Distinguished Alumni Award Induction
The Bensalem Distinguished Alumni Award Committee in conjunction with The Bensalem Education Foundation will host their 3rd induction of Bensalem High School Distinguished Alumni on April 18, 2020.
See below to learn about the 2020 nominees:
Rev. Paul Munford, ’68: founded the New Joy Baptist Church, Riverside, CA; through fundraising, built permanent structure for the New Joy Baptist Church; received Black Voice Newspaper Community Builder Award; Awarded NAACP Religious Award; received Riverside City Council, Mayor’s Appreciation, and Riverside Historical Award.
Stephen Wurst, VMD, ’68: VMD from University of Pennsylvania school of Veterinary Medicine; founded the Barnegat Animal Clinic in 1984; Veterinary practice in NJ expanded to eight doctor practice; worked on the Osprey Project and Golden Hearts Retriever Rescue Organization; contributed to the Peregrine Falcon project of NJ; steward of all animals, both wild and domestic.
Steve Nolan, ’70: Directed Department of Veterans’ Affairs PTSD Clinic in FL for five years; received four Meritorious Service Medals for service in Afghanistan; received Commanding General’s Leadership Award for 4th Infantry Division; authored poetry collections Go Deep and Base Camp; featured on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition; 2007 Chief of Combat Stress for Paktika Province, Afghanistan.
Dr. Robert Stinger, ’71: Section Chief of Orthopaedic Trauma and Adult Joint and Reconstructive Surgery at Inova Fairfax Hospital; BS Penn State, MD/PhD Georgetown; graduated Magna Cum Laude with an MBA from Carey Business School at Johns Hopkins University; collaborated and published with a Nobel Laureate Elias J. Corey.
Mark Blaszczyk, ‘76: Corporal in the Bensalem Township Police Department; served on the Bucks County Drug Task Force and elite Bensalem SWAT team; received awards for Extensive Undercover Operations and Distinguished Valor from the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office for his work with the Bucks County Drug Task Force; is a two-time recipient of The Lifesaving Award; served in the Bensalem Accident Investigation Unit and Bensalem Township Police Honor Guard; is a founding member of the Neshaminy Valley Town Watch and volunteer firefighter with the Newport Fire Company.
Russell F. Jones, Jr. ’76: Nationally recognized safety and security expert; managed and coordinated the safety and security platforms for many large hospitals and universities; awarded the International Association Hospital Security and Safety Medal of Distinction; authored numerous articles and books on public safety and security.
Ellen Voorhees '76: Researcher in information retrieval, the science that underpins search engines; inventor on three US patents; Fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery and the Washington Academy of Sciences; author of numerous papers on information retrieval and natural language processing.
Theresa Grafenstine, ’87: was the first female and longest serving Inspector General of the United States House of Representatives; served as the Global Chair of ISACA, only the 2nd woman in 50 years to be elected to this role; recognized as one of the “Top Ten Audit Thought Leaders of the Decade.” She is a leader in the international cybersecurity audit profession. She has helped to advance the information technology, governance, internal auditing, and accounting professions; renowned as a leader in cybersecurity.
Letty Wright-Maxwell, ’88: NASA fellow and NASA Project STEM Manager/ Awarded three Congressional Black Caucus Awards in Leadership, Youth Empowerment and Teacher Distinction; Samsung STEM teacher in United Arab Emirates; helped establish EdOptions Virtual School in 2006; started Maxwell Family Foundation to provide graduating high school students with scholarships.
Sunshine Werbock O’Donnell, ‘89: Writer, Artist, and Educator; author of the novel Open Me, for which she was selected a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers novelist; an award winning essayist; a selected author in W.W. Norton’s The Best Creative Nonfiction Anthology; featured artist in several art exhibitions; featured artist on the Food Network; founder of The Coffeehouse Project, a mobile literacy classroom for underserved children; and author of Your Vacation on Planet Earth, a children’s mindfulness book.
Hari Sunny Notani '91: US Secret Service. Leads investigations of high profile cyber and electronic crimes; spent six and a half years assigned to the Vice Presidential Protection Detail for VP Joseph Biden; frequently speaks on identity theft and internet fraud.
The Bensalem Distinguished Alumni Award Committee in conjunction with The Bensalem Education Foundation hosted the 2nd induction of Bensalem High School Distinguished Alumni on 9/29/18.
Congratulations to the September 29, 2018 Honorees:
John Brown ’69 – 35 years Total Traffic/Weather radio reporter; Philadelphia Milestone Award for contributions to radio arts in Philadelphia
Linda McGee ’71 – First Woman appointed to lead Philadelphia Public League Athletic Program overseeing athletic programs in 45 high schools; PA Sports Hall of Fame
Adam Koszowski ’86 – MD/Ph.D., Chairman, Anesthesia Department at St. Joseph’s Hospital Denver, CO; 2016 Physician of the Year
Randall Cole ’88 – Cyber Security Expert creating new and secure computer systems; deployed one of the first secure gateways to the FDA to report drug safety
Dan Dizio ’90 – Co-founder and CEO, Philly Pretzel Factory; Top 200 Franchises, Franchise Market Magazine
David Stachura ’96 – Ph.D. Cell and Molecular Biology, Associate Professor California State University; 2016 Outstanding New Investigator Award, Cal State, Chico, CA
Jeff Skversky ’97 – 6ABC sportscaster for WPVI Philadelphia, one of the nation’s largest media outlets; graduate of Klein College of Media and Communications, Temple University
Sonia Mehta ’00 – MD from Boston University School of Medicine; Authored Step-Up to the USMLE Step 1, a bestselling medical text; 2018 Dean’s Award for Excellence in Education
Trish Hartman ’01 – 6ABC Reporter, Multi-media Journalist WPVI-TV; BA University of Maryland, Philip Merrill College of Journalism; 2005 Julie Galvan Outstanding Graduate in Journalism Award, Society of Professional Journalists
Gilbert Bailey ’06 – member of original cast of A Bronx Tale on Broadway 2016-present; Broadway cast of The Book of Mormon 2015; cast award nominee for Chita Rivera Award, A Bronx Tale
Congratulations to the October 21, 2017 honorees:
- Palak Patel (Class of 1996) - A Hollywood producer and Executive Vice President of Sony Pictures
- Daniel Reimold (Class of 1999) - The creator of an internationally recognized journal on college media
- David Issadore, Ph.D. (Class of 2000) - A biomedical chip developer used for the early detection of pancreatic cancer
- Barbara Simmons (Class of 1970) - An award winning peace and non-violence advocate
- Joy Deangdeelert Cho (Class of 1997) - One of Time magazine's 30 most influential people on the internet in 2015 and 2016
- William Stinger (Class of 1967) - A world-renowned architect who designs buildings for the US State Department
- Aaron Jay Kernis (Class of 1977) - A Pulitzer Prize winning composer
- Michael Risich (Class of 1992) - A cutting-edge automotive technology software developer
- Robert "Tommy" Tomlinson (Class of 1964) - A state senator
- Derek Green (Class of 1988) - A Philadelphia city councilman
- Carol J. McIlwain (Class of 1978) - An award winning Naval Intelligence and Department of Defense engineer
- Howard Palamarchuk, DPM (Class of 1971) - A podiatrist who has worked extensively with Team USA and the Boston Marathon
- Nicole Henry (Class of 1991) - An internationally acclaimed jazz vocalist
- Richard Fiorentino (Class of 1967) - A Harvard MBA and co-founder of a multi-patented computer software company