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Gwynedd Mercy University has more than 20,000 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. Five deserving individuals received the honor at this year's Distinguished Alumni Award Dinner on September 8, 2017.
Philip D. Amoa, Esq. '07 (Business Adminstration) is a corporate lawyer with the law firm McCarter & English in Center City, Philadelphia. Aside from his practice, Philip is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors and recently obtained the designation of NACD Governance Fellow — The Gold Standard Director Credential. Philip serves on the Board of Directors of The Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and is the Secretary of the Delaware BioScience Association. Philip was named among The Legal Intelligencer “Lawyers on the Fast Track” and received the 2016 Craig M. Perry Service Award from the Philadelphia Bar Association. Philip was recently featured in the Philadelphia Business Journal’s “Millennials to Watch in Greater Philadelphia: Who is Making an Impact?” as well as the “25 Young Lawyers on the Rise.”
Shaun M. Dougherty, EdD '05 (Educational Administration) is an Assistant Professor of Education and Public Policy at the Neag School of Education and Department of Public Policy at the University of Connecticut. Shaun’s research and teaching interests focus on education policy analysis, causal program evaluation, and the economics of education. He is a former high school mathematics teacher and assistant principal and his work has been published in leading journals and has been cited by major media outlets. Shaun has received research funding from the Institute for Education Sciences, the Smith Richardson Foundation, and the Institute for Research on Poverty, which also recognized him as an Early Career Scholar. Shaun is also a Strategic Data Project Faculty Adviser through the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University.
Melissa A. Fitzpatrick, RN, MSN, FAAN '79 (Nursing) Melissa was the first-ever, Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer at Hill-Rom, a multi-billion-dollar global health care company, and now holds the same role at Dabir, Inc. She has held a variety of roles including Vice President of Critical Care and Cardiac Services at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and Senior Associate Chief Operating Officer and Chief Nurse Executive at Duke University Medical Center. Melissa was the Editor-in-Chief of the Nursing Management Journal and also the Chief Health Care Strategist at the SAS Institute, an analytics software company. She is also a nationally and internationally recognized health care consultant, speaker and author, with many peer reviewed publications and book chapters to her credit.
Corey A. Lord '04 (Computer Information Science) is the founder of CAL Sports Academy, which hosts year-round sports development programs, clinics, leagues, camps, AAU basketball teams, Club Volleyball teams, and private training. Corey began his athletic career as a star soccer player and track and field champion in his native country of Barbados. After moving to the United States, he set and still holds, the New York State High School Track class record as a sophomore in the 500-meter. Corey also set and retains the 200-meter record for Alfred State College. Corey was an assistant head men’s basketball coach and played a key role in GMercyU’s 2009 CSAC Championship. Corey is a highly sought-after motivational speaker and personal coach, empowering youth to build strength, confidence, courage, and a strong sense of community
Tim Smyth '08 (Reading Specialist) has been a social studies teacher at Wissahickon High School for the past 15 years. At GMercyU, Tim was encouraged to use his passion for comics, and incorporates them into his lesson plans, to aid students in learning. Since then, he has found much success integrating comic books, graphic novels, and pop culture into his classroom and travels the country sharing his experiences. Tim has presented and been a panelist at Comic Cons in San Diego, Chicago, New York, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. He has been published twice by PBS, presented to Philadelphia Wizard World, helped college professors develop curriculum and has been named “Geek of the Week” by Philly.com.
GMercyU also presented the Anne Fitzpatrick Murray Alumni Award to Thomas P. Quinn. This 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.
Tom Quinn ’05 (Educational Studies) is in his eighth season as Director of Education for the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia. Last season, the theatre's education and outreach programming reached more than 172,000 students, making the Walnut one of the leading educational theatres in America. A centerpiece of the Walnut’s educational program is the Adopt-A-School Program, which Tom oversees and uses theatre to teach the curriculum and foster creativity and empathy in students. He is the author of several of the Walnut’s educational outreach productions and has written 15 plays in the last 20 years, which have been performed all over the country. In 2014, Tom received the Mayor’s Access Achievement Award from the city of Philadelphia for the theatre's work with the HMS School for Children with Cerebral Palsy.