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2017 Distinguished Alumni Awards

Recipients of the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Awards were honored in April at a gala sponsored by the IUP Alumni Association. Video profiles appear at the IUP Alumni Community website.

Ron Donoughe

Since 1991, fine artist Ron Donoughe ’80 has specialized in regional landscapes, murals, and commissions. Last year, this Loretto native who now lives and works in Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood saw his 90 Pittsburgh Neighborhoods collection acquired by the Senator John Heinz History Center for permanent exhibition. His 80 Indiana County works are a focal point of the IUP Performing Arts Center, and his Cambria County murals and historical timeline grace the county’s courthouse walls. With paintings already in collections across the commonwealth, Donoughe was one of only 55 artists—out of 5,000 entrants—to have works selected for permanent installation at Philadelphia’s Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Colin Helms

As head of media for TED, an organization famous for its thought-provoking talks and conferences, Colin Helms ’93 oversees strategy and operations for the brand’s core media business. For more than a decade, he held various positions at MTV, most recently serving as senior vice president of connected content. Earlier, he was a founding editor of Complex magazine and editor-in-chief of music magazine CMJ. Helms won a 2010 Emmy Award for his revitalization of MTV Unplugged Online and has also garnered Shorty and Webby awards. A native of Cochranville, he now commutes from northern New Jersey to New York City.

Alan Herman

As chief scientific officer of Coherus Biosciences, Alan Herman ’69, M’71 is responsible for all research and development activities of the Redwood City, California, company. Coherus is a leader in developing and commercializing biosimilar drugs that constitute an important new pharmaceutical category. With a PhD degree in protein chemistry from Duke University Medical Center, Herman has also played other key roles: chief scientific officer and vice president of Product Development at Althea Technologies, president and founder of WindRose Analytica, and director of Analytical Research and Development at Amgen. He came to IUP from New Kensington and now lives in Camarillo, California.

CJ Jaynes

The first woman ever to achieve Aviation Maintenance flag rank, retired Rear Admiral CJ Jaynes ’79, M’82 left the US Navy in 2016 as program executive officer for Air Anti-submarine Warfare, Assault and Special Mission Programs. Commissioned in 1983 via the Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island, she was designated an aeronautical engineering (maintenance) duty officer in 1985 and received an MBA from Norwich University in 2008. She also completed the Naval War College Command and Staff program and earned systems engineering certification from California Institute of Technology. A Greensburg native, she now owns CJ Jaynes Consulting in Leonardtown, Maryland.

Ben McAdoo

Last year, Homer City native Ben McAdoo ’00 was named the 17th head coach in New York Giants history. In his inaugural season, he went 11-5, leading the franchise to its first postseason berth since 2011 and tying the record for most victories by a first-year Giants head coach. After earning a master’s degree at Michigan State, where he was special teams/offensive assistant, he went on to coach at Fairfield University, the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Akron, and Stanford. His NFL path took him through New Orleans, San Francisco, and Green Bay before he became Giants offensive coordinator in 2014.

Leslie Miller Purser

Studio art major Leslie Miller Purser ’80 received her Army commission as a second lieutenant on the day she graduated from IUP. Today she is Major General Purser and special assistant to the acting secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, overseeing Army manpower, training, readiness, mobilization, and Reserve issues. The holder of an MSS degree in strategic studies from the Army War College, she has held command and staff positions at every level, in many parts of the US, and in Europe and Iraq. Purser came to IUP from Towanda. Currently assigned to the Pentagon, she lives in Fairfax Station, Virginia.

James Rose

President and general manager of Seattle’s NBC affiliate, KING 5, James Rose ’90 has spent his career in media and broadcasting. As a communications media major, he received the department’s Distinguished Service Award and was selected for a fellowship with the International Radio and Television Society. He later worked in New York City and Salt Lake City, finally settling in Seattle with KING 5 Media Group, owned by TEGNA Media. KING 5 recently won the Edward R. Murrow Award for overall journalism excellence, as well as the National Association of Broadcasting’s highest award for outstanding public service. A native of Belle Vernon, Rose lives in Seattle.