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On June 4, 2005, Seton Hill University presented its Distinguished Alumni Leadership Award to Sara T. Beatrice (SHU '70), of Brooklyn, N.Y., Mary Lucretia O'Neil Costello (SHU '55) of Greensburg, Pa., Denise Plante Deshaies (SHU '60) of Brunswick, Maine, Patricia Landers (SHU '55) of West Hartford, Conn., Joanne Orlando Lizza (SHU '75) of Anderson, S.C., Mary Ann Mogus (SHU '65),of Greensburg, Pa., Irene O'Brien (SHU '45) of Masontown, Pa. and Norma Lutz Spina (SHU '50) of Las Cruces, New Mexico. The Distinguished Alumni Leadership Award is presented to Seton Hill 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.

Sara Beatrice, who serves as the assistant commissioner of health for the Public Health Laboratories in New York City, oversees and administers all phases of laboratory operations that perform approximately 2,000,000 tests each year. Her department is responsible for monitoring and protecting the health of over 11,000,000 people who work, live, or visit New York City on any given day. Beatrice, who holds an MS in Microbiology and a PhD in Microbiology and Immunology, both from Hahnemann University, completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Molecular Virology at the University of Virginia School of Medicine and a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Public Health and Medical Laboratory Microbiology at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. She was then named assistant director of virology at the Public Health Laboratories in New York at a time when New York was becoming the epicenter for a new disease eventually named AIDS. A subsequent promotion to director of the new Retrovirology and Immunology Division meant that Beatrice headed the first laboratory to introduce computers, robotics, and state of the art technology for HIV testing. Her laboratory was the first in the country to respond to the West Nile virus outbreak and also addressed the anthrax attack on New York City. Beatrice's awards, honors, presentations, and publications are vast and include a special recognition for excellence from the New York City Department of Health. She has been a member of the Board of Directors for African Services Committee, a HIV hotline volunteer and crisis counselor, and an officer of the New York Chapter, American Society for Microbiology.

Mary Lucretia O'Neil Costello received a Master of Arts in English Literature from Cornell University after graduating from Seton Hill. Costello began her career as a teacher, first of English composition and literature and then of college preparatory English in the Montgomery County, Maryland public schools before returning to Westmoreland County. After returning to Greensburg, Costello worked as an admissions counselor at Seton Hill between teaching assignments. Costello has served on Seton Hill's Board of Trustees, where she continues to be active as a trustee emerita. In addition, she has served several terms on the Seton Hill Alumni Corporation Board of Directors and co-chaired the Catholic Stewardship Campaign for the Diocese of Greensburg. Costello has also worked as a fundraiser for Blessed Sacrament Cathedral, the United Way, the Girl Scouts, the American Heart Association, the March of Dimes, and, of course, Seton Hill. Costello resides in Greensburg, Pa.

Early in her teaching career, Denise Plante Deshaies, became aware of disadvantaged learners and began working in the then newly-identified field of learning disabilities. She earned a Masters in Education in Special Education/Learning Disabilities from Rivier College while teaching for the Haverhill, Massachusetts Public Schools. Denise's students were teenagers with multiple learning problems including those who were terminally ill with muscular dystrophy. Denise coordinated the evaluation of children from age two and a half to 21 who presented a variety of special needs. She was particularly involved in developing model programs where three and four year old children were educated with typically developing children, and extended this inclusive model through grade four. During her career Denise wrote over 2,500 individual educational plans, each identifying a child's special needs. Following her retirement, she developed a library of special education goals and objectives for a company that sells software to school departments. A published author who researched the history of the French Canadians of Brunswick, Maine; Denise is in the process of translating from French to English an 1878 historical novel that chronicles the migration of her family's ancestors from Quebec to the mill towns of New England. Deshaies lives in Brunswick, Maine.

Patricia Landers has been consistently recognized for her expertise and her creative efforts in her field of school counseling and guidance. Now retired after a 33-year career as director of guidance at Newington High School in Connecticut, she has been a member of the faculty at Central Connecticut State University for ten years where she teaches courses in school counseling and supervises school counselor interns. In addition, Landers and two colleagues founded Assessment Associates, which offers consulting services to school districts and has provided services to more than 70 school districts in Connecticut and surrounding states. Following her graduation from Seton Hill, Landers spent three years in executive training and management with the Jordan Marsh Company in Boston. Landers, a National Certified Counselor and a Licensed Professional Counselor, also holds a Masters of Education in School Counseling from the University of Maine. Landers' leadership positions have included membership on the New England Regional College Board Council and service as president and president-elect of the Connecticut School Counselor Association. Landers is a resident of West Hartford, Connecticut.

Following her graduation from Seton Hill, Joanne Orlando Lizza initiated the kindergarten program at Seton Hill and continued as head teacher for four years. After moving to South Carolina, she taught first grade at a private Catholic school and remained in that position until, in 1994, she was diagnosed with an inoperable tumor of the brain stem. Lizza located a physician willing to operate, and traveled to New York for the risky surgery. For the next year, unable to walk, talk, eat, or breathe on her own, Joanne waged a brave battle toward recovery. Upon the completion of a year's rehabilitation programs, she was asked to volunteer as a tutor for a few hours a week at a local elementary school. Because she was successful in her endeavor, Joanne's efforts evolved into Tutor Coordinator and the training and supervision of fifty tutorial volunteers. Today she is a volunteer Tutor Coordinator for Centerville Elementary School in Anderson, South Carolina, and also volunteers as a guest lecturer, tutor trainer, and interviewer for teaching fellowship scholarship award recipients for Anderson College. In addition, Joanne reads essays submitted to the state of South Carolina for state awards and volunteers at a local theater. Joanne's many honors and awards include South Carolina Volunteer of the Year, South Carolina Teachers' Association Collaboration Award, the United Way Service To the Child Award, and South Carolina “You're a Hero” Award.

Mary Ann Mogus' distinctive career has encompassed diverse fields of interest, including general physics, bioacoustics, optics and vision systems, history, archaeology, writing, and arts and crafts. Following her graduation from Seton Hill, Mogus earned a Master's and Doctorate in Biophysics from Pennsylvania State University and subsequently did research in bioacoustics at Pittsburgh's Eye and Ear Hospital. She completed NASA's Biospace Training Program and, for many years, was a research fellow at Carnegie Mellon University where she specialized in optics and vision systems. A professor emerita from East Stroudsburg University, Mogus retired as professor and chair of the physics department and embraced volunteer service in historic preservation, archaeology, and literary and environmental organizations. Following her retirement, Mary Ann returned to Seton Hill to earn a Master's in Writing Popular Fiction. The Society of Pennsylvania Archeology has honored Mogus with the Archey Award for her contributions in archaeology, and the Monroe County Historical Society awarded Mogus both the Volunteer Service Award and Excellence Award for performance and contributions to the “Women Who Made History in Monroe County Project.” A Greensburg resident, Mary Ann has served as Director of the West Overton Museums in Scottdale and is currently president of the Ligonier Valley Writers as well as a board member for several local historical groups. She has owned and operated a small craft business since 1992 and, as a freelance writer, has been a fellow for the Center for Northern Appalachian Studies for St. Vincent College.

Irene O'Brien's distinguished and innovative career has included teaching, business and volunteering. Following her graduation from Seton Hill, Irene accepted a teaching position with Masontown High School where she initiated the Homemaking Department. Three years later she began a career that spanned 25 years as a Home and Customer Service Representative with West Penn Power. O'Brien has also served as an instructor in the culinary arts department at the North Fayette Vo-Tech School, where she designed a curriculum adopted not only by her school district but by the state as well. Recipient of the Keystone Award presented by the Laurel Highlands Chapter of the Pennsylvania Restaurant Association for significant contributions at the chapter and state level, Irene is also a charter member and past president of Soroptimist International of Fayette County. She is an active volunteer for her parish and has been a Board member and secretary of the Seton Hill Alumni Corporation. Irene resides in Masontown, Pa.

Norma Lutz Spina, a religious education and formation leader and mission volunteer, earned a master's degree in psychology at Fordham University after her graduation from Seton Hill. Spina has been involved in all phases of religious education, ministry, spiritual formation, and sacramental preparation for children, youth, and adults. She developed a vibrant youth program and initiated a certification program for catechists in New Jersey, helped build a religious education and formation center in New York, and currently serves as a mission volunteer for Immaculate Heart of Mary Cathedral in New Mexico. Named a Lady, Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher and subsequently Lady Commander of the order, Norma is also a member of the Parish Pastoral Council and an active parish volunteer. Spina resides in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

For more information on the Distinguished Alumni Leadership Award at Seton Hill University, please contact Ellen Greiner, director of alumni relations, at 724-838-4226 or