Alumni Achievement Award winners
Alumni Achievement Award winners
Image: Penn State

Penn State Harrisburg honors outstanding alumni

Alumni from each of Penn State Harrisburg’s five academic schools were recently honored for their outstanding professional achievements.

The School of Behavioral Sciences and Education honored Yvonne E. Hollins (’72, elementary education; ’79, master’s, teaching and curriculum) from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She has been executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Harrisburg since 2004.

Previously, Hollins was assistant superintendent of the Central Dauphin School District, and had served as an assistant principal and director of secondary education. She also served the Harrisburg School District for over 20 years as a teacher, federal programs coordinator, assistant principal, and principal.

The School of Business Administration honored H. William Weik, (’97, accounting) from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Weik currently serves as CEO of Orthopedic Associates of Lancaster (OAL), an independent physician-owned orthopedic practice. Since joining OAL in 2004, he and the Physician Board of Directors have grown the organization from one office location to four in Lancaster and Lebanon counties. Through his vision, OAL’s business model shifted to include complete orthopedic care under one roof – physician visits, MRI, outpatient surgery, and physical therapy. Weik has over 25 years of healthcare experience with large academic medical centers and for-profit hospitals.

He donates time to various non-profit organizations in Lancaster and Lebanon counties and is a fellow of the Central PA Healthcare Financial Management Association for which he served as president in 2009 and 2010. He also serves on the Penn State Harrisburg Board of Advisers and Fulton Bank Board of Advisors.

The School of Humanities honored Thomas Dekle, (’84, humanities/multi-media journalism) of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Dekle is vice president of IBM Global Digital Sales Acceleration where he manages a lead development team, a group of data scientists, and the sales acceleration/marketing teams. His focus is on social selling, developing talent, and new business opportunities. He joined IBM in 1994 and has held numerous management positions with the company.

Dekle was a member of the Marketing Advisory Board for the Keenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, on the Board of Directors for Triangle Futbol Club, a member of the Parent Leadership team at Haverford College, and is a member of the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals.

The School of Public Affairs honored Jeannine D. Peterson, (’78, master’s, public administration with a concentration in healthcare) from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. She currently serves as the chief executive officer of Hamilton Health Center, a federally qualified health center providing medical, dental, behavioral health, and social services to over 35,000 residents of the greater Harrisburg area.

Peterson spent the last eight years of a 22-year public service career as the deputy secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health overseeing the Commonwealth’s drug and alcohol, maternal child health, communicable diseases, and preventive health programs.

Throughout her 40-year career, Peterson has focused on issues that disproportionately impact minority and low income populations which led her and her husband to establish the Center for Community Building, a not-for-profit organization that coordinates transportation services for Medical Assistance recipients in Dauphin County as well as her service on the Board of Directors of Hamilton Health Center.

The School of Science, Engineering, and Technology honored Michael J. Sullivan, (’80, electrical engineering technology) from Ellicott City, Maryland. He also holds an associate’s degree from Penn State Wilkes Barre.

Sullivan is currently the vice president of electric and gas operations at Pepco Holdings, where he is responsible for distribution operations, maintenance, construction, and engineering for Pepco Holdings’ three electric utilities. He also has responsibility for the company’s gas utility in Wilmington, Delaware.

Based in Washington, D.C., Pepco Holdings serves 2 million customers as the parent company of Pepco, an electric utility serving Washington, D.C., and suburban Maryland; Delmarva Power, an electric and gas utility serving Delaware and the rest of the Delmarva Peninsula; and Atlantic City Electric, an electric utility serving southern New Jersey. He joined Pepco in 1980 and advanced through a number of management positions in engineering, technology, customer service and operations.

Sullivan serves on the boards of the Better Business Bureau for Washington, D.C. and Eastern Pennsylvania and the Electrical Engineering and Electrical Engineering Technology Advisory Board at Penn State Harrisburg.

About the artist 

Marissa Hoover, director of Penn State Harrisburg’s Office of Development and Alumni Relations, crafted this year’s alumni achievement award using an artistic process called stippling. Using a special pen, individual dots are placed one at a time to create depth and shading.

Hoover began creating the Nittany Lion using this technique when she was a freshman at Penn State, working on it gradually until it was finally completed in her senior year of college.

Hoover said that art was not her major; it was her hobby. “Drawing provided me an outlet to express my joys, challenges and creativity, she said. I used it like meditation.”

Hoover is a 2000 elementary education degree graduate from Penn State. She received her master’s in sport and recreation administration from Temple University in 2004, and currently is pursuing a doctorate in adult education at Penn State Harrisburg.