Alumni to Receive Distinguished Alumni Awards

Posted on 4/4/2019 3:22:18 PM

Several alumni will be honored April 6 and 7, 2019, through the annual Distinguished Alumni Awards program, the IUP Alumni Association’s highest award.

The awardees will return to campus to meet with students in various classroom and informal settings. Their visit culminates with a gala awards ceremony Saturday evening.

The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes alumni for pinnacle career achievement.

The honorees for 2019 include:

Kevin Bailey, ’86 and ’90, vice chancellor for student affairs at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He began his career at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, returning to that campus in 2017 to assume his current role. He has also held administrative and teaching positions at the University of West Florida, Tulane University, Millersville University, Bowling Green, and IUP. A Philadelphia native who came to IUP as a first-generation college student, he has been a leader in national student affairs associations and is a highly regarded consultant, teacher, mentor, author, and presenter. He has been recognized with the Distinguished Alumni Scholar award from IUP’s College of Education and Communications, the Ron Lunardini Distinguished Alumni Award from IUP’s Student Affairs in Higher Education program, and other civic and professional awards.

James Dill ’77 is deputy chief, Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, and he is the first employee in the history of the agency to begin as an intern and rise to his current role, which is the highest achievable career rank in the 300-agent division. He is founder and chief executive officer of Innovative Technology and Investigative Solutions, providing training and consulting to police, victim advocates, educators, and students in more than a score of states. He has also worked with state officials to upgrade security in the Harrisburg Capitol complex.

Edward Keller ’74, president and CEO, Beaumont Foundation of America. Originally from Waynesboro, now living in Texas, he spent 28 years in law enforcement, starting with the Maryland State Police and retiring as an FBI agent. In that time, he received numerous honors and awards for outstanding investigative work and for his leadership skills. He also serves as president and CEO of the Albert and Gena Reaud Guest House, which provides accommodations for families of Beaumont area hospital patients. The Beaumont Foundation seeks grant-making opportunities that enrich the lives and enhance the futures of less fortunate children and youth, families, and the elderly. To date, the foundation has distributed more than $160 million in grants.

Skip Kingston ’73 M ’75, professor of analytical chemistry at Duquesne University, originally from Harrisburg. He is an internationally renowned analytical chemist, environmental scientist, and innovator whose work has revolutionized the way toxins are regulated in the United States. Coming to IUP after Vietnam-era military service, he went on to receive a PhD from American University. He is founder and codirector of the Center of Excellence in Mass Spectrometry, founder and director of the Center for Microwave and Analytical Chemistry, and founder of the Environmental Science and Management Program. He holds some 50 patents worldwide and has received many awards.

Amanda Lucidon ’01, an award-winning documentarian, filmmaker, public speaker, and New York Times best-selling author. From 2013 to 2017, she was an official White House photographer, responsible for documenting First Lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama. She is one of a few women in history to have served in that role. In 2018, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts appointed her a Turnaround Artist to highlight arts in underserved schools. She is the author of Chasing Light: Michelle Obama through the Lens of a White House Photographer and Reach Higher: An Inspiring Celebration of First Lady Michelle Obama. Originally from Warrington, she lives in Memphis and is implementing a pilot program to introduce arts and mindfulness to at-risk youth.

Elaine Tselepis Sheetz ’71, who has had wide-ranging careers in music, travel, and food. An IUP music major from Aliquippa, she spent decades as a teacher, composer, and performer at such venues as the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Wolf Trap. Meanwhile, she designed and managed more than 120 Smithsonian Institution study tours to some 40 countries and orchestrated such events as the White House Easter Egg Roll and an official visit from the Eastern Orthodox Church ecumenical patriarch. For more than two decades, Cesco Osteria, the Bethesda, Maryland, restaurant she owns with her partner, Chef Francesco Ricchi, has garnered scores of awards and recognitions for its Tuscan cuisine.