Alumni Honored for Career Achievement

Posted on 4/9/2013 11:28:23 AM

Ten alumni will be honored for their career success April 26 and 27, 2013, in conjunction with inauguration of IUP President Michael Driscoll.

Sharon Tahl Cowden '71, John Gilly '79, George Hood '80, Esther Massung Kepplinger '71, Patricia Barthalow Koch '72, John Paul '72, Bryan Putt '86, Lisa Schlosser '86, Susan Snyder '85, and Jack Thomas D'90 will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award. A list of the alumni, what college each represents, and brief biographical information appear below.

In addition to several invitation-only events, including a black-tie gala, the alumni will make scheduled classroom visits to speak with students. The recipients also will be inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi honors society.

“The Distinguished Alumni Awards program is a true reflection of what IUP stands for. Our alumni leave IUP and make great strides in their respective industries or have a grand impact on society, and honoring them at an event not only reflects well on our university, it also gives us the chance to tell them how proud we are of them,” Mary Jo Lyttle, director of Alumni Relations, said. “Of course, IUP can’t survive without the volunteer support and generosity of our alumni, and so being able to honor those who have helped us also is an honor and joy to us.”

Over the past 31 years the Alumni Association has honored 331 alumni with the Distinguished Alumni Awards. Members of the university community are invited to nominate alumni for the award and can find nomination materials on the Office of Alumni Relations website.


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 '86, College of Humanities and Social Sciences. She is the U.S. federal government's deputy associate administrator. 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.