2022 Writing Competition Scholarship Award Winners

2022 Writing Competition Scholarship Award Winners

April 8, 2022

Master of Professional Studies in Human Resources and Employment Relations

MichelleFirst Place – Michelle Kochosky

Michelle Kochosky currently serves as a Department of Defense civilian as a Human Resources Specialist for the J-1 Civilian Personnel Branch, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Pentagon.

Since graduating from Muskingum College in 2000 with a Bachelor of Arts in Education and English, Michelle has mainly worked in support of the Department of Defense. Early positions included a Department of Defense contractor for the Oregon National Guard, the Army Reserve, and Military OneSource. Michelle started her career as a federal employee serving from 2008 to 2018 as State Family Program Director and the Chief, Service Member and Family Support for the Oregon National Guard. Michelle re-entered federal service in 2020 as a Resource Management Specialist for the Defense Contract Audit Agency, Lockheed Martin/BAE Corporate Audit Directorate. In 2021, she transferred to the Defense Threat Reduction Agency as a Human Resource Specialist in Employee Development.


Amanda MorrowSecond Place- Amanda Morrow

Amanda is currently completing her final two courses for the MPS- HRER Program here at Penn State University, World Campus, in which she will graduate in May 2022. Aside from her devotion to her coursework and professional development, Amanda enjoys traveling, reading, writing, and exploring the outdoors in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.


Labor and Human Resources

Alyson SFirst Place- Allyson Stitzel

Allyson is from Lancaster, PA and currently resides in Charleston, SC. She is an HR Generalist, a PSU A.S. Labor & HR graduate, PSU B.S. Labor & HR student and Drexel MLS HR Compliance candidate.


Shamar SSecond Place – Shamar Stokes

Shamar Stokes is from Philadelphia, Pa. He will be graduating from Penn State this spring with his bachelor’s in Labor and Human Resources with a minor in African American Studies and a certificate in Diversity. After undergrad, Shamar will be working towards his MBA.


Organizational Leadership

Alex GFirst Place – Alex Galarza

Alex Galarza was born in New York City, NY where he lived until he moved with his family at the age of 10 to Tucson, AZ. He attended high school in Tucson and after a few stops in Phoenix, AZ, Pittsburgh, PA, and Dallas, TX, he made his way back home to be close to family in Phoenix, AZ. Alex has worked at American Airlines for over 15 years and is currently a Senior Manager, Application Support with a team that manages applications for the Technical Operations Supply Chain Organization. He enjoys hiking, grilling, taking the grandkids for bike rides and watching his favorite football teams, the Nittany Lions on Saturdays, and Philadelphia Eagles on Sundays. He has been married for 18 years to Melissa, has 2 lovely daughters Allie and Gabby, along with twin granddaughters Emma and Sophie.