Hartwick’s Alumni Awards Salute Influential Graduates, Faculty, and Staff

Five members of the Hartwick College community have been selected to receive Alumni Awards later this month. The honor salutes graduates and current faculty or staff for their service to the College and Hartwick community.

This year’s winners are:

  • Charlene McCutcheon Marx ’77 of Palm Beach Gardens, FL, who will be presented the Meritorious Service Award for demonstrating outstanding loyalty and effective service to the College.
  • Joanne Dittes Yepsen ’80 of Saratoga Springs, NY (pictured) will be named the winner of the Distinguished Alumna Award, which is given to recognize a graduate who has distinguished themselves through outstanding achievements in their professional career and or civic or charitable activities.
  • Jennifer Murphy Picardo ’10 of Washington, DC earned the Outstanding Young Alumna Award, given to a graduate of the last decade who has shown outstanding competence, performance, and achievement in professional or volunteer activities
  • Dawn D. Rogers Kroll of Otego, NY has earned the Outstanding Volunteer Award, which recognizes those who have demonstrated outstanding and sustained volunteer service for the College. This includes alumni, retired employees, parents or friends of the College.
  • Dr. Andrew Piefer of Oneonta is the College’s Outstanding Employee, as someone who has gone above and beyond their job to support the Alumni Association of the College

The group will be celebrated at a reception during True Blue Weekend 2019 on Saturday, September 21 at 9 a.m. in Lambros Arena, Binder Physical Education Center, on the College campus.

“We’re pleased to recognize such a distinguished group of alumni and staff,” said Assistant Vice President for Development and Engagement Susan Ferris. “Each has made their mark on the communities they serve. It is fitting we honor them during Hartwick’s largest annual gathering of alumni, parents, and friends. True Blue Weekend provides an opportunity to reflect and reminisce on the impact the College has had in shaping those who are part of it.”

McCutcheon Marx is a Hartwick nursing graduate and former Board of Trustees member. She worked as a registered nurse in Connecticut for Stamford Hospital and Brookside Pediatrics in Bridgeport, before retiring in 2010. She is married and has four daughters, two of whom also graduated from Hartwick (Zoe in 2010 and Alexandra in 2016). McCutcheon Marx currently splits her time between Marion, MA and Palm Beach Gardens, FL.

Dittes Yepsen is the former mayor of Saratoga Springs, NY. During her 12-year administration she helped secure $3.5M in federal and state grants toward creating the Saratoga Greenbelt Trail, a 24-mile recreational trail network, which is contributing to making the city more pedestrian and bike friendly. She also co-founded Sustainable Saratoga, a 501c3 organization dedicated to deploying education and advocacy initiatives to take action on natural resources protection and the establishment of sustainable practice. The White House Award for ending veteran’s homelessness (2015), and the New York State Assembly Women of Distinction Award are among the accolades she has earned during her illustrious career. Today, she is forming a new LLC to build a national fundraising stream for 2020 Women’s Centennial Celebration activities, among many other mission-driven public affairs collaborations throughout New York State and nationally. The former psychology major returned to campus last year to meet with students and faculty in the psychology and Environment, Sustainability & Society majors, sharing insights and offering career advice.

Picardo is a staff accountant for the Washington Nationals baseball team. After an illustrious field hockey career at Hartwick and graduating cum laude in business administration, Picardo set her sights on a career in the front office of a Major League Baseball team. She spent two seasons working with the Trenton Thunder, Double A affiliate of the New York Yankees, before joining the Nationals. Since making the big leagues, Picardo has stayed loyal to her alma mater, hosting multiple outings at her home ballpark, furthering the College’s strong alumni base in the Washington DC metro area. More than 35 alumni, from classes ranging over the last 50 years, have attended. She also supports the College both financially and by serving as inspiration to other female athletes striving for success in the challenging world of professional sports. She has set a strong example for other young alumni to continue the trend of giving back to Hartwick after graduation, and prides herself in representing the Hawks across the country.

Rogers Kroll’s tireless dedication to the College helped earn her a recent promotion as the new assistant to President Margaret L. Drugovich. Since coming to Hartwick in August, 2019, she has volunteered as a Wick 101 coach, as well as for a number of campus events. She has served on Staff Council (currently as the Chair), the VPAA Search Committee, Future of the Library Committee, and the Freedom of Expression Committee. Rogers Kroll holds a degree in Library Science, has worked in public libraries for approximately 20 years, and served as the Executive Director for Literacy Volunteers for Otsego and Delaware Counties before joining the College.

An Associate Professor of Chemistry and department chair, Dr. Piefer is in his 13th year at the College. He earned his BS in chemistry from Dickinson College and Ph.D. in chemistry from New Mexico State University. Prior to joining Hartwick, he served as a research associate at the University of Pennsylvania, and a visiting assistant professor at Haverford College. His research training is in virology, the study of viruses. Dr. Piefer teaches biochemistry and chemistry at the College and works closely with Hartwick students and faculty members on microbiology research projects. One project, examining the bacteria present on hops, was accepted for publication last month. He has served on many committees during his tenure at the College, and is currently the director of the College’s Health Advisory Committee.

The awards ceremony is part of a full slate of events for True Blue Weekend 2019, taking place Thursday, September 19 to Sunday, September 22.

For more information on the awards, contact Ferris at 607-431-4021 or ferriss@hartwick.edu.

Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,200 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick’s expansive curriculum emphasizes an experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a distinctive January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for not just their first jobs, but for the world ahead. A Three-Year Bachelor’s Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact:     David Lubell
E-mail:        lubelld@hartwick.edu
Phone:        607-431-4031

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