Eight named to receive Distinguished Alumni Awards

University Park, Pa. -- The Penn State Board of Trustees on Jan. 23 selected eight Penn State alumni to receive the Distinguished Alumni Award, the University's highest award for an individual. Following are the 2009 Distinguished Alumni, year of graduation, and current title:

• Todd A. Blackledge earned his bachelor's degree (1983) in speech communication from the College of the Liberal Arts. He is a football television analyst and resides in Canton, Ohio.

• David L. Heymann, assistant director-general, Health Security and Environment, and representative of the director-general for polio eradication of the World Health Organization, earned his bachelor's degree in science (1966) from the Eberly College of Science. He resides in Sauverny, France.

• Jeffrey B. Miller of Harrisburg, Pa., earned his master's in public administration (2001) from Penn State Harrisburg. Col. Miller retired as the commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police and is currently director of Strategic Security Programs of The National Football League.

• J. Bonnie Newman of North Hampton, N.H., earned her master's in higher education (1969) from the College of Education. She is executive dean (retired) of the John F. Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University.

• Ralph J. Papa is chairman of Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania, in Pittsburgh, Pa. He earned his bachelor's degree (1969) in social sciences from Penn State Harrisburg.

• Jigme Yoser Thinley is the Prime Minister of Bhutan. He was the first student from Bhutan to select Penn State to complete degree work, and earned his master's of public administration (1976) from the College of the Liberal Arts.

• Lt. Gen. George J. Trautman III, U.S. Marine Corps, is deputy commandant for Aviation, headquartered in Washington, D.C. He earned his bachelor's degree in biology (1974) from the Eberly College of Science.

• Xi Yao is the honorary (former) dean of the School of Electronics and Informatics Engineering, professor of the Department of Electrical Engineering, and director of the Electronic Materials Research Laboratory at Xian Jiaotong University, Xian, China. He earned his doctoral degree in solid state science (1982) from Penn State.

Additionally, Douglas F. Allen of Los Angeles will return to the University in June to receive a Distinguished Alumnus Award (named in 2008).  He earned his bachelor's degree in labor studies from the College of the Liberal Arts in 1973.  He is the former national executive director of the Screen Actors Guild of Los Angeles.

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Last Updated March 19, 2009