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Juniata Honors Five graduates with Alumni Achievement Awards

(Posted June 21, 2007)

The recipients of the 2007 Alumni Achievement Awards are, from left: Dr. Steven McElroy, with presenter Debra Kirchhof-Glazier, professor of biology, behind him; Mark Sloan, with presenter James Lakso, Juniata provost, behind him; Henry Gibbel, with presenter Larry Bock, director of athletics, behind him; Bill Alexander, with presenter Tom Kepple, president of Juniata, behind him; and Christopher Bush, with presenter Bob Neff, Juniata president emeritus, behind him.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College presented five alumni-related awards Saturday, June 9, during Alumni Assembly, part of Juniata\'s \"Alumni Weekend 2007.\" Lititz, Pa. resident Henry Gibbel, president and CEO of Lititz Mutual Insurance Co., was awarded the Alumni Achievement Award; Huntingdon, Pa. resident William Alexander, former vice president of finance and operations at Juniata, received the Harold B. Brumbaugh Alumni Service Award; Kingston, R.I. resident Christopher Bush, special assistant attorney general for Rhode Island, received the Young Alumni Achievement Award; Mark Sloan, an executive with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, was awarded the William E. Swigart Jr. Alumni Humanitarian Award; and Steven McElroy, assistant professor of pediatrics at Vanderbilt University, received the Health Professions Alumni Achievement Award. Henry H. Gibbel, president and chief executive officer of Lititz Mutual Insurance Co., Lititz, Pa., also is president, chief executive officer and director of Penn Charter Mutual Insurance Co., Farmers\' and Mechanics\' Mutual Insurance Co., Livingston Mutual Insurance Co., and Excess Reinsurance Co. He graduated from Juniata in 1957. Gibbel has worked tirelessly for Juniata College as well. He served as chair of the board of trustees from 2000 to 2006. Gibbel has served as a trustee since 1973. In 1992 he received the Juniata College Alumni Service Award. In 2005, he received Juniata\'s Church College Service Award. In 2006, he received the John C. Baker Award from the board. Gibbel and his wife, Joan, in 2002 sponsored the Henry and Joan Gibbel Award for Distinguished Teaching. He also played a significant role in Juniata\'s most recent capital campaign, the Uncommon Outcomes Campaign, serving as co-chair of the Campaign for the Future. The Lititz resident was inducted into the Juniata College Sports Hall of Fame in 2000. He has taken a lead role in fulfilling the mission of Juniata College by serving in a variety of volunteer posts. He has served on the President\'s Development Council and as chair of the Founders Club. Bill Alexander, former vice president for finance and operations, retired in January 2007 after serving the college in a variety of capacities for four decades. He graduated from Juniata in 1966. A native of McConnellsburg, Alexander spent most of his educational and working life at the college. He was hired by Juniata as an assistant for institutional research and instructor in economics after graduation and worked at the college while attending graduate school. He earned a master\'s degree in economics from the University of Minnesota in 1972. Alexander returned to the college in 1972 as director of institutional research, and was promoted in 1976, when he was named college business manager. In 1983 he was named vice president for financial affairs, and in 1994, his title was changed to vice president for finance and operations. He helped develop the college\'s first comprehensive master plan, established a budget team advisory group and started a special funding program for the college. He has been an active volunteer for Juniata, serving as a reunion coordinator, a capital campaign volunteer and a member of J-Club, the athletic booster club. He also helped raise funds for the Ronald L. Cherry Leadership Scholarship. Christopher Bush, who earned a bachelor\'s degree from Juniata in 1992, is special assistant attorney general for Rhode Island, where he is assigned to the prosecution team for the fire at The Station Nightclub in West Warwick, R.I. and to the Appellate Unit of the state\'s Criminal Division. He previously served on the appellate unit from 2003 to 2004. He earned a law degree in 1995 from the Boston University School of Law, where he also served as topics editor for the Probate Law Journal. He is a member of the bar in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and for the United States District Courts in both states. He also holds bar memberships for the United States Court of Appeals (First Circuit) and United States Court of Federal Claims. He also practiced law for six years, first at McDermott, Will and Emery, a law firm in Boston, Mass., from 1997 to 1999. He worked as an associate with Hinkley, Allen & Snyder LLP, a law firm in Providence, R.I., from 1999 to 2003. He has been a special attorney general since 2003. Bush also worked as a law clerk for Mary M. Lisi, United States District Judge in Providence, R.I. from 1995 to 1997 and worked as an intern for U.S. District Judge Bruce M. Selya in 1994. He also is an adjunct professor at Roger Williams University, in Bristol, R.I., teaching Legal Research and Writing. Mark Sloan, who is currently between assignments in Nairobi, Kenya, graduated from Juniata College in 1989. He went on to earn a master\'s degree in theological studies from North Park Theological Seminary, in Chicago, Ill., in 1999 and earned a master\'s degree in business administration in 1999 from North Park University. Since 2004, Sloan has worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Catholic Migration Commission, first in Sierra Leone and then in Kasulu, Tanzania. He also worked in Nairobi, Kenya from 2000 to 2002 with the New Sudan Council of Churches and from 20020 to 2004 for the Church World Service Joint Voluntary Agency. Much of Sloan\'s recent work has been focused in helping refugees from eastern and southern Africa resettle in the United States. Earlier in his career, he was involved in programs for peace and justice in war-torn Sudan and established several programs such as cross-cultural ministries in Africa.
Sloan began his career in higher education, working as registrar at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind., from 1992 to 1994, and as coordinator of academic services at the seminary from 1994 to 1997.
Dr. Steven McElroy, the recipient of the Health Professions Alumni Achievement Award, graduated from Juniata in 1995. He went on to earn a medical degree from MCP/Hahnemann School of Medicine at Drexel University, in Philadelphia, Pa., in 1999. He is currently an assistant professor of pediatrics at Vanderbilt University, a position he has held since 2006.
He served a residency in pediatrics at St. Christopher's Hospital in Philadelphia, Pa. in 1999 and completed a fellowship in neonatology at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine from 2002 to 2006. His research specialization focuses on neonatal gastroenterology, particularly inflammatory bowel diseases.
McElroy created a summer internship program for Juniata students called the Juniata College Vanderbilt Summer Scholar Program. The program offers an annual summer research slot in McElroy's research laboratory as part of the Vanderbilt University Summer Science Academy. The summer research students also shadow physicians in the Intensive Care Nursery at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital.

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