Nineteen Penn Staters to be honored with Alumni Fellow award

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Nineteen Penn State alumni will be honored today for their outstanding professional accomplishments and given the lifelong title of Alumni Fellow, the highest award given by the Penn State Alumni Association.

Since the award was established in 1973, more than 700 alumni have been honored with the title of Alumni Fellow, designated a permanent and lifelong title by the Penn State Board of Trustees. This represents one-eighth of one percent of all 560,000 living Penn State alumni.

“The Alumni Fellow program showcases the significant contributions Penn Staters make to our nation and the world every day,” said Roger L. Williams, executive director of the Penn State Alumni Association. “At the same time, it provides these shining stars a chance to share their expertise with students, faculty and staff while on campus.”

This year’s Alumni Fellow recipients, along with their graduation year, current title, career affiliation and hometown, are:

-- Paul D. Bell ’83, retired president of Dell’s Global Public and Large Enterprise organization (Austin, Texas)
-- Dana H. Born ’94g, brigadier general and dean of the faculty for the U.S. Air Force Academy (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
-- Mark F. Bowser ’77, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Cox Communications Inc. (Atlanta)
-- Paul T. Cremo ’11g, dramaturg and director of the Opera Commissioning Program at The Metropolitan Opera (New York City)
-- Douglas G. Evans ’86, ’93g, chief operating officer of Kensey Nash Corp. (Downingtown, Pa.)
-- William E. Farrell ’59, chief executive officer of Executive Management Consultants Inc. (Centennial, Colo.)
-- Michael A. Fiaschetti ’04g, president of Health Markets for Highmark Inc. (Enola, Pa.)
-- Thomas J. Hayden ’77, executive vice president of Showtime Networks Inc., and general manager of Smithsonian Networks (Wyckoff, N.J.)
-- Lisa Hook ’83g, president and chief executive officer of Neustar Inc. (Washington, D.C.)
-- William M. Lambert ’80, president and chief executive officer of Mine Safety Appliances Co. (Cranberry Township, Pa.)
-- John A. Meyer Jr. ’78, co-chairman and chief executive officer of Arise Virtual Solutions Inc. (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
-- John R. Myers ’60, operating partner of First Atlantic Capital (Nokomis, Fla.)
-- David A. Quillen ’90g, ’94R, the George and Barbara Blankenship Professor, chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology, and director of the Penn State Hershey Eye Center at Penn State College of Medicine (Hershey, Pa.)
-- David S. Rocchino ’81, chief sales officer, executive vice-president, and co-founder of Health Advocate, Inc. (Flourtown, Pa.)
-- Lindiwe Sangweni-Siddo ’93, managing director of the Birchwood Hotel and O.R. Tambo Conference Centre (Johannesburg, South Africa)
-- Tawfik Y. Sharkasi ’84g, vice president of innovation for the Asia Pacific region of Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. (Barrington, Ill.)
-- Edgar M. Snyder ’63, founder of Edgar Snyder & Associates (Pittsburgh)
-- Richard J. Spontak ’83, Alumni Distinguished Professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and materials science and engineering at North Carolina State University and the Lars Onsager Professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Raleigh, N.C.)
-- Ronald J. Stouffer ’76, ’77g, senior research climatologist and head of the Climate and Ecosystems Group at the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Trenton, N.J.)

The Alumni Fellow program is administered by the Penn State Alumni Association in cooperation with the University’s academic colleges, campuses and the Office of the President. Alumni are nominated by a college or campus as leaders in their professional fields and accept an invitation from the president of the University to return to campus to share their expertise with students, faculty and administrators. Each Alumni Fellow will receive a commemorative award, designed and hand-cast by Jeanne Stevens-Sollman ’72g, an acclaimed sculptor and medalist, and an Alumni Fellow.

Brief bios of the Penn State Alumni Association’s 2012 Alumni Fellows:

Paul D. Bell ’83 recently retired as president of Dell’s Global Public and Large Enterprise organization. During his 15 years there, he helped drive Dell’s global expansion and its transformation from PC-centric to a diversified technology solutions provider. Previously, Bell was a consultant at Bain & Co., in corporate finance at Morgan Stanley and a Peace Corps volunteer in Tunisia. He has served on the boards of the Austin Children’s Shelter and Safe Place. He works with Team Red White & Blue and the Veterans Airlift Command to support U.S. combat veterans.

Dana H. Born ’94g is a brigadier general and dean of the faculty for the U.S. Air Force Academy and is serving her second term as the “Presidential Appointment of the Dean” at the U.S. Air Force Academy. She commands the Dean of the Faculty mission element and oversees undergraduate courses for 4,000 cadets. Previously, Born was a permanent professor and head of the U.S. Air Force Academy's Behavioral Sciences and Leadership Department. She has also served as aide to the secretary of the Air Force, commanded the 11th Mission Support Squadron at Bolling Air Force Base and has served in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Mark F. Bowser ’77 is executive vice president and chief financial officer of Cox Communications Inc. He began his career investigating white-collar crime for the FBI, then launched a 30-year career in telecommunications, managing finance, operations, sales, marketing, strategy and business development for multiple Fortune 500 companies. Bowser served on the board of the Starlight Children’s Foundation and Ronald McDonald House charities and now serves on the board of directors for the Cable Center. He was voted one of the Top 50 Men in Cable in 2009 by CableFax: The Magazine.

Paul T. Cremo ’11g is dramaturg and director of the Opera Commissioning Program at The Metropolitan Opera. He oversees development and transfer of the program’s projects to full Met productions and guides development of new opera commissions and productions. He also supervises the editing of subtitles for the Met Titles system. Cremo was vice president of artists and repertoire for Sony Classical/Sony Masterworks. He was the executive producer of a Grammy-winning documentary and previously served as director of development for both Sony Classical Film and Video, and Spring Creek Productions at Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc.

Douglas G. Evans ’86, ’93g is chief operating officer of Kensey Nash Corporation, which develops medical devices and biomaterials products. He holds more than 60 U.S. and 105 international patents, including the Angio-Seal Vascular Closure Device, which has helped more than 15 million patients worldwide. Evans began his career in the Edison Engineering Development Program at GE Aviation. A registered professional engineer, Evans was named one of 100 Notable People by Medical Device & Diagnostic Industry magazine in 2004. Evans was recognized in 2006 with the President’s Volunteer Service Award, an award established by President George W. Bush to honor outstanding volunteers in America.

William E. Farrell ’59 is chief executive officer of Executive Management Consultants Inc. He retired from an executive position at IBM after three decades. While there, he developed a planning methodology now used both by IBM and by the White House. While at SKYDEX Corp. (1999–2003), he facilitated a project with Penn State trainers, doctors and Ed Dare, the father of Penn State pole vaulter Kevin Dare, to develop a safer pole vault softbox. He is chairman of the board and chief financial officer of For Thine Is the Glory Inc., a nonprofit organization that produces inspirational films.

Michael A. Fiaschetti ’04g is president of Health Markets for Highmark Inc., a leading health insurance company employing more than 19,500 people and serving 4.9 million health plan members in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware. He has 25 years of executive experience in the managed care and health insurance industry. Fiaschetti serves on the board of the Harrisburg Regional Chamber and Capital Region Economic Development Corp. He is chairman of the board of both the Inter-County Health Plan and the Pennsylvania Health Information Exchange. In 2008, the Penn State Harrisburg chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma named him a Distinguished Honoree.

Thomas J. Hayden ’77 is executive vice president of Showtime Networks Inc., and general manager of Smithsonian Networks. Hayden helped develop and launch the Smithsonian Networks, a Showtime joint venture with the Smithsonian Institution. The network launched an HD channel in 2007 and became the youngest network to earn an Emmy Award. Since 2010, Hayden has been chairman of the board of the T. Howard Foundation, which provides internship opportunities to young minority men and women in the multimedia and entertainment industries. He serves on the College of Communications’ Board of Visitors and on the college’s development committee.

Lisa A. Hook ’83g is president and chief executive officer of Neustar Inc., a leading information and analytics company. Prior to joining Neustar in 2008, she held leadership positions at a number of Fortune 500 companies, including AOL Broadband and AOL Anywhere; Time Warner Telecommunications; and Viacom Cable. Early on, Hook served as an adviser to the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. She serves on the boards of Reed Elsevier PLC, Reed Elsevier NV and the Greater Washington Board of Trade. In 2011, President Barack Obama named Hook to the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee. In 2010, The Washington Business Journal honored her with their Women Who Mean Business award.

William M. Lambert ’80 is president and chief executive officer of Mine Safety Appliances Co., the world’s leading manufacturer of worker safety products. Lambert joined the company in 1981 as a design engineer and soon after developed and patented the Quick-Fill System, which enables firefighters to restore their air supplies rapidly in emergency situations. Lambert serves on the board of the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, the American Red Cross of Southwestern Pennsylvania, the Senator John Heinz History Center and the International Safety Equipment Association. In 2010, he was awarded the Penn State Harrisburg Alumni Achievement Award.

John A. Meyer Jr. ’78 is co-chairman and chief executive officer of Arise Virtual Solutions Inc. Meyer has more than 28 years of leadership experience with large publicly traded organizations. He served as CEO and president of Acxiom Corp. and at Alcatel-Lucent as president of global sales and services. For 20 years, he held high-profile positions at Electronic Data Systems, including chairman of the Europe, Middle East and Africa operating team, president of the financial services division and chief information officer for the company’s General Motors Acceptance Corp. business. After graduating from Penn State, Meyer served in the Air Force from 1979 to 1983 as a flight commander, achieving the rank of captain.

John R. Myers ’60 is an operating partner of First Atlantic Capital. For 40 years, Myers has led numerous companies at the highest levels of management, including General Electric Co., Technicare Corp. and Textron Lycoming. Myers later became president and CEO of the rocket motor and fastening systems companies at Thiokol. In 1993, he ventured into private equity work. He is a recipient of the Silver Knight Award from the National Management Association and sits on the board of Curtiss-Wright Corp.. Myers is chairman of the College of Engineering Leonhard Center Advisory Board. In 1994, Myers received the Outstanding Engineering Alumni Award, the highest honor bestowed by Penn State’s College of Engineering.

David A. Quillen ’90g, ’94R is the George and Barbara Blankenship Professor, chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology and director of the Penn State Hershey Eye Center at Penn State College of Medicine. Quillen has published more than 30 journal articles and book chapters on a variety of clinical and research topics. He received a fellowship with the Heed Ophthalmic Foundation, the Achievement Award from the Academy of Ophthalmology, the Department of Ophthalmology Teacher of the Year award four times and the Penn State College of Medicine Distinguished Educator Award.

David S. Rocchino ’81 is the chief sales officer, executive vice-president and co-founder of Health Advocate Inc., an advocacy and assistance service founded to address the issues Americans encounter while accessing health care and health insurance systems. Previously, Rocchino was senior vice president and general manager for U.S. Healthcare’s suburban Philadelphia market and was the executive vice president and national head of sales and marketing for Aetna U.S. Healthcare. Rocchino has long served on Penn State Abington’s Alumni Society and Advisory Board, which he chaired in the late 1990s. He was honored with the 2008 Penn State Abington Alumni Achievement Award.

Lindiwe Sangweni-Siddo ’93 is managing director of the Birchwood Hotel and O.R. Tambo Conference Centre, the largest independent hotel and conference center in Southern Africa, and co-owner of the Soweto Hotel & Conference Centre. Sangweni-Siddo worked with the Global Hyatt Corp. in Washington, D.C. In 2005, Sangweni-Siddo founded the Zuka African Tourism and Investment Corp. and later built the Soweto Hotel, the city’s first black-owned and -managed four-star hotel. Sangweni-Siddo is a member of the Africa Board of the Global Philanthropy Alliance. She received the 2012 Joburg Tourism Entrepreneur Award in recognition of the socioeconomic impact the Soweto Hotel and Conference Centre has on the local community.

Tawfik Y. Sharkasi ’84g is vice president of innovation for the Asia Pacific region of Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. He has 28 years of global experience in leading research and development functions for multinational food corporations, including Nestlé, Kraft Foods Inc., PepsiCo Inc. and Wrigley. Sharkasi holds six U.S. patents for food technologies and serves on several advisory boards, including those of the Office of Research, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Robert Morris University School of Business and the Chicago Innovation Awards. In 2009, Sharkasi received the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences’ Outstanding Alumni Award.

Edgar M. Snyder ’63 is the founder of Edgar Snyder & Associates. He and his wife, Sandy, pioneered legal advertising and provided greater opportunities for legal services to people across the economic spectrum. He has achieved the highest rating for ethics and legal ability from Martindale-Hubbell, an international authority on the legal profession. Snyder’s public service efforts include educational campaigns to combat underage drinking and drunk driving. At Penn State, he has sponsored student programming including LateNight Penn State. In 2011, Snyder received a Distinguished Alumni Award by the University of Pittsburgh Law School and the Emanuel Spector Award in 2009 by the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.

Richard J. Spontak ’83 is an Alumni Distinguished Professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and materials science and engineering at North Carolina State University and the Lars Onsager Professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Spontak has published more than 250 peer-reviewed papers and has had his work featured on 19 journal covers. Spontak holds six U.S. patents and has four additional patents pending. He has received numerous awards, including the Alcoa Foundation Distinguished Engineering Research Award, the Colwyn Medal from the Institute of Materials Minerals and Mining, and the American Chemical Society Chemistry of Thermoplastic Elastomers Award.

Ronald J. Stouffer ’76, ’77g is senior research climatologist and head of the Climate and Ecosystems Group at the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Stouffer won a 2007 Nobel Peace Prize as part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Stouffer has helped develop sophisticated and highly regarded climate models. He and his colleagues have quantified the role that increases in carbon dioxide levels have had, and will continue to have, on the earth’s climate. A prolific author with more than 100 research papers, Stouffer has been cited more than 8,000 times.
 

The Penn State Alumni Association is the largest dues-paying alumni association in the world with more than 169,000 members. Established in 1870, the Alumni Association strives to connect alumni to the University and to each other, provide valuable benefits to members and support the University’s mission of teaching, research and service. For more information on the Alumni Association, go to www.alumni.psu.edu.

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Last Updated October 16, 2012