Young Alumni Achievement
In November, IUP recognized six recent graduates with the Young Alumni Achievement Award. Each academic college dean chooses one recipient:
Eberly College of Business and Information Technology: Jonathan Sebolt ’07, director, Information Services Division, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
College of Education and Communications: Daniel Reichard ’12, teacher, Kate Waller Barrett Elementary School, Stafford, Virginia
College of Fine Arts: Danielle Kuntz ’07, assistant professor of music history, Conservatory of Music, Baldwin Wallace University, Berea, Ohio. Kuntz is a Cook Honors College graduate.
College of Health and Human Services: Steven Moy M’08, vice president, Labor Relations, Fox Corporation, Los Angeles
College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Gina Russo Tam ’08, assistant professor of history, Trinity University, San Antonio. Tam is a Cook Honors College graduate.
Kopchick College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics: Danielle Chirip Miller ’06, astronomy teacher, Orange County (Florida) Public Schools
Distinguished University Professor
Alida Merlo, professor of criminology and criminal justice, is IUP’s 2020-21 Distinguished University Professor. A member of the IUP faculty since 1995, Merlo is nationally known for her scholarship in juvenile justice policy. She has
been recognized for her teaching and research and was twice honored by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences for her mentoring. Only the third woman to be elected the academy’s president, she has also received its Fellow Award for contributions
to justice education and scholarship and its Founder’s Award for service.
At IUP, she has chaired nine dissertation committees and has served on another 12. She also chairs her department’s Speakers’ Committee, administers its internship program, and for many years coordinated its graduate program in criminology at IUP’s Monroeville
Center (now Pittsburgh East).
During her tenure as Distinguished University Professor, she will assess educational programs for delinquent youth and explore implications of the 2019 legislation that authorized trauma-informed education in Pennsylvania public schools. Faculty members
honored as Distinguished University Professor hold the title for life and receive a grant and a reduced teaching load for one year to assist with research and scholarship.
The University Senate recognized four faculty members and a staff member in May:
Francisco Alarcón, professor and chair of the Mathematical and Computer Sciences Department, received the Distinguished Faculty Award for Service. Since joining the faculty in 1992, he has held leadership roles in the University Senate,
in IUP’s chapter of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties, and in the Center for Statistics Education in Pennsylvania and other IUP and community entities.
Stephanie Caulder, professor and past chair of the Music Department, received the Distinguished Faculty Award for Creative Arts. A member of the faculty since 2002, she is principal oboist with the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra and Keystone
Wind Ensemble and has performed with many orchestras and ensembles in southeastern states. She also toured Russia with the IUP Faculty Woodwind Quintet in 2015.
Dana Driscoll, professor of English and director of the Jones White Writing Center, received the Distinguished Faculty Award for Research. Now in her sixth year at IUP, she researches how people learn to write and to transfer that knowledge
to other circumstances and how to support research-based writing center practices. She is involved in the Writing Transfer Project and in a decade-long study of student writers.
John Lipinski, professor of management, received the Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching. In his eighth year on the faculty, he coordinates IUP’s domestic MBA programs and codirects the Excellence in Entrepreneurial Leadership Center.
From his corporate career, he brings a global perspective to the classroom. Through videoconferencing technology, he has welcomed international guest speakers and conducted a virtual study-abroad program.
Julene Pinto-Dyczewski ’87, M’89, associate director of Residence Life in the Office of Housing, Residence Living, and Dining, received the Distinguished Staff Award for Service. She has spent most of her 30 years at IUP training students
for leadership roles. She is a Difficult Dialogues diversity facilitator; a Safe Zone co-coordinator; a trainer for Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) suicide prevention; and a Green Dot Bystander Intervention trainer.
In January, Jennifer Hartman Baker ’05 of Armstrong County was appointed to a six-year term on the IUP Council of Trustees. A teacher at St. Luke Lutheran School in Cabot, Baker replaced James Miller, a council member
Board of Governors
Last fall, Alex Fefolt, a history/pre-law and political science major from Indiana, was confirmed as a member of the board of governors of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education. A student in the Cook Honors College, he is president
of IUP’s Student Government Association.
Khala Vines, an international studies and Asian studies major from Duncansville, has received three scholarships—the David L. Boren and Benjamin A. Gilman international scholarships and the Freeman Award for Study in Asia—to support her
studies at Korea University next spring.
Vincent Thompson, a physics and mathematics dual major, and Arie Van Wieren, a biochemistry major in the Cook Honors College, were recently selected for the Goldwater Scholarship. This is the first time IUP has had two
Goldwater recipients in one year.
In February, IUP’s College of Education and Communications presented Impact Awards to six alumni for outstanding achievement in their professions: Scott Pitts ’92, owner of Spit Digital Creative; Laura Metz Crothers ’95, D’01, Duquesne University school psychology professor; Matt Curci M’02, D’12, Apollo-Ridge School District superintendent; Palmaann Darenkamp ’03, M’13, learning lab facilitator at IUP’s Career and Technical Personnel Preparation
Center; Erin Clark ’14, director of the IUP Speech, Language, and Hearing Clinic; and Henry Lewis III M’14, student services administrator at Virginia Commonwealth University.