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Ten Alumni Honored at Gala for Distinguished Career Achievement

Distinguished Alumni Award Winners, 2013

Ten alumni received the IUP Alumni Association’s highest award for career achievement at the annual Distinguished Alumni Awards Gala on Saturday, April 27, 2013, in John Sutton Hall’s Blue Room.

The gala was held in conjunction with this year’s inauguration of university President Michael Driscoll, whose inauguration ceremony took place the previous day. During the ceremony, the IUP Alumni Association presented Driscoll with a gift to the Sutton Scholars fund. “Our experience at IUP has been a key to our success, and we wish to provide that same opportunity to future students. We believe IUP and its students are worthy of our support,” said Michael Staub ’80, president of the association.

In the photo, seated from left are Sharon Cowden, Patricia Koch, and Susan Snyder. Second row, from left, are Driscoll, Jack Thomas, Bryan Putt, Esther Kepplinger, George Hood, and Staub. John Paul and John Gilly are standing in the back row. Lisa Schlosser was unable to attend Saturday’s gala. Her photo appears below.

“I want to thank the IUP Alumni Association for hosting this great evening and for so graciously allowing the inauguration to be a part of it,” Driscoll said to gala guests. “I saw it as a natural fit, because we wouldn’t be what we are as a university without our alumni—it’s your university, after all. But, I recognize we borrowed your event, and I appreciate your sharing it. I must say that I am inspired by those who have received awards this evening. I congratulate you all—and I am so proud to have an official association with you through this university we share and together support.”

The list below provides a biographical sketch of each award winner.

2013 Distinguished Alumni Award Winners

Sharon Tahl Cowden ’71,College of Health and Human Services. A Sewickley, Pa., resident, she is a pediatrician with Children’s Community Pediatrics–Pittsburgh Pediatrics and was nominated by Charles Winwood ’69 and Ronald Lunardini ’69.

John Gilly ’79,College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. Nominated by Bonita Juliette, he is director of the SAIC, Inc., Vaccine Clinical Materials Program. He lives in Frederick, Md.

George Hood ’80,College of Humanities and Social Sciences. The Aurora, Ill., resident is known for his pursuits for world records in various exercise settings. He is group exercise director of the Five Seasons Family Sports Club and a certified personal trainer/ultra endurance training and performance consultant. He is retired as a vulnerability assessment expert and Chicago law enforcement professional and as a supervisory special agent of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. A veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, he served as an infantry officer in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was nominated by Patricia Klausing Simmons ’72 and Yaw Asamoah.

Esther Massung Kepplinger ’71,College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. A Washington, D.C., area resident, she is chief patent counselor for Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich, and Rosati. She was nominated by Deanne Snavely.

Patricia Barthalow Koch ’72, College of Education and Educational Technology. She is a professor of biobehavior health at Penn State University and was nominated by Robert Heasley.

John Paul ’72,Eberly College of Business and Information Technology. Nominated by Sandra Hoover Diefenderfer ’67, he is president of the provider division and executive vice president of Highmark. He lives in Presto, Pa.

Bryan Putt ’86,Eberly College of Business and Information Technology. The Venetia, Pa., resident is CEO of AIRes and was nominated by Wally Putt ’69.

Lisa Schlosser, 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award WinnerLisa Schlosser ’86,College of Humanities and Social Sciences. She is the U.S. federal government’s deputy associate administrator and considered among the nation’s foremost authorities on cybersecurity. She was nominated by William Balint ’88.

Susan Snyder ’85,College of Humanities and Social Sciences. A reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, she received the Pulitzer Prize in 2012 for her work on a series about violence in schools. She was nominated by Patricia Heilman.

Jack Thomas D’90,College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Nominated by Yaw Asamoah, he is the president of Western Illinois University.

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