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Four Alumni Receive Juniata College Achievement Awards

(Posted June 13, 2005)

Juniata\'s 2005 Alumni Achievement Award recipients pose with their citations.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College presented four alumni-related awards Saturday, June 4 during Alumni Assembly, part of "Juniata College Alumni Weekend 2005." Mechanicsburg, Pa. resident Daniel O'Sullivan, was awarded the Harold B. Brumbaugh Alumni Service Award; Chicago, Ill. resident Friedhelm Wulcyzn, a research associate at the University of Chicago, received the Alumni Achievement Award; South Deerfield, Mass. resident Todd Emrick, professor of polymer science at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, received the Young Alumni Achievement Award; and York, Pa. resident Jeffrey Varnes, executive director of the York County Chapter of the American Red Cross, received the William E. Swigart Jr. Alumni Humanitarian Award.

Daniel O'Sullivan, a 1964 graduate of Juniata and a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, has been a selfless volunteer for Juniata College during his military career and particularly after his retirement. O'Sullivan earned a bachelor's degree from Juniata and has taken graduate courses at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, Pa. and Florida International University in Miami, Fla.. He also has attended several U.S. Army schools, such as Officer Candidate School in 1966 and Command and General Staff College in 1982.

O'Sullivan, a native of Johnstown, Pa., served in the Army from 1965 until retiring in 1986 and also served as a training consultant for various companies from 1986 to 2000. He received many awards in the military, including the Bronze Star Medal in 1968, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry (1969) and the Vietnam Service Medal. His service to Juniata has been extensive. He served on Alumni Council from 2000 to 2003, and has been very active in such programs as Volunteer Leadership Program, Juniata Admissions Ambassadors, Friends of the Field Station and the Central Pennsylvania Alumni Regional Club.

He has been a regular financial contributor to The Juniata Fund and to other initiatives. He has been very active on campus, participating regularly at Freshman Move-in Day, Senior Class Dinner, Senior Salute and the college's job-shadowing program. He also received the Juniata College Volunteer of the Year Award in 2001.

Friedhelm "Fred" Wulczyn, a 1975 graduate of Juniata and a research associate at the University of Chicago, is an expert on child welfare issues. He earned a bachelor's degree in psychology and sociology from Juniata and earned a master's degree in social work from Marywood University in 1979. He earned doctoral degree in social welfare policy from the University of Chicago in 1986.

Wulczyn, a native of Lewisburg, Pa., started his career as director of information resources at the Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago from 1985 to 1986. He served as senior policy analyst at the New York Department of Social Services from 1986 to 1994 and was named director of the Child Welfare Managed Care Initiative in 1994. From 1992 to 1997 he also taught as an assistant professor at the Columbia University School of Social Work. In 1996 he returned to the University of Chicago as a research fellow at the Chapin Hall Center for Children and was named research associate/associate professor at the University of Chicago in 2002.

His research on child welfare has affected public policies on the state level in New York and on the federal level. He was co-author of "Illinois: State of the Child," the nation's first statewide report on the status of children. He also developed the New York State Child Support Guidelines and designed the New York State Child Assistance Program, in addition to many other professional accomplishments. He has published his research in a variety of professional journals and has made numerous presentations at institutions of higher education and professional conferences.

Todd Emrick, a 1992 Juniata graduate and a professor of polymer science at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, has been on the forefront of research in new materials synthesis that may affect applications in pharmaceutical therapies and the development of food products called nutraceuticals. Originally from Mount Airy, Md., he earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry at Juniata and went on to earn a doctorate in chemistry from the University of Chicago.

His work on synthetic polymers and organic chemistry focuses on nanoscience and nanotechnology to create precision structures or capsules that control the rate of release of their contents (much like a time-release cold remedy). He received the 2003 National Science Foundation Career Award and received the Omnova Inc. Signature Young Faculty Award. He also received the Exploratory Research Award from the Center for UMASS-Industry Research on Polymers.

He has published his research in a variety of professional journals, including the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Advanced Materials and Science. He joined the faculty at the university in 2000 after working as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Berkeley.
Jeffrey Varnes graduated from Juniata in 1964, earning a bachelor's degree. He went on to earn a master's degree in social science at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. and also studied at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Varnes has been executive director of the York County chapter of the American Red Cross Since 1987. In 1996, he was named coordinating chapter executive for Pennsylvania. Varnes, a native of Altoona, Pa. and a graduate of Altoona Area High School, has worked for the Red Cross in a variety of locations, including Hartford, Conn.; Baltimore, Md.; San Antonio, Texas; and Norfolk, Va.

As a member of the Red Cross critical incident response team, Varnes has worked at the site of many natural disasters and transportation accidents. A short list of his response assignments include directing Red Cross operations in Shanksville, Pa. in the aftermath of the crash of United Airlines Flight 93 on Sept. 11, 2001; the 1993 Mississippi River flooding; the 1996 Pennsylvania flooding; the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing; and the November 2001 American Airlines Flight 587 crash into a Queens, N.Y. residential neighborhood.

He is a regular contributor to Juniata and has sponsored events for the Central Pennsylvania Alumni Group and returned to campus in 2004 to lecture on his Sept. 11 experiences. He has served on the York Suburban School Board and served as president of the board of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. He received the 2003 Service to Mankind Award from the White Rose Foundation, the Distinguished Leadership Award from Leadership York and the Community Service Award from the York County Chamber of Commerce.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.