The 2019 Alumni Award recipients with SSU President Dr. Jeffrey Bauer. From left to right: Matthew Purcell, Eric D. Goodman, and Heather Cantrell. Not pictured: Anna Purpero, Megan VanBuskirk, and Anthony Cappel II.
PORTSMOUTH, Ohio – The Shawnee State University Alumni Association recognizes six individuals for their achievements in their career fields and their communities with the presentation of this year’s Alumni Awards. This year’s awards include Distinguished Alumnus, Distinguished Alumni Ambassador, Medal of Merit, Alumni Community Service, and Outstanding Recent Graduate.
The Distinguished Alumnus recipient is Eric D. Goodman. This award is presented to an alumnus who has demonstrated distinguished professional achievement, personal qualities and service to the university. A 1995 graduate of Shawnee State University, Goodman is a published author, frequent guest on Baltimore’s National Public Radio station, and an employee of Social Security in which he publishes the national security newsletter. An author of four books, Goodman’s upcoming novel Setting the Family Free will be released in October 2019 and will feature scenes of his alma mater’s campus.
This year’s Distinguished Alumni Ambassador is Heather Cantrell. This award is presented to an alumnus currently working at Shawnee State University who demonstrates distinguished professional and personal qualities and service while working at their alma mater. Cantrell is a 2003 graduate who began working at Shawnee State in 2006 as an Academic Coordinator in the federally-funded TRiO Center. Now working in the Student Success Center as a professional advisor for the College of Arts & Sciences, Cantrell is known for her ability and willingness to go the extra mile for students at Shawnee State, establishing initiatives to assist students in their pursuit of success.
This year’s Medal of Merit recipient is Matthew Purcell. This award is presented to an alumnus who has demonstrated career achievements and outstanding performance in their profession. A 2000 graduate, Purcell currently serves as the Superintendent of the Scioto County Board of Developmental Disabilities. In his nineteen-year career with the board, Purcell has served in numerous ways before being named the Superintendent in 2018. Serving on multiple boards and committees in the regional area as well as statewide, Purcell also dedicates his time to coaching and mentoring local high school basketball teams.
This year’s Alumni Community Service recipients are Anna Purpero and Megan VanBuskirk. This award is presented to an alumnus in recognition of their outstanding volunteer service and contributions to the community. Purpero (Class of 2011) and VanBuskirk (Class of 2010) are the founders and operators of the Paper City Mentoring Project as well as the Paper City Coffee facility in Chillicothe, Ohio. Starting the project in 2016, Purpero and VanBuskirk saw a need to providing mentorship and support to teenagers in the area. Serving on multiple developmental boards, the pair is dedicated to providing Chillicothe with a positive and accepting space while supporting youth in need.
The Outstanding Recent Graduate recipient is Anthony Cappel II. The award is presented to an alumnus who has received their first baccalaureate degree from the institution within the last five years and who demonstrates the positive impact their university education has had on their profession. A 2015 graduate, Cappel works within the National Park Service at Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park. Since graduating from Shawnee State, Cappel has received two master’s degrees – a Master’s of Arts in International Development and a Master’s of Arts in Comparative Politics, the latter of which he completed at American University where he also received a fully-funded research position.
The Alumni Awards were presented at the annual President’s Gala at the end of April. The event raised over $40,000 for the SSU Development Foundation Grants Program.
To learn more about the Alumni Association, visit www.shawnee.edu/alumni or contact Kara Stump, Assistant Director of Alumni & Community Engagement at email@example.com or 740.351.3081.
Contact the Office of Alumni & Community Engagement at 740.351.3284.