IUP was well represented at the Leader's Circle Awards event on Thursday, March 15, 2012. Interim President David Werner honored state senator Don White with the 2012 President's Medal of Distinction, and several members of the university community were recognized for their community service and leadership.

Leader's Circle Awards: From left: Don White, Michelle Fryling, Jonathan Mack, and David Werner
Don White, state senator; Michelle Fryling, media relations director; Jonathan Mack, trustee; and David Werner, interim president

In receiving the President's Medal of Distinction, Senator White, R-Indiana, received the highest nondegree award IUP presents. Established in 1985, this award honors citizens of the state and region whose professional achievement or public service is of national significance or special significance to the university.

Trustee Jonathan Mack was honored with the Male Civic Leader Award. This award recognizes individuals who have a lifetime of volunteer service designed to improve the quality of life in Indiana County; demonstrated creativity and initiative in serving the needs of Indiana County; and provided significant leadership and involvement in projects designed to advance and make Indiana County a better place in which to live and work. It was first presented in Indiana County in 1979. Recipients are chosen by a panel of community representatives.

Mack, an attorney and partner in the firm of Marcus & Mack, P.C., of Indiana, is also a member of the Pennsylvania State System Board of Governors.

Michelle Fryling, director of Media Relations, was honored with the Athena Leadership Award. This award is presented to a man or woman who has achieved excellence in his or her career or profession, made outstanding contributions to Indiana County, and opened doors of leadership for women in business. International in scope, the award was first presented in Indiana County in 1987. Judges are members of the Indiana community.

Robin Gorman, executive assistant and chief of staff in the President's Office, and Elizabeth “Betsy” Sarneso, assistant director of Student Life/Student Leadership and Greek life, were finalists for the Athena Leadership Award.

For the first time, the Leader's Circle event committee partnered with the IUP Journalism Department for news coverage, with students in professor Michele Papakie's class contributing profiles.

The event was held at the Chestnut Ridge Golf Resort and Conference Center and attended by more than 250 people.