Outstanding Volunteer Service Award
MILLERSVILLE UNIVERSITY OUTSTANDING VOLUNTEER SERVICE AWARD
The purpose of this award is to recognize one volunteer annually who has devoted significant time and effort and outstanding service to the Millersville University Alumni Association or the University on behalf of the Millersville University Alumni Association.
This award may be given to any living alumni member, who is a graduate of Millersville University, an active volunteer, and one who has distinguished himself or herself by devoting significant time and effort and shown outstanding service to the Millersville University Alumni Association or the University on behalf of the Millersville University Alumni Association.
Method of Nomination/Deadline
Nominations will be sought from the membership of the Millersville University Alumni Association Board, committees and University Departments. Nominations should be submitted online via the online form. The deadline for nominations for this award is January 30. Questions may be directed to the Office of Alumni Engagement, Millersville University, P.O. Box 1002, Millersville, PA 17551 or via email to email@example.com.
The Nominations and Awards Committee will facilitate the selection process and will serve as the selection committee and will meet in late February or early March each year to determine the individual to be honored.
Number of Recipients
Only one recipient can receive this award per year. Nominations not acted upon in the current year may be held for reconsideration the following year.
The intent of the award is to honor the alumni volunteer who devoted significant time and effort and demonstrated outstanding service to the Alumni Association or the University on behalf of the Alumni Association during the past year. Philanthropic support of the University on its own is not to be considered sole justification for selection.
The recipient selected will receive written notification from the Nominations and Awards Committee Chairperson. An award will then be presented by the President of the Millersville University Alumni Association or his/her designee at the Honors and Awards Convocation.
Click here to see past recipients of the Outstanding Volunteer Service Award
Jerri Anne Johnson’s passion for teaching has been a hallmark of her career and service to Millersville University. Johnson stayed close to home following her undergraduate work, teaching in the School District of Lancaster for 10 years. She then returned to MU to earn her Masters of Education. While studying psychology during her master’s training, Johnson authored a research paper entitled, “The Effects of Stimulant Drugs on Hyperactive Children.” This sparked an interest in medical research, which later lead her to Abbott Laboratories.
While at Abbott, Johnson’s positions varied as she earned increasing responsibility over her 26-year career. She joined the company in territory sales, advanced to research and development and even directed a global program to improve the diagnosis and treatment of women with heart disease. Regardless of the role, Johnson used her education training to adapt her presentation style to the personality of the health care provider. She said, “As a result, I came across as more of a true educator instead of a used car salesman. Millersville gave me the tools and confidence I needed to exceed my wildest expectations in my professional life. To think, I could be teaching sixth grade for almost 10 years and then have the opportunity to manage more than 50 M.D.s, Ph.D.s, and Pharm.D.s during my career. I never really stopped teaching - it was the students that changed.”
Johnson was the first in her family to attend college and recognized the value of giving back to the University. Her passion for students shines through as she serves as a student mentor, research proposal reviewer, and MU Commencement volunteer. Johnson has been volunteering with the Millersville University Alumni Association since 2005, first as a board member, then as President Elect, President, and Immediate Past President – a six year commitment. But her work didn’t end there. Johnson also sits on the Nominations and Awards Committee and has faithfully volunteered at numerous events.
Her fellow MUAA past president Lori Dierolf ’91 said of Johnson, “She has a lifelong dedication to education and has been a generous donor to Millersville University, devoting many years and countless hours to her alma mater.” Johnson received the Star Mentor of the Year Award for her work with underserved students, and she has served on Millersville University search committees. Additionally, Johnson regularly volunteers during senior send-off, homecoming, the Community-University Parade, and the Women's Giving Circle. Her philanthropy includes proudly endowing two scholarships in memory of her parents and her beloved son, Chad.
In addition to her support at Millersville, Johnson has served as an elder on the board at her church, a member of the board of the J.P. McCaskey Alumni Association, as well as the national Boards of Directors for the Preeclampsia Foundation and The National Coalition of Women with Heart Disease (WomenHeart).
Asked why she serves, Johnson thoughtfully replied, “Getting to know students from across the spectrum of our MU population has really taught me so much. Hearing the challenges so many of today's students face, and the obstacles they have overcome, inspires me to help where I can to make that load just a bit lighter.”
LORI LAZARCHICK DIEROLF ’91
2017 OUTSTANDING VOLUNTEER SERVICE AWARD RECIPIENT
Lori Dierolf moved to Millersville to attend college and fell in love with Lancaster County. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1991 and has dedicated herself to supporting Millersville University and the surrounding community ever since.
Dierolf has served on the Millersville University Alumni Association board of directors from 2007 until 2017; as secretary 2007-2011, as president-elect 2011-2013 and as president 2013-2015. In these leadership roles, she has been integral in developing the current board structure and in shaping the future of the association. She created an interactive orientation program to onboard new members, participated in re-writing sections of the association’s bylaws and aligned initiatives in support of the University’s Strategic Plan.
Dierolf has served as chair of the Alumni Engagement Committee from 2015-2017 and knows the value of connecting students and alumni. She has supported the Student Networking Alumni Programs (SNAP), Admission’s events to welcome new and prospective students, as well as programs sponsored by Experiential Learning and Career Management.
“She has gone beyond the call of duty as a volunteer countless times and continues to exude a special dedication to her alma mater,” Jerri Anne Johnson ’76 wrote in her nomination of Dierolf for the Volunteer Service Award. “She is professional in nature, dedicated, dependable, outgoing and insightful. The Association is forever grateful for her service.”
In 2016, she combined her professional experience as a human resource specialist and her interest in helping the elderly to launch her own business, “Open Door Training & Development”. The company provides human resource and leadership training for small businesses as well as education on dementia to healthcare facilities and community organizations. She is an adjunct instructor for Northampton Community College (PA) and her first book, “Set the Course: Best Practices for Long-Term Care Leaders”, was recently published.
Dierolf and her husband live in Millersville and she volunteers with the local Alzheimer’s Association as a trainer and support group leader. Their son is a freshman at Purdue University and their daughter is carrying on the Millersville University tradition and will graduate in May 2018 as a “Marauder-for-Life”!
ROBERT "BOB" LEHR '57
2016 OUTSTANDING VOLUNTEER SERVICE AWARD RECIPIENT
If you have ever stopped by Jefferson Hall, you have seen the work of Robert Lehr ’57. This 81-year-old alumnus hand-carved the 6½-foot Marauder that now stands in the athletic recruiting room.
The massive Millersville Marauder was craved from a 1,200-pound block of Vermont kiln-dried basswood that was generously donated by Dr. Dominick DiNunzio ’53. Lehr worked on his Marauder statue for nearly a year, whittling it down to just 550 pounds. It was modeled after one of his favorite literary characters, Long John Silver, from Robert Louis Stevenson’s adventurous tale “Treasure Island.”
Lehr was born in Millersville in 1935 and raised in an 18th century log cabin. The first in his family to go to college, he went to Millersville, along with his high school sweetheart, Mary. He played baseball and basketball, graduating in 1957 with a degree in elementary education. Mary graduated a year later in 1958 with degrees in English and Latin.
Lehr discovered that the name Marauders came about in the 1940s, when Millersville had an undefeated football team. Lancaster New Era sports editor George Kirchner started calling the team the Marauders and it stuck. Lehr served in the U.S. Army during the occupation of Germany. After he returned, he began a long career as an educator at Lancaster Township, Pequea Valley and the School District of Lancaster, where he was principal at John Price Elementary School. At Pequea Valley, he was the principal at Paradise Elementary, Leacock Elementary and five one-room schools. He also coached junior high basketball.
Through the years, Bob served on the engagement committee of the Millersville University Alumni Association, while Mary is active on the events committee. The Lehrs attend the annual Homecoming festivities and help greet alums at the alumni tent. He even created a treasure hunt event with clues hidden all over campus. The Lehrs faithfully attend MU After Work get-togethers, and Bob often donates unique door prizes, hand-carved miniature Marauder pins.
DAVID HERNANDEZ '71
2015 OUTSTANDING VOLUNTEER SERVICE AWARD RECIPIENT
David Hernandez was born in Puerto Rico but has spent most of his life in Lancaster County. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Millersville in 1971. As a student, he was very active in campus life serving on the staff of “The Snapper” (student newspaper) and “The Touchstone” (yearbook). He edited “The Black and Gold” (student handbook), served as student secretary for the Student Publications Office and was elected to Pi Delta Epsilon. He served as a student guide for incoming freshman, was a member of the Circle K Club, and participated in intramural sports.
Since graduation, Hernandez has maintained a close connection to his alma mater and began serving on the MUAA’s events committee in 1986 assisting with Homecoming and Alumni Weekends, commencements, Freshmen Orientation pinning ceremonies and Move-In Day, local and regional alumni gatherings and trips, and Lancaster County United Way Day of Caring. He served numerous terms on the Alumni Association Board of Directors, including two years on the Executive Committee.
CATHERINE "KITTY" GLASS '53
2014 OUTSTANDING VOLUNTEER SERVICE AWARD RECIPIENT
Associate Professor, Catalog Librarian, retired in July 1996, from Millersville University after 28 years of service. The librarian/associate professor emeritus guided the library in its transition from printed catalog cards to an automated online catalog and has cataloged a variety of materials including monographs, textbooks, videocassettes, filmstrips, pictures, rare books, maps, prints and broadsides. She was responsible for selecting the library’s children’s books during the past 25 years, resulting in a very strong Juvenile Collection that is well used by students taking education courses. For the past two decades, Kitty has served on numerous boards including the MU Alumni Association Board of Directors (current board member); Student Services Inc. Board of Directors (1972-1996); Treasurer of the Association of Pennsylvania College and University Faculties; and the Homecoming Committee.
Her numerous volunteer activities have included Class of 1953 60th Reunion; Freshman Convocation; Move-In Day, Senior Send Off, Alumni Association Events Committee; Alumni Fall Fling; Commencement; numerous alumni receptions in the local area; MU After Work events and many other activities She is also a member of the American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries. Kitty received her undergraduate degree in Library Science from Millersville University and Master’s Degree in Library Science from Drexel University.
PAST OUTSTANDING VOLUNTEER SERVICE AWARD RECIPIENTS
2013 Stephen Kepchar, Jr. ’70
2012 William Martin '81
2011 Stephen E. Focht '70
2010 Dr. Richard L. Frerichs '64