Dr. Tony Atwater, president of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, has been honored by Pennsylvania Business Central with selection for its annual “Top 100 People” list for 2009.
“I am delighted to receive this honor for the second consecutive year,” Atwater said. “It reflects the university’s full commitment to excellence in outreach, economic development, and academics. The university can take pride in its continuing productivity and performance in the areas of community service, economic development and regional outreach.”
Individuals must be nominated for the listing. Nominees selected for the list are recognized by guidebook editors as “visionary risk takers” who offer significant contributions to the region and who are a “representative sampling of the people who fuel the engines of economic development in central Pennsylvania” and make “an impact on the organizations, businesses and quality of life here.”
The listing will be published in January 2010. Pennsylvania Business Central, based in State College, is a biweekly business publication serving a sixteen-county region in central Pennsylvania.
Atwater was recognized by guidebook editors for the 2008 recognition for involvement in the following: the IUP Residential Revival project, a $270-million public-private partnership replacing all university-owned student housing facilities; the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex, a $53.4-million facility scheduled to open in 2011; completion of the $40-million IUP Performing Arts Center; record enrollment; and IUP’s selection for inclusion in national guidebooks and publications.
In November, Atwater was recognized by the New Pittsburgh Courier for its 2009 “Men of Excellence” recognition. In April 2009, he was selected for the Commander’s Award for Public Service, one of the highest civilian service awards given by the United States Army.
In December, Atwater was re-elected by the board of directors of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development to serve on the Pennsylvania Economy League of Southwestern Pennsylvania, LLC, Board of Directors.
Atwater became IUP’s twenty-fourth president in February 2005. Before coming to IUP, he served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Youngstown State University.
Atwater earned a Ph.D. in communication research from Michigan State University, where he was the recipient of a competitive doctoral fellowship. He completed postdoctoral study in the department of communications at the University of Michigan.
He is a Ford Foundation postdoctoral fellow. The focus of his research was news selection behavior in the mass media.
During his tenure at IUP, Atwater has assumed several leadership roles. He was appointed in 2007 by Governor Ed Rendell to serve as a member of the Pennsylvania Tuition Account Program Advisory Board and was selected to serve on the International Student Exchange Program Board of Directors and the American Council on Education’s Commission on Lifelong Learning, a post he held from 2006 to 2009.
He is a member of the Economics Pennsylvania Board of Directors, the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh Board of Directors, Indiana County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the Greater Indiana Revitalization Steering Committee, and the board of the Indiana County Tourist Bureau. He also is an advisory member of the Indiana County KIZ Partnership Board. A member of the Rotary Club of Indiana, he is a Paul Harris fellow.