Pictured, from left, are Melissa J. Balogh, William F. Dean, Steven W. Renner, Randal T. Rhoade, Ray W. Reber, Dr. David B Peichert, Dr. Alfreda (Askew) Johnson, Dr. Edward Orrin Nearhof, Dr. Linda (Dill) Hoover, Marcie (Ditzler) Taylor, Dr. Walter C. Quint, Randall L. Taylor, Brian L. Heckler, John Muscarella, SU Alumni Association president, Kenneth Shoemaker, and SU Interim President Jody Harpster. 

Shippensburg University presents awards at Alumni Weekend

Seven individuals are recipients of the 2014 Jesse S. Heiges Distinguished Alumnus Award, one of four awards presented during Alumni Weekend 2014 at Shippensburg University.

Recipients of the Heiges Award are Melissa J. Balogh, Class of 1992; Brian L. Heckler, Class of 1984; Dr. David B. Peichert, Class of 1977; Ray W. Reber, Class of 1955; Randal T. Rhoade, Class of 1993; Marcie (Ditzler) Taylor, Classes of 1992 and 1997M; and Randall L. Taylor, Classes of 1993 and 2000M.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Dr. Edward Orrin Nearhof, Class of 1957; Dr. Walter C. Quint, Class of 1970; and Steven W. Renner, Class of 1970.

The Exceptional Service Award was presented to Denise R. Calabrese, Class of 1986; William F. Dean; Dr. Linda (Dill) Hoover, Classes of 1973 and 1980M; and Kenneth Shoemaker. 

The Humanitarian Award was presented to Dr. Alfreda (Askew) Johnson, Class of 1964M.

Heiges Award

The Heiges Award, established in 1959, is the University's highest award. The award recognizes the recipients’ distinguished achievements in their field of endeavor to benefit community and society. Recipients have also, through their work and service, contributed immensely to society. 

Balogh of Yardley, graduated with a degree in criminal justice and works in the New Jersey State Police Office of Forensic Sciences Central Laboratory. After earning a degree from West Chester in forensic chemistry and in 1997 she began her career as a forensic chemist in the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Wilmington, Del. She subsequently worked for the Philadelphia Police Department Criminalistics Laboratory as a graduate chemist and forensic scientist, where she was responsible for examination, analysis and identification of trace evidence and biological evidence including DNA analysis. In 2003 she took her current post in New Jersey. She has earned additional professional certifications and is qualified as an expert witness in several fields. She is president of the New Jersey Association of Forensic Scientists, serves on the board of the Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists, and is a founding member and board member for the American Society of Trace Evidence Examiners.

Heckler of Evanston, Ill., graduated with a degree in accounting and is a partner in the Chicago office of KPMG LLP where he was recently appointed as the National Advisory Industry Leader for the Diversified Industrial segment, overseeing a portfolio of more than 300 national clients. He is also a member of the US Transactions Services Leadership Team at the firm, focusing on accounting and reporting consultation to clients on mergers, acquisitions, initial public offerings, restatements, joint ventures, and divestitures. He also served a two-year Professional Accounting Fellowship within the Office of the Chief Accountant in the United States Securities Exchange Commission. In addition, he serves or has served on various community and civic organizations including for the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago and as a board member of the Children’s Play Room Inc. in Harrisburg, a child abuse prevention organization. He also received the university’s Outstanding Young Alumnus Award.

Peichert of Towson, Md., graduated with a degree in biology and then went to Temple University School of Medicine and graduated with a degree in medicine in 1981. He went to Allentown Affiliated Hospitals to intern in internal medicine and stayed there to complete his residency. Peichert went to the University of Maryland for his fellowship in cardiology and his clinical associate in cardiology. He has also practiced in a number of other medical facilities including the University of Maryland Hospital, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, Sinai Hospital, St. Joseph Medical Center, MedStar Franklin Square Hospital Center, MidAtlantic Cardiovascular Associates and Chesapeake CardioVascular Associates. He is a member of the American College of Cardiology. He has also served as a member of the board of the Shippensburg University Foundation and worked on the foundation’s “Navigating into the Future” campaign.

Reber, of Wyomissing, after graduating from Shippensburg worked in education for 42 years and retired from Abington Senior High School where he taught business. He is an active member of both his local community as well as the university community. He was active in the United States Jaycees for 16 years and was awarded membership in the Senate of Junior Chamber International, the highest award that can be presented to a Jaycee at the local, state, national, or international level. He has been an instrumental member of the Reading alumni chapter planning group and is a familiar face helping at Alumni Weekend, Homecoming and at first-year student move-in day, in addition to hosting a new student welcome at his home. He also organizes monthly gatherings of classmates from the mid-1950s where they meet for lunch once a month to reminiscence and catch up with one another.

Rhoade, of Palmyra, graduated with a degree in business administration and began his career in Harrisburg with the Pennsylvania State Treasury. He then began work in various non-profit service agencies around the world. He is currently assistant country director-finance and administration in Laos for CARE, a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. He served several years in the Peace Corps in West Africa followed by work as office manager for Hospital Albert Schweitzer in Haiti and then service there as finance and administrative specialist and country director for Habitat for Humanity. His other positions have included working with Action Against Hunger and the American Refugee Committee in various countries including, the Dominican Republic of the Congo, Chad and Kenya. While working in South Sudan operations, he and two colleagues were taken hostage by rebel groups and held for three months in the Somali desert before being released. 

The Taylors of Shippensburg are founders of the Drew Michael Taylor Foundation, started after a tragic accident took the life of their son, Drew. Marcie is vice president of the foundation where she is currently a bereavement educator and the Drew’s Hope Family Services Coordinator responsible for the day-to -day operations. The Taylors, along with the late Dr. Shirley Hess of the university, developed the Drew’s Hope grief and loss support program where Marcie is a group facilitator, leading a support group for bereaved parents. This is the only university/foundation partnership known to provide grief support services to grieving families. Marcie earned undergraduate degrees in communication/journalism and a Spanish major, and her master’s degree in educational administration. She previously taught in both the Shippensburg and Chambersburg school districts. Randall, who earned his undergraduate degree in social studies and his master’s degree in educational administration, is owner of Taylor Financial Management. He  spent a number of years teaching and coaching in the Big Spring, Chambersburg and Greencastle-Antrim school districts, and also served as basketball coach at Scotland School for veterans Children. He has received numerous professional and community awards.

Exceptional Service Award

The Exceptional Service Award is given to recognize and thank outstanding persons who have given unselfishly of their time and efforts for the betterment of Shippensburg University.

Calabrese of York, is sole owner of Calabrese Management and has worked in non-profit management her entire career. She graduated with a degree in communication/journalism and has extensive experience in public relations and related fields. She has served or serves on various professional or community service organizations including as president of the Pennsylvania Public Relations Society, Pennsylvania Society of Association Executives and the Shippensburg University Alumni Association, in which she also served as chair of the Communications Committee. She was recognized bt Central Penn Business Journal Business Journal as one of the top Forty Under 40 businesspeople and received the Ernest R. McDowell Award for Excellence in Public Relations by the Pennsylvania Public Relations Society. She also serves on various advisory boards at the university, including the College of Arts and Sciences and communication/journalism boards. 

Dean of Shippensburg has served in various capacities with the university’s marching band for more than 28 years. While his volunteer duties vary, his main task is filming the band at almost every performance since he started. He has also been an especially supportive part of the H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center since it’s opening in 2005. He has spent endless hours volunteering as an usher. During his five years of volunteering with the Luhrs Center, he has been participated in 97 percent of all events held. 

Hoover of Mechanicsburg, is a first generation college student, and spent 17 years teaching in the public school system after she graduated from Shippensburg. While teaching, she returned to SU to earn her master’s degree in 1979. She rejoined the university as a professor of teacher education. During her tenure before her retirement in 2010, she served on the Board of APSCUF while serving on the Campus Campaign for the SU Foundation. She also served as the faculty liaison to the SU Foundation. She is currently serving on the Steering Committee and chairs the College of Education & Human Services Public Phase Committee for the current SU Foundation campaign “Charting the Course-Lighting the Way, The campaign for Shippensburg University.” She and her family also established the Zachary Topper Memorial Football Scholarship to memorialize her son who played football for and graduated from Ship.

Shoemaker, a lifelong resident of the Cumberland Valley area now living in Carlisle, is well-known in the area for his 40-year-plus banking career that started at Peoples National Bank of Shippensburg and continued with its successor, Dauphin Deposit Bank and Trust Company. In 1986, he joined Orrstown Bank, and was subsequently named president and chief executive officer, a position he held for 22 years. He is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and has held leadership positions with the American Bankers Association and Pennsylvania Bankers Association. He is also well-known for his civic and community involvement, and his support of the university where he has served as a trustee since 1989, including nine years as chair. He has also served as a volunteer on the SU Foundation’s Business and Industry Campaign. In 2010, he was named an “Honorary Alumnus.”

Lifetime Achievement Award

The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented in recognition of life-long career achievement and personal commitment in his/her field of endeavor for the benefit of the community and society.

Nearhoof of Des Moines, Iowa, graduated with a degree in French with a minor in English and a minor in Spanish and began his career teaching in Athens High School and Spring Grove Area High School before moving to Des Moines where he was the first State Foreign Language Consultant at the Iowa Department of Education. From 1965 through 1989, he was director of the Division of Teacher Education and Certification in the Iowa Department of Education. In 1989 he became the first executive director of the Iowa State Board of Educational Examiners. After retirement, he continued to be a part of education including serving as a consultant to the University of Dubuque to assist in the redesign of the teacher education program. He was also a consultant to the Iowa State Board of Educational Examiners and assisted in rule development and consulted on their design and implementation. He has served on community boards including with Proteus Inc., a non-profit organization providing migrant farm workers education, health and employment services.

Quint of Mantua, N.J., graduated with degrees in physics and mathematics and began teaching computer programming at Manheim Township High School followed by teaching physics for 11 years as West Deptford High School. In 1991 he became the superintendent of schools for the Paulsboro Public Schools. In 2001, he was named superintendent of schools in Pennsauken Public Schools. During these years, he was continued teaching as several institutions including Glassboro State College, Seton Hall University and Rowan University. In addition, he designed curriculums, wrote a book, contributed to several educational publications, participated in the Boy Scouts of America, and served with many community organizations. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the New Jersey Distinguished Secondary Teaching award. In 2011, the New Jersey Council of Education presented him the New Jersey Distinguished Educator Award. He was called out of retirement by the Paulsboro Board of Education to serve as superintendent until the end of this August. 

Renner of Littlestown, graduated with a degree in accounting and management and spent eight years after graduation in public accounting. He then joinedGettysburg Hospital in 1978 as the senior financial officer for the organization and assumed the role of president in late 1992. As president of the Gettysburg Hospital, he played a key role in putting together a merger agreement with York Health System. In 1999, Gettysburg and York hospitals became Wellspan Health System and has been recognized regionally and nationally as a state of the art integrated health system. From 1999 until his retirement in 2003, he remained CEO of Gettysburg Hospital while also serving as senior vice president of Wellspan Health, the parent company of both hospitals.  He then became president of the Adams County Economic Development Corporation, a post he held for four years. In November, 2011 he was elected to a four-year term as first-ever Adams County controller.

Humanitarian Award

The Alumni Humanitarian Award is presented to honor an alumnus and/or a member of the campus community in recognition of his/her direct impact on diversity and cultural experiences of students on campus.

Johnson of Harrisburg, earned her master’s degree from Shippensburg in counselor education and has served as a teacher and is well-known for her work with at-risk students. She began her career as a math and history teacher in the Harrisburg school district and later served as a coordinator of counseling for Camp Curtin Junior High School in Harrisburg. She also taught courses in human development at Harrisburg Area Community College and initiated the academic help center concept for math students. While at HACC, she also served as admissions specialist for foreign students and established an English as Second Language Program. She also is the founder of the Harrisburg Reading is Fundamental Program. After she retired, she was asked by the president of Ghana to consult with their educational leaders and education department to establish a higher education system similar to our community colleges. She has continued her charity work in Ghana and has led educators from the U.S. to Ghana supporting needy schools with school supplies for underprivileged children.