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2018 Distinguished Alumni
Don Goebel North Hills School District graduates Don Goebel and Julia Santucci are the newest honorees to receive the district’s annual Distinguished Alumni Award. Goebel is a member of the Class of 1980, and Santucci is a member of the Class of 1998.

Goebel is a lawyer who serves as the chief legal officer and chief tax officer for Maxim Crane Works, the nation’s largest provider of cranes and related lift and logistics services. He has been in the legal realm for nearly three decades and has diverse legal, business, tax and financial experience. Over the years, he has held leadership positions in large, international accounting firms, super-regional law firms and large, sophisticated businesses. He holds a legal degree from Ohio Northern University College of Law, a graduate legal degree in taxation from the University of Florida College of Law and an undergraduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh in economics and political science.

He is an active participant on the district’s Academy of Business and Finance Advisory Board and a frequent guest lecturer in the high school’s economics and finances courses. As well, he has been integral in establishing scholarships for North Hills High School students on behalf of Maxim Crane Works and his family.

Julia Santucci Santucci is a senior lecturer in Intelligence Studies and director of the Hesselbein Forum Leadership Program in International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. Prior to her collegiate career, she worked for the U.S. State Department as a senior advisor to the U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, as a leadership analyst at the CIA and as the Director of Egypt for National Security Council Staff at the White House.

 She holds a master’s degree in Near Eastern Studies from the University of Arizona and a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Dayton. She has completed Intensive Arabic Language Programs in modern standard Arabic and the Egyptian dialect from Middlebury College and the American University in Cairo. She was actively involved in advancing U.S. policy toward Egypt that included a strong focus on human rights as she provided assessments and support to President Barack Obama and senior decision makers during the Arab Spring in 2011. Ms. Santucci and her husband have recently purchased a home in West View and look forward to finding new ways to serve our community. 

2017 Distinguished Alumni
Carolyn Green

North Hills School District graduates Carolyn Green and Dr. Jerry Yee were the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients. Green was a member of the North Hills High School Class of 1983, and Yee is a member of the North Hills High School Class of 1977.

Carolyn Green started her professional career as a student teacher in chemistry at North Hills High School and went on to serve as the Director of Strategic Investments for Pfizer’s Worldwide Research and Development. In her role at Pfizer, she was responsible for a strategic venture capital fund that invested in early-stage biotechnology companies and served on the company’s leadership team of external research and development innovations. She devoted her career to translating emerging scientific ideas into innovative therapies to address unmet medical needs as a female scientist, biotech entrepreneur and successful venture capital investor. She supported diversity and the advancement of women in these fields through her involvement with Springboard, a national organization which backs women entrepreneurs in biotech industries, as a coach and mentor in the Women in Bio Boardroom Ready Project, as a co-host of BioPharma Executive Council’s Increasing Diversity event and as the Catalyst Award winner for mentoring from the Science Club for Girls.

Prior to joining Pfizer, she was an executive-in-residence and co-founder of Morningside Ventures; president, COO and co-founder of the biopharmaceutical company Logical Therapeutics and founding director of a translational research and commercialization center at Pitt and UMPC that identified promising scientific discoveries. She served on the boards of NextCure Inc., Metabomed LLC and Harvard’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She received her bachelor’s degrees in education, chemistry and mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh and was an Entrepreneurial Fellow for the Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence at Pitt’s Katz Graduate School of Business. She passed away in spring 2017 and was honored posthumously.

Jerry Yee

Since 2011, Dr. Jerry Yee has been the head of the Department of Medicine, Nephrology and Hypertension at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. Additionally, he also serves as a clinical professor of medicine in the department of medicine at Wayne State University and as the editor-in-chief of Advances in Chronic Kidney Disease, a publication of the National Kidney Foundation. He received his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University and completed his categorical medicine residency at Brooke Army Medical Center in Fort Sam Houston, Texas, while serving in the U.S. Army where he held a rank of major. He advanced his studies with a nephrology fellowship at Temple University Hospital and completed an additional researched-based National Institutes of Health Fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania.

Throughout his more than 30 years in medicine, Dr. Yee has focused on chronic kidney disease. He uses this expansive and dedicated experience when inspiring students to learn selflessness and set life goals that transcend individual accomplishments. He also is the author of nearly 200 peer-reviewed manuscripts and the editor of a chronic kidney disease handbook for primary care physicians. He is the winner of the National Kidney Foundation’s Nostradamus Award, the Governor’s Award from the Michigan American College of Physicians and the American Society for Nephrology Education Award. Dr. Yee resides in Beverly Hills, Michigan, with his wife, Virginia.

2016 Distinguished Alumni
Sandra Carson

North Hills School District graduates Sandra Carson, M.D., and Kurt Weiss, M.D., were the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients. Carson is a member of the North Hills High School Class of 1971, and Weiss is a member of the North Hills High School Class of 1992.

Since 2013, Dr. Sandra Carson has been the vice president of education with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists where she oversees a team that directs the educational curriculum for ob/gyn residents across the United States. Additionally, she serves as a professor of obstetrics and gynecology and director of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University. She received her medical degree at Northwestern University Medical School and completed her ob-gyn residency at Northwestern’s Prentice Women’s Hospital and her reproductive endocrinology fellowship at the University of Chicago’s Michael Reese Hospital.

An accomplished surgeon, Dr. Carson designed hysteroscopic instruments that allow doctors to look inside a uterus to diagnose and treat bleeding issues. She has been recognized in “Best Doctors in America” for more than 10 years and is included regularly in Good Housekeeping’s “401 Best Doctors for Women” and “The Guide to America’s Top Obstetricians and Gynecologists” among many other publications. She has published more than 130 peer-reviewed scientific papers, 60 chapters and six books in reproductive medicine. She was an associate editor for the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and editor-in-chief of Sexuality, Reproduction and Menopause. Dr. Carson chaired the FDA’s Reproductive Drugs Advisory Committee and was consultant to both the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health and the President’s Council on Bioethics. Her research was funded by the National Institutes of Health for 18 years, and her latest research development, the Artificial Human Ovary, was named a Top 10 medical breakthrough in 2010 by Time magazine and Rhode Island 2011 Innovation of the Year.

Kurt Weiss

Class of 1992 graduate Dr. Kurt Weiss is an orthopaedic oncology surgeon at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center where he also serves as an assistant professor in the division of musculoskeletal oncology and the director of the cancer stem cell laboratory within the UPMC Orthopaedic Surgery Stem Cell Research Center. The laboratory, which he established, focuses entirely upon cancer research and boasts one of the largest tumor registries and tissue banks of its kind in the world, which has aided sarcoma research and medical collaborations across the country. Dr. Weiss’ dedication to cancer research and orthopaedic surgery comes from his own battle with sarcoma or bone cancer that resulted in the loss of his leg and nearly took his life at age 15.

Following his battle with cancer, he went on to receive his undergraduate degree from Notre Dame University and his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University. He completed his orthopaedic surgery residency at UPMC and musculoskeletal oncology fellowship at the University of Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital. Now, he is one of only a handful of surgeons who specialize in sarcoma. Dr. Weiss is also one of the very few physician-scientists searching for a cure for this disease, and the only one who is also a former sarcoma patient. He is a founding member of Pittsburgh Cure Sarcoma, which seeks to raise awareness of and research funds for the rare cancer. The organization has donated more than $200,000 to the Sarcoma Foundation of America making it the most active sarcoma volunteer organization in the United States. Dr. Weiss also has established the Kurt R. Weiss Scholarship for Wish Kids in partnership with the Make-A-Wish Foundation that provides financial support for former “wish kids” to pursue their goals beyond high school. Many North Hills graduates have benefited from this scholarship that has helped hundreds of children pursue higher education.

2015 Distinguished Alumni
William Corley

North Hills School District graduates William Corley and Debra Lam were the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients. Corley is a member of the North Hills High School Class of 1960, and Lam is a member of the North Hills High School Class of 1999.

Corley has made a difference in the lives of thousands through his dedication to excellence in the varied fields of education, business, medicine and public service. He recently retired from the Indianapolis Community Health Network where he served as president and chief executive officer for more than 25 years. During that time, he took a single hospital that had been languishing for decades and built the Indianapolis Community Hospital Network, which includes five hospitals, 70 healthcare facilities and 10,000 employees. He was the driving force behind the establishment of Indiana’s first heart hospital, and under his leadership, the hospital network was named one of the Top 10 integrated hospital networks in the nation. He now works with the Institute of Healthcare Improvement, influencing the quality of healthcare around the globe.

Throughout his career, he was honored with the “Sagamore by the Wabash,” award, the highest civilian award in Indiana. Outside of healthcare, he is co-chairman and creator of G.R.A.D.E.S., which seeks to develop partnerships between Indianapolis’ urban schools and the city’s Chamber of Commerce to raise graduation rates and reduce the dropout rate for high school students. Corley holds degrees from the College of William & Mary and Duke University.

Debra Lam

Lam is on the forefront of Pittsburgh’s exciting transformation in sustainability, technology, performance and innovation. In the newly created position of Chief Innovation and Performance Officer under Mayor Bill Peduto, she has created an innovation road map that details problems, solutions, successes and strategies designed to advance our region’s position as a national player. Lam has worked on public policy and urban-planning projects in China, the Philippines, Vietnam, London and New York City. As one of the youngest senior managers at Arup, a global consulting and design firm, she introduced a climate resilience and cities initiative to areas under direct threats from climate change to enhance traditional engineering offerings and thinking.

She also advised companies such as Siemens and Phillips, local governments in Manila and Ho Chi Minh City and international organizations including the United Nations and the World Bank on urban sustainable development. Additionally, she was involved with Arup’s partnership work with C40, a group of 40 of the world’s largest cities committed to tackling climate change. Lam is trilingual speaking both Cantonese and Mandarin. She holds degrees from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and the University of California at Berkeley and has studied climate change and public policy at the University of Cambridge in England.

2014 Distinguished Alumni
Gail Kowalski
North Hills School District graduates Gail Kowalski and William Newlin were the 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients. Kowalski is a member of the North Hills High School Class of 1973, and Newlin is a member of the West View High School Class of 1958.

Kowalski is the owner and president of Jewelry by Gail, Inc. based in Nags Head, N.C. She is well-known across the nation for her award-winning, custom jewelry designs worn by celebrities to some of the country’s most glamorous events and awards shows. Stars such as Eva Longoria, Minnie Driver and Vanessa Williams have worn Kowalski’s original and unique designs on the red carpet at the Academy Awards, the Emmys and the Golden Globes. Her jewelry also frequently is featured in celebrity jewelry suites, where stylists selected her original designs for their clients to wear at every major award show. A collection of her designs has been placed in Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City.

Kowalski has pioneered numerous metal-working techniques to manipulate platinum and gold and has patented the Slip earring design. Since 1977, she has been awarded some of the highest honors and awards of excellence in the industry while growing her business from a one-woman, one-room shop to a nationally recognized and successful, two-story stand-alone retail store and studio.
William Newlin Newlin is a seasoned executive and entrepreneur who has played a vital role in keeping the local Pittsburgh economy growing throughout the last four decades. He is the chairman of Newlin Investment Company, which he founded in 2007. Newlin was the executive vice president and chief administrative officer for Dick’s Sporting Goods, chairman and chief executive officer for Buchanan Ingersoll, chairman for Kennametal and chairman of Plextronics.

He has been recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pittsburgh Venture Capital Association and named one of the Top 50 Business Leaders in Pittsburgh by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, among the Most Influential Pittsburghers of the Century by Pittsburgh Magazine and twice honored as one of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America by the National Law Journal.

In his free time, he is active in many charitable organizations including The United Way of Allegheny County, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, The Watson Institute and many others. He holds degrees from Princeton University and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.
2013 Distinguished Alumni
Kim McLoughlin

North Hills School District graduates Kim McLoughlin, Ph.D., and David Andrew Strobel receive the district’s annual Distinguished Alumni Award in 2013. Both recipients are members of the North Hills Senior High School Class of 1986.

McLoughlin serves as a product development team leader and polymer scientist at Braskem. She is a noted inventor, who has patented novel polypropylene materials for numerous applications including disposable fabrics, automotive parts and food packaging films.

Currently, Dr. McLoughlin leads a team of scientists who are working to develop new food packaging materials for improved sustainability. She also serves on teams developing advanced materials for automotive products, to improve fuel efficiency, vehicle aesthetics and cost. She collaborates both locally and internationally with researchers in universities and in Braskem’s technology center in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

McLoughlin volunteers in a wide range of community education activities. She has judged the Pittsburgh Regional Science and Engineering Fair, and she has coordinated many hands-on science activities for classroom outreach programs and the SciTech Festival at Carnegie Science Center.

David Andrew Strobel

Strobel is an emergency response and recovery professional, who has led humanitarian relief efforts on five continents over the past 20 years. Drew, as he is known globally, has dedicated his life to helping in a hands-on way those in need around the world.

Currently, he is working as a regional representative with the American Red Cross in the organization’s office in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is responsible for developing and managing programs in community health and disease control, water and sanitation, organizational development and disaster risk reduction. 

In the past, he has helped communities rebound from natural disasters such as the 2007 southeast Asia tsunami, health emergencies, armed conflicts and other tragic events in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Rwanda, Guatemala, Ecuador, Thailand, Pakistan and Bangladesh. 

A veteran of the Peace Corps, he is fluent in numerous languages and also worked to rebuild rural communities in the United States. Strobel earned a bachelor’s degree in mulitidisciplinary studies with a focus on international political economies from Capital University and a master’s degree in international affairs with a focus on Latin American studies from Ohio University.

2012 Distinguished Alumni
Harry Clark
Harry D. Clark, Ph.D., West View High School Class of 1958, and Mary Beth Bedeck Jenkins, North Hills High School Class of 1989, were the recipients of Distinguished Alumni Awards in 2012.
 
Dr. Clark retired as an administrator in the Pittsburgh Public Schools following 30 years of service. During his tenure, he was instrumental in founding the Pittsburgh High School for the Creative and Performing Arts – the first public arts high school in western Pennsylvania – where he served as principal.

Dr. Clark has served as president of the International Network of Performing and Visual Arts Schools and as a National Director of Academic Relations for Full Sail Center for the Recording Arts. In addition, he has served as a consultant for numerous schools, performing arts centers, arts committees as well as renowned artists from throughout the country.

In May 2000, Dr. Clark was honored with the Distinguished Service Award from Magnet Schools of America in recognition of his service as a magnet school consultant and for initiating and developing new school programs in several cities across the country. 

In April 2012, Dr. Clark was voted to the position of vice chair of the board of directors of Bridgeway Capital, a community loan fund of southwestern Pennsylvania. Additionally, in April 2012, he accepted the position of co-president of Lighthouse Arts, Inc., a newly formed nonprofit arts organization he helped to create.
Mary Beth Bedeck Jenkins A graduate of Duquesne University, Dr. Clark earned his graduate and undergraduate degrees in music education. He was inducted into Duquesne University’s Century Club of Outstanding Alumni in 1993. He earned his doctorate in education from the University of Pittsburgh, where he served as a member of its Jazz Seminar Committee for more than 25 years. Dr. Clark is the recipient of the 2010 Rob Penny Lifetime Achievement Award, which honors an individual who demonstrates a quest for knowledge, passion for and understanding of the significance of using the arts for educational purposes, a love and respect for people of the African Diaspora and an appreciation of cultural relevancy.

Mrs. Jenkins serves as the senior vice president and chief operating officer for UPMC Health, where she has been employed for nearly 15 years. She is responsible for the development of strategic and operational initiatives for the multi-billion dollar family of companies that provides health benefits management and health related administrative services for more than one million Pennsylvania residents. Under her leadership, UPMC Health Plan’s Member Service call center received the J.D. Power & Associates Certified Call Center distinction – one of only 31 companies in the country to earn certification.

She is active within the greater Pittsburgh community and serves on several boards of directors and/or committees including board chair of March of Dimes, Carlow University board of trustees, board member Leadership Pittsburgh, and the United Way Women’s Leadership Council. In addition, Mrs. Jenkins serves as a volunteer tutor at Shaffer Elementary School in the Pittsburgh Public School District.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in communication from Slippery Rock University and a master’s degree in business administration from Duquesne University.
2011 Distinguished Alumni
Timothy Hoffman and Judith Ference Olson
 A pediatric cardiologist and a superior court judge were selected as the inaugural recipients of the North Hills School District Distinguished Alumni Awards. Dr. Timothy Hoffman, Class of 1984, and the Honorable Judith Ference Olson, Class of 1975.
 
 Dr. Timothy Hoffman is the Medical Director of the Heart Transplant and Heart Failure Program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. In addition, he serves as an Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Division of Cardiology at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. He has held numerous fellowship and faculty appointments and has been published in several research publications.

Dr. Hoffman was profiled in the North Hills School District’s 2005-06 Annual Report. At that time, he and the transplant team had recently performed a heart ‘domino’ transplant involving the youngest living heart donor. Domino heart transplantation occurs when one patient undergoes heart-lung transplantation, and his/her original heart is then given to a second heart-transplant recipient. These surgeries were performed on infants age 5-months and three-months-old, respectively.

Superior Court Judge Judith Ference Olson was elected to the Pennsylvania Superior Court in 1999 after serving as an Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas judge from 2008-2009. Prior to becoming a judge, she was a partner in the law firm Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP where she served as chairperson of the firm’s Antitrust and Trade Regulation practice group.

Judge Olson earned her law degree from Duquesne University School of Law and her undergraduate degree from St. Francis College. She has been recognized by “Law & Politics” magazine as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer for business litigation and as one of the top 50 female lawyers in the commonwealth. Judge Olson has a long-standing commitment to community service with a variety of organizations including the American Heart Association, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, the Diocese of Pittsburgh and others.
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North Hills School District
135 Sixth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15229
Phone: 412-318-1000 Fax: 412-318-1084
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