Where are the 2009 recipients? Starting in 2010, Distinguished Service Awards will be presented in the spring rather than in the fall. As a result of this schedule change, no awards were presented in calendar year 2009.
Madelon Callen -- 2000 Distinguished Volunteer
Madelon (Delp) Callen (’65 and ’86) is an outstanding volunteer for Clarion University.
Callen’s efforts include three years on the Clarion University Foundation Board; three years on the Spring for Scholars Auction Committee, chairing it twice; and as a member of the Capital Campaign Celebration Committee.
Callen retired following a 31-year career as a teacher including service at Sligo Elementary School and North Clarion High School in Clarion County, and the Hollywood, FL, school district. Retirement left her free to pursue other interests, including volunteering.
"I really believe in Clarion University, what it has done for the community," says Callen. "The surrounding area wouldn’t be what it is without it."
Callen’s roots go deep into Clarion University history. Known by the nickname "Pinky" when she was a student, Callen is a third generation Clarion graduate. Her grandmother Alice Riddle, graduated from Clarion Seminary, and her mother Ruth (Riddle) Delp (’31), graduated from Clarion State Teachers College. Two of her sisters, Avalon (Delp) Cordell (’57) and Vivian (Delp) Russell (’90) are also Clarion graduates.
In the Clarion community, Callen is a member of Immaculate Conception Church, the Catholic Daughters of America, the Daughters of the American Revolution (serving as their current regent), the American Association of University Women, Phi Delta Kappa, and the American Legion Auxiliary. She is a past president of the Seneca Reading Council and the Clarion Civic Club.
Callen and her husband, Darl, a retired Delta Airlines pilot, reside in Clarion. She has a son Geoffrey Campbell, and two grandchildren, John Kramer, 10, and Alexandra Campbell, 3.
Dr. John F. Kuhn -- 2000 Distinguished Service
Dr. John F. Kuhn was Provost and Academic Vice President at Clarion University from 1991 until his unexpected death on September 5, 1999.
Notable among Kuhn’s accomplishments at Clarion were: development of new academic programs, enrollment management and student retention, curriculum reform, applications of technology in the classroom and student’s everyday lives, faculty and staff professional development, championing diversity and outreach activities, and catapulting the libraries into the 21st century.
Kuhn previously served 25 years at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, MI.
He was a native of Detroit, MI, and received his bachelor’s degree in philosophy and master’s in English from Loyola University of Chicago. He earned his doctorate in philosophy and English at the University of Notre Dame, where he was a teaching fellow.
During spring 2000 commencement ceremonies Kuhn was posthumously named the third recipient of the Clarion University President’s Medallion. Besides his wife, Lynn, Kuhn is survived by a daughter Deb, and a son, David.
Contributions to a Clarion University scholarship in John Kuhn’s memory may be made by contacting the Clarion University Foundation at 814-393-2572.
Dr. Brian Dunn -- 2000 Distinguished Faculty
Dr. Brian Dunn (’71), professor of history and chair of the history department, has more than 30 years of association with Clarion University of Pennsylvania. He came to Clarion as a student in 1967 and returned as a faculty member inn 1978.
Originally from Pittsburgh, Dunn visited several colleges in western Pennsylvania with the ambition of becoming a high school teacher.
He enrolled as a Spanish major, but soon decided to change courses of study and pursue his real interest, history. Dunn went on to earn a BA from Clarion in 1971. After graduation, he served in the U.S. Navy then went to graduate school at Bryn Mawr where he earned a Ph.D.
Dunn returned to Clarion University in 1978 when offered a temporary teaching contract. The position became permanent.
He came to teach English history, but department chair Suzanne Van Meter ordered him to design and teach courses on Nazi Germany. Dunn continues to teach the German history course and speaks frequently about the Holocaust.
This is Dunn’s second teaching award this year. In February, he received the "Faculty Member of the Year Award" during the tenth Annual Scholar Athlete Luncheon. The award is voted upon by the Student Athletic Advisory Committee and is based on outstanding support and guidance of students.
Ray Schwabenbauer -- 2000 Venango Campus Distinguished Alumni
Ray Schwabenbauer of Oil City, an area computer and technology entrepreneur, was honored with the Venango Campus Distinguished Alumni Award at commencement ceremonies Saturday, May, 13, 2000.
A native of Oil City, Schwabenbauer attended Venango Campus of Clarion University in Oil City from 1972 to 1974. He earned his accounting degree from Clarion University in 1976.
Following graduation, Schwabenbauer earned a master’s degree in criminology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He intended to pursue a law enforcement career, when U.S. Steel offered him a job as an accountant.
While working at U.S. Steel, he returned to IUP to earn a second master’s degree in business administration. Following a short stint as business manager for Robinson’s Wallcoverings, he joined Hardware Designers Inc. (HDI) in 1990 as vice president of operations.
HDI is a national manufacturer of furniture hardware with annual sale of about $14 million. As vice president of operations, Schwabenbauer has total responsibility for the manufacturing facility in Marienville and all accounting functions.
Schwabenbauer is a partner in both USA Choice Internet Services, LLC., founded in 1996, and Lexstar Communications, founded in 1997.
USA Choice Internet Services is an internet service provider based in Oil City, which serves more than 9,000 customers in seven countries in northwest and central Pennsylvania.
Lexstar Communications is a wireless communication company bringing broadband capabilities to western Pennsylvania.
Schwabenbauer and his wife, Janet, reside in Oil City with their four children, Bridget, Andy, Matt, and Scott.
Chuck Weir -- 2000 Distinguished Alumni
From corporate vice president with Owens-Illinois to cattle ranching, Chuck Weir (’56) of Kingsville has used its Clarion University education to perfection, including in his current role as a member of the Clarion University Foundation Board of Directors.
The Beaver Falls native first came to Clarion State Teachers College in1948. Weir completed his education degree in 1956, following two tours in Korea with the U.S. Navy. He also played football and baseball in two decades with the Golden Eagles. He played football in 1949-50 and in 1955 for Coach Waldo Tippin.
Weir planned to teach history, biology, and English after graduation, but never reached the classroom. Instead, he accepted a position with Owens-Illinois.
Weir’s career took him to assignments in Indiana, Illinois, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas, Ohio, West Virginia, and California, where he served a variety of positions. In 1981, Weir was named a vice president of the corporation, responsible for all 25 plants in the glass container division.
Weir retired in 1986 and started a cattle ranch in Texas, which he operated for 13 years before returning to the Clarion area.
Weir and his wife, Shirley, reside in Kingsville. They have four children, Susan Everett of East Alton, IL; Mike Weir ’75 of Lorena, TX; Mark Weir ’77 of Tyrone, GA; and Lynn Meyer of Austin, TX; 11 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
Weir has also served as a teacher, deacon, and elder, for various Presbyterian churches.
Peter Mervosh -- 2001 Distinguished Volunteer
Peter Mervosh ('53), a lifelong educator, a Golden Eagle athlete, a former assistant director of admissions, and the organizer of one of Clarion's largest semi-annual alumni gatherings is one of the recipients of the "Distinguished Volunteer Award" from the Clarion University Alumni Association.
"This is the nicest honor I've ever received," says Mervosh. "Nothing I have won in the past can compare to this. It tops them all."
Mervosh and four friends originated the semi-annual alumni parties held in Natrona Heights.
"It started with a party at Bob Coury's ('52) house and grew to an invitation list of 100 people," says Mervosh. "The response to the invitations is tremendous. We have a hall donated to hold the gathering. In the off years, I have a party at my home for 20 to 25 alumni."
"It is a fun way to keep in contact. The Clarion University Alumni Office is very helpful with these gatherings. President Diane Reinhard has given us her support and attended twice. I never knew that a person could get to know the president of the university so well."
Clarion's Alumni Office doe the mail invitations to the gatherings. Mervosh and his friends, through various connections, receive donated materials, food, and decorations for the alumni events. A $15 admission and a raffle of donated items have helped support the semi-annual event since 1992.
Mervosh, originally from the Pittsburgh area, came to Clarion as a Penn State freshman in 1949. Then, Penn State sent some of its freshman class to other state related institutions. Coming in as an engineering student, Mervosh liked the campus and decided to stay.
"I liked it here," he says. "I made many friends and switched my major to education. I think I was here during a great time period. Campus was small and I knew everyone. The returning World War II veterans were also here and I think they added a lot to campus."
Mervosh majored in English.
"I loved all of my teachers," he says. "Marie Marwick, Margaret Boyd, and Bertha Nair were great teachers."
He was also a forward on Clarion's only undefeated basketball team in 1951. That team went on to play in the National Intercollegiate Athletic Association Tournament in Kansas City, MO. He was president of both his junior and senior classes, and president of Alpha Gamma Phi Fraternity during his senior year, and was a member of the Varsity "C" Club.
Following his graduation in 1953, Mervosh spent 1953-55 in the U.S. Army. Returning to civilian life in 1955, he taught 14 years in the Penn Hills School District. Clarion called Mervosh back to campus, hiring him as assistant director of admissions, working for Walter Hart in 1969. He left Clarion again in 1971 to join the Highlands School District, where he retired in 1992 with an accumulation of 39 years in education.
Mervosh lives in Lower Burrell with his wife, Glenna (Rose '53). Glenna received her degree in elementary education and taught three years in Cleveland, OH, and the Penn Hills School District in PA. She also was a substitute teacher for 25 years in Pennsylvania.
They have two children, Kristin ('82) Melville and Peter. Kristin resides in Orlando, FL, with her husband, Edward, and children Eddie and Emily.
Kristin received her degree in business/marketing from Clarion and later earned an R.N. in nursing. She is a substitute teacher in Orlando, FL.
Peter resides in Harrison City, with his wife, Dorothy, and children, Claire, Sean, and Katherine. Peter, a Penn State graduate, is a mechanical engineer in the environmental division at Bechtol Bettis Works in West Mifflin.
Joanne Vavrek -- 2001 Distinguished Volunteer
Joanne Vavrek has found a calling in volunteering. In more than 20 years of volunteer efforts, she has been successful at completing, "whatever the need might be." The Clarion University Alumni Association is honoring her efforts with the "Distinguished Volunteer Award."
"It is flattering to know that people feel I did a good job," says Vavrek. "Many people have encouraged, helped, and worked with me on various projects. Most of my work, both on campus and in the community, has been a joint effort. The people ultimately provide the results."
Vavrek has tackled several projects for Clarion University and will co-chair the 2002 Spring for Scholars Auction. She served on the auction committee the last two years. During the first four years of the Clarion University Alumni Association sponsored auction, more than $184,000 was raised for student scholarships.
"Co-chair Mary Louise asked me to help with the auction and I accepted," recalls Vavrek about her initial involvement. "It is a challenge to raise money for a specific cause. I was president of the Clarion Free Library Board in the 1980's when we held a fund drive to build an addition to the building."
Vavrek came to Clarion in 1971 with her husband Dr. Bernard Vavrek, current chair of Clarion University's Library Science Department. Joanne met her future husband while she was a student at Carnegie Mellon University and Bernard was a student at the University of Pittsburgh. Joanne was working at the Hunt Library.
"I was a stay-at-home mom for many years," says Vavrek. "When the children got older and I had free time, I was approached to help with community activities."
It was something Vavrek continues to do so with much success. She was recently elected to the board of the Sawmill Center for the Arts, and is back for another term on the Clarion Free Library Board. She was also elected to the Clarion Borough Council, where she is serving as vice president. She was also a member of the committee to elect Jim Arner as judge of Clarion County.
Vavrek is also currently on the Governor's Advisory Council, representing rural library users.
"The council work in an advisory capacity, holding quarterly meetings in Harrisburg," she says. "It serves as a sounding board for library users in the state and other issues involving PA libraries."
During the past 20-plus years, Vavrek has also served as president of the Clarion Free Library Board, the Clarion County Library System Board, the Clarion District Library, the Clarion County Historical Society, and the Clarion University Sandford Gallery Board. The Clarion County Chamber of Commerce honored Vavrek as its "1986 Chamber Citizen of the Year."
"Most of what I have done for libraries is being a fund raiser," she says. "It started with raising money for the addition to the Clarion Free Library. Once we raised the money for that project, I felt we should be able to raise money yearly on a lesser scale. Now I chair the library's annual phonathon and the library's annual Autumn Leaf Festival reception. Many people in the community respond to our needs."
Joanne and Bernard Vavrek live in Clarion. They have two grown children, Chris and Jennifer.
Chris ('94) lives in Oakdale with his wife, Judy ('94). He is a network engineer for the TrueFit Solutions in Cranberry Township and she is a sales manager of WCDK/WEIR radio in Wintersville, OH.
Jennifer ('96) and her husband Jeff Burns ('94) reside in Bridgeville. Jennifer is a financial aide director at the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute. She has a M.B.A. from Robert Morris College and is currently working on an Ed.D. in higher education. Jeff is a senior financial analyst for American Eagle Outfitters.
Lois Albrecht -- 2001 Distinguished Achievement
Lois (Kindelberger) Albrecht ('52), an innovator with the State Library of Pennsylvania, will receive the Clarion University Alumni Association "Distinguished Achievement Award."
Currently president and chief consultant for FORESIGHT Inc. of Greensburg, Albrecht previously worked for the State Library of Pennsylvania, now called Commonwealth Libraries. While working in this capacity, she chaired the committee that developed the Access Pennsylvania program, allowing PA residents to borrow from any library in the commonwealth.
Albrecht was working for the Washington County Board of Education, Hagerstown, MD, as a systems librarian/school library adviser on automation programs when she became interested in technology. "We worked on an automated media catalog and interlibrary delivery between the local junior college and high school," she says. "The computer systems then, only second generation, had problems handling the information."
"When that project ended, a friend recommended I look for a state job. There was job open at Harrisburg and I was hired. I commuted 85 miles each way to Harrisburg until my late husband, Charles, got transferred into the same area."
Joining the State Library of Pennsylvania, Albrecht worked as a consultant with institutional and public libraries on planning, continuing education, administration, programming of library services, development and evaluation of LSCA grant proposals and projects, resource sharing, and interlibrary cooperation, trustee responsibilities and working with Friends groups. Three years later, in 1975, she became coordinator of advisory services for the Pennsylvania State Library.
Albrecht was responsible for initiation, planning, leadership and direction of all programs of library development, including state aid, LSCA, continuing education, interlibrary cooperation, academic libraries and advisory services to public and institutional libraries. She provided impetus to library and citizen groups to initiate an annual library legislative day and worked on the first Governor's Conference on Library and Information Services.
"Access Pennsylvania came from a comprehensive plan," she says. "This was before mini-computers became a main stay, but we knew computers would have to be involved. A person on the staff pursued it to implementation after I left."
Albrecht left the job because, "I had no desire to be an appointed bureaucrat. I liked the civil service aspect of the job and changes were planned to make more higher level positions appointed rather than civil service." She decided to establish her on consulting firm, FORESIGHT, Inc.
"We have worked with libraries in PA, NY, VA, and FL on a variety of library projects including collection development, cataloging, personnel services, strategic planning, planning for new library buildings or renovation, and for library director searches and hiring," she says. "If I don't have someone on staff who can handle the problem, I find others to help as needed." While directing FORESIGHT activities also served as acting director of the Cumberland County Library System, Carlisle, and interim director of the Pennsylvania Library Association.
Born in Wheeling, WV, Albrecht grew up in Oil City. She came to Clarion in 1948 because, "It was affordable, close to home and I liked it. I also had a good friend coming here to take library science and mathematics and urged me to do the same thing. I'm glad I listened to what she said."
Albrecht graduated from Clarion with a double major in library science and mathematics. "I was good in mathematics in high school," she recalled. "I worked as a volunteer page in Oil City Public Library before I came to Clarion. I just loved libraries. The mathematics and the library were a natural combination to me."
She also had help at home and on campus to achieve her goals. "Along with my mother, the biggest influence on my education was my grandfather," says Albrecht. "He was always there for me and my brother. He paid for my first year of college and after that I worked at Continental Can in Oil City to earn my tuition."
On campus, Albrecht found other encouragement. "George Keener of the geography department was a mentor to me," she says. "He encouraged me to do all sorts of things. I learned a lot about libraries and made visits to them during my junior year with Charlie Flack. Galen Ober was a tremendous mathematics teacher and once Dr. George Lewis got me through calculus, I was on my way."
Albrecht continued to earn a master's degree in library science at the University of Pittsburgh and did additional graduate work in educational technology at the University of Maryland. She was a librarian at Richland Township High School, Johnstown, from 1952-62, and head of technical services for the county system of the Washington County Free Library, Hagerstown, MD, before joining the Washington County Board of Education.
"My mother and brother and later my husband helped me in many ways to succeed in achieving my career goals," says Albrecht. "My family has always been there for me, including my sister-in-law, who is my best friend, and my two nephews and my niece."
Marlin Hartman -- 2001 Distinguished Service
Marlin Hartman ('59) credits Clarion University for setting him off on the road to success. He has returned the services by helping the University in a variety of fashions, most recently through the establishment of the Marlin and Cleva Hartman Scholarship. The Clarion University Alumni Association will recognize these achievements by presenting Hartman with the "Distinguished Service Award".
"This is a bit of a surprise because I am being recognized for doing something that I enjoy and wanted to do," says Hartman. "Recognition by your colleagues is the best recognition you can receive."
Hartman did not expect to attend college, let alone be honored for his service to a university. He was working in a mill when he was drafted, eventually spent two years in the U.S. Army, including a stint in Korea.
Following his discharge Hartman returned to the mill for a year before getting his chance at college through the G. I. Bill. He made the most of it. Besides earning his degree in mathematics, Hartman participated in athletics and met his future wife, Cleva (Haight) '59.
"I had great professors while I was at Clarion," says Hartman. "George Lewis was the one-man mathematics department, and Galen Ober, John Mellon, Marie Marwick and Margaret Boyd were all tough, but encouraging for their students."
"The way they taught and the time they devoted to us made me want to teach like them and really take an interest in my students. I tried to do for all of my students what my teachers had done for me."
Receiving his mathematics degree in 1959. Hartman went on to earn a master's and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. His first teaching job was in the Apollo School District. He moved from there to the Gateway School District in Monroeville, serving six year as a teacher and a year as secondary mathematics supervisor. He was also Gateway' baseball coach for four years, leading them to the WPIAL title game at Forbes Field in his last season, where the team lost 4-2.
In the fall of 1967, Hartman joined the mathematics department at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He spent 25 years, including six years as assistant department chair, before retiring in 1991.
Hartman's retirement marked his return to Clarion University.
"I met alumni director Jean Wolf at an Indiana function for Clarion graduates," recalls Hartman. "She asked me about getting involved with the Clarion Alumni Association. The request came at the right time. When I was working at IUP, I couldn't be involved with Clarion."
Hartman joined the Alumni Association Board of Directors in 1994 and served six years, 1997-99 as its president. He was also the Alumni Board's representative to the Clarion University Foundation for two years.
"From my observations, I saw the playing field in the State System of Higher Education as not being level," says Hartman about his view of jointing the Alumni Association Board. "I felt I wanted to do something for Clarion that would tilt it back the other way."
He based his Alumni Association Board efforts on similar experiences he had with the Pennsylvania Council of Teachers of Mathematics. By involving more people, the mathematics association grew into a truly statewide organization.
Hartman set about to expand the Alumni Board's influence, involving younger members, and increasing the member's involvement, including missions to the state legislature in Harrisburg. "I thought it was important to get more people involved and then step aside and let them work," he says. "I felt that people who were giving up their time to volunteer should have input into what was happening. Various members wrote messages to the alumni, helping to change the view that the Alumni Board was just the president. Everyone had a chance at leadership positions."
True to his beliefs, Hartman stepped aside, leaving the Alumni Board in June 2000. But, his work on behalf on Clarion University was not finished.
Marlin and Cleva recently established the endowed Marlin and Cleva Hartman Scholarship at Clarion University of Pennsylvania. The new scholarship is for a son or daughter of a U.S. veteran. They felt this scholarship would help children of veterans attend college, much as the G. I. Bill helped Marlin to attend college in 1955.
"I see the need for the alumni to become involved with their university through personal time or financial help," sums up Hartman. "Financial support is a big way of leveling the playing field. It is really necessary to contribute at a level that is comfortable for the individual."
Marlin and Cleva Hartman, who are retired from the Indiana Area School District, reside on Indiana, PA.
Dr. Anne Day -- 2001 Distinguished Faculty
Dr. Anne Day, professor of history at Clarion University at Clarion University of Pennsylvania, is the 2001 recipient of the "Distinguished Faculty Award" from the Clarion University Alumni Association.
"I am overwhelmed by this, it is like a lifetime achievement award," says Day. "It is most gratifying to receive this at the end of my teaching career."
Day retired prior to the beginning of the Fall 2001 semester. She has taught at Clarion University since 1972.
"I have always loved history," says Day about her life's pursuit. That love is reflected in her teaching. One of Day's particular passions is orienting students to the larger world. From her initial year at Clarion she has helped students toward that goal.
"Preparing teachers is part of my teaching experience," says Day. "Therefore, I try to model good teaching in my classroom. I want to engage and involve students in the subject matter. I hope my students will be able to think and learn for themselves, so that they become their own learners, thinkers, and teachers...and stand on their own intellectual feet."
One of her early efforts in this area was her participation in Project Flourish, a Clarion program intended to train faculty members to help with the freshman year experience. Two of Day's teaching efforts pointed to helping students understand history and its context in the modern world. In her popular History in the Headlines, she examined with her students the historic context of ongoing events, affording students the opportunity to learn the background history of contemporary events, how to learn about history, and how history is written. Using a cooperative setting so that students work and learn together, she integrated the use of the Internet in the class for reading international newspapers.
She was one of the founders and continued to be an active participant as a team teacher in Clarion University's Making Connections program. It was founded in 1992 as a way for first-time college students to become acclimated to their collegiate life. The program helps first-year students establish important connections among the subjects they study, themselves, and the faculty members teaching the courses.
Day enjoys the relationships that developed during these courses.
"The courses involve field trips, and those trips helped build more personal relationships among the teachers and the students," she says. "This carries over into the classroom. Clarion's students are very conscientious, cooperative, and give me joy. I have also had wonderful colleagues both in the history department and other departments to work with during my time at Clarion."
Besides the previously mentioned courses, Day also taught U.S. To 1877, U.S. Since 1877, American Approach to Foreign Policy, History of the Cold War, Teaching Social Studies, Supervision of Student Teachers, Consumer Economics Workshop, and The Student in the University. She is the author of two texts, History Behind the Headline and Consumer Economics for the Classroom and eight articles.
"I have always enjoyed the students," says day. "They are very conscientious and cooperative, which makes for a pleasant classroom experience. I like them to be their own teachers and because of their feedback, they have helped me to change my teaching. I hope that I have helped them to change and expand their horizons."
Originally from Salem, MA, Day earned her B.A. in history from Emmanuel College, Boston, MA; M.Ed. from Salem State College, Salem, MA; and Ph.D. in history from St. Louis, MO. She has also attended the University of Mexico, Boston State College, and the University of Connecticut Law School. She first taught at Memorial Junior High, Beverly, MA, and at the college level has taught at the University of Hartford, Hartford, CT; University of CT, St. Joseph College, CT; Sacred Heart University, CT; and Niagara University in NY.
This is the second major award for Day this year. In the spring, she was the 2001 recipient of the statewide Suzanne Brown Excellence in Teaching Award from the State System of Higher Education. The Suzanne Brown Excellence in Teaching Award is awarded annually to on of the 5,500 faculty members in the State System.
"This should be an exciting day," says Day looking ahead to Homecoming. "I will enjoy meeting with the alumni and attending the dinner with them."
Malachy McMahon -- 2001 Venango Campus Distinguished Alumni
Malachy McMaon, ('72) Oil City mayor and businessman, received the Venango Campus Distinguished Alumni Award during commencement ceremonies, May 12.
"This is quite an honor," says McMahon. "For many years when I served on Clarion University's Alumni Board I helped select award recipients. You never look as yourself as a potential candidate for an award. I see myself as involved with family, work, community, and school, and I accept it as part of everyday life. It is nice to know others look at this as an accomplishment."
McMahon, a lifetime Oil City resident, enrolled at Venango Campus in 1968.
"Although my parents never had an opportunity to go to college, they always stressed the importance of education," recalls McMahon. "I had seven brothers and sisters, so finances were important. Clarion allowed me to attend at a reasonable price."
Like many other students attending Venango Campus then, McMahon worked part-time at Continental Can. The factory had a split shift, allowing campus students time to attend classes and still earn money to pay for their education.
"Venango Campus provided a great opportunity with a great staff of educators," says McMahon. "It was certainly different from high school and a real eye-opener for me at the time. When I was there, campus was Montgomery Hall and Frame Hall. Montgomery was filled with education was at a high level, partly because of the Vietnam War."
Following two years at Venango Campus, McMahon commuted to Clarion for another two years. He received his B. A. degree in social studies in 1972
In the fall of his senior year, 1971, McMahon also married Bernice "Dolly" Campbell, who received her education degree from Clarion in 1973. Locating in Oil City, McMahon started working at Nationwide Insurance and Bernice found a teaching job in the Oil City School District. Both have kept their original jobs with Malachy going on to gain his Pennsylvania Real Estate License and Insurance Broker's License. He is now the owner and operator of Nationwide's Oil City office.
McMahon was elected to the Oil City council in 1988 and served two terms. He successfully ran for mayor of Oil City in 1966 and was re-elected in 2000. He was also active on the parish council of St. Stephen Church in Oil City.
He also returned to help Clarion University, serving 1992-98 on the Clarion University Alumni Association Board of Directors.
"I was asked to serve on the board," he says. "I felt my years of attending college were somewhat different from the experiences of other students. I thought I could bring a little different view to the board. It was quite an experience. It is very interesting to see the workings of the university, attend its functions, and meet people on the staff from educators to the president."
McMahon has also volunteered for many years as a fundraiser for the Clarion University Venango Campus Annual Fund drive.
Looking back at his Venango Campus experience, McMahon says, "My hat goes off to the original founders, leaders, and educators who thought that education was important enough to establish the campus. It has afforded a quality education for thousands of local and out-of-town students. I can't stress enough the importance of the faculty and what they give back to the community. Venango Campus has changed to meet the needs of the students."
McMahon thanks his family for his success.
"I have two great children, Cole and Logan, and an understanding wife, Dolly," he says. "This award is quite an honor and surely caps off a great year. My son, Cole, has selected Clarion as his school of choice for this fall."
Lawrence Cirka -- 2001 Distinguished Alumni
Lawrence "Larry" Cirka ('73), is in a second career as CEO of UltraBRIDGE, an information technology and data solution for the long term care and assisted living industries. He was successful in the health care administration business before forming his new company.
This success earned Cirka the "Distinguished Alumni Award" from the Clarion University Alumni Association.
"This is quite an honor,' says Cirka. "It adds more responsibility to my response to young adults, helping them to find their way into real world and achieve success. Clarion is a big part of my life. I received good values and good roots that formed a big part of my life."
College was a new experience for the Cirka family when Larry left Moon Township to attend Clarion.
"My dad worked for J & L Steel, and I was the first member of my family to go to college," he recalls. "The only reason I went is that I wanted to play football.'
Al Jacks, retired Clarion football coach, had much to do with Cirka's decision.
"Several colleges pursued me to come play for them and were in contact with me, but Al Jacks sent me handwritten notes," says Cirka. "I liked him and the personal attention of the notes, so I picked Clarion."
Jacks also proved beneficial in sending Cirka off on the right career path.
"I had to declare a major as a freshman an I had no idea what I wanted to do," he recalls. "Coach Jacks recommended I try business and it was the right choice."
Arriving early for fall football practices also led Cirka to a meeting with his future wife, Judy (Strachan '82). Strachan was also on campus for her freshman orientation. By Cirka's sophomore year, they were married.
The marriage led to immediate problems and experiences that would shape Cirka's future.
"I was taking college courses, playing football, and I was married," he says. "I needed a job to support my wife and pay for my education.'
The Clarion unemployment office helped Cirka find a match for his needs as maintenance man for the Grandville Nursing Home. During his junior year, he was promoted to assistant administrator overseeing supplies.
"When I graduated with my degree in business administration, I was qualified for the state board test to be a licensed health care administrator," says Cirka. "I passed and received my license. I was hired to operate a newly built health care facility in Warren."
Cirka moved from that job to another with American Medical Affiliates. His first job was in Clearfield, but during a 12-year career, he also worked in Pittsburgh, Florida, and one year in Spokane, WA. before he made a lateral move to join newly-started Integrated Health of Baltimore, MD, in 1987.
Cirka grew with the company, which went public in 1991 and joined the New York Stock Exchange listings in 1994. He was president and CEO when he retired from the firm in 1998. "I was in charge of the nuts and bolts of the daily operation," he says. "The firm grew from a $20 million a year operation to one with 450 facilities with 100,000 employees and $4 billion in revenue," says Cirka.
Retiring in Florida, Cirka found himself still attracted to Baltimore because of the roots his children established in that area. He bought a 50-acre farm in Maryland and started spending part of each year in the area. He left retirement to start UltraBRIDGE.
"I learned leadership, management, and pulling a team together from my time at Clarion," says Cirka. "I was married, going to college, and participating in extracurricular activities, so I learned discipline, time management, and to list things that needed to be done. That has been part of my life from then on."
Cirka says he still uses the knowledge gained from his Clarion business law and business tax classes in his current position.
"Clarion has a great business school," he says. "The professors brought the real world into the classroom. I wouldn't do anything different if I had it all to do over."
Larry and Judy Cirka split their time between Baltimore, MD, and Bonita Springs, FL. Judy earned her degree in elementary education from Clarion in 1982. She is retired after a career in teaching in Florida and Baltimore.
The Cirkas have three children. Kelly is a healthcare attorney for a hospital; Allysia owns and operates a pet boarding facility; and Benjamin is an accountant working in health care in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
Wayne Norris -- 2002 Distinguished Volunteer
Wayne Norris ('65) has a goal of giving back to Clarion University and getting others to help in the process. Two years ago, Norris was instrumental in forming the Alpha Gamma Phi Alumni Association. He researched and funded the expenses to organize a core group, which has grown to over 200 members.
"During my time on campus, fraternities were a larger part of the campus life," says Norris. "I made many lifelong friends from the fraternity. Alpha Gamma Phi ceased to exist on campus after 1974, so I decided to start an alumni association. Our membership includes Thomas Wilson, an original founding member of the fraternity from 1930 and former Clarion professors now retired."
Norris' goal was to revive the old traditional Gamma spirit that was so much a part of Clarion's past. By getting the scholarship fund going he felt this would show those not familiar his fraternity what they were capable of achieving, even though they are no longer on campus.
Initially the goal was $25,000, but $40,000 is already collected. Norris feels certain that they will be over $50,000.00 by the time their reunion rolls around in October. "We want to keep it going and have the scholarship fund grow as much as possible," says Norris. The Gammas have issued a challenge to other fraternities to start their own scholarship drives.
Norris helped organize homecoming reunions for the Gammas in 2000 and 2001. It is now an annual event where scholarship money is raised through a variety of raffles and events. There is also a winter golf outing in Florida to raise money and involve alumni from that area.
Norris also gives to the University by serving as a director on the Clarion University Foundation." Harry Tripp, the Foundation's managing director has done a great job seeking money for the University"' he says. "This is a good strong board with strong leadership. Many positive things are being planned for Clarion."
Originally from Export, Norris says, "I came to Clarion because several other people from my town attended Clarion and liked it, the cost was right, and I liked the outdoors environment. It allowed me to combine my interests."
Entering college as a history/geography major, Norris credits Dr. Edward Grejda for changing his direction to English." I unknowingly transferred to Dr. Grejda's class that was comprised of all English majors, he recalls. "I was struggling to keep up and he helped me get on track. I appreciated his help so much that I switched my major to English."
Norris taught for several years, but found out he didn't enjoy the classroom. "My father had just started his own business and I decided to join him full time" He is now the President of Dura-Bond Industries of Export, Pa. Dura-Bond owns and operates a steel fabrication business; pipe coating plants; a railroad and various real estate investments.
Summing up, Norris said, "In the end, Clarion is the winner We want to give back for what it gave to us, a great education. Going to Clarion was a great experience for me. I had a great time"
Norris and his wife, Jackie, live in the Greensburg area. They have four children, Jason, Ryan, Sara, and Adam. Jason and his wife, Jenifer (Sopher), both 1991, and Ryan ('97) are Clarion grdautes. Both sons work with their father in his business. A nephew, Derek Norris will be a freshman at Clarion starting with the fall semester.
Brigadier General (US Army Retired) John Schmader -- 2002 Distinguished Achievement
John Schmader ('70) has converted his Clarion education and a Vietnam-era draft notice to an outstanding career in the U.S. Army. Schmader received a Distinguished Service Medal during his recent retirement ceremony that ended his 32-year Army career.
At the end of 2001, Schmader was one of the early leaders in the War on Terrorism, following September 11 attacks. He was detached from his post as assistant Chief of Staff for Training-West, Ft. Leavenworth, Kan., to U.S. Army Central Command and helped in the development of the operation concept that led to the air and ground operation plan used during the first three months of the campaign. He went to Afghanistan, met with the senior anti-Taliban leaders, viewed the extent of the bombing campaign, and was a block away from the Mazar-e Saharif prison uprising.
Schmader believes the war hinges on a law of physics, which he learned at Clarion. "Physics teaches that there is a center of gravity that holds forces together," he says. "There is a cascading effect if it is gone. Most countries have a tangible center of gravity that is linked to the state. Afghanistan's center is their allegiance to tribes. They see war as an allegiance to people not to a country. Some inter-tribal problems are emerging now and they will fight for control regardless of what the government tells them to do."
Schmader came to Clarion University to wrestle. He joined head coach Bob Bubb's early teams and had a 7-6-2 record with three pins. His degree is in natural sciences with a concentration in physics. Graduating at the height of the Vietnam War he had the lowest draft number in Clarion in the first draft lottery.
One he enlisted, the army appealed to Schmader. He went to airborne school and become a paratrooper, completed officer's candidate school at Ft. Benning, Ga., served with an armor division in Germany, and attended officer advance school eventually served 12 years in the 82nd Airborne Division. He continued his education, receiving a master's degree in industrial engineering from Purdue University, and a master's of military arts and sciences degree from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.
During the 1991 Gulf War, Schmader was commander of the 1st Battalion 505 Parachute Infantry Regiment, one of the lead elements in Operation Desert Storm. In 1995, Schmader accepted a joint assignment at Norfolk, Va., setting up a training program for advance decision making. He returned to the 82nd Airborne as a one star general and most recently was director of collective training for the U.S. Army.
"I feel it is not only an honor for me but a recognition of the contribution of our Army to this great nation of ours," says Schmader. "It is the latter rather than the former that makes old soldiers such as myself proud to stand up and be recognized for any contributions we have made to the cause for freedom."
Schmader and his wife, Kathleen, have three children, Trevor, Mary, and Anne. Trevor graduated from Clarion University in 1999 with a degree in molecular biology and is pursuing his masters degree in molecular biology.
Dr. Diane L. Reinhard -- 2002 Distinguished Service
President Diane L. Reinhard is receiving one of many honors that will come her way prior to retiring on July 1, 2003. She has served as president since June 1, 1990.
"My time at Clarion has been the high point of my professional career," said Reinhard. "I have been privileged to work with an outstanding group of students, faculty, and staff and have enjoyed the dedication and support of a fine Council of Trustees."
Reinhard has presided over some of the most dramatic changes in the institution's history. Among the achievements were: increased enrollment; affirmation of Clarion's academic strengths by specialized accreditations; improvement of facilities through renovation of Founders and Harvey Halls and construction of a student recreation center and the new Carlson Library; and the completion of Clarion's first fund raising program which brought in $11.34 million, 40 percent over the goal. She also took a leadership role in community-university relations.
Clarion's 14th president, came to campus in 1990 from West Virginia University, where she was serving as dean of the College of Human Resources and Education. She also served as acting president of West Virginia University from July 1985-April 1986.
Reinhard received her B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. She taught at every level from elementary school through college. She also was an assistant/associate dean for the College of Education at the University of Oregon, prior to joining West Virginia University.
"It has been an honor to serve this institution and I would be pleased to continue my service any way I can after my retirement," said Reinhard. "I'm also looking forward to attending the Autumn Leaf Festival on a regular basis as a private citizen."
Dr. Kathleen A. Smith -- 2002 Distinguished Faculty
Dr. Kathleen Smith (M.Ed. '69, M.S. '81), interim dean of the College of Education and Human Services and the director of field services, is the recipient of the 2002 Distinguished Faculty Award.
Smith, a veteran educator, entered the profession so that she could be a part of "changing" it to make learning better for students. "I wanted to make learning more enjoyable and fun for students," she said. Over the past 36 years, 30 of them at Clarion, she has had to opportunity to teach thousands of future teacher educators.
Graduating in 1966 from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Smith's first classroom was 33 third graders in the Punxsutawney School District. "This first group of students inspired me so much," she recalls. "They made me realize how important I was as a teacher in their lives. They inspired me to teach and to teach well."
Smith started her association with Clarion University in 1967, joining the college's first master's of education degree program. In 1973, she returned to Clarion again, at the invitation of Dr. John McLain, to become a faculty member in the Flexible All Year School.
"That was a magnificent experience," said Smith. "We developed our own curriculum, team taught, and functioned like a non-graded primary. Students progressed at their own academic rates. The school was a novel concept, ahead of its time."
When the school closed in 1980, Smith joined the faculty of the special education department, teaching classes while also working toward a M.S. degree in special education. Subsequently, she enrolled in a doctoral program at the Pennsylvania State University and obtained her Ph.D in instructional design and technology, with an emphasis in computers in education.
In 1983, Smith was assigned to teach Clarion's initial microcomputer for teacher educators course. This was followed by a course for pre-service teachers which, in 1984, became a required computer course for all education majors. Smith designed the education department's first computer laboratory and also co-authored a computer book.
From 1989-95, Smith was chair of the education department. She returned to full-time teaching and designed an Internet class to teach its applications to graduate students and inservice teachers.
"I am fascinated by the Internet," she said. I believe it is the greatest education invention since the pencil. I feel fortunate that I have been able to see and experience all of these changes in education. Computer technology and the Internet has positively changed education, learning and living."
Two years ago, Smith moved into her present position. She plans to retire at the conclusion of the Fall, 2002 semester and continue her research project of assessing science process skills of students in elementary and middle school. To date, the assessment instruments which were developed for her dissertation, are being used in several schools across the United States, as well as some international sites.
"I love teaching and have a passion for the profession," she concludes. "I have always loved working with students and teachers and I have a special love for Clarion University because it has given me the opportunity to do just that. I am greatly honored to receive the Distinguished Faculty Award."
Dr. Richard Sabousky -- 2002 Venango Campus Distinguished Alumni
Dr. Richard Sabousky ('84, M.S. '86) is an assistant professor of special education and rehabilitation at Clarion University, teaching courses at Venango Campus and at Clarion. Clarion led Sabousky into teaching.
The Oil City native started his college education with two years at the University of Pittsburgh at Titusville before coming home to Venango Campus. "I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to do when I came to Venango Campus," he recalls.
He first three semesters at Venango Campus were devoted to human service oriented activities with an intention of going into a health field. That changed when he took classes at Clarion. "I wasn't going to be a teacher until I got to Clarion," says Sabousky. "In my block experience, I got to work with kids and I was hooked."
Sabousky went on to earn both his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Clarion in special education and his Ph.D. in special education from Kent State University in 1996. "I realized how good Venango Campus and Clarion University were academically when I went to other colleges," he says.
Sabousky worked as a full-time substitute and as a learning support teacher in the Keystone School District and as learning support, emotional support, and work skills teacher for Riverview Intermediate Unit #6. In that position, he worked as an emotional support teacher in the DuBois School District, and a work skills teacher at Venango Vo-Tech. He joined the faculty at Venango Campus in 1992.
At Venango, Sabousky played key roles in developing the occupational therapy assistants program and in developing graduate and undergraduate courses for the special education and rehabilitative sciences departments. He served as the secretary and chair for the Venango Campus Faculty Forum, and was a member of the Advising Committee and Perkins Grant Committee.
Sabousky evaluates Venango Campus by saying, "Venango teaches responsibility through its mix of adult and traditional students. You get a feel for problems you did not encounter before. You have to be responsible to yourself and be your own advocate. The small classes provide an intimate educational setting."
Sabousky calls receiving the Venango Campus Distinguished Alumni Award at commencement, "One of the most memorable days of my life. Being able to speak at the commencement ceremony was a wonderful thing for me to do. I want all students to have the best experiences they can have. I am very proud of the students. It is a big thing to watch them move along to success."
In the community, Sabousky helps in the Fund Raising for Huber, Knight, & Heasley scholarships. He and his band provide music for several campus functions such as the 40th Anniversary Celebration and on campus student concerts. He serves on the board of Youth Alternatives and assists Zion Lutheran Church with the City Zion Lutheran After School Program where he tutors children in reading.
Sabousky's parents, Robert and Helen, live in Oil City.
Anne Smith Herr -- 2002 Distinguished Alumni
Anne (Smith) Herr ('44) of Lancaster, is a pioneer in the field of television. She graduated from Clarion with a B.S. degree in English.
Working first as a legal secretary, Herr moved east with her late husband, Jacob, and found a 30-year career at WGAL-TV in Lancaster. Her assignments ranged from live commercials and straight announcing to writing and producing.
"I was interested in music and was one of the founders of a theatre group in the Lancaster area," recalls Herr. "Television was in its early stages and they were looking for people to do commercials. I was called and asked to audition."
Herr moved from commercials at WGAL to being their weather girl. She is noted for taking the job from the then current standard of being a pretty face, to becoming a knowledgeable and respected reporter by studying meteorology.
"It was a challenge," says Herr about the massive memorization of material. "Because TV was just starting there were not many rules and regulations. We flew by the seat of our pants."
Beginning in 1963, she wrote and produced her own show, "Herr Today," which presented newsworthy events and personality interviews. Her efforts led to her selection as 1964 "Speaker of the Year" by the Pennsylvania Speech Association.
Herr was named Public Affairs Commentator for WGAL in 1975. She wrote and produced her own show until 1981. From 1978-81, she was also women's program director and presented "World of Women" dealing with opportunities and provocative problems of women in that time. She retired from television in 1981.
"I am proud I was one of the early women in broadcasting," she says. "Viewers still remember me when they see me in the grocery store. Television then was not as plastic as it is now. We did our own thing as long as it was not in bad taste."
During and following her television career, Herr devoted time to local theatrical productions. She appeared with Harrisburg Community Players, Musicomedy Guild, Kiwanis Productions, The Actors Company of Pennsylvania, Mount Gretna Playhouse, Dutch Apple Theatre, Ephrata Performing Arts, and Rainbow Productions.
Herr performed in high school productions, but got her stage training at Clarion from Marie Marwick. "I performed in several Clarion shows," she recalls. "I thought it was fun and I loved to perform because you are not yourself when you are on stage. Miss Marwick was a good drama teacher and I learned self confidence from her."
A Brookville native, Herr spent two years in college at Indiana, Pa., studying to be a fashion designer, before transferring to Clarion. She switched to English, "Because it was easy and I liked to write. I had very good English courses. A history course taught by Dr. Ralph Cordier also was important when I worked as a tour guide after I retired from television."
Herr also met her future husband, Jacob Herr an Army Air Corp cadet, while she was a student at Clarion
She has served on the board of directors of Ephrata Playhouse and on the board of the Rock Ford Foundation, a group dedicated to the continued restoration and maintenance of Rockford, the 18th Century home of George Washington's Adjutant General, Edward Hand, M.D. She still does readings, but no longer acts in theatre productions. She is a member of the board of the Lancaster Summer Arts Festival.
Herr lives in Lancaster. She has a son, Geoffrey.
Lawrence E. "Larry" Richert -- 2002 Distinguished Alumni
Larry Richert ('81) ascended to the top of early morning Pittsburgh radio January 2, when he took over as host of the morning drive program at KDKA-Radio. He became the stations sixth morning host in its 80 year history, replacing John Cigna.
"Being a part of the morning show is a combination of everything I ever wanted to do in my broadcasting career," said Richert. "I always wanted to do radio . . . and television if I was lucky."
His career has led him down both paths, something he never thought possible when he first hit the airwaves as a teenager at North Allegheny High School, then later at the radio and television stations at Clarion University.
While at Clarion, Richert co-hosted the first television show that the school delivered to the town via cable, "Community Update" - a 15-minute show that provided information on community activities. He also worked spinning records for WCCB, which could only be picked up in the residence hall, and WCUC-FM, where he later was named the sports director and then general manager for the student-run station. This hands-on experience motivated Richert to continue to pursue a broadcast career.
"I was one of the first graduates to combine communications with a broadcast focus," says Richert. "The program was so new at the time that I could put all of my energy into radio and television, which really worked for me. It was an excellent platform to learn about the business and get some experience."
His college work landed him an internship and first job at WDSY-Radio in Pittsburgh. After stints spinning everything from country to oldies music at various stations, Richert hosted the "Wake Up with Larry Richert" morning show on KDKA-TV. Finally, he trained to become a weatherman and could be seen in front of the camera every evening on KDKA-TV.
Diane Logan-Wells '79 -- 2003 Distinguished Volunteer Award
Diane (Logan '79) Wells, one of the leaders of organizing the Black Alumni Reunion and establishing the Minority Alumni Council, is being honored for her volunteer work both at and away from the university.
Even though Wells helped establish a reunion of alumni, she is very future oriented when it comes to the needs of Clarion University.
"I perceive the goals of the Black Alumni Reunion to be an annual opportunity to bring black alumni together to share in a weekend of fun, remembering and networking with one another and the current student population," Wells said of the reunion. "Hopefully, we'll demonstrate to the current student population a sense of caring and support for one another. Also, I hope this will be carried on by black students for years to come."
The need for the reunion was born out of the cultural changes Wells noticed in the university community.
"I have heard from students in the '90s and current years that the classes in the '70s and '80s seemed so genuinely close, and I'm afraid that some of this is missing and I want to help restore it," Wells said. "I understand that the world has changed, and some of the changes are good and were needed, but I also believe there are definite needs black and minority students have today that need to be nurtured from the sense of family and I perceive Clarion as an extension of my family."
Family is very important to Wells, and Clarion has been very important to her family.
"Without the indescribable depths of love and strong upbringing of my late father, William Logan Sr., and my mother, Shirley, I wouldn't be who I am today," Wells said. "I don't know how many families share the love and closeness that my family does, but I'm proud to brag about it. My brother has been my lifelong hanging partner, and it seems like we've never been apart, even when miles and lots of water have separated us. My sister, Cindy, is my best friend, even though she let us down and missed the opportunity for a Logan/Wells Family sweep at Clarion, but she always supported us and participated in all the CU events she could possibly make."
Wells met her husband, Reggie, at Clarion University.
"I believe that, without Reggie, no one would remember Diane Logan," she said. "I'm proud to say that I'm riding on his coat-tail as we all know the legacy he left at Clarion. When I told my father I wanted to go to Clarion, his initial statement was: ‘For what? To find a husband?' I didn't want to disappoint my dad, so I brought home the best man. The degree was just icing on the cake. I made my dad proud with both, even to the point that he referred to my husband as ‘my son Reggie.'"
The Wells family isn't done with Clarion University. Reggie Wells Jr. and Ryan both attend Clarion. Ryan will start to play basketball in the fall, like his father. Reggie Jr., an offensive lineman for the Golden Eagle football team, was recently drafted by the Arizona Cardinals football team.
Wells added that the reunion and council should be structured in a way to bring Clarion financial support, increase student retention rates, and bring about future leaders of our country.
At Clarion, the late John Shropshire, dean of enrollment management, brought Wells into volunteer work.
"Mr. Shropshire remained in contact with me and my family until his death," Wells said. "He used to call and ask us to participate or volunteer for various activities, or he would simply share the great strides Clarion University was making in various areas, but he always reminded us of our impact at the school. That's a message that should be communicated more to the alumni. Mr. Shropshire's respect and dedication to remain in contact touched our lives and was the encouragement we needed to willingly participate in giving back to a school that's given us so much."
Her work with Shropshire led Wells to Career Services programs such as S.E.E.D. (Students and Employers Enhancing Diversity).
"Connie Laughlin headed up S.E.E.D. and invited me to participate for three years," Wells explained. "The objective of this program is to bring minority students to the Pittsburgh area to meet and network with minority alumni in various careers. As an alumna at the program, I shared employment and academic experiences with the students to help them understand the corporate needs of today and what skills and qualifications would help them be successful."
Wells found this work to be very rewarding.
"I loved working with the students," she said. "In school, students primarily concentrate on completing the academic requirements to get their degree. During the last year or so, Career Services provides opportunities for them to develop an understanding about how to prepare for a job and so on. This program gave them the hands-on opportunity to meet with successful students from Clarion and provide an opportunity for them to ask questions and get a name and number for future network opportunities."
At home in South Park, Pa., Wells has been as busy as she was at Clarion. She is an active member of the Mt. Zion Baptist Church as a volunteer, payroll coordinator, trustee board member, praise team member, budget committee member, and substitute teacher for the adult Sunday school. She also volunteers with Inroads Organization in Pittsburgh. Inroads develops and places talented minority youth in business and industry, preparing them for corporate and community leadership.
Born in South Park (formerly called Library), Wells came to Clarion to visit her brother, Bill Logan, who was attending what was then called Clarion State College on a basketball scholarship. She went to the Black Arts Festival, Homecoming, and other special events and "fell in love with the school and the warmness of (her brother's) friends."
Wells started out as a computer science major, but decided she didn't like the programming and the punch cards. She switched to management because the major was broad enough to provide her with a variety of opportunities.
"Things I've gained from my education and experiences at Clarion are innumerable," Wells said. "Clarion has been consistently top notch in its class with respect to academics. For example, Clarion has been and remains number one in the State System for honor athletes, a statistic I'm very proud of."
"During my years at Clarion, Dr. Francine McNairy, Richard Asbury, John Shropshire, Terri White and others went to great extremes to meet with us and make sure we understood our responsibilities and to make sure we were taking care of our business," Well continued. "They taught us that it was our responsibility to attend class, do work, and to seek necessary help. They were our guides and helped coordinate some of the fun things outside of academics. They helped create some of the best memories of my life."
Having gone to Clarion, Wells also learned how to live in a community.
"One of the first things I learned while visiting my brother is that college is a community of young adults who have a lot of things in common," Wells explained. "It was beautiful because this community included people from all walks of life. If I had never gone to college, I would have missed one of the most rewarding opportunities of my life. College introduced me to the "real world," I had to provide for myself, learn where I was supposed to be, and learn to work with others from different backgrounds."
Now working with Calgon Carbon Corporation in Pittsburgh as the Manager of Corporate Learning, Wells is responsible for working with management to strategically align people skills to business goals. She's currently managing the implementation of a new Human Resources Information System to manage "human capital." She assesses employees' skills to continuously develop, and then to make sure learning continuously takes place throughout the organization.
"Over the years, I've developed a passion for learning," Wells said. "In part, I attribute this passion to my education at Clarion. Leaving high school, I knew I was an all right student, and I quickly discovered how unprepared I was for college and had to work extremely hard to make it. Thanks to the Clarion support system and the grace of God, I made it. My love for learning led me to receive my master's degree in business education from Robert Morris University."
Wells credits the Black Student Union for a lot of her success, stating that it contained individuals who made her most comfortable to seek the help she needed to be successful. She was most comfortable getting her help in academics, responsibility, and community-living from this organization.
Wells was surprised at receiving the Distinguished Volunteer Award, but partially because she didn't know the award existed.
"I wasn't aware of the award," she admitted. "I never imagined that I could be the recipient of such an outstanding award. As a Christian, I've learned that I am to serve others and, through obedience to God I know I'll receive my rewards in heaven, but I also know that God has blessings for me while here on earth, and I believe this award is a blessing from God, who knows my heart."
Pete Vuckovich -- 2003 Distinguished Achievement Award
A Cy Young Award. Ninety-three major league pitching victories.
Membership in the Western Chapter Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, the Cambria County War Memorial Hall of Fame, the AAABA Hall of Fame, and the Clarion University Sports Hall of Fame.
Being honored is nothing new for alumnus Pete Vuckovich, Clarion University's "Distinguished Achievement" award winner. However, he finds this award one that he is, "honored to be receiving."
"I am proud of being recognized for what I accomplished once I was done playing baseball," said Vuckovich. "I believe I was born to play baseball and I am thankful that I recognized it at a young age and pursued the career."
Now, Vuckovich earns his living as a special assistant to the general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates. "Many players want to stay in the game when they are done playing, but there are never enough openings for them," he explains. "I am fortunate to still be in the game. I am proud that others still deem me worthy enough to continue. I am respected for my mental knowledge of the game."
As one of six special assistants to the general manager, Vuckovich is in charge of scouting the Pirates' Central Division rivals, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Houston Astros, St. Louis Cardinals, and Milwaukee Brewers, plus the Western Division San Diego Padres, and each of these teams' AAA and AA minor league affiliates.
It involves a grueling travel schedule. From the start of the major league season in late March through July 20, Vuckovich spends at least five days with 18 different teams, evaluating each player on the roster. He prepares a computerized report on each player that is filed with Pirates General Manager David Littlefield. The Pirates use these reports in evaluating potential trades.
After July 20, Vuckovich is considered on special assignment. He is sent to specific teams to evaluate selected players. In August, he visits each of the Pirates' five minor league affiliates to evaluate their players. In September, he returns to scouting the Central Division teams again. "I have knowledge of 700 players, the equivalent of 18 teams, by the end of the season," he said.
Vuckovich attracted scouts to Clarion University when he pitched for the Golden Eagles between 1971-74. He left college when he was selected in the third round of the 1974 free agent draft by the Chicago White Sox. He appeared in his first major league game with the White Sox in 1975 and made it to the major leagues to stay in 1977 with the Toronto Blue Jays, who selected Vuckovich in the expansion draft.
He also pitched for St. Louis for three seasons before finding his crowning success with the Milwaukee Brewers. Vuckovich posted an 18-6 record with a 3.34 earned run average for the 1982 American League champion Brewers and appeared in two games in the 1982 World Series against St. Louis. That 1982 performance earned him the American League Cy Young Award, but a rotator cuff injury he suffered late in the season would end his career four years later. Vuckovich's lifetime major league record is 93-69 with a 3.66 ERA.
Following the end of his playing career, Vuckovich spent three years as a color commentator for Milwaukee baseball broadcasts. The Pirates hired him as a roving minor league pitching coordinator in 1992 and two years later he was promoted to special assistant to General Manager Cam Bonifay. He was the Pirates' assistant general manager and director of player personnel in 1996 before moving back to the playing field as the Pirates' pitching coach from 1997-2000.
Calling himself, "basically a small town boy," Vuckovich came to Clarion in 1971 intending to become an elementary school teacher. "I picked Clarion because it was close to home," he said. "Several of my high school teachers were Clarion graduates and I knew Clarion was highly rated as a teacher preparation institution."
Despite losing only one game in four years of high school pitching, Vuckovich said no college recruited him to play baseball. Instead they were interested in him for basketball or possibly football. But, he wanted to pitch and showed up for the baseball team tryouts.
"Coach Joe Knowles kept me on the team as a freshman," recalls Vuckovich. "I loved playing baseball in college. It was more fun playing in college than it was in the major leagues, where there is constant pressure to win. Knowles and athletic director Frank Lignelli were like fathers away from home for me. They kept me in line and showed me the right way."
Vuckovich, who said he doesn't recall details of most of the games he pitched, recalls throwing a no-hitter at a highly ranked IUP team as a sophomore, and believes he did not give up a run to a Slippery Rock team during his four years at Clarion. But, he said there were two things he gained at Clarion that have helped him the rest of his life.
"I am in debt to the Golden Eagles," he said. "Coming from a small town, I hadn't had the opportunity to go out and meet people. The college atmosphere helped me to adapt to meeting and working with perfect strangers. When I walked into my first minor league situation at Appleton, WI, I was prepared.
"Clarion also taught me a work ethic in the classroom. That helped me in the transition to professional sports, where you have to work or go home. College prepared me for the real world, even though my world wasn't as real as many others."
Vuckovich lives in Johnstown with his wife, Anna. They have three sons, Louis, a University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown accounting graduate; Peter Jr., who has one semester to complete at Clarion University for a degree in communication; and Damian, a computer science major, at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.
Charles P. Leach, Jr. -- 2003 Distinguished Service Award
Charles P. Leach Jr. never worked with Clarion University until 1988, but has gone on to lead the Clarion University Foundation Board of Directors, help with a highly successful capital campaign, and acquire property for student housing. He is the Clarion University Alumni Association 2003 Distinguished Service Award recipient.
"This is tremendously humbling," said Leach about the award. "There are so many people who do so many things for Clarion University."
One of Leach's daughters and a son-in-law graduated from Clarion and a second daughter spent two years at Clarion before transferring, but it was his work with another philanthropic effort that brought him into the university circle.
"I was part of the group that set up the Ginny Thornburgh Foundation," he recalled. "The Foundation awarded scholarships at Clarion University and Bloomsburg University to outstanding juniors or seniors majoring in special education."
Serving on that committee with Leach was Oleta Amsler, a current member of the Clarion University Council of Trustees and the 1992 recipient of a Clarion University Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award. "She twisted my arm and said I should work for Clarion University," said Leach. "I saw the need and decided to help where ever I could help."
Much of Leach's efforts are through the Clarion University Foundation Board of Directors. He has served on the board since 1988 and been its president since 1995. The Foundation's mission is to assist Clarion University in any way, within the bounds of the organization's commission.
"I have enjoyed working with the Foundation," said Leach. "The board members and staff are outstanding, committed and aggressive in doing things for the University. Initially, it was concerned with scholarships, camps, and clinics, but the scope has grown."
One of the new focuses was the Investing in Futures Capital Campaign. Leach served on the steering committee for Clarion's first major capital campaign, which exceeded its goal and raised over $11 million for academic facility renovations and scholarships.
Ongoing projects include the Clarion University of Pennsylvania Health Science Education Center and the acquisition of 69 acres of land, now known as the Diane L. Reinhard Villages at Clarion University. "The Foundation serves as a conduit for these projects," explained Leach. "They would not be possible without Foundation involvement."
The Health Science Education Center on Main Street in Clarion is a grant-funded project to provide health education programs, which meet National Health Education Standards, for school-age students living within a 40-mile radius of the center. In September, the Center expects to move into a remodeled building, formerly occupied by L & R.
Reinhard Villages, previously known as Magnolia Estates, is on Greenville Avenue, in Clarion Township, and will expand the housing options for Clarion University students. This new facility will provide housing for 656 students plus a conference center and various recreation facilities.
"I find the Reinhard Villages project very exciting," said Leach. "Ground will be broken in July and new apartment style housing for students is expected to be completed for the Fall 2004 semester. Housing is one of the major factors involved when competing for college students. If Clarion wants to remain competitive, it has to provide the caliber of housing students currently want."
Leach honored his late father, Charles P. Leach Sr., by establishing a scholarship at Clarion University. The Charles P. Leach Sr. Scholarship is an endowed scholarship awarded annually to an outstanding business student. The Sonja & Chuck Leach Scholarship was also established by Leach and his wife to help students pursue their life goals.
"It is all part of an effort to help students," Leach said. "I am fortunate to be in a position to be able to donate time and money to help Clarion University. All of the Foundation Board members also give tremendous amounts of time and money to the effort."
Leach, the president and owner of the Charles P. Leach Agency, Inc., of New Bethlehem, a large regional independent insurance agency, also has a strong record of community involvement. He is a past mayor of New Bethlehem; member and past president of the New Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce; and member of the New Bethlehem Volunteer Fire Company, the New Bethlehem Area Jaycees, and the New Bethlehem Presbyterian Church where he is currently a ruling elder, treasurer and former trustee.
Leach was one of the founders of Redbank Valley Volunteer Ambulance Co. and its first President. He served as an active EMT for more than 17 years. During that time he devoted many thousands of hours to helping people of his community during their time of medical need.
He is also dedicated to regional development and currently serves as a member of the Clarion County Industrial Development Authority and a board member of the Clarion County Economic Development Council.
Active professionally, Leach is a Certified Insurance Counselor and Certified Professional Insurance Agent. He is a member and past president of the Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) Association of Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware, Past Chairman of the national PIA Strategic & Long Range Planning Committee, the past chairman of the PIA National Group Insurance Trust Fund and a founding member and past president of the national PIA Services Corporation. He also was active in and past President of the Comprehensive Health Planning Council of Northwest Pennsylvania, a founding member and past president of the Emergency Medical Services Council of Northwest Pennsylvania, and a founding member of the Ginny Thornburgh Foundation.
Leach is co founder and past president of the Pennsylvania Llama and Alpaca Association and Industry Liaison of the Greater Appalachian Llama and Alpaca Association.
In 2000, Leach was Clarion University's recipient of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Eberly Award for Volunteerism for his exceptional leadership as an advocate of Pennsylvania public higher education. In 2002 he was awarded the "Lifetime Achievement Award" by the Clarion Chamber of Commerce. He is also the recipient of a 2002 Clarion University President's Medallion, honoring those who have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of Clarion University.
Leach accepts the awards but passes out praise saying, "In reality, this is a group effort. The Foundation Board includes outstanding University and business people. They view every job as a challenge and refuse to accept no as an answer."
Leach and his wife, Sonja, reside in New Bethlehem. They have four children, one adopted son and eight grandchildren.
Daughter Lisa and Edward Goth, both 1985 Clarion University graduates, reside in New Bethlehem and work for the Charles P. Leach Agency Inc. They have three children, Michael, Kimberly, and Stephen. Daughter Cynthia and Brent Hetrick reside in Houston, TX, with their children Matthew and Brian. Andy and Stephanie Leach live in Milton, FL, where they own and operate two restaurants. Daughter Andrea and Tom Haines reside in Templeton. Andrea works for CORE as an organ procurement coordinator, matching organ donations with recipients. Adopted son Greg and Danielle Sanchez live in Orlando, FL, with their children Cruz, Brady, and Mykaila. Greg works for a major crane operation company.
Dr. Iseli Krauss -- 2003 Distinguished Faculty Award
Clarion University inspired the best of teaching from Dr. Iseli Krauss. For her efforts she is receiving the 2003 Distinguished Faculty Award.
The Knox native believes her 1987 return to Clarion County and Clarion University, with its emphasis on teaching, was a personal turning point.
"Receiving this award is especially meaningful, because when I began teaching at Clarion the entire direction of my career changed," said Krauss. "I had worked at major research universities, where teaching was done on the side. At Clarion, teaching was foremost with research running second or third.
"Research at Clarion is providing students with research experiences so they are better prepared for graduate school and a career. Teaching in and out of the classroom is a major focus with an occasional opportunity to go back to research."
Krauss attended the College of Wooster, Wooster, OH, for two years and earned a B.A. in psychology from the University of Michigan, M.A. in industrial psychology from New York University, and Ed.D. in educational psychology and developmental psychology from the Rutgers University Graduate School of Education. Prior to joining Clarion, she taught or conducted research at New York University, Princeton University, University of Southern California, and Syracuse University. She was a visiting professor at the University of Nevada and a visiting scholar to Brandeis University and Princeton University.
Her research areas include cognitive aging, spatial cognition and behavior, working and aging, assessment of adult competence, computers and older adults, applied cognitive aging, bingo expertise in older adults, and athlete retirement. Her research on memory and older adults playing bingo attracted favorable attention to Krauss and Clarion in the 1990s.
"Teaching is a great joy and also frustrating," evaluated Krauss. "There are times I simply want to walk away. But, there are moments, so many of them, when I see a student get it and a different kind of thinking begins. Those are the truly marvelous moments."
"Many of Clarion's students do not come from an academic tradition. Helping them understand what it means to be educated is very meaningful. Graduation is not the goal, learning how to learn and preparing oneself for a lifetime of learning is the goal. Mental habits for a lifetime of learning should be established. If they have not, it is what a teacher should try to do."
Krauss' students have appreciated her work. In 2001 several of her former students nominated her for the "Mentor Award" presented by the American Psychological Association (APA). The award is presented to an individual who has consistently provided support, guidance, and strong direction to undergraduate and graduate students in aging and adult development. The APA concurred with the nomination presenting Krauss with a plaque and $2,500. In keeping with her teaching goals, Krauss added part of the prize money to the Dr. Iseli K. Krauss Psychology Scholarship at Clarion University. It is awarded to a sophomore who has a minimum SAT score of 1050 and a 3.2 QPA.
This spring, the Clarion University Student Athletic Advisory Committee named Krauss as the "Faculty Member of the Year," presented for outstanding support and guidance of students. Krauss is an avid supporter of Clarion's athletes and served for several years as the NCAA Faculty Athletic Representative.
"One of my most rewarding experiences at Clarion is working with the athletes," said Krauss. "During their seasons, they practice 20 hours per week and manage to maintain their academic strength. They achieve at amazing levels and develop discipline that carries over to their academics. I am in awe of some of them for their athletic skills and devotion still to come to class. I was proud to represent them at the state and national level."
Krauss, who will turn 70 next year, during her final year of teaching said, "It is important not to let age differences be a critical difference in the classroom. I take great pleasure in entertaining a few graduates and their families at my home each year following commencement. I believe it is good for the families to meet, see the differences in their own backgrounds, and discover how much they have in common."
Reflecting on her many students, Kraus said, "Looking back at the alumni, I am so proud of the students who worked with me to accomplish more than they and their families believed they could or would. Many graduates, from Clarion and the other places I have taught, come back to see me and let me know how their lives have turned out. I know some of them will always be in touch with me. It is really wonderful to see them not as they were, traditional or nontraditional, but what they have become. I try to interact with them as I believe they will be, and they come back as anticipated. This award means some of them remember this."
Summing up her career, Krauss added, "I am the luckiest woman in Clarion. One of the things that makes Clarion so great is that I never felt I was at a disadvantage because I was female. The leadership of President Diane Reinhard, the deans, department chairs, colleagues, and students, insured that I could be the person I wanted to be."
"I am truly comfortable here and I believe I am doing some good. To be recognized for that is extremely rewarding. I am still a bit stunned by the award because I know the significance of it. Clarion is a teaching university and there are not many ways for alumni, administration, and peers to recognize faculty for good teaching. I hope I have exemplified that for all these years."
Krauss also said that a lifetime family friend and Clarion graduate, Wilma Logue ('37) of Knox is especially excited about the honor. "Wid has been close to me and supported me throughout my life, especially since my parents died," said Krauss.
Krauss has two daughters. Pam Krauss is a corporate vice president for Crown Publications of Random House. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband, Jim Bradford, and children, Maya and Phoebe. Erika Krauss lives in Venice, CA, where she is an artist, dancer, writer, singer, and works for a contemporary boutique in Santa Monica, CA. She has her undergraduate degrees in East Asian language and culture, and photography, and is currently pursuing a degree in speech pathology.
Linda Lusher -- 2003 Venango Campus Distinguished Alumni Award
Linda A. Lusher, President/CEO, Galaxy Federal Credit Union, is the 2003 Venango Campus Distinguished Alumna. She received the award during the May commencement ceremonies at Venango Campus.
Lusher is a lifelong resident of Venango County. She received an Associate of Science Degree in Accounting at Clarion University-Venango Campus in 1979 and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance and Economics at Clarion University in 1981. She is currently president/CEO of Galaxy Federal Credit Union, a position she has held since 1991.
"Attending Venango Campus gave me the comfort of a small, hometown college, while preparing me for Clarion University and my future," said Lusher. "During my two years at Venango Campus, I met several lifetime friends and formed the foundation of many business relationships. I am proud and grateful that I attended Venango Campus and would highly recommend it to all students."
Lusher, who worked while in high school and college, began her professional career at First Seneca Bank upon her graduation from Clarion. She started as a teller and quickly was promoted to increasingly responsible positions. During her tenure with First Seneca Bank, which is now National City Bank, Lusher served as a new accounts representative, as manager of the student loan department and in the commercial loan analyst department.
When Lusher assumed her current position, the credit union was known as the Joy Federal Credit Union. Under Lusher's direction, member companies in the credit union grew from less than 40 to more than 120 and individual membership doubled. She oversaw the purchase and renovation of the credit union's current home on Liberty Street, and in 1993 changed the organization's name to Galaxy Federal Credit Union. In April 2002, Galaxy continued its metamorphosis by becoming a community credit union, allowing the organization to serve any person who works, worships, volunteers, lives or attends school in Venango County.
Under Lusher's leadership, credit union assets have grown from $8 million to more than $25 million and staff has nearly doubled. In addition, Galaxy Federal Credit Union has received the top, five-star rating given by Bauer Financial Reports, an independent, national evaluating body that rates all financial institutions within the United States. Galaxy has had a five-star rating since 1996 and is the only financial institution within Venango County that holds this distinction.
"We're extremely pleased to honor Linda Lusher with the 2003 Venango Campus Distinguished Alumna award," said Dr. Christopher M. Reber, executive dean of Clarion University-Venango Campus. "Her professional success and long-term commitment to improving our community are an inspiration for all of us."
In addition to her professional responsibilities, Lusher is a dedicated and respected community leader. She has served as president of the board of directors for the Franklin Rotary Club, United Way of Venango County and the Franklin Club, where she was the first and only female president. She is currently chairwoman of the Parks Unlimited board of directors. She also is a past treasurer of the Venango Area Chapter of Network Professionals and Business Network Professionals. In addition to these organizations with which Lusher continues to work, she is an active member of the Franklin and Oil City Chambers of Commerce, the Franklin Retail Association, and the Erie Chapter of Credit Unions.
Lusher resides in Franklin with her partner, Jim, and their two daughters, Renee, 17, and Mallory, 14.
Frank DeFina -- 2003 Distinguished Alumni Award
As a management and marketing undergraduate and communication master's student at Clarion in the 70s, Frank DeFina had his eye on the future. It turns out the eye is very much a part of his future.
As president of Panasonic Digital Communications and Security Company, one of four large divisions within Panasonic, DeFina is a leading proponent of new technologies like iris recognition, the digital version of fingerprinting.
"Each human iris is different," said DeFina. "We've deployed biometrics like iris recognition systems throughout the world, including the border of Afghanistan. Once you acquire the eye's unique algorhythm, it is stored in a database. This type of human verification is the most reliable available. And the price is coming down. It is a little more expensive than fingerprinting, but much more reliable."
Panasonic's venture into iris recognition and other security equipment has also expanded with the demands of homeland security. "Homeland security is obviously a big issue," explained DeFina. "We've been working with the Federal Government to design homeland security products and our biometrics division is on the forefront of this effort."
Panasonic markets the industry's leading line of CCTV, video security and Biometric systems products; industrial and medical imaging products such as endoscopes; Mobile Cellular Telephones which have integrated color cameras, RAMSA professional audio products; Astrovision large screen display systems; and the company's line of integrated Point of Sales systems.
Frank went to work for a video dealership in Pittsburgh after graduation ('75 and '76). He primarily designed and built television stations in Pittsburgh for four and a half years. He later started his 21-year career with Panasonic as a district manager.
He spent 15 years in broadcasting and television, serving as president of Panasonic Broadcast and Television Systems Company (PBTS). Under his leadership Panasonic won 14 Emmy Awards by developing technically advanced products for customers like HBO and CBS. Panasonic also built the worldwide broadcast centers for the Atlanta and Barcelona Olympics under DeFina's presidency.
"There really isn't any magical formula for success," said DeFina. "Get a good, solid education. The education quality at Clarion is very, very high. In some ways it doesn't matter where you go to school...it's what you do when you get there."
"Over the last decade, Frank DeFina has taken on a number of significant challenges for Panasonic," said Steve Yuhas, Chief Operating Officer of Panasonic System Sales Company last year when DeFina was named president of Panasonic Digital Communications and Security Company. "In each instance, Frank's mix of strategic vision and intimate understanding of Panasonic has made him the right person for the job. The Internet has emerged as a defining technology of the modern industrial economy and through a thorough understanding of the impact of mobile and fixed installation data networks, PDCS is well positioned to provide total system solutions for its customers."
Challenges are all part of his job. "The most challenging part of the job is a changing market from analog to digital and the rapid pace of technology," said DeFina. "It is also challenging to stay competitive in a global market while shifting production from Japan to China because of the cost of labor."
Active in field, also works with people like Henry Kissinger
In addition to his duties as president of PDCS, DeFina is active in the field. He is a Board Member of the Museum of Television and Radio in Manhattan, serving with such luminaries as Henry Kissinger, Alan Alda, Rupert Murdoch, Steven Case, and others. William S. Palely founded the museum in 1975 to collect, preserve, and interpret television and radio programming and to make these programs available to the public. The museum has an international collection of over 120,000 programs covering more than 80 years of television and radio history including news, public affairs programs and documentaries, performing arts programs, children's programming, sports, comedy and variety shows, and commercial advertising.
DeFina is a working member of a committee to create the Kissinger Media Center, scheduled for completion later this year and designed as one of the foremost meeting locations for business and industry. He is working closely with the Museum in placing Panasonic's state of the art media solutions in front of industry and world leaders that will frequent the new center. The Kissinger Center will be completed some time this fall.
"Henry Kissinger is a very impressive and interesting person," said DeFina. "Besides having been Secretary of State under Richard Nixon, winning the Nobel Peace Prize and advising every U.S. president since Dwight Eisenhower, Dr. Kissinger is the consummate diplomat. He always finds some way to engage you and bring you into a conversation."
"I tend to prepare as if I were going to a political science class when I get ready for a meeting with Kissinger. He is extremely knowledgeable about many, many things. He is a real treasure for our country."
DeFina is also a member of the New York Friars Club, world renowned as the meeting place of the entertainment industry.
Frank looks back at his years at Clarion as important ones for his life.
"I enjoyed my years at Clarion," said Frank. "It was a small university with a good learning environment. The quality of education was high, especially in the graduate program."
Along with the courses that would help provide a framework for his future success, he also developed relationships that would continue long after graduation.
He quickly points to the highlight of his years at Clarion as meeting his wife, Patricia Ratkovoich, a 1974 elementary education major. The Clarion couple has two sons, Frank, and James, a student at George Mason University.
As a communication major at Clarion, Frank, developed a lasting friendship with fellow student Bo Polatty. Polatty, a Clarion native, was also well known in the regional music scene, serving as drummer for such groups as the Scarlet Pumpernickel, Mr. Quigley, and the Pa. Rangers which featured Frank as guitarist. Music is still one of their connections, with DeFina talking weekly with Polatty and actually getting together two to three times a year to record their original music.
The Clarion baton was also passed to his son, Frank who attends Clarion. He finished his sophomore year but was deployed to the Middle East with the Air National Guard. Although he is a business major at Clarion he is a meteorologist in the Air Force.
"My two sons have already accomplished much more than me," says Frank. "Frank's 22 and was pulled out of college for a year to do basic and weather training, so he is attending Clarion, as he is able. Although he's a business major at Clarion, he is known for his weather forecasting. In elementary school, he was the school weather guy."
"James, 20, is gifted in the computer graphics area and has already designed web sites for businesses in the Princeton area. He continues the DeFina tradition with his artistic sense and musical prowess."
While Frank continues to keep his one eye on the future and Panasonic, the other eye still casts a fond glance back at Clarion.
Joseph S. Harvey--2004 Distinguished Volunteer Award
Joseph S. Harvey, recipient of the Clarion University Alumni Association 2004 Distinguished Volunteer Award, has spent more than four decades as an advocate for Clarion University and was part of the leadership team that championed the creation of the university's Venango Campus in 1960.
"Towns with a university presence are always more vibrant," said Harvey. "We knew the campus would be a big plus for Oil City and for the advancement of adult education in Venango County."
Harvey's vision came to life in the spring of 1961 when community leaders raised more than $350,000 to purchase 62 acres of land in the west end of Oil City where the campus still stands. Construction began on Richard C. Frame Hall, the first campus building, later that year and was open for students in January 1962. Harvey served as treasurer of that first fundraising effort and has continued to support Venango Campus and Clarion University ever since.
"Our original vision for Venango Campus was a place where students could take their first two years of classes before moving on to the Clarion Campus to complete a degree," recalled Harvey. "That changed dramatically with the need to provide nursing education in Venango County."
Indeed, by the fall of 1964, Venango Campus began offering a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree in cooperation with the Oil City School of Nursing. With the dissolution of the Oil City School of Nursing in 1970, Venango Campus began offering an Associate of Science in Nursing degree. The university's School of Nursing continues to have its academic home at the Venango Campus today.
Harvey, who was born and raised in Titusville, moved to Oil City in 1947 following his service in World War II in the Army Air Corps. He was hired as a messenger at the Oil City Trust Company, which would later become First Seneca Bank, and moved up through the banking ranks to take over as president in the late 1960s. He served in that role for nearly 20 years and helped to expand the bank services provided in Oil City, particularly specialty services like lending that he felt were important to strengthening the community.
In 1984, Harvey was elected to Clarion University's Council of Trustees. He served on the council for thirteen years, taking on the role of Vice Chairperson from 1985 to 1987 and Chairperson from 1987 to 1989. In addition to his leadership roles as a council officer, Harvey served as the Chairperson of the council's Building Inspection Committee from 1985 to 1987 and as a member of that committee from 1988 to 1990. He also served as a member of the Nominating and President's Residence Committees.
Harvey is widely respected throughout the region for his impressive record of professional and community service. His contributions were recognized in 1995 when he was selected as Outstanding Man of the Year by the Oil City Area Chamber of Commerce.
"Of all the organizations to which I volunteered time during the years, I was most interested in and actively involved with Clarion University," said Harvey. "The university was and continues to be an extremely important part of the life of this community."
Harvey was a member of the Venango Campus Advisory Council, which advises the Venango Campus administration, and served as its chair from 1986 to 1987. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Clarion University Foundation, Inc. from 1987 to 1992. He was a member of the Foundation's finance committee and helped the Foundation navigate the process of moving from an internal board of directors to an external board of directors, a move that gave the Foundation greater fundraising potential and internal control capabilities.
In 1994, Harvey joined the steering committee of the university's Investing in Futures capital campaign and served on the committee from its inception that year through the culmination of the campaign in 2000. He was actively involved in securing contributions for the university as well as providing generous, personal financial support.
In 2003, Harvey continued this tradition of giving by establishing The Barbara Morgan Harvey Center for the Study of Oil Heritage in the Charles L. Suhr Library at Venango Campus as a tribute to his late wife. Harvey's four children donated their mother's sizable collection of books and papers on the history of the oil industry to establish the center and Harvey provided an endowment to support its ongoing educational activities.
The Center now serves as a lasting tribute to the Harvey family and to Joe Harvey's lifetime of service to the university. The leadership he provided throughout his lifetime has had a profound and lasting impact on the lives of so many individuals who might not have had a chance to gain a college education without the vision and efforts of Harvey and his colleagues in 1960. Harvey, with customary modesty, downplays such accolades "I really enjoy sitting back and looking at all that's happened at Venango Campus during my lifetime. The campus is heading in a great direction and it took a lot of people to support its growth throughout the years."
Dr. Francine G. McNairy--2004 Distinguished Service Award
Helping students succeed is the main motivation for Dr. Francine G. McNairy, the 2004 recipient of the Clarion University Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award.
From her first academic position as an assistant professor at Clarion University, to her current role as president of Millersville University of Pennsylvania, it is her overlying theme.
"My reason for being here is to serve and provide a rich educational experience, social and cultural, as well as academic," said McNairy. "I am committed to students. My dream was to work in a college setting."
McNairy joined Clarion University in 1973 and was promoted to associate professor in 1980. Two years later she was named coordinator of academic development and retention at Clarion, and, in 1983, was appointed dean of academic support services and assistant to the vice president for academic affairs.
She left Clarion to join West Chester University as associate vice president for academic affairs. While in that position, she spent four months as interim director of social equity and assistant to the vice chancellor for academic and student affairs in the Office of the Chancellor of the State System.
From August 1991 to August 1992, McNairy served as interim vice president for academic affairs at West Chester, during which time she also served as the university's interim president. She was named associate provost in 1991, a position she held until moving to Millersville as provost three years later. She also served as acting Millersville president during the Fall 1997 semester, when the sitting president was on sabbatical. She was named president of Millersville University in 2003.
McNairy traces her career growth back to Clarion and the opportunities it provided for her. An early lasting impression about the community was formed when she attended her first Autumn Leaf Festival.
"I was most impressed with the first Autumn Leaf Festival I witnessed at Clarion," she said. "It was a breathtaking inspirational experience to see the community and college cooperate. It is still the most impressive town-gown relationship I ever witnessed."
Drawing on this inspiration and an open-minded university community, McNairy set out to find ways to improve the student experience.
"Clarion provided me with an opportunity to initiate new programs designed to enhance the learning environment for students," she recalled. "Clarion was willing to gamble with me, and the new programs. The faculty and staff gave me support to develop my skills and self-confidence to a higher level."
Two accomplishments that McNairy ranks highly on her list of initiatives at Clarion are co-founding Project Flourish and co-founding the Black Recognition Dinner. The event, now known as the Minority Recognition Dinner, was held for the 31st time in 2004. Both, of course, emphasized students.
Project Flourish was a two-pronged program including a faculty development workshop and a three-credit course for freshman. "Watching the program evolve and seeing the faculty communicate and exchange ideas about first year student growth and development was gratifying," said McNairy.
The Black Recognition Dinner grew out of another need. "We wanted to start something that would encourage and acknowledge students of color. It was a significant event, at which the key stakeholders of the university community could take an interest in students of color."
Many students recognized at those early dinners are now alumni of Clarion University. They did not forget McNairy's efforts. Earlier this year, the Clarion University - African American Alumni Philadelphia Chapter paid tribute to McNairy for being named president at Millersville.
"This is an organization that did not exist when I was at Clarion," said McNairy. "The minority students held several reunions while I was there and I still have a photo from one of those reunions in my office at Millersville. The African American Alumni Chapter is a great idea. It encourages retention of students of color, supports traditions, and allows alumni of color to feel connected."
McNairy said her method of reaching and motivating students has not changed throughout her career. "I try to be real with them," she said. "I am not their peer, but it is important that I share the story of my life. I was not born a doctor or a president. They need to know how I stumbled and how someone helped me. I made mistakes and I succeeded. One does not have to be perfect to succeed. The students want you to be genuine, open, and professional with them. They can trust and relate to you, regardless of age, if you understand the stress they are experiencing."
She sees the relationship with the students flowing both directions. "The students give as much to me as hopefully I do to them," she said. "Students are very giving and have the same emotions and feelings as adults. They give me hope and assurance. It is always a two way street. I see that as a major part of what I do. I am excited as a president to attend their events and show them I care. They want to know you care and give back in many ways."
McNairy, who received her B.A. degree in sociology, master's degree in M.S.W, and Ph.D. in speech and theatre arts, all from the University of Pittsburgh, credits her late parents, F.E. and Gladys McNairy, for her inspiration.
"Neither had a college education, but they both worked to make sure I had one," she said. "Dad had an eighth grade education and was a steel worker who provided a safe home. Mom was committed to activism and became the first woman of color to be president of the Pittsburgh City Schools School Board. They gave me values and principles to live by and they pushed me on."
That has led to one of the highest awards presented by the Clarion University Alumni Association. "It is an honor for Clarion to think of me in this way," concluded McNairy. "I have been away from Clarion for 15 years. I am honored that Clarion gave me my start in higher education. I am humbled and want to say thank you to Clarion."
Dr. William R. Sharpe--2004 Distinguished Faculty Award
The Clarion University Alumni Association is recognizing the distinguished teaching career of Dr. William Sharpe with its 2004 Distinguished Faculty Award. Sharpe, a professor of chemistry, completed a 34-year teaching career at Clarion when he retired following the 2004 summer pre-session.
"This has been my only professional teaching job," said Sharpe. "I liked Clarion University and I was happy I could teach here my entire career. I am pleased and honored to be given this prestigious award."
Sharpe joined Clarion University in 1970, following the receipt of his Ph.D. degree from the University of Pittsburgh. His undergraduate degree is from LaSalle University.
"Teaching never seemed like a job because it was so enjoyable the whole time," said Sharpe. "Chemistry was the greatest department to work in. I enjoyed working with my colleagues and working with the students, many of whom have gone on to have successful careers."
Sharpe noted that chemistry and its teaching changed a great deal in 34 years. "I observed and learned about the newest developments in analytical chemistry and conveyed it to the students," he said. "It changed tremendously as computers and instruments got better. The better instruments enabled the measurement of smaller quantities. This is what analytical chemistry is all about."
Outside the chemistry classroom, Sharpe also found a niche that made him more familiar with campus life and activities than most employees -- Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. Middle States is the national accreditation agency for basic and higher education.
"I was asked to serve on a Middle States evaluation team in the early 1990s," he recalls. "It was recommended to Clarion's administration that I be named the chair of Clarion's 1992-93 self study. The late Provost John Kuhn asked me to do it and I agreed."
Sharpe followed that job by chairing the steering committee for Clarion's 1997 periodic review and the 2001-02 self-study. "I learned many things about the university that I didn't know before," he says about the evaluations. "I enjoy working with the people on the committees. Each time I have been blessed to have a great editor to work on the documents and a super steering committee.
"It is really a pleasure to do these evaluations. The tremendous cooperation makes it seem so easy. During the visit of the reaccreditation team, two members called our self-study document, ‘the best Middle State Self-Study report they have ever read'."
Sharpe has also worked with the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF) at both the local and state level since 1974. He was president of APSCUF in 1975-76 and served on the organization's executive committee much of the time. "I served on two state negotiation teams," he recalls. "I worked with quality people and that alleviates the tediousness of the work."
In the chemistry field, Sharpe has served on the Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy organizing committee since 1998. The committee plans an annual conference attended by over 25,000 people. In 2002, he chaired the technical program portion of the conference, where over 2,500 presentations were scheduled. He was also chair of the organization's employment committee in 2002. This year, he was in charge of the short courses program and in 2006 he will chair the organization's exposition committee.
Sharpe credited the Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy with helping keep him updated on the latest chemistry developments. He related it all to his classroom, saying, "I would go to the conference for a week and then come back and present it to the students."
Besides working with the Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy, he plans to pursue his hobbies of fishing and golf during retirement.
This is not Sharpe's first award from Clarion University. He received the Clarion University Presidential Medallion during the May 11, 2002, commencement ceremonies. The award honors those who have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of Clarion University.
Sharpe, who is originally from Philadelphia, lives in Shippenville with his wife, Madeline. They have two daughters, Kimberley Hrivnak of Pittsburgh, and Christine Sharpe, a masters degree recipient from the University of Pittsburgh. Kim and her husband, David, are both Clarion University graduates. Kim received a library science degree in 1994. David received a marketing degree in 1990 and a library science degree in 1994.
"I can't image having a career in a better or a happier place than Clarion," Sharpe concluded. "In terms of people and the academic setting there was no way I could have been happier."
Marilyn Neely--2004 Venango Campus Distinguished Alumni Award
Marilyn Neely, recipient of the 2004 Clarion University Alumni Association Venango Campus Distinguished Alumni Award, always wanted to be a nurse. When she moved to Oil City in 1979 and discovered Clarion University's School of Nursing at the Venango Campus, she knew it was a sign.
"I knew I had to go back to college to make a better life for my children," said Neely. "Looking back now, I'm not sure how I juggled everything" As with many Venango students, Neely was a single mother raising two young boys who had graduated from high school more than 10 years earlier. While working on her Associate of Science in Nursing degree full-time, Neely also worked full-time. "I think that anything you really want in life, you need to work hard for," she says with a quiet determination that has served her well.
Neely credits Dr. Audean Duespohl, former dean of the School of Nursing, and instructor Lorraine Amsdell with making her feel like she could succeed in the nursing program. She worked hard and not only succeeded, but excelled at Venango Campus - helping to found the nursing club which is still active today and being selected by the American Cancer Society to receive its Nurse of Hope award while still a student.
"Being selected as the Nurse of Hope was wonderful because it gave me an opportunity to act as a goodwill ambassador for Venango County," said Neely.
Upon graduation from Clarion's School of Nursing, Neely began working at UPMC Northwest. She then took a position with the Visiting Nurses Association (VNA) of Venango County as a hospice nurse. After four years with the organization, she was promoted to executive director of the Home Care Division of VNA and given responsibility for all operations including human resources, budgeting, advertising and marketing.
Neely moved to Extendicare Health Facilities in 1991 and during the next six years served in several increasingly responsible administrative positions. After starting her tenure as the director of nursing at Extendicare's Clarview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, she took on the challenge of obtaining her Nursing Home Administrator License, and worked as the director of nursing, and subsequently the nursing home administrator, at The Caring Place in Franklin, PA. She then served as a quality improvement specialist for Western Pennsylvania.
In 1997, Neely made a significant shift in her career focus and founded Pathways Adolescent Center in Oil City, PA with her oldest son, Nathan, who told her about the local need for such a facility. Pathways serves troubled youth from our region and is the only facility of its kind in Venango County. It has the capacity to serve 68 males and females ages 9 to 18 who have been ordered by the courts to participate in its residential program. Pathways also serves 55 students in its daytime Alternative Education Program and employees 44 teachers, counselors and administrators.
Pathways recently added a new classroom devoted to serving younger children in their Alternative Education Program. Neely says there is significant opportunity for Pathways to continue to grow to meet the needs of the community. For instance, Pathways currently provides an Independent Living Program for males that allows them to live at the center after they've completed the program at the 28-bed facility. This program generally serves teenagers from 16 to 18 years of age who are still in high school but for various reasons cannot return home. Neely would like to offer this same opportunity to girls.
"There are many young people in our region who are unable to adjust to their home settings," said Neely. "There are a number of factors for this, but our goal is to continue to provide a safe haven for them and the opportunity to complete their high school education and, hopefully, go on to be responsible members of the community."
In addition to her work at Pathways, Neely contributes time to Clarion University and other community organizations. She currently serves as vice president of the board of the Venango Area Handicapped Riding Association (VAHRA), on the board of the UPMC Northwest Medical Association and on the Oil City School District's Strategic Planning Committee.
"Children, women and the arts are the things I'm most passionate about. I will take on about any cause that will elevate the life of those in need," says Neely.
Neely has served as a volunteer for the university's annual fund drive and mentoring program as well as Venango Campus' 40-year anniversary celebration and reunion committee.
"I would never have been able to succeed in my own life without the education I received at Venango Campus," says Neely, who believes in giving back to the community and was surprised and humbled to be honored for her efforts by the university which she credits with "giving me the tools to survive."
Neely has been pleased to see the growth at Venango Campus over the years and thinks that the addition of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Science in Nursing programs were a key development.
"I see a lot of spirit and vision at Venango Campus now that did not exist before," concluded Neely. "And I think the new student housing will have a significant impact on the campus and our community."
William R. Hartman '70--2004 Distinguished Alumni Award
It was music that attracted Bill Hartman ('70) to Clarion University, but it was business that ultimately sent him on his way to his life's work. Hartman, the chairman, president, and CEO of Citizens Banking Corporation, Flint, Mich., is the Clarion University Alumni Association's 2004 Distinguished Alumni.
Hartman accepted his current position in 2002. "They were looking for someone to transform Citizens Banking into a high performance company," he said. "The company conducted a national search and I met with them several times. I was impressed with their board and the potential of the organization."
Citizens Banking Corp. is a $7.7 billion financial services company with banks in Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowan, and suburban Chicago, Ill. Citizens is the third largest bank holding company in Michigan, providing a full range of financial services through its 177 banking and financial center locations, and its investment and mortgage subsidiaries, title company, and insurance agency.
"My job was to create a new vision for Citizens Banking," said Hartman. "A plan was designed to achieve those goals, a new management team recruited, and the company remade."
Hartman, who grew up in New Cumberland, crossed the state to attend Clarion. "I was looking for the best possible education at the lowest possible cost," he explained. "I was a music major. I grew up playing the trumpet and the piano. I was impressed with and liked Dr. Stan Michalski, director of bands."
Half way through his college education, Hartman decided to pursue a business degree. Hartman's father was a successful businessman and he enjoyed talking about business with him.
"I wanted to see what I could do in business," he recalled.
Hartman took some early advice from his father to good results at Clarion. "Dad told me what I learned outside the classroom would help me more than what I learned in the classroom," he recalled. Two extra-curricular activities at Clarion provided him with that knowledge.
"By playing in the band, I learned teamwork and discipline," said Hartman. "Dr. Michalski was a great leader and motivator. He got the best out of people and taught me how to bring people together."
As a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity, Hartman served as treasurer during his junior year and president when he was a senior. "With TKE, I learned to work with people, be a leader, and communicate," he said. "I had fun and I grew and developed."
Hartman didn't neglect the classroom, gaining additional inspiration from his professors in business. "Dr. Dempsey Dupree was a great accounting professor," he said. "I wasn't an accounting major, but he taught me that accounting was a foundation for all business. I also worked part-time for him grading accounting papers."
Graduating with a degree in business administration, Hartman found his first job with the CCNB Bank of New Cumberland. He spent 12 years with the Corestates Financial Corporation and Hamilton Bank, which was acquired by Corestates. He held several management positions including the head of Hamilton Bank's commercial lending department in Harrisburg, Pa., regional administrator responsible for the bank's consumer and commercial lending in York county, Pa., and executive vice president of Hamilton Bank with direct responsibility for strategic planning, and later, the Bank's commercial line of business.
Prior to joining Citizens Banking Corporation, Hartman was chairman and CEO of Bank One, NA - Ohio and Kentucky, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. He was responsible for a region consisting of 340 branches with combined assets of $41 billion. He joined Bank One in 1990, first as director, president and COO of Bank One, Dayton, NA; chairman and CEO of Bank One, Lexington, NA, and president of Bank One, Kentucky, NA, prior to being named chairman and CEO in 1996. During his five years with Bank One, Kentucky, he managed the merger of all legacy Bank One organizations in Kentucky into a single entity.
"I thought this would be a good way to end my career," said Hartman about his current job, but left the door open for future professional activities. "Life has unusual twists. You have to be open to new opportunities. I have had an interesting career path. Never say never."
As for the music, Hartman is still a participant. "I just enjoy it now," he says. "I have been a guest conductor for professional orchestras and I have conducted the bank's choir, but it's just been for fun."
Hartman lives in Clarkston, Mich., with his wife, Irene. They have two sons, Bob, a senior accountant with KPMG in Chicago, Ill., and Jim, a student at Adrian College in Michigan.
"This is quite an honor," concluded Hartman. "I am humbled. Clarion was the four best years of my life. I made many friends and had a wonderful experience. I enjoyed the environment, the informality of it all. Deciding to attend Clarion was one of the best decisions I ever made."
Eagle Ambassadors Student Organization--2005 Distinguished Volunteer Award
The Eagle Ambassadors spread their wings in 2004-05, taking on more responsibility than ever before and attracting the attention of the Clarion University Alumni Association, who named the organization the recipient of the Distinguished Volunteer Award.
"I am so proud of them," said Wanda Barlett, ('92), Clarion University Alumni Giving and Programs Officer and Eagle Ambassador advisor. "They took the initiative to make plans to attend the national Association of Student Ambassadors Program Convention in July 2005. They approached Student Senate to seek funding to cover expenses for the conference in Boston, MA."
The Eagle Ambassadors are an elite group of students who promote relations between Clarion University alumni and current students by advancing the interests, goals, and the future of the university. To attain these goals, it involved improving the connection between current students and alumni in university activities.
"We are very proud and want to thank the Alumni Board for this recognition," said Eagle Ambassador President Mandy Blackhurst of Erie, Pa. "I believe that many factors contributed to this award. I think that it has a lot to do with the active involvement of ambassadors, and on campus, I believe that we have become a more visible group. Also, I think that receiving funding from Student Senate and using it for a National Conference and programming in the fall has much to do with it. Another factor that probably contributed to this award is our dedication to the Alumni Center. With the help of our advisor we were able to donate a brick to this building."
During 2004-05, the 38 members of the Eagle Ambassadors:
- Participated in an ASAP District II Leadership Conference in Philadelphia, PA.
- Assisted with a special museum tour and reception for alumni at the Brandywine River Museum, Chadds Ford, PA.
- Helped with the Distinguished Alumni banquet; assisted with registration; and raffle for university memorabilia during Homecoming activities.
- Assisted with registration, parking, and socialized with alumni from the reunion classes during Alumni Day activities.
- Served as hosts and hostesses, helped with parking, greeting, and answering questions during receptions at the President's Residence. This included the holiday receptions for student leaders; board of directors, donors, and community leaders; and faculty leaders, union representatives, and administrators.
- Worked at the University President's VIP Box during football games by catering to the needs of the individuals who are attending the game as guests of the president. They also distribute Clarion University speciality license plate applications at the games.
- Participated in a lecture series, typically involving alumni, providing students with a chance to explore opportunities involved in a particular field of study.
- Met community service requirements by participating in service projects. During the Fall 2004 semester the Ambassadors participated in the Donate-A-Meal program.
- Conducted fundraisers, most prominently the commencement rose sale. The proceeds were used for the trip to the Division II conference.
- Served as representatives of the student body during the Pennsylvania Association of Council of Trustees held at Clarion University in Spring 2005.
- Maintained a presence at new student orientation.
- Actively helped during freshman move in day.
The 2004-2005 school year has been a very successful year for the ambassadors," said Blackhurst. "We have more events including, "Pizza with the President," and other campus wide events this fall."
Most of these students are also active in other campus organizations," said Barlett. "We stress their need to be committed and accountable, that when they put on the Eagle Ambassador blazer they are representing the entire student body. They have to behave in a professional manner."
Barlett said the students also benefit by being Eagle Ambassadors.
"This program serves as a great link between the students and the alumni," she said. "It is magical when they do an event with the alumni. The alumni see themselves in the students and a chemistry develops between them when they interact. They are encouraged to network and several have found internships and job leads through alumni events. It is also an opportunity for them to refine and groom their leadership and social skills in terms of professional development."
The Eagle Ambassadors received extra social skills training this year from Janice Grunenwald. Clarion's first lady invited the senior members to the President's Residence for an etiquette dinner.
During 2004-05 the Eagle Ambassador officers were Mandy Blackhurst of Erie, PA, president; Sarah Schmitz of Pittsburgh, PA, vice president; and Chad Quinones of Huntingdon, PA, secretary-treasurer. The senior members were Rachel Wilson of Chicora, PA; Benjamin Gibbs of Hermitage, PA; Stephanie Carl of Cranberry Township, PA; Koren Conway of Brookville, PA; Ken Ursich of New Brighton, PA; Ian Hrubanek of Darlington, PA; Taryn Stackhouse of Bloomsburg, PA; Kelly Martin of Butler, PA; Sarah Beatty of Brookville, PA; Cynthia Fedrizzi of New Castle, PA; Ashley Baker of Mt. Pleasant, PA; and Laine Mendelson of Johnstown, PA, the immediate past president.
At the annual Clarion University Diane L. Reinhard Awards Ceremony, Barlett was recognized as co-winner of the Advisor of the Year for her work with the Eagle Ambassadors.
"They help me to keep my passion for my work," she said. "We want them to appreciate higher education and make Clarion University a positive place. They learned many things at the Division II conference that they want to try on campus next year."
Jeffrey R. James '90--2005 Distinguished Achievement Award
Jeffrey James ('90) made a decision to provide service to his country that may go above and beyond the call of duty. That determination is being recognized by the Clarion University Alumni Association, which named him its 2005 Distinguished Achievement Award recipient.
For the past two years James, a Special Agent for the U.S. Secret Service, has been assigned to the Presidential Protective Detail and is one of the people responsible for the safety of President George W. Bush.
"I am honored, flattered, and very humbled by this award," said James, a history buff, who is sometimes in awe of what he sees.
"There are days when I'll see President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Chief of Staff Andrew Card, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, all arrive for a meeting in the West Wing," he said. "I feel so blessed to be there because these are the people who make it happen. I'm seeing history in the making."
Despite being in a position where he would have to lay his life on the line to protect the president, James' reflections can take a different path. "It is funny, some days are very quiet and uneventful," he said. "Sometimes, I think my life will flash in front of me, and I will be bored, but then there are times that I stop and look around me, and I feel sorry that my time on The President's detail will end."
But is definitely not boring now for James, who travels with and does advance work for President Bush. It is also not what he anticipated doing when he came to Clarion University from North Versailles, PA, with plans to be a teacher. Fate and James' upbringing and values, gained at home and from his education at Clarion University, brought him into law enforcement.
James said there were many reasons that he decided to attend Clarion including his godfather, Robert Gevaudan ('69), who steered him to Clarion and the reputation of the education program. His high school teachers influenced James to pursue a degree in education.
"My teachers had a very positive influence on me," he recalled. "I wanted to give back to the community and coach, so teaching fit into the plan."
He enrolled at Clarion as an education major, but also spent time working on theatre productions. "My advisor, Barry McCauliff, told me that it if I took more oral and interpersonal communication classes that I could get a communication arts degree," said James. "I wanted to be more marketable when I graduated, so I took his advice."
Graduating in 1990, James found a teaching job at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, PA. He became acquainted with a Secret Service agent, who urged him to apply for a job.
"The hiring process can be arduous," said James. "The Secret Service takes a position that if you can pass its interviews, test, polygraph test, and extensive background investigation, they can train you for law enforcement. Many applicants fail the polygraph test and are disqualified."
James passed. He was hired in September, 1996 and sent for six months of training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Ga., and the U.S. Secret Service's James J. Rowley Training Center in Laurel, Md. He spent four and one-half years in the Secret Service's Pittsburgh Field Office, moved to Washington, D.C., to spend two years in the Protective Intelligence Division, and was then assigned to the Presidential Protective Division.
James' detail provides 24 hours a day protection for the President, First Lady Laura Bush, and their daughters.
"I will die before letting anything happen to those I am assigned to protect," said James. "It's not a bravado thing, that's what we're here to do. My colleagues all feel the same. If we didn't, then we would be in another profession. We try to be prepared well ahead of time. Pro-activeness limits the possibilities of anything happening. The hardest part of the job is preparing for everything and nothing at the same time. None of us want anything to happen, but in the back of our minds we want to know how we would perform. We trust that our training will kick in and we'll successfully complete our mission."
James and his fellow agents condition themselves for the job by serving six-weeks of eight hour shifts with those they are guarding, followed by two weeks of training. The training includes updates on firearms, physical training, simulated attacks, and cover and evacuation procedures.
"The training makes you more reactionary," he said. "For instance, if an agent is assigned to the rope line when the President is shaking hands, you want to be prepared for anything that comes along, but you want to look as natural as you can.
He attributes the low likelihood of an incident to training and planning. "We work in advance of a Presidential trip to prepare security. We work with the President's staff on his day to day movements and build security around them," he explained. "During Presidential trips, the Secret Service utilizes local USSS field office agents and local law enforcement to insure security. Action is faster than reaction, so strong advance work is essential."
James traces his success back to the work ethic that dominates western Pennsylvania and the students who attended Clarion University. "My father, Ray, who worked at U.S. Steel, taught the western Pennsylvania work ethic to me," he said. "I saw it in my professors at Clarion, too. Many of us at Clarion were in the same situation of being from blue-collar families. That work ethic sticks with you."
That work ethic has taken him all the way to the White House.
"This is a great job," said James. "I love being in law enforcement. I am proud of our mission and what we do. Over a 25-year career, an agent could have seven or eight different jobs. This forces you to learn new tasks so you never become stagnant."
James is anticipating Alumni Weekend. "I am looking forward to coming to Clarion for Autumn Leaf Festival," he said. "I haven't been in Clarion since 1994 and I want to see the new buildings and the growth. I love the fact that I went to a small college. I am glad I did not graduate with 20,000 other people like students who decided to go to a large university. It is a great testament to Clarion University that it graduates outstanding graduates in a wide variety of occupations."
James married Julie Rebel in November 2004 and they reside in Fairfax, VA.
James E. Kriebel--2005 Distinguished Service Award
Service and philanthropy are a way of life for James Kriebel of Clarion, Pa. Kriebel's efforts on behalf of the university are being recognized by the Clarion University Foundation Inc., who named him the recipient of the 2005 Distinguished Service Award.
"I am pleased and very much appreciate receiving this award," said Kriebel. "I've always viewed the university as a huge asset to the Clarion County community and the surrounding area. I felt that in some small way I would like to assist."
The efforts reach beyond the definition of "small."
Kriebel has worked with the Clarion University Foundation Inc. since 1990 when he accepted an invitation to help from one of the board members. He has served on the Foundation's executive committee since 1992 and as president-elect since 1995.
By holding that office he has served on gift acceptance, nominating, and finance committees. He has also served on the annual giving committee and has served as chair of the master planning committee since 2002.
"The Foundation provides positive support for Clarion University in areas such as scholarship expansion and assisting with needs which support growth of the University," said Kriebel.
That need has grown into the area of housing. Kriebel served a leadership role in the Reinhard Villages student housing project and is a leader in the plans to build an on-campus residence hall within the next two years.
In addition to financial support for the construction of Reinhard Villages, Kriebel has assisted with the capital campaign and the athletic scholarship fund. The Kriebel family established the Edward G. Kriebel Family Scholarship at Clarion University to attract students who demonstrate entrepreneurial skills, have the dedication to quality and hard work demonstrated by the Kriebel family and who have financial need not met by federal or state aid.
"If you feel as I do that the University is a great benefit to the community and the county, then we as a community should continue to support and assist the University," said Kriebel.
Kriebel, a native of Clarion County, and his family, have been involved in natural resource development in western Pennsylvania for over 35 years. He serves as chief executive officer of the Kriebel Organization and is a managing general partner of the Kriebel Wells partnerships in Clarion, Pa. He is a graduate of the University of Miami with a degree in business administration.
"Our business philosophy is to interact and support community functions, organizations, and activities," said Kriebel.
Active in business and the community, Kriebel is a member of the Clarion County Industrial Development Authority and serves on the board of directors and executive committee of the Independent Oil & Gas Association of Pennsylvania. He has served on the board of directors and executive committee for National City Bank of Pennsylvania and has served on the Clarion County Economic Development Council and the Business Development Committee. He has also served as chairman of the business department for the Clarion area Church of God.
Kriebel resides in Shippenville with his wife, Penny. They have two children, Shane Kriebel and his wife, Anna, and Briana Kriebel Banner and her husband, Jeff.
Dr. Kevin J. Roth '81--2005 Distinguished Faculty Award
Dr. Kevin Roth (M.B.A. '81), professor of administrative science, believes that, "A total learning experience comprises more than academic work," and practices what he teaches by immersing himself in activities in an out of the classroom.
The Clarion University Alumni Association is recognizing Roth's efforts by naming him the recipient of the 2005 Distinguished Faculty Award.
Among the courses Roth teaches are multi-disciplinary, senior and M.B.A. capstone courses involving real world problems. He also serves as advisor to the Clarion University chapter of the Society for Advancement of Management (SAM) and is the Clarion University Faculty Athletic Representative.
This has all happened despite the fact Roth did not set out to be a teacher. Originally from Butler, Pa., he earned his B.S. from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, completed his M.B.A. at Clarion, and earned a Ph. D. from the University of Pittsburgh.
"Teaching was never initially one of my objectives," said Roth. " I was looking mainly at opportunities in business and industry. I really enjoyed the marketing and market research areas as a specialization in business. I really believed I would be working in the business field in the Pittsburgh or Cleveland area."
While completing his M.B.A., at Clarion, Roth was given the opportunity to help faculty with classes and taught a class for the first time. He enjoyed the experience. "I began to look at the different aspects of teaching and what I thought were good individual approaches to teaching," he recalls. "I began to look at teaching as an interesting option but knew that this required a long-term commitment to a doctoral program and terminal degree."
After earning his M.B.A., Roth worked in marketing research and developed ties in the real estate industry. He earned and still maintains state certification in commercial/industrial real estate appraisal. These connections with different organizations have been used to involve students in internship programs, "live case studies," and applied business opportunities.
Before joining the Clarion faculty full-time in 1990, Roth taught part-time in the M.B.A. program at the University of Pittsburgh, and full-time in the business programs at both Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania.
"Live case studies" have become the core of Roth's teaching, including the courses he developed and now teaches related to entrepreneurship and small business management. "I like the area of small business," he said. "This is where the opportunities are for our students and where I anticipate the opportunity for job growth."
Both of his capstone classes for the undergraduate and the graduate students provide hands on experiences. He makes arrangements with large and small area businesses and non-profit organizations for teams of his students to solve real world problems for the companies.
"I think the students like to work live cases," said Roth. "Interaction and application are very important and one of the reasons Clarion's business program is so successful. They can extend what they learn in the classroom to a business or industry, learn what the business or industry is about, and make recommendations, much like they would if they were consultants. The undergraduates get to interact with real companies, an important part of business as an applied field."
Roth extends this belief into his role of advisor. The Clarion University SAM chapter was named Outstanding SAM Chapter in the medium size campus division the past four years, claimed four consecutive Outstanding Student Awards (only 15 students are recognized nationwide), and had eight Outstanding Regional Student Award recipients. Roth was recognized as SAM Outstanding National Faculty Advisor in 2005, 2004, 2003, and 1999.
"Some of my success as an advisor is based on what the students accomplish," said Roth. "It is really nice to see the students do well outside of the classroom. The students work hard and have done tremendous things."
Roth also advises teams of students who compete in the Professional Case competition. This year one of the team members had a paper published into the proceedings of the organization's annual meeting.
In his role as Faculty Athletic Representative, the Clarion University Student Athletic Advisory Committee honored Roth as the 2002 Faculty Member of the Year. The Faculty Athletic Representative serves as Clarion's representative to the NCAA, attending national conferences and Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference meetings, and works with the local Student Athletic Advisory Committee.
Roth also sees the connection between athletics and the classroom. "Their experiences supplement the classroom," he said. "For example, working with a team, time management, motivation, and competition all relate directly to what goes on in the business environment. When I know students are involved in extracurricular activities I try to incorporate that into the class where appropriate. The overall structure of the class can bring this to an applied level that makes sense to the student."
All of the advisory commitments require travel and time spent outside the classroom. "This all goes back to my belief that a total learning experience comprises more than academic work," he said. "There is a need to take the classroom work and extend it beyond the classroom. When I hear from our graduates they all comment on these opportunities.
"We have a great program at Clarion University. There is so much to get involved in including programs such as the Professional Development Series, Leadership Series, and internship opportunities. My approach is to get involved and that is why I gravitate the classes I teach to outside the classroom. I teach the students to compete. It doesn't seem like much of an extension to me, it is part of the educational process."
Roth continues to be impressed with something he discovered when he first arrived at Clarion, the cooperation between the university and the community. "There were no artificial walls between the university and the community," he said. "The local business support for Clarion provides a sense of total community. It is nice to see this support.
"I try to get involved in things that enhance the community such as community planning and economic development. I have served 13 years on the Clarion County Planning Commission, six of them as chair. I see this as an extension of what I do in the classroom with strategic planning."
Observing the interaction between faculty and students during his tenure at Clarion, Roth believes it is not always the big things that make a difference to students. "Teaching style and even a word of encouragement can have an important influence," he said. "The faculty and staff of Clarion do a good job getting to know the students. Comparatively, the classes are somewhat smaller which increases the potential for interaction. The faculty are genuinely interested in their students. The professors seem to want to know the students personally and help them achieve their goals while here and beyond graduation."
Roth, his wife Carol, and children Joel, Brad, and Kaitlin reside in Clarion.
Patricia P. Feroz '80--2005 Venango Campus Distinguished Alumni Award
Volunteerism is a way of life for Patty Feroz, recipient of the 2005 Clarion University-Venango Campus Distinguished Alumni Award.
In 1998, Ms. Feroz was honored by the Oil City Area Chamber of Commerce as its Outstanding Citizen of the Year for 1997 for her tireless work on behalf of the community.
The owner of H&R Block in Oil City and six other locations, Feroz is active in the Venango County United Way, the Oil City-Franklin Zonta Club, the Oil City Arts Council, the First Presbyterian Church, the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Oil City Literacy Council. She has served on the Oil City School Board for the past six years and is involved in the American Field Service Program, which brings exchange students to the Oil City High School and arranges for their host families.
Her generosity reaches far beyond county limits. Feroz and her family make annual mission trips with members of their church to work on homes of the underprivileged as part of the Appalachian Service Project.
"My sons were going on mission trips when they were two," she said. "I wanted them to learn the importance of giving back as early as possible."
Feroz has also been a strong supporter of the university, working on Venango Campus fundraising efforts and offering free tax workshops to international students.
"The Venango Campus is playing a significant role in the many positive things happening in our community now," said Feroz. "It's so encouraging to see it flourish, because it provides such great opportunities for both kids and adults in our area."
Feroz was a child when her family moved to Oil City from Ohio. Her father purchased the H&R Block franchise in 1968, and Feroz started helping him at the office at the tender age of 13. By 15, she was preparing tax returns.
Feroz, however, planned to follow in her mother's footsteps and become a dietitian. She spent her freshman year at Penn State Behrend and moved on to State College in her sophomore year. The big campus wasn't for her, though, and she dropped out after one semester and went back to work at her father's office.
In 1976, Feroz decided to return to college to pursue an accounting degree on a part-time basis at the Venango Campus.
"The close-knit environment at the campus was much better for me. I have fond memories of wonderful professors such as Dr. McElhattan and Dr. Kavoosi," she said.
In 1978, she married Dan Feroz, a fellow Clarion alum who also attended classes at the campus and whose brother Ray is a faculty member. Feroz says that they have 2 ½ children: sons David and Michael, and Hiroka, a Japanese exchange student who lived with the family for eight years.
Feroz completed her degree in 1980 and took over the family business two years later, upon the death of her father. In addition to her expertise at tax preparation, she is an enrolled agent with the Internal Revenue Service and a licensed stock broker.
She says that she is gratified to see the new student apartment buildings and other improvements and new programs at the campus in recent years.
"I'm just so thankful for the local support for the campus that has made it possible for it to grow. We are blessed to have a community that is so caring and giving. Venango Campus is a great place to start or to reconnect, as I did. I'm very honored to be chosen by the campus to receive this award."
Paula J. "PJ" Hilbert '77--2005 Distinguished Alumni Award
PJ (Magaro) Hilbert ('77) may have been in the most unusual location of any Clarion graduate when she received word she was selected for the Distinguished Alumni Award. She was traveling with her family through the Chunnel, the tunnel under the English Channel between England and France, when her global blackberry informed her of a new e-mail.
"With the subject line - ‘Congratulations'- I thought it might be a spam message and was ready to delete it," said Hilbert. Then she noticed the sender was the Clarion Alumni Office.
"The news was a huge surprise, especially since I had no idea I was being considered. It was also nice to have my family there to share the moment."
Hilbert is a senior vice president with JPMorgan Chase Treasury and Securities Services and was recently named Global Client Service Executive for Worldwide Securities Services. She directs a team deployed in 15 countries responsible for servicing institutional clients who have $10 trillion in assets under custody with JPMorgan.
Hilbert is also responsible for offshoring initiatives including a fast-growing operation in Mumbai, India, and has been appointed to the board of directors of JPMorgan Services Private Ltd, India. Prior to the assignment, she was the chief operating officer for Institutional Trust Services where she was responsible for global technology and operations. Hilbert has been with JPMorgan Chase since fall 2003 and is based in New York City.
A couple of weeks into her first semester at Clarion, Hilbert met David Gribbin ('73), a resident assistant in her residence hall and student senator. "David suggested that I apply for the freshman opening on the President's Student Advisory Board. His encouragement and example launched me on a path of campus involvement and service."
Hilbert received the position and was elected to multiple terms in Student Senate, serving as both vice president and president. As Student Senate president, she served on the Commonwealth Association of Students' Board of Presidents. She chaired the Book Center Committee that hired Ed Biertempfel as manager, a position he still holds today. Hilbert also served as the student representative on the Clarion Board of Trustees and was the student member on the presidential search committee that selected Dr. Clayton Summers as Clarion's 12th president.
Hilbert was active in Clarion's Greek community as a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority. As vice president and rush director of Panhellenic Council, she worked with campus sororities to revamp rush and revitalize sorority membership and was recognized by the National Panhellenic Council for her efforts.
She was also a cheerleader during her freshman year, a member of Clarion's first women's tennis team, on the homecoming court her senior year, and served as a resident assistant in Wilkinson Hall.
Hilbert graduated in 1977 with a bachelor's degree in business administration and was named the first recipient of the Dr. James Gemmell Leadership Award.
After graduation, Hilbert joined IBM as the first female sales representative in the Erie, Pa., branch office. She spent a little over two years with IBM, qualifying twice for the 100 Percent Club and earning numerous sales awards.
She joined AT&T in late 1979, beginning a 23-year career that would have her advancing to the position of vice president - client service operations, where she led an organization of approximately 8,000 associates responsible for implementing voice and data networks for AT&T's 7 million business services customers. Previously, Hilbert held a variety of positions of increasing scope and responsibility in sales, product management, marketing, technology, customer service and operations requiring relocation to seven cities in the eastern United States. During her tenure at AT&T, she also attended the Harvard Business School and is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program.
Hilbert's family relocated frequently during her youth, so when she arrived at Clarion, she viewed it as a chance to be in one place for four years and an opportunity to put down roots. "I really came to love Clarion and because of that, I wanted to be an active participant and make a contribution," said Hilbert.
Hilbert believed the best thing about Clarion was faculty, administration and staff who invested in the students. "I look back on my Clarion years fondly, especially remembering the many people who made a positive impact on me," she said.
Two of those key people were Dr. Donald Nair (former dean of Student Affairs) and Matthew Marder (former vice president of Finance).
"Dr. Nair was Student Senate advisor and a coach and mentor to me throughout my college career," said Hilbert. "He made himself available to provide guidance and advice to student groups across campus and made a special effort to really get to know the student leaders as a way of keeping tapped into the current mood on campus.
"He and his wife, Sheila, hosted barbecues and even formal dinners at their farm for the Student Senate and other student organizations. The dinners were a highlight of each semester. Their hospitality and generosity made a lasting impression on me and countless other students. I came to know the Nairs well during my college years and appreciate all they did to support me. They became, and still are, my Clarion family."
Marder offered Hilbert advice that guided her to her first job and throughout her business career. "Matt provided a personal reference for me to IBM which I am sure was instrumental in helping me secure such a terrific first job," said Hilbert. "He was also a great sounding board for me after I left Clarion and started charting my way through the business world. I was also fortunate to have a supportive roommate and good friend in Alberta (Patella) Certo ('77)."
Hilbert resides in Basking Ridge, N.J., with her husband, Gary, and daughters, Megan and Kristen. She is on the board of directors of the New Jersey Ballet and has chaired its Spring Gala fundraiser for the past four years.
She is also a member of the Harvard Business School Alumni Volunteer Board, serves as class reunion chairman, and authors a regular column for the HBS Alumni Bulletin. Hilbert is also a former member of the board of directors of Daleen Technologies. She enjoys playing golf, skiing, cooking, entertaining at home, and traveling with her family.
Just as she did as a student at Clarion, she continues to thrive in her business career and family life. The roots she laid at Clarion continue to anchor her today.
"I have always been proud to be a member of the Clarion community and I am honored to be chosen as the recipient of this year's Distinguished Alumni Award."
Dr. Robert Arbuckle--2006 Distinguished Achievement
From the classroom to the highest administrative position, it has always been about the students for Dr. Robert Arbuckle ('64), Clarion University's Distinguished Achievement recipient.
Arbuckle retired as President of Lake Superior State University, Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., in 2002, completing 38 years in education.
Originally from Arnold, Pa., Arbuckle followed a long line of Arnold students to the then Clarion State College.
While at Clarion, Arbuckle was an elected a student leader and was one of the founders of Theta Xi Fraternity. In a unique set of events, he was the first recipient of the Theta Xi Foundation Scholarship at Clarion. The scholarship along with the Colonial Dames of America Scholarship, which Dr. Helen Knuth helped him to successfully apply for, helped the working student to make it through college.
Arbuckle obtained his master's and Ph.D. from The Pennsylvania State University. He joined the faculty at Penn State and served as a professor until 1974 when he accepted the position of dean of faculty at Penn State's New Kensington Campus. He became Campus Executive Officer in 1977, holding that position until accepting the Lake Superior State University position in 1992. The student activity building at Lake Superior State University is named in his honor.
During his career in higher education Arbuckle received the John E. Wilkinson Award, Penn State's highest honor for administrators. He has published a book, contributed to others, and has authored many scholarly articles; and is listed in Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities and in the Dictionary of American Scholars. In 2004, he received the Penn State Alumni Association's highest honor, being named a Penn State Alumni Fellow by the university's board of trustees.
Arbuckle was also active in community leadership. He served as president of two chambers of commerce boards and helped to create another chamber; chaired two United Way campaigns; and served on several state and local boards including the YMCA, Salvation Army, hospitals, and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.
In retirement, he continues his extensive involvement with Rotary at the club, district, zone, and international levels. He served as president of two clubs and as chair at the district level of all avenues of service including the Rotary Foundation, ambassadorial scholars committee, group study exchange committee, and district conference committee. He served as district governor for the greater Pittsburgh Rotary clubs in 1986-87 and as group leader for Rotary exchanges to Italy and Venezuela. He served as training director for zone institutes in 1999 and 2000 and as zone leader for the Polio Eradication Campaign.
At the international level Arbuckle was the Rotary International President's Representative at district conferences and as a member of the Task Force for the Disabled.
Arbuckle recently received the Distinguished Service Award, the highest award presented for supporting the Rotary Foundation. Only 50 Rotarians have received this award. His past Rotary honors include the Rotary Foundation's Citation for Meritorious and induction into the Rotary Hall of Fame.
He was a Walter Head Fellow of District 7450, a Paul Harris Fellow Plus 5, a Rotary Benefactor, a charter member of the Bequest Society, and a major donor to the permanent fund of the Rotary Foundation. For his work in polio eradication he received the Legacy to Children Award from the Rotary Foundation.
Arbuckle met his wife Lorraine (Donati '63) when he was a student at Clarion University.They currently live in Washington Township, Pa., and have three grown children, Lisa Zettelmoyer, Robert, and Jeff.
Dr. Peter Dalby--2006 Distinguished Faculty
It has always been about teaching and the environment for Dr. Peter Dalby, biology professor emeritus. Dalby concluded a 33-year teaching career, the last 29 at Clarion University, when he retired in 2005.
"I am flabbergasted and greatly humbled by this award," said Dalby. "To be chosen is an honor."
Dalby, who grew up in Michigan, got his first faculty-type look at the classroom while in high school when he joined the Future Teachers of America (FTA), not because of an interest in teaching, but because of an interest in another organization member. Among the experiences was a chance to cover a primary grade for one-half day. It left an impact.
He took the teaching experience outside of the classroom. An active Boy Scout, who obtained the rank of Eagle Scout, he took on leadership roles with his Troop and assisted with a Cub Scout den. For several years, he was the nature director at a Boy Scout summer camp and by the time he was completing his master's degree was the program director for the camp.
Dalby earned his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in zoology from Michigan State University. He spent one semester teaching as a fill-in faculty at Ohio State University, three years at Virginia Tech, and one year at the University of Virginia before joining Clarion University in 1976.
When Dalby arrived at Clarion, fellow faculty members Bill Kodrich and Bob Moore exposed him to the different conservation and hunting organizations in the county. He soon joined one of the local hunting/conservation clubs. Over the years, this led to various elected positions with the club and eventually to the county division and state levels within the hierarchy of the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen's Club (PFSC).
In 2003, Dalby was the first recipient of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy's Jarvis B. Cecil Conservation Volunteer Leader Award. The award recognized his efforts with organizations such as the PFSC, Mill Creek Coalition, Seneca Rocks Audubon Society, Clarion County Youth Conservation Camp, and the spring Wildlife Week/Earth Day/Arbor Day events at the Clarion Mall.
In the classroom, Dalby taught courses from A to Z, ranging from animal ecology to general zoology. Incoming freshmen to graduate students all had opportunities to take his classes.
His interest and commitment to teaching extended to student advisement, advising, like other faculty, his share of biology undergraduates. He also became involved at the university level in the effort to explore ways of addressing the special needs of freshmen and those remaining undecided about a major. With the establishment of the University Advising Services Center, Dalby became one of the first group of faculty to volunteer to assist undecided and walk-in students.
Dalby was the advisor to the Clarion University Bios Club for 25 years. The club took two major trips each academic year to unique ecological areas within a one-day drive of Clarion.
Perhaps Dalby's proudest achievement was with the Mill Creek Coalition, one of Pennsylvania's most successful mine water reclamation projects.
In retirement Dalby is planning on staying active in the Mill Creek effort, the PFSC, Audubon and other outdoors groups. He and his wife, Barbara, are also working on home projects, completing yard improvements, and renovating an 1890 barn on their 10-acre farmette. They have two married daughters, Sarajane Orlando ('91) and Jennifer Moore ('96), and two grandchildren.
Angela Groom Brown--2006 Distinguished Volunteer
Angela Groom ('80) has gone from reluctant college student to being honored as the Distinguished Volunteer by the Clarion University Alumni Association.
Groom literally had to be dragged from her house by her family to return to college at Clarion University after school breaks. In an early version of "it takes a village to educate a child" her neighbors helped her family get her into the car for the six-hour trip from Washington, D.C., to campus.
Maturity changed Groom's mind and she is being honored by the Clarion University of Pennsylvania Alumni Association as the 2006 Distinguished Volunteer, for her work with the Black Student Reunion.
Groom graduated from a private high school in Bethesda, Maryland, at the age of 16. Raised by a single mother, she decided she didn't want to go to college. She wanted to get a full-time job and earn money, not realizing a 16-year-old could not have a full-time job.
Because Groom didn't want to go to college, she refused to come to orientation and was greatly surprised by the six-hour drive that brought her from the city to rural Clarion County for the first time.
Disgruntled and being younger than all of her classmates, Groom reports trying, "every trick in the book," to get sent home. She was always prepared for the 12-hour bus ride to Washington, D. C., as her bags were always packed and ready to go. She became a well-known student in the administrative offices, all the way to the office of the president, where she went faithfully each Friday for four years in an effort to find out if her tuition payments had not been made.
Groom received her degree in business administration /computer information systems. Today, she also knows that was not what she was interested in doing. She wanted to be an attorney, but had no idea Clarion didn't offer a law degree. When told that she had to go to college for six to eight years for law and four years for computers, the decision was made. She was being forced to go so why do six to eight years when you can do four years. Computers it was. Computers were just coming in and the advertisements in the classifieds showed the best starting salaries.
Groom's first job was with Automated Sciences Group working as a computer programmer analyst, and she discovered quickly that she didn't like it. When there was an opening in another department, she made a switch.
She moved on to Booz, Allen and Hamilton and then to Coopers and Lybrand, LLP (one of the Big 6 Accounting Firms), which merged with PriceWaterhouse (also a Big 6 Accounting firm) to become PriceWaterhouseCoopers. When government regulations, namely the Sarbanes/Oxley Act forced the split of the company duties, the Government Consulting Practice of PriceWaterhouseCoopers was purchased by IBM, whom she works for today in Fairfax, Va. She has also returned to school, willingly this time, earning a Procurement and Contracts Management certificate from the University of Virginia in 2004.
Groom thanks "the village" for their contribution to her success, the neighbors, faculty of Nativity School, Barbara Heaney of Ursuline Academy, Barbara Eaton, Melvin Bryan, Robert S. Moore, Mayor Marion Barry Jr. and her husband, Grafton Brown.
Groom credits her mother, Mary; sisters Raynell, Gwyn, and Pernetia; and brothers Luster and Moses for helping her succeed.
Hope (Henry) Miller--2006 Distinguished Alumni-Clarion Campus
Hope (Henry) Miller ('69) is receiving the Distinguished Alumni Award for 2006 in recognition of her career accomplishments, her efforts to promote technology and her contributions to the advancement of women.
In 1969 she used her mathematics degree from Clarion University to enter the emerging field of computer software development in the aerospace and defense industry. There were few women in the software field then and this first group of women became leaders.
She spent the next 34 years at Rockwell International, Hughes Electronics, and Raytheon Corporation, companies on the cutting edge of aerospace technology. During her career Miller rose from software engineer through progressive levels of program and engineering management. When she retired from Raytheon in 2003, she was the California Engineering Director for Network Centric Systems with 1,000 engineers reporting to her.
Miller's trip to Clarion University was a quick one, just a brief drive from nearby Knox, Pa., where she was valedictorian and voted most likely to succeed in her Keystone High School graduating class. It was also a quick trip through the university for Miller, who graduated in two years and eight months, again as valedictorian. She found time to be vice president of the Class of 1969, secretary for the Mathematics Club, and a member of Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority. She also worked as a part-time assistant in the mathematics department. Entering college as a physics major, she later switched to mathematics.
Immediately following graduation, Hope married Larry Cope ('69) and they moved to California. She was employed as a software engineer working on the Minuteman Missile program for Rockwell International, opening the door to her high tech career.
While at Rockwell, Miller earned a master's degree in mathematics in 1975 from California State University Fullerton. She then moved to Hughes Aircraft, which merged with Raytheon in 1997. During her 27 years at Hughes/Raytheon she worked on a diverse set of government and commercial product lines including radar, weapons, communications, advanced torpedoes, test equipment, command and control, and GPS. A key focus in her career has been quality excellence and process improvement. In 2003 Hope received the Raytheon Distinguished Corporate Quality Award for her activities in process improvement.
Throughout her career Miller has reached out to enable other women to achieve their potential. At Raytheon, she founded the women's network, Winning Opportunities for Women (WOW!Net); was a champion for the Raytheon Fullerton Diversity Council; and sponsored the Introduce a Girl to Engineering Days. She has also been a Mentor for California State University Fullerton Compass Program, UCI Women in Computer Science (WICS) and Orangethorpe Elementary School Leading Ladies.
Miller is currently on the Leadership Council for Information and Computer Science at the University of California at Irvine, the Board for the Association for Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS), the Advisory Board for Women In Technology International and the Foundation Board for Clarion University. She is also a member of the National Association of Women's Business Owners and the Society of Women Engineers. She often does keynotes and presentations for women's and management organizations.
Hope is remarried to Dr. Bruce J. Miller and they live in Laguna Niguel, California. Bruce is a Ph.D. engineer and a Technical Fellow at Boeing. Together they founded and co-own MilCom Consulting, which specializes in engineering and management services. They have three children, Kristen (Cope) Harleman, and Eric and Emily Miller.
Roger Oxendale--2006 Distinguished Alumni-Clarion Campus
Roger Oxendale ('76, M.B.A. '77), has called his Clarion University of Pennsylvania education, "My foundation for where I am today, providing me with a variety of opportunities to connect with other people in a variety of leadership roles."
Oxendale, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pa., is continuing a career in which he has tried to help people, provide jobs and advancement, and help better society.
A career in health care was not on the agenda when Oxendale arrived in Clarion from his home in Pittsburgh. He readily admits he was dating his future wife, Diane (Davis '76), and followed her to Clarion, where they married between their junior and senior years. But he also made the best of the opportunities Clarion provided. Oxendale also credited the Boy Scouts for leading him in the same direction. While he was a student, Oxendale was involved with Campus Crusade, was president of the Ski Club, and was a member of the rifle team coached by Galen Ober. He also worked for Servomation food services on campus. During his graduate year, he was a graduate teaching assistant with instructor status.
Oxendale's first job upon graduating was teaching college-level accounting and finance for two years at Bethel College, St. Paul, Minn. He also enrolled in a Ph.D. program and taught at the University of Minnesota.
Oxendale, who returned to Pennsylvania in 1979 joining what is now known as PriceWaterhouseCoopers as an accountant. In this position Oxendale was exposed to a number of clients including Fortune 500 companies, financial and banking institutions, small business, and health care. It was the health care that attracted his attention.
Oxendale worked at Allegheny General Hospital and its parent company Allegheny Health Education and Research Foundation in Pittsburgh for seven years, continuing to advance his career through the finance ranks. In 1994, he received a call from an executive recruiter asking him to join Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh as the chief financial officer (CFO).
Oxendale joined Children's in 1995 as CFO and was promoted to chief operating officer (COO) and executive vice president in 2000. As COO, Oxendale oversaw all aspects of day-to-day operation and was also a key member of the senior management team that brought about a significant financial turnaround for the hospital in the late 1990's. U.S. News & World Report now consistently ranks Children's among the top pediatric hospitals in the United States.
In January 2005, Oxendale was named President and CEO of Children's. He was a key negotiator for the hospital's merger with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and is currently playing a vital role in facilitating the construction of a world-class, state-of-the-art pediatric medical campus. It is being built in the Lawrenceville section of Pittsburgh, and will have both clinical and research facilities. He also is the senior executive responsible for founding Children's Community Pediatrics, the largest pediatric and adolescent primary care medical network in Western Pennsylvania.
Oxendale and his wife, Diane, who earned her degree in speech pathology and audiology/clinical, reside in Pittsburgh and have three daughters, Kristin, Amy, and Mary.
Dr. James G. Pesek--2006 Distinguished Service
When it comes to any job, Dr. James Pesek, this year's recipient of the Clarion University Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award, has one philosophy. "I never take a job for granted," said Pesek, a professor of management at Clarion University, who was recently appointed interim dean of the College of Business Administration for a second time. "The job of a faculty member consists of effective teaching, scholarly growth, and service to the university and community. I take all of these requirements seriously."
Pesek has held many positions since joining Clarion University in 1980 as an assistant professor of management. He has served as: chair of the department of administrative science three times, 1985-2000, 2002-2004, and was in that position when he was named interim dean; chair of the interim management team for the College of Business Administration, 1999-2000; interim dean of the College of Business Administration, 2000-02; interim provost and vice president for academic affairs, 2004-05; and special assistant to the provost and vice president for academic affairs, Feb.-June 2005.
Pesek discovered teaching as his career progressed. He earned B.S. and M.A. degrees in economics from Bowling Green State University. When Pesek received his master's from Bowling Green he was asked to stay on and teach several courses. This first taste of teaching at the university level convinced him that teaching was what he wanted to do. Although he had worked for manufacturing companies, Pesek thought he needed more real world experience.
In June 1975, he joined the City of Cleveland Department of Human Resources and Economic Development as a labor market analyst/planner and held that position for more than two years. This experience in management and human resources prompted him to pursue and earn his Ph.D. in business administration, majoring in human resources management and industrial relations, from the University of Pittsburgh in 1984.
While teaching at Mercyhurst College in Erie, PA, Pesek was recruited to Clarion University by Bill Fulmer. The decision led to his many diverse roles with Clarion University including serving on over 30 committees. "My goal was to be a tenured professor at a quality university and I achieved that goal," he said. "When I started my academic career, I did not spend a lot of time thinking about being a college administrator, but when the president asks you to take on a new responsibility it is hard to say no. I enjoyed my stints as interim provost and interim dean working with other administrators and the faculty. But, I still find teaching and research to be rewarding."
In the community, Pesek found more activities including coaching baseball at all levels from Little League to American Legion and volunteering in many capacities at Venango Catholic High School and Immaculate Conception School.
Pesek lives in Shippenville, Pa., with his wife, Karen. They have two children, Seth, a tax accountant with PriceWaterhouseCoopers, LLP in Pittsburgh; and Bryn, a junior at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.
Dr. George M. Veloudis--2006 Distinguished Alumni-Venango Campus
Dr. George M. Veloudis ('87) credits the Venango Campus with providing him the basic skills and learning techniques that allowed him to reach his career goal of becoming a physician.
"Some of my fondest memories are from Venango Campus and the friends I have made there," he said. "If time could stand still, I would choose that period in my life to revisit, but as we all know, time travels on and we must each follow our own unique paths in life."
Dr. Veloudis' path led him to Lexington, Kentucky, where he maintains a private practice specializing in women's health care and infertility and where he is known for his generosity in treating patients with little or no financial resources. In addition to his busy clinical and surgical schedule, Dr. Veloudis is a member of the faculty of the University of Kentucky, where he teaches in the Reproductive Sciences and Physician Assistant Programs. A widely-recognized expert in his field, Dr. Veloudis is frequently called upon by the media for information about infertility and in vitro fertilization and is a highly visible and respected health care leader in his community.
He was born and raised in Oil City, the son of George Veloudis, Sr. and the late Nancy Skrobat Veloudis. His mother was called "Mom" by many grateful people in the community who were the beneficiaries of her selfless help over the years.
Following graduation from Cranberry High School in 1981, Dr. Veloudis worked nights while earning two associate degrees at the Venango Campus, in business management and accounting. He was a very active member of the campus community, serving as president of the Business Club, working at the student center, and performing in several plays. He then moved to the Clarion Campus, where he earned a bachelor's degree in biology in 1987.
Dr. Veloudis graduated third in his class from the University of Health Sciences in Kansas City, Missouri. He lived in Oil City while interning at Clarion Hospital before completing a residency at the State University of New York at Buffalo and a fellowship at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Veloudis is board certified in gynecology and obstetrics and in reproductive endocrinology and infertility.
He has published widely and is active in many organizations, including the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, American Osteopathic Association, American College of Osteopathic Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Kentucky Osteopathic Medical Association, and Beta-Beta-Beta Alumni, among others.
In his spare time, Dr. Veloudis breeds and races horses and is well known in Kentucky's thoroughbred industry and in the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.
Dr. Veloudis was married in June to Tiffiney Wade, a teacher, and has three stepchildren, Jordan, Courtney, and Michael Wade. His father and his sister, Lori Veloudis Akin, a graduate of Clarion University's nursing program, also reside in Lexington, Kentucky.
Trueman Mills--2007 Distinguished Service Award
Trueman Mills ('55) has always been there when Clarion University or the Clarion community needed a helping hand. The Clarion University Alumni Association will recognize his efforts by presenting him with the Distinguished Service Award.
"I have always tried to help," said Mills. "It is obvious to me that Clarion University is the engine that drives the economy in Clarion County. Personally I have been in private business and I realize Clarion University's impact to the community both educationally and economically."
Mills is a lifelong resident of Clarion, residing most of his life within two blocks of his current home. A graduate of nearby Clarion-Limestone High School, he came to Clarion University as a student in 1951.
"Clarion was what I could afford and my interests lay in mathematics and science," he explained about the decision to attend Clarion. He went on to earn his degree in mathematics and physical science. He discovered that the faculty members, particularly Dr. Donald Peirce and Dr. George Lewis, stirred his interests in his field of study.
"Dr. Peirce knew more about any subject than anyone I've ever known," evaluated Mills. "He was my hero in education. Dr. Lewis was the mathematics department when I was a student. The classes I took from him totaled 33 credits. He later became one of my customers and a good friend."
Mills also served twice as class president, including his senior year, played in the band conducted by Walter Hart, and was a member of Alpha Gamma Phi fraternity.
Following his graduation Mills taught for two years at Redbank Valley High School before joining his father-in-law's automobile business. Mills' wife, Jean (Weaver '59, '74), is also a Clarion native. She received her degrees from Clarion in education and reading.
Mills was involved with the automobile dealership for 24 years, eventually becoming the owner. He sold the business, Mills Olds-Pontiac, in 1981. He also worked for Source Inc., a wholesale distributor, and for 22 years as the head of his own business Trueman Mills Fundraising.
Both Trueman and Jean Mills remained active with Clarion University. They worked with the Capital Campaign, sponsoring the refurbishing of an office in Founders Hall. They are also active supporters of Clarion University's Theatre program.
Mills was active in organizing an alumni group for Alpha Gamma Phi Fraternity. In 2001, the Alpha Gamma Phi alumni brothers established a scholarship awarded to an incoming freshman student athlete, who has an SAT score of at least 900, ranked in the upper two-fifths of her/his graduating class, has financial need, and meets the eligibility requirements of the NCAA.
"When people ask me how to calculate how much they should give to Clarion University, I tell them to figure out how much it cost to go to Clarion in their own time period, subtract it from the current cost and give accordingly," said Mills.
Mills is also active with the Clarion Rotary Club and the First United Methodist Church of Clarion; and has served with the Clarion Chamber of Commerce.
A member of Rotary with perfect attendance since 1962, Mills was the local club's president in 1968 and was district governor in 1982-83.
With his church, Mills has served on all of its committees. He is currently chair of the endowment committee. He was also instrumental in establishing the Fourth Avenue Adventure, the church's mission project to a mobile home park in Clarion.
The Mills' have a daughter Deborah Krebs, who resides in Billerica, Mass., with her husband, Christopher, and a son Nicholas.
Dr. Todd Pfannestiel--2007 Distinguished Faculty Award
A funny thing happened to 2007 Clarion University Alumni Association Distinguished Faculty Award recipient Dr. Todd Pfannestiel while trying to overcome a case of undergraduate shyness - he became a history major. Everything that followed is, of course, "history."
Since 1998, Pfannestiel has taught history at Clarion University, coming to campus directly from graduate school.
"I have been very lucky," said Pfannestiel about his time at Clarion. "I am very honored and humbled to be recognized by the Alumni Association. Being a historian, I have looked at the names of the past recipients - Clarion legends for whom buildings are named, such as Tippin, Moore, Still, and Hart; as well as many of my current colleagues, such as Dunn, Roth, Freed, and McElhattan. I see this award as not just being distinguished, but being a piece of university history. This validates that I am doing something right by the university and its students."
The Alumni Association Award is the second big recognition for Pfannestiel this year. In the spring the Clarion University Student Athlete Association honored him as its "Faculty Member of the Year."
"That was one of the top honors I've ever received because it came from the students," said Pfannestiel. "That is hard to beat. The students validated my teaching and now the Alumni Association has recognized it as well. I am very proud that the history department has had multiple recipients of the Distinguished Faculty Award. It is reflective of the quality of the department and the quality of teaching throughout Clarion University."
Pfannestiel was raised in Oklahoma from the age of six on. He admits to having great history teachers in high school and being fascinated with the past, yet he entered the University of Arkansas as a journalism major. That interest lasted only a few weeks before he switched majors to economics. Another change was still ahead.
"I had a good history teacher at Arkansas, but I was shy and didn't know how to approach him and ask a question," recalled Pfannestiel. "I finally approached him in the hallway and as an ice breaker asked him about becoming a history major. He scheduled me to come to his office and when I did he had all the paperwork completed for me to be a history major. Not knowing what else to do, I signed and it worked out very well."
He went on to earn his B.A. degree in history and economics from Arkansas, where he was also a Fulbright College Scholar. He enrolled in graduate school at Duke University, majoring in Soviet economics at the precise time the Soviet Union collapsed.
"I had been advised to major in economics because there would be more job opportunities, but I really missed history," said Pfannestiel. "I wound up at the College of William and Mary as a graduate student in history. I also got to teach at William and Mary and found out I had some ability for it. I knew I wanted to teach for a lifetime."
Pfannestiel earned his Ph.D. in history from William and Mary, but reports it was a, "heavy dose of fate," along with, "sheer luck" that got him his job at Clarion. He had never been in Pennsylvania until the day he moved to Clarion in 1998.
"Clarion was looking for a one year replacement for a professor on sabbatical," recalled Pfannestiel. "One of my Clarion colleagues, Dr. Steve Piott had taken graduate courses from Dr. Jim Whittenburg when he was a graduate student at the University of Missouri. Whittenburg had moved on to William and Mary and was one of my professors. Steve called him and asked if he knew of anyone who could teach a course in the Great Depression and other subjects for a year. Whittenburg recommended me and I got the job."
Five one-year contracts later, Pfannestiel was placed on a permanent contract. He earned tenure in 2006.
Pfannestiel is the advisor to Phi Alpha Theta Honor Society in History and the Clarion University History Club. He and his clubs have taken on several projects including the ongoing Clarion University History Project, where he and his students are attempting to gather as much of Clarion University's 140-year history as possible; and for the last three years at Halloween have led the Clarion University Ghost Walk, which attracts 400 or more participants. He also organizes the annual Constitution Day events on campus.
He is the author of "Rethinking the Red Scare: The Lusk Committee and New York's Crusade Against Radicalism" and coauthor of "Creamed Onions for Supper: The Great Depression in Western Pennsylvania." His current research interest is American popular culture.
"I am so happy to be here, Clarion is the perfect fit for me," he said. "I have great colleagues and great students. I am also a big Pittsburgh sports fan and I never thought I would be this close to Pittsburgh."
Gerald Marterer--2007 Distinguished Alumni Award--Clarion Campus
Gerald Marterer ('67), the Clarion University Alumni Association's 2007 Distinguished Alumni, traces his success, which includes extensive experience transforming businesses, to knowledge he gained at Clarion.
"The liberal arts curriculum included languages and humanities, which seemed like extra work then but gave me perspectives I use today," said Marterer. "Learning one foreign language, French, gave me insights into learning other languages like Chinese when I lived in Asia. The two composition courses I had to pass were difficult, but they taught me how to write, a skill that I use every day."
Marterer has mastered it well. He is the president and CEO of Arizona Chemical, a global leader in pine chemistry. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., the company has seven manufacturing plants in the U.S. and five in Europe, and supplies chemicals to the adhesive, inks, coatings and pharmaceutical markets.
Marterer is one of six individuals to be honored by The Clarion University Alumni Association with Distinguished Awards during homecoming weekend, Oct. 4-6. The others include: Robert "Bo" Garritano ('66), Distinguished Volunteer; Trueman Mills ('55), Distinguished Service; Laurie-Carter-Robinson ('84), Distinguished Achievement; Dr. Todd Pfannestiel, Distinguished Faculty; and Royce Feebourn ('80), Venango Campus Distinguished Alumni.
Activities start Thursday, Oct. 4, at Clarion University - Venango Campus with a reception for Royce Freebourn at the Rhoades Center at 5 p.m. Contact Jerri Gent at (814) 393-1215 for additional information. The Distinguished Awards Reception is Friday, Oct. 5, at 5:30 p.m. in the Gemmell Student Complex Rotunda with the Distinguished Awards Banquet in the Gemmell Student Complex Multi-Purpose Room at 6 p.m. For more information contact Anna Kriebel at (814) 393-2572.
Marterer has held numerous positions with International Paper, Arizona's former parent company, including president-IP Asia, vice president-quality management, and general manager of the Akrosil and Nicolet divisions. He has a great deal of field experience in helping with corporate transformation.
In a talk given at Clarion's College of Business in 2005, he spoke of "creating the crisis" to communicate the seriousness of the situation; building a guiding coalition for change; developing and communicating a vision; enrolling, empowering and energizing others; creating and recognizing short-term wins; and institutionalizing new approaches.
Marterer began his career at Hammermill Paper in Erie, Pa., as an internal auditor. When International Paper bought the company, Marterer was sent to run a paper mill in Wisconsin. The mill was in bad financial shape and underwent a labor strike, but during the aftermath the mill beat every record for production and became one of the safest mills owned by International Paper.
The move to Wisconsin was the first of 12 moves Marterer made during his career.
"All of that moving gave me a lot of perspective on how to deal with different types of people and to stay flexible," he said.
When International Paper was looking at overseas options, Marterer became involved in building a business in China. He has lived in Hong Kong, New York, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Florida.
"I've been lucky to be in the right place at the right time," said Marterer. "The reward for helping a company to recover is that you get to do it all over again somewhere else. Four of the five businesses I have been involved with have been turnarounds. I see myself as a coach, not a quarterback. The goal is to get the team into the playoffs and a chance at winning the championship. It is rewarding, challenging and usually fun."
A leveraged buyout of Arizona Chemical was recently completed. It will become a private company, providing a new set of challenges, part of them financial.
"I am looking forward to this," said Marterer. "It will be fun taking our company into a different business environment and trying to win. We will be more global in the future. Less than half of what we do now is in the U.S. I will be dividing my time between the United States and Europe. Travel goes with the job; it's all I have known."
All of this has happened despite Marterer's own admission that he did not have a sense of what he wanted to do when he arrived at Clarion.
"I knew from my experience of working in retail and other areas that I liked business," he recalled. "There was no business program yet when I was at Clarion, so I majored in economics and minored in accounting. The accounting helped me to get a job and the economics helped to run a business later on."
He also served as president of Student Senate in 1966, was a student senator for three years, and was a class officer. He played in the marching band directed by Dr. Stanley Michalski.
"I still stay in touch with Dr. Michalski," said Marterer. "He was a good leader, set a good example, worked us hard, and let us have fun. Clarion also provided plenty of opportunities for socialization, and I think I took advantage of all of them, which was part of the process of developing as an individual."
But most importantly during his years at Clarion, Marterer met his wife Suzanne Conroy ('67), who received her degree in elementary education. They have two grown sons, Brian and Aaron, and two grandchildren. Currently living in Jacksonville, Fla., they also have a home in Paris, France.
"This is humbling," said Marterer about the Distinguished Alumni Award. "You normally don't think of what you are doing as distinguished. It is doing what you do, adding value to something and enjoying it."
Robert "Bo" Garritano--2007 Distinguished Volunteer Award
Robert "Bo" Garritano ('66), who turned personal disappointment into an ongoing success story for Clarion University is being honored as the Clarion Alumni Association's 2007 Distinguished Volunteer.
The story begins in 2006, when Garritano returned to campus for his 40th class reunion.
"I expected everyone to come back, but that didn't happen," said Garritano. "There were only 17 there and just one of the people I played football with in the 1960s. None of my close friends returned. None of them were at the Hall of Fame dinner either."
But that Hall of Fame dinner marked the turning point. President Joseph Grunenwald welcomed everyone and asked the alumni to think about "coming home" and getting involved.
Garritano took that message to heart. After meeting with friends, Bob Gevaudan ('69) and Tom Komenda ('71), they asked to talk with new head football coach Jay Foster, who told them about his intentions to recruit in Pennsylvania and involve alumni in continuing the heritage of the football program. After speaking with Foster, Garritano offered to help.
First he contacted athletic director Dave Katis and obtained an e-mail list containing 30 names. Next a steering committee was formed that included Lynn Armstrong ('68), Al Lefevre ('64), Harry George ('66), Charlie Matsko ('70), and Kevin Ewing ('85); then he contacted former Clarion head football coaches Al Jacks, Charlie Ruslavage, Gene Sobolewski, and Frank Lignelli; and Mary Lou Pae, widow of former coach Jack Pae. They conceived an idea called the Clarion Coach's Caravan to enable the coaches to reach out and meet with alumni in various regions throughout Pennsylvania.
Soon the 30-name e-mail list grew to 130 and then to nearly 500, who receive a once-a-week Clarion Football Alumni Network newsletter put together by Garritano.
"It is networking in its purest form," said Garritano. "Then we came up with the Locker Legacy program. I was captain of the football team the first year it played in Memorial Stadium and I discovered that my original locker along with all the others, were still there after 40 years."
Improving the locker room became a goal and $34,720 was raised using a variety of fundraisers.
"We have more coming up," said Garritano. "We will begin to sell alumni football merchandise through the book store with the profits to go to a scholarship fund. If we don't get enough money, what is raised will be channeled into existing football scholarships."
Originally from Braddock, Garritano was recruited to Clarion by football coach Turk Johnson and Walter Hart.
"Walter Hart visited and interviewed me and then took a chance on me," recalled Garritano. "I fell in love with the campus, it was beautiful. I made first team as a freshman for coach Johnson and played three more years for coach Al Jacks. It was great to be a part of that winning program."
But, the education didn't come as easy in the beginning for Garritano, who earned his degree in comprehensive social studies.
"I patterned myself after Bernard Oriss at Scott High School, who made history come alive for me," said Garritano. "Physical education saved my life in my first semester, because I floundered with the other classes. Dr. Sam Wilhelm, Dr. William Duffy, and Al Jacks, saw my potential and convinced me to do better. It took over a year to get my grades up, but I earned every one of them."
In addition to playing football, Garritano was also a resident assistant, a member of the Letterman Club and the choir, and had the lead role of Bernardo in a theatre production of "West Side Story."
Garritano went on to earn an M.E. in guidance and administration from Duquesne University, a superintendent's letter of eligibility from California University of Pennsylvania, and certification in instructional design and technology from University of Pittsburgh. He taught at Ford City, Bellevue, Norwin, Gateway, and Hempfield school districts and Westmoreland Intermediate Unit; and was an administrator in the East Allegheny, Penn Hills, and Laurel Valley School District. He most recently worked as an educational coordinator at UPMC SportsWorks at Carnegie Science Center and in retirement still fills in for school districts needing a long-term, substitute administrator.
Always on the outlook for more to do, Garritano was the originator of the "Terrible Fan," frequenting Pittsburgh Steeler games for many years. Myron Cope, the inventor of the "Terrible Towel," endorsed the process. Garritano's first experience in costume also came at Clarion where he donned a Smokey the Bear outfit for a fire safety program conducted by Frank Campbell.
The "Terrible Fan" experience led Garritano to a similar project, "The Safety Fan," and he visits schools in costume to teach students about school bus safety. He is also active with Immaculate Conception Church in Irwin, Pa., collecting comfort kits for military men serving overseas.
"I am astonished, humbled, and proud to receive this award," he said. "It adds credibility to the alumni effort. We truly believe in and love Clarion. I will accept the award on behalf of the entire committee. We are serving as the bridge between the past and the current football players. We are all teammates. What was can be again!"
Garritano lives in North Huntingdon, Pa., with his wife, Joyce. They have a grown daughter, Nicole, who is married to Michael Meloy.
Laurie Carter Robinson--2007 Distinguished Achievement Award
Laurie Carter Robinson ('84) vice president and general counsel and executive director of jazz studies for The Juilliard School, New York City, N.Y., credits her career success to Clarion University. The Clarion University Alumni Association is recognizing this success by presenting her with the Distinguished Achievement Award.
"It means a great deal to receive this award from Clarion University," said Robinson. "My experience at Clarion University was extremely positive. It is four years of my life that I cherished. To be honored by the college that benefited me so much is very meaningful."
Originally from Rutherford, N.J., Robinson followed her sister, Taryn (Carter '81) Wyche to Clarion University.
"It was more of a parental decision that worked out," she said about attending Clarion. "I majored in communication, but I wasn't exactly sure about what I wanted to do. I thought I would go into public relations or television. Clarion's communication program was very strong, so I choose it for a major, because I thought it would prepare me for a career."
The decision did prepare Robinson for a career, but not in quite the same fashion as she expected. She went on to earn an M.A. degree in communication from William Paterson College, Wayne, N.J., in 1987, and a J.D. from Rutgers Law School, Newark, N.J., in 1993.
"After I received my masters I decided that television wasn't for me," she said. "I had developed fairly good verbal skills and decided I wanted to become a litigator so I turned my communication training toward the field of law."
While she was in graduate school, Robinson worked as a resident hall director at William Paterson University and later as assistant director of residence life and director of residence life at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Rutherford, N.J. She joined the Juilliard School in 1988 as director of student affairs, working full-time while attending law school part-time.
"I wanted to be a litigator," she recalled. "One of the best ways to do that is be a prosecutor or public defender. During my third year of law school I worked as a legal intern facilitating presentations for victims of domestic violence. This confirmed for me that advocacy was something that I wanted to do."
With an offer in hand to join the district attorney's office, a dean at Juilliard asked Robinson to remain and set up a legal department at the college. His persistence won out and Robinson remained at the school as assistant dean for student relations and legal advisor. She was named an associate vice president in 1996 and since 2000 has handled the positions of vice president for student and legal affairs and executive director of jazz studies. She was promoted to vice president and general counsel in 2006.
In addition to serving as in-house counsel and chief student affairs officer in legal and student affairs area, she worked with the president, dean, and artistic director at Juilliard to design and implement a new jazz program. The process included devising curriculum, hiring faculty, recruiting and selecting students, and hiring and training staff.
"Juilliard allowed me to develop relationships with outside law firms," said Robinson. "Part of my work is still advocacy, but a different type of advocacy than I had planned."
According to Robinson, none of it would have happened without her Clarion experience.
"I didn't anticipate doing all of this when I got to Clarion," she said. "The experience I was having then was a special one. I took advantage of what was offered, and there was a lot to take advantage of. I was prepared for any avenue I choose to take. Being an African American, when there were not many African Americans at Clarion, did not define my experience."
Robinson ran on Clarion's track and field team for coach Bill English, was an admissions graduate assistant for Sue McMillan, served on the University Activities Board, performed in drama productions, and was a member of the Black Student Union.
"My most memorable experience was doing a class project documentary about a day program in Clarion for people with mental illness," said Robinson. "In addition to learning the technical aspects of production I learned the creative side of the project, how to weave a story. It was challenging and stimulating."
Robinson also credits Chezia Thompson, an African American faculty member in the English department, and McMillan as mentors to her at Clarion.
"I value the relationships and time they took with me," she said.
In the community, Robinson is active with Jazz Connections of Montclair, N.J., and is a children's worship leader at St. Paul Baptist Church, Montclair, N.J. Professionally, she is a member of the New York State Bar Association, National Bar Association, National Association of College and University Attorneys, National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, Black Entertainment and Sports Law Association, New York Women's Bar Association, and council on Law in Higher Education.
Robinson lives in Montclair, N.J., with her husband, Gary, and son, Carter.
Royce Freebourn--2007 Distinguished Alumni Award--Venango Campus
Royce Freebourn ('80) credits Dr. Audean Duespohl, former Dean of the School of Nursing and Interim Executive Dean of the Venango Campus, for his successful beginning in the field of nursing.
"Dr. Duespohl and her staff worked hard to make their students the best. They went above and beyond to guide and mentor us so we'd become professional, knowledgeable, and caring registered nurses."
Mr. Freebourn resides in Texas, where he is CEO of Community Management Services, which manages Community Care Center in three locations, skilled nursing facilities with a total of 309 beds, and Provident Medical Supplies, which provides the facilities with medical supplies.
An Erie native, Mr. Freebourn found his calling at an early age. He was a junior fireman, first aid and CPR instructor and EMT, all by the age of 16. His strong faith led him to nursing and he chose Clarion for his education.
"Clarion University's registered nursing program was a prime way to continue helping people in the medical field," he says, "close to home and affordable!"
Mr. Freebourn was an active student while at the Venango Campus, serving as vice-president of Student Senate and editor of the yearbook. He continued his education at Alliance College, where he earned a bachelor's degree in psychology.
Mr. Freebourn and his wife, Rosemarie, are the parents of four children: Justin, 20; Yvonne, 18; Anthony, 16; and Lucas, 14.
"I will never forget the Venango Campus and the friends I made there," said Mr. Freebourn. "Many lives have been saved or improved thanks to God's help and the wonderful education I and others received at Clarion University-Venango Campus.