Alumni Updates & Recognitions

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Rachel Slaughter
Class of 2019

Rachel Slaughter, Ed.D. ‘19, has been selected to speak at the World Literacy Summit at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom

Rachel Slaughter, Ed.D. '19, a global speaker and teacher at Penn Wood Middle School, will present her research about combating illiteracy at the World Literacy Summit at the University of Oxford in April 2023. The summit brings together leaders from 85 countries representing over two-thirds of the world's population, and all with a single focus - advocating, championing and educating on the vital importance of improving literacy levels across the globe. It's the world's largest gathering of international literacy specialists and Slaughter will engage the audience in discussions and activities outlined in her textbooks titled Turning the Page: The Ultimate Guide for Teachers to Multicultural Literature and Turning the Page: A Guide to Securing Multicultural Literature for Schools.

Slaughter has worked for over 30 years as an educator and has previously presented at international conferences in Ireland and Brazil. She holds a doctorate from Widener University in reading with an emphasis on cognitive studies.

Anne Michelini '88 PE
Class of 1988

Anne F. Michelini ’88 named Delaware Valley Engineer of the Year

The Engineers Club of Philadelphia announced that Anne F. Michelini '88 PE was named the Delaware Valley Engineer of the Year. This distinguished award recognizes a standout local engineer who emulates the qualities that define professional excellence, civic duty, society leadership and community stewardship.

With more than 40 years of experience in capital project leadership, Michelini plans and executes projects internationally at Covanta. In addition, her community engagement and efforts to promote diversity and inclusion include serving as a former board member with First State Robotics, helping to found the Multicultural and Diversity Network at Covanta and serving as an executive sponsor of the Covanta women's network, RISE. She earned her bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Bucknell University and a master's in business administration from Widener University.

Elizabeth "Betsy" Walls 82
1982

Elizabeth 'Betsy' Walls '82 has been recognized as Pennsylvania's Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Trailblazer by the CDC

Elizabeth "Betsy" Walls '82, RN, the retired director of personal health for the Chester County Health Department, helped to establish the Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) Program and Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) in Chester County. Walls was honored by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as Pennsylvania's PHEP Trailblazer, in celebration of the anniversary of the creation of the program as well as Walls' decades-long service to public health.

Walls holds degrees in nursing and administration from Widener University.

Leelabati Biswas 15
Class of 2015

Leelabati Biswas '15 won the American Medical Association’s National Research Competition

Leelabati Biswas '15, earned the grand prize of $10,000 for her research, "Decoding Pregnancy Loss, Validating a Novel Genetic Biomarker of Poor Egg Quality" from the American Medical Association's National Research Competition. Biswas, who is pursing a dual doctoral degree in medicine, microbiology and molecular genetics (M.D.-Ph.D.) from Rutgers' Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, beat out nearly 1,200 entries in the competition, which the AMA describes as "the largest national, multispecialty research event for medical students, residents and international medical graduates." Biswas' research seeks to identify a genetic predictor of infertility. Biswas holds a degree in biochemistry from Widener University.

Magen Buterbaugh 05
Class of 2005

Magen Buterbaugh '05 has been appointed president and CEO at Greene Tweed

Greene Tweed, a materials production and engineering firm, has announced the appointment of Magen Buterbaugh '05 as its president and CEO. Buterbaugh brings two decades of experience in progressive management to the role. Prior to joining Greene Tweed, Bauterbaugh spent 17 years with DuPont and Chemours in a variety of functions including capital engineering, operations, strategic planning, commercial and business management. She holds a bachelor of science in chemical engineering from Penn State and a master's in business administration from Widener University.

Stephanie Allen, Ed.D.
Class of 2022

Stephanie Allen, Ed.D. '22 has been named Director of Equity, Diversity and Belonging at Montgomery County Community College

Montgomery County Community College recently welcomed Stephanie Allen, Ed.D. '22 as the new Director of Equity, Diversity and Belonging. Allen will lead several initiatives this academic year, including events like safe space training sessions, the President's Symposium on Diversity and the President's Advisory Council on Equity and Social Justice.

Allen holds a bachelor's degree in communication studies and a master's degree in counseling education from West Chester University. She received a doctorate from Widener University in Higher Education Administration and Leadership. She has worked in higher education for more than 15 years in both public and private settings, including several four-year institutions.

Angela Lucci and husband
Class of 2017

Angela Lucci Married Douglas P. Solomon

Angela Lucci married Douglas P. Solomon on April 17, 2021 in Archbald, PA. The couple has postponed their wedding twice due to the COVID-19 pandemic and ultimately had a wedding with their closest family members. Their wedding consisted of a celebration of nuptial mass at St. Thomas Aquinas Church of Christ the King Parish in Archbald, followed by a dinner reception at Arcaro and Genell's in Old Forge, PA. 

Angela Lucci graduated with the class of 2017 and would go on to marry Douglas P.Solomon on April 17, 2021. 

Shareable Link: https://alumni.widener.edu/alumni/news/updates/angela-lucci-married-douglas-p-solomon

Bernard W. Smalley
Class of 1980

Bernard W. Smalley Elected First African-American President of The Board of Directors of City Trusts

Bernard W. Smalley Esq., JD, law, is the first African-American to serve as President of The Board of Directors of City Trusts, the agency charged with overseeing charitable trusts bequeathed to the City of Philadelphia.  Mayor Jim Kenney stated “Bernie Smalley is a good man and a great Philadelphian, and on behalf of the entire city, I congratulate him on his unanimous election as the first African-American to lead the Board of City Trusts."

Bernard W. Smalley graduated with a degree in law in 1980 before going on to serve the City of Philadelphia and eventually elected as the first African-American President of the Board of Directors. 

Shareable Link: https://alumni.widener.edu/alumni/news/updates/bernard-w-smalley-elected-first-african-american-president-board-directors-city-trusts

Carolyn Comitta
Class of 1989

Carolyn Comitta Named to the 2021-2022 Senate Education Committee

Carolyn Comitta, ME, education, drawing on her experience as a public-school educator, state Senator Carolyn Comitta was recently named to the Senate Education Committee for the 2021-22 legislative session. Comitta, who successfully advocated for teachers and school staff to be prioritized for vaccination, said she will work to ensure students, families, and schools have the support and resources they need as districts across Chester County prepare to return to full, in-person instruction. “I am honored to serve on the committee and look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to address the significant and ongoing impacts this pandemic has had on schools, students, and families across Chester County and the Commonwealth,” Comitta said. “The disruption in learning has impacted different students in different ways. It’s important that we fully understand the issues at stake as we work to help every young person realize their greatest potential.”

Earlier this year, Comitta brought together Chester County school district superintendents, legislators, and officials from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Pennsylvania Department of Education, and governor’s office to discuss efforts to fully reopen schools and distribute the vaccine to teachers and school staff. As a result of her advocacy and the efforts of others, Governor Wolf and the bipartisan COVID-19 Joint Task Force established plans to prioritize educators and school staff in receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Comitta holds a bachelor’s degree in education from West Chester State College (now West Chester University) and a master’s degree in education from Widener University. Previously, she served as a teacher and curriculum specialist in the Octorara Area School District for a decade. In addition to her position on the Senate Education Committee, Comitta will continue to serve as minority chair of the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, and on the Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Health and Human Services, and Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness committees.

Carolyn Comitta graduated with the class of 1989 with a master's degree in education and went on to serve as a teacher, before starting her professional journey with Senate Education Committee. 

Shareable Link: https://alumni.widener.edu/alumni/news/updates/carolyn-comitta-named-2021-2022-senate-education-committee

Class of 1990

Christine A. Sereni-Massinger Published Children's Book Series

Christine A. Sereni-Massinger Esq., JD, law, is a criminal justice professor with Saint Leo University, in addition to teaching she is also a professional horse trainer.  She attributes a lot of her success to her passion and unique bond with horses.  Sereni-Massinger is fascinated by the study of horse psychology and behavior, “Working with them has really helped me with my teaching in terms of interacting with my students." To further demonstrate her love of horses, Christine Sereni-Massinger has published a book series for children called The Adventures of Speedy the Wonder Horse. 

Christine A. Sereni-Massinger gradated with the class of 1990 and would go on to purse a career in teaching, along with professional horse training. She has recently ventured into the world of children's literary publishing with her series The Adventures of Speedy the Wonder Horse. 

Shareable Link: https://alumni.widener.edu/alumni/news/updates/christine-sereni-massinger-published-childrens-book-series

Christopher Cicalese
Class of 2013

Christopher Cicalese Promoted to Associate Partner of Alloy Silverstein

Christopher Cicalese, CPA, MSTFP, ’13 MS, taxation and financial planning. Alloy Silverstein, a regional accounting firm with offices in Cherry Hill, Hammonton, and Mount Laurel, NJ, announces that Christopher Cicalese, CPA, MSTFP has been promoted to Associate Partner effective July 1, 2021. A Medford, NJ resident, Cicalese received his Master’s in Taxation and Financial Planning from Widener University in 2012.

Christopher Cicalese graduated with a master's in taxation and financial planning before going on to serve a prominent role at Alloy Silverstein accounting firm. 

Shareable Link: https://alumni.widener.edu/alumni/news/updates/christopher-cicalese-promoted-associate-partner-alloy-silverstein

Christopher Kenny
Class of 2002

Christopher L Kenny Elected to Serve on the Middle States Commission on Higher Education's Board of Commissioners

Christopher L. Kenny Esq., JD, law, Delaware LIVE's owner has been elected to serve on the board of one of the nation's largest higher-education accreditation organizations. Chris L. Kenny, who also owns A Better Delaware, will serve for three years as a public member on the Middle States Commission on Higher Education's board of commissioners. Middle States is a non-governmental organization tasked with issuing accreditation to colleges and universities in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. "I am extremely honored to accept a commissioner position on the Middle States Commission on Higher Education," Kenny said. "I look forward to being a part of this historic institution and their mission to assure students and the public of the educational quality of higher education and to ensure institutional accountability, self-appraisal, improvement and innovation through peer review and the rigorous application of standards."

Christopher Kenny graduated with the class of 2002 and would go on to serve in the public educational sphere. 

Shareable Link: https://alumni.widener.edu/alumni/news/updates/christopher-l-kenny-elected-serve-middle-states-commission-higher-educations-board-commissioners

Christopher Nagy
Class of 2006

Christopher Nagy represented the United States Educational Leaders on an International Panel sponsored by School Rubric

Christopher Nagy, Ed.D. ’06 represented the United States Educational Leaders on an International Panel sponsored by School Rubric, which addressed what educational systems learned from the pandemic and how education will change as a result. Nagy was then published in the School Rubric Global Educator Insight Magazine in July 2021.

Christopher Nagy graduated with the class of 2006 before going on to make his name in the educational system and eventually working on International Panel. 

Shareable Link: https://alumni.widener.edu/alumni/news/updates/christopher-nagy-represented-united-states-educational-leaders-international-panel-sponsored-school

Christy Neill
Class of 2004

Christy Neill Received the Ameriprise Client Experience Award

Christy Neill, BS economics. Christy Neill received the Ameriprise Client Experience Award for her work as a top financial advisor. As a financial advisor, Christy provides financial advice that is anchored in a solid understanding of client needs and is delivered in one-on-one relationships with her clients. This award was given to Christy because of her ability to consistently deliver personalized, goal-based advice and exceptional client service. Christy Neill graduated from Widener University in 2004 with a degree in economics.

Christy Neill graduated with the class of 2004 with a degree in economics before going on to provide her clients with top notch financial advising. 

Shareable Link: https://alumni.widener.edu/alumni/news/updates/christy-neill-received-ameriprise-client-experience-award

Claudette Carter Walker Carter
Class of 1985

Claudette Carter Earns Copywriting Certification for Script "Walker's Way"

Claudette Carter ’85, My name is Claudette Carter. I am a graduate of Widener University and the widow of the late Walker Carter. I completed and received a copyright certificate for my script entitled, "Walker's Way." The concept and origin of the title was created by our loving neighbors who named the street where we reside in Walker’s memory. Walker Carter was a graduate of Widener, stellar athlete, award winning coach, beloved husband, father and friend. Along with his team mates Walker won national championships as an athlete and coach at Widener in football as well as track and field. The way Walker lived his life, inspired others to rise to their best through sports and teachings of true love based on his faith in God. Defying all odds against racism as an underprivileged, black boy, who became a beloved man that touched the hearts of so many even after his death.

Through my nonprofit corporation Spotlight Productions, l am presently receiving donations to produce this true, inspirational drama. I am working with such websites as InkTip, Scribe and Keeya Branson who serves as Corporate Contributions Manager for PECO. Walker Carter’s life can be a source of inspiration for the young and old within our communities, as well as our astute alumni. My family and I were so excited when Walker was inducted into Widener University’s Athletic Hall of Fame a few years ago. A scholarship was established through PECO for over $50,000 in Walker’s memory. My script “Walker’s Way” is a powerful biographical, action packed docudrama similar to the unforgettable movie “Remember the Titans” and the award winning film “Brian’s Song.” We look forward to the development of this script to an outstanding film.

Claudette Carter graduated with the class of 1985 and enjoyed a happy marriage with her husband, Walker Carter, also a graduate of Widener, for whom her script "Walker's Way" is dedicated. 

Shareable Link: https://alumni.widener.edu/alumni/news/updates/claudette-carter-earns-copywriting-certificate-script-walkers-way

Dane Collins
Class of 2013

Dane Collins Promoted to Compliance Officer & Associated Council and Chief Compliance Officer

Dane Collins, J.D. ’13 law was promoted from Compliance Manager to Compliance Officer & Associate Council and Chief Compliance Officer & Associate Council of Haverford Trust Securities, Inc., a subsidiary broker-dealer company of The Haverford Trust Company. With more than 10 years of experience, Collins helped develop, implement and maintain the firm’s regulatory compliance program. This promotion reflects Haverford’s commitment to fostering talent and cultivating firm-wide institutional knowledge.

Dane Collins graduated with the class of 2013 before going on to serve the Haverford Trust Securities team. 

Shareable Link: https://alumni.widener.edu/alumni/news/updates/dane-collins-promoted-compliance-officer-associated-council-and-chief-compliance-officer

David Nickelson
Class of 1995

David Nickelson Appointed Celerity's Senior Client Partner

David Nickelson, PsyD, J.D., Clinical Psychology, and Juris Doctorate Global business and technology advisory firm, Celerity, is proud to welcome a new Senior Client Partner to lead its Health + Life Sciences offerings, Dr. David Nickelson. With over 20 years of experience helping clients efficiently and effectively discover and deliver healthcare products, services, experiences and outcomes, making him the ideal leader to take Celerity’s life sciences division to the next level. In addition to decades of experience in healthcare consulting and technology, Nickelson holds a master’s and Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Widener University and a JD in Corporate and Constitutional Law from Widener Law.

David Nickelson graduated with the class of 1995 and earned himself a JD in Corporate and Constitutional Law from Widener. For over 20 years, Nickelson worked in healthcare, specializing in consulting and technology. 

Shareable Link: https://alumni.widener.edu/alumni/news/updates/david-nickelson-appointed-celeritys-senior-client-partner

Class of 1993

Deborah Cardenas Named PSNA Vice President

Deborah Gallek Cardenas, MS, nursing service and administration, The Pennsylvania State Nurses Association (PSNA), announced that it has named PSNA Vice President Deb Cardenas, DNP, MSN, RN, Paralegal, LSSYB, as PSNA President, effective June 29, 2021. Dr. Cardenas will serve as PSNA President. Dr. Cardenas is the Program Manager of Quality and Patient Safety Outcomes at Penn State Health Medical Group’s Academic Practice Division. She earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) from George Washington University in 2018, MSN from Widener University, and BSN from Albright College. Cardenas is a graduate of the PSNA Legislative Ambassador Program, was a member of the PSNA Government Relations Committee and Nominating Committee, and has served as PSNA Secretary and PSNA Vice President and Secretary of the Nursing Foundation of Pennsylvania. PSNA CEO Betsy M. Snook, MEd, BSN, RN, commented:

"Dr. Cardenas is a motivated professional nurse leader. During her time with the association, Dr. Cardenas has collaborated with nurses and state lawmakers regarding legislative initiatives and issues affecting the healthcare profession. In addition, she has served as the PSNA Board liaison to the Nursing Foundation of Pennsylvania, in which she helped raise scholarship funds to support the education of nurses in the Commonwealth. Her range of professional experiences in clinical settings and education, provide Dr. Cardenas with the knowledge and background to be a strong leader for our membership. We look forward to having her serve PSNA as the incoming President."

Deborah Cardenas earned her MSN from Widener University and would go on to work closely with PSNA as member of Government Relations Committee and Nominating Committee, along with assuming role as Secretary and most recently, Vice President. 

Shareable Link: https://alumni.widener.edu/alumni/news/updates/deborah-cardenas-named-psna-vice-president

Edward Marolda
Class of 1967

Dr. Edward J. Marolda has Published a New War History Book

Dr. Edward J. Marolda, has authored Admirals Under Fire: The U.S. Navy and the Vietnam War, published by Texas Tech University Press and available through Amazon books. Following his participation in the ROTC program and graduation from PMC, he was commissioned in the U.S. Army and served his country in Vietnam. He subsequently earned degrees in history from Georgetown University (MA) and George Washington University (Ph. D). 

In 1971, he joined the staff of the Naval Historical Center in Washington, D.C., capping a 37-year career there as the Director of Naval History (Acting), and Senior Historian of the Navy. During that time he authored, coauthored, or edited seventeen histories, including the award-winning By Sea, Air, and Land: An Illustrated History of the U.S. Navy and the War in Southeast Asia and Shield and Sword: The U.S. Navy and the Persian Gulf War.

Following his retirement in 2008, the Navy Department honored him with its Superior Civilian Service Award and in 2017 the Naval Historical Foundation presented him with its prestigious Commodore Dudley Knox Naval History Lifetime Achievement Award. Marolda credits the intellectual and professional grounding he received at PMC for enabling much of his later success.

Dr. Edward J. Marolda graduated with the class of 1967, before going on to serve his country in the United States Army. Marolda went on to earn his masters and doctorate before embarking on a rich publishing journey, during which he published several war-centric books. 

Shareable Link: https://alumni.widener.edu/alumni/news/updates/dr-edward-j-marolda-honored-his-time-military-and-legacy-published-author

 

Flavia Naves
Class of 2021 Law

Flavia Naves Marked First Anniversary as General Counsel for Circle Financial Technology Firm

Flavia Naves recently marked her first anniversary as general counsel for Circle, a global financial technology firm that enables businesses of all sizes to harness the power of digital currencies and public blockchains for payments, commerce and financial applications worldwide. Circle is undergoing a business combination with Concord Acquisition Corp, a publicly-traded special purpose acquisition corporation with $276 million in trust.

Flavia Nave graduated with the class of 2021 Law and would go on to work for global financial technology firm, Circle. 

Shareable Link: https://alumni.widener.edu/alumni/news/updates/flavia-naves-marked-first-anniversary-general-counsel-circle-financial-technology-firm