THIEL COLLEGE FOUNDED 1866 â€˘ GREENVILLE, PA
Foundersâ€™ Day 2014 OUR MISSION Thiel College, an academic institution in the Lutheran tradition, empowers individuals to reach their full potential by assuring educational excellence, stimulating global awareness, promoting ethical and responsible leadership, and preparing students for careers so that lives inspired by truth and freedom may be committed to service in the world.
Founders’ Day 2014 THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2014 ~ 11 A.M. LUTHERAN HERITAGE ROOM HOWARD MILLER STUDENT CENTER
PRELUDE Scenes from Childhood, Op. 15................................................................................. Robert Schumann Kathryn A. Gray, M.M. Adjunct Professor of Music PROCESSIONAL March from “Aida” ......................................................................................................Giuseppe Verdi
*OPENING PRAYER............................................................................... The Rev. Jayne Thompson Campus Pastor
WELCOME...................................................................................................... Troy VanAken, Ph.D. President CHORAL MUSIC Awake, O North Wind from Wedding Cantata............................................................. Daniel Pinkham
The Gift To Be Simple............................traditional Shaker tune.................................. arr. Bob Chilcott Michael R. Bray, D.M.A., Director The Thiel Choir
PRESENTATION OF SPECIAL STAFF AWARDS........................................... President VanAken Kurt Ashley, Chief Information Officer Jacki Muller, Vice President for Communication and Marketing Jack Leipheimer ’74, Director of Athletics
Distinguished Innovator Award................................................................................. Jonathan Shearer
Distinguished Newcomer Award................................................................................... John Gasperin
Distinguished Newcomer Award.................................................................................Joe Matecka ’12
Distinguished Service Staff Award..................................................................................... Leslie Graul
Distinguished Extra Effort Award................................................................................... Jennie Kather
Distinguished Outreach Award..................................................................................Ed Topoleski ’02
PRESENTATION OF SPECIAL FACULTY AWARDS..................................Lynn Franken, Ph.D. Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College and President VanAken
Distinguished Adjunct Faculty...................... Angela Virostick, M.A., Adjunct Professor of Education
Distinguished Scholar......................................Gayle Jesse, D.Sc., Associate Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science
Distinguished Service..................................................Mary Theresa Hall, Ph.D., Professor of English
Distinguished Teacher ...........................................Jie Wu, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science
Professor of the Year................................................. Nicholas Despo, Ph.D., Professor of Biology and Paul M. Rike Professor of Life Sciences
Judith Newton, M.A., M.S., Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science
PRESENTATION OF THE LOUIS AND BARBARA THIEL DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD............................................................... President VanAken
Mark A. Nordenberg ’70, H’97 Chancellor and Distinguished Service Professor of Law, University of Pittsburgh
*HAIL ALMA MATER....................................................................Music by Friedrich F. Flemming and lyrics by E. Grace Hunton, Class of 1900
*CLOSING PRAYER................................................................................................ Rev. Thompson
POSTLUDE Valse, Op. 69, No. 2.................................................................................................... Frederic Chopin
* Audience will please rise.
Louis and Barbara Thiel Distinguished Service Award Mark A. Nordenberg ’70, H’97
Chancellor and Distinguished Service Professor of Law, University of Pittsburgh Mark Nordenberg was born and raised in Duluth, Minnesota. However, his father was transferred to Pittsburgh by U.S. Steel the summer before his senior year in high school, and he began his studies at Thiel College one year later, in the fall of 1966. While at Thiel, he lettered in cross-country, competed as a member of the debate team, was president of his fraternity, and worked as a student assistant in the mathematics department. He was awarded his bachelor’s degree in mathematics, with honors, in 1970. Chancellor Nordenberg also met his wife, Dr. Nikki Pirillo Nordenberg, while at Thiel. She is a member of the class of 1971 and earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology here. She later earned a master’s degree from Duquesne University and a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh and crafted her own distinguished record in career and personal counseling. She was the founder of the Career Services Center of the Allegheny County Bar Association and is a co-founder of LEAD – Pittsburgh, an organization committed to dealing with the many facets of depression, including its impact on college students. The Nordenbergs have been married for forty-three years, are the parents of three adult children, and have three young grandsons. Following his graduation from Thiel, Chancellor Nordenberg earned his law degree, with high honors, from the University of Wisconsin. He served briefly in the Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps and practiced law with a major Minneapolis firm before moving to academia. His first faculty appointment was with the Capital University Law Center. Chancellor Nordenberg joined the faculty of Pitt’s School of Law in 1977 and quickly built a reputation as an outstanding teacher. He was the initial recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award now presented annually by the Law School’s graduating class. He also was one of the first faculty members to receive the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award, recognizing teaching excellence university-wide. His area of academic specialty is civil litigation, and he has served as a member of both the U.S. Advisory Committee on Civil Rules and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Civil Procedural Rules Committee. Earlier in his career, Chancellor Nordenberg served as Dean of Pitt’s School of Law and as Interim Provost of the University. In 1994, he was elevated to the special faculty rank of Distinguished Service Professor. In 1995, he was elected Interim Chancellor by the University’s Board of Trustees, and in 1996, following a national search, he was elected Chancellor. At the June 2013 Annual Meeting of the University Board of Trustees, which marked the end of his eighteenth year of service as Chancellor, Chancellor Nordenberg announced that he would step down from that office in the summer of 2014. During his extended tenure, Chancellor Nordenberg has led Pitt through one of the most impressive periods of progress in its 227-year history, as the University achieved new levels of quality and impact on virtually every front. Undergraduate applications and the academic credentials of enrolled students have soared. Both faculty and students regularly receive the highest forms of national and international recognition. Pitt now ranks among the top five U.S. universities in terms of federal science and engineering research and development support and recently exceeded a $2 billion fund-raising goal.
Chancellor Nordenberg has been very active in civic affairs. He served as co-chair of a legislative commission that studied the problems facing Pennsylvania’s urban schools, chaired a working group that developed an action plan for regional workforce development, chaired a record-setting United Way campaign, chaired a committee that examined issues of leadership and governance in the Pittsburgh Public Schools, and chaired a citizen’s committee assessing the efficiency and effectiveness of City and County government. He also served as co-chair of the Governor’s education transition team and as a member of his Advisory Commission on Postsecondary Higher Education. Chancellor Nordenberg is a past Chair of both the Pittsburgh Council on Higher Education and the Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Universities and is a member of the executive committee of the Association of American Universities. Reflecting his role as a regional leader in higher education, he has been awarded honorary degrees by Carnegie Mellon University, the Community College of Allegheny County and LaRoche College. He serves as an Honorary Consul for Great Britain and as a Director of Bank of New York Mellon. Chancellor Nordenberg has received many important forms of external recognition. He has been named Pittsburgh’s Person of the Year by Pittsburgh Magazine and a History Maker in education by the Senator John Heinz History Center. He also has received the Chief Executive Leadership Award from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education Region II, the Presidential Leadership Award from a consortium of national organizations for his efforts to create a vibrant student culture less tied to alcohol, the Legends in Leadership Award from the Community College of Allegheny County, the Bnai Zion – Pittsburgh Humanitarian Award, the Kesher Award from the Berman Hillel Jewish University Center, the Spirit Award from the Homer S. Brown Law Association, the Community Impact Award from the Pittsburgh Area Jewish Committee and the Art Rooney Award from the Catholic Youth Association of Pittsburgh. Chancellor Nordenberg has received two lasting and distinctive forms of recognition from the Pitt Board of Trustees. In June of 2005, to celebrate the remarkable progress achieved during his first decade as Chancellor, it was announced that trustees, alumni leaders and other special friends had contributed $2.5 million to endow an academic chair in his name. That chair now is held by the Director of Pitt’s Center for International Legal Education. In October 2012, he was again honored when the Board announced both the naming of Pitt’s newest residence hall in his honor and the creation of an endowed scholarship fund, already supported by more than $5 million in individual gifts, also bearing his name. Mark A. Nordenberg Hall, which houses 560 freshman students and also is home to the University’s health and counseling services, opened in August of 2013. The first five Nordenberg scholars also are now enrolled as Pitt freshmen. Chancellor Nordenberg received the 2013 Exemplary Leader Award from the Johnson Institute for Responsible Leadership of the University’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. The Institute was founded by LaVonne and Glen Johnson H’88. Glen Johnson is a chairman emeritus of the Thiel College Board of Trustees, and the service to and support of Thiel provided by the Johnsons has been extraordinary. Chancellor Nordenberg has maintained his own close ties to Thiel. He served as a member of its Board of Trustees from 1987 to 1997. He received a Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award from the College in 1988. In 1993, he served as Thiel’s commencement speaker and was the recipient of an honorary degree in 1997. He also was the keynote speaker at the inauguration of President Troy D. VanAken in April of 2010.
The Louis and Barbara Thiel Distinguished Service Award is presented annually to community members who demonstrate exemplary character, continuity of leadership and long-term service to Greenville and its environs.The recipients must demonstrate a commitment to the common good above private interests. The award is named after Louis and Barbara Thiel, whose generosity made possible the founding of Thiel College in 1866.The Thiels dedicated themselves to the welfare of others. The German couple immigrated to western Pennsylvania in the 1840s, and as their work was blessed with success, they faithfully served family, community and church.
Professor of the Year Nicholas Despo, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology and Paul M. Rike Professor of Life Sciences Necholas Despo received his Bachelor of Science in biology from Penn State, a Master of Science in biological sciences from Duquesne University, and his doctorate in physiology from Rutgers University. A teaching assistantship at Rutgers fostered his interest in a teaching career. After an interim appointment at Juniata College, he was hired as an instructor at Thiel College for the 1974-1975 academic year. In his more than 38 years at Thiel, he has actively served several times on a number of committees as chair and member, including Curriculum Study; Enrollment Management; Faculty Council; Executive Committee of Faculty Council; and the Institutional Planning and Budgeting Committee. He also established Thiel’s Institutional Review Board and the Institutional Animal Care and Utilization Committee (these last two committees are concerned with human and animal research, respectively). Despo was Chair of the Faculty and, in 2002, received the Presidential Distinguished Service Award. Additionally, he is on the Resch Scholarship Selection Committee and is a faculty adviser to Alpha Chi, Thiel’s National Honorary Society, as well as adviser to Beta Beta Beta, the National Biological Honorary Society. In 2012, he was named the Paul M. Rike Professor of Life Sciences, one of two endowed chairs at Thiel. Academically, Despo served as Chair of the Biology Department for 17 years and is currently Interim Director of the Neuroscience Program. Nick is the “vertebrate” person in the Biology Department, teaching comparative and human anatomy and animal and human physiology. He has also taught Developmental Biology, Cell Biology, and Foundations of Biology and has mentored numerous students for their senior research projects. He has also taught in the Honors Program and the First-Year Seminar program as well as the core course The Sciences and Our Global Heritage, for which he has been coordinator. Despo has assumed a hefty advising load as the coordinator of Thiel’s Medical Technology and Cytotechnology programs as well as the advisor of pre-professional students for medical and veterinary schools, Physician Assistant and Physical Therapy schools, and students interested in graduate schools in the biological sciences. He holds active membership in many professional organizations, including the Western PA Chapter of Sigma Xi; the American Society of Zoologists; the Pennsylvania Academy of Science; the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society, where he is chair of the Animal Use Committee; and is an affiliate of the American Physiological Society. He and his wife, Pamela Despo, M.S., NP-C, who is also the Coordinator of Health Services at Thiel, have two children: John, who owns a cleaning business in Meadville, Pa., and Tacia, a Captain in the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps, currently stationed near Seattle, Wash. The Despos share a home with four cats on Pymatuning Lake.
Professor of the Year Judith Newton, M.A., M.S.
Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science Professor Judith Newton earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Santa Clara University. She then attended the University of New Mexico where she earned a Master of Arts degree in mathematics. Motivated to help develop a major in computer science at Thiel, she earned a Master of Science degree in computer science from the University of Pittsburgh. Professor Newton is now in her forty-first year of service to Thiel College. She began in 1973 as an instructor of mathematics and has moved through the ranks to her current rank of professor. During her tenure, Professor Newton has served in a variety of capacities in both administrative and academic arenas. Non-academic service includes writing computer code to allow for continuous student registration, managing the administrative computer system during a transition from a batch processing system to an interactive system, and serving as an Assistant Academic Dean. Newtonâ€™s academic service to Thiel is extensive. She helped create a new major in computer science and has periodically served as the chair of the mathematics and computer science department. She was a faculty representative to the Board of Trustees and has served on many standing college committees including Academic Standing, Faculty Council, Promotion and Tenure, Enrollment Management, Faculty Executive Committee, Strategic Planning, Faculty Salaries and Fringe Benefits, Institutional Planning and Budgeting, and the Honorary Degree Committee. She has served on ad hoc committees to fill the positions of Campus Pastor, Academic Dean, President, and most recently she chaired the committee to select the Associate Dean of Career Development. Professional activities include a 30-year membership in the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). Many times she sponsored student participation in the annual ACM regional programming contest. In that role, she accompanied student teams to a variety of contest sites in both the U.S. and Canada. Her passion for teaching and versatility has led to her teaching almost all the courses comprising the computer science major. She has used her expertise to develop two systems for outside agencies: a computerized contract management database system for the West Central Job Partnership and a Web-based client monitoring system for the Literacy Council of Mercer County. Professor Newton was recognized for excellent teaching by the Thiel chapter of Lambda Sigma honor society. Additionally, she has received the Presidentâ€™s Award for Teaching Excellence, the Distinguished Teaching Award, and the Distinguished Service Award. She has served as an officer or member of the board of the Literacy Council of Mercer County for many years. Her home is in Greenville. She has one daughter, Marguerite Reynolds, who works as a System Administrator for General Dynamics and resides in San Jose, Calif. with her husband Bryce.
Faculty Awards Angela Virostick, M.A. Distinguished Adjunct Award
Professor Angela Virostick earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and her master’s degree from Marygrove College in Detroit, Mich. She is a former elementary teacher, math supervisor, instructional associate and staff developer for the Sharon City School District where she was employed for 35 years. As an instructional associate, she received training in reading and writing workshop from Columbia University Teachers College. She also received training as a conceptual mathematics coach and studied district design and research from The Institute of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh. Virostick is an active member of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, a professional honor society of women educators. She has been an adjunct professor at Thiel College for the last fifteen years and is currently teaching two math foundation courses. She incorporates learning manipulatives in her teaching that enable her students to be actively engaged in the learning process. Virostick also works as a supervisor of student teachers for Thiel College.
Gayle Jesse, D.Sc.
Distinguished Scholar Award Gayle Jesse, D.Sc., joined the Thiel College faculty in 2009 as a lecturer in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and has moved through the ranks to associate professor. Since 2010, Jesse has published numerous articles in A-ranked, peer reviewed journals including the International Associate of Computer Information Systems (IACIS) on such topics as: college students and their current use of social media (2013); engaging students, communities and colleges through the integration of service-learning projects (2012); and developing and implementing a capstone course for senior level e-commerce and web development students (2010). She has also been published in Information Systems Education Conference (ISECON). The articles: “Factors influencing students’ decisions to major in a computer-related discipline” and “A Pedagogical Approach Towards Teaching An Information Systems Student How To Conduct A Usability Study For An Honors Project: A Case Study,” were published in 2012 and 2011 respectively. Jesse attended and presented her research at conferences for IACIS in Las Vegas, Nev.; Mobile, Ala.; San Juan, Puerto Rico and ISECON at New Orleans, Ala. In 2011, her dissertation, “The Influence of Personality on the Type of Information College Students Share on Social Networking Sites” was published. She has served on numerous campus committees, including Academic Standing, Secretary for faculty meetings, Faculty Council Representative, Faculty Salary and Fringe Benefits, and Nominations. Jesse holds a bachelor’s degree in management information Systems from Robert Morris University, a master’s of science in business administration from California University of Pennsylvania, a K-12 Pennsylvania teaching certificate in technology business education from Robert Morris University, and a doctorate in information systems and communications from Robert Morris University. She is also a Microsoft Master Instructor - Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) and Adobe Certified Expert Educator (ACE) - Web Specialist CS5. She and her husband, Michael, along with her son Alex, live in Hickory, Pa.
Faculty Awards Mary Theresa Hall, Ph.D. Distinguished Service Award
In addition to her excellent record of preparing students to effectively communicate their ideas in verbal and written form, Dr. Mary Theresa Hall is actively involved in preparing students for presentations at Sigma Tau Delta conferences, works with the English Club and promotes the liberal arts by helping to organize poetry readings and other events on campus. She is an adviser to many English majors and minors as well as students pursuing secondary education certification in English. She serves as a mentor for students preparing honors projects and is adviser to The Phoenix, Thiel’s literary journal. From 2005-2008, she served on the Scholarship and Awards Committee of Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honorary society; the Alpha Iota Kappa Chapter, for which she has served as advisor since 2000, received the Outstanding Chapter Award at the international conference in 2005, after being in existence for only five years. Hall joined the Thiel College faculty in 1999 as an associate professor of English and earned professor status in 2004. From 2008-2011, she served as Chair of the English department. She has served on numerous campus committees, including Academic Standing, Vira I. Heinz Scholarship, Enrollment Management, Faculty Representative to the Board of Trustees, Institutional Planning and Budgeting (for which she served as co-chair), First-Year Experience, Secretary for faculty and Faculty Council meetings, Executive Committee and Faculty Council. She currently serves on the Promotion and Tenure Committee, the ACT 101 Advisory Board, the selection committee for the Distinguished Library Awards, Chair of the Faculty, and the Convocation Committee. Hall holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Seton Hill University, a master’s in English from Carnegie Mellon University and a doctorate in English from Duquesne University. She and her husband, the Rev. V. Donald Hall, live in Hermitage, Pa.
Jie Wu, Ph.D.
Distinguished Teacher Award Based on evaluations from students and peers in the past seven years, Dr. Wu is an excellent mathematics teacher. In addition to his expertise in teaching courses over a wide range of subjects and his passion to pursue teaching excellence at Thiel College, he is also a dedicated adviser to students majoring in actuarial studies and mathematics. He has devoted a considerable amount of time and effort in preparing students who are working on actuarial exams, shaping the actuarial studies program to assist students in reaching their full potential and providing students with advice and references in searching for jobs. Wu has shown dedication to helping students outside the classroom. He has served as a mentor preparing students on honors projects as well as providing international students with guidance and transportation. He continually works to improve the actuarial studies program by developing and revising courses in the major. He employs current technology into his curriculum. He also maintains his ongoing scholarly development by successfully passing four challenging actuarial exams. Wu joined the Thiel College faculty in 2007 as an assistant professor of mathematics and earned associate professor status in 2013. He has served on the Environmental Scanning and Campus Safety committees and is now an active member of the Academic Standing and Curriculum Studies committees. Wu received the “Excellence in Teaching” award from the Lambda Sigma Honor Society in 2008 and 2014. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in applied mathematics from Central South University and a Master of Science degree in economics from Zhejiang University in China. He earned a doctorate in mathematics from Louisiana State University in 2006.
Staff Awards Jonathan Shearer
Distinguished Innovator Award Jonathan Shearer, associate director of web development, has an eye for design, anticipates challenges and meets them with success. He has made a tremendous difference in Thiel College digital “face” since his arrival in 2011. Shearer led the first redesign of the Thiel College website in eight years, with the new site launching in August 2013. The site showcases Shearer’s design talent, but he also learned many new technologies to make the “under the hood” parts of the site work. Additionally he has improved other aspects of Thiel College’s digital footprint such as email communications, web forms, and brochures. He does all of this while working with colleagues in a helpful, professional and patient manner. He listens and executes requests with a high level of expertise. In 2012, Shearer received the Distinguished Newcomer award. He has previously served on the Thiel College Website Design Advisory Committee, Great Colleges to Work for Taskforce and Wellness Committee. He is a member of the College and University Public Relations Association of Pennsylvania (CUPRAP). Shearer has worked as creative director at S Brand Inc. and graphic designer at Keynote Media Group. He holds a bachelor’s degree in fine arts (graphic design) from Youngstown State University. He lives in Brookfield, Ohio.
Distinguished Newcomer Award John Gasperin, network manager, is tenacious in the face of any challenge presented to him. His work ethic and focus on service have been instrumental in many of the improvements IT has made in the past year. Gasperin joined Thiel in November 2012, taking responsibility for the majority of Thiel’s technology infrastructure including servers, networking, and telephony. He completed an upgrade of Thiel’s telephone system over summer 2013, a project that was initially planned to be done in five phases over a one year period. He has also enhanced the College’s virtual server environment, provided additional printing functionality and has done many other upgrades and improvements to Thiel’s technology systems. Constituents regularly provide positive feedback on John’s extra effort and the friendly technical assistance he provides. Gasperin has worked as a computer technician and network administrator at Crawford Central School District, a network technician for Level 3 Communications, and a telecommunications technician for Kessler Communications. He lives in Greenville with his wife and two daughters.
Staff Awards Joe Matecka ’12
Distinguished Newcomer Award Joe Matecka, computer technician, is a skilled worker who has a knack for computer repair and troubleshooting. Talented, intelligent and courteous, he is the model Thiel graduate and is a key ingredient in the IT Solution Center. Matecka first joined IT in 2011 as a student worker, performing hardware repairs on laptops and desktops. In early 2012 he did an internship in IT that provided additional responsibilities in the repair area, and was a natural fit for a full time opportunity starting in August 2012. Since joining the team full time, he has taken on additional responsibilities of system imaging, computer inventory, and part procurement. As good as his technical skills are, Matecka’s customer service skills are even better. His positive attitude and patient manner are frequently complimented by those he serves. Matecka has worked as a technician at CSS Restoration in Pittsburgh. He holds a bachelor’s degree in art (philosophy and psychology) from Thiel College. He resides in Greenville.
Distinguished Service Award Leslie Graul, director of instructional media services, has been instrumental in envisioning the technology in many of the classrooms that our faculty use every day, the A/V service that is central to almost every function at Thiel, support to the foreign language department, testing and using Moodle. She infuses service into the heart of everything she does. She is always quick with a smile and continually helps students, staff and anyone who needs a helping hand. Graul started her service career as the language lab manager for Thiel in 1979; she then added the responsibility of A/V support to campus constituents. Not because she loved A/V but because she saw a need that had to be addressed and, as is her nature, she stepped up to the challenge. In the 80s and 90s, Graul began to see the need for instructional media across the campus and began working with IT to enhance the existing foreign language lab into a lab that would support all departments on campus, not just foreign languages. She also began working in the classrooms to add the technology tools that faculty needed to enhance their teaching abilities. Graul’s dedicated years of service have been invaluable to Thiel. She has quietly answered many needs across campus and has been willing to wear whatever hat any particular day Thiel may give her. After 34 years of dedicated service to Thiel College, Graul retired in December 2013. She resides in Greenville with her husband, they have two grown children and two grandchildren.
Staff Awards Jennie Kather
Distinguished Extra Effort Award The Extra Effort Award was developed to acknowledge individuals who not only are achieving their goals but have raised the level of expectation and service for a position and/or department. Jennie Kather has many responsibilities: copy editor, designer, public relations, media communications and often campus photographer. She assists in crafting and upholding the public image of Thiel College. She has worked tirelessly on behalf of the entire College to ensure that we are proactive and positive in our external communications. Internally, Jennie works with every department on campus on projects specific to their needs and interests. She is an active and engaged member of the campus community, serving as a member of the Great Colleges to Work For Task Force, the Community Medical Ethics Committee, the Earth Week Planning Committee and also is adviser to The Endymion. Kather, who is currently the assistant director of public relations, serves not only the Thiel College campus, but is involved in many local organizations, most notably as president of the Friends of the Greenville Public Library. She served as the United Way campaign coordinator for Thiel College from 2002 - 2011. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English writing from Slippery Rock University. She first came to Thiel as secretary in the special events office before moving into the coordinator position in that department and eventually transitioned into the Public Relations Department in 2004. She is a member of the College and University Public Relations Association of Pennsylvania (CUPRAP). Kather lives in Greenville with her husband, Todd.
Ed Topoleski ’02
Distinguished Outreach Award A 2002 Thiel College alumnus, Ed Topoleski majored in communication and minored in history. Upon graduation, he spent nearly six years in the print media industry as a sports writer, page designer and editor. In 2011, Ed joined the Athletics Staff and immediately began making an impact. Ed has become a major resource for coaches, faculty, staff and students. His commitment to his alma mater, dedication to his craft and enthusiasm for all things related to Tomcat Athletics make Ed Topoleski a campus leader. This year the impact of Ed’s responsibility grew with new events and new partnerships. He met the new challenges with a willing spirit and proved himself a capable partner to our outside constituents. A native of McKeesport, Pa., Topoleski earned a master’s degree in sport management from Slippery Rock University in 2009. He is a member of College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Previous Louis and Barbara Thiel Distinguished Service Award Recipients Paul J. Miller ’69 ~ 1990 The Hon. Roy W. Wilt ’59, H’87 ~ 1991 Richard L. Werner, H’87 ~ 1992 Donna C. Winner, James E. Winner ~ 1993 Joseph M. Walton, D. Michael Walton, Joseph P. Walton ~ 1994 Dorotha E. Anderson ~ 1995 F. W. Knecht III ~ 1996 James E. Feeney ~ 1997 Joseph A. George ~1998 James Weller Jr. Family ~ 1999 Peter Mortensen H’05 ~ 2000 Dr. Robert Baker H’12, Dr. John Scullin ~ 2002 Archie O. Wallace, Esq., Jeff A. Wallace, Daniel P. Wallace, Esq. ~ 2003 The Rev. Martin M. ’66, H’06 and Sarah “Sally” (Fox) ’65 Roth ~ 2005 Paul E. O’Brien ~ 2006 Senator Robert D. Robbins (R-50) and Cynthia A. Robbins ~ 2007 James D. Bittel Jr. ’60 ~ 2008 Luther John Kuder ’59 ~ 2009 Fred ’65 and Jill (Shackett) ’66 Haer ~ 2010 The Frangakis Family Foundation ~ 2011 John M. Hudson ~ 2012 Harvey and Uta Childs ~ 2013
Previous Professor of the Year Award Recipients Dr. Curt Thompson ~ 1992 Dr. Joyce Cuff ~ 1993 Dr. James Shaffer ~ 1994 Dr. Richard Bennett ~ 1995 Dr. Robert Olson ’60 ~ 1996 Professor Judith Newton ~ 1997 Professor Jesse Ligo ~ 1998 Dr. Merrill Downer & Dr. Tim Zgonc ~ 1999 Dr. Jay Ward ~ 2000 Dr. Joyce Cuff ~ 2001 Dr. Curt Thompson ~ 2002 Dr. Mary Theresa Hall ~ 2003 Dr. J. Henry Barton ~ 2004 Professor David Miller ’61 ~ 2005 Dr. Jay Ward ~ 2006 Dr. William A. Robinson ~ 2007 Dr. Cynthia L. Sutton ~ 2008 Dr. James H. Shaffer ~ 2009 Professor M.J. Yusko-Howsare ~ 2010 Dr. David R. Buck ~ 2011 Dr. Joyce Cuff ~ 2012 Dr. William A. Robinson ~ 2013
Previous Distinguished Faculty Award Recipients
(2001) Dr. Christopher Moinet Dr. Gregory Peterson Dr. Mark DelMaramo Dr. Sara Lightner
(2005) Dr. Jennifer Griffin Dr. James Bloomfield Dr. G. Rattan Kaur Khalsa Dr. Emerson Heald
(2010) Dr. Curtis Thompson Dr. Cory Grewell Dr. Cynthia Sutton Prof. Rachel Doddato
(2002) Dr. Nicholas Despo Dr. Mary Theresa Hall Prof. Judith Newton Prof. Joan Heald
(2006) Dr. Cynthia Sutton Prof. Sean McConnor Dr. Beth Parkinson Prof. Jennifer Curry ’91
(2011) Dr. Lisa Walton Dr. Robert Wells Dr. James Koshan Prof. Kathleen Christiansen
(2003) Prof. Judith Newton Dr. Jay Ward Prof. John Wise Prof. Ruth Leone
(2007) Dr. Mary Theresa Hall Dr. Arthur White Jr. Dr. Mervin Newton Prof. Helen Nichols
(2012) Dr. Kathryn Frantz Dr. Michael Bacon Dr. Matthew Morgan Prof. Alecia Eppley
(2004) Dr. Michael T. Balas Dr. Kristin Kiblinger Dr. William Robinson Prof. Brenda DelMaramo
(2008) Dr. Kathryn K. Frantz Rev. Dr. Curtis L. Thompson Dr. Michael R. Bray Prof. Loretta J. Ball ’67
(2013) Dr. Mary Theresa Hall Dr. Christopher Stanisky Dr. Dan Eppley Prof. Kathryn Gray
(2009) Dr. David R. Buck Rev. Dr. Derek Nelson Prof. Connie S. Reinhart Prof. John M. Gibson
Previous Distinguished Staff Award Recipients
(2001) Pat Cullen Jeff Taylor Delores Harrison
(2002) Peggy Miller Wayne & Peggy Hause Sara Smargiasso (2003) Tony Vaccaro Linda Lewis John Armbruster (2004) Pamela Despo Gayle Erdice ’87 Anna Mary Hoovler
(2005) Homer Bloom ’02 Donald Aubrecht Mark McGrath ’86 Barbara Long-Cooper ’98 Cynthia Farrell ’77
(2008) Dr. Kathleen Ward Susan Richards Marsha Wissinger Cindy McClelland Sherrie Ogello
(2011) Suellen Beckdol Thomas J. Luciani Barbara Blue Tressa Snyder Barbara Samson
(2006) Joyce Minor Roberta Leonard Heather Balas ’01 Kevin Fenstermacher John Marzka
(2009) Susan Swartzbeck Joe Langdon Elizabeth Stuyvesant Liz Young Joyce DeFrancesco
(2012) Pamela Despo Jennifer Clark Andrew Walizer Deborah Schreiber Lauren Oman Zuschlag
(2007) Ed Schutte Jerri Reed ’05 Clyde Morgan ’00 Elizabeth Hildebrand Vicki Poe
(2010) Jennie Kather Allen Morrill James Flammia Roberta “Bobbi” Mutinelli Jeff Linn
(2013) Rhonda Laird Joe Webb Jonathan Shearer Amy Schafer Bob Schaller