Alumni Society Board of Directors

Alumni Society Board of Directors
Alumni Society Board of Directors

While all graduates of the College of the Liberal Arts are members of the Liberal Arts Alumni Society, the Board of Directors is tasked with keeping society members engaged with the college.

Members of the Alumni Society Board of Directors are active, engaged advocates for the humanities and social sciences, committed to advancing Penn State, and leaders in initiatives—including philanthropy and engagement with faculty and students—that guide and support the college’s progress and success.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Liberal Arts Alumni Society Board of Directors is to help identify and connect Liberal Arts alumni and friends with the college and, in the process, enable and encourage all to contribute their time, talent, and resources to provide tangible support for the dean’s priorities involving students, faculty, and programs.

Goals of the Alumni Society Board of Directors

  1. Cultivate a worldwide community of alumni and friends by providing opportunities to connect to the college and its students and faculty.
  2. Engage in activities that move alumni and friends to provide student and faculty support, specifically, program and financial support.
  3. Recognize the contributions of alumni and friends to the college community and to society as a whole.

Role of the Alumni Society Board of Directors

Directors will assume a leadership role in developing, expanding, and sponsoring activities consistent with the core values of community, education, and service, including:

  1. Programs—Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program, student meetings, classroom opportunities, career workshops and panels, fundraising for student scholarships, faculty and department programs
  2. Events—faculty speakers, tailgates, donor events, mentor events, identification and cultivation events on a regional and global level
  3. Awards and recognition—unit, college, and University-level alumni awards; spotlight stories of successful, engaged alumni and friends

Board Members

'70 English

Linda is a publishing and content strategy consultant. She previously served as a senior vice president at Elsevier, a leading global provider of web‐based, digital information for health and science professionals, where she oversaw the content team. Prior to that, she co‐founded and served as CEO of Philadelphia‐based medical publisher Hanley & Belfus, which was acquired by Elsevier in 2002. In addition to her Penn State degree, Linda earned her master’s degree from Villanova University. Linda is a board member and secretary of the Philadelphia chapter of the Make‐A‐Wish Foundation. At Penn State, she has mentored more than twenty students in the Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program and established the Linda and Alan Belfus Undergraduate Scholarship and the Linda Poist Markey Open Doors Scholarship in the College of the Liberal Arts. She resides in Media, Pennsylvania.

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Linda Belfus
’83 French Business

As part of Sharon’s degree program, she studied with Penn State at the Institute Universitaire de Technologie in Nice, France. She moved to Washington, D.C. after graduation, and in 1985, began a 34-year career with the Central Intelligence Agency, where she had a diverse career spanning several mission areas, including Counterterrorism; Counterintelligence; Africa; East Asia; and Cyber. She served overseas in Africa, Asia, and Europe, and represented the Agency for two years at the FBI’s National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force. She retired at the end of 2019 as an Executive Manager, receiving the Agency’s Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal. Sharon currently works part-time as an instructor and mentor with the Agency’s new hires. She also completed a certification in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL) and works with students from other countries who are learning English. She maintains proficiency in French, Spanish, and Italian, and enjoys participating in the College of the Liberal Arts’ Mentor Program as well as serving as an Alumni Admissions Volunteer for Penn State’s Undergraduate Admissions Office. Sharon is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and currently resides in Herndon, Virginia. She has a daughter, Emily, who graduated from Penn State’s Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications in 2018.

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Sharon Callahan
'14 Arts and Letters

Thandi is vice president of marketing and client relations for Washington Capital Management, a 100 percent employee-owned multi-strategy investment adviser based in Seattle, Washington. In this role, Thandi draws upon her many years of experience within the Taft-Hartley community to maintain important client relationships and managing key client accounts. Her role includes exploring new market opportunities that support the growth of the firm. Prior to her current role, Thandi accumulated years of experience in large group sales for a national, employer-sponsored insurance provider. Since graduating, Thandi has volunteered as a World Campus Ambassador and participates as a mentor in the Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program. She received the Penn State World Campus Outstanding Alumna Award in 2019 in recognition of her success as a leader and her dedication to Penn State World Campus. She resides in Dana Point, California.

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Thandi Clements
'74 Speech

Barbara is the retired president and founder of Kannon Consulting, a marketing and strategy consulting firm that provided advice to both businesses and nonprofit organizations facing market disruption. Throughout her more than thirty years in the marketing and strategy industry, she counseled businesses and organizations in the media, technology, utility, human services, and education sectors. Prior to Kannon, Barbara was a partner at Booz Allen Hamilton, a global information technology consulting firm, and held marketing positions at Procter & Gamble. At Penn State, Barbara served on the advisory task force for the business minor in the College of the Liberal Arts and sat on the Women in Leadership panel. She and her husband, Robert (Bob) Chirinko, established the Cohen-Schwartz Renaissance Fund, a Trustee Scholarship, and a Paterno Fellows Program scholarship. She was named a Penn State Alumni Fellow in 2016. Barbara and Bob reside in Chicago, Illinois.

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Barbara Cohen
'06 Crime, Law, and Justice

Chris is currently director of people strategy and planning for San Francisco-based DoorDash, where he leads long-range business planning and effectiveness. He also spent time at Uber during its culturally transformative years, where he and his team were integral in shaping procedure and controls in support of diverse, equitable, and inclusive employment. Chris began his corporate journey at Twitter, where he was the founding member of the recruiting operations organization, enabling the company’s talent strategy as it matured from private to publicly traded. Chris is also a veteran of the United States Air Force, where he served five years as an intelligence officer, primarily in unmanned aerial vehicle operations. As a Penn State student, he was a member of the Air Force ROTC. In addition to his Penn State degree, Chris holds a certificate in leadership and strategy from Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program. He resides in San Francisco with his fiancée, Lindsay.

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Christopher Dobbins
'85 History

Joe is a partner with Latham & Watkins, based in Los Angeles, California. He provides employment law advice to and represents employers in litigation in the automobile, biotech, finance, food services, garment, healthcare, retail, technology, telecommunications, and utilities industries. Joe also provides legal advice to not-for-profit organizations and writes on a variety of employment law topics; for instance, he is the contributing editor for the Rutter Group’s California Practice Guide, Employment Litigation, Age Discrimination chapter. He also teaches employment law as an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California’s Gould School of Law. Joe is a mentor in the Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program; he has also established a Trustee Scholarship in honor of Professor Art Goldschmidt and a fund for study abroad. Joe resides in Altadena, California, with his wife, Brenda.

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Joseph Farrell
'81 Economics

George is the founder of Avir Realty Group, LLC, the consulting and brokerage affiliate of Avir Corporation, which focuses on corporate real estate work. George’s roles have included acquisitions, dispositions, analysis, debt origination and the full range of asset management, leasing, and property management. George also supervises construction from ground-up development through minor tenant improvements. At Penn State, George is a mentor in the Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program, and he served on the inaugural Alumni in Business panel. He and his wife Karen created a fund in the Paterno Fellows Program and are annual donors to the Liberal Arts Futures Fund. They reside in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, have three adult children, and are excited to be first-time grandparents this year!

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George Gowen
’95 Political Science

Peter is currently senior vice president for external affairs at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), where he oversees the hospital’s Marketing and Public Relations, Government Affairs, and Community Relations departments. He also supports CHOP’s president and CEO on external affairs and ensures that all of the hospital’s external communications align with its mission and strategy. Peter began his tenure at CHOP in 2007 as the hospital’s director of government affairs, community relations and advocacy; before that, he served as an aide in the U.S. Senate before joining a Washington, D.C.-based public affairs firm specializing in healthcare advocacy. In addition to his Penn State degree, Peter holds a master of governmental administration degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

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Peter Grollman
'68 Political Science

Dick is the retired senior vice president and tax director for Allianz of America, an insurance and asset management firm that provides services to more than 86 million customers in 70 countries. He also previously held senior leadership positions at Arthur Young & Co., First Interstate Bancorp, and Wells Fargo. In addition to his Penn State degree, Dick earned juris doctorate and master of laws degrees from the New York University School of Law. Dick and his wife, Bebe, relocated in 2020 to the State College area after living in California for forty years. They are long-time supporters of Penn State and the College of the Liberal Arts, having established a Dean’s Fund in the college and funded programs in the Department of Political Science and the Child Study Center.

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Richard Hayes
'81 Economics

Jeff is the end-to-end supply chain manager for Covestro, one of the world’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of high-tech polymer materials. He has more than 25 years of experience in strategic planning, product management, supply chain management, and project management. Jeff is a mentor in the Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program, and he and his wife, Lisa, created the Jeffrey and Lisa Lampo Open Doors Scholarship in 2018. The Lampos have a college-aged son and reside in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania.

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Jeff Lampo
'90 General Arts and Sciences

Dana has more than twenty-five years of hospitality experience working with restaurant and hotel operations. She is executive vice president at Singer EVI, a restaurant equipment and supply company that designs and installs commercial grade kitchens in multi-unit restaurants, national and regional chains, and independent food groups from coast to coast. They work with companies such as Jersey Mike’s Subs, Mission BBQ, Sweetgreen, and Federal Taphouse. The Lawsons reside in Glenelg, Maryland, and have two daughters—Jessica, a ’21 Penn State graduate (Political Science and Public Relations) who lives and works in Washington, D.C.; and Anna, who lives in Boulder, Colorado.

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Dana Lawson
'98 International Politics

Jennifer is vice president of national strategy and engagement for The Boeing Company. Prior to joining Boeing, Jennifer spent nearly a decade working on Capitol Hill, including stints as chief of staff for Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minnesota) and chief of staff for the Office of the President Pro Tempore during Sen. Ted Stevens’ (R-Alaska) tenure—the first woman to hold that position. She also directed the U.S.-China Interparliamentary Group, which was the official dialogue vehicle between the United States Senate and the National People’s Congress. She and her husband, George, established the Mies Lowe Family Trustee Matching Scholarship in the College of the Liberal Arts. The couple and their three children currently reside in Arlington, Virginia.

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Jennifer Lowe
’85 Psychology

After graduating from Penn State, Vincent spent six years as a captain in the U.S. Air Force. Today, he is the chief international strategy officer at AccuWeather, where he drives the company’s global expansion. He has more than twenty years of experience and has been instrumental in AccuWeather’s success since joining in 2009. Vincent is also vice chairman of Huafeng-AccuWeather, a Beijing-based joint venture established in 2016 that has partnerships with several prominent digital companies. Before joining AccuWeather, he spent nine years as vice president of human resources at Discovery Communications. Vincent’s expertise in international expansion and developing business strategies have earned him a place among the top business leaders in the industry.

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Vincent McDonald
'86 Labor Studies and Economics

Dale is senior vice president and senior legal counsel for The Swiss Re Group, a leading wholesale provider of reinsurance, insurance, and other insurance-based forms of risk transfer. He is a mentor with the Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program, and he and his wife, Lisa, have created the Lisa and Dale Predmore Scholarship in the college. The Predmores have two children and reside in Syosset, New York.

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Dale Predmore
Student Representative
'23 History and International Politics

Najee is a Paterno Fellow and Schreyer Scholar. He has served as a first-year representative and College of the Liberal Arts representative for the University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA), a Lion Ambassador, a member of the President’s Commission on LGBTQ+ Equity, and a member of the Presidential Leadership Academy. Najee is also currently vice president of UPUA and has chaired UPUA’s Committee on Justice and Equity. He works as a Liberal Arts Peer Adviser and an office assistant for Penn State’s Office of Educational Equity.

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Najee Rodriguez
'80 Foreign Service and International Politics

Randy is the former general counsel for Allegis Group, an international staffing company serving many industries. Prior to Allegis Group, Randy was an associate in the Corporate and Securities Department at Piper & Marbury. He holds his juris doctorate from American University. At Penn State, Randy has participated in the college’s Law Careers panel and is currently a mentor in the Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program. Randy has also established a Trustee Scholarship in honor of former college roommates. Randy joined the board in 2014. He and his wife, Karen, have three adult children and reside in Boalsburg, Pennsylvania and Vero Beach, Florida.

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Randall Sones
’93 Political Science

Derek is an AVP, head of U.S. distribution compliance at John Hancock/Manulife. His responsibilities include oversight of the compliance teams responsible for the sales and advertising review programs for the firm’s mutual fund, insurance, retirement and institutional businesses. In addition, Derek oversees the company’s social media compliance program. Prior to joining the firm he was the chief compliance officer for Putnam Investments’ broker-dealer and held other compliance roles at State Street and Funds Distributors. He has been in the compliance field since 1995 and holds the Investment Foundations Certificate from the CFA Institute and has completed the Leading Innovative Change: Executive Education Program sponsored by the University of California Berkeley Hass School of Business. Derek served on the Liberal Arts Alumni Society Board of Directors from 1999-2005 and is currently active with the Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program. He and his wife Abby and their two sons live outside of Boston.

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Derek Stern
’86 Psychology

Randy spent his career leading the conception, development, and execution of product strategies at leading data and analytics firms in the technology and real estate sectors. Prior to retiring in early 2022, he was the senior vice president of product management at Green Street, a research firm that provides insight to large commercial real estate investors and stakeholders. In this role, he guided the firm’s product development and mergers and acquisitions strategies. Prior to Green Street, Randy held similar positions at CoreLogic, DataQuick, and Harte Hanks. In addition to his Penn State degree, Randy earned his M.B.A. from San Diego State University. An accomplished endurance athlete, Randy has completed a full Ironman Triathlon, competed in more than fifteen marathons, and recently completed a cross-country bike trek. He has also been active in local symphonies as a principal trombonist and sits on the board of the Southern California chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. He’s maintained his connection to Penn State as an officer in the San Diego Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association and as a mentor in the Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program. Randy and his wife, Tish (’86 Engineering), recently made gifts creating the Donald and Judith Wussler Endowed Scholarship in the College of the Liberal Arts and the Bernard and Florence Rokosz Endowed Scholarship in the College of Engineering. He currently resides in San Diego, California.

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Randy Wussler
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