Fall 2011

Alumni Award Winners

Sister Denis Donegan Award for Long-term Service to Marywood University

Mention Mary M. Diehl at a Marywood alumni gathering, and you may be greeted with blank stares. Mention “Bunny” Diehl—and faces light up with smiles of recognition. Bunny Diehl herself (as well as her name) has long been a highly recognizable, delightfully familiar, and wonderfully welcome presence on Marywood’s campus—or away from it, for that matter. Whenever and wherever there’s a fundraising effort to be supported, an alumni event to be organized, or any project undertaken that would benefit her alma mater, Bunny Diehl is likely to be on hand. Throughout her professional life, she has been committed to serving her alma mater and the cause of education. For Bunny Diehl, retirement from her profession has meant a deeper involvement in community affairs. One aspect of retirement that she loves is time to travel and keep in touch with Marywood. Her fellow graduates are delighted to recognize her lengthy and ongoing dedication with the Sister Denis Donegan Award for 2011.

Award of Excellence in Health and Human Services

Dr. Karen Arscott’s life path has been less linear—more of a circle—and, for Marywood, happily so. After receiving her B.S. degree in Biology and Chemistry, magna cum laude, from Marywood, she went on to the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, where she was awarded her degree as Doctor of Osteopathy. She trained in Internal Medicine, Anesthesiology, and Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine, earning her degree as Clinical Master of Science in Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine, subsequently receiving Board Certification in this field. After working in a number of medical posts, she chose the loop that led her back to this region and private practice. It didn’t take her long to close the circle and return to her alma mater as a member of the adjunct faculty in Marywood’s Physician Assistant Program—then in its infancy. Karen Arscott was just what the doctor ordered to help that program thrive. She served as Medical Director and Program Director, a position which she now holds as Assistant Professor of Physician Studies. Her fellow graduates are also proud to prescribe a well-deserved honor by recognizing her with the Award of Excellence in Health and Human Services for 2011.

Award of Excellence in Creative and Performing Arts

For Diane Kessenich, blending the venerable tradition of children’s books with the cutting-edge technology of the Internet meant, as the popular expression goes, thinking outside the box. She earned her Marywood degree in Speech and Drama, with a concentration in television and a minor in art. She pursued a successful career as a television producer in New York, raised three children, and remained firm in her conviction that books and reading were the foundation of learning. Recognizing that the burgeoning world of the Internet would surely impact educational processes for today’s children, she sought a way to effectively utilize that technology and subsequently established The Foundation for Concepts in Education, Inc., along with its publishing arm, Winslow Press—an innovative publishing house that linked the learning power of books with the wonder of the World Wide Web. Her fellow graduates are proud to join in applauding her contributions and achievements by honoring her with the Award of Excellence in Creative and Performing Arts for 2011.

Award of Excellence in Liberal Arts and Sciences

Jim Loftus was barely out of high school when he was making himself heard in the broadcasting business—literally heard...on the air with WCDL-FM; while also making his mark on Marywood’s campus, earning his B.A. in Radio and Television. Jim has had a prolific career in broadcasting, spanning three decades and representing a number of radio stations and communications corporations. He also has made his able voice heard as a leader in community and professional organizations. He is an active volunteer fundraiser for his alma mater, a “Real World” panelist, and an enthusiastic mentor for anyone and everyone in his broadcast field. His fellow graduates are pleased to communicate pride in the achievements of this outstanding communications professional by honoring him with the 2011 Award of Excellence in the Liberal Arts and Sciences.


Award of Excellence in Education and Human Development

Now retired from her career as a Professor in the Graduate School of Education at Gonzaga University, Mary Jean Woody Coolican has been on faculties of three universities; taught in the United States, Italy, England, Japan, Korea, and Canada; taught and was an administrator in eight school districts; served on three high school scholarship committees; served as Department Chair and administrator at Gonzaga; and has been a Washington State Affiliate on the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Board of Directors. Retirement has not lessened her passion for teaching. Recently, a priest from Vietnam was sent to America by his bishop to learn English, but he was having a difficult time. Jean volunteered to help. He has returned to Vietnam, and when he writes Jean, he addresses her as “My Teacher.” Jean continues to serve her alma mater as a member of the Alumni Association Board and a reunion committee volunteer. In turn her fellow graduates are delighted to honor her with the 2011 Award for Excellence in Education and Human Development—recognition richly deserved in any language.

Full-text of tributes may be viewed online at http://alumni.marywood.edu/connect/awards/.

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