This year, the College honors the following Pioneers for their extraordinary accomplishments and devotion to Marietta.
2020 MCAA Award Winners
Hall of Honor
T. Grant Callery ’68
Grant Callery served on the Board of Trustees from 2003-2018 and also served a term as the Board Chair. He also co-chaired the search committee that selected Dr. Bill Ruud as the 19th President of the College. Grant served as the Executive Vice President and General Counsel of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and is now retired. After graduating from Marietta, Grant went on to earn his Juris Doctor from the Georgetown University Law Center.
Linda Showalter ’79
Linda Showalter is being honored for going above and beyond to assist David McCullough as he researched his latest book, “The Pioneers.” Showalter earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Marietta College and currently serves as the Special Collections Manager.
Outstanding Young Alumnus
Eric Dowler ’07
After eight years of working as an HR Specialist and Process Improvement Analyst with the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Bureau of Fiscal Service, Eric Dowler transitioned to be a Project Manager with Monster Government Solutions — which helps government agencies and educational institutions find, hire and develop workforces. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Human Resource Management and was a member of the 2006 rowing team that won the Varsity 8+ gold at the Dad Vail Regatta.
A 1971 graduate of Wesleyan University, George Fenton has been a loyal supporter of Marietta College through his financial contributions and by serving on the Board of Trustees since 1993, including five years as Chair. He is the President of the Fenton Art Glass Company in Williamstown, West Virginia, and can be seen on campus regularly attending events and taking courses in the sciences — for fun.
Dr. Gloria Stewart was the first Chair and Program Director of Marietta’s Physician Assistant Studies Graduate Program. She served in this role from 2001 to 2013, and also provided the College with sound, professional guidance as we have looked at the PA Program and also at other potential new programs. She is a graduate of Alderson-Broaddus College and served as the President of the Association of Physician Assistant Programs (now PAEA).
Liz Tribett Service Award
Gregg Black ’81
A successful local business owner, Gregg Black has been instrumental in promoting the Pioneer Golf Challenge that is held in Pennsylvania every summer. He also hosts countless dinners for our athletic teams, he brought back the touchdown cannon that is used after the Marietta College football team scores. Black earned a Bachelor of Arts in Recreation Management from Marietta.
Studio Art major’s work selected for 2020 West Virginia Emerging Artists Exhibition
Studio Art major Leah Seaman ’21 has found success with a variety of art mediums — from winning the Proof of Concept round of the PioBiz Competition for her customized, painted apparel business to selling her commissioned paintings, winning the third round of PioBiz for her artistic business, ArtaBella, and, most recently, her pen drawings being chosen for exhibit in The Culture Center in her home state of West Virginia.
Seaman’s pen drawings are on display in the Commissioner’s Gallery of The Culture Center in Charleston, West Virginia.
The two pieces are from a four-piece series of pen drawings she created last year entitled The New Renaissance.
“I received the second-place award for my piece The New Renaissance (3), which was the drawing with multiple people in it — my parody of the statue known as the Rape of the Sabine Women,” she says.
Another work from that series was featured in The Culture Center, which is part of the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, last year during a different Juried Art Exhibition. She was initially encouraged by her father to enter the first juried exhibit, and received similar encouragement from Professor Jolene Powell to submit work for the 2020 Emerging Artists Exhibition.
“Being accepted into the 2020 Emerging Artists Exhibition is such a wonderful affirmation and humbling honor for my journey as an artist,” Seaman says. “I take it as an indicator that I am most likely on the right track and that my work is having the impact that I’d hoped it would have on other people.”
In addition to being a Studio Art major, Seaman is also majoring in Communication as well as working with the Entrepreneurship Program to create a business plan for ArtaBella, an art company that will allow her to sell commissioned artwork in a variety of mediums and to pursue personal work that can be exhibited. Last week, she learned she will receive $7,000 in financial support by winning the third round of PioBiz, which was originally supposed to take place during the Spring 2020 semester.
“Growing up in an entrepreneurship-focused household, I was always encouraged to follow my passions, to be my own boss, and to work hard at the gifts given to me. I was always told that hard work would bear beautiful fruit. These past few years, as my work has started to pick up momentum and attention, I have started to understand just how vitally important that message can be for other young people to hear.”
Over the summer, Seaman maintained a steady stream of commissioned work and also began mentoring a group of young women, specifically artists, in her hometown of Philippi, West Virginia.
“Being able to use my life experiences as an example of what can happen if you take that first step has been a powerful reinforcement for them that it truly is possible to follow passion instead of society’s definition of practicality.”
Petroleum Engineering Program shows off its global reach
Long before the pandemic caused many internships to be canceled and impacted summer educational opportunities, Marietta’s Dr. Ahmed Algarhy, an Assistant Professor in the Petroleum Engineering and Geology Department, began developing a way for his students — and countless others around the globe — to have access to quality educational content pertaining to the oil and gas industry online.
Algarhy proposed the plan for PioPetro, a non-profit organization based at Marietta College, to President Bill Ruud and Provost Janet Bland last year as a way to collaborate with universities, petroleum companies, and oil and gas experts to deliver digital information to college students for free. This summer, PioPetro collaborated with SPE Egypt to offer an eight-week online internship to students majoring in the petroleum engineering field. The participating students were from more than 70 countries and more than 200 universities worldwide.
The eight-week summer online internships drew more than 3,500 attendees who attended webinars, took quizzes and completed the final exam. Of those, Algarhy says 45 percent of the students passed the 70 percent threshold to earn the internship completion certificate. A second eight-week online training is planned to happen during spring (February and March 2021).
“After we completed the summer training and starting in August 2020, we run two or three short courses every month ‘free of charge’ and we serve more than 3,000 trainees every month,” Algarhy says. Each course contains four to eight webinars and quizzes plus a final exam. “The plan is to serve 25,000 trainees per year free of charge worldwide.”
To provide programming content, Algarhy is joined by Marietta College faculty, Professor Ben Ebenhack, Chris Jacobs, Leanne Price and Mary Roberts, as well as faculty and professionals from the University of Houston, The American University in Cairo, the University of Missouri Science and Technology, Future University in Egypt, and also the Society of Petroleum Engineers of North America and Egypt Section.
As PioPetro’s Director, Algarhy reached out to industry experts from multinational corporations and in higher education “to persuade them to online train students free of charge.” He also spearheaded publicity for the organization, promoting it through Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube. “Also, I lead the team of administration, sessions moderators, and graphics and media teams. We got 6,500 new subscribers in PioPetro’s YouTube channel in the last few months and also got almost the same number of followers on LinkedIn during the same period of time. On Facebook, we have more than 150,000 members in the group.”
Zachary Evans, Society of Petroleum Engineers Regional Director – North America, was one of the presenters during the summer program, introducing the topic of underground storage to the participating students. He expressed gratitude to the organizers for making the “Arab Oil & Gas Academy virtual internship a reality” in a letter he sent to Ebenhack, who is the Chair of Marietta’s Petroleum Engineering and Geology Department.
“Having participated directly as a speaker in one of the sessions, I was able to witness firsthand the overwhelming amount of participation and engagement the program generated from around the globe, and as the summer progressed I was truly amazed at how many students and young professionals were able to take advantage of this program both domestically and abroad. Given the significant decrease in traditional internships and job experience brought about by the industry downturn and public health concerns, this opportunity for students to learn and network remotely, while a windfall in any year, was especially needed in 2020. The extensive nature of the program with such a diverse range of engineering and professional topics within the oil and gas industry was remarkable and I'm sure all those who participated are better off for it.”
Learn more about the PioPetro Program.
To sustain and grow this innovative program reaching Pioneers around the globe we are looking for corporate sponsorships. If your company is interested in partnering with Marietta College to have increased access to this highly-qualified pool of potential employees, please contact Josh Jacobs, Vice President for Advancement.
Serving in times of need
For most people, this past spring was spent at home due to COVID-19 quarantine mandates.
For Lt. Col. Brian Gahan ’84 and fellow service members in the Illinois National Guard, the global pandemic was cause to leave their homes for nearly three months to serve on the front lines of the fight to contain the novel coronavirus.
Lt. Col. Gahan is the Medical Commander of Detachment 1, 182nd Medical Group, Peoria Air National Guard Base in Illinois. For 86 days — from March 23rd through May 15th — his team was activated and sent to Chicago.
“Together, our initial response team created and operated the first State of Illinois drive-thru Community Based Testing Center (CBTS) in Chicago,” he says. “Our team of approximately 65 Air and Army National Guard members consistently administered up to 750 tests per day to local first responders and the general public, with and without symptoms of the disease.”
During that 86-day time frame, the team administered 30,000 tests. Gahan was the officer-in-charge on the site for about 120 military personnel, and he was responsible for all actions that took place in a full day, including addressing members who had issues with family at home, sick family members, and illness, isolation and quarantine of sick and exposed troops, as well as operational needs, which included inventory and resupply, proper safety and PPE for each station, proper collection, handling and transporting of samples to testing labs, and reporting of all matters through the military chain of command.
Gahan says the Illinois National Guard forces worked alongside many different emergency response agencies, including Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s Office, Chicago Fire and Police departments, Cook County Sheriff’s Office, Illinois State Police, U.S. Public Health Service, Illinois Department of Public Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, FEMA and Illinois Emergency Management Agency. All Chicago media outlets provided coverage for those operations by providing regular and critical updates to the public. Their mission received support from community leaders, non-governmental organizations and local businesses.
“We set the standard for high-flow community testing and shared our operational best practices to nine other CBTS sites around Illinois,” he says. “In addition, we provided our experiences to testing operations from other states, as well as international public health and medical partners.”
Gahan says people make the mission, and many times the mission makes the people.
“We experienced a member, hospitalized and nearly taken by the disease, who fought back to recover, and get back on the line to help others,” he says. “We overcame the daily assembly line of repetition that desensitized your awareness and orientation. There were community members that continually brought food and encouragement to the team, and gave us all inspiration to keep up our best fight. There were members of local and state first responders that treated us as their own. But in the end, the special story was the people, the team, the family. Although we conducted our training as military and civilian responders, we immediately shared the purpose of our calling. Together, we were determined to stand up for those that could not stand up for themselves. It was a long, but remarkable experience.”
Moving on up
College connections still resonate after alumna named bank CFO
During her most forlorn time, Hannah Garofalo ’21 leaned heavily on her Marietta family
Her world was crumbling all around her. No, it was actually in a freefall and Hannah Garofalo ’21 didn’t know what to do next.
Just 16 days after finding out her junior golf season was canceled because of COVID-19, Hannah’s grandfather, Lorenzo “Larry” Garofalo, succumbed to the virus at the age of 85. At the same time, her father, Steve, was in the hospital battling the virus while on a ventilator and in a medically induced coma.
“It all happened so fast,” Hannah says. “The same week I went home (in March) my grandfather fell and wasn’t feeling well. I ended up taking him to the hospital because my dad wasn’t feeling well and he didn’t want to give anything to my grandfather.”
It wasn’t too much longer before Hannah, her mother Dianna, and her brother, Nathan, also tested positive for COVID-19.
“I had a fever and some symptoms, and I have asthma, so I had some breathing issues,” Hannah says. Her mother and brother were asymptomatic.
As her father battled for his life, Hannah became the emotional rock for the rest of her family. When she needed to speak with someone, she leaned on her second family — her Marietta College family.
One of her first calls was to Bill Ruud, Marietta College’s 19th President.
“From my first day on campus, I have had a wonderful relationship with him. He’s helped me a lot and he’s taught me a lot,” Hannah says. “During all of this, I was having a bad day and he just happened to call me, and he told me, ‘We’re here for you and whatever you need we’ll get it done.’ ”
Hannah learned how serious President Ruud was when her family was trying to have her father transferred to Cleveland Clinic.
“I told him we were running into some issues, and he said he would see what he could do,” she says. “I’m thinking, ‘What can the Marietta College President really do?’ Well, he got back to me in an hour or so and said he had spoken with some alumni and he also gave me some numbers of people to speak with.”
Her father ended up staying at St. Elizabeth Boardman Hospital, but the offers to help meant a lot.
When Hannah’s life was disrupted, Marietta’s leader did what he does best.
“I have been in higher education for more than 40 years, and I have always prided myself on thinking about the people we interact with every day,” Ruud says. “It is the people who make Marietta College so special, and when Hannah needed her second family more than ever, it was important that we were there for her. I told her she could call me any time of day and I would be there for her.”
And he still is today.
That personal investment in every student has been a trademark of President Ruud’s since he arrived in 2016. In normal times, he provides guidance on how to improve in the classroom and mentors students with career advice. When the pandemic hit, his focus shifted on making sure students had the care and support they needed — including being the calm and reassuring voice of the College in emails, live town halls and special video messages, having the bandwidth on campus increased so local students could have reliable Wi-Fi access, ensuring that the food pantry remained open and accessible — even by mail — to students experiencing food instability, and by supporting the health center’s transition to tele-health and tele-counseling services.
Hannah continues to stop by the President’s office for a quick chat or some advice.
“When I first got back on campus, I felt like I was home,” she says. “This is where I belong, and I needed the routine of being in class.”
Hannah also spoke regularly with Dr. Jaclyn Schwieterman, Chair of Sports Medicine, and professors Lori and Art Smith. More recently, she has fostered a strong relationship with Betsy Knott, Director of the Career Center.
However, during some of her toughest nights, Hannah connected with her golf coaches — Tom Arison and Callie Witkosky.
Arison says he went from the disappointment of the spring season being cut short to realizing he still had an important job to do.
“My role of coach went from advising on the golf course, to guiding Hannah on how to handle her situation and emotions,” says Arison of one of his first recruits. “Although it was hard at times to be strong, Hannah kept her head on straight and led her family though the most difficult time she has faced in her 22 years on this earth.”
Hannah admits that she still has her ups and downs, and she hasn’t completely processed the loss of her grandfather and how close she came to losing her father. But she is forever thankful that her Marietta family was there when she needed them.
“Seriously, I wouldn’t get this anywhere else,” Hannah says. “The fact that I had all of these people making sure I was OK. The previous professors who I had checking in with me and everything President Ruud and his wife did for me are not the type of things you even consider will be part of your college experience. Thinking back on it now — and even at the time — it made me happy to be part of the Marietta College family. I will be honored and proud to donate money to Marietta College after I graduate because it has given so much to me.”
B&E alumnus names scholarship for mentor Dr. Michele Hilden Willard
When Arnie J. Civins ’71 arrived at Marietta College in August of 1967, he was riddled with anxiety. Hailing from a blue-collar Jewish family in New Jersey, he had a relatively sheltered childhood under the watchful eyes of his parents and extended family.
“My grandfather lived with us,” he says. “I went from essentially having someone telling me what to do all the time, to being suddenly on my own in a small Ohio town.”
To top it off, his father — a veteran and war hero — dropped him off at the Newark airport with the admonishment: “Don’t flunk out. You’ll end up in Vietnam.”
“I was a wreck!” Civins remembers. “I had a terrible time adjusting — socially, academically — I was scared to death.”
To channel his anxiety, Civins spent nearly every waking hour in the Dawes Library, memorizing his textbooks verbatim. In class, he would answer every question with everything he knew. Until he met Dr. Michele Hilden Willard.
“In 1967, we were both new to the College,” Civins says. “It was her first teaching assignment and I was in one of the first Political Science courses she ever taught. I remember when she returned our first midterm exam; she told me: ‘You know what you are talking about, but you didn’t answer the question!’ ”
She took the young Civins under her wing and, over time, helped him through his uncertainty.
“She basically saved me,” he says. “She had a lot of empathy for that scared freshman who was so unsure of himself in this new environment. She was willing to put in extra time with me to make sure I succeeded. I took every class of hers I could, and the friends I made were in those classes as well.”
These days, Civins is a partner at the accounting firm Citrin Cooperman & Company, LLP, where he has a specialized expertise in the entertainment industry and serves as an advisor to many individuals in the literary, theatrical, film and music worlds. With Willard’s mentorship, he graduated cum laude from Marietta College, and the two continued to stay in touch, with Civins looking her up whenever he was in the area.
Friendly Enemies — Soldier Fraternization throughout the American Civil War, by Dr. Lauren Thompson ’07
Dr. Lauren Thompson wrote a book on American Civil War soldiers that was recently published by the University of Nebraska Press. Fraternization was a recurring event in the life of a common Civil War soldier.
“Interactions between Union and Confederate soldiers transpired during the Peninsula, Vicksburg, and Petersburg campaigns, across the Rappahannock and Chattahoochee Rivers, and during burial truces from Manassas to Nashville. But, why would any soldier want to be friendly with his enemy? When citizen soldiers experienced unthinkable hardships, they coped by carving out spaces of fraternity, reprieve, and survival. For some men, it was a way to get a warm cup of coffee or a plug of tobacco during a sleepless shift on picket duty. Others used it as a way to gain information about the war by acquiring enemy papers. Most significantly, soldiers arranged ceasefires and truces to limit constant fire in the trenches. Fraternization highlights soldiers’ ability to shed sectional differences and identify with one another’s mutual circumstances. Because it was exclusively between white soldiers, fraternization was the prototype for sectional reunion after the war — one that avoided debates over causation, honored soldiers’ shared sacrifice, and promoted white male supremacy. An in-depth analysis of fraternization demonstrates how Union and Confederate soldiers worked together to limit bloodshed amidst the bloodiest war in American History.”
Thompson, who is an Assistant Professor of History and Director of Ethnic and Gender Studies at McKendree University, says the book is available through the publisher’s website. She shared a Discount Code — 6AS20 — so readers can receive a 40 percent publisher’s discount.
The Lighting Supervisor’s Toolkit, by Jason E. Weber ’07
The Lighting Supervisor’s Toolkit guides readers through the Lighting Supervisor’s production process with an emphasis on the importance of the collaborative nature of the role.
Lifting the veil on a process regularly learned on the job, this book offers a deeper understanding of the role of Lighting Supervisor and how to take lighting designs from dreams to reality. Readers will learn to communicate with designers, analyze drawings, plan installations, document decisions, supervise crews, and innovate outside-the-box solutions.
Providing guidance for technically focused individuals seeking deeper understanding of the profession, The Lighting Supervisor’s Toolkit is ideal for students and professional technicians looking to take on important leadership roles in theatrical and entertainment lighting.
Congregations of the German Reformed Church in the United States, by the Rev. Richard Taylor ’65
The Rev. Richard H. Taylor's most recent book, “Congregations of the German Reformed Church in the United States,” has recently been released. It includes a directory of more than 4,000 churches that were part of that Church, most of which are now part of the United Church of Christ. It also includes a history focusing on social and organizational aspects of the denomination’s history. Coming in at more than 700 pages, this is his 11th book, the eighth in the format of a directory of churches.
Contact information: 29 Abbey Rd., Easton, PA, 18040; 610-438-3771;