In 2020, Joe was approached by Penn State University in Harrisburg to develop ideas for a series of awards that could be used to recognize and honor people who had made a special contribution to the university, its students and its future.  Working with a team from the University, Joe developed a number of concept pieces that were refined based on their input.  What evolved from this process were a series of special awards for distinguished Penn State Alumni which were presented to the recipients at a virtual awards ceremony in October 2020.  


A short video clip of the awards ceremony which includes a description of the award design can be found at:


Notes from the Artist:

This project was a joy primarily because of the energy and ideas the University team brought to the process.  In the months we worked together, I learned a lot about the campus, its significance to the Commonwealth, and the commitment of its wonderful staff.  


Each award consists of a fused glass pillar which is affixed to a black marble base.  The glass was fused twice to produce the textured white lines, cut using a diamond saw, and then polished in a 5 stage process.  My greatest challenge was producing nearly a dozen identical pieces, with a very detailed design which required approximately 500 pieces of Bullseye fusible dichroic, cathedral, and opalescent glass, stringers and ribbons.  The following are pictures of the works in progress.