resources better during the summer, when campus was not as busy,” Lucey said. “Socially, the program helped me get to know people in a calmer and less crowded environment than campus in the fall when it was busier. I got to know other people in my major, which helped me have study partners in my fall courses.” 

Binu echoed this sentiment, stating that the program took a weight off his shoulders as he looked toward his future. He also said that the program introduced him to Giovagnoli, who then welcomed him into the Learning Center as a math tutor. 

“I was able to meet the faculty of Penn State Scranton, along with my classmates,” Binu said. “Having been exposed to fellow classmates helped me to be less stressful about my start to my college career.” 

After her first year as a PaSSS student, Lucey then decided to become a tutor for the PaSSS students that came after her. She says this was a very rewarding experience getting to mentor these students as they started to transition to college life. 

“When I was in PaSSS I felt inspired by the upperclassmen I met and was mentored by, so in becoming a tutor I hoped to have the same effect on the students I was able to mentor and tutor,” Lucey said. “I think I was able to benefit them through knowing what it was like to participate in the program and take the courses they took in the summer, and I hope that my leadership was able to benefit them by allowing them to feel more comfortable with the transition to college.” 

Binu followed the same path as Lucey did, becoming a PaSSS tutor for the students that entered Penn State Scranton after him. He is grateful for the opportunity to have been a PaSSS tutor and saw personal growth from being a PaSSS student to then becoming a tutor. 

“I was excited and had a great time tutoring PaSSS students this past summer,” Binu said. “I feel that I was able to give them the assurance that they’re making a crucial step towards achieving success as college students.” 

Binu, a third-year aerospace engineering major, took the jump from the Scranton campus to University Park a year early as a part of the 2+2 program. He said that his PaSSS experience has helped him immensely in his transition. 

“I have been involved with the Learning Center here at University Park and the skills acquired from the Math Academy during my PaSSS Program has helped me to tutor students with similar mathematical questions as the academy,” Binu said. “Having a head start as a college student has given me the motivation and discipline to effectively handle my workload and transition to University Park.” 

When asked if she would recommend the program to incoming students, Lucey answered with a resounding yes. 

“It is a big help for transitioning to college, and I would not be as successful if I did not participate in the program,” Lucey said. “With PaSSS I was able to transition to college smoothly and set a foundation for my learning before I began my fall courses. The program is built to help students succeed and be as ready as possible for college classes. It is a huge benefit to participate in the program.” 

Binu said he would definitely recommend the program to eligible students – for a multitude of reasons. 

“I believe that all students offered the PaSSS Program should make maximum use of it,” he said. “It will help you have a greater understanding of, and give you a head start on, college life as it will be, with a relatively lower number of your classmates,” Binu said. “You will have the opportunity to find your potential best friend from the PaSSS Program due to its nature, and all of the activities definitely help you in understanding the college culture.” 

“I was able to make use of the PaSSS Program to its fullest, as I received scholarships for the summer of my first year and also my second year, as I decided to take some courses over the summer again,” Binu stated. “The PaSSS scholarship really helped me financially and I was able to get on track to finishing my major in three years rather than four. I firmly believe that the PaSSS program will definitely have a positive impact on any student.” 

How can a student enroll in the program? If a student has received an invitation to the program, they can return the completed Pre-enrollment form as soon as possible to the Penn State Scranton admissions office. Students will then meet with an advisor to discuss the program in more detail. Participation is limited and on a first come first served basis.

If a student did not receive an invitation but would like to be considered for the program, or has questions regarding the program, please contact Giovagnoli at 570-963-2678 or by email at   

AAA North Scranton Promotes Deanna Smith

Deanna Smith was recently promoted as the newest Office Manager for the AAA North Penn Scranton Member Service office. Deanna started her career with AAA North Penn in 1999 as a part time employee in the Emergency Road Service Department. During that time, she took on various roles including the training of new employees and was a shift supervisor. In 2007 she obtained her bachelor’s degree from Bloomsburg

University and returned to AAA full time as a night and weekend supervisor. In 2014 she took an opportunity to manage the Honesdale Member Service office and took a more active role in membership and travel services.

Recently an opening for the Scranton Office Manager position became available and she jumped at the opportunity to be closer to her hometown and take on a larger role within our organization.

NBT Bank Names Sastri as Chief Diversity Officer

NBT Bank announced that Karen Sastri has been named Chief Diversity Officer. This appointment marks the next milestone for NBT’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, with the designation of the role of Chief Diversity Officer on a full-time basis.

“NBT has long viewed our focus on diversity, equity and inclusion as a journey—one that we are committed to continually growing and evolving,” said John H. Watt, Jr., President & CEO of NBT Bank. “For several years, we have been fortunate to have incredible individuals execute the responsibility of this role in a shared capacity. While each left their indelible marks, we know that Karen will continue their work with the passion and dedication she is known for bringing to the table, buoyed by the sole focus of this as her primary function.”

As Chief Diversity Officer, Sastri provides continuity for NBT’s established DE&I initiatives and will work with leadership to establish new programs and best practices, focusing on recruitment, retention and development.

“The role of CDO has been a critical one for NBT,” said Watt. “We are committed to giving all of our employees a place to speak up and contribute, provide our customers a place where they feel welcomed, and our communities a place to be supported.”

Sastri joined NBT Bank in 1996 and has extensive experience in training and development and employee relations. She earned a bachelor’s degree from University of Albany and holds a strategic Human Resources Business Partner certification (sHRBP). Sastri is active in the community, serving as a board member for the Chenango United Way and Dollars for Scholars, as well as a member of the Norwich Boys Soccer Boosters. She also previously served on the Board of Directors for the United Way of New York State.

Jenna Kraycer Tuzze Made a Partner at Oliver, Price and Rhodes

Attorney Jenna Kraycer Tuzze has been made a partner at Oliver, Price and Rhodes. Jenna joined the firm as an associate attorney in 2017. That year, she graduated from Penn State’s Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle, where she was a member of the Law Review, and became licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania. Jenna received her undergraduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh, summa cum laude, and is a graduate of Valley View High School. She concentrates her practice in estate planning and administration, civil litigation, municipal law, and education law.