SRU names 2016 Distinguished Alumni
Oct. 4, 2016
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - What do a health care CEO, a radio personality, a retired education professor and a Butler County public servant all have in common? They all graduated from Slippery Rock University before launching successful careers and have been named as 2016 Distinguished Alumni by the SRU Alumni Engagement Office.
The quartet, which includes: David Boucher, '80, chief executive officer of UCI Medical Affiliates in South Carolina; Mark "Razz" Radziewicz, '85, a radio broadcaster in Philadelphia; Herb Hunt, '67, '72, retired SRU professor of elementary education; and William O'Donnell, '78, Slippery Rock magistrate, will be honored Oct. 21 at an awards dinner at the Russell Wright Alumni House & Conference Center.
"The Office of Alumni Engagement is so honored to recognize each of these recipients," said Tracy Allison, assistant director of alumni engagement. "They show leadership in the workplace and in their communities in many ways. Their SRU family is so proud of them. They set a great example for our current and future students."
Boucher said the award surprised him. "I took the call in an airport as I was about to board a flight," he said. "I was stunned, speechless and humbled - and thus experienced a kaleidoscope of related emotions and fond memories of The Rock."
Boucher said his SRU experience took a sharp change midway through his sophomore year, when he switched majors from athletic training/sports medicine to community health administration.
"I had the remarkably good fortune of having the late Lois Thompson agree to serve as my adviser," he said. "She directed me to eat a steady diet of economics, accounting, statistics and management/administration. She told me to apply for a paid internship with a federal health-planning agency in Allentown the summer after my sophomore year, telling me that I probably wouldn't get the internship, but that I needed the experience interviewing. Not only did I get the internship, but it started my journey in healthcare administration, which has now lasted 38 years."
As a student, Boucher was elected vice president of student affairs for the Slippery Rock Student Government Association and, with two classmates, started a birthday cake delivery service. "We had a bunch of fun delivering decorated cakes to coeds and made pretty good money for that time," he said.
Boucher, of Columbia, South Carolina, has served as CEO at three different facilities within Quorum Health Group and held several executive positions with a variety of hospitals over the past 15 years. Prior to joining UCI Medical Associates in 2012, Boucher launched Companion Global Healthcare; an employer-focused medical travel benefits company.
Respected throughout his industry, Boucher has been quoted in more than 250 publications, including: The New York Times, Washington Post, The Economist, Business Week, Wall Street Journal, Good Housekeeping, The New Yorker and U.S. News & World Reports.
He has made presentations on disruption innovation at Harvard Business School, Harvard Medical School, Yale University and the AARP.
Boucher has also been active in his community, serving as a Rotarian and as a youth soccer coach for more than 20 years.
Radziewicz, who received a bachelor's degree in communication, said he started his SRU unsure of what he wanted to do or what his future might hold.
"I never thought I'd get out of the first semester when I arrived at the University in August 1980," he said. "But slowly with the help of my resident adviser, Richard Butler, I discovered the University radio station, WRCK. The people there helped light a fire deep inside of me that still burns bright to this day.
"My journey through broadcasting has allowed me to see the world and meet very powerful people," he said. "But I'm still that kid that drove onto campus all those years ago in many ways. I am very proud to be an SRU graduate."
Radziewicz, of Port Republic, New Jersey, is an on air personality, music director and assistant program director of country station, 92.5 XTU in Philadelphia.
As a music director, Radziewicz said he has created relationships with country's most charitable artists, and works to pair their interests and time with 92.5 XTU events, securing autographed memorabilia and donations for a variety of charitable fundraisers.
In 2013, Radziewicz became involved in fundraising for the Popcorn Park Zoo, located in Lacey Township, New Jersey, which had received extensive damage during Super Storm Sandy. Radziewicz and his wife, Kelly, brought the situation to the attention of country star, Miranda Lambert, who made a sizable donation to help the zoo rebuild.
Radziewicz is active in America's 911 Foundation, a national motorcycle ride that, in part, funds a college scholarship program for children of active first responders. Others charitable endeavors that Radziewicz is involved with include: Kisses For Kyle, a pediatric cancer fund; Hands To Angels Foundation; the Mid-Atlantic Jack Russell Rescue; and various police unity Rides across New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Hunt, of New Castle, who spent 13 years (2000-2013) teaching elementary education at SRU, launched his professional career as an elementary teacher in the New Castle and Neshannock School Districts. He spent 19 years as an elementary principal in the Neshannock district.
Hunt said his focus has always been on keeping students engaged in learning. "When teachers keep this principal in mind, students will be successful," he said.
For eight years, Hunt served as president of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Field Directors. He has served in various positions with the American Cancer Society, Lions Club and the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Singing.
He also served as executive secretary for the Tri-County Athletic League and taught educational leadership at Youngstown State University.
In 2006, Hunt founded the National Student Teaching and Supervision Conference. The goal of the conference is to bring together teacher candidates, teachers and university/college faculty to share best practices that will enhance teacher preparation.
Since retiring, Hunt has remained busy as the Founder and President of HH Education Events, an organization that looks to build partnerships between the business community and educators so all students can be successful.
O'Donnell, of Slippery Rock, who received a bachelor's degree in political science, has devoted his career to improving the quality of life in western Pennsylvania.
The one-time director of administration/chief clerk for the county of Butler served in that capacity for 21 years, beginning in 1991, until his retirement in 2012.
Before embarking on a career in county administration, O'Donnell obtained district judge certification in 1991. In 2015, O'Donnell was elected Slippery Rock magistrate, following in the footsteps of his late father, District Judge William O'Donnell.
The younger O'Donnell has served on numerous non-profit boards, most notably the Butler Industrial Development Authority, Butler Rotary, the Slippery Rock Football Championship Committee and Butler County Sports Hall of Fame. He is the president of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and for the past 35 years has chaired over a dozen fundraising initiatives ranging from youth sports to community awareness days.
To be nominated for the Distinguished Alumni Award, individuals must have graduated from SRU at least 10 years prior and translated their SRU experience into distinguished service in public, business, professional, education and philanthropy.
The Alumni Association's Awards Selection Committee reviewed nominations and chose the winners.
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