Summer 2023 / Alumni News

Ring It Forward 2023

As a way to support the traditions of the College and foster emotional ties between alumni and students, the Ring It Forward program was established by the Alumni Association. It matches donated Wilson College rings with current students and, on occasion, active alums. Since this tradition began in 2013, we have been pleased to pair 54 donated rings with grateful recipients, including at a ceremony that took place this May during Commencement Weekend.2023 RECIPIENTS:

Anaida Fahradyan ’23,
ring given by FLORENCE KELL DOSANSKY ’66

Amanda Smida ’23,
ring given by JEAN MCCLURE LLOYD ’58

Mary Gantt ’23,
ring given by MARGARET “PEGGY” WILSON ’73

Elizabeth Grim ’23,
ring from NANCY STARBUCK ’61, given by her sister KAY ROMINGER

RELATED: Alumni Awards 2023 AAWC President’s Report: Summer 2023 Spring 2023 AAWC News

Alumni Awards 2023

The AAWC held its annual awards ceremony on June 3 in the Brooks Science Center.

Sharon Salazar Hickey ’78
Sharon graduated from Wilson with a bachelor’s degree, majoring in Spanish and political science with a minor in fine arts. After Wilson, she went on to get a Juris Doctor in 1982 from the California Western School of Law in San Diego, Calif.

Sharon retired from Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico, in 2021 after 40 years of service. While at Los Alamos, she had many accomplishments, which included serving as policy officer manager, group leader of complaint resolution, staff attorney, and student intern (when she first started). She is a member of the New Mexico State Bar. Sharon was also the founder and first chair of the Employment and Labor Law Section of the New Mexico State Bar Association, a member of the Equal Employment Opportunity Committee of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the American Bar Association, and a member of the Hispanic National Bar Association.

Sharon currently serves on the New Mexico State Game Commission and previously for the New Mexico Youth Conservation Corps Commission and the Fellows Program Board of Directors. Sharon would like to thank not only the AAWC for this award but also her husband, John, because she couldn’t have accomplished so much without his ongoing support in her leadership roles and community activities.

Monica Diehl ’18M
Monica has set a high bar for achievement as a nurse leader. She completed her Master of Science in Nursing Education at Wilson in 2018.

She spent 15 years caring for patients as a charge/staff nurse at Chambersburg Hospital. In addition, she spent three years as the Director of Education/COVID Response Team at Keystone Rural Health Center. Since 2022, Monica has been the Chief Nursing Officer for Keystone Health. She has received many awards, such as Keystone Health MVP, Health Care Worker of the Year 2021 for Franklin County, and the Athena Young Professional of the Year Runner-Up. Monica serves the community through service on many boards, including the Franklin County Practical Nursing Program, the Occupational Advisory Committee at Franklin County Career Tech, Shook Home, and the Wilson College Nursing Program as an Advisory Board Member. She also volunteers as a Youth Soccer Coach for the Chambersburg Recreational Center.

Cynthia Fink Barber ’73
Cindy graduated from Wilson with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and went on to earn a Master of Education in special education from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., and a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from West Virginia Graduate College. Before retirement, she was a special education teacher for 26 years and the principal of Back Creek Elementary School in Hedgesville, W.Va., for 12 years.

Cindy personifies the spirit of the AAWC’s Tift Award. She regularly participates in projects on campus which include the Aunt Sarah/ Uncle Wilson Program, notecards to accepted students, and transcribing letters at the Hankey Center. You may also see her around campus with a paintbrush. Her most recent campus volunteer service project gave a “facelift” to the exterior stairwell to the old post office.

Kay Ackerman, Ph.D.
Professor Ackerman has a bachelor’s in history from Longwood College, a master’s in history from Vanderbilt University, and a doctorate in history from Vanderbilt University. She was an associate professor at Wilson from 1990-2022. During her time at the College, she taught a variety of history courses, including historic preservation, colonial America, modern European history, women in medieval civilization, women in early modern England, U.S. history, and many more. While at Wilson, she served the College in many ways, including as a member of the Faculty Senate, chair of the Global Studies Division, department chair for history and political science, and even a three-year period as Wilson’s archivist in the late 1990s. She has been a member of the Franklin County Historical Society Journal Publication Committee, The National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the Pennsylvania Historical Association.

Outside of teaching history, she is a beadwork artist and has exhibited her beadwork at the Bogigian Gallery at Wilson, as well as with the Council for the Arts in Chambersburg.

Karlee Lisinski ’25 and Elizabeth Wickard ’24

Ian Irvin ’12
Ian graduated from Wilson College with a bachelor’s degree in international studies. He also minored in political science, history, and peace and conflict resolution. After Wilson, he went on to the Pennsylvania State University, Dickinson School of Law, to receive his Juris Doctor. Since 2015, he has been employed as an attorney in the Office of the General Counsel for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Ian also serves as an associate pastor of Congregational Life and Preaching at Chambersburg Church of the Brethren. Prior to his employment at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, he interned at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the Pennsylvania Legislative Reference Bureau.

RELATED: Ring It Forward 2023 AAWC President’s Report: Summer 2023 Spring 2023 AAWC News

AAWC President’s Report: Summer 2023

by Lynne E. DiStasio ’74

Once again, I begin my report with an expression of gratitude to all of the women and men who remain engaged with and connected to Wilson College through their roles as alumnae and alumni. Whether you attended Wilson right out of (or even before you left) high school or at some later point in your life’s journey, she made an impact on you, and I hope you will look for ways to make an impact on her. Wilson’s small size and beautiful semi-rural
location, in particular, were probably contributors to the impact Wilson had on you, but they are also things that make it vulnerable now.

The College needs you now as much as it ever has. You have heard about the We Rise: United for Wilson’s Future campaign, officially launched at Reunion 2023. I hope that all alums will contribute as much as they can to this critical initiative at this precarious moment in Wilson’s storied history.

Yes, money is vitally important, but alums have many other ways to support and promote Wilson that are equally vital. You can look for opportunities to refer potential students to Wilson. You can also participate in a note-writing campaign in late winter/ early spring to contact accepted students and encourage them to enroll at Wilson. We sent 675 such letters this year.

Of course, there are numerous opportunities to help and connect you to current students. The popular Aunt Sarah/Uncle Wilson program matches alums and current students. We have 84 active pairings now, with 37 alums waiting to be paired with students. During Commencement Weekend, we host a Ring It Forward ceremony, at which class rings donated by alums are presented to students or others who would otherwise not have rings. We passed along four rings in May, bringing the total of rings passed forward to 54. If you have a ring that you would like to contribute now or in the future, there is a form to donate on the Wilson website.

Internships are an important part of a college education these days, and alums can help sponsoring internships by identifying or where they work. You can also help by hosting or helping a Wilson intern going to work near where you live, and of course, by contributing to the AAWC’s Internship Fund. That fund enables the AAWC to provide financial support to students to participating in an internship. We provided $500 to support a student in her internship this year.

Alums are staunch supporters of Sarah’s Cupboard, Wilson’s food pantry, whether by bringing bags of foodstuffs to campus,  dispatching an occasional order from Amazon, or through their support of
the AAWC’s Silver Lining Fund, which contributed $200 in gift cards from a local grocery store to students in need of items not available through the pantry.

Wilson also offers many ways for alums not in the immediate Chambersburg area to connect with goings-on at the College. Perhaps prime among these would be President Wes Fugate and Vice President Angela Zimmann’s visits to meet with alums around the country. If they are coming to a city near you, please make every effort to meet them!

On a more passive basis, Wilson has streamed special lectures and panels, Convocation, Commencement, Common Hour presentations, Christmas Vespers, and events at Student Research Day. The Alumni Relations team organized four of the very popular Travel Tuesdays Zoom calls last year, as well as eight Summer Lectures delivered by faculty and staff. As alums, you are invited and encouraged to join in as many of these as you wish. If you would like to present a program yourself, possibly about a trip you took, a book you wrote, or some other aspect of your life that you think others would find interesting, please reach out to Katie Shank to express your interest.

Finally, there are ways to support the College more directly. When Wilson is invited to send a representative to the inauguration of another college president, and a Wilson official is not available, the College often reaches out to her local alums to ask them to attend on her behalf, and this past year, four alums did so. There are many opportunities to volunteer on campus for those who live close to Chambersburg. Several regulars volunteer for projects at the Hankey Center, and  local alums often help out at the Alumni Relations Office with things like mailings and preparing welcome bags. More physically active volunteer opportunities have included painting and gardening projects.

We have also been blessed at Wilson with alums who have taken on leadership roles at the College. At its last meeting, the Board of Trustees bid farewell to long-serving chair Barbara L. Tenney ’67, M.D., while voting in new chair Jennifer N. Banzhof ’94. We saw our former Director of Alumni Relations Marybeth Famulare ’17 Hon. take on a new role in Institutional Advancement, and we welcomed the new Director of Alumni Engagement and the Annual Fund Katie Shank ’19, ’21M, ’22M. We are grateful to all for their diligent service.

We invite all alums to join in the various things we offer, whatever best fits the time, talent, and/or treasure you have available to share. But don’t feel constrained by what we do now! If you see a need, opportunity, or something you would like to do to help, speak up! Keep Wilson in your heart, and if at all possible, come to visit. Keep that strong connection to this remarkable institution we all love.

RELATED: Ring It Forward 2023 Alumni Awards 2023 Spring 2023 AAWC News