Niranjan Singh's parents have traveled all the way from Mumbai, India, to see him graduate Friday.
"I'm definitely glad about seeing them and graduating," said Singh, 21, of York. "It was an awesome ride the last four years, especially the last two years at Penn State York."
Penn State York will hold its graduation at 6 p.m. Friday at its Pullo Family Performing Arts Center on campus at 1031 Edgecomb Ave. in Spring Garden Township.
Singh will receive a bachelor of science
degree in information sciences and technology. He has won several awards, including the school's academic achievement award, which recognizes students' distinctive academic accomplishments.
He also won the Hack PSU hackathon for creating an Android app, called RemoteIn, which allows a phone to call back another phone without anyone touching it, and with the speaker on.
While at Penn State York, Singh said he worked part-time as a software developer for local Healthcare Systems Connection.
He now has plans to start his own company to develop web-based and app-based programs. The company will either be based in Carlisle, Cumberland County, or in San Francisco, he said.
Singh said he completed his first two years of studies at Vidyalankar School of Information Technology in India, which has a degree-completion program with Penn State University.
"I wanted to finish here because of the name Penn State," he said. "In India, Penn State is seen as a reputable university."
The Penn State name also matters to 39-year-old Springettsbury Township resident, John Arthur Jr., who will graduate with a bachelor of arts degree in communication arts and sciences.
Like Singh, Arthur is an award-winning student. Arthur earned a near-perfect grade point average and is the student marshal for his class.
He has won the National Communication Association Undergraduate Research Award, which recognizes outstanding student scholarship. Arthur also has been inducted into Lambda Pi Eta, the National Communication Association's honor society.
"It seems a bit surreal graduating now," Arthur said. "I'm almost 40 years old, but I'm excited about the friends I made. I had a good rapport with fellow students and I'll be so happy to see them graduate."
A new start: Prior to his Penn State York days, Arthur earned a six-figure salary as a senior project manager in a sales and marketing department of Investors Bank & Trust Firm in Boston.
His job was eliminated after the firm was acquired by State Street Corp. Then the stock market crashed in 2008. Arthur, who had only a high school education, said he could not find a job in his field.
Arthur -- who attended Harrisburg Area Community College in the mid-1990s -- returned to the southcentral Pennsylvania area and began attending Penn State York in 2010.
He is married to Megann Arthur, and they have a 3-month-old son, Logan.
Arthur said he plans to continue his education and wants to earn a doctorate in communication studies. He also wants to work for a nationally top-ranking management consulting firm.
"Right now, I'm looking forward to getting back into the workplace," he said. "My focus is on finding a career at this point."
--Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at firstname.lastname@example.org.