Alumna, War College commandant to speak at commencements

A Shippensburg University alumna and the commandant of the U.S. Army War College will be guest speakers at the Spring commencement ceremonies May 9 and 10.

Karen Sheriff '07-'08M, director for the Perry County Area Agency on Aging, is guest speaker at the graduate ceremony beginning at 7 p.m. May 9 in the H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center. Sheriff

Major General Tony Cucolo, the 49th commandant of the War College, will speak at the undergraduate ceremony at 11 a.m. May 10 in Seth Grove Stadium.

No tickets are needed for the May 9 ceremony. Guests are asked to be in their seats by 6:45 p.m. Approximately 80 students are expected to participate in the program.

Approximately 1,000 undergraduate students are expected to participate in the May 10 ceremony. No tickets are needed for that ceremony if it is outdoors. In the event of bad weather, the program will be in Heiges Field House in two separate ceremonies. Members of the John L. Grove College of Business and the College of Education and Human Services will participate in theCucolo 11 a.m. ceremony and members of the College of Arts and Sciences will participate in the 3 p.m. ceremony.

Any decision to move indoors will be made by Interim President Jody Harpster as soon as feasible. Individuals may call Hotline at 477-1200 about the ceremony. Final information will be available by 7 a.m. May 10. The information will also be posted on the university’s website as well as its social media sites.

If moved indoors, tickets are required and only ticket holders will be admitted. Tickets are for general admission and do not guarantee a specific seat. The number of tickets each graduate will receive will be announced in late April. Both ceremonies will be broadcast locally by SUTV as well as streamed live on the web.

The stadium will open at 9 a.m. for guest admission. Light refreshments will be available in the arena for guests who arrive early. Guests should be seated by 10:30 a.m. If the program is indoors, guests are asked to be seated 30 minutes before the start of each program. Doors to the field house will open at 9 a.m. for the 11 a.m. ceremony and no later than 2 p.m. for the 3 p.m. ceremony, if needed.

Sheriff earned her B.S.W. in 2007 and her M.S.W. in 2008. After graduating in 2007, took a position as county caseworker in Cumberland County eventually being appointed to a position in the Older Adult Protective Services Unit.

Finding herself a strong advocate for what she considers our most vulnerable and valuable population, she took a position in 2011 with the Pennsylvania Department of Aging in Harrisburg to work on updating policies affecting the delivery of older adult protective services. This included working with a team to re-write legislation to update the Older Adult Protective Service Act to ensure greater protection for elderly consumers.

During her time at the department, Sheriff was part of two research projects and developed policy and procedures for programs to be implemented across Pennsylvania. In November of 2013, she accepted her current position in New Bloomfield. Since starting, she has revitalized programs, strengthened community partnerships, and re-aligned the mission of the agency to meet the changes in service delivery.

Cucolo will end his term as commandant this June. Prior to his arrival at Carlisle, he spent 10 months as director of force development for the Deputy Chief of Staff at the Department of the Army in the Pentagon. His most recent operational assignment was a 33-month tour as commanding general, 3rd Infantry Division and Fort Stewart/Hunter Army Airfield in Georgia.

Commissioned a second lieutenant of infantry in 1979, Cucolo served 18 years in infantry and armored divisions. He commanded two companies, was an operations officer at battalion and brigade level, commanded a mechanized infantry battalion, commanded an armored brigade combat team and was deputy commanding general for a light infantry division.

He also served the Joint Staff at the Pentagon from 2001 to 2003. He has a bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Military Academy and a master’s degree from the University of San Francisco. He also is a graduate of the U.S. Marine Corps Amphibious Warfare School, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and he U.S. Army War College.

Further information about commencement is available from Dr. Peter M. Gigliotti, Commencement Committee chair, at 477-1202 or via e-mail at Detailed information for graduates and guests is available at