Penn State Harrisburg

Witf executive delivered commencement address

Kathleen Pavelko

Kathleen Pavelko

Kathleen Pavelko, president and CEO of witf, delivered Penn State Harrisburg’s fall 2012 commencement address on Saturday, Dec. 22. The college conferred more than 600 undergraduate and graduate degrees during the ceremony, which began at 9:30 a.m. at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa.

Since her tenure began in October 1999 at Harrisburg-based witf, a public media center which serves 2 million citizens in south central Pennsylvania, Pavelko has led and completed a $39 million capital project, which financed the construction of a 72,000-square-foot public media center that opened in 2007. Under Pavelko’s leadership, witf’s total assets have quintupled.

Before her tenure at witf, Pavelko, of New Cumberland, served as president of Prairie Public Broadcasting, a regional public telecommunications center serving North Dakota and parts of Minnesota, Montana, South Dakota, and Manitoba. There, she created the state’s first statewide public radio network.

She has also served as chief operating officer at Penn State Public Broadcasting, executive producer for public affairs for West Virginia Public Broadcasting, as a freelance journalist in Athens and London, and as assistant professor of communications at Penn State.

Pavelko earned a bachelor of arts with distinction in ancient history and a master of arts in journalism from Penn State, and certificates in advanced strategic management and non-profit management from the University of California/Berkeley and the Harvard Business School.    

Pavelko’s awards include the Association of Public Television Stations National Advocacy Award (2011), the Nonprofit Leadership Excellence Award from the Central Penn Business Journal (2008), and the Penn State Vice President's Award (1996). She serves on the boards of the Harrisburg Regional Chamber and the Capital Area Corps of the Salvation Army.  Previously, she was a trustee of the Archaeological Institute of America, a gubernatorial appointee to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, and on the boards of the Station Resource Group, America’s Public Television Stations, and The Development Exchange, Inc.