AAWC Awards and Recognition

AAWC Awards and Recognition

Faculty Award–Deborah Austin, Ph.D., completed her B.S. in Chemistry from Clarion State College and received her doctorate from Iowa State University. Deborah joined the Wilson faculty in 1989. She has been the recipient of the Donald F. Bletz Award for Teaching Excellence (1999 & 2001) and Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence (2005). Deb has been actively involved in the life of the College as Associate Dean of Academic Advising, through freshman/sophomore advising, and by serving on the Academic Procedures Committee, Curriculum Committee, and Dean’s Advisory Council. Her work, accomplishments, and leadership contributions are too numerous to list.

TIFT College (Service Award)–Mary F. Cramer ’91 received her associate degree in business from Wilson in 1991 as an adult degree student juggling career and family. She retired from F&M Bank, having served 40 years and risen to vice president. She was active on the Alumnae Association Board of Directors from 2009-2012 and served as president from 2012-2018. In this role, she also served on the Wilson College Board of Trustees, where she provided steady leadership and partner- ship during very challenging times. Mary has led and participated in numerous regional alum events, is active in the Aunt Sarah Program, and is a consistent Wilson Fund donor. She previously served Wilson on the Business Partner Committee for the Annual Fund and chaired the Business Partner Advisory Council. She also gives of her time in the community to the library, Alzheimer’s Association, and her church. In 1992 she was honored as Woman of the Year by the Heart of the Valley Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association.

Distinguished Adult Degree Program–Kitty Boyer Dugan ’05 received her B.A. in fine arts and behavioral science from Wilson in 2005. Her career path took her from a licensed financial advisor to now owning and managing the family business of Dugan Funeral Home, Inc. in Bendersville and Dugan Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc. in Shippensburg. In 2011, the Shippensburg funeral home received the Shippensburg Chamber New Business of the Year Award and Small Business of the Year in 2017. Kitty has participated in the last 10 Shippensburg Fairs and many community and senior events. She belongs to the Adams County End of Life Committee to educate the public on end-of-life issues and resources. Kitty has served as treasurer for the Franklin County AAUW and received The Rising Star Award. She is active at Middle Spring Presbyterian Church, serving as an Elder and on various committees. She is a member of the Shippensburg Rotary Club and PEO, a philanthropic organization that provides educational support for women, and she participates in the Annual Relay for Life Walk-a-thon.

Outstanding Young Alumna–Dr. Lauren Park Thoma ’02 graduated from Wilson with a B.S. in biology and a minor in chemistry in 2002. She received her Doctor of Medicine from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, Pa. Lauren completed a four-year anatomic and clinical pathology residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. She moved to NYC for a fellowship training at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner City of New York and later moved to NJ to work at the Northern Regional Medical Examiner’s Office in Newark. She joined the Middlesex Regional Medical Examiner’s Office, where she currently works as Deputy County Medical Examiner. Lauren is a member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and is board certified in Anatomic, Clinical, and Forensic Pathology. Lauren has completed over 2,000 autopsies and testified in over 50 criminal cases in NJ, NY, and Federal court.

Distinguished Alumna–Deborah Harding ’61 received her B.A. in German with a minor in art from Wilson in 1961. From Wilson, she went on to UCLA, obtaining an M.A. and Ph.D. in theoretical linguistics specializing in the Bantu languages of sub-equatorial Africa. The Peace Corps hired her right away to develop African language teaching material. Debbie worked as a language training consultant to over 23 countries. The Peace Corps later tapped her for programming and management positions both in Africa and in the DC headquarters. One of her major contributions in the leadership management of the Peace Corps agency was to open every staff job and volunteer assignment to women. She retired in 2005 as the International Vice President of George Soros Foundation Network, where she oversaw 32 grant-making foundations in the former Soviet Union, eastern Europe, South Africa, Haiti, and Guatemala. Following her 2005 retirement, her friend Ellen Johnson Sirleaf became the President of Liberia and the first woman elected as a head of state in Africa. Once Mrs. Sirleaf was inaugurated, she asked Debbie to help her rebuild the education system, which had been destroyed by 14 years of civil wars. Debbie established the Liberian Education Trust, a grant-making nonprofit, raising 5.5 million dollars which built 26 schools, gave 10,000 scholarships for girls, established six fully-stocked libraries in rural high schools, and trained 1,000 teachers. In 2016, Women of Peace Corps Legacy established the Deborah Harding Women of Achievement Award — the first award honoring former female Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) and staff whose lifelong work significantly benefited women and girls around the world. The award is named for Deborah Harding for her lifetime commitment to women’s leadership and rights.

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