Alumni Awards to Honor Three Individuals for Success, Support

DUBOIS – The annual Penn State DuBois Alumni Awards Banquet will honor three individuals who have demonstrated leadership and ingenuity in their fields, as well as steadfast support for the campus.

Joyce Fairman of DuBois; Craig Pearce, currently of Istanbul, Turkey; and Robert Ellinger, currently of Maridi, South Sudan, will receive awards at the banquet scheduled for 6 p.m. Nov. 20, at the Lakeview Lodge at Treasure Lake. All members of the community are invited to attend.

Fairman has been selected as this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Ambassador Award. This award is given to an individual who may or may not be an alumnus, but has made outstanding contributions to the campus and its mission.

She is the president of the board of directors for the Fairman Family Foundation.  Established by her late husband, Alan Fairman, the foundation supports activities that promote the physical and mental health of young people in area communities.  At Penn State DuBois, the Fairman Family Foundation contributes support for efforts, including children and youth programs and the BEST Robotics Competition, and is the naming contributor to renovations on the Alan R. Fairman House, a home on campus for the honors program and alumni as well as staff offices.

Fairman currently works in the oil and gas production field and is part owner of Fairman Corp., an operator of natural gas wells.  She retired from Atlas Pressed Metals in 2011, where she worked for 20 years as the accounting and systems manager.

She received a Bachelor’s degree in sociology with a minor in psychology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1976, and her MBA in 1984, also from IUP. Additionally, Fairman serves on the Council of Trustees for IUP, is active in her community with such organizations as the St. Catherine Church Fundraising Committee, The Association of Women Investors Organization, the DuBois Area YMCA, the United Way, the DuBois Public Library, and is a former member of the Penn State DuBois Athletics Fundraising Committee.

Pearce is one of two recipients of this year’s Outstanding Alumni Award. This is awarded to a Penn State DuBois alumnus who graduated from or attended campus 11 to 40 years ago and demonstrates professional leadership with an impact on society, leadership within their professional field, citizenship in their community and engagement with a campus or alumni group. Pearce is a University Distinguished Professor at MEF University in Istanbul, Turkey.

He is the founding director of the Deloitte Leadership Institute at Ozyegin University in Istanbul, Turkey.  He was formerly the Dean of the School of Business and Entrepreneurship at the American University of Nigeria and was the Donald Clifton Chair in Leadership and the director of the Institute for Innovative Leadership at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  Previously, he worked with Peter Drucker at the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito School of Management.

Pearce received his Bachelor’s degree with honors and distinction in management and a minor in psychology from Penn State in 1987, his MBA in management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison 1988, and a Ph.D. in management and organization from the University of Maryland-College Park in 1997.

He is also a co-founder of an agricultural biotechnology company and an active keynoted speaker and consultant to business organizations including American Express, Behlen Manufacturing, British Bakeries, Central Intelligence Agency of the United States of America, Land Rover, GEICO Insurance, Panda Restaurant Group, Rayovac, Pickering Foods, Nebraska Educational Telecommunications, The Rouse Company, Rover Cars, Serono, SK Group Korea and SmartScan Imaging. His research interests are shared leadership, hierarchical leadership, ethics/sustainability/corporate social responsibility and organizational performance.

Ellinger will also receive the Outstanding Alumni Award.  He is senior management advisor for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) International Ltd.  He currently works as South Sudan Country director in Maridi, South Sudan, Africa, but calls Treasure Lake home. He is chief of party for the Electrification Sustainability Program (ESP), overseeing a technical assistance program funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) supporting the process of achieving long-term sustainability for three recently constructed electric generation-distribution utilities serving the towns of Kapoeta, Maridi and Yei in the Equatoria States of South Sudan.

Prior to his current assignment, he worked on several short-term assignments in the African countries of Uganda and Liberia. In 2011 he completed a three year assignment as chief of party for the Rural Electrification Development Program (REDP) in Bangladesh.

Ellinger began his career in rural electrification as the energy management advisor for United Electric Cooperative in DuBois.

He has more than 25 years of experience in rural electrification programs having served in staff positions in DuBois prior to moving to Delaware, Ohio where, at the age of 34, he became Ohio’s youngest general manager of an electric distribution cooperative. While in Ohio, Ellinger served as vice president of the Ohio Managers Association and chairman of the Ohio Rural Electric Cooperatives Youth Committee.

Ellinger earned an Associate’s degree in business administration from Penn State DuBois in 1980, and was awarded membership in the Delta Epsilon Sigma National Honor Society upon receiving his Bachelor’s degree in business administration from Ohio Dominican University in Columbus, Ohio. He is a life member of the Penn State Alumni Association and an avid follower of Penn State athletics both in DuBois and University Park.

The cost for dinner at the Alumni Awards Banquet is $25 per person.  Those who wish to attend are asked to RSVP to Julie by Nov. 6, at 814-375-4775 or jad62@psu.edu.

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