Class of 2011

  • Dr. Cynthia Ann (Hogan) Hargenrader- Class of 1977, graduated summa cum laude from Clarion University in 1981 with a degree in speech pathology and audiology. After spending a year on a Navajo Indian reservation as a speech therapist, she graduated from the Pennsylvania State University in 1984 with a master degree in audiology and subsequently earned her doctorate in audiology in 1996 from the University of Syracuse. She began work at the University of Rochester Medical Center soon to also teach at the University of Rochester where she was promoted from instructor to assistant and the associate professor. In 2007, she was hired as the Director of the Hearing Aid Division of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic is ranked among the Best Hospitals for Ear, Nose, and Throat by the U.S. News and World Report.

    Dr. Linda (Schiestle) Horton- Class of 1973, graduated from Grove City College with degrees in mathematics and physics. She received her master and doctoral degrees in materials science from the University of Virginia. Dr. Horton is a well-known authority in the material sciences community having authored over 50 publications while editing a book on diamond thin films. She has received numerous awards and recognition for her work and is currently the Director of the Center of Nanophase Materials Sciences, one of five new United States Department of Energy Nanoscale Science Research Centers in Washington D.C. She has been active in professional service and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Materials Research Society and on the advisory committees for the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council for Nanotechnology and for Energy in the United Kingdom.

    Dr. Donald E. Sykes- Class of 1960, graduated from Edinboro State University with graduate work at Michigan State University completing his doctorate in cell biology in 1980. He completed post-doctoral work at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Dr. Sykes’ area of professional expertise include biochemistry and cell and molecular biology with the focus of his research on the regulation and control of cell differentiation and transformation. Prior to his higher university educational work, Dr. Sykes taught biology in the Port Huron, Michigan Schools. He currently is an associate research professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo. In addition to extensive publications, Dr. Sykes sits on the Gastroenterology Research Team at Buffalo General Hospital and is a research scientist in the area of allergy immunology.

Class of 2012

  • Dr. John Campbell- Class of 1988, attended the University of Pittsburgh where he majored in biology with a minor in chemistry. Graduating Summa Cum Laude and inducted into the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society in 1992, he then attended the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine on an Air Force Professions Scholarship. In 1996, Dr. Campbell began his residency at UPMC Family Medical Residency Program and completed his medical training in 1999. He was then assigned to the 10th Medical Group at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado, from 1999-2003 where he obtained a final rank of Major. During this time Dr. Campbell was deployed to Incirlik Air Force Base in Turkey in support of Operation Northern Watch and Operation Enduring Freedom. Upon an honorable discharge from the Air Force in 2003, eh joined a family medicine practice in Littleton, Colorado. In 2004, he became an Associate Clinical Professor for the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. In 2005, Dr. Campbell opened his own family medicine practice in Castle Rock, Colorado, where he continues to practice today.

    Douglas S. Elliott-  Class of 1973, received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Clarion University and completed the Executive Program at Pennsylvania State University and the Edison Electric Institute’s Senior Middle Management Program. Mr. Elliott joined First Energy Corporation in 1977 as an accountant and after a 35 year management career is currently the president of the Pennsylvania Operations, which includes Med-Ed, Penelec, Penn Power, and West Penn Power, electric utility operating companies of First Energy Corporation. First Energy has over two million customers and 6,000 employees in Pennsylvania. Mr. Elliott has been chairman and board member for various organizations. In 1996, he was named YMCA Man of the Year for Youngstown and received the Sales and Marketing Executives of Akron 2001 Distinguished Sales and Marketing Award.

    Dr. Larry “Chip” Filer- Class of 1991 received his undergraduate degree in economics from Westminster College in 1995 and his masters and doctorate in economics from the University of Kentucky in 1999. Dr. Filer serves as the Director of the MBA Program and Director of the College of Business and Public Administration’s Executive Education Center at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. He also is an Associate Professor in the Economics Department. Dr. Filer specializes in macroeconomic policy research. His extensive published work has appeared in many academic journals and has been featured in mainstream media outlets such as Inside Business,, MSNBC, and Yahoo Finance. As a teacher, he has received the Shining Star Award on three different occasions for his outstanding teaching and was twice the recipient of Old Dominion University’s “Most Inspirational Faculty” award. Dr. Filer is a frequent lecturer throughout the state of Virginia and has served as an advisor to state and regional development groups and to legislators at local, state, and federal levels.

    Dr. Matthew J. Zirwas- Class of 1992, received his degrees from the University of Pittsburgh where he was the valedictorian of the School of Medicine and Chief Resident in dermatology. After teaching dermatology to medical students for two years, he moved to The Ohio State University where he is now in charge of all dermatology education as the Residency Director in Dermatology. Dr. Zirwas is a nationally recognized expert in the area of Contact Dermatitis and Atopic Dermatitis. He has lectured in 31 states, 2 foreign countries, and has authored over 80 articles in medical journals and textbooks. Dr. Zirwas serves on the Board of Directors of the American Contact Dermatitis Society and the Ohio Dermatological Association. He also has been a visiting professor at the Mayo Clinic, New York University, University of Texas, and Indiana University.

Class of 2013

  • Barbara J. Devito Burke- Class of 1980, received an Army ROTC Commission from Slippery Rock University,  a Bachelor’s of Science Degree from the University of the State of New York, a Master’s degree in Emergency Management from Touro University, a Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies from the US Army War College and is expected to complete her Ph.D. in Emergency Management from Capella University in 2013. During her tenure in the US Army, she advanced through the ranks to colonel. She held a variety of command and staff positions as an Arabic linguist in military intelligence. In addition to deployments for Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm, she commanded a counterintelligence and human intelligence linguist battalion, a signals intelligence company and was officer in charge of a joint intelligence center. She has also served in multiple positions including deputy director of a joint intelligence directorate, chief of strategy and policy division, deputy director for operations in a headquarters, deputy director for operations of an emergency operations center, chief of current operations, chief of planning, and director of intelligence within various operations centers. Colonel Burke’s awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (five awards), the Air Medal, the Army Commendation Medal (four awards), the Army Achievement Medal (four awards), Good Conduct Medal (two awards), Army Reserve Component Achievement (five awards), Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal (two battle stars), Kuwait Liberation Medal, Saudi and Kuwait Liberation Medal, Utah Medal of Merit, Utah Army Commendation Medal, Aircraft Crewman Badge, and the Knowlton Award for demonstrated excellence in the intelligence field.

    Dr. Joni E. Finney- Class of 1974, received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Westminster College, a Master of Arts Degree from Bowling Green State University and a Ph.D.  in Higher Education from Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Finney is the Professor of Practice in the Graduate School of Education at The University of Pennsylvania. She served as the Director of the Institute for Research for Higher Education and was vice-president for the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education. Additionally, Dr. Finney was on staff at The University of Denver, The University of Southern California, The Pennsylvania State University and Bluffton College. Dr. Finney is a frequent lecturer throughout the United States. Her extensive published work has appeared in many academic journals, articles, and editorials. Dr. Finney received the Gerald Saddlemire Lecture Award in 2012.

    Isabel Reed- Class of 1936, attended the Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University, Westminster College, and the prestigious Julliard School of Music. Ms. Reed was a retired concert soloist who performed throughout the country and was the recipient of the Marian Anderson Opera Award. In term of her civic contributions, Ms. Reed was a board member and vice president of the West Side Community Action Center, the Paul Laurence Dunbar Reading Circle, and a teacher at the West Side Center in New Castle. She was instrumental in the founding of Bollinger Playground and her plans for a traffic route around the downtown area of New Castle which was eventually adopted by the city for the Columbus Inner-Belt in New Castle. For over 40 years, Ms. Reed was a hostess on WKST Radio for a program focusing on African-Americans. She traveled to Washington D.C. in 1963 to cover the historic March on Washington.

Class of 2014

  • Steve Casino- Class of 1984, attended the Rochester Institute of Technology where he majored in art history. His professional portfolio includes the Schechter Group as a production artist (1988); GFI Digital as a designer (1988-1994); Happiness Express as a toy designer (1994-1996); and the Obb Toy Group as a creative director with clients including Disney, Mattel, Nickelodeon, and Hasbro (1996-2004). Currently Mr. Casino is a toy inventor for Bang Zoom Design (2004- present). Outside of his work as a toy inventor, Mr. Casino in nationally acclaimed for his Peanut Art. He has been featured in the New York Daily News with appearances on Good Morning America, The Jonathan Ross Show in Great Britain, and news shows in Taiwan. He spends up to 20 hours a day making four-inch celebrity statuettes out of peanuts which he colors with acrylic paint. Internationally acclaimed musicians and actors have commissioned Mr. Casino’s impressive artistic talents

    Edward W. Chadderton- Class of 1934, lived on a farm three miles east of mercer and upon graduation purchased a semi-tractor trailer where he hauled coal throughout the Shenango Valley and as far as Cleveland for the Mercer Coal Producing Company. Soon after, Mr. Chadderton purchased additional trucks and hired drivers and established the Ed Chadderton Trucking Company. He earned his pilot’s license and developed the Sharon Airport and Chadderton Air Service. His fleet of planes eventually numbered 13 where he hauled small air freight shipments for such companies as Westinghouse Electric. Mr. Chadderton partnered with Grove City College to provide flying lessons for students enrolled in the ROTC program. He started the Chadderton Truck and Car Rental Company in 1948 which expanded to seven cities in Pennsylvania and Ohio to include a franchise with the Hertz Company. In 1964, Mr. Chadderton was the founder of Oak Tree Village outside of West Middlesex and while utilizing the finest architects developed one of the most beautiful golf courses in the eastern United States.

    Sharon Givens Volpe- Class of 1984, received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh and a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education/Mathematics from Duquesne University. Since 1999, Mrs. Volpe has taught high level mathematics courses at North Allegheny High School. Prior to her appointment at North Allegheny, she taught at North Catholic High School where she also was responsible for high level mathematics courses and college in high school classes for the University of Pittsburgh. Mrs. Volpe is in charge of the North Allegheny High School forensics program where she has established herself as a four-diamond coach and been recognized with her induction into the prestigious Pennsylvania Speech Hall of Fame. In addition to mentoring multiple state champions, the North Allegheny speech team has ranked in the top 25 in the nation for multiple years. She has committed herself to many community service and church activities outside of her work as a distinguished educator.

Class of 2015

  • Dr. Benjamin Shipton- Class of 1989, graduated from Clarion University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in Biology in 1993. He received his Doctorate in Medicine from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1997. He was appointed the Chief Resident, Department of Family Medicine at Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA. He is Board Certified through the American Board of Family Medicine and a Fellow through the American Academy of Family Physicians. Dr. Shipton is the past Chairman of the Department of Family Medicine – University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Horizon Campus. Currently his is the Regional Medical Director- Primary Health Network, one of the largest non-profit community health centers in the United States with 36 practice sites in 14 countries over western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio. In addition, Dr. Shipton is a Professor of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; faculty responsible for medical education programs including those for medical students, interns, and for all Family Medicine Residents.

    Susan Q. Stranahan- Class of 1964, began her journalism career at age 15, working for the Sharon Herald. She graduated from the College of Wooster in 1968 with a degree in history. After four years as a reporter for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, she joined the staff of the Philadelphia Inquirer in 1972, where she worked for 28 years. Ms. Stranahan was a member of the Inquirer team that was awarded a 1980 Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the Three Mile Island nuclear accident. As a reporter and editorial writer at the Inquirer, she primarily covered national and regional environmental issues. In 1983 she was awarded an Alicia Patterson Foundation Fellowship and in 1985 was named Pennsylvania Conservation Communicator by the Pennsylvania Wildlife Federation. She taught environmental writing at the University of Pennsylvania and authored “Fukushima: The Story of a Nuclear Disaster.” Ms. Stranahan has written for numerous publications including the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Fortune, the New York Times and Rolling Stone.

    John Thorn-   Nationally recognized actor John Thorn was a member of the Class circa 1898/1899. Mr. Thorn was always attracted to the stage, and during his youth performed in many local amateur productions. His professional acting career began on the stage in Pittsburgh. He went on to appear in numerous regional productions, most notably “The Vagabond King” and “The Clinging Vine”. Mr. Thorn was also engaged with some of the best theatrical companies on Broadway in New York City. He counted many celebrated actors among his friends, including Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne. Mr. Thorn starred in 13 silent films in 1915 and 1916, the best known being “Trapped” and “The Gilded Cage.” He became one of the most outstanding actors at a time when the motion picture industry began to overshadow stage productions. He attained the ambition of all actors when he was invited to become a member of the prestigious Theater Guild of New York City. Mr. Thorn died on August 28, 1935, and is interred in Mercer Citizens Cemetery.