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1980-89 Distinguished Awards Recipients

1980 1981 1982 1983 1984

1985 1986 1987 1988 1989


William A. Proudfit -- 1980 Distinguished Service Award

William A. Proudfit, director of Information Services at Clarion State College for the past 12 years, has been named to receive the Distinguished Service Award of the CSC Alumni Association for 1980. Proudfit, a native of Burgettstown, PA, has directed the news bureau operation at Clarion during that time and has also directed and advised in the area of Alumni services during interim periods. He also served as Sports Information Director for more than ten years. Prior to coming to Clarion, he served for two years as Director of Public Relations at Thiel College, Greenville, PA, where he was also involved in directing Church Relations, Sports Information and development activities. He is a former assistant manager of the Wilkinsburg Automotive Club (AAA), in Wilkinsburg, PA, and manager of the McKeesport Automobile Club, McKeesport, PA.

Proudfit's association with the CSC Alumni Association included continuous writing, editing and publication of the Alumni Bulletin for more than ten years. He has performed a variety of duties in conjunction with the directing of Alumni Weekend operations, Homecoming and other activities of the Alumni Association. He is a past member and past president of the Clarion Kiwanis Club and a member of Grace Lutheran Church, Clarion, where he is currently serving a third term as a member of the Council and secretary of the Church Council. He served two terms as a member of the Executive Board of the Western Pennsylvania-West Virginia Synod of the Lutheran Church in America and is currently a member of the Property Committee of that organization serving more than 800 Lutheran congregations in Western Pennsylvania.

Nadine Donachy -- 1980 Distinguished Faculty Award

Mrs. Nadine Donachy, a 19-year member of the CSC Biology faculty who has been active in several important areas of college planning and development affairs, has been named by the CSC Alumni Association to receive its Distinguished Faculty Award for 1980.

Donachy, professor of Biology and currently president of the local chapter of the Association of State College and University Professors, was nominated as "an outstanding and deserving faculty member who is not only recognized as an excellent teacher, but one who has contributed much to the progress of Clarion State College."

A native of Marlboro, Ohio, Mrs. Donachy received an A.B. degree in Zoology and Latin from Ohio University with honors, an M.S. degree in Microbiology from the same institution, and has completed preliminary requirements for a Ph.D. degree in Microbial Genetics on a Hiram Roy Wilson Fellowship granted by Ohio University.

She has received National Science Foundation grants from Oregon State University, Drew University, and was a staff member in the Department of Zoology and Microbiology at Ohio University from 1953-59, prior to coming to Clarion State.

She was a member of the Faculty Senate for eight years, president of the organization for a year, and served on the Faculty Senate Policy Committee for five and a half years. She is past president and vice president of the American Association of University Women for the local campus, and several years ago formed a committee to organize the Drug Education Seminar Program, which was in operation for one year.

Mrs. Donachy has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Clarion State College Foundation for seven years and is currently president. As president of APSCUF at Clarion, she fills a demanding faculty leadership and service to the college in application of the provisions of the collective bargaining contract.

Currently, she is serving as a member of the College Planning Commission, and in the words of Dr. Kenneth R. Mechling, chairman of that committee, "She has exhibited vision, tenacity, and the willingness to work hard to establish and achieve the goals of the college."

One of her more outstanding contributions was in the establishment in 1974 of the Medical Technology program, which has grown into one of the finest curricular programs on the Clarion campus and one of the best of its kind in the state.

Mrs. Donachy has also served on the Clarion Health Advisory Council for five years, the Clarion County Emergency Medical Services Board for three years and the national committee for hospital-college medical technology affiliations of the American Society for Medical Technology.

Mrs. Donachy's husband, James, is associate professor of Biology at Clarion. With their three children, Mark, Julie and Jennifer, they live at RD 2, Shippenville, PA.

Guido J. Malacarne '49 -- 1980 Distinguished Alumni Award

Guido J. Malacarne, a former all-state tackle and member of Clarion's undefeated baseball team in the late 1940's, has been chosen to receive the Distinguished Alumni Award at the annual banquet of the CSC Alumni Association, Saturday, May 2.

Malacarne went on from Clarion to become Chief Executive Officer and President of Penn Traffic Company, a DuBois based merchandising company which controls the Riverside Market chain.

Malacarne received a B.S. degree in Education at CSC in 1949, and an M.Ed. degree in Education from the University of Pittsburgh in 1951. He had prior service in the U.S. Navy during World War II, serving on a combat submarine in the South Pacific for three years.

At Clarion he was a varsity letterman for three years in both football and baseball, was named an All-State Tackle and a member of Clarion's all-time greats in football, as well as having played on Clarion's only undefeated baseball team.

Malacarne coached at Reynoldsville High School from 1951 through 1858 while serving as Guidance Counselor for the district. His Reynoldsville team won four consecutive championships during those years.

In 1958, he left the field of education to enter business as personnel director and market supervisor of Riverside Markets. In 1964 he became manager of Market Operations and in 1966 was named assistant general manager of Riverside Markets, a position he held until 1975, becoming general manager in June of that year and the following February assuming the presidency of the food chain.

In May of 1977 he was promoted to Senior Vice President of the parent Penn Traffic Company and became president and director of the firm in November 1978, eventually assuming the further title of Chief Executive Officer in June 1979.

Malacarne served on the Board of Directors of the Clarion State College Foundation during the first three years of its existence, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the DuBois Area Chamber of Commerce and co-chairman of the DuBois United Way.

He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Route 219 Association and the DuBois Area Midget Football Association, vice-chairman of the Paul G. Reitz Memorial Riverside Bucktail Golf Classic, which raises funds for the Clarion Boy Scouts of America, and is recipient of the President's Club Award of the Clarion State College Foundation, made this past Jan. 25.

In naming him for the award, a group of graduates said: "We believe his accomplishment in advancing from Personnel Director to Chief Executive Officer of a corporation with annual sales in excess of $300,000,000 without an educational background in business is truly outstanding. His constant support of Clarion State College through attendance and interest, in addition to having a son and daughter who graduated from Clarion, are indicative of his attitude and worthiness as a Distinguished Alumnus.

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Jack Blaine '61-- 1981 Distinguished Service Award

Jack Blaine, a 1961 Clarion graduate who came back to work at his alma mater as a planetarium director, will receive the Distinguished Service Award from the CSC Alumni Association at the May 2 alumni banquet.

Blaine returned to CSC in 1965, teaching physics, astronomy, and physical science in his 16-year college career, in addition to serving as the only planetarium director the college has ever known.

For the last two years Blaine has also acted as director of funding for the Clarion State College Foundation, spearheading the growth in fund-raising activities.

After graduating from Clarion, Blaine taught general science and physics at Rocky Grove from 1961-64 in the Valley Grove School District. He also taught at Cranberry from 1964 to January of 1966.

Blaine started at Clarion as a part-time teacher in physics in 1965 before joining the staff full-time in January of 1966. In 1968 he was appointed director of the D.D. Peirce Planetarium and still serves in that capacity.

"When we started the planetarium, we had a basic star projector," said Blaine. "Since that time, we've added sound systems, a panoramic horizon projection system, and built and installed in excess of 30 special effects projectors."

The planetarium has proven to be one of the most popular attractions on campus for both students and the general public. Planetarium shows have been presented to approximately 125,000 people over the years.

A special program for grades K-12 at area public schools in a five-county area has been developed. Blaine and his staff give about 75 shows a year to area schools and three to four public programs.

In conjunction with the development of the planetarium, the college now offers a concentration as part of the earth science major in planetarium operation and management for undergraduates. New courses have been designed to allow students to gain experience in the planetarium. Clarion graduates can be found at various levels of planetariums in Salt Lake City, Chicago, and Cincinnati.

Blaine received a 32-week National Science Foundation Grant in 1964 to study at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, OH, where he received an M.S. degree.

In 1968 he was selected to participate in the Planetarium Education Workshop at New York State University in Oswego, NY, and was named as a special resource specialist in astronomy education.

Now an associate professor in the Physics Department, Blaine was selected by NASA in 1979 to attend the Voyager-Encounter program at the propulsion laboratories in Pasadena, CA, to observe the first returns from the Voyager spacecraft from Jupiter.

The last two years have seen Blaine take on the duties of fund raising for the Clarion State College Foundation. Under Blaine's direction, contribution from business and industry, alumni, faculty and staff and other friends of the college have shown a dramatic increase.

Blaine and his wife Judy live in Seneca with their two children, Jacqueline, 13, and Jonathon, 11.

Dr. T. Audean Duespohl -- 1981 Distinguished Faculty Award

T. Audean Duespohl, chairperson for the Nursing Department at Clarion's Venango Campus, has been named as recipient of the Distinguished Faculty Award by the Alumni Association.

Instrumental in the growth of the nursing department at Venango, Duespohl prepared the initial proposal for a baccalaureate in nursing program at Clarion and also developed the proposal for an upper division baccalaureate program in nursing.

The Oil City resident was responsible for the development of the new nursing curriculum, which was implemented in the fall of 1978 and initiated the coordinating council.

She has served as chairperson of the Nursing Department since 1972 and developed the new conceptual framework of the nursing program and revised the philosophy and objective to support the concepts detailed in the framework. She developed nursing 299, Independent Study in Nursing, and assisted in the development of Nursing 457, Leadership Skills in Nursing.

Under Duespohl's guidance, an active continuing education program for the nursing department has been developed. Her expertise in nursing in maternal and child health nursing with emphasis on child health is recognized.

She received her RN status from the Oil City School of Nursing in 1962, followed by a BSN from the University of Pittsburgh in 1965, an MEd from Edinboro State College in 1969 and an MSN from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1974.

Professional experience includes staff nurse positions at Oil City Hospital, Franklin Hospital, Hamot Hospital in Erie, and Magee Hospital in Pittsburgh. While in Erie she also served as coordinator of nursing principles and as an instructor in obstetrics at the Hamot Hospital School of Nursing. She has also been involved in private duty nursing in Franklin and Oil City.

She is a member of the American Nurses Association, Pennsylvania Nurses Association, Pennsylvania Committee on Associate Degree Nursing Education, Advisory Board for Venango County VNA - Hospice, Venango Coordinated Services for Venango County, National Conference on Classification of Nursing Diagnosis, and a task force member of the National Conference Group of Classification of Nursing Diagnosis.

President of the Venango County League of Woman Voters from 1979-81, she is also a member of the AAUW. While at Venango Campus she has presented workshops on human sexuality, nursing process, and assertiveness for women. As a member of the Venango Campus Speakers Bureau, she has also taken on child health care, child development, interpersonal relationships, assertiveness, and patient bill of rights.

She and her husband, Terry, live in Oil City.

Edward A. Brinkley '50 -- 1981 Distinguished Alumni Award

Edward A. Brinkley, a 1950 graduate recently appointed to Ohio's Private Industries Council by Governor James Rhodes has been selected to receive the 1981 Distinguished Alumni Award at the Alumni Association's annual banquet Saturday, May 2.

Brinkley has 28 years of service with Owens-Illinois and is presently Toledo Metro Director for the National Alliance of Business.

As a member of PIC, Brinkley will help develop and implement employment and training programs aimed at placing low income individuals in private sector jobs.

PIC's were established in 1978 as the result of re-enactment of Title VII of the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act to help shape employment and training programs for the traditionally hard-to-employ such as the economically disadvantaged, ex-offenders, Vietnam veterans, youths with marketable skills and the handicapped.

Brinkley is a loaned executive from Owens-Illinois, serving as the Toledo Metro Director of the National Alliance of Business, which encompasses the 17 countries of Northwestern Ohio, and serves over 650 business and industrial firms in that area.

Brinkley started his career with Owens-Illinois at the Clarion plant in 1952. In 1958 he was named personnel director at the Venezuelan plant and in 1960 was appointed personnel director at the Atlanta, GA plant. In 1968, he was promoted to corporate director, College Relations for Owens-Illinois and the following year became the manager, personnel administration for the Lily Division. He held that position until 1979, at which time he was named to his present metro directorship.

In addition to his present assignment to the Private Industry Council in Ohio, he serves as chairman of the Toledo Vocational Rehabilitation Council, chairman of the Career Guidance Advisory Council, Penta Schools, a member of the Ohio Distributive Education Advisory Committee, Toledo Schools Advisory Council, Toledo Private Industry Council, Employment Committee of the Indo-Chinese Refugee Program, and the CETA Education and Training Advisory Council.

Brinkley and his wife Anne reside in Perrysburg, OH. Their daughter Leslie is a 1980 graduate of Notre Dame University and is presently a news broadcaster for KFDM-TV in Beamont, TX. Their son Douglas is a junior at Ohio State University.

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Leonard Pfaff, Sr. -- 1982 Distinguished Service Award

Leonard H. Pfaff and his contributions to the art program at Clarion have won him the Distinguished Service Award this year. Assisting with teaching duties and the operation of the Hazel Sanford Art Gallery on a volunteer basis have all been part of Pfaff's service since coming to Clarion in 1966.

Pfaff and his work as an artist have taken him through most of the 48 continental states, earning valuable experience to pass on to students and the college community at Clarion. At 83, Pfaff still continues to offer a great deal and has distinguished himself with the endless hours of instruction, assistance, and support given to the college.

The Kansas City, MO native came to Clarion in 1966, where his son, Leonard A., was a member of the communication faculty. His son still teaches at Clarion, and Pfaff is apparently just as active today as he was when he arrived.

The artist showed his early signs of an interest in art, selling a bread wrapper design to a Kansas City bakery as a youth in seventh grade.

In 1914, while still in high school, he enrolled in evening classes at the John Patrick Art School. Four years later, after graduating from high school, he entered the Kansas City Institute of Fine Arts, where he worked with Carlo Geno Venanzi, a noted Italian architect and muralist, painting church murals.

In 1920, under Venanzi's direction, Pfaff worked on the ornamental ceiling of the Missouri State Capitol, and the next year moved to New York, where he studied at the Art Students League and the Solon Berglum's School of Sculpture.

Excelling in portrait work, Pfaff received much of his background through the study of sculpture. Bustzon Borglum, sculptor of the giant busts of Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson, and Teddy Roosevelt on the side of Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills of Dakota, persuaded Pfaff to study under his brother, Solon Borglum.

In 1922 he returned to Kansas City, where he married and worked for five years as a designer for an interior decorator and furniture firm. Pfaff also worked for a portrait firm until the death of its owner.

During the depression, Pfaff became a free lance artist, and it is with a measure of pride that he states that during those dire times he was still able to make a living with his art.

He continued to work as a free lance artist until 1942, when he became a technical illustrator for North American Aviation, remaining there for four years before returning to free lance work.

From 1946 to 1966 he traveled across the United States, painting, sketching, and teaching art.

Pfaff also worked in a number or other jobs, including a newspaper illustrator in the days before halftone reproduction of photographs was common. Sometime later Pfaff was at the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, NJ, and found he was missing his wallet. The artist set up an easel and a stock of charcoal pencils and began sketching profiles and portraits for passersby. Selling the sketches for about a dollar each, Pfaff soon made enough to recover the loss and launch him on a successful career as a portrait artist.

Pfaff has been accepted in the many communities he has worked and been a service to all of them. He has been able to give the Clarion State Art Department an added depth through his volunteer service.

Robert Bubb -- 1982 Distinguished Faculty Award

Bob Bubb, the recipient of this year's Distinguished Faculty Award, has left an impressive record in the classroom and coaching during his 16 years at Clarion.

As head coach of wrestling, Clarion's only NCAA Division I sport for men, Bubb has led the Golden Eagles to seven Pennsylvania Conference championships, fourth nationally in the NCAA in 1973, 14 winning seasons, and his 200th career dual meet win during this season.

The same type of thorough planning which has built Clarion into a national wrestling power is also in evidence in the classroom, with Bubb teaching a variety of health and physical education classes.

There are no full-time coaches at Clarion, with each head and assistant coach required to teach in addition to their coaching duties. It takes a distinguished person to balance two jobs and do it well. Bubb's successful balancing of the two phases of the job won him the nomination from the Alumni Association.

The building blocks Bubb laid for the wrestling program were placed in 1966 when the Lock Haven native took over as head coach from Frank Lignelli, now Clarion's athletic director.

After completing two seasons with the Golden Eagles, Bubb and then-assistant Neil Turner organized a summer wrestling camp for high school and junior high students. The wrestling camp served a number of purposes, exposing young people to techniques and philosophies, and Clarion's expanding program.

Bubb and Turner attracted 39 wrestlers to that first one-week camp back in 1968. The camp now operates six weeks each summer and enrolled approximately 1,300 young wrestlers last year. As a testimony to the reputation of Bubb's camp, as many as 1,000 have been turned away due to a large early registration.

Bubb and staff also operate a fall Eagle Wrestling School, a special clinic for coaches that now attracts over 200 from 104 high schools and colleges throughout the country.

Both the summer camp and clinic stress instruction from experts in the field, and are organized to make the most of the time available.

If the campus and clinics formed part of the foundation for the program, Bubb's teams demonstrated how successful the techniques and philosophies could be when put into practice.

Bubb has coached 30 Pennsylvania Conference champions, three College Division National champions, and five University Division champions. At press time Clarion was sending five more qualifiers for the national tournament in the 1982 competition.

Three of the five university division championships were claimed in 1973 when Clarion gained national notoriety and finished an amazing fourth in the team standings.

Named Eastern Wrestling Coach of the Year in 1980, Bubb has won a host of honors during his Clarion career. He was named NCAA College Division "Coach of the Year" in 1972, and was elected into the Pennsylvania Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

One of the biggest personal indicators of success is the number of students who are now coaching in the high school or college level. Former Clarion wrestlers can now be found coaching at such colleges and universities as Clemson, Pittsburgh, and West Virginia. Jack Davis, a 1974 Clarion graduate, is assistant coach at Clarion.

A graduate of the university of Pittsburgh, Bubb wrestled for the Panthers before earning his master's degree at Penn State.

Bubb and his wife, Marsha, have two daughters, Jill and Susan.

John Mochnick '32 -- 1982 Distinguished Alumni Award

John Mochnick, president of the Class of 1932, has been selected to receive the Distinguished Alumni Award this year after a 40-year career in secondary education and strong community involvement.

After graduation from Clarion, Mochnick was involved with a graduate research fellowship in history for two years at the University of Pittsburgh. Trained as a history teacher, the 1982 Distinguished Alumnus made a decision shortly after his days at Pitt that secondary education would be his life work.

All 40 years in education were spent in the Penn Township School District in Westmoreland County, working 37 years in administration.

"My opportunity came when the district decided to build a new high school," said Mochnick. "I helped to organize it from the educational standpoint and became its first and only principal until a merger of districts constructed a new one at the time of my retirement."

Mochnick is proud of his work in Westmoreland County education and curriculum development. Many of the courses might now seem commonplace, but were firsts for the era.

"Sociology and economics were introduced in the place of problems of democracy, followed closely by high school psychology," said Mochnick. "Our foreign language program included four languages, when most high schools were offering only two, and it included language at the junior high school level."

Considered unusual for the times was a high school print shop, shop classes for girls, and homemaking for boys. Even his work with the school library was affected by his training at Clarion. "From the outset, our library reflected the fine background and training I received while working for Miss Rena Carlson at Clarion State College."

Mochnick was also responsible for the supervision of a sophisticated computer program for individualized instruction for his district. The system linked his school district with the computer headquarters in California.

Even retirement was delayed for Mochnick's dedication to education. "After planning to retire, the school district persuaded me to stay a year longer to establish and organize two middle schools, since they felt that I might have some expertise in this new field in our area. Doubling as director of secondary education, I developed the curriculum for the Middle School concept and prepared the materials for state approval for the same."

Mochnick has maintained his ties with classmates from Clarion, and took part in the class project of raising well over $3,000 for presentation on Alumni Day. At press time, the gift now totals over $3,600.

The former principal reflects well on Clarion and the days when the college was known for only its education graduates. Mochnick serves as an important example of the impact of Clarion with its graduates, and how they can shape the program of an entire school district.

He has also been active in his community as a charter member of a local Lions Club, Boy Scout volunteer for 35 years, and church elder for the better part of 40 years.

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Marc Katzen -- 1983 Distinguished Service Award

Marc Katzen, chairman of the Clarion State College Board of Trustees, has been selected for the 1983 Clarion State College Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award.

Katzen, in addition to serving on the Board of Trustees, is a member of the Clarion State College Foundation Board of Directors. As co-chairman of the $41.5 million Advance Clarion: Challenge for the Eighties fund drive, he has been instrumental in the growth of the Foundation.

A resident of Reynoldsville, Katzen is a businessman in both Pennsylvania and Florida. He is associated with the firms of Beaver Drive Business Park; Clearco, Inc.; General Warehousing of DuBois, Inc.; H. Katzen Company' K and L Company; Katzen and Nelson Real Estate Co.; Wallpaper Now, Inc.; M and H Company; Marcy Company; Meadow Plaza; Realco Development Inc.; and Reynoldsville Casket Company.

Receiving both a B.S. and a master's degree in business administration from Penn State University, Katzen completed his law degree in 1965 at the Dickinson School of Law.

A partner in the Katzen and Hanak Law Firm from 1967-75, Katzen served as solicitor for the DuBois Area School Board and assisted the Board in the early stages of a building program.

He also served a four-year term as Jefferson County Commissioner and has been active in the Sykesville Lion Club, Reynoldsville Kiwanis, B'nai B'rith and the Reynoldsville Area Jaycees.

All of the associations have reflected a strong commitment to the community service and Katzen was recognized as Outstanding Young Man in Pennsylvania in 1967 by Jaycees. This award recognized him for leadership in the development of Goodwill Industries of DuBois; Reynoldsville Area Swimming Pool fund-raising drive; charter member of the Jefferson County Association for the Retarded Citizens; organizer of regional planning commissions for Reynoldsville, Sykesville, Henderson and Winslow; and reactivation of the Jefferson County Housing Authority and Redevelopment Authority.

Katzen was appointed to the Board of Trustees, June 12, 1975, and has served on a number of committees, including chairing the Presidential Search Committee in 1977.

He is married to the former Henrietta Harris of Clarion. They are the parents of three sons - Hank, Hal and Hirsh.

Dr. J. Rex Mitchell -- 1983 Distinguished Faculty Award

A 17- year veteran faculty member has been selected as the recipient of the 1983 Clarion State College Alumni Association Distinguished Faculty Award.

Dr. J. Rex Mitchell, a professor of music and chairman of the Music Department, has been singled out this year for his many contributions to Clarion State College and its students and programs.

Mitchell teaches conducting, improvisation, orchestration and courses in music education methods. He is also the founder of the Clarion State College Laboratory Jazz Band and the Venango Chorus.

Earning his D.Ed. degree in music education at Pennsylvania State University, Mitchell started his education career in 1953 after graduating from Muskingum College. Before coming to Clarion in 1966, Mitchell taught at three public schools in Ohio, serving as assistant high school band director, director of instrumental music, director of music and director of high school instrumental music.

He has participated in district and state contest series events, serving as guest conductor, adjudicator and clinician. In 1965 he was elected as a member of the American School Band Directors' Association (ASBDA).

Current professional organizations include: NEA, MENC, PMEA, BIMI, AFM, Phi Delta Kappa, Phi Beta Mu and Kappa Kappa Psi (Honorary).

Mitchell continues a busy schedule as adjudicator, clinician, and guest conductor. He has served as guest conductor in music festivals and clinics in Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, and West Virginia. He also participates as a clinician at PMEA and MENC conventions.

The Pittsburgh native is the composer of some three dozen published works for band, orchestra, string and currently published by Edward B. Marks, Ludwig Music Publishers, Shawnee Press and Wingert-Jones Music.

Mitchell's background has qualified him to teach a wide variety of courses on the college and university level, including elementary and secondary music methods, instrumental music methods, woodwind techniques, supervision of student teachers in music, applied flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and saxophone, composition, arranging, studio composition and arranging, conducting, music history, orchestration, improvisation, marching band, symphonic band, woodwind ensemble, studio orchestra and jazz ensemble.

His performance areas include oboe, clarinet and saxophone.

He is married to the former Doris King of Butler, who is now employed at Oil City Hospital. They are the parents of four children: J. Thomas, a CSC graduate now teaching biology and science in Lock Haven public schools; Mrs. Karen Wilson of North Apollo, a former CSC music student now is married to a Clarion grad, Richard, and both are now music teachers; Mrs. Kerry Borland of Rockland, a secretary for Seneca Bank, and her husband, Michael, is a draftsman; and Kelly, a graduate of Cranberry High School.

Merle E. Wiser '41 -- 1983 Distinguished Alumni Award

Merle E. Wiser, ‘41, President Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Clarion County, has been named to receive the 1983 Clarion State College Distinguished Alumni Award.

Wiser was elected judge in Clarion County in 1979, taking office in January 1980. Improvements in the judicial system of Clarion County and public recognition have distinguished Wiser in earning the annual award.

Born and raised in nearby Sligo, Wiser has practiced law in the Clarion area community since he passed the Bar in 1949. Wiser also served as district attorney of Clarion County for 20 years, elected in 1951, 1955, 1959, 1963, and 1967.

Following graduation from Clarion in 1941, Wiser entered the service and was stationed in European, Asiatic, and Pacific areas during World War II. He was honorably discharged in 1946 and was also awarded the Purple Heart.

Judge Wiser graduated from Dickinson Law School in 1948. He returned to the Clarion area to begin his distinguished career in law.

Some of Wiser's accomplishments were reported in a letter to the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts from the Clarion County court administrator. Wiser was cited for bringing progressive ideas for updating the Clarion County judicial system by keeping abreast of the civil and criminal case load which doubled over a two-year period without placing a heavier monetary burden on the county.

The judge, upon taking office, immediately abolished the grand Jury and replaced it with one panel of jurors every other month from which are picked criminal and civil juries, setting the cases down for trial at that time. Court now often starts at 7:30 a.m., allowing a case to be tried in one day.

A change in the Argument Court has also allowed a more effective operation under Wiser's guidance. Clarion now has two days set aside every other month for summary hearings and the Court has invoked the 180-day rule in regard to such cases.

A two-step procedure is now used relative to child custody cases, the first-step being an informal meeting by the parties and their counsel with the judge for settlement. Then, if the parties cannot agree, a formal hearing is held. This method has been very successful and 90 percent of Clarion's custody cases are now settled without long and bitter hearings.

Other improvements include the installation of a research computer for the Court and the Clarion County Bar.

Wiser is married to the former Norma Sanesi and lives in Clarion. The couple has one son, Mark. Mark is currently a Clarion State College student.

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Representative Dr. David R. Wright -- 1984 Distinguished Service Award

State Representative Dr. David R. Wright has been selected by the Clarion University Alumni Association to receive its Distinguished Service Award for his years of service to Clarion University, both as an educator and legislator.

Wright, majority policy chairman in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, is also a part-time faculty member in the Speech Communication and Theater Department at Clarion.

Wright represents the 63rd Legislative District that includes all of Clarion County and part of Armstrong County. Until the recent reapportionment his was the only District in the state to include parts of four counties.

He was the first Democrat in more than fifty years to be elected from his District and the first Democrat in history to be elected to four terms. He is also the first person to be elected to a leadership position from Clarion County since 1844.

Wright was instrumental in backing legislation last year which enabled Clarion's change to university status through the establishment of the State System of High Education.

Prior to being elected to House leadership, Wright was an active member of several standing committees: appropriations, education, agriculture and rural affairs. He continues to serve on the Executive Board of the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency and as Treasurer of the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee, the joint House-Senate "watchdog" committee.

Wright, widely known as a speaker to business, professional, and educational groups, earned a Ph.D. in Communication from the Ohio University, and M.A. in Speech and a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Missouri, and A.A. from Southwest Baptist College. He has taught at the University of Missouri, Belmont College, Ohio University and Clarion University of Pennsylvania. He writes a weekly column, "A Wright Word," and produces a weekly radio program.

He resides in Clarion with his wife, Carolyn, and two sons, Douglas and Daniel.

Dr. Kenneth G. Vayda -- 1984 Distinguished Faculty Award

Dr. Kenneth Vayda, a professor of special education at Clarion University, has been named for the Distinguished Faculty Award. Vayda has served as chair of the department for 15 years before stepping down to pursue other educational interests.

The award was an unexpected one, however. "It made me very proud," he said. "This one is exciting because it's the first award from the people whom I've served."

He currently coordinates graduate studies in special education, as well as the entire habilitative science program.

In the mid-70's Vayda obtained funds to initiate a residential program for mentally retarded residents in Clarion. Those working on the project created the first living units for de-institutionalized retarded people in Pennsylvania.

"It was a most unusual thing," Vayda said. "That experience developed into our degree program in habilitative science."

Vayda also established Frontiers in Human Resources, a non-profit organization which provides services for mentally retarded citizens in Clarion County. The organization serves as a training site for 80-90 university students who function as staff personnel. The Commonwealth funds the program, which pays between $100,000 and $120,000 in student salaries each year.

"When the students graduate, they're pros," Vayda said. "Habilitative Science is the only degree program which has never had students not placed. We get calls from people describing jobs they need filled."

Vayda describes himself as a program developer. "The challenge is developing an innovative program and finding the bucks to do it," he said.

For the past four years he has been writing self-directed instructional materials that students use as core materials for course work in which there is no established textbook. "When you're dealing with systems in Pennsylvania, no one has written about it," he said.

Vayda came to Clarion in 1962 to start the Special Education program. "I had a background in clinical psychology and special education, and I brought them together," he said.

What tempted him to leave a comfortable urban position in Allentown, PA, to take up residence in more remote Clarion, which had no established program?

"The president kept calling me," Vayda laughed. "He told me about the new special education program." It was the challenge of change which told him to make the six-hour drive west over old roads to begin an educational career in Clarion.

"Clarion's been good to me in providing me with a new kind of job every time I needed it," he said.

One of his favorite projects has been a field experience on Indian reservations. The Crow Indians in Montana and the Ute in Utah have both received assistance from an educational field team for an eight-week summer session.

"We worked with their most problematic kids," Vayda said. "We assisted parents with helping children to overcome learning deficiencies." Vayda pointed out that many of the learning difficulties stemmed from the very rural schooling system.

Life in a remote canyon on a Crow reservation was enhanced by the presence of his wife and children in the earlier years. This year he intends to go with his 15-year old daughter, with his wife scheduled to join him during her vacation.

He has worked on many other projects in his 22-year Clarion career. In the mid-60s he produced instructional films and served as an educational consultant to various colleges and universities.

In the late 60s he went on to help create "Development of Mathematic Systems for Mentally Retarded persons." This program trained teachers to individualize math programs for retarded students.

"I had a lot of fun there for seven or eight years," he recalled.

The mid-70s led him to instructional programming and one film production, this time in conjunction with Dr. Carmen Felicetti of the School of Communication. One of their films, "All Our Children," was a documentary about the instruction of profoundly handicapped children.

Between the years 1967 and 1976 he wrote proposals which garnered a total of $1.2 million in federal and state grants for Clarion University. These grants were used for program development, traineeships, assistantships, faculty salaries, and purchase of equipment.

"In the process of all this many other people have participated with me," Vayda said.

Vayda is an educator who enjoys his work. "My kicks have come from preparing people for professional roles and preparing them for non-traditional roles. I've been a rebel for many years," he said. "I've never followed formulas prepared by other people."

Dr. Lawrence A. Ianni '52 -- 1984 Distinguished Alumni Award

The Alumni Association has selected Dr. Lawrence A. Ianni, provost and vice president for academic affairs at San Francisco State University and a member of the Class of 1952, for its Distinguished Alumni Award.

Dr. Ianni has taken a Clarion background to San Francisco State University, where he has served as provost and vice president for academic affairs since 1978. He was also associate provost for faculty affairs at the same institution from 1975-78.

"I wish to convey my great pleasure at the honor that the University has bestowed upon me," said Ianni after hearing of his selection.

San Francisco State University is one of the urban campuses of the 19-campus California State University. As provost, Dr. Ianni is the chief academic officer and senior subordinate of the president and administers units which provide all the university's instructional and instructional support services. These units which include the eight instructional schools, the Division of Extended Education, the library, the AV/ETV Center, and the Division of Educational Support Services (advising, counseling, placement, etc.), constitute three-fourths of the university's budgeted activity.

Following graduation from Clarion State College in 1952, Dr. Ianni went on to earn an M.A. in English in 1957 from Case-Western Reserve University and a Ph.D. in English from the same institution in 1962.

From 1952-59, the 1984 Distinguished Alumni Award winner was an English teacher in public schools in Pennsylvania and Ohio in grades seven through 12. He joined the academic staff at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1960 and served as professor of English until 1975, teaching courses in English linguistics, the psychology of language, literary criticism and general education at freshman through doctoral levels.

While at IUP, Dr. Ianni also gained a great deal of administrative experience in the following areas: assistant chairman and chairman of the English Department, chairman of the University Senate, membership on a Pennsylvania Department of Education committee on institutional master planning, associate dean of graduate school and faculty labor relations coordinator and chairman of the administration meet-and-discuss team.

Dr. Ianni has served as a professional consultant on a number of subjects throughout the nation, including a variety of related publications.

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Dr. Charles D. Leach -- 1985 Distinguished Service Award

Dr. Charles D. Leach, vice president for finance and university treasurer, has been named by the Alumni Association Board of Directors to receive the 1985 Distinguished Service Award.

Leach has served in a number of top administrative posts since starting at Clarion in 1969. He has represented the president's office in areas of general administration, including physical plant development, administrative organization, and employee relations in addition to his current financial supervision duties.

He served as interim president during 1979 and 1980 between presidents Clayton Sommers and Thomas Bond. He also served as acting president during part of the 1974-75 academic year when former president James Gemmell was on sabbatical.

Leach was instrumental in organizing the Clarion University Foundation and has served as secretary-treasurer and director of the non-profit organization.

Leach has been instrumental in establishing Clarion's reputation as one of the most fiscally sound and well-managed institutions within the State System of Higher Education.

At Clarion, he has held the titles of vice president for administration, professor of education, and assistant to the president. Before coming to Clarion, he held the posts of director of development, professor of education, and director of research from 1960-69 at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He has also worked as a research associate with the Pennsylvania Department of Education, visiting professor at Pennsylvania State University, and director of guidance and science teacher at Lewistown.

He earned his B.S. at Lycoming College and an M.Ed. and D.Ed. at Pennsylvania State University.

Leach has also been active in community affairs, with a long history in the Pennsylvania National Guard and serving as commander of the 876th Engineer Battalion.

He and his wife Fran live in Brookville.

Dr. Edward Grejda '57 -- 1985 Distinguished Faculty Award

Dr. Edward Grejda, a professor of English and interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, has been named the recipient of the 1985 Distinguished Faculty Award by the Clarion University Alumni Association.

A 1957 graduate of Clarion, Grejda later earned a Master's of Literature degree and Ph.D. with areas of specialty in American Literature and Shakespeare with distinction from the University of Pittsburgh.

"I believe that literature is the ideal laboratory in which the student, through examining others, examines himself, and in the process increases his own awareness of human condition, thereby enhancing his capacity to be human and humane," says Grejda of his view of education. "I enjoy interacting with young people, watching them awaken to the uniqueness of themselves, of others, and of life itself."

Grejda took his first teaching job at Rocky Grove in 1957 and then moved to Bethel Park High School as a senior English teacher. He returned to his alma mater in 1961 as an assistant professor. He served as department chairman from 1971-79.

The Clarion grad was leader of a four-person team to the People's Republic of China during 1980-81 to teach American literature to Chinese scholars. Grejda was a senior Fulbright lecturer and director of the American Literature Team at the University of Peking in the People's Republic of China. The team presented American literature in China for the first time since the revolution in 1949.

Fifty-two college and university faculty members from 26 institution throughout China attended the American literature sessions, allowing a giant step in opening the cultural doors between the two nations.

He is currently serving as interim dean of arts and sciences until June 30, after which he will return to the classroom. He and his wife Gail (Fulton '66) live at RD 1 Shippenville.

Dr. Ernest C. Aharrah '49 -- 1985 Distinguished Alumni Award

Dr. Ernest Aharrah '49, a professor of biology at Clarion University, has been named for the 1985 Distinguished Alumni Award by the Clarion University Alumni Association Board of Directors.

A noted biology teacher at both the state and local levels, Aharrah also holds an M.Ed. from Penn State and a MS and Ph.S. from Pitt. He is married to the former Margaret "Peggy" Behringer '49.

His early interest in natural history led to his major in biology and to continued interest in conservation education. The continued interest has included: an association with the McKeever Environmental Education Center, a summer as a naturalist in the Great Smoky Mountains, and his current weekly Naturalist's Notebook column by the Clarion News.

In 1982 the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts named him State Conservation Educator. He conceived and directed the Biological Travel/Study Program at Clarion and has directed the study of numerous graduate students in the field.

He is chairman of the Pennsylvania Council for Reclamation Research and an active member of the American Association for Mining and Reclamation. He has conducted research in mined-land reclamation for 20 years and is internationally recognized for his studies. Widely published in his area of study, Aharrah has generated some $65,000 in grant funds to support research.

Aharrah's first love is teaching. Selected by his Clarion colleagues as a distinguished teacher in 1980, Aharrah also taught high school at Ashland Township and Chief Logan Joint Schools, and at the college for 29 years. During his years of service at Clarion, he spent nine and one-half years as a demonstration teacher, one and one-half years as director of alumni affairs, and 18 years with the biology department.

Continuing to share his enthusiasm with prospective teachers, one of his current projects is a Science Education Symposium May 3 that will feature authorities in the field who are also graduates of Clarion.

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Dr. Stanley Michalski -- 1986 Distinguished Faculty Award

Twenty-five years, and ready for 25 more. That is the impression received from Dr. Stanley F. Michalski Jr., professor of music and conductor of bands at Clarion University of Pennsylvania.

Michalski, hired by CUP in 1961, has arrived at a significant anniversary, a quarter century of service with the university. "It was a matter of being in the right place at the right time," Michalski said about his opportunity at Clarion.

Michalski was assistant director for the Penn State University Band performing for a gymnastics meet at University Park when he met a future CUP president who was translating for the visiting Swedish team. That meeting eventually led to a job at Clarion for the Penn State graduate.

"Coming from eastern Pennsylvania, I didn't know where Clarion was," said Michalski. "I thought it would be a stepping stone." Instead it turned out to be a career assignment. During the succeeding 25 years, he taught, conducted, and published numerous articles on music education.

Among his honors were becoming the first recipient of the Clarion University Student-Alumni Golden Eagle Award for efforts in furthering the reputation and best image of Clarion University, being elected into the prestigious American Bandmasters Association and President of the Eastern Division of the College Band Directors National Association.

"I have been fortunate to be involved with the growth of the institution, not only as a part, but being able to contribute," he said. Michalski remembered the early days of his employment when the 20 members of the band would rehearse in the chapel on campus.

Since that time, he recalled, the music department's growth includes operating from a modern building, playing better literature, attracting better students, and receiving tremendous support from the administration.

"The administration has kept us well equipped," Michalski continued. "We are on our third set of uniforms. That shows interest and support for the program."

"Tours have helped us grow," he said. "We also have brought in nationally known soloists and commissioned ten pieces of music to be performed on campus."

But, it is the students who really help Michalski maintain his attitude about his job. "The students are the best type anyone would want to work with," he said. "The band has developed into a magnet, attracting talented students (50 percent of the band are non-music majors). They are the eager, enthusiastic type of student, willing to pay the price of rehearsals."

"I stay enthused because of the students," he said. "They always want to do things and keep moving." He was also proud of the fact that in his 25 years at Clarion there have been no discipline problems and no chaperones ever accompanied the band. "They have rules and they follow them," he said.

Michalski cited his availability to conduct at many band festivals and the summer band clinic as big aids to recruiting good students to the CUP band. "It is a hidden summer recruitment," he said about the clinic involving intense rehearsal sessions. "They get to see our total product and they like it," he said.

Twice a year, in February and April, the CUP band goes on a seven concert tour of high schools and communities, and hospitals. Michalski said these dates are usually arranged by students or former students who have intense loyalty to the band program.

Looking back over the 25 years, Michalski feels the talent, quality and ability of the student musicians has changed the most. He noted businesslike manner and professionalism exhibited along with the tremendous literature they perform.

"It all ties to attitude," he evaluated. "They came for a purpose, with goals and objectives they want to obtain before going on. Their contributing energies have made it much easier for me."

Michalski had several memorable moments to recall from 25 years at CUP. One was playing for the inauguration of Clarion native Grace Sloan as Treasurer of Pennsylvania. Several governors of other states were in attendance and Sloan was so impressed by the band's performance she gave each member an autographed five dollar bill.

He also noted conducting the Pennsylvania All-State Lions Band in Texas with the President in attendance; conducting the band at the College Band Director's National Association in Constitution Hall, Philadelphia, and the recent CUP band trip to Mexico, including Acapulco, where thousands attended each concert.

Summing up his 25 years, Michalski concluded, "I would do it all again. I am fortunate to be an American and bandmaster of this organization."

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Darl Callen, Sr. -- 1987 Distinguished Service Award

The Alumni Association will present its first posthumous Distinguished Service Award in honor of a former business and personnel figure connected with Clarion.

Darl Callen, 76, a former business manager for Clarion State College, recently died. In addition to serving as business manager from September 3, 1959 to April 30, 1965, Callen was also active in Clarion County and state public service.

Returning to the Clarion area from World War II, Callen was elected to the position of Clarion County register and recorder, serving for two terms from 1948-56.

"As a public servant, his work had not gone unnoticed at higher levels in the state," said Tom T. Andrews, co-publisher of The Leader-Vindicator in New Bethlehem.

"Kelly fought for his own in the political arena," said a close friend. "He spent his life in public service. If ever there was a public servant, it was he."

Mr. Callen was survived by three children, Sue Cassaro of New Cumberland, Darl Jr. of Atlanta, GA, and Michael of Matoaca, VA. One of his children is expected to accept his award at the banquet.

Dr. Harold Hartley, Jr. -- 1987 Distinguished Faculty Award

Dr. Harold Hartley Jr., a professor in the speech and audiology department at Clarion, has been chosen to receive the 1987 Clarion University Alumni Association Distinguished Faculty Award.

"This is about as nice an honor as you can receive," said Hartley. "It is awarded by former students and they really are the products of the department. I am sure many other worthy professors were considered for this honor."

Hartley, who joined CUP in 1963, has professional involvement beyond the university level in research and community programs to aid those with hearing and speech problems.

"I was in education as an undergraduate," said Hartley. "I was just interested in the profession." Hartley received his B.S. from Bloomsburg State College in elementary education, his M.Ed. in clinical speech and hearing from Penn State University, and his Ph.D. from Kent State in audiology.

"I was going to be at Clarion for three years and move to another university," Hartley said. "But, the teaching environment is good. There is nothing placed between you and the students.... decisions are left up to you, as it should be. I had the freedom to work with students as I saw fit. I also got to work with a number of outstanding colleagues."

Hartley is currently involved with five ongoing research projects. The most prominent, a paper on interpreting the degree of hearing handicap, is nearly ready for publication. A second on extended high frequency hearing levels is in the third year of a five year study. He is also interested in the application of computer programs to audiology.

Outside of his university related work, Hartley has a ten year involvement with Hearing Conservation Associates of Franklin, a firm studying noise induced hearing loss in industries through testing and surveys, and is an advisor for Audiology and Hearing Aid Services, East Brady.

Hartley's future goal is professional accreditation for the graduate programs at CUP. He says, "It is a big task. I would like to see many more students come to CUP. Audiology continues to provide professional opportunities in the form of employment for those who complete their master's degree. The opportunity is here if a person is interested in working with the deaf and hard of hearing."

Dr. E. Willard Miller '37 -- 1987 Distinguished Alumni Award

Dr. E. Willard Miller '37, a former Penn State dean and well-known geography authority, has been named to receive the Distinguished Alumni Award. In addition to serving in various instructional positions over the years, he has won numerous honors and recognition.

He has served as associate dean of resident instruction for the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences at Penn State from 1972-80. He joined the Penn State staff in 1949 and has been an associate professor and professor of geography. Miller also taught at Ohio State University and Western Reserve University in addition to working as a geographer for the Office of Strategic Services.

Awards in recent years include: Pennsylvania Department of Commerce Meritorious Service Award, Governor's Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Outstanding Service Award of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Science Achievement Award.

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Dr. Lawrence M. Gilford -- 1988 Distinguished Service Award

Dr. Lawrence M. Gilford, director of college health services for the last 19 years, received the Distinguished Service Award.

Although the enrollment has grown from 3,200 to over 6,000 since Gilford, this year's Distinguished Service awardee, joined the university she continues to have close personal contact with the students through the health center and the athletic teams.

Gilford is a native of Clarion County, graduating from Farmington Township High School (now part North Clarion). He received his graduate and undergraduate degrees from Pitt. Following an internship at Hamot Hospital in Erie, Gilford spent two years at Brook General Hospital, San Antonio, Texas, and three years in the U.S. Army hospital in France while serving in the U.S. Army until 1965 reaching the rank of major.

He joined the staff at Warren State Hospital, but decided he liked working with children and young people. "I had been coming to Clarion to see the wrestling matches and decided to take the job here when it was offered to me in 1969," Gilford said. "It gave me the opportunity to practice like I wanted to practice in quality not quantity."

Gilford continues to enjoy sports at Clarion serving as the team doctor for many of the CUP sports. "I have a lot or respect for the coaches here, they believe the individuals are more important than a winning record," he said.

"I have gotten to know the students here very well. They appreciate what we do at the health center and got to be a part of my life. I receive satisfaction from them like they were my own kids."

Alfred Charley -- 1988 Distinguished Faculty Award

A posthumous Distinguished Faculty Award was presented in honor of Al Charley, a veteran art faculty member who died on October 14, 1987 following a traffic accident. Charley was internationally known for his bronze sculptures and medallions.

Charley, a faculty member since 1963, was a dedicated teacher and internationally-recognized artist before his death late last year. A sculptor specializing in bronze, Charley also left an impact on his students at Clarion, encouraging their creativity.

Charley has many of his works on display throughout the world. He was one of 16 American artists selected for the "American Art Medals" exhibit during 1985 and 1986 at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

A major art exhibition was also held this year at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts after being named as Pittsburgh Artist of the Year.

Dr. Phyllis Smith -- 1988 Distinguished Faculty Award

Dr. Phyllis Smith, a professor of education and president of the 3,200 member Keystone State Reading Association, was named to receive the Distinguished Faculty Award.

"The best part of this award is that it came from the students," said Smith.

She definitely remembers her students. In her office are several index card file cases containing a file card filled out be every students she has ever taught at Clarion.

The need for students to be people, not numbers, is one of the factors which brought Smith to Clarion in 1968. A native if Minnesota, she earned her B.A. from Concordia College, Moorhead, Minn., M.Ed. from Temple University, and Ph.D. in elementary education and reading from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Ill.

Smith taught in high school in Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Maryland, and Pennsylvania before moving into the college ranks. She spent seven years at Temple, Southern Illinois, and Eastern Michigan before joining the Clarion faculty.

Smith found the opportunities to be involved in Clarion. Among her many activities on campus, she served as Kappa Delta Phi counselor from 1969-81, chaired the graduate program redesign committee, and currently coordinates the graduate reading education program.

As president of the Keystone Reading Association since 1969 she has as active hand in the promotion in Pennsylvania from children to adults.

Randall Silvis '73 -- 1988 Distinguished Alumni Award

Randall Silvis, an award-winning author and writer of the recently published "Excelsior" was the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award. Silvis, a 1973 graduate, had his latest novel, "Excelsior" published this spring by Henry Holt and Co. Now teaching English at his alma mater, Silvis is also the recent recipient of several grants for writing. Recent grants include $20,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts and two $2,000 stipends, one from the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts and another from the Theater Association of Pennsylvania.

The Clarion writer first gained national attention when he won the 1984 Drue Heinz award from the University of Pittsburgh Press for "The Luckiest Man in the World."

His first big break as a writer came in 1983 when he was awarded his first National Endowment for the arts creative writing scholarship. He says the scholarship legitimized his career in the eyes of his parents. "This was the first time somebody was willing to pay me for what I was doing."

In addition to the publication of several books, Silvis has also gained recognition as a playwright. "Tomatoes and Beer," a play written by Silvis, was produced off-Broadway last year.

Several new books are in the works, including the novels "Dewberry" and "Mysticus." He has also written three dozen short stories and eight full-length plays. He was noted earlier this year by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as one of "20 People to Watch in 1988."

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Mary O'Toole -- 1989 Distinguished Service Award

Mary O'Toole '48, a former trustee, supervisor of student teachers, and mother of three Clarion graduates, has shown service to Clarion at different levels throughout her life.

O'Toole, currently a resident of Tionesta, was born and raised in Clarion. "I have been associated with the college all my life," she said. "It goes back to when my mother graduated from here in 1909 when it was the normal school. She instilled in me the importance and value of education. I was lucky enough to be born and raised just out on East Main Street in Clarion. After I started to school and passed by Ninth Avenue, you would look up Ninth Avenue and see Seminary Hall and you would develop a great respect for the college, just as you did for your school, your church, and your community."

She was a member of Lamba Chi sorority and the Panhellenic Council while attending Clarion. Following her graduation in 1948, O'Toole started a long and distinguished career as an English teacher for the West Forest School District. She retired from that position in June 1988 after a 27-year career.

During those 27 years O'Toole served as a supervising teacher for Clarion student teachers. "I found it a worthwhile experience. The student teachers kept me in contact with the college. All of the student teachers sent to me were well trained when they arrived and did a good job with it. They all came with a good attitude."

For 11 years, 1973-84, O'Toole was a member of Clarion's Board of Trustees. She served on the board during the terms of presidents Dr. James Gemmell, Dr. Clayton Sommers, and Dr. Thomas Bond. She was a member of the search committee that selected Sommers as president.

"It was very rewarding to be a trustee," said O'Toole. "Being a graduate and a teacher makes one closer to education and students. Returning to the college as a trustee was an extension of teaching in a different fashion."

The process of her being named a trustee brings out the family connection in Clarion. "The one person most responsible for my becoming a trustee was me late brother Joe Schierberl. It was a fluke, the way it happened. My husband, Mike, had served as a trustee and gone off the board in about 1965. In 1972 when a position opened up Joe submitted Mike's name again. That was just about the time when women were making themselves heard and word came down from Harrisburg that we would have to put a woman in that position. My brother said, "That's no problem...just change Michael J. to Mary C., and I became a trustee."

O'Toole is married to Michael O'Toole '51, who also served as a Clarion trustee. They have nine children, three of whom graduated from Clarion.

Dr. Mary Hardwick -- 1989 Distinguished Faculty Award

Dr. Mary Hardwick, a professor of speech communication and theater for the past 22 years, was this year's selection for the Distinguished Faculty Award.

" I have seen students come as freshmen; anxious, wanting to do all they can," said Dennis Wickline in presenting the award. "Under her tutelage they have become positive people, self-confident people. People who can get up in front of an audience and speak. People who can stand on a stage and present art in a way that changes people's lives in the audience. That kind of a talent is very, very rare."

Hardwick received her Ph.D. in theater from Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan. She had success in acting, directing, and teaching before joining the Clarion faculty in 1967.

Her first job was with Kagran Corporation, NBC, New York City, where she was a researcher for the writers of "The Gabby Hayes Show."

Hardwick was teacher and director at the Pittsburgh Playhouse from 1957-60, and was a drama consultant with the First Presbyterian Church, Stamford, Connecticut from 1960-64 when she explored the ministry of drama by directing plays for children and adults. From 1958-64, she was resident actress and director of Summer Stock Companies, Vicksburg Little Theater, Natchez Trail Showboat, CBS Television, radio, Michigan State University Professional Resident Acting Company, summer camps, The Enchanted Hills Children's Theater, and the Cain Park Children's Theater.

Since 1985 she has been director of the University Theater at Clarion and is currently the director of Summer Theater at the Cook Forest Sawmill Center for the Arts at Cook Forest.

Hardwick's acting roles range from Madame duBonnet in the "The Boyfriend" to Stella in "A Streetcar Named Desire." She has acted and directed classical, musical comedy, modern drama, religious drama, children's, modern comedy, and melodrama productions.

Hardwick feels she found ample opportunities for professional growth at Clarion. "It is at this university I was not only encouraged but also protected to center my life's work on the creative dimension of the arts," she said. "The ‘publish or perish' syndrome was not a part of our departmental syndrome. Consequently, I have been able to grow and develop as an artist."

The students have given Hardwick her greatest joy in the profession. Several of her students achieved great success. Among them are Louise Fletcher, Academy Award winner for "one Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"; Joe Colligan, who was a regular in the television series "Days of Our Lives"; and Michael Pitts, a cast member of the Broadway production of "A Chorus Line."

"Many of my best friends have been and continue to be my students," she said. "I have a sense of camaraderie with them. I think that theater and play production enables this form of closeness to emerge."

Hardwick's classroom instruction also allows her to pass along her enthusiasm to the students. She has taught acting, voice and articulation, and her favorite course - oral interpretation.

Frank A. Palaggo '52 -- 1989 Distinguished Alumni Award

Palaggo '52, a member of the Clarion faculty since 1964, is currently the acting assistant dean of education.

"Success comes from enjoying what you're doing, taking pride in what you're doing, and being at peace with yourself and all those people around you," said Palaggo in accepting the award.

"I'm sure proud of the thousands of kids I've had an opportunity to work with over the years. I accept this award and I'm sure I'll cherish it for as long as I live."

"I'm Clarion proud."

Following his graduation in 1952, Palaggo taught for 11 years at Redbank Valley High School in New Bethlehem. He spent one and one-half years as an intern at Penn State University working with student teachers prior to being hired at Clarion.

"One of the advantages of working at Clarion was my working relationship with administrators in school districts over a wide area," said Palaggo. "I've worked with them as a supervisor of student teachers, through my Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) officiating, and my work with the District IX Committee of the PIAA."

As acting assistant dean of education Palaggo is directly responsible for all field services for elementary and secondary student teachers. This includes field experience during each of the student's years in college prior to student teaching. He assigns student teachers and serves as certification officer, approving all teaching areas.

Palaggo considered becoming a principal when he received his M.Ed. from Penn State University in school administration and supervision. But his internship working with student teachers changed his mind. He estimates he has worked with thousands of student teachers during his 37 years in education. Art Aaron, former president of the Clarion University Alumni Association, was Palaggo's first student teacher when he taught at Redbank Valley.

"Since coming to Clarion I have dealt with a minimum of 50 student teachers per year," Palaggo said. "Before the union contract limited the number of student teachers one person could supervise I had between 40 and 45 per semester. I am very happy and pleased with the progress that young people have made coming into the profession."

"Regardless of what profession we choose, we all determine for ourselves whether we are a success. Successful people know what they do for a living is not as important as how they do it and who is positively affected by their actions and attitudes. I hope the young people I have worked with have been affected in this manner."

A resident of New Bethlehem, Palaggo has spent much of his life in the Clarion area. "It has been a very, very good home to me," he said. "I have worked with some fine educators. The teachers we send to the schools of this nation are very well trained and capable."

"In over 37 years in the field of education I don't believe there was one morning when I awakened that I ever said to myself, ‘Do I have to go there again today?' When I retire I will miss working with the young people coming into the teaching profession. It has been a very rewarding professional life."

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