Nine alumni received Distinguished Alumni Awards and an alumni couple was recognized with Volunteer of the Year honors at a gala in April sponsored by the IUP Alumni Association. Full stories about each recipient are available on the IUP Distinguished Alumni website.
Bonnie Harbison Anderson ’80, of Half Moon Bay, California, is cofounder and CEO of Veracyte, a molecular diagnostics company that targets early cancer diagnosis, elimination of unnecessary procedures, and reduced health-care costs. Before Veracyte, she provided strategic consulting services to venture capital firms and early stage businesses and spent 18 years in executive leadership positions at Beckman Coulter, a global leader in health care. She led the company’s cellular analysis franchise in hematology and flow cytometry and, as vice president of Immunomics Operations, positioned the company’s novel tetramer technology as a vehicle for drug and vaccine developers to monitor immune response.
Francie Brown ’82, of Woodland Hills, California, has worked for 22 years as a dialect coach on more than 80 films, including Remember the Titans, Fight Club, Holes, The Chamber, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Blind Side, and most recently The Fighter and Inception, both nominated for Academy Awards in 2011. At the University of California Irvine, she earned a Master of Fine Arts degree and learned phonetics, the physiology of speech, and vocal anatomy. Her work has included coaching Sandra Bullock for her role as Leigh Anne Tuohy in The Blind Side and working with actor Christian Bale on more than eight films in 10 years.
Nancy Vetakis Keene ’72, of Dallas, is the founder of The Perfect Fit, a blog and corporate leadership consultancy. Early in her career, she moved to Texas and built one of the first technology marketing resources in the Southwest. She became vice president of Keller-Crescent advertising agency, ran her own marketing consulting firm, then served as regional director in the Global Technology Industry Group of PricewaterhouseCoopers. She began her work in executive search as director in the Dallas office of Stanton Chase International. A frequent speaker and media resource on management and talent-related topics, she began consolidating her content into a blog, The Perfect Fit, which has since grown into a speaking, writing, and consulting business.
Florence Mauchant M’85, of New York City, is managing director and partner of HT Capital Advisors, where she manages investment banking and is founder and president of HT Asset Management, LLC. She also heads the firm’s asset management activity and has overall responsibility for all new cross-border business activity. She started as a credit analyst for Banque Nationale de Paris, then Generale Bank, and became director of marketing and development at NCM Communications. She assisted with the launch of a Paris-based financial daily, Le Temps de la Finance, before moving back to New York to serve as a vice president for Generale Bank, now Fortis.
Gary Olson D’80, of Pocatello, Idaho, is a professor in the Department of English and Philosophy at Idaho State University and formerly served as the university’s provost and vice president for academic affairs. Before that, he was dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and a professor of English at Illinois State University. In his 30 years in academics, he has also taught and directed writing centers at the University of Alabama, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and the University of South Florida, where he was editor of the Journal of Advanced Composition and coordinator of the graduate program in rhetoric and composition.
Monica Rizzo ’87, of Sherman Oaks, California, is senior writer at People magazine, where her beats include American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, and the Disney Channel. She has written 10 entertainment books, including a 2011 biography on Cheryl Burke, a dancer on Dancing with the Stars, as well as The 7th Heaven Scrapbook and Meet the OC Superstars: The Official Biography. She was honored twice by the Los Angeles Press Club, including a second-place finish for Entertainment Journalist of the Year in 2009, and two of her features received honors from the National Press Club in 2010. She has spoken on campus many times and taught a magazine writing course in April.
Tracy Settle ’80, a colonel in the U.S. Army, joined the National Guard in 1994 and became a full-time member in 1999, serving as the executive officer and legislative liaison to the adjutant general. After receiving a master’s degree in strategic studies at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania (his first was in systems management at the University of Southern California), he was named director of the brand new South Dakota- Suriname State Partnership Program. Now stationed in Arlington, Virginia, he serves as the principal advisor and staff officer to the chief of the National Guard Bureau, General Craig McKinley, for all matters regarding the National Guard’s State Partnership Program.
James Wansacz ’94, of Old Forge, Pennsylvania, a member of the IUP Alumni Association Board of Directors since 2004 and board president for the past two years, received the Distinguished Alumni Award for Service. Now the chairman of the Lackawanna County Commissioners, he served as state representative in the 114th District from 2000 to 2010 and established a record that included expanded prescription drug coverage for seniors, property tax relief for older homeowners, and a wide range of job-creating initiatives. He had many committee assignments and served as chair of the Pennsylvania Small Business Advisory Council and deputy whip of the House Democratic Caucus.
Marla Prizant Weston ’80 is CEO of the American Nurses Association, which represents more than 3 million nurses nationwide. She moved from Arizona to Washington, D.C., in 2007 to serve as program director for Workforce Development with the Office of Nursing Services in the Department of Veterans Affairs and a year later became deputy chief officer of the ANA. She earned a master’s degree and doctorate in nursing from the University of Arizona while working in positions including critical care nurse specialist and director of patient care systems. In 1998, she established a health-care consulting company that assisted institutions with tasks such as resource management and recruitment and retention.
Volunteers of the Year
Audrey DeLaquil Madia ’70, of La Quinta, California, founded Classic Homes, an interior design company, in 1984 and continues to run it on a part-time basis although she has been semi-retired since 2008. She and her husband, Bill, received Volunteer of the Year honors for opening their home to alumni gatherings for many years. She said she enjoys providing an opportunity for alumni in the area to meet each other, share stories of their time at IUP, and strengthen their connections to each other and their alma mater. She previously served on the board of directors of the Children’s Development Center in La Quinta.
William Madia ’69, M’71, of La Quinta, California, is chairman of the Board of Overseers and vice president for the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory at Stanford University. He is also president of Madia & Associates, LLC, an energy consulting firm serving the needs of government, industry, and academia. For 33 years he worked at Battelle, an international science and technology enterprise, and retired in 2007 as executive vice president for Mergers and Acquisitions. He and his wife, Audrey, received Volunteer of the Year honors for opening their home to alumni gatherings for many years. He is also a 1988 recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award.
More from the Summer 2012 Issue of IUP Magazine
what does IUP's future look like? IUP President Mike Driscoll arrives eager to start the discussion.
Plans for new building look to the collaborative, digital future.
Michael Driscoll sends his greetings to IUP alumni, faculty and staff members, students, and friends.
About 700 companies have benefited from the smarts of the SBDC team.
About 6,800 students were involved in productions last year.
A historic 29th national ranking says success in any language.
Memorable moments in the 2011-2012 academic year, in a video recap.
Some of the more unusual memorabilia that alumni have lovingly donated to IUP.