Alumni Leadership Awards Presented by Seton Hill University
On June 4, 2011, Seton Hill presented the University’s Distinguished Alumni Leadership Award to 10 alumni who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and leadership in one (or more) of the following areas: education, business and professions, science and technology, arts, voluntary services and philanthropy. The alumni honored include: Sally Anne Aurelio Novak (SHU ’81) of Greensburg, Pa., Michelle Bellas Cunningham (SHU ’86) of Greensburg, Pa., Jeanne Lacroix Ballard (SHU ’61) of Norfolk, Va., Barbara Machak (SHU ’81) of Hackettstown, N.J., Margaret Munley (SHU ’71) of Wilmington, Del., Rosemary Petrosky Mazero (SHU ’51) of Latrobe, Pa., Anne Ruff Quirk (SHU ’56) of Houston, Texas, Larry Taylor (SHU ’95) of Harrisonburg, Va., and Cynthia Wills Black (SHU ’76) of Pittsburgh, Pa. The Distinguished Alumni Leadership Award was presented posthumously to Clare Theresa Harwood (SHU ’41), who resided in Chevy Chase, Md.
Sally Anne Aurelio Novak (SHU ’81) of Greensburg, Pa., has worked in several areas of the communication field, hosting “Reel to Real,” an ecumenical, faith based television magazine produced by the Diocese of Greensburg, a for 11 years on WTAE-TV, working in hospital-based community relations and creating and promoting two successful parenting programs in local school districts and four subsidized housing communities. Working with physicians, staff and administrators at Magee Women’s Hospital in Pittsburgh, Sally Anne created the first Patient Advocacy Program for women undergoing invasive breast cancer testing. She volunteers at the Rehabilitation and Nursing Center of Pittsburgh in Greensburg and Welcome Home Homeless Shelter and established the Martha and Mary Food Pantry at Saint Bruno Parish, where she conducts Children’s Liturgy of the Word, is an extraordinary minister and serves on Parish Council. She also leads fundraising efforts for a number of nonprofit organizations.
Michelle Bellas Cunningham (SHU ’86) of Greensburg, Pa., is chief executive officer of Highlands Hospital, which is located in Connellsville, Pa., and ensures quality healthcare is provided to the residents of Connellsville. Michelle’s career in healthcare began immediately after she graduated from Seton Hill and was hired as a registered dietician at Frick Hospital in Mount Pleasant, Pa. As she furthered her education, transferred to Highlands Hospital and advanced in administration, Michelle garnered the respect of the hometown hospital administration and staff and the community. She is also an active leader in community service in this southwestern Pennsylvania city. Michelle is a member of the board of directors of the Hospital Council of Western Pennsylvania and Connellsville Chamber of Commerce; she is a past board member of the American Heart Association.
Jeanne Lacroix Ballard (SHU ’61) of Norfolk, Va., is board certified in pediatrics and neonatal-perinatal medicine. She served as Director of Nurseries for Bethesda Hospital and was attending physician for the Children’s Hospital Medical Center and The University Hospital of Cincinnati. Jeanne created the Ballard Score, which is used nationally and internationally to estimate the gestational age of newly born infants. Jeanne also studied breastfeeding medicine. She obtained a grant from the March of Dimes to establish the Center for Breastfeeding Medicine at the Children’s Hospital Center. Today, the Center is named in Jeanne’s honor, The Jeanne L. Ballard Center for Breastfeeding Medicine and specializes in a dyad approach, where the physician examines both the breastfeeding mother and the breastfed infant at one clinic visit. Jeanne standardized this practice for lactation care in the greater Cincinnati area.
Barbara Machak (SHU ’81) of Hacketstown, N.J., ensures that the United States military has an arsenal that is of the highest quality and caliber. For nearly three decades, she has worked with the United States Army at the Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey and is the executive director of Enterprise and Systems Integration Center for the Armaments Research Development and Research Development and Engineering Center. Throughout her career, Barbara has mentored individuals, primarily women. She founded the Women in Defense Chapter at Picatinny. The mission of the organization is to network with and mentor women and men in the defense organization.
Margaret “Peggy” Munley (SHU ’71) of Wilmington, Del., operates her own periodontal and general dentistry practice and she continues to give back to her community. She is the past president of the Rotary Club of Brandywine Hundred, a club participating in more than 10 local and international service projects. Peggy was recognized with the prestigious Rotarian of the Year Award twice. She enjoys mentoring youth and has partnered with Junior Achievement to present a seven week program stressing the importance of education to first grade students. Annually, Peggy participates in the University of Delaware’s career information day and participates as a judge at the First State Lego League tournament.
Rosemary Petrosky Mazero (SHU ’51) of Latrobe, Pa., has positively influenced western Pennsylvania through her service with the Latrobe Area Hospital Aid Society, Westmoreland County Community College, Woman’s Club of Latrobe, Arthritis Foundation, Latrobe Art Club and Friends of the Arts. Rosemary is recognized for her excellent management and organizational skills and has successfully planned and executed fundraisers, auctions, social events and golf outings for local organizations. In 1998, Rosemary and her husband, Dr. J. Robert Mazero, launched the successful endowed scholarship program at Seton Hill through a leadership commitment that established the Rosemary Petrosky Mazero Scholarship to assist students who have financial need.
Anne Ruff Quirk (SHU ’56) of Houston, Texas, is the past president of the Charity Guild of Catholic Women and has aided in the acquisition of property and assisted in providing services to children served by the Guild. In 2010, Anne was recognized for her 40 years of active service to the Guild. Through her work with the Guild, Anne began volunteering with the San Jose Clinic, a Guild beneficiary that provides care to the uninsured. Anne served as the president of the Women’s Auxiliary for the Houston Dental Society, Saint Cyril Ladies Guild and Newman Circle Study Club. She is also a docent at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and enjoys sharing her passion with visitors.
Larry Taylor (SHU ’95) of Harrisonburg, Va., is an associate professor of music at Bridgewater College, a private liberal arts college in Bridgewater, Va., where he teaches organ, piano, music theory, American music and an interdisciplinary freshman seminar. Upon graduating from Seton Hill, Larry completed his graduate studies at Emory University and the University of Notre Dame. He obtained his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. Most recently, Larry composed and produced a two act opera, “Eros and Psyche,” based on a libretto by Tom Noe. The opera tells the Eros/Psyche myth in which the god of love falls tragically in love with the most beautiful woman in the world. It debuted at Bridgewater College in May.
Cynthia Wills Black (SHU ’76) of Pittsburgh, Pa., operates her own financial consulting firm. Prior to starting her own business, Cynthia was employed as a senior product consultant and market manager by MasterCard Worldwide. She created and implemented the American Red Cross client assistance card for delivery of disaster relief benefits. This program is a global model for efficient and effective disbursement of disaster assistance. She also managed the establishment of the United States Treasury Direct Express MasterCard for disbursement of all federal benefits payments. While Cynthia was employed as a vice president with the U.S. Bank Network Services, which is the former Mellon Bank Network Services, she managed the development of new processing and debit card products and features.
The Distinguished Alumna Leadership Award was presented posthumously to Clare Theresa Harwood (SHU ’41), who resided in Chevy Chase, Md. Theresa held many positions in both the private and public sectors. In her final position as the chief pharmacologist with the Drug Enforcement Agency, Theresa held a classified security clearance of “secret” and reported directly to the Secretary of Administration. Upon her retirement, Theresa studied music and piano performance. She established a studio in her home and taught piano lessons for many years. A devotee to her faith and parish, Our Lady of Lourdes in Bethesda, Md., Theresa was honored by the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. with the Manifesting the Kingdom Award for Service in January.