University of Pittsburgh
June 21, 2009

University of Pittsburgh Alumni Association Honors 2009 Alumni Volunteers for Outstanding Commitment to Pitt

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-The University of Pittsburgh Alumni Association recently recognized outstanding alumni for their volunteerism and commitment to the University at the 2009 Pitt Alumni Association Awards luncheon held in Alumni Hall's Connolly Ballroom, Oakland. Winners were honored with the 2009 Volunteer Excellence Award, the Ivan and Mary Novick Award for Young Alumni Leadership, the Bill Baierl Award for Distinguished Alumni Service, the Pitt Alumni Recruitment Volunteer of the Year Award, and the Alumni Legislative Network Volunteer of the Year Award.

The Volunteer Excellence Award recognizes alumni who give their time over one year or provide multiple years of service to the University and the Alumni Association. This year two alumni received the Volunteer Excellence Award.

The first Volunteer Excellence awardee is Herb Dodell (A&S '61), one of the founders and the current president of the Southern California Pitt Club, which was established in the late 1990s. Dodell helped build the club's scholarship fund and an extensive schedule of special events, including dinners and film screenings at Sony Pictures Studios. These activities have raised more than $25,000 for the club's scholarship endowment. Dodell's previous involvement with the Pitt Alumni Association includes being a member of the Pitt Alumni Recruitment Team, the Pitt Career Network, and the Alumni Leadership Council. He also served as a host for the University on the Road program.

Lou Rusiski III (ENGR '71) also received the Volunteer Excellence Award. For more than 20 years, Rusiski has shared his musical expertise with Pitt's Marching Band, Basketball Pep Band, and the Symphonic Band. He has been a vital part of band operations, performing an assortment of tasks ranging from fitting students for uniforms and coordinating musical equipment for games to providing leadership training and mentoring to undergraduate band members. Rusiski also plays a key role in the recruitment of future band members through his involvement with the PittStart Program and other Office of Admissions and Financial Aid recruiting activities.

The Ivan (A&S '49) and Mary Novick Award is given annually to an alumnus who graduated in the past 15 years, is age 38 or younger, and has demonstrated leadership as a volunteer for the Pitt Alumni Association and/or the University. The award is funded with a gift from Ivan and Mary Novick.

The 2009 Ivan and Mary Novick award winner is Joan Snyder (CBA '01). While at Pitt, Snyder was president of the Student Government and a member of the Alumni Association's Student Committee. She is now a life member of the Alumni Association, with memberships in the New York City and New Jersey Pitt clubs. Snyder has played a key role in the formation of the Frances Hesselbein Global Leadership Academy for Student Leadership and Civic Engagement (http://www.chronicle.pitt.edu/?p=2409), working hand-in-hand with the academy's namesake, Frances Hesselbein, as well as the steering committee to develop the vision, goals, and mission for the academy.

The Bill Baierl (EDUC '51) Distinguished Service Award acknowledges a volunteer with longstanding service to the University and his or her community.

The 2009 Bill Baierl Distinguished Service Award winner is J. Roger Glunt (BUS '60), past president, director emeritus, and lifetime member of the Pitt Alumni Association. He currently serves as an Emeritus Trustee of the University of Pittsburgh Board of Trustees and a University Director of the UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside Board. Glunt has a longstanding history of support for Pitt's School of Nursing, having chaired the school's Board of Visitors and the Nursing Advisory Committee for Pitt's capital campaign. He was awarded the School of Nursing's Honorary Alumni Award in 2002. Glunt is the recipient of numerous other honors and distinctions, including the Pitt Alumni Association Volunteer Of Excellence Award in 2000 and the Distinguished Alumni Fellow Award in 2006.

The University's alumni play an important role in the recruitment of students through the Pitt Alumni Recruitment Team (PART) program, a partnership between Pitt's Alumni Association and Office of Admissions and Financial Aid.

The 2009 Alumni Recruitment Volunteer of the Year is Michael Ford (A&S '81), who has served as a volunteer with the Alumni Ambassador Program since its inception in 2006. In his role as an ambassador, Ford links Pitt to high achieving students in his community and assists students with the college application process.

The Alumni Legislative Network (ALN) plays a key role in advocating the University and higher education to Pennsylvania's state legislators.

The 2009 Alumni Legislative Network Volunteer of the Year is Will Hoel (BUS '60). Hoel frequently writes letters and makes phone calls to his legislators advocating for causes pertaining to Pitt. He travels annually to Pitt Day in Harrisburg to meet with lawmakers on Pitt's behalf and often serves as a mentor for new ALN volunteers during legislative visits. Hoel is also a member of the Alumni Leadership Council and serves as a leader in the Metro Pittsburgh Pitt Club.

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6/22/09/amm