Mountain State University Center Township's "Student of the Year" will be among 42 graduates to receive their degrees during commencement ceremonies at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Central Valley High School in Monaca, Pa.
Debbie Bennett of New Martinsville, W.Va., completed her Master of Science in Strategic Leadership degree.
"I believe Mountain State's leadership programs have contributed a great deal to my personal and professional success," Bennett said. "As a married mother of three with a full-time job, I've been able to complete first a bachelor's degree and now a master's degree with MSU."
Bennett is office administrator for the New Martinsville campus of West Virginia Northern Community College, based in Wheeling, W.Va. She earned an Associate of Arts and Sciences degree in accounting from WVNCC in 1985, then graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Leadership from MSU in 2010.
The "Student of the Year" award will be presented by Mark Ciccarelli, J.D., executive director of MSU Center Township. The university's campus is co-located on the grounds of the Community College of Beaver County.
"Debbie volunteered to act as a leader in promoting graduate level study programs for MSU in the New Martinsville region," Ciccarelli explained. "She worked with our Center Township staff to establish and coordinate a cohort group while achieving her personal educational goals as well."
Tuesday's ceremonies also will feature remarks by MSU Interim President Richard E. Sours, Ph.D. Sours was appointed interim president by the university's Board of Trustees in March.
Bennett serves on the Wetzel County (W.Va.) Chamber of Commerce membership and community development committee. She is WVNCC's team captain for Relay for Life of Wetzel County (2007-current); president of the Wetzel County Family Resource Network (2009-current); advisor to WVNCC New Martinsville Campus Friends of the College (2006-current), and is a member of the Tyler County (W.Va.) Emergency Planning Committee (2009-current). She was selected by the Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce as the Employee of the Year (2011).
Bennett and her husband are the parents of two sons, Gabriel and Derrick, and their late daughter, Erika. She is the daughter of the late Henry R. and Dorothy I. Sommerville.