College of Health and Human Development Alumni Society honors 2014 award winners

November 10, 2014

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The College of Health and Human Development Society announced its 2014 award winners at the College of Health and Human Development Alumni Society Awards Dinner on Nov. 7. All recipients are graduates of the College of Health and Human Development and have distinguished themselves in their careers and service.

Emerging Professional Undergraduate Degree Award
Neil Goldman '05

Neil Goldman is the founder and CEO of Hotels for Hope, a charitable organization established in 2010 that turns hotel stays into social change. Goldman’s vision and concept for his company is simple: for every night booked with select hotel partners, the hotels make a $1 donation to charities and Hotels for Hope matches that donation, resulting in a $2 charitable gift for each room booked.

Hotels for Hope serves corporate clients all over the globe and, to date, has donated more than $300,000 to charitable organizations — mainly non-profits that serve children through programs focused on health, education, arts and humanitarian aid.

Hotels for Hope is on track to give more than $1 million to charities by 2015. Goldman began his career in the hotel industry as a manager-in-training at the Four Seasons in Philadelphia and then moved to Texas to take on the position of sales manager at the Marriott Residence Inn in Austin.

In 2007, Goldman founded Austin Hospitality, a group booking service that secures discounted room rates for corporations and associations conducting meetings and events in the greater Austin area.

Emerging Professional Graduate Degree Award
Sheila Fleischhacker Ph.D., J.D. '04g

Sheila Fleischhacker is the senior public health and science policy advisor for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Division of Research Coordination, where she develops special projects in the area of nutrition sciences and public health nutrition. Currently, she is reviewing research opportunities and gaps in fostering community changes to promote healthy eating and active living among American Indian and Alaska Native communities.

Prior to joining NIH, Fleischhacker was the manager of Food, Health and Nutrition at the Institute of Food Technologists while also an adjunct professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Public Health.

In addition to her professional accomplishments, Fleischhacker volunteers her time, talent and service in many ways. She regularly advises students and alumni of Penn State and in the field of public health law research; she aids in curriculum development around public health law and policy; she provides regular technical assistance to two initiatives — Healthy Native North Carolinians and Native Strong — through her work on Let’s Move! in Indian Country; and she serves as treasurer of the Society of Nutrition Education and Behavior Board.

Alumni Service Award
Lisa Kaminsky Millar '89

Lisa Kaminsky Millar was in the midst of a highly-successful career in the hospitality industry when a family tragedy forever changed the trajectory of her career path.

In 2001, Millar’s brother, Brad Kaminsky, died of a brain tumor. Prior to his death, Millar promised her brother that she would continue to fight until a cure was found. In 2000, she started The Brad Kaminsky Foundation for Brain Tumor and Cancer Research. Since its inception, both Millar and the foundation have made a huge impact in the brain tumor and cancer communities, raising and donating more than $800,000 to innovative research.

Realizing that there are many small non-profits with the same goals as The Brad Kaminsky Foundation, Millar took it upon herself to unite more than 100 nonprofits under one umbrella to increase the size of the community footprint and by providing the resources to get more people involved in fundraising.

Millar named this campaign "The Heroes of Hope Grey Ribbon Crusade," and every year she coordinates the Heroes for Hope Run for Brain Cancer Research, which takes place in California. Millar was even able to recruit Whitney Houston, Jordin Sparks and Toni Braxton to do public service announcements for her 2011 race.

In 2010, The Brad Kaminsky Foundation was voted StayClassy’s "Charity of the Year" for Washington, D.C. and finished fourth in the USA National Charity of the Year competition. The world-renowned organization Stand Up to Cancer has recognized The Brad Kaminsky Foundation and listed the organization on its website under advocacy and research.

Alumni Recognition Award
Mark B. Stephens M.D. '89g

Mark B. Stephens is not only a physician; he is also an officer in the U.S. Navy, a professor of Family Medicine at the Uniformed Services University for Health Sciences (USUHS), a mentor, a church leader, and especially, a community volunteer. Dr. Stephens dedicates much of his time to helping others in need. He is a volunteer at Bethesda Cares, a community outreach program for the homeless, where he, along with the Outreach Team, goes out at all hours of the day and night to locate the unsheltered in undesirable places such as campgrounds, woods, alleys, metro stations and stairwells.

Dr. Stephens helps the team by assessing the medical vulnerability of the homeless as the team works toward finding them proper shelter. His leadership was especially essential in establishing a partnership between USUHS at Walter Reed Hospital and Bethesda Cares. Together they have teams of social workers and medical volunteers that call on those recently housed.

Recently, Dr. Stephens has served as the chairperson of his church council and while in this role, he created the Loaves & Fishes Ministry, which provides outreach to wounded soldiers coming back from Afghanistan, their families and the staff at Walter Reed Hospital who care for them.

Last Updated November 17, 2014