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2011 Alumni Award Recipients

2011 Alumni Award Recipients and Presenters

Award Recipients (seated l-r): Dr. William Olstein '02 (Health Professions Alumni Appreciation Award); John Stauffer '66 (Humanitarian Award); Joan Van Note '66 (Alumni Service Award); Kunio Sayanagi '00 (Young Alumni Achievement Award); Christopher Peterson '74 (Alumni Achievement Award)
Award Presenters (standing l-r): Dr. Debra Kirchhof-Glazier (Professor of Biology); Kim Kitchen (Executive Director of Development); Linda Carpenter (Executive Director of Constituent Relations); Dr. Norm Siems (Professor of Physics, Emeritus); Dr. Jim Lakso (Juniata Provost)

Read the Press Release.

The Harold B. Brumbaugh '33 Alumni Service Award

Joan Van Note '66 has provided selfless and unwavering service and support to her alma mater with contagious energy and loyalty. She has served as Class Fund Agent for the Class of 1966 for more than four decades, contacting every member of her class each year in an effort to help provide scholarships to current students through the Juniata Scholarship Fund. She has further supported fundraising as a member of the Heritage Circle since 1991, and as a Century II Campaign coordinator. She has helped to organize reunion activities as an Alumni Weekend volunteer and as Chair of the Class of 1966 Reunion Committee. She served as a member of the Alumni Council from 1981 to 1983. She has organized several regional events for alumni and friends of the College. She has cultivated a connection with Juniata that allows her to maintain and proliferate the mission of Juniata as relayed to her during her undergraduate work in the development office under the leadership of Harold B. Brumbaugh and through the present.

The Alumni Achievement Award

Christopher Peterson '74 has distinguished himself in his profession. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from Juniata, he earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard University and a Doctorate in Agricultural Economy from Cornell University. He has had a distinguished career of more than 20 years at Michigan State University, serving many roles including Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Homer Nowlin Chair of Consumer-Responsive Agriculture, and Director of the Michigan State Product Center for Agriculture and Natural Resources. He taught with excellence at Juniata College from 1981 to 1991, during which time he established a small-business outreach center. He was named a fellow by the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association in 2010 and served as a member of the National Commission on Food and Agribusiness Education from 2003 to 2004. He serves on the advisory board of the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Centers, the International Advisory Board of TransForum, and the Executive Committee of the Sustainable Michigan Endowed Project, in addition to acting as director of three cooperative boards: the Michigan Sugar Company, CoBank and the former St. Paul Bank for Cooperatives. He has been a member of the American Agricultural Economics Association since 2002, and a member of the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association since 1998. Among many awards throughout his career, he received the 1998 Michigan State Teacher Scholar Award. His scholarship and research on how to better manage rural cooperatives have been put to great use not only in academic settings but also in the complicated world of American agriculture.

The Young Alumni Achievement Award

Kunio Sayanagi '00 has distinguished himself in his profession. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and Mathematics from Juniata, he earned a Master of Science degree and Doctorate in Physics from the University of Arizona. He realized his excitement in astronomical sciences, particularly astrophotography, while working as the student director of the Paul E. Hickes Observatory at Juniata. He manifested his interest in astronomy by building a radio telescope behind Juniata’s Brumbaugh Academic Center. He was awarded a National Science Foundation Undergraduate Research Fellowship at Baylor University's Center for Astrophysics, Space Physics and Engineering Research in the summer of 1999. He held postdoctoral fellowships at both the University of Louisville and the California Institute of Technology, where he was the Executive Chair of the Postdoctoral Association. He is now employed as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles, focusing on atmospheric jet streams and turbulence on Jupiter and Saturn. He also sits on the Executive Board of the UCLA Society of Postdoctoral Scholars, and maintains a side career as a freelance science writer for Ars Technica. He now serves on the National Academy of Science Decadal Survey, an international panel, as the youngest scientist who will make recommendations on what NASA should study in the coming decade from 2013 to 2022.

The William E. Swigart, Jr. '37 Alumni Humanitarian Award

John Stauffer '66 has provided selfless service through and beyond his profession. After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Juniata, he joined the Peace Corps and taught science to Eritrean students from 1966 to 1968, becoming aware of the plight of Eritrea which was then ruled by Ethiopia. He maintained his service on a global scale by focusing much of his 38-year career at Rohm and Haas in Philadelphia, Pa., on marketing and educational outreach, traveling to Brazil, Canada, China, England, Eritrea, France, and Mexico. After reuniting with Berhane, a former student from Ethiopia, in 2002, he founded The America Team for Freedom for Eritrea, encouraging Eritrean opposition groups to unify their efforts, increasing the awareness of the Eritrean plight to U.S. audiences and addressing the problem of the displacement of many thousands of Eritrean refugees. He has steered The America Team to make refugees their sole focus which resulted in their incorporation as a non-profit by both the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Internal Revenue Service. He helped to establish college scholarships for Eritrean refugees. He shared his experiences and expertise with Juniata students in 2009 by returning to campus to give a talk, among many on the same topic, entitled "Eritrea: Hope for a Nation in Trouble." He authored a 95-page Tigrinya-English Picture Dictionary for new refugee immigrants in 2009, and wrote an article telling about his Eritrean journey in The Herald, a publication of the Ethiopia and Eritrea Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, in 2010.

The Health Professions Alumni Appreciation Award

William Olstein '02 earned his Doctor of Osteopathy degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2006 and completed his internship and residency in family medicine at the Altoona Family Physicians Residency Program at Altoona Regional Health System in 2009. He has returned to Huntingdon to provide top quality care as a physician at the Primary Care Center of the J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital. He has actively pursued his professional life through membership in the American Medical Association, American Osteopathic Association, Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association, and the American College of Osteopathic Family Practitioners. He has served Juniata College in a special capacity as an external reviewer of our Health Professions Program in 2009. He has been an enthusiastic participant in our Rural Health Care Issues and Rotations classes as a local health professional. He has served as a role model for our students in balancing professionalism with humility, and in balancing his professional life with his passion for sports. He has demonstrated uncommon compassion and understanding to both his patients and our students who have shadowed him.

Watch video of the award presentations: