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October 2012  

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And the 19 Outstanding Penn Staters Are …

From a dramaturg at The Metropolitan Opera to a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in climate change, Penn State’s 2012 Alumni Fellows are leaders in their fields and their communities—making Penn Staters proud.

This year’s Alumni Fellows will be honored at an Oct. 16 dinner at The Nittany Lion Inn on the University Park campus. Recognized for their outstanding professional accomplishments, the honorees will be given the lifelong title of Alumni Fellow, the highest award given by the Penn State Alumni Association.

Since 1973 when the award was established, 689 alumni have been honored as Alumni Fellows. Each Alumni Fellow receives a commemorative award, designed and hand-cast by Jeanne Stevens-Sollman ’72g, an acclaimed medallic artist and herself a 2007 Alumni Fellow.

Complete Alumni Fellow bios will be posted on the Alumni Association’s website following the dinner and ceremony. For more information on the Alumni Fellow program, including criteria and past recipients, click here.

The 2012 Alumni Fellows
Paul D. Bell ’83 A&A and Bus 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 Edu 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 Bus 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 A&A 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 documentaryand 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 Eng, ’93g IDF 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 Edu 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 administration. While at SKYDEX Corporation (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 non-profit organization that produces inspirational films.
Michael A. Fiaschetti ’04g Hbg 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 CRDC. 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 Lib 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 Law 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 advisor 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 Hbg is president and chief executive officer of Mine Safety Appliances Company (MSA), 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 Bus 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 Corporation and at Alcatel-Lucent as president of global sales and services. For 20 years, he held high-profile positions at EDS, 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 GMAC business. After graduating from Penn State, Meyer served in the Air Force from 1979–83 as a flight commander, achieving the rank of captain.
John R. Myers ’60 Eng 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 Company, Technicare Corporation 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 Corporation. Myers chairs 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 Med is the George and Barbara Blankenship Professor, chair 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 Bus 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 the 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 H&HD is managing director of the Birchwood Hotel and OR 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 Corporation in Washington, D.C. In 2005, Sangweni-Siddo founded the Zuka African Tourism and Investment Corporation, 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 Agr is vice president of innovation for the Asia Pacific region of Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company. 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 Lib 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 includes 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 Eng 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 (ACS) Chemistry of Thermoplastic Elastomers Award.
Ronald J. Stouffer ’76, ’77g EMS is senior research climatologist and head of the Climate and Ecosystems Group at the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Stouffer won a 2007 Nobel Peace Prize as part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). 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. He has been the recipient of numerous awards.

Complete bios on each of this year’s Alumni Fellows will be posted online following the dinner at

Published by Penn State Alumni Association
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