2014 ALUMNAE ASSOCIATION OF WILSON COLLEGE
A ballot with individual profiles of nominees may be found in the recently mailed Spring Wilson Magazine.
Alumnae/i may vote by mail, online here* or in person at the annual AAWC General Meeting during Reunion, Saturday June 7. *Online voting is only available May 1 through June 5.
Samantha Ainuddin ’94
Profiles are posted as submitted by the nominees at the request of the AAWC.
was born in
Chicago to an Indian father and white mother.
Her advertising father re-located the family
in 1981 to Pakistan where Samantha and her
two siblings were able to learn the language
and culture of their father. At age 16, Samantha
returned to the States to live with relatives and
finish high school in Harrisburg, Pa. It was at
her high school college fair that a poster for Wilson College caught
Samantha’s eye and Wilson became the only single-sex college
on her list of desired schools. During her senior year at Wilson,
Samantha began working at WHAG TV in Hagerstown, Md. as a
part-time production assistant and radio reporter for WCPN in
Chambersburg. Her ambition and degree in communications led to
a long and varied career in television news and sports that has taken
her all over the country working for ESPN, PBS, Turner Studios, Fox
Sports and NBC.
At the age of 25, Samantha was diagnosed with breast cancer and
became involved in several non-profit cancer organizations, raising
over $50,000 for cancer research without major corporate sponsorships.
She is a two-time breast cancer survivor. In 1999, Samantha
became a certified chef and began a small cake business for a time.
She has been a member of the National Academy of Arts & Sciences
since 2006 serving on various committees including Emmy Awards
Judging. Samantha currently lives in Philadelphia where she does
freelance work for Comcast in addition to commuting to New York
City for freelance work.
“Alumnae were a constant presence on campus when I was a
student in the 90s. They were role models for many of us because
they were so put together and smart. The giants for me were Carolyn
Trembley Shaffer ’50, Carol Tschop ’72 and the legendary Miss
Boyd (Miss C. Elizabeth Boyd ’33). As a student it was intimidating
to approach alumnae, but once you did, they were so friendly and
down-to-earth. They were such fountains of information on the
traditions and history of Wilson. As editor of the Billboard, I was
very taken with Wilson’s history and interviewed Miss Boyd on
several occasions for the student paper. I can only hope to bring a
fraction of what they did to the Alumnae Association. Being as this
would be my first term, I would be content learning the process by
which things are accomplished for the Association. I would like to
see the Association become savvier with social media and keeping
the entire alumnae body connected, encouraging more activities
with alumnae regardless of their physical location and having more
interactions with the student body.”
Cynthia Fink Barber ’73 Cynthia is currently completing her twelfth year as an elementary school principal in West Virginia having previously taught special education for 23 years. She is a
member of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Cynthia is a team captain for Relay For Life. She is pianist for Ganotown United Methodist Church. Her spare time is spent knitting prayer shawls for Hospice, sweaters for Knit for Kids as well as crocheting preemie baby items for Stitches from the Heart. Cynthia currently serves on the Student and Parent Relations and Heritage committees of the Alumnae Association board. She previously served on the Nominating Committee and was one of the original participants in the Aunt Sarah program. Cynthia wants to serve on the board in order to be supportive of the students and staff
as they develop their own personal Wilson experience. Her goals would be to provide additional opportunities to encourage relationships among all those who love Wilson and to strengthen ties with alumnae/i from all programs.
Rita Handwerk Fisk ’64 graduated from Wilson with a degree in biology. She also earned a Master of Arts in education from Lehigh University. Her first position was teaching 9th grade generalscience in the Philadelphia area. After three years, Rita switched to the corporate world and worked at DuPont in Wilmington, Del., as a patent analyst. At the time she didn’t know it was the beginning of the information age. After three years reading and analyzing patents in a lonely office she returned to boisterous joys of teaching where she met her husband. Rita interrupted her working career to stay at home with three sons. When the youngest was in kindergarten she again took a position at DuPont as a business/research librarian and enjoyed the challenge of working during the development of the digital revolution in information technology. She serves
as vice-chair of the Engagement committee and on the Recognition and Stewardship committee of the Alumnae Association.
“Serving on the board as a representative from this year’s 50th Reunion Class is an honor and gives me a long term perspective on the role of Wilson for today’s and tomorrow’s students. The world has changed a lot in 50 years and Wilson must change and grow to be relevant,” Rita said. “The young men and women coming to Wilson choose to be pioneers in a new experiment – in a ‘we are small, but are mighty’ place – where they can’t hide in a huge classroom. Alumnae/i who thrived at the Wilson of their day can now support the
college during its continuing evolution. My goal during this term on the board will be to outreach to alumnae/i to support Wilson financially and to figure out ways to help the Alumnae/i Relations Office communicate with the 8,000 alums out there.”
Karen McMullen Freeman ’76 After graduating from Wilson, Karen earned an MBA from Ohio State University (OSU), married Mark, and moved to Perrysburg, Ohio, where, now married for 34 years, they have raised three children.
Since graduating from OSU, Karen has worked for a number of companies including: Owens-Illinois, Bristol-Myers Squibb, The Toledo Hospital, and United Way of Greater Toledo holding positions in business analysis, strategic planning, market research, and finance. For the last eight years Karen has been the Finance Director for the City of Rossford, Ohio. Rossford recently received an AAA debt rating from Standard & Poor’s and Karen has been recognized four times by the Ohio Auditor of State for excellence in financial reporting and accountable government. Her volunteer board experience includes terms on the boards of F.U.M. Preschool, Boys & Girls Clubs of Toledo, and FOCUS (a homeless shelter for families). Currently, Karen is in her fourth year as a board member of the OSU Alumni Club of Wood County and in her third year as the organization’s treasurer. Karen’s interest in serving on the Alumnae Association board stems from a long standing desire to stay connected to Wilson College, which she says has not always been easy living in northwest Ohio. She would like to use her experience in finance and accounting to help the Alumnae Association and she hopes that her experience with the OSU alumni club will allow her to contribute ideas that will help to cement relationships between Wilson College and alumnae/i.
Leslie Hickland Hanks ’70 is a retired public elementary school teacher. She taught for 35 years in Washington County, Md. Public Schools as a classroom teacher, library media specialist, staff developer and intervention teacher. After graduating from Wilson, Leslie received an M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education from Shippensburg University. She enjoys volunteering, reading, traveling and spending time with family and friends.
Leslie is married to George Hanks and has two sons, Brian and Justin. George is retired from the US Department of Defense. Brian is married to Cortney Timmons Hanks and is a Chinook helicopter pilot and member of the PA Army National Guard. Justin is married to Caitlin Lacy Hanks and is the Building and Grounds Supervisor at the Presbyterian Church of Falling Spring in Chambersburg.
“I agreed to serve because I believe everyone needs to do their part to help Wilson to prosper,” Hanks said.
Patricia M. Keffer ’96 has been a member of the Alumnae Association board since June 2008. She served as secretary of the Board for the past three years. Pat is retired from a 43 year career in the telecommunications industry. She now works part-time at Park Avenue United Methodist Church as secretary and treasurer. Pat and her husband are part of the Friendly Family community here at Wilson College. She spends her spare time taking art classes at the
Council for the Arts in Chambersburg and enjoying her monthly book club meeting. She is married to Bob, has two sons and seven grandchildren.
“I want to serve on the Alumnae Association board of directors as a way of giving back to Wilson for the opportunity to earn a long-anticipated degree. I am grateful for the Adult Degree Program since it was instrumental in helping me to achieve my dream of a college degree,” Pat said. “My goal, as a member of the board, is to be there for the students and make their academic journey as easy as possible. I am hopeful that what our Alumnae Association can help to accomplish is a vibrant and active college for many years to come.”
Susan Graham Mowen ’97 is also a graduate of the University of Phoenix, Ariz. and Hagerstown Community College. Her degrees include an associate’s degree in communications, a bachelor’s in elementary education and a master’s in curriculum and technology. She is currently certified to educate students in kindergarten through eighth grade, high school literature and special education students. She currently teaches English Language Arts to 6th grade Merit and on grade students. Prior to becoming an educator, Susan was an on air personality for local radio stations and a copywriter for WHAG TV 25, a local television station.
Susan has been married to Mark for over 20 years and their daughter Katie is a freshman at Wilson. Susan loves to spend time with her family and her Cavachon, Allie. She loves to read all genres, participate in Zumba classes with her daughter and collect Disney collectables, Michael Jackson memorabilia and historical items. Susan’s favorite vacation destination is Disney World, followed by Ocean City, Md.
Her reasons for serving on the Alumnae Association board are to support Wilson students (past, present and future); to connect with fellow alumnae/i; to be a part of the ever changing/ever growing Wilson campus; to be a “cheerleader” for current Wilson students; and she says, “I have loved Wilson College since my first day. The warmth and support of the staff and fellow students stays with me always. One of my happiest moments recently was when my daughter
selected Wilson College. She, too, loves Wilson. Today, when I am on campus, I feel like I am at home.” Her goals as a board member are to connect with current students with mentorship/personal connections (maybe bi-weekly alumnae/i/student lunches); to adjust “Welcome Boxes” and other incentives/gifting for our male students; to expand the online community (Facebook, Twitter) and to hold a monthly coffee house, or other events, where alumnae/i, staff and students can make connections with those who have same aspirations.
Dr. Jacqueline Elder Murren ’69 After graduating, Jacie obtained a master’s degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University in 1972. Having passed the written, but not the oral, Foreign Service exam, she returned home and secured a teaching position with the newly formed Lincoln Intermediate Unit #12, earning a second master’s degree in special education from McDaniel College in 1978. During her 37 years with LIU, Jacie served in the capacities of special education teacher, instructional advisor, and supervisor of the various programs of preschool, life skills support, occupational/physical therapy, and hearing and vision support. She earned her doctorate in reading education from the University of Maryland in 1984 and married Douglas Murren in 1987.
Jacie also taught numerous graduate courses in reading education and inclusion strategies/differentiation in the classroom for Penn State York, Immaculata, and Wilson. Throughout her career, she made numerous presentations at LIU, local school districts, area community groups, and the Pennsylvania State Conference of the Council for Exceptional Children. While working for LIU, she served on the boards of York-Adams Mental Health-Mental Retardation, Adams County Children and Youth Services, and the Governor’s Task Force on Preschool Education in Pennsylvania. Jacie retired in 2010 to care for her mother who was in declining health. In retirement, she pursues her interests in gardening, reading murder mysteries, walking her two beagles, and attending Zumba. Jacie continues to serve as Secretary/Treasurer of her alumnae class.
“I enjoy working with fellow Wilson alums of all ages on common goals to improve the life of our alma mater,” Jacie said. “My goal is to be part of the solution and help effect a smooth and productive transition for Wilson into the next phase of her life.”
Lorrie Rejonis Trader ’05. Lorrie is currently a fifth-grade teacher for Washington County Public Schools in Maryland. She and her husband David have two children, Mackenzie Ann, age six, and Carson Allan, 20 months. She is finishing up her master’s degree from McDaniel College, with a certification in Elementary Math Leadership. While at Wilson, Lorrie was very active on campus, involved in the Conococheague Yearbook club, Wilson College Government Association, a resident advisor, and Campus Activity Board. She also was the class officer as Song Leader. From 2011 to the present she has served on the Alumnae Association board of directors, volunteering
on a variety of committees: Student and Parent Relations and serves as its chair, Nominating, Engagement and Heritage. “It has been a pleasure getting to know and work with so many different Wilson alumnae from many decades, while on the board of directors; it allows me to continue my ‘Wilson experience’ in new ways. I am also able to give back to Wilson from all she has given me!”
Dorothy M. Van Brakle ’06 & ’09 attended Wilson as a non-traditional student and received a bachelor’s degree in business management after completing an associate’s degree in 2006. Her 30-year tenure at Letterkenny Army Depot in Chambersburg, Pa. has culminated in her current role as the chief of logistics division in the Directorate of Public Works, where she supervises 130 employees. She serves as an alumnae Trustee from the Alumnae Association to the College
board of trustees.
Van Brakle is a member of the Equal Employment Opportunity Special Emphasis Program committee and the manager of the depot’s Minority College Relations Program. She also serves on the Elm Street Board of Directors in Chambersburg and belongs to the Federal Managers Association, the Federally Employed Women Organization, and the National Association of Active and Retired Federal Employees.