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14 Penn Staters Honored With Alumni Fellow Award

The Penn State Alumni Association will present 14 Penn Staters with the prestigious Alumni Fellow Award on Wednesday, October 3.

The award is the Alumni Association’s most prestigious designation. Each Fellow is nominated for the award by a college or campus, and is invited to return to University Park to share their experiences with the Penn State community.

The following are this year’s 14 recipients, with biographical information provided by the Penn State Alumni Association:

Mark Becker (Eberly College of Science ’85) — Becker has served as the president of Georgia State University since 2009. He was named one of the nation’s 10 most innovative university presidents in 2015 by Washington Monthly. Becker also received the 2017 Carnegie Corporation of New York Academic Leadership Award for his work in eliminating graduation rate disparities related to race, ethnicity, income level, and generational status.

Carl Berquist (Smeal College of Business ’74) — Previously the executive vice president and chief financial officer of Marriott International Inc., Berquist retired in 2009 after being responsible for sectors ranging from global finance to investor relations.

Robert Cutietta (College of Arts and Architecture ’82) — Cutietta currently serves as dean of the Thornton School of Music and Kaufman School of Dance at the University of Southern California. As dean, Cutietta oversaw the significant expansion of USC’s programs. He worked as a musician and researcher before his career as an administrator.

Louis Danielson (College of Education ’76) — Danielson currently serves as the managing director of the American Institutes for Research (AIR) in Washington, D.C., and helps to lead research and development relating to students with disabilities. He worked in the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Special Education Programs, and aided in developing the National Activities Programs of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Benjamin Feller (Bellisario College of Communications ’92) — Feller is the active managing director of the global problem-solving firm Mercury. Throughout a twenty year journalism career, Feller won various awards and distinguished himself as one of the best reporters in the nation. Prior to leading Mercury, Feller was the chief White House correspondent for the Associated Press.

Gregory Forbes (College of Earth and Mineral Sciences ’72) — Forbes studies weather phenomenons ranging from tornadoes to hurricanes and served as a severe weather expert and personality on the Weather Channel since 1999. He is also a fellow of the American Meteorological Society.

Jana Goodrich (Behrend ’95) — Goodrich serves as the CEO of Seaway Manufacturing Corporation. Based in Erie, PA, Seaway sells various housing products through retailers in over twenty states. Goodrich also worked for Xerox and IBM, and founded consulting firm Executive Education Services in 1994.

Dennis Jackman (College of Liberal Arts ’76) — Jackman is the senior vice president for global public policy and external affairs for CSL Behring, a biotherapeutics company. He manages global public policy development, engagement strategies, advocacy relations, and communications while serving on several leadership committees.

Paul Kempinski (Health and Human Development ’82) — Kempinski will take on the roles of president and CEO of Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, on November 1. He currently serves as the president of Nemours/Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware, as well as the executive vice president of Neumors Children’s Health System.

Julie McHugh (Smeal College of Business ’86) — McHugh spent 32 years in the biopharmaceutical industry. She served as an executive at Johnson and Johnson, Centocor, and Nora Therapeutics before retiring.

John McWhirter (College of Engineering ’61g/’62g) — McWhirter led a distinguished career in industry and real estate student rentals before his retirement. He spent twenty years with Union Carbide Corporation, and helped develop the UNOX High Purity Oxygen wastewater treatment system. McWhirter was named one of the 100 “pre-eminent chemical engineers of the modern era” in 2008 by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and Chemical Engineering magazine.

Robert Pippin (College of Liberal Arts ’72g/’74g) — Pippin serves as the Evelyn Stefansson Nef Distinguished Service Professor and the chair of the John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. He’s often credited with helping to pioneer the philosophical study of classic American film and literature, and garnered recognition for his work in philosophical history.

Patricia Stevens (College of Engineering ’88/’90g/’01g) — Stevens is a Boeing Company program manager and engineering leader. She has spent a large portion of her career developing vertical lift programs in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania. Stevens was assigned as program manager for Boeing’s MH-139 program, which is the company’s initiative to replace the U.S. Air Force UH-1N helicopter fleet.

Philip Wenger (Smeal College of Business ’79/Harrisburg ’87g) — Wenger is the chairman and chief executive officer of Fulton Financial Corporation, an organization that manages $20.1 billion in assets and has a team of 3,900 employees.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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