2006 Alumni Award Recipients
Award Recipients (first row l-r): Miriam Smith Wetzel '52, (Alumni Achievement Award) Jodie Monger Gray '88,
(Alumni Service Award) Erin D. Sheets '91, (Young Alumni Achievement Award) Kenneth Van Antwerp '75 (Humanitarian Award) and Randy Kochel '79 (Health Professions Alumni Achievement Award)
Award Presenters (second row l-r): Lois Miller McDowell '52, Dr. David Drews (Professor of Psychology, Emeritus), Dr. Ruth Reed (Professor of Chemistry), Adam Shaffer '05, and Dr. Debra Kirchhof-Glazier (Professor of Biology)
Read the Press Release.
The Harold B. Brumbaugh '33 Alumni Service Award
Jodie (Monger) Gray, a member of the Class of 1988, has provided selfless and unwavering service and support to Juniata with contagious energy and loyalty. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree from Juniata, she continued her education with graduate work, ultimately earning a Ph.D. from Purdue University in 1994. Jodie has been active in the life of the College in a variety of volunteer roles, including Alumni Council member, Sponsoring Board member, and student mentor for the Juniata College Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, and host of alumni events for the JC-DC Alumni Regional Club. She has provided crucial leadership as Vice President, President, and Immediate Past President of the Alumni Council, revitalizing volunteerism at the College by creating and implementing the concept of asking all alumni to give five hours of volunteer time each year. Jodie has acted as the voice of the Alumni Association and Alumni Council by serving as Alumni Trustee on Juniata's Board of Trustees. She has served as Chair of The Juniata Fund, leading the way for the annual giving strategy to focus on student need-based scholarships. She has significantly impacted communication with and among members of the Alumni Association by creating, publishing, and continually improving the Alumni Newsgroup, which has touched thousands of alumni and friends during the past eight years. Jodie has greatly enhanced the fundraising success of her alma mater as a faithful financial contributor to The Juniata Fund, the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts, the Juniata College Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, two endowed scholarships, and by providing initial funding for the addition of an Assistant Director position in the Office of Alumni Relations. Jodie strives to live her life with the dedication, loyalty, and honesty that is the cornerstone of the Juniata experience.
The Alumni Achievement Award
Miriam S. Wetzel, a member of the Class of 1952, has distinguished herself in her profession. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree from Juniata, she continued her education with advanced degrees at the University of Maine and Harvard University, ultimately earning a Ph.D. in 1987 from the University of Pennsylvania. She has dedicated her life to educating herself, her students, and teachers across the country and world, conveying her intense enthusiasm for learning. Miriam has impacted the field of medical education by developing innovative approaches to teaching such as the Multistation Exercise, Inverse Cases, Precís Exercise, and the minicase format, as well as by assisting in a significant change in medical education by helping to develop the new Harvard Medical School curriculum in 1985. Her expertise has been recognized through publication in numerous national journals and through invitations to present her work on the regional, national, and international levels. She has continued to educate others, even after retirement, working with a group of Harvard M.D.s to provide the best of Internet health information for the public. Miriam has served her community in leadership roles within various organizations, including the Board of Directors of the Greater Philadelphia Childbirth Education Association, Sebago-Long Lakes Chamber Music Festival Association, and the Mollycockett Chapter of Sweet Adelines. She gives back to her alma mater, having contributed to the College financially, helped to raise funds for the William J. von Liebig Center for Science, and served as the first female President of the Alumni Council.
The Young Alumni Achievement Award
Erin D. Sheets, a member of the Class of 1991, has distinguished herself in her profession after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry, ultimately earning a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has made significant contributions in membrane research, providing the first experimental proof linking nanoscale heterogeneities in membranes to specific biological functions. Her expertise in Biophysical science has led to numerous invited presentations and placements in publications, including a 2003 appearance in Biophysical Journal. Erin has received numerous awards, including the Charles N. Reilley Graduate Fellowship at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in 1991, and the National Research Service award from the National Institutes of Health in 1997. Erin has proven herself to be a caring mentor and teacher to graduate and undergraduate students in the lab and classroom.
The William E. Swigart, Jr. '37 Alumni Humanitarian Award
Kenneth J. Van Antwerp, a member of the Class of 1975, has provided selfless service to his profession. Upon graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree from Juniata, he received a Doctor of Medicine in 1980 from the Temple University School of Medicine, and in 1983 completed his residency in family practice at Washington Hospital. Kenneth earned distinction throughout his educational career, receiving honors such as the Jacob H. Brumbaugh Scholarship, Juniata College Honor Society, and Chief Hospital Resident. He has served as active staff at Somerset Hospital for more than 20 years. He has been appointed to hospital leadership roles such as President and Vice President of the Medical Staff, Chairman of the Department of Family Practice, and Chairman of the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee. Kenneth has served his local community since 1983 in office-based practice, providing both outpatient and inpatient care from newborn to nursing home. He has cared for the world community, participating in and leading numerous medical missions to Haiti and providing disaster relief in Sri Lanka following the December 2004 tsunami.
The Health Professions Alumni Achievement Award
Randy L. Kochel, M.D., family physician and member of the Juniata College graduating class of 1979, has been a role model for pre-medical students during his years at Juniata and as an alumnus. He has given of his time and expertise in creatively presenting students with information about the rewards and challenges of family medicine. He has been a regular and animated participant at the College's annual Health Professions Homecoming Brunch for alumni, students, and faculty. He is a member of Juniata's Health Professions Alumni Network in order to share the experience of his practice with students and to serve as a contact for questions about medicine. He has modeled the true spirit of a world citizen while at Juniata and throughout his career by pioneering study abroad in Lille, France, as a student, by cultivating opportunities for pre-health students in Brazil as an alumnus, and through his continued work with the College’s Center for International Education to encourage students to take advantage of study abroad opportunities.