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2018 Carlow Laureates


On May 11, Carlow University honored five distinguished alumni as its 2018 Carlow Laureates, the university's most prestigious alumni award. Carlow Laureates are alumni whose work, thought, and action demonstrate the highest standards of professional accomplishment and leadership, whether it is in their chosen discipline, in academics, or through community service.

The 2018 Carlow Laureates are:

  • Sandra Bihary-Waltz DBA, MSN, RN 1980
  • Sherry Konick Hoback, MBA, MSN, RN 1996
  • Diana Lynn Pakstis, MBA, BSN, RN 1988, 1999
  • John O'Donnell, DrPH, MSN, RN, CRNA, CHSE 1983
  • Young Laureate Award:
  • LaTrenda Leonard-Sherrill, MBA 2012

Faculty Promotions


At the Honors Convocation in May, six faculty members were promoted in rank and/or tenure:

  • Clara Cheng, PhD, counseling and psychology, Jennifer Snyder-Duch, PhD, communication, and Howard Stern, PhD, business administration, all from the College of Leadership and Social Change, were promoted to full professor.

  • Joshua Bernstein, PhD, and Travis Schermer, PhD, both from counseling and psychology in the College of Leadership and Social Change, were promoted to associate professor and awarded tenure.

  • Patricia Jameson, PhD, counseling and psychology, and Cynthia Karaffa, PhD, political science, both from the College of Leadership and Social Change, were promoted to associate professor.

Three Named Trustee Emeriti


Three members of the Carlow University Board of Trustees completed their service on the board and were awarded Trustee Emeriti status: Michele R. Atkins ’82, a former chair of the board; Patricia Mary Hespelein, RSM; and Paula J. Hasbach.

They were recognized for exemplary service, unwavering loyalty and leadership, and steadfast dedication to the mission of Carlow University. The university thanks them for their contributions of time, talent, and personal resources for the furtherance of the mission of Carlow University.


100% 2017 NCLEX Pass Rate


In 2017, 43 out of 43 Bachelor of Science in Nursing graduates from Carlow passed the NCLEX exam on their first try—a perfect pass rate and the highest in the Pittsburgh region. The exam allows graduates from pre-licensure programs to be licensed to practice nursing. Carlow has been the region's leader in pass rate for the past four years.


New Funding for Education, Nursing, and Chemistry


Department of Education Awards Early Education Grant

Carlow University was one of only three universities to receive a $330,000 grant from Pennsylvania's Department of Education to fund higher education for early childhood educators. The competitive award, made available through Pennsylvania’s Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grant, also went to Drexel University and Shippensburg University and will support partnership opportunities to identify and reduce barriers on the path to early childhood education degrees.

Loan Forgiveness Program To Benefit Future Nurse Educators

Carlow University has received a grant for $150,000 from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to provide student loan forgiveness for graduate nursing students who become nurse educators. The grant, known formally as the HRSA’s Nursing Faculty Loan Forgiveness Program (NFLP) but called the HRSA NFLP Award, provides up to 85 percent of loan forgiveness over the course of four years beginning after the student graduates and assumes a teaching role.

Benedum Foundation Grant To Support Out-of-School Learning

Carlow University has received a $173,000 grant from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation that will uncover new career opportunities for education majors in settings outside the formal school structure, at places such as museums, science centers, arts organizations, youth ministry programs, and libraries. Through this grant, Carlow will develop partnerships with key consultants, such as The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, to develop the first undergraduate experiential learning/out-of-school learning undergraduate and graduate major.

DEA Grant Supports Chemistry Research

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) awarded Carlow's Department of Chemistry a major instrumentation grant under the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act. The department received an Agilent gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer (GC/MS) instrument with autosampler and autoinjector, valued at over $90,000. The instrument will be used to support the department's curriculum and mentored undergraduate research projects.

Student Success

Carlow students are earning recognition for their accomplishments.

  • Enrique Mu, PhD, and two groups of MBA students presented their research at international conferences. Sarah Snyder, Hailey Mancuso, and Allison Cox went to Zagreb, Croatia to present “Design Thinking in Action: Membership Renewal at the Training Center Gym” at the 8th Student Symposium: Research Topics and Intercultural Learning in the International Context, hosted by the Faculty of Organization and Informatics. Two students from the MBA in Healthcare Management, Abigail Hebb and Julie Forbes, both nurses at UPMC, presented “Ethical Decision Making in Action: Evaluating Patient Care Approaches" at the International Society of Analytical Hierarchy Process (ISAHP2018) conference in Hong Kong in July.

  • Devan Stanko '18 is the recipient of the Joseph G. Smith Award, Carlow University's highest academic honor, named after a former chairman of the Board of Trustees. Stanko recently received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and was nominated for the award by the entire nursing faculty for her impressive record of academic success and service to others.

  • Carlow softball player Kelsey Geyer was named to the 2018 Daktronics-NAIA Women’s Softball Scholar-Athlete team. The award is given to those who maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 and have achieved junior academic status. Geyer was also named a River States Conference Scholar-Athlete and a USCAA Scholar-Athlete.

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice student Maureen Dunn presented her research "The Effect of Benson's Relaxation Response on Perception of Sleep and Quality of Life in Patients on Hemodialysis" at the Eastern Nursing Research Society 30th Annual Scientific Conference, in Newark, New Jersey.

  • In March, English students Karlee Arendt (who presented a paper), Alese Gwinn (who chaired a panel), Taylore Nacey, and Anna Havrilla attended the Sigma Tau Delta International Convention for English Honors students in Cincinnati.


2018 Women of Spirit Awards


The 14th Women of Spirit® Awards Gala was held on April 5 and honored six women for their unwavering commitment to the good of their community. The program honors outstanding female leaders and also supports high-school programs and need-based scholarships at Carlow. The 2018 Women of Spirit® Award recipients:

  • Diane P. Holder
    Executive Vice President, UPMC President, UPMC Insurance Services Division, President and CEO, UPMC Health Plan, National Woman of Spirit®

  • Teresa A. Sullivan, PhD
    President, University of Virginia

  • Colonel Jeannette E. South-Paul, MD
    Andrew W. Mathieson Professor and Chair, Family Medicine, University of Pittsburgh

  • Lenore Blum, PhD
    Distinguished Career Professor of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University

  • Margaret "Peggy" Rosenzweig, PhD, FNP-BC, AOCNP, FAAN
    Professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, Vice Chair, Acute and Tertiary Care

  • Deborah Acklin
    President and CEO, WQED Multimedia



Eureka! Research Highlights

From the desk, lab, and field...

  • Professional counseling professor Josh Bernstein, PhD, NCSP presented "Communication and Frustration Management" to a group of gifted students from Burrell Middle School.

  • Jan Beatty, MFA won the Paterson Prize for her collection of poetry titled Jackknife. 

  • Sigrid King, PhD, Anne Rashid, PhD, and Judith Touré, EdD, from the College of Learning and Innovation, presented papers at the National Women's Studies Association Conference in Baltimore.

  • Jennifer Snyder-Duch, PhD, professor in the communication department, participated in a panel discussion on the live webcast, iQsmartparent in March. The webcast, produced by WQED and distributed nationally, focused on how youth consume media in the digital era. Snyder-Duch contributed advice on youth media making, based on her work as co-facilitator of the Youth Media Advocacy Project (YMAP) at Carlow. YMAP began at Carlow University in 2010 supported by a grant from The Heinz Endowments Education Program.

  • Renee Ingel, PhD, in collaboration with McAllister and Quinn, successfully submitted a HRSA grant to provide nursing faculty loan forgiveness to graduates of our doctoral program in nursing who take positions as nurse educators.