Fall 2012

Alumni Award Winners

Patricia Kucab Horvath '57 (M.S. '69)

 2012 Sister Denis Donegan Award for Long Term Service

Patricia Kucab Horvath began her professional career teaching in Edison, New Jersey. Later, she enjoyed a highly successful career as a real estate sales representative with a prominent New Jersey firm. She also became a dedicated volunteer, tirelessly giving of her time and talents to assist with numerous alumni events and serving on countless committees. Since 2002, she has served the University at the national level as a member of the Marywood Alumni Association Board of Directors; then as Board President, Past President, and currently, as President Emerita.

She has established several endowed and annual scholarships at Marywood and continues her loving support for her alma mater. Her alma mater, in turn, is delighted to recognize the faithful service of Patricia Kucab Horvath by awarding her the Sister Denis Donegan Award for Long Term Service.

Ann Cooney Newswanger '57

2012 Award of Excellence in Health and Human Services

Ann Cooney Newswanger is a Registered Dietitian and clinical nutrition educator at the Diabetes Center of New Jersey, JFK Medical Center, who also continues to provide nutrition consultant services in private practice. Come fall, there's a whole new dish on her menu: helping her husband operate their Christmas tree farm near Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania.

Along the way, Ann has been generous in her support for the University. She has held leadership positions in the Central New Jersey Alumni Chapter; was a member of the national Alumni Association Board of Directors; served on multiple committees; aided Capital Campaign efforts; and been a career network volunteer, inauguration representative, and gracious hostess, welcoming alumni to her home.

The Marywood University Alumni Association is delighted to honor her with the 2012 Excellence in Health and Human Services Award.

Kathryn Lynott Oursler '72

2012 Award of Excellence in Liberal Arts and Sciences

Kate Lynott Oursler, whose family has a long association with Marywood, followed in her Aunt Kathryn's footsteps, entering the criminal justice field.

She worked in Philadelphia County prisons, a half-way house for federal inmates, a pre-trial services agency, and a probation office. To her Marywood degree in Comprehensive Social Sciences, she added a Master's degree in counseling from Antioch College. In 1990, she started work with the Federal Judicial Center. She created educational programs for probation and pre-trial staff, with the aim of helping them protect the community, while guiding offenders to change and become more productive members of society.

Kate, now retired, says her Marywood education instilled in her a belief that she could go forth and do anything, and that we have the capacity to make a difference in this world, and to help others change. She has spent a professional lifetime dedicated to that ideal. It is with great pride, honor, and respect that Marywood University bestows its 2012 Liberal Arts and Sciences Award of Excellence upon Kathryn Lynott Oursler.


Paulette Posluszny Merchel '69

2012 Award of Excellence in Creative and Performing Arts

As student, performer, director, and educator, Dr. Paulette Posluszny Merchel lived her personal playbill of theatrical accomplishment. After receiving her degree from Marywood, she went on to earn her M.A. in Theatre Arts from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Binghamton, pursued her M.A./Ph.D. in comparative literature at SUNY Stony Brook, and then earned her Ph.D. in Mass Media and Communication from Temple University.

She taught at Skidmore College, SUNY Stony Brook, and Marywood University where she was, at first, a lecturer in public speaking while also teaching speech and dramatic arts at West Scranton High School. Before joining Marywood's faculty, she taught at West for 20 years. During her subsequent 19-year tenure at Marywood, she produced 26 plays and directed nearly 30 dramas, comedies, and musicals, plus eleven plays in her favorite genre: children's theatre.

It is with applause and accolades of the highest order that Marywood University recognizes Paulette Posluszny Merchel with the 2012 Excellence in Creative and Performing Arts Award.

Suzanne Vanston Speicher '72

2012 Award of Excellence in Education and Human Development

Suzanne Vanston Speicher has a history of expanding her own horizons and undertaking new challenges. After receiving her B.A. in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Marywood, she went on to earn her M.Ed. in Special Education and her Ph.D. in Human Development from the University of Maryland.

Her broad background has given her a depth of understanding and expertise that continues to characterize her distinguished professional career as an educator. She has taught at all levels—elementary, through high school...to college/university—and has worked in the student services milieu. She will soon take her role as an educator of educators to a new level as coordinator of graduate programs at Towson University.

Suzanne has remained committed to her alma mater, serving on the inaugural Dean's Council in the Reap College of Education and Human Development. She has consistently and generously supported major capital projects at the University. Marywood University is proud to claim Suzanne as a distinguished graduate and as the worthy recipient of the 2012 Excellence in Education and Human Development Award.

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