AAWC 2020 Awards and Recognition

AAWC 2020 Awards and Recognition

Faculty Award–Kathleen L. Kaminski holds a bachelor’s degree in health education from East Stroudsburg University, a master’s degree in health and physical education from McDaniel College and a doctorate in human development from the University of Maryland. Kaminski has taught for 35 years in public schools and 17 years at Wilson. She joined the faculty in 2002 and was an associate professor of education before retiring in 2019. She was education program director from 2006 to 2012. Kaminski is a volunteer for the Youth Aid Panel, working alongside other community members dealing with adolescents arrested for a variety of non-violent crimes. She also volunteers for the Re-Entry Coalition, which works with inmates released from the Franklin County Prison to support their efforts to adjust and succeed outside of prison.

TIFT College (Service Award)–Ellen Van Looy Reed ’53 has been active for many years in the Wilson community. She graduated from Wilson with a bachelor’s degree in American civilization and went on to earn a Master of Education from Georgian Court College and a Master of English from Glassboro State College (now Rowan University). Reed was the first recipient of the Ruth Redding Leitch Recruitment Award in 1988. She served as the president of the Alumnae Association of Wilson College from 1988 to 1991. A former Wilson Trustee, Reed has served as a class officer for her class and was a past president and vice president of the former Wilson College Club of Baltimore. Reed has supported the College for 36 plus years. She has given to the Wilson Fund and established the Van Looy endowment, William Van Looy Academic Award in Business and the Van Looy Organ Series and has named Wilson College in her estate plans.

Outstanding Young Alumna–Jennifer Robinson Detrisac ’05 graduated from Wilson with a bachelor’s degree in biology. In 2008, she received her master’s degree in physiology at Georgetown University and went on to graduate with a medical degree from Drexel University College of Medicine. Detrisac completed her residency at Brown University/Hasbro Children’s Hospital. She is practicing at Watoto Pediatric & Adolescent Specialty.

Distinguished Adult Degree Program Alumna–Dorothy M. Van Brakle ’06, ’09 graduated Wilson through the Adult Degree Program. She received her associate degree in business management in 2006 and bachelor’s degree in business and economics in 2009. Van Brakle retired in September 2016 after serving 35 years at Letterkenny Army Depot in Chambersburg. She was the chief of the logistics division and supervised more than 100 employees. She is a past alumnae Trustee of the College’s Board of Trustees. She has served on the AAWC Board of Directors as director and vice-president and on many AAWC committees. She is a past president of the former Wilson College Club of Franklin County. Van Brakle has been a consistent and generous supporter of the Wilson Fund.

Distinguished Alumna–Beth Oehrig Lange ’70 graduated from Wilson with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. She received her master’s degree in sociology and social work from the University of Pennsylvania in 1971 and a master’s degree in general management and corporate finance from Boston University in 1979. Before retirement in 2019, Lange had a successful career as an innovative HR executive and leader. She worked at Leverage Management Group and the Huron Consulting Group, and served as a leader at the Ministers and Missionaries Benefit Board. She has previously served on the AAWC Board of Directors, Editorial Board of Directors for Vox Juris, Inc., adjunct professor of corporate strategic change at the IT Institute at NYU, and a mentor for Women Unlimited. In retirement, Lange spends time working with several non-profit organizations and is the leader of her class 50th reunion fundraising campaign. Lange has been a very generous supporter of the College for more than 36 years. She has given to the Wilson Fund as well as her class’s 50th reunion gift fund.

Honorary Alumnus–Donald Bletz worked at Wilson from 1975 to 1995. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Omaha and master’s and doctorate degrees in International Studies from American University. When he started at Wilson he was an associate professor within the political science and management department. From January 1976 through December 1977 he worked part time as assistant to the president and covered the full range of administrative duties. When the alumnae and the students saved the College in 1979, Bletz was selected as the interim president for two years. Bletz’s type and style of leadership (organized, calm, practical and methodical) was exactly what Wilson needed. As president, he inherited no enrolled students for the fall of 1979, a skeleton faculty, a dismantled administrative structure, half the members of the Board of Trustees, a depleted unrestricted endowment and a large operating deficit for that fiscal year. Drawing upon dedicated alumnae and devoted staff, Bletz sought outside help to construct a feasibility study and five-year business plan. Moving from crisis management to management planning, he oversaw a redesigned curriculum that was viewed favorably from a Middle States Commission on Higher Education (accrediting) visiting team. He nearly doubled the full-time equivalent enrollment, raised over $1 million in the Annual Fund each year, and improved community relations and church relations. His tenure led to the creation of the equestrian studies program as well as the veterinary medical technology program. In 1981, he returned to teaching and made a lasting impact on countless students. Bletz has continued to be generous to the College. He has given to the Wilson Fund, Reimagining the John Stewart Library project and the new Veterinary Education Center.

Honorary Alumna–Amy M. Ensley has been the director of the Hankey Center for the History of Women’s Education since 2010. She has a bachelor’s degree in applied statistics and industrial management from Carnegie Mellon University and a master’s degree in organizational development and leadership from Shippensburg University. Her focus includes women’s education, roles in the workforce, wartime, religion and social activism, and their work/life balance. Ensley uses data science techniques to analyze and organize historical information from the college archives and oral history interviews to help preserve the history of alums and faculty of Wilson. She continues to work in close partnership with Alumni Relations and the Alumnae Association of Wilson College.

Legacy Scholarship Award–The AAWC board has named Pierce Thompson Peiffer ’21, daughter of Bernadette Thompson ’99, as the recipient of this year’s award.

In Gratitude–AAWC purchased a bench in A. Richard Kneedler’s name to enhance the campus landscape and to thank him for his service as interim president.

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