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Five Juniata Graduates Receive Alumni Achievement Awards

(Posted June 22, 2010)

2010 Alumni Achievement Award winners: from left Gerald Wogan, director of toxicology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Alumni Achievement Award, with presenter Linda Carpenter, executive director of constituent relations, behind him; Sandy Loughlin , retired teacher at the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, Harold B. Brumbaugh Alumni Service Award, with presenter Rosalie Rodriguez, special assistant to the president for diversity and inclusion, behind her; Johanna Holtan, an development consultant, Young Alumni Achievement Award, with presenter Larry Bock, athletic director behind her; Robert Dintruff, commercial development director for virology for a major healthcare firm, William E. Swigart Jr. Alumni Humanitarian Award, with presenter Betty Ann Cherry, professor emeritus of history, behind him; and Dr. Terry Eccles, Health Professions Alumni Appreciation Award, presenter Deb Kirchhof-Glazier, professor of biology, behind her.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College presented five alumni-related awards Saturday, June 12, during Alumni Assembly, part of Juniata's "Alumni Weekend 2010." Gerald Wogan, director of toxicology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was awarded the Alumni Achievement Award; Sandy Loughlin, a retired teacher at the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, received the Harold B. Brumbaugh Alumni Service Award; Johanna Holtan, an development consultant, received the Young Alumni Achievement Award; Robert Dintruff, commercial development director for virology for a major healthcare firm, was awarded the William E. Swigart Jr. Alumni Humanitarian Award; and Dr. Terry Eccles received the Health Professions Alumni Appreciation Award.

Gerald Wogan, a 1951 graduate of Juniata and Underwood Prescott Professor of Toxicology emeritus at MIT, has been honored countless times for his research on cancer. Most recently, he received the Charles S. Mott Prize, a $250,000 award given annually by the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation for the most outstanding contribution to researching the cause or prevention of cancer.

Wogan received the award for his work on aflatoxin, a common food contaminant produced by certain fungi. Aflatoxin, in association with hepatitis viruses, can cause liver cancer in humans. His work on aflatoxin and liver cancer is often cited as a trend-setting model for molecular toxicology and epidemiology. His research is directly related to world health, as food contamination in Africa and Asia is difficult to control.

He is a member of the National Academy Of Sciences, chosen in 1977 and one of five Juniata graduates to be named to the academy. He was named a Fellow in 1992 by the American Academy of Microbiology and was a scholar-in-residence at the National Institutes of Health's Fogarty International Center from 1997 to 1999.

He earned a bachelor's degree in biology at Juniata and went on to earn a master's degree in physiology in 1953 and a doctorate in physiology in 1957, both from the University of Illinois.

He started his academic career in 1957 at Rutgers University as an assistant professor of physiology. He spent a year as a research associate in food toxicology and then became an assistant professor of food toxicology at MIT, where he remained for his entire career. He was promoted to associate professor in 1965 and became a full professor in 1969.

In 1978 he was named director of MIT's Environmental Health Sciences Center, and in 1988 he was named the Underwood Prescott Professor of Toxicology and director of the toxicology division of MIT's Whitaker College of Health Sciences and Technology. In 1988 he also was named a professor of chemistry and maintained a dual role in chemistry and toxicology until his retirement in 2001.

He has been an active volunteer for Juniata, where he served on the Trustees Council and took part in the Uncommon Outcomes Campaign for Science.

He was named a Distinguished Alumnus in 1998 by the University of Illinois, and he has been a senior research fellow at the National Cancer Institute since 2001. He also serves on the board of directors for the Chemical Industries Institute of Toxicology and is a senior scientific adviser at the National Center for Toxigenomics.

He is a member of a number of professional societies, including the American Association for Cancer Research, the American Chemical Society, Society of Toxicology, American Society for Preventative Oncology, the American College of Toxicology and the American Society for Microbiology.

Saraunda Andoniades "Sandy" Loughlin, a 1967 Juniata graduate, earned a bachelor's degree in English from the college. She went on to earn a master's degree in secondary education from Towson State University.

She has been an educator her entire professional career, starting as a high school English teacher in the Baltimore (Md.) Public School System in 1967. In 1982, she started teaching at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, a public school focused on college preparatory course in engineering, math and science. Loughlin taught primarily 9th and 10th grade English and also taught an SAT preparatory class. She also worked with incoming freshman and prepared them for the advanced curriculum at the polytechnic institute.

In addition to her teaching duties, she served for 18 years as faculty representative on the Poly Parent Faculty Association. In 1989, she was named Teacher of the Year at the school. She also created and coached the school's modern dance team. She retired in 2004.

Upon retirement, she took a job at the Baltimore Polytechnic Foundation and Alumni Association.

Loughlin has been an extraordinarily active volunteer for Juniata College. Each year since 1999, she has brought students from Baltimore Polytechnic to Juniata for an overnight enrollment visit. In 2009, 15 students participated and in 10 years eight students from the high school have attended Juniata. She also is a dedicated Juniata Admissions Ambassador, in which she represents the college at college fairs in Maryland and Baltimore. She also organized the effort to create a Juniata College alumni license plate for Maryland.

She has been class fund agent for the Class of 1967 since 2005 and served on the college's Alumni Council from 2004 to 2007 and 2007-2008. She also helps plan Juniata sports- and alumni-related events in the Baltimore area. She continues to organize student visits from Baltimore Polytechnic students to Juniata.

She also is active within her community. She is ordained as an elder and a deacon at Perry Hall Presbyterian Church and serves as an elder-commissioner and volunteers with the Baltimore Presbytery.

Robert Dintruff, a 1977 graduate of Juniata, has worked in the medical diagnostics and pharmaceutical industry for the past 29 years where he has overseen the development of programs that offer assistance to children orphaned by HIV and AIDS in developing nations. He has also managed programs that supply HIV diagnostics and therapeutics at no profit in 69 countries including all nations of Africa and those defined by the U.N. as Least Developed Countries.

In addition, Dintruff developed a program to provide free HIV antibody tests to programs aimed at the prevention of mother-to-child transmission. The Determine HIV Testing Donation program has provided more than 10 million tests in Africa over the past six years and operates in the same 69 countries where antiretroviral drugs are provided at no profit.

The philanthropic foundation founded by the pharmaceutical company Dintruff works for has invested $100 million over five years to combat HIV/AIDS in the developing world.

Dintruff also earned a master's degree in business administration in 1979 from the University of Michigan. In 2009, he returned to Juniata to give a talk on his work managing programs that supply HIV diagnostic tests and therapeutics.

He started his business career in 1979 as a production planning specialist. His career spans a series of management positions, including marketing manager for the Far East Area, located in Hong Kong, and his current role as commercial development director at a major healthcare firm.

Johanna Holtan, currently a charity consultant in Edinburgh, Scotland, has been deeply involved in international charity work since graduating from Juniata in 2004. She earned her bachelor's degree in communication and women's studies.

She has been particularly active in the Republic of Georgia, where she initially worked with women's health organizations as a Peace Corps Business and Social Entrepreneur Volunteer in 2007. In 2008, the Peace Corps left Georgia when Russian troops invaded the former Soviet country. Holtan stayed in the country to help in the relief effort and continue her work with the local groups. She co-founded the Megobari Project ('megobari' means 'friend' in Georgian) to channel funds, clothing and other supplies to refugees from South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

After the Peace Corps, Holtan worked as a programming consultant on the USAID and John Snow Research & Training Institute's Healthy Women in Georgia project. She chaired Georgia's first-ever Race for the Cure event in collaboration with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation and the local Georgian organization HERA. Her efforts saw an increase in the accessibility of breast health information and services provided to Georgian women, such as free screening and support groups for breast cancer survivors.

Holtan has also assisted in developing new organizations including human rights-focused Abriendo Fronteras-Opening Borders and the Harmony Project, a Scottish initiative to promote Georgian song and culture in Scottish schools. She currently serves on the board of the Gori Regional Education Fund and Mamatsi Guli, both based in Georgia.

In 2006, Holtan received her master's degree in International Service from Roehampton University in England. While in London, she worked as a grant writer for Until the Violence Stops, a group that challenges violence against women in the Greater London area. She studied abroad in Kingston, Jamaica, and worked in the communications department of the human rights watchdog group, Jamaicans for Justice.

At Juniata, she organized the campus' first VDAY campaign, including the staging of "The Vagina Monologues." Holtan, with co-author Lynn Cockett, associate professor of communication, published "Women Athletes and Pain: Personhood on and off the Playing Field," in the journal "Women and Language." As a student-athlete, she earned American Volleyball Coaches Association Second Team All-American status in 2003 and National Strength and Conditioning Association All-American recognition in 2004.

Dr. Terry Eccles, a private-practice pediatrician who graduated from Juniata in 1992, received the Health Professions Alumni Achievement Award. A native of Bridgeton, N.J., she went on to the University of South Carolina School of Medicine and later transferred to the University of Nebraska Medical School, graduating in 1996.

She served her medical residency in pediatrics at the University of Nebraska/Creighton University, working primarily in the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Neb., from 1996 to 1999.

Dr. Eccles entered private practice in Stafford Springs, Conn. in 1999 and has continued to grow her private practice since then.

She also has an active teaching career as a clinical instructor in Quinnipiac University's Physician Assistant Program and at Connecticut Children's Medical Center Pediatric Residency Program.

In 2008, Dr. Eccles also started a summer internship in pediatric care medicine for one Juniata College student per year.

She is a Fellow in the American Academy of Pediatrics. She is a member of numerous professional organizations, including the Tolland County Medical Society and the Connecticut State Medical Society. She was a member of the American Medical Association from 1992 to 2003.

Dr. Eccles also is very active in her community, where she has served as school physician for Tolland Public Schools in Tolland, Conn., since 2008. She also is a member of the Stafford Public Schools Health Advisory Committee and serves as school physician for Ellington Christian Nursery School.

Her interest in service dates back even before her career at Juniata. While at the college, she co-founded the Huntingdon, Pa. chapter of Habitat for Humanity and served as a Big Sister for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Huntingdon. In 1989, she was a member of the executive committee for the Pennsylvania Special Olympics.

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