College honors Alumni Achievement Award winners

Penn State Harrisburg recently presented Alumni Achievement Awards to one graduate of each of the five academic schools who demonstrates outstanding professional accomplishment. The awards, bestowed during the Alumni Awards Dinner in October, honor a diverse collection of talents and accomplishments from across the college.

Photo Set:  2013 Alumni Award Winners

The School of Science, Engineering, and Technology honored Michael Gurreri, who graduated in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering technology, and in 2005 with a master’s degree in engineering science.

Gurreri serves as a principal engineer at TE Connectivity, where he leads a team responsible for the development of next generation optical connectors.  He has been responsible for the engineering of network hardware for various aerospace, military, government, data communications, and telecom applications.

Gurreri holds 26 U.S. patents in the field of optical interconnections, has published widely, and has presented work at national and international conferences.

Andy Hoover, a 2008 graduate with a master’s degree in community psychology and social change, was honored by the School of Behavioral Sciences and Education.  He is legislative director for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Pennsylvania, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization dedicated to defending and protecting individual rights and personal freedoms.

Hoover is responsible for state and federal lobbying efforts.  In 2010, he was the lead lobbyist in passing the Healthy Birth for Incarcerated Women Act; last year, he played a major role in the passage of legislation to block the implementation of the federal Real ID Act.

The School of Public Affairs honored Leah Kithcart, a 2003 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in public policy.  She serves as a public policy coordinator with the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Pennsylvania, the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research.

Kithcart has worked on legislation to expand the Amber Alert System in Pennsylvania to include adults who are cognitively impaired and has assisted with adult guardianship legislation. Most recently, She worked on an Executive Order to establish the Pennsylvania Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Planning Committee. 

The School of Humanities honored Matthew Singer, who earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from Penn State in 1985 and a master’s degree in American studies from Penn State Harrisburg in 1992.

Singer is a senior museum writer and communications officer at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, one of the largest museums in the United States.  He leads efforts to bring the full breadth of the museum’s activities to public attention.  He also serves as the museum’s in-house reporter and historian, as well as a curator at the Philadelphia Museum of Jewish Art.

Douglas Wisehaupt, a 1986 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in management, received this year’s award for the School of Business Administration.  He serves as vice president of human resources for Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, where he oversees human resources and corporate office administration. He also serves as a corporate liaison with Bucknell University’s Institute for Leadership in Technology and Business.

Wisehaupt actively participates in several community organizations, including serving as board chair and treasurer for Leadership Harrisburg Area, and participating on the board for the Harrisburg Rotary Foundation.