Six to receive Distinguished Alumni Awards in 2012

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State Board of Trustees on Jan. 20 selected seven Penn State alumni to receive the Distinguished Alumni Award, the University's highest award for an individual. Following are the 2012 Distinguished Alumni, with year of graduation and current title:

-- Norman W. Barton of Phoenix, Md., is head of Global Medical Affairs, senior fellow and disease expert for Shire Human Genetics Therapies in Cambridge, Mass. He earned his doctoral degrees in biological chemistry (1974) and medicine (1976) from the College of Medicine.

-- Harold E. Cheatham is founding dean emeritus of Clemson University’s College of Health, Education and Human Development. A resident of Clemson, S.C., he earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology (1961) from the College of Education. For more information on Cheatham, go to http://live.psu.edu/story/58038.

-- Peter J. Cocoziello is president and chief executive officer of Advance Realty in Bedminster, N.J. He earned his bachelor's degree in finance (1973) from The Mary Jean and Frank P. Smeal College of Business, and resides in Oldwick, N.J.

-- Earl K. Harbaugh of St. Charles, Ill., is founder and president of Ditch Witch Midwest in Carol Stream, Ill. He earned his bachelor's degree in general agriculture (1961) from the College of Agricultural Sciences.

-- Joan Dawson McConnon is co-founder, associate executive director and CFO of Project H.O.M.E. Inc. in Philadelphia. She earned her bachelor's degree in accounting (1981) from The Mary Jean and Frank P. Smeal College of Business and resides in Springfield, Pa.

-- Robert D. Metzgar of Warren, Pa., is the retired president of North Penn Pipe and Supply Inc. He earned his bachelor's degree in business administration (1960) from The Mary Jean and Frank P. Smeal College of Business, and also is a member of the Council of Fellows of Penn State Erie.

-- Former Pennsylvania Gov. Thomas J. Ridge also was selected as a Distinguished Alumnus. Due to scheduling, he will receive the award in 2013. Ridge is the founder and chief executive officer of Ridge Global, LLC, in Washington, D.C. He earned his doctoral degree in law (1972) from The Dickinson School of Law.

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Last Updated February 27, 2012