JPL President Luke Kempski

JPL President Luke Kempski

Penn State Harrisburg recognized JPL President Luke Kempski for Alumni Achievement at a recent awards event. Kempski graduated from the school with a M.Ed. in Training and Development in 1996 and today serves on an advisory board for the program.

According to Kempski, “it was the right program, in the right place at the right time for me.” During the mid-90’s, Kempski was leading JPL’s expansion into interactive multimedia and computer-based training. Kempski was able to apply his academic learning in the media-based training work he was doing for clients such as Giant Foods, Gannett Fleming and PennDOT. Along with his classmates, he was also able to bring challenges from private industry into the classroom.

Kempski also taught Video Production for Training and Development at Penn State Harrisburg and wrote and produced a fundraising video with JPL to build a new library on campus in the mid-1990s.

In 2004, Kempski was named President of JPL by the founder of the company, Michael Horgan. Together they led the company until Horgan’s retirement in 2010. Today, Kempski continues to apply what he learned at Penn State Harrisburg in leading JPL as a strategic marketing, communications and learning solutions company. JPL employs 95 team members and was recently recognized as one of Pennsylvania’s Best Places to Work for the eleventh consecutive year.

In 2007, JPL hired Penn State Training and Development graduate, Renee Avara as an intern in the company’s Learning Solutions department. In March of this year, Avara was promoted to Manager, Learning Solutions, replacing the retiring manager Steve Hulse, who was also a graduate of the program.

In addition to Kempski, other Penn State Harrisburg alumni honored at the event included E. Philip Wenger, Fulton Bank; Kathy Marley-Dunbar, Educational Consultant; Richard White, Ph.D., LSU; and John Mason, Ph.D, Auburn University.