Alumni Awards

Please save the date for the

2020 Alumni Awards Gala

Saturday, April 25 ~ 7 pm
Fritsche Theatre at Cowan Hall

The Cardinal community proudly recognizes alumni and individuals who have positively impacted the Otterbein campus, provided outstanding service to one’s local community, and/or modeled exceptional leadership in one’s profession. These individuals clearly articulate Otterbein’s most cherished values.

The 2020 honorees include:

Rising Star | William Bishop ’15, MSAH ’18
Rising Star | Andrea Drago ’10
Rising Star | Jonathan Hill ’15
Professional Achievement | Crystal Kelley ’05
Research or Creative Achievement | Mina Makary ’09
Service to Otterbein | Karl Niederer ’75
Pacesetter | Joyce Ray ’00
Distinguished Alumni | David Robinson ’78
Honorary Alumni | Joan Rocks
Professional Achievement | Jeremy Young ’00

Award Nomination Information

To nominate an Otterbein alumnus or alumna, please complete this form and submit it with accompanying documentation.

Otterbein University welcomes nominations for the Alumni Awards. Strong candidates across a wide range of professions will have demonstrated excellence in one or more of the following areas:

  • Advancement of intellectual curiosity, either professionally or academically, through innovative and intensive research or creative work.
  • Passion for increased intercultural competency and interest in global environments. The honoree also demonstrates transferable intercultural skills that they have integrated and applied across local and international communities through service, volunteerism, or professional contributions
  • Leadership in meaningful change in their profession, community, or the Otterbein campus community; represents the ideal of a committed, industrious, and caring individual.
  • Commitment to society demonstrated thorough civic and social responsibility; they have utilized their knowledge, skills, resources and time to create a clear, positive impact on their chosen community need or issue.
  • Dedication to a high-level of excellence and professional achievement at the local, regional, national or global level in the field of their endeavor.

** Nominations for all Otterbein alumni, from recent graduates to those with more established careers, are welcome.

Nominations are due September 30, 2019 by 11:59 pm Eastern.

All Otterbein Alumni Award winners will be presented at the Otterbein Alumni Awards Gala on Saturday, April 25, 2020. We strongly encourage award recipients to attend the award reception and ceremony in person.

This award program is led by a group of dedicated Otterbein alumni who are partnering with the school to strengthen and engage the Otterbein alumni community by recognizing the outstanding contributions of Otterbein trained professionals and leaders.

If you have any questions, please contact Steve Crawford at or (614) 823-3200.

Award Category Descriptions

Rising Star: Accomplished alumnus from any of the other focus areas and under the age of 30 years.

Community Service and Engagement: This award is presented to individuals who have exemplified the university’s philosophy of concern and commitment to society demonstrated through civic and social responsibility. The recipient of this award has utilized their knowledge, skills, resources and time to create a clear, positive impact on their chosen community need or issue.

Global or Intercultural Experience: This award recognizes alumni who have experienced local, regional, national or international engagement with diverse populations that results in increased intercultural competency and interest in global environments. This honoree must also exhibit transferable intercultural skills that they have integrated and applied across local and international communities through service, volunteerism, or professional contributions.

Research or Creative Achievement: This award recognizes outstanding achievement in one’s field of endeavor, either professionally or academically, related to innovative, intensive and thorough research or creative work.This award honors dedication and intellectual curiosity to a scholarly or creative discipline which strengthens a vision they share with others in their chosen field.

Professional Achievement: This award is presented to Otterbein graduates who have demonstrated a high level of ambition and professional excellence which has resulted in significant career advancement at the local or regional level and/or within the organization in which the recipient is employed.

Leadership and Citizenship: This award is designed to recognize rising and future leaders among Otterbein’s alumni community. Those individuals who are qualified for this award have demonstrated outstanding leadership capabilities and orchestrated meaningful change as leaders in their profession or in their communities (local, regional, national, global). The recipient of the Leadership and Citizenship Award represents the ideal of a committed, industrious, and caring individual to whom the Otterbein community may look as personifying the University’s mission.

Distinguished Alumnus: This award represents the most prestigious award presented by the Otterbein Alumni Association. Traditionally presented to only one individual per year, this award was established in 1951 to honor graduates of Otterbein University who have achieved recognized national or international prominence in their chosen career and have made significant contributions to their profession, community and the lives of others. The recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award represents the ideal of a committed, industrious, and caring individual to whom the Otterbein community may look as personifying the University’s mission.

Special Achievement: Established in 1966, the Special Achievement Award recognizes excellence and high professional achievement by an individual in his or her field of endeavor. The award is presented to Otterbein graduates whose career contributions have significantly enhanced their profession at the local or regional level and/or the organization to which the recipient is employed.

Service to Otterbein: This award recognizes outstanding individuals who have freely and unselfishly given their time, talents, and services for the betterment of Otterbein University. The award was established in 1964 to honor Otterbein graduates who have significantly enhanced the campus community and added a dimension to campus life and the future of the College that made their service distinctive.

Honorary Alumnus: The Honorary Alumni Award was created in 1950 for the purpose of recognizing and honoring those individuals, who, though not graduates of Otterbein University, have demonstrated outstanding interest, commitment and involvement in its life and activities. Recipients embody the notion that friends of the University, in addition to its alumni, can play an important and vital role in the enhancement of the institution.

Pacesetter Award: This award established in 2015 honors a mid-career Otterbein graduate who has had a significant impact on his/her profession and who has contributed to the common good of her/his community. This alumna/us is recognized as a person who sets the pace for future generations of leaders and learners. Mid-career professionals are individuals with 15-20 years in a career which might be their 1st or encore career.

Otterbein Mentor Impact Award: Created in 2017, the Otterbein Mentor Impact Award is given to a faculty or staff member (current or emeritus) whose dedication to teaching and mentoring has had a noteworthy and enduring impact on the lives and careers of his or her departmental alumni. This award is given to an individual who has changed lives through his/her dedication to former students and who has shown a commitment to supporting young alumni and/or the Young Alumni Awards Program at Otterbein University.


Nomination Form

Electronic Submission

Nomination Form


All nominations are due by September 30, 2019


  • Mail completed nomination forms, question responses, and supporting documents to:

Office of Alumni Relations: Attn. Steve Crawford
Otterbein University
1 South Grove Street
Westerville, Ohio 43081

Past Alumni Awards Recipients

Past Recipients

Special Achievement
2018 – Dianne Grote Adams, ’78
2018 – Jeffrey A. Brindley, ’81
2017 – Nita Seibel, ’75 M.D.
2016 – Michael McKinney ’86
2016 – Carlton M. Bates, M.D. ’86
2015 – MaryAnn Everhart-McDonald ’72
2015 – Judge David W. Fais ’65
2015 – Donna Lee Valput Hanly ’00
2014 – Jeri Malmsberry Close ’93
2014 – Ruth Downing ’04, MSN ’06 RN CNP SANE-A
2014 – Dr. Michael Leadbetter ’69
2013 – Steve Johnston ’82
2013 – Lou Ann Layton ’81
2013 – John Wentzell ’82
2012 – Richard Fetter ’73
2011 – Randy Adams ’76
2012 – Ronald C. Moomaw ’74
2011 – Michael E. Ducey ’70
2011 – Arthur B. Fulton ’51

Community Service
2018 – The Puskarich Family, accepted by Matthew P. Puskarich ’88
2015 – Dom Tiberi ’81 and Terri Tiberi
2017 – Nancy Loudenslager Cassell, ’65 Ph.D.
2015 – Sherry Williamson ’05
2014 – Mara Matteson ’89
2013 – Amanda Slager Pickerill ’90 and Craig Pickerill ’90
2012 – Mr and Mrs. Doug ’82 and Julie Leigh ’95, ’03 Sharp
2011 – Dr. Susan E. Wiley ’86

Honorary Alumnus/Alumna
2013 – Betty Campbell
2012 – Bruce Bailey
2012 – Craig and Cass Johnson
2011 – Guido Ricevuto

Pacesetter Award
2018 – Tonye T. Patano ’83
2017 – Rob Gagnon ’87
2017 – Tammy Roberts Myers ’88
2016 – Karen Kasler ’89
2016 – Margenett Moore-Roberts ’94

Distinguished Alumni Award
2017 – James Shilling ’77 Ph.D.
2016 – Mellar P. Davis, M.D. ’74
2015 – General Lance W. Lord ’68
2013 – Thomas C. Morrison ’63
2012 – Brian K. Hajek ’66
2011 – David Yohn ’51

Mentor Impact
2017 – Allen Prindle

Alumni Awards Gala – April 25, 2020