Cement Worker of the Month – Michael Easton, Lehigh-Heidelberg-Evansville
Mr. Michael Easton was born in the “City of Steel,” Gary, Indiana. He graduated from Hobart High. They are called “Bricks”, named after the brick yards in the area. He recalled, “Most of my classmates were members of the R.O.T.C. which was taught by World War II veterans; a program where strict discipline was the rule.”
After working with his father who was an expert mason, he was hired by the U.S. Steel Corp. at their Gary Plant as a Boilermaker. At their peak, employment was 35,000. In 1983 during a plant layoff, Michael pursued a carpentry career working on many of Chicago’s high-rise buildings.
Mr. Easton remembers, “I was 34 years of age and wanted to be a mechanical engineer. I enrolled at a branch campus of Purdue University. After work, I would attend class in my carpentry garb. It took six years of effort to earn my engineering degree, but it was well worth it!”
In 1988, he took his skill to the Lehigh Portland Cement Co. in Buffington, Indiana. The famous plant was once owned by the U.S. Steel Universal Atlas Cement division. Located on Lake Michigan, it challenged the Northampton Plant for the title of World’s Largest Cement Plant.
At the plant, Michael was the project engineer designing and installing new equipment. The plant manufactured high temperature refractory cement. Then he met and spoke to a high profile businessman, Yes! “The Donald”, Mr. Donald Trump, who had state approval to open a casino boat. He recalled, “I spoke to him a number of times; he was down to earth but he had the air of a successful businessman.”
With the closing of the Buffington Plant, Mr. Easton was transferred to the Lehigh Valley as a project engineer, working on various projects at the nine Lehigh plants. One of his assignments was helping engineer the large Lehigh Plant in Union Bridge, MD.
Today, he is the project engineer at Evansville. He said, “we have a family atmosphere here, I am in the plant daily. Our supervisors meet each day so we can plan to meet both present and future challenges. Communication is the key. Safety is always a top priority. Each day is always different; we are always busy operating the plant efficiently and conforming to all state and federal mandates.”
Mr. Jody Rabuck is the highly skilled mechanical, maintenance manager who works closely with Mr. Easton. Michael is an avid Indianapolis 500 fan. He saw local hero Mario Andretti win his first and only 500 title. He has been making the trek to the historic speedway for over 40 years.
A life long motorcycle enthusiast, he has been driving his trusty Harley for 44 years, and frequently drives to the plant.
Mr. Easton has been married to the former Ms. Patricia Rapo, a former Lehigh Cement Administrator for 40 years. The Easton’s are proud of daughters Michele, Nicole and grand children Richie and Ashleigh. They reside in Whitehall Township.
I found Mr. Easton to be pleasant, amiable, a dedicated Cement Worker. I applaud his determination in pursuing a dream and realizing it at age 34 by earning an engineering degree.
We wish Mr. Easton and all my friends at the century-old Evansville Plant, a safe and successful year and hope to see them again next year.
Delaware Valley College
Dr. Bashar Hanna, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty at Delaware Valley College, announced that the following students are among the college’s list of May 2013 graduates: Hannah Lee of Northampton, Courtney Petersen of Bath.
James Madison University
Courtney Elizabeth Palmer of Nazareth, graduated with a degree in Health Sciences – BS from James Madison University during the May 4, 2013 commencement exercises.
Palmer was among 3,600 students who received undergraduate, master’s, educational specialist and doctoral degrees. She was also named to the Dean’s List for the Spring semester.
The following local residents have graduated from Lafayette College in Easton, Pa. The students were among 566 undergraduate students in the Class of 2013 awarded degrees at Lafayette’s 178th Commencement.
Anne-Marie Slaughter, one of the nation’s most influential commentators on international relations and global issues, gave the commencement address to an audience of family and friends gathered on the campus Quad. Slaughter urged graduates to follow their heart not only when it comes to work but the people they love.
Jenna Blanchard of Nazareth, graduated with a bachelor of science degree in neuroscience. Alison Dally of Nazareth, graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in international affairs. Breanne Young of Nazareth, graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in psychology/women’s and gender studies (double major).
University of Rhode Island
At the University of Rhode Island’s 127th Commencement on Saturday and Sunday, May 18-19, 2013, more than 3,200 undergraduate and 770 graduate students became the University’s newest alumni. Jena M. Lerch of Danielsville, received a BS in Microbiology summa cum laude
Area students named to the 2013 spring semester Dean’s List at Lafayette College include: Eric Himmelwright of Danielsville, a graduate of Northampton Area Senior High School; Alison Dally of Nazareth, a graduate of Nazareth Area Senior High School; James Pensack of Nazareth, a graduate of Nazareth Area Senior High School.
Aubrey J. Werley has been named to the spring semester deans list at Messiah College. She is a sophomore seeking an education certificate in pre-kindergarten through 4th grade. Aubrey is the daughter of Gene and Bonnie (Fogel) Weley of Auburn and granddaughter of Howard and Shella Fogel of Moore Township.
The following students were named to the dean’s list for the spring 2013 semester: Amanda Cobucci, Nazareth; Stephanie Grow, Nazareth; Chelsea Hall, Northampton; Angela Menditto, Bushkill; Shannon Morgano, Nazareth; Alexander Pereira, Bath; Jared Pinter, Bushkill; Lauren Reinert, Bath; Christopher Schatz, Bath.
Saint Francis University
The following local residents were among more than 650 students from Saint Francis University who made the Spring 2013 Dean’s List:
University of Scranton
Walter Ryan Schuster of Nazareth was honored alongside 67 other graduates who earned some of the nation’s most prestigious honors including Goldwater, Truman and Fulbright scholarships. Schuster graduated summa cum laude from The University of Scranton and received the Excellence in Philosophy Award.
Schuster majored in philosophy with minors in chemistry and Spanish at the Jesuit university. He is a member of Phi Sigma Tau (the international honor society for philosophy) and Alpha Sigma Nu (the honor society for Jesuit universities and colleges). He was also a member of the Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program and Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.
Schuster was a staff writer for the faith section of university’s student newspaper, The Aquinas, and a peer tutor for the university’s Center for Teaching and Learning Excellent. He was a member of the philosophy society and the concert and jazz bands.
This fall, Schuster will pursue his Juris Doctorate at The College of William and Mary.
Schuster is a graduate of Bethlehem Catholic High School in Bethlehem.
More than 1,490 students were named to the 2013 spring semester Dean’s List, including the following area residents.
Jayde Hooven of Northampton is a junior with a biology major in Scranton’s College of Arts and Sciences
Jennifer Joswick of Bath is a senior with a secondary education – Spanish major in Scranton’s Panuska College of Professional Studies
Tori Lippincott of Nazareth is a senior with a neuroscience major in Scranton’s College of Arts and Sciences
Martin McEnrue of Nazareth is a senior with a biology major in Scranton’s College of Arts and Sciences
Courtney Ruch of Nazareth is a junior with a occupational therapy major in Scranton’s Panuska College of Professional Studies
Walter Schuster of Nazareth is a senior with a philosophy major in Scranton’s College of Arts and Sciences
Amanda Stocker of Nazareth is a senior with a nursing major in Scranton’s Panuska College of Professional Studies