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Clarion University honors six with Distinguished Awards

The Clarion Call report
Clarion University

On Friday, Oct. 5 The Alumni Association at Clarion University will be holding the 2018 Distinguished Awards Banquet. It will be honoring five alumni and a current faculty member. The Alumni Association established the Distinguished Awards in 1966 to recognize exceptional alumni and friends of Clarion University. This year’s honorees will be joined by more than 250 alumni, faculty and friends who have distinguished themselves in their representation of and service to Clarion University. The categories for these awards are: Distinguished Alumni, Distinguished Venango Alumni, Distinguished Faculty and Distinguished Service.

Those who are being awarded are: Mark S. Andrekovich (’84), Charles F. Klingensmith (’61), and Ronald J. Sylvester (’85), Thomas N. Cole (’86,’88), Terri “Tiki” Kahle (’87), and Dr. Susan C. Prezzano.

Mark Andrekovich, chief of human capital and president of employer services for MAXIMUS, Inc., Reston, Va., was a four-year letterman on two championship football teams, president of Sigma Tau fraternity and an active participant in student government. Andrekovich has held various leadership positions with companies such as Owens-Illinois, General Electric, Nordson Corporation and Cytec-Solvay and is recognized by his peers as one of the nation’s top human resource professionals. He has served on the Clarion University College of Business Administration and Information Sciences Advisory Council for the past three decades. He and his wife Mari live in northern Virginia.

Charles Klingensmith is a retired faculty member of the New Kensington branch of Penn State University. At Clarion, he was an alumni office student assistant, Press Club president, editor of The Clarion Call, staff member of the Sequelle, vice president of his senior class and a member of Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity. He taught for 30 years at Miami-Dade Community College where he was associate dean of extended educational services and associate dean of academic support services. In 1996, Klingensmith moved overseas to direct bilingual education in Bangkok, Thailand, where he developed the bilingual curriculum for Sarasas Pithaya School. At Clarion, he has been heavily involved with the Class of 1961 endowment. He lives in Verona.

Ronald Sylvester is president and owner of RS/tv, Inc. He began his career in New York City and worked in public relations for seven years before moving to Los Angeles. He has held various senior-level positions with production companies and PR firms. Sylvester started RS/tv, Inc., in 2004, servicing his client base with broadcast publicity campaigns, corporate video, commercials and online content. The company produces online content for the IMDb website at events such as Comic Con and Sundance Film Festival, as well as coverage at the Emmy Awards and Golden Globe Awards. Sylvester lives in Long Beach, Calif., where he was president and chair of the board of the LGBTQ Center of Long Beach from 2009 to 2016.

Thomas Cole is program director for Nike, Inc., where he has worked for 20 years. After graduating from Clarion, he worked for Quaker State Corporation’s internal audit department, then in the internal audit departments for Whirlpool and Anheuser-Busch. While working for these corporations, Cole conducted business abroad, living and working in 15 different countries. At Nike, he considers himself lucky to have worked directly with many of its original team members, learning that when a person is committed to his or her values, those values become the person’s brand. He is active with Clarion University by serving as a mentor to students through the CUmentor program. Cole and his wife Donna live in Oregon.

Susan Prezzano has taught anthropology at Clarion since 1995. In 1997, she began a partnership with the Heritage Program at the Allegheny National Forest, overseeing many field schools which train Clarion undergraduates in excavation and data recording techniques. The programs link several federal and state agencies and often include high school students and the public. Prezzano is co-director of Clarion’s undergraduate and graduate research, which provides funding for student-faculty collaborative research and a campus forum where students can present their scholarly work. She is an avid gardener and amateur astronomer. She and her husband, John Miller, live in Clarion.

Terri Kahle’s 30-plus years of volunteering began at Clarion University when she joined Alpha Sigma Tau sorority and became involved with its volunteer initiatives. She served on Keystone Area School District Board of Directors for 16 years. She led Clarion County Career Center’s School to Work initiative. She currently serves on the board for Keystone Smiles, a position she has held since 1994. She founded the Mrs. Claus Club, a non-profit that provides outreach to cancer patients in the county. She served Clarion University alumni Association Board of Directors from 2009-2017, and she continues to volunteer at alumni events. She has worked for her family tractor sales business since graduating.

The award ceremony will be held in Gemmell multi-purpose room. The event is RSVP only, which has to be in by Sept. 29. Cocktail hour begins at 5:30 p.m. followed by the presentation of awards and dinner at 7 p.m.

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