Allegheny Honors Six Alumni for Service to the College and Their Communities

Allegheny College on Saturday, June 1, celebrated six alumni for their service to the college and its students, and for volunteer work they perform in the communities in which they live.

The awards were presented by President James H. Mullen, Jr. and Kurt Foriska, a 2001 graduate and president of the college’s Alumni Council, during the annual Reunion Weekend Alumni Luncheon and Awards Ceremony held in the David V. Wise Sport & Fitness Center.

Dr. Barbara Pelander Hanniford of Kent, Ohio, received the Alumni Medal, the highest honor the college bestows on its alumni. She has served the college in a variety of roles since her graduation in 1969. She has been a class agent, reaching out to classmates to encourage them to engage with the college as volunteers and financial supporters. She has also served as a career mentor, providing advice and guidance to help students and alumni in their career development. She is a former president of the Alumni Council, and has helped plan and implement a number of major campus projects, including the renovation of the Patricia Bush Tippie Alumni Center.

Three alumni received Gold Citations for service to their communities:

Dr. Cynthia Natali Potter, a 1979 graduate from Wexford, Pennsylvania, was honored for her work as a physical therapist. She founded the Physical Therapy Program at the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf and has served on the Pennsylvania State Board of Physical Therapy under two governors. She also serves as the president of the Honduras Hope Mission, has been a member of the McCandless Town Council, and volunteers on numerous humanitarian and professional organizations.

Stuart Armstrong, a 1981 graduate and a certified financial planner from Milton, Massachusetts, collaborated with staff from New England’s largest AIDS-support organization to create a financial awareness workshop for AIDS patients and volunteers assisting them. He went on to serve as president of the board of directors for another support organization, Positive Directions. He then became a liaison between PridePlanners and the Diversity Committee of the Financial Planning Association, chairing the committee in 2012. In 2013, he was selected to serve on the association’s national board of directors, advocating for the organization on both the state and federal levels and addressing concerns about diversity within the profession.

Kyle Shenandoah, a 2009 graduate, was honored for his work in South Philadelphia where he has organized successful job fairs, spurred changes in the city’s transportation infrastructure to better serve neighborhoods in South Philadelphia, and sits on the boards of several community organizations, including one he co-founded, the Tasker-Morris Neighbors Association, which addresses gentrification through regular community meetings and town halls with prospective developers.

Two alumni received Blue Citations for their service to the college:

Robert Woodworth, a 1969 graduate from Fort Worth, Texas, has served on the college’s board of trustees and remains a trustee emeritus. He has served on numerous committees and worked as a volunteer in the Admissions and Development departments, encouraging prospective students to attend Allegheny and thanking alumni for their support. He also is a member of the panel that screens candidates for the college’s annual Prize for Civility in Public Life.

Richard Stenberg, a 1969 graduate from Dublin, Ohio, has served on the Alumni Council, participated regularly in his landmark reunion committees, acted as a Gator Greetings and career mentor volunteer, and represented the college at other college’s presidential inaugurations.

At ceremonies held in April, two faculty members were honored for their work in the classroom and their sustained commitment to student learning, and one staff member was honored for her outstanding service to the college.

Professor of Political Science and International Studies Shannan Mattiace received the Julian Ross Award for Excellence in Teaching, presented to a member of the faculty who has been at Allegheny for more than 10 years and who embodies the qualities of an outstanding teacher.

Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities James Niblock, a 1997 graduate, received the Thoburn Award for Excellence in Teaching, which is presented to a faculty member who has been at Allegheny for 10 years or less and has demonstrated outstanding teaching abilities.

Tricha Young, the office manager for Student Leadership and Involvement in the Henderson Campus Center, was presented with the Robert T. Sherman Distinguished Service Award, which is given to an Allegheny staff member who has provided significant exceptional long-term support to College programs and activities. Young has worked at the college for 34 years in a variety of roles.

Photo Caption: President James H. Mullen, Jr. greets alumni award winners, from left, Cynthia Natali Potter, Stuart Armstrong, Richard Stenberg, Barbara Pelander Hanniford and Robert Woodworth. Missing from photo is Kyle Shenandoah. Photo Credit: Ed Mailliard