– The Board of Governors of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education today recognized student-athletes from Clarion, Shippensburg and West Chester Universities who brought home National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II national championships in the last year.
The field hockey team from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania captured its second NCAA title in the fall, capping a 20-3 season with a 2-1 victory over LIU Post in the championship final. The championship marked the 23rd time in 26 years a team from the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference won the NCAA Division II field hockey title.
Shippensburg led the nation in four major statistical categories—winning percentage (.870), goals-against average (0.46), save percentage (.900) and shutouts (14). Head coach Bertie Landes was named 2016 Front Rush/National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division II Coach of the Year.
Collin Vest, a senior at Clarion University of Pennsylvania, won the 1-meter dive for the third time at the NCAA swimming and diving national championships held earlier this year in Birmingham, Alabama. Vest finished his collegiate diving career as an eight-time All-American and four-time NCAA Division II national champion, having also won the 3-meter dive last year.
Georgia Wright, a freshman at West Chester University of Pennsylvania, won both the 1,000- and 1,650-yard freestyle events at the swimming and diving national championships, breaking the NCAA Division II record in the 1,000 on the first night of the competition. She also finished seventh in the 500-yard freestyle, earning a total of three All-American citations. She was named the PSAC Freshman of the Year for her regular season performance and also won four individual events—setting two conference records in the process—and was a member of the winning 400-yard medley relay team at the PSAC Championships, where she was named Swimmer of the Meet.
The West Chester University baseball team wrapped up the championship performances in June, capturing the NCAA Division II title with a 5-2 win over the University of California-San Diego in its final game. The Golden Rams went a perfect 4-0 in the double-elimination championship tournament to win its second national title.
West Chester is the only team from the northeastern United States to win the Division II championship, and the only team from any school in Pennsylvania to win the national championship at any level. Junior designated hitter Shane Dressler was named a second team All-American by the American Baseball Coaches Association and sixth-year head coach Jad Prachniak was named the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference’s Coach of the Year.
Retiring Slippery Rock, Mansfield university presidents honored
The Board recognized the contributions of two retiring university presidents—Cheryl J. Norton of Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania and Francis L. Hendricks of Mansfield University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Norton has served as Slippery Rock’s president since June 2012, when she became the first woman to lead the institution in its 128-year history. Under her leadership, the university regularly was cited for excellence by national publications, including being recognized as a national, regional and public “College of Distinction” and being named a “Great College to Work For” by The Chronicle of Higher Education. Her support of sustainability efforts resulted in Slippery Rock being name a national “Green Ribbon School” by the U.S. Department of Education, making it one of only 11 colleges and universities in the country to earn such distinction. She will retire July 21.
Mr. Hendricks was the first graduate of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education to be named president of a State System university. He graduated from the then Mansfield State College in 1979, then returned to lead his alma mater as president in May 2013. Previously, Hendricks spent 33 years serving in the U.S. Air Force, retiring as a brigadier general. Under his leadership, Mansfield implemented several innovative programs, including the Commonwealth Scholar and TEAM programs, and was named to the annual Colleges of Distinction listing for three consecutive years. He will retire as president in August.
Shapira re-elected Board chair; Maser, Shields, vice chairs
The Board re-elected Cynthia D. Shapira of Pittsburgh as chair and David M. Maser of Philadelphia as vice chair. Harold C. Shields of Allison Park also was elected vice chair. All three will serve one-year terms.
Ms. Shapira is president of the David S. and Karen A. Shapira Foundation and a community activist. She previously was a management consultant, providing strategic management services to education and non-profit institutions. She is chair of the Greater Pittsburgh Jewish Federation and serves on the boards of the Allegheny County Airport Authority, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Point Park University and Brandeis University in Massachusetts.
She sits on the Governor's Advisory Board for Education and Workforce Development and previously served on the Pennsylvania Women’s Commission under Governor Tom Corbett. Ms. Shapira has been a board member of the United Way of Allegheny County, The Pittsburgh Promise, WQED and Vibrant Pittsburgh. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Wellesley College and a Master of Public Administration degree from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government.
Mr. Maser is Of Counsel with Chimicles & Tikellis, a nationally known securities and consumer class action law firm. He works primarily with the firm’s institutional clients, representing 25 public funds with more than $300 billion in assets. He has worked in both law and government for 20 years and has been involved with multiple presidential campaigns and numerous other federal, state and local campaigns.
Mr. Maser also is active in his community, serving as chairman of Philadelphia 3.0; as a founding member and chairman of the Board of the Garces Foundation; and as a member of the Pennsylvania Society and the Union League of Philadelphia. He also is chair of the Board’s Finance, Administration and Facilities Committee.
Mr. Shields is the principal in Harold C. Shields HR Consulting LLC. He is a member of the Council of Trustees at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, from which he earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and chair of the Pennsylvania Association of Councils of Trustees.
A career human resources professional, he previously was human resources director of Global Business Services and HR director of Pittsburgh Resource Units for Alcoa for 28 years until retiring in 2009. He also worked for the Opportunities Industrialization Center in Erie, a self-help program founded by the late Leon H. Sullivan, as well as for Bucyrus-Erie and WICU-TV in Erie. He has served as a member of the Edinboro University Foundation Board of Directors and the Edinboro University Alumni Association Board of Directors. His other civic efforts include serving as board president of Three Rivers Youth and as a board member of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Pittsburgh. He was the first African-American elected to the Erie School Board and served a term as president. He also is chair of the Board’s Human Resources Committee.
Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education is the largest provider of higher education in the Commonwealth, enrolling more than 100,000 degree-seeking students and thousands more in certificate and other career-development programs. Collectively, the 14 universities that comprise the State System offer more than 2,300 degree and certificate programs in more than 530 academic areas. Nearly 520,000 State System university alumni live in Pennsylvania.
The State System universities are Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester Universities of Pennsylvania. The universities also operate branch campuses in Oil City (Clarion), Freeport and Punxsutawney (IUP), and Clearfield (Lock Haven), and offer classes and programs at several regional centers, including the Dixon University Center in Harrisburg and in Center City in Philadelphia.