GMercyU Honors 2022 Distinguished Alumni Winners
By: Justin Henderson '23
Gwynedd Mercy University has more than 25,000 alumni across the globe, which makes choosing the recipients of the University's highest alumni honor all the more difficult.
The Distinguished Alumni Award is given to Distinctive Mercy Graduates whose personal lives and professional success match the values and objectives of their alma mater.
The Anne Fitzpatrick Murray Award is given to a person who has made significant public service contributions by sharing or volunteering his or her talent, time, and resources in the spirit of Mercy.
Six deserving individuals received these honors at this year's Distinguished Alumni Award Dinner on Saturday, October 22, 2022.
Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients
Dr. James Butler ‘91 (Allied Health) is an Associate Professor (with tenure) in Behavioral and Community Health at the University of Maryland. Dr. Butler also currently serves as the Director of the Department of Behavioral and Community Health’s Anti-racism, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. He is dedicated to building ongoing and permanent relationships with community members for the purpose of designing and conducting interventions where the community participates fully in all aspects of the research process. He has published more than 50 manuscripts, which include 21 manuscripts co-authored with former graduate students and mentees. He also served as a behavioral scientist for more than 25 years, carrying out community engaged research and practice with African Americans.
Kathryn I. Murray '01, '03 (Sociology) is a Special Agent with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Philadelphia. She is one of the lead recruiters for HSI Philadelphia and has recently expanded its recruitment program in order to identify the most highly qualified special agent candidates in the Philadelphia area. She spearheaded the effort to develop relationships with more than 40 universities in the greater Philadelphia area, and is the coordinator for HSI's Student Volunteer Program, New Agent/Employee Liaison, and a coordinator for the Pre-Fitness Test, which is administered to new applicants going through the employment process. She has earned the trust and respect of her colleagues in law enforcement, as well as the victims she has encountered during her cases.
Katrina Kane Wise MBA '84 (Business Administration) is the Executive Director of Saint Joseph Villa, which is a sponsored work of the Sisters of Saint Joseph. Katrina is dedicated to building committed teams throughout the staff and has a strong commitment to enhancing the lives of the sisters and lay residents by providing compassionate, person-centered care and strives to create a workplace environment where all staff are valued and demonstrate mutual respect and collaboration for each other. Prior to her time at Saint Joseph Villa, Katrina served for more than 33 years in various positions at Liberty Lutheran Services, a Lutheran social service agency, including 12 years as Vice President and Executive Director of Paul’s Run; Executive Director for Artman Lutheran Home in Ambler, Pa.; and the Mary J Drexel Home in Bala Cynwyd as Executive Director. Katrina is recognized in the industry as an advocate for culture change and employee engagement.
Anne Fitzpatrick Murray Service Award Recipients
Darnell Artis '17 (Communications) currently plays for the Harlem Globetrotters after playing professionally in Brazil for the America Esporte Club in 2017 where he was the country’s leading scorer in points per game. Artis is known around the world by his Globetrotters nickname “Speedy” for his rapid style of play and dexterity on the court. He has also made a huge impact in his community through his creation of UnderDawgs Basketball, We Not Me Community Day, and Lonnie Young Summer League in the East Germantown section of Philadelphia. His goal was to be directly impactful but also inspiring to others, helping spark ideas for them to be impactful in their communities as well.
Stefanie Londo ‘05 (Special Education) serves as the Special Education Compliance Monitor at Science Leadership Academy Middle School in Philadelphia, where she has worked since 2018. In her role, she supports and teaches students with learning differences; monitors IEPs and special education-related paperwork; performs assessments; and is head of the Special Education department. Prior to her time at the Science Leadership Academy, Stefanie was the Dean of Students at the John Hancock Demonstration School and held several other teaching positions in Philadelphia and the surrounding area. She is the founder and head coach for the team at Science Leadership Academy Middle School which is in its fourth year. She is proud to have kept the team going during the pandemic and to provide students with opportunities for safe, socially distanced physical and social interactions with their peers. She has worked to create a community and a team, often involving the families of the students to also become mentors in the programs.
Melissa T Ojemeni RN, PhD ‘04, ‘06 (Nursing) is the Director of Nursing Education, Research, and Professional Development at Partners in Health. In addition to her role as director, Melissa has 15 years of clinical bedside nursing and teaching experience in the United States and internationally, consulted with both non-profit and educational institutions to advance the nursing profession through her collaborative research, strategic planning, program, and project management skills focused on nursing education and leadership capacity building, and she also held Adjunct faculty appointments teaching undergraduate nursing students in clinical, classroom and simulation lab settings.