Hall of Distinction

  • Hall of Distinction 2018 group photo

    The College of Humanities and Social Sciences Hall of Distinction recognizes and honors alumni and friends who have demonstrated illustrious professional accomplishments, outstanding character, and a commitment to community service and philanthropy. Through their extraordinary achievements, they have established a lasting legacy of excellence.

    The Hall of Distinction serves to inspire our current students. It is a symbol of the respect and admiration held by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences for these celebrated alumni and friends.

    *Indicates Young Alumni Achievement Award
    Indicates Distinguished Alumni Award

    Hall of Distinction Members

    Luke MatthewsLuke J. Matthews, PhD

    BA Anthropology and BS Biology, 2002

    Behavioral and Social Scientist, RAND Corporation

    Chemistry graduate Luke Matthews is a behavioral and social scientist at the RAND Corporation, where his work combines qualitative and quantitative analyses to answer policy questions for US government clients. He is a faculty member at the Pardee RAND Graduate School and the codirector of the RAND Center for Network Analysis and System Science. Matthews was scientific director at the startup Activate Networks, was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University, and has conducted field research on white-fronted capuchins in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Matthews has a master’s degree and a doctoral degree from New York University. He has published research articles and has coauthored a book on cultural analysis.

    Caleb Moore Caleb M. Moore

    BA Economics and BS Finance, 2007

    Sr. V.P. and Director of Credit Systems, Carter Bank and Trust

    Finance and economics alumnus Caleb Moore is the director of Credit Systems at Carter Bank and Trust in Martinsville, Virginia, where he is building out the credit infrastructure and reporting capabilities. Prior to accepting his role at Carter Bank and Trust, he served as the board president of the Indiana County YMCA. Moore held positions at Mellon Bank, BNY Mellon, S&T Bank, and First Commonwealth prior to moving to Carter Bank and Trust. His positions have included working in derivatives, credit risk, credit administration, and credit systems. He holds an MBA from IUP.

    Thomas S.C. Farrell, PhD

    PhD English – Rhetoric and Linguistics, 1996

    Professor of Applied Linguistics, Brock University

    Thomas Farrell, a professor of applied linguistics at Brock University in Canada, is an internationally renowned scholar and award-winning researcher in reflective practice and language teacher education and development. A highly sought-after speaker, Farrell has given presentations worldwide and has published widely, authoring or editing 35 books, 41 book chapters, 87 articles in refereed journals and conference proceedings, and 50 popular articles in non-refereed publications to date. Most recently, he published Research on Reflective Practice in TESOL.

    Mandy Menke Mandy R. (Fleming) Menke, PhD

    BSEd Education, 2001

    Assistant Professor of Hispanic Linguistics, University of Minnesota

    Mandy Fleming Menke, an elementary and Spanish education alumna, is an assistant professor of Hispanic Linguistics at the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities and serves as the director of Language Programs for the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies. In her research, she examines Spanish as a second language as well as foreign language teaching. Her work encompasses learners in K-12 language immersion programs and postsecondary contexts. She previously taught at Grand Valley State University, where she received the Pew Teaching Excellence Award, and at Henderson Elementary in Dumfries, Virginia. She has coauthored a book on language and learning disabilities.

    Robert Hurley Robert D. Hurley

    BA and MS, Geography and Regional Planning, 1984

    Director of Allegheny County Economic Development, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania

    Geography and regional planning alumnus Robert Hurley’s* extensive experience in community development includes working for the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh, the City of Pittsburgh, and the Centre Regional Planning Commission. He recently served as Allegheny County’s director of economic development before accepting a position as the Pennsylvania business development director for GAI Consultants. He is treasurer of the Allegheny County Airport Authority, is involved in Urban Innovation21, and is a member of the Port of Pittsburgh Commission. He sits on the board for additional commissions and was executive director of several Allegheny County Authorities.

    Terry F. Yosie, PhD

    BA History, 1974

    Retired President and CEO, World Environment Center

    Terry Yosie, a history alumnus, developed innovations that help scientists advise the US Environmental Protection Agency and Congress to protect human health and the environment. As an executive in the chemical and petroleum industries, he shaped negotiations that led to investment to reduce benzene and toxic emissions in motor gasoline. Yosie also led an initiative endorsed by CEOs to improve health, safety, and environmental performance and led the nonprofit World Environment Center to integrate sustainable development. He has served on boards and committees of the US National Academy of Sciences, the United Nations Environment Programme, US government agencies, and international corporations.

    J. David Truby, PhD

    Professor Emeritus, Department of Journalism and Public Relations

    Retired Editor, National News Service

    David Truby, cofounder of the IUP Journalism and Public Relations Department, served on IUP’s faculty for many years. He is a retired editor for National News Service, a news and feature syndicate where he specialized in political, paramilitary, intelligence, crime, and terrorism coverage. He was a member of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and served as an investigator for the House Select Committee on Assassinations on the JFK assassination. He’s written 12 books, coauthored five books, and has had 18 other books commercially published under pseudonyms. On a freelance basis, he has written more than 1,900 major magazine, newspaper, and television stories, and his reporting, photojournalism, and writing have won nine national awards.

    Danielle Wylie Danielle J. Wylie, PhD

    BA Philosophy and BA English, 2007

    Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Mississippi State University

    Philosophy and English alumna Danielle Wylie, assistant professor of philosophy at Mississippi State University, serves as the undergraduate coordinator, as a faculty affiliate for the Gender Studies program, and as a representative on the university’s President’s Commission for the Status of Women. She previously taught at the University of Illinois at Chicago. As a first-generation college student from a working-class background, she participated in IUP’s McNair Scholars program, inspiring her to learn more about issues of inequality and injustice in education, which she addresses in her research and teaching. She received the Richard M. Griffith Memorial Award from the Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology.

    Mary Jane Kuffner Hirt, PhD

    BA Political Science, 1973

    University Professor Emerita, IUP Department of Political Science

    Government and public service alumna Mary Jane Kuffner Hirt, an IUP political science professor until her retirement, worked in several local government positions, including serving as manager of Forest Hills Borough and manager of O’Hara Township, both in Pennsylvania. She was the first professionally educated woman to be appointed a city manager in Pennsylvania and the first woman elected president of the Association of Pennsylvania Municipal Managers. In 2015, she received the Southwestern Pennsylvania Corporation’s Excellence in Local Government Achievement Award. She is now working on a book about the 1917 Knoxville trolley accident in Pittsburgh.

    R. Timothy Debold, PhD

    BA Religious Studies, 2003

    Assistant Director of Residential Academic Initiatives, Northwestern University

    Timothy DeBold has been dedicated to supporting and improving higher education since graduating from IUP in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in religious studies. He earned master’s degrees from both Emory University and Oxford University before completing his PhD at Stanford University. He has worked and taught in institutions across the United States and in Europe. Currently, he provides consulting services to Northwestern University for an initiative to overhaul their undergraduate residential model.

    Denise L. Anthony, PhD

    BA International Studies, 1990

    Professor of Sociology, Dartmouth College

    Denise Anthony is a sociologist at the University of Michigan and teaches in the Department of Health Management and Policy in the School of Public Health and, by courtesy, the Sociology Department. Her research explores issues of cooperation, trust, and privacy in a variety of settings, from health care delivery, to microcredit borrowing groups, to online groups. She also was a professor in the Department of Sociology at Dartmouth College and the Department of Community and Family Medicine at Geisel School of Medicine. She served as a faculty affiliate at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice and as vice provost for Academic Initiatives at Dartmouth.

    Sandra Koeppl Barsotti Sandy (Koeppl) Barsotti

    BA Journalism, 1987

    President, BarComm LLC

    Inaugural Member, Dean’s Advancement Council

    A recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award for Service in 2014, Sandra Barsotti’s dedication and service to her alma mater include volunteering as an active member of the board of directors for the Foundation for IUP since 2010. She has also served on the IUP Alumni Association’s board of directors for eight years. As a past president of the association, she continues to serve on various board committees. Barsotti, a journalism graduate and an accomplished marketing and communications executive and founder of BarComm (Barsotti Marketing and Communications), also serves on the Dean’s Advancement Council for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

    Charles Cashdollar Charles D. Cashdollar, PhD

    BSEd. Social Studies Education, 1965

    University Professor Emeritus, IUP Department of History

    Inaugural Member, Dean’s Advancement Council

    Charles Cashdollar, a member of the IUP history faculty from 1969 until his retirement in 2005, served as IUP’s first director of Liberal Studies and chaired the initial planning committee that led to the creation of the Cook Honors College. Named a Distinguished University Professor, he has served as president of the Pennsylvania Historical Association and has published extensively. Most recently, he is a coauthor of Thus Far By Faith: A History of Tradition and Change in the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania and is currently working on a history of IUP from its founding to the present.

    George Chressanthis George A. Chressanthis, PhD

    BA Economics, 1977

    Principal Scientist, Axtria

    Inaugural Member, Dean’s Advancement Council

    Economics graduate George Chressanthis is principal scientist at Axtria. His research focuses on commercial topics within the biopharmaceutical industry. Prior to Axtria, he held teaching and research positions in healthcare management and marketing at Temple University and its School of Medicine. He has served as senior director for Commercial Strategic Analysis at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals and taught economics and political science at Mississippi State University and other colleges. He holds PhD and MS degrees in economics from Purdue University.

    Blane Dessy Blane K. Dessy

    BA English, 1973

    Executive Director of National Enterprises (Retired), Library of Congress

    Inaugural Member, Dean’s Advancement Council

    Blane Dessy, a first-generation college student when he entered IUP, began his educational career as an anthropology major but became interested in literature and graduated with a BA in English. He then earned a Master of Library Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh and built a career that took him to the Library of Congress, where he managed a research division, a publishing office, a network of federal libraries, and other business functions before retiring in 2017. He’s been involved with several professional associations and has lectured abroad in Brazil, Turkey, Finland, and the Netherlands.

    John Esposito John Esposito

    BA Journalism, 1978

    Chairman and CEO, Warner Music Nashville

    Inaugural Member, Dean’s Advancement Council

    John Esposito is chairman and CEO of Warner Music Nashville, a division of Warner Music Group. He was the first executive to head the new division and was promoted to chairman and CEO in 2016. Under his leadership, WMN has made history with artists taking home numerous trophies in a full range of categories. Esposito, a journalism and English alumnus, was awarded the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Forces for Nature honor in 2006 for showing leadership on environmental issues by creating WMG’s environmental campaign, WMGreen. He now serves on the NRDC’s Global Leadership Council and other advisory boards.

    Karl McDermott Karl McDermott, PhD

    BA Economics, 1976

    Ameren Distinguished Professor of Business and Government, University of Illinois at Springfield

    Inaugural Member, Dean’s Advancement Council

    Economics alumnus Karl McDermott, Ameren Distinguished Professor of Business and Government at the University of Illinois Springfield, has worked in public utility regulation for 30 years. He served as vice president for National Economic Research Associates in Chicago and as a commissioner on the Illinois Commerce Commission, the regulatory body charged with the economic regulation of utilities. He is a cofounder and served as president of the Center for Regulatory Studies. He received an MA in public utility economics from the University of Wyoming, and a PhD in economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.

    John McNultyJohn F. McNulty

    BA Sociology/Anthropology, 1975

    Co-Founder and CEO, Didgebridge LLC

    Inaugural Member, Dean’s Advancement Council

    Beginning in sales with Gillette, sociology alumnus John McNulty advanced rapidly through seven promotions in nine years, earning awards along the way. He served in senior leadership positions for a diverse group of nationally respected companies, including as president of MacGregor Golf Worldwide, senior vice president of Brunswick, vice president and general manager of Kodak, vice president of Wilson Sporting Goods, and director of national accounts at Alberto Culver. Since 2007, McNulty has been CEO of Didgebridge, a mobile-video-focused marketing-tech company that serves clients like Procter & Gamble, IBM, Microsoft, and SAP.

    Mileah KromerMileah Kromer, PhD

    BA Economics, 2003

    Director, Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center and Associate Professor, Goucher College

    Inaugural Member, Dean’s Advancement Council

    As director of Goucher College’s Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center, economics alumna Mileah Kromer* oversees every aspect of the Goucher Poll, including survey instrument construction, sampling, data analysis, and the development of appropriate survey methodologies. In addition, she is responsible for interviewer training and lab supervision for the poll and teaches courses on American politics and research methods. Kromer, who holds a doctorate in political science from Louisiana State University, is the former assistant director of the Elon University Poll.

    Almar Latour Almar Latour

    BA Journalism and BA Political Science, 1994

    Publisher and Executive Vice President, Dow Jones Media Group

    Inaugural Member, Dean’s Advancement Council

    Almar Latour is publisher and executive vice president for Dow Jones Media Group. He oversees the growth of brands that include Barron’s, MarketWatch, Financial News, and Mansion Global, all part of the Wall Street Journal Digital Network. He oversaw two redesigns for the Wall Street Journal’s website, revamped the Chinese Wall Street Journal, and kicked off the Wall Street Journal in Japan. He was editor in chief for the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires in Asia, was managing editor of the Wall Street Journal Online, and won the World Leadership Forum’s business journalism award.

    Susan Snyder Susan Snyder

    BA Journalism, 1985

    Pulitzer Prize Winning Reporter, Philadelphia Inquirer

    Inaugural Member, Dean’s Advancement Council

    Journalism alumna Susan Snyder, higher education reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, spent much of the last three decades as an education reporter. In 2012, she was co-lead reporter on the Inquirer’s “Assault on Learning” series, which explored violence in Philadelphia’s public schools and won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. She’s won numerous state and national awards for her education coverage and twice served as a Pulitzer Prize juror. Before joining the Inquirer, she covered school districts and colleges for the Morning Call in Allentown. Her work can be followed on Twitter @ssnyderinq and on the blog Campusinq.

    Jennifer Swartz Jennifer (Swartz) Quinlan

    BA Economics/Mathematics and BA Political Science, 2007

    Vice President, Private Markets at Wilshire Associates

    Inaugural Member, Dean’s Advancement Council

    Economics, political science, and mathematics alumna Jennifer Swartz is a senior associate in the Private Markets Division of Wilshire Associates. She is responsible for sourcing, conducting due diligence, and monitoring US private market investments within the United States. Swartz has also been a program examiner within the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, primarily overseeing the Federal Aviation Administration’s capital and research portfolio. She received an MBA and Master of International Development from the University of Pittsburgh.