Awards dinner honors alumni, retiring president

BLOOMSBURG – Retiring Bloomsburg University President David L. Soltz and Roberta “Robbie” L. Soltz, Ph.D., were named 2017 honorary alumnus and alumna, at the annual Bloomsburg University Alumni Awards Dinner on April 1.

The Alumni Association conferred honorary status on the Soltzes in recognition of the significant impact they have had on the university since Dr. David Soltz became the 18th president in January 2008. During his tenure, President Soltz has concentrated on building programs and infrastructure for today’s students and those who will follow.

The university’s strategic plan, Impact 2015: Building on the Past, Leading for the Future, was developed in fall 2010 under his leadership and updated as Impact 2017. Many of the initiatives outlined in the plan focused on experiential learning and enhancing opportunities for all students to succeed, personally and professionally, in an increasingly complex global environment.

Dr. Soltz has overseen more than $240 million in construction and renovations to campus buildings, including Haas Center for the Arts, Bakeless Center, Hartline Science Center, Nelson Field House, Sutliff Hall and Columbia and Elwell residence halls. A seven-story residence hall will open in fall 2017. With an eye on the future, Dr. Soltz established a Strategic Enrollment Management Division to build an enrollment vision for BU. Before becoming president, Dr. Soltz served as provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Central Washington University. He is retiring at the end of June.

Since joining her husband in Bloomsburg, Dr. Roberta Soltz, a biologist, has continued to pursue her interests in regional water management and strategic planning and biodiversity. She has served as member-at-large on the Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania Board. Before moving to Pennsylvania, she served six years as an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Biological Sciences at Central Washington University, where she taught Environmental Resource Management, Human Ecology and General Biology. During her long and distinguished career, she served three years as an ecologist for the Los Angeles District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and was director of Environmental Compliance for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. She earned the President’s Environmental and Conservation Challenge Award in 1992 for her work on significant projects in Southern California.

The honorary alumnus designation was established to recognize special individuals who have played a significant role in the life of the Bloomsburg University community and who have exhibited a generous, caring spirit, setting an example for all alumni to follow.

Marc Steckel ’93 named alumni Volunteer of the Year

Marc Steckel, New Windsor, Maryland, received the William T. Derricott ’66 Volunteer of the Year Award in recognition of his volunteerism throughout 2016. Three other graduates were honored at the awards dinner, a tradition at Bloomsburg since the 1940s.

Steckel, deputy director for Complex Financial Institutions with the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) currently serves as vice president of the BU Alumni Association. He has been an active regional alumni network leader for the Washington, D.C. region, supported the university’s Professional U Initiative by hosting Bloomsburg students for internships and for a Husky Career Road Trip to the FDIC. He advocates for the BU Honors Program and the Finance Department within the Zeigler College of Business. A Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Steckel earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Bloomsburg in 1993. He is a graduate of the Stonier Graduate School of Banking and a Harvard University executive leadership program.

Additional Alumni Awards

  • Aimee N. Metrick ’98, Fulton, Maryland, an award-winning communications executive, received the Distinguished Service Award. She is currently regional vice president of communications for Comcast Cable’s Beltway Region who has earned recognition for her leadership in the cable industry for mentoring young professionals and as executive sponsor for “Beyond School Walls,” a workplace mentoring partnership to help at-risk students. She is an active community volunteer, serving on the Board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Chesapeake area, for example. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications at Bloomsburg.
  • Gwen Wiscount ’09, Boston, Massachusetts, and Nazeer Curry ’16, Emmaus, Pennsylvania, each received a Maroon and Gold Excellence Award, which recognizes alumni graduating within the last 15 years. Wiscount is a partner and sales and marketing executive at FullFunnel. She holds a degree in business administration and marketing. Curry is an operations supervisor for J.B. Hunt working in the field of transportation logistics. He earned a degree in business administration.

Formed in 1871 and incorporated in 1933, the alumni association is a vital link between 69,000 alumni and the university. Its mission is to actively engage and involved alumni in the strategic priorities and philanthropic goals of the university.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 9,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Education, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.