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Alumni Awards

Please send nominations to alumni@albright.edu 

  • Jacob Albright Award
    Recognizes an alumnus/a who has used their liberal arts education to its greatest potential, thereby making outstanding contributions to the Albright College community, profession, and in service to society. This is the highest honor bestowed upon a graduate.
  • Distinguished Alumnus/a Award
    Given for outstanding service and accomplishments in at least one area including community, state, nation, church, profession, academic and/ or service organizations.
  • Service to Alma Mater Award
    Presented to an alumnus/a of Albright College for outstanding service to Alma Mater.
  • Young Alumni Achievement Award
    Presented to an alumnus/a who has graduated within the past 15 years for outstanding achievement in at least one of the following areas: profession or career, dedicated volunteer service to Albright, church or community.

Congratulations to our 2016 Alumni Award Recipients

Jacob Albright Award

photoJoan Develin Coley ’66

Former Albright trustee Joan Develin Coley, Ph.D., ’66 has dedicated her life to the education of others. She joined the faculty of McDaniel College (formerly Western Maryland College) in 1973, as director of the graduate reading program. Coley advanced through the ranks to eventually serve as college president, making history at McDaniel as its first female president and first to be promoted from the faculty.

Coley led McDaniel through a major re-positioning in 2002, when its name changed from Western Maryland College. Coley has also served as interim president of Notre Dame of Maryland University.

A crusader to help students with reading disabilities, Coley has published numerous papers and written and edited several books.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Albright, and a master’s and doctorate in education from the University of Maryland.

Her numerous honors include the 1989 Outstanding Teacher Educator in Reading from the Maryland Council of the International Reading Association, and being named to the Circle of Excellence for being thrice nominated as one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women by The Daily Record. In 2010, the Joan Develin Coley Chair in Creative Expression and the Arts was established by McDaniel trustees in honor of her presidency and commitment to teaching excellence.

Coley received an honorary degree from Albright in 2006, and the Alumni Association Distinguished Alumna Award in 1995.


Distinguished Alumni Award

photoJohn Fetterman, M.P.A. ’91

John Fetterman, M.P.A. ’91 is currently serving his third term as mayor of Braddock, Pa., a town in which years of industrial decline are slowly being reversed under his leadership. In 2016, Fetterman made his first attempt at higher level politics, running for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate. Though he lost the primary, Fetterman received 20 percent of the votes and garnered significant national attention for his straight-talking, unconventional style.

A native of York, Fetterman moved to Braddock in 2001 to work for AmeriCorps, helping local youth who had left school to earn their GED. Since being elected mayor in 2005 he has initiated youth and art programs, created a community center, and has worked to spur economic development and attract new residents. In 2012, Fetterman was honored by the White House as Outstanding AmeriCorps Alumni/Champion of Change.

In addition to his efforts in Braddock, Fetterman has been involved in the Environmental Defense Fund’s advocacy for carbon caps and green technology.

At Albright, Fetterman played offensive line for the Lions, and served as president of his class during his junior and senior years. He earned a bachelor’s in business administration/finance, and went on to earn a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University.

He and his wife, Gisele, have three children.

photoDeborah L. Johnson, Ph.D. ’76

Deborah L. Johnson, Ph.D. ’76, is a professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Baylor College of Medicine.

Active in academic affairs throughout her career, she joined BCM from the University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine, where she served as associate dean for graduate affairs since 2007. She was also a member of the USC faculty since 1985, where she held positions including professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, director for the Program in Biomedical and Biological Sciences, vice chair for graduate education in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and professor of molecular pharmacology and toxicology. She has been a member of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center since 1985.

Johnson’s research is in defining the molecular events that lead cells to undergo oncogenic transformation. Her recent work has identified a unique transcription factor, Maf1, which negatively co-regulates the expression of genes involved in cell growth and metabolism. Her current studies, funded by two grants from the National Cancer Institute, are aimed at further characterizing Maf1 function and its deregulation in human cancer and metabolic disease.

Johnson received a bachelor of science degree in biochemistry from Albright College, a doctorate in chemistry from Georgetown University and was a post-doctoral fellow in molecular biophysics and biochemistry at Yale University. She and her husband, Craig Griffin, have two children, Emily and Tyler.

photoCharnita Zeigler-Johnson, Ph.D. ’92

Charnita Zeigler-Johnson, Ph.D. ’92, an assistant professor at Thomas Jefferson University, has dedicated her professional life to studying prostate cancer disparities and risk factors that influence prostate cancer occurrence, progression and treatment outcomes. Zeigler-Johnson started investigating the prostate cancer health disparity in 1999, when she arrived at the University of Pennsylvania to pursue molecular epidemiology training as a post-doctoral fellow. She received a doctorate in epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh in 1998, having earned a bachelor’s degree in psychobiology from Albright.

With risk factors including genetic polymorphisms, inflammation biomarkers, race/ethnicity, obesity, baldness, socioeconomic status and neighborhood characteristics, Zeigler-Johnson hopes her research will lead to the identification of possible modes of cancer prevention in high-risk populations, in addition to providing new understanding about how contextual factors influence disease outcomes.

Zeigler-Johnson serves as co-investigator for the Study of Clinical Outcomes, Risk and Ethnicity and research collaborator for the PROGRÈS Study in Senegal, West Africa. She is also a member of the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Prostate Cancer Task Force, the Men of African Descent and Prostate Cancer Consortium and the African-Caribbean Cancer Consortium.

Married to The Reverend Robert Johnson ’91, the couple has two children, Chareina and Robert.


Young Alumni Achievement Award

photoSimon Foster, M.B.A. ’10

An active member of the Albright community as a student, Simon Foster, M.B.A. ’10 has maintained strong ties to his alma mater.

Born in Australia, raised in New Jersey, and now living in Texas, Foster has served on several committees, including the President’s Council and the young alumni executive committee.

Foster is marketing manager, North America, for the Houston-based Global Oilfield Solutions, part of BASF Corp., one of the largest global suppliers of chemicals to a variety of industries. He has worked for BASF Global Oilfield in various roles since 2010.

Foster earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration, French and marketing from Albright, graduating summa cum laude. He also earned a master of business administration from the University of Texas at Austin.

While at Albright, Foster’s many activities included Student Government Association, French Club, Pi Kappa Phi and The Albrightian. He also served as a Peer Orientation Person and was a member of the Dearden Honor Society.

Foster is engaged to fellow Albright grad Amanda Jensen ’11.


Service to Alma Mater Award

photoLewis E. Nevins, M.B.A., CPA ’65

When Lewis E. Nevins ’65 graduated from Albright he was awarded the Class of 1926 Award, given to the senior athlete who best exemplifies qualities of character and leadership. Nevins has continued to carry on those qualities in his professional and personal life and in his service to Albright College.

An accounting major and licensed certified public accountant who went on to a successful career in investor relations, Nevins has shown a great deal of love for his alma mater over the years.

He’s served as a member of his reunion committee, as an alumni class officer and was chair of the Annual Fund in 1985-1986. He was a member of the Athletics, Recreation and Wellness Committee of the Commission on the Future in 2000 and he’s a member of the 1856 Legacy Society. He’s provided financial support for Albright athletics and other initiatives for many years, and he served as coordinator of Albright’s Red and White Club from 2004 to 2007.

A long-time ambassador for Albright athletics, the three-sport athlete in football, basketball and baseball is also being inducted into Albright’s Athletics Hall of Fame this year.

Nevins, now retired, resides in Pittsburgh, Pa., with his wife, Linda. They have five grown children, including Loni Nevins Pottieger ’88, who is married to Steven Pottieger ’86, and 16 grandchildren.