The Penn State Alumni Association will award 14 graduates its highest honor on October 4: the Alumni Fellow Award. The award is a lifelong title administered by the Penn State Alumni Association in conjunction with the University’s academic colleges, campuses, and the Office of the President.
Since the award’s inception in 1973 an average of 18-25 graduates receive the award each year. To be eligible for the award, an academic college or individual campus must nominate alumni as leaders in their respective professional fields. Nominated alumni must also accept an invitation from the president of the university to return to campus and share knowledge and expertise with students, faculty, and administrators.
Each Alumni Fellow will receive the commemorative award that 1972 graduate and 2007 Alumni Fellow Award Jeanne Stevens-Sollman hand-casted. The following list of alumni will receive the Alumni Fellow Award on October 4 of this year, with biographical information provided by the Alumni Association:
Robert Bennet, 1994g: Bennet is the vice president of research and development of the Clinical Sequencing Division, Life Science Solutions at Termo Fisher Scientific. In this role, he is working to innovate the design and development of technologies for genomics research and precision medicine. Bennet leads a team of more than 120 scientists worldwide, and his leadership has led to new products and platforms for quick and affordable genomics testing and DNA sequencing. His team worked to develop the Ion Personal Genome Machine, which received recognition in 2011 as the CONNECT Most Innovative New Product Award for Life Sciences.
Steven Betza, 1982: Betza is the corporate director of the Future Enterprise Initiative at Lockheed Martin. At Lockheed Martin — a corporation with more than 50,000 scientists and engineers — he has served as corporate director for advanced manufacturing, engineering director, program director, and chief information officer. Currently, Betza leads a team to identify emerging business and technology trends and high-impact capabilities in engineering, production, supply chain operations, and logistics. He also serves on the board of directors of the National Science Olympiad and the board of trustees for Guthrie Healthcare System in Sayre, Pennsylvania.
Edward Dowling, Jr., 1982, 1987g, 1998g: Dowling is the coporate director at Teck Resources Limited, chairman of the board of directors at Polyus Gold, chairman of the board of directors, former president and chief executive officer for Alacer Gold, and director at Detour Gold. He has 30 years of experience in mining and leadership roles in both national and international companies. He has held CEO-level leadership positions for Alacer Gold, De Beers SA, and Meridian Gold Inc.
Abdul Farid, 1990: Farid is the group president and chief executive officer for Maybank Group, a Malaysian universal bank. Maybank Group’s operating “home markets” are Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. Previously, Farid held the positions of head of international business and deputy president, as well as head of global banking. In addition to Maybank Group, Farid has also worked for Aseambankers Malaysia Berhad, Schroder, Malaysian International Merchant Bankers Berhad, J.P. Morgan, and Khazanah Nasional Berhad.
Louis Grabowsky, 1973: Grabowsky is the founder and managing partner of Juniper Capital Management, which is a firm that makes control equity investments in high growth potential but under-resourced entrepreneurial companies in the United States. Before starting Juniper Capital Management, Grabowsky worked for 27 years at Andersen LLP in various capacities. He also left Andersen for a brief period to serve as the executive vice president and chief financial officer of Zale Corporation.
Jackie Graham, 1978: Graham is the founder of Corazon Inc., a nationally recognized health care consulting firm in Pittsburgh, PA. Corazon is known for cutting-edge expertise in business planning, marketing analysis, and best practice in-patient care. Graham has contributed innovative solutions to cardiovascular, neuroscience, and orthopedic programs. She began the consulting firm in 1995, and 20 years and more than 500 clients later, Corazon received recognition as one of the Best Places to Work in Healthcare for 2017. Graham also won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for Western Pennsylvania in 2003.
Dale Hoffman, 1972: Hoffman, a 1972 graduate of the College of Engineering, retired in 2008 as technical director of the Aegis Technical Representative Command in Moorestown, New Jersey. He led a team of 34 civilians, 134 support contractors, 40 U.S. Navy sailors, foreign military liaison officers from Japan, Spain, Norway, Korea, and was responsible for technical oversight of nearly $7.4 billion in Naval Sea Systems Command contracts. The Aegis Program is the Navy’s premier surface-integrated combat and weapon system. Hoffman’s Aegis career spanned 31 years from 1977 to 2008 with the delivery of 82 ship systems. He was responsible for managing design, development, production, testing, logistics and delivery of the Aegis System to the fleet.
Brian Kupchella, 1990: Kupchella is the president, chief executive officer, and chairman of Truck-Lite Co. LLC, which is a market leader and innovator in truck and trailer safety lighting. Kupchella began his career in 1990 and has held various roles throughout his career — examples include manager of product engineering, vice president of business development, and president and chief executive officer.
Richard Lippin, 1968: Lippin is the founder, chairman, and chief executive of The Lippin Group — an entertainment/media public relations and marketing firm. The Lippin Group, which began in 1986, has offices in Los Angeles, New York, and London. The firm does work in all areas of television, music, film, video, licensing and merchandising, and digital media. Before starting The Lippin Group, Lippin worked on Wall Street in investment and regulatory areas.
Darwina Neal, 1965: Neal is a longtime National Park Service (NPS) administrator who retired as chief of Cultural Resource Preservation Services for the National Capital Region (NCR) in 2009. She was the first woman elected president of the American Society of Landscape Architects where she served as an advocate for women, as well as applied her expertise to projects throughout the Washington metropolitan area. Neal began her career with NPS in 1965 as a landscape architect where she worked on Lady Bird Johnson’s Beautification Program.
Anne Kauffman Nolon, 1972: Nolon is the president and chief executive officer of Hudson River HealthCare (HRHCare) in Tarrytown, NY. HRHCare’s network of community health centers is the largest federally-qualified health center in New York. There, she leads an organization of 1,800 employees who serve 176,000 patients in more than 800,000 visits annually. Nolon has been CEO since 1977 and has turned HRHCare into one of the nation’s largest community health providers.
Hugh Roth, 1987: Roth is the senior vice president — chief customer and business development officer at PepsiCo Global Foodservice. He is responsible for the strategic business development of PepsiCo’s current and prospective national food service chain customers. These customers represent more than $3 billion in annual sales for PepsiCo’s Foodservice division. Roth is heavily involved in campus recruitment at Penn State. He is the executive sponsor of PepsiCo’s talent recruitment efforts at Penn State as well.
Allan Silberman, 1968: Silberman is the Robert J. and Suzanne Gottlieb Endowed Chair in Surgical Oncology and professor of surgery at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA. After graduating from Penn State in 1968, Silberman attended Boston University where he received his PhD in biochemistry in 1973 and his MD in 1975. After that, he did his residency in general surgery at the Tufts-New England Medical Center in Boston before completing a fellowship in surgical oncology at UCLA. Silberman has now been a surgeon at Cedars-Sinai for 32 years. He is also the clinical chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology and co-director of the Surgical Oncology Fellowship Program.
Vincent Sorgi, 1993: Sorgi is the senior vice president and chief financial officer at PPL Corporation. His duties for PPL include overseeing investor relations, treasury, financial planning and analysis, tax, risk management, controllership, and strategic development. Sorgi began his career at PPL in 2006 as financial director and he has also served as vice president and controller. Sorgi is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and is chairman of the board of the DaVinci Science Center in Allentown, PA.