2020 Alumni Awards Virtual Celebration

On Saturday, October 10, 2020, the BU Alumni Association held its first ever Virtual Alumni Awards Celebration to celebrate the personal and professional accomplishments, as well as service to Bloomsburg University, of five distinguished alumni . It was our honor to celebrate and recognize these individuals, along with their family and invited guests. We’d like to thank those of you who were able to join us live to watch the celebration. For those of you who were unable to join us live or for those of you who simply would like to relive the moment, we invite you to watch the recording of the live event:

Full Alumni Awards Ceremony:  https://vimeo.com/467490484 [vimeo.com]
Thank you to our dedicated volunteer members of the Alumni Board of Directors and specifically the Alumni Awards Committee for their hard work throughout the review and selection process. We would also like to thank our virtual event host, Convene, for broadcasting our event live so alumni across the country could join in the celebration


Alumni Awards Picture
Elizabeth Miller

Elizabeth Miller '17: Maroon and Gold Excellence Award

Elizabeth Miller graduated from Bloomsburg University in 2017 with a degree in history, Arabic, and a minor in Middle East studies. After leaving Bloomsburg, Ms. Miller went on to work for New America as an international security intern, later securing positions with Yonkers Public Schools as a social studies teacher and education abroad assistant at Pace University. Ms. Miller has most recently served as the exhibition research coordinator for the 9/11 Memorial & Museum.

This spring, Ms. Miller completed her master’s degree in Middle Eastern studies at the Graduate Center in NYC and plans on furthering her education at Marist College next fall in clinical mental health with a focus on trauma.

Ms. Miller resides in Port Jervis, NY with her partner, Travis Andrew.

Link to video:  https://vimeo.com/467707682



Lamar Oglesby '07: Maroon and Gold Excellence Award

Lamar Oglesby is the Director of Grant and Contract Accounting in the Office of Research and Economic Development at Rutgers University. Through his position, Mr. Oglesby manages $700 million in annual sponsored research funding awarded to the University and is responsible for managing all research related activities for the University and Biomedical Health Sciences campus throughout the state of New Jersey. Mr. Oglesby has spent the majority of his career at Temple University, where he earned a master’s degree in Higher Education. His research administration career began in 2012 as a grant accountant, he quickly soared to management and leadership roles being promoted 4 times within his 6 years at Temple. His employment with Rutgers began March 2018, and within one year, Mr. Oglesby was promoted to Director, further demonstrating his ability to lead large organizations confidently and effectively. Mr. Oglesby is a dynamic manager, leader and mentor to many throughout his profession. He’s dedicated his career to developing strong leaders within the organizations he governs and through his volunteer efforts.

Mr. Oglesby has served in many volunteer roles. Beginning with this professional volunteering as the treasurer for AFSCME local 1723, from 2012 through 2014. Mr. Oglesby is an active member and emerging leader in the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA). Regionally, Mr. Oglesby is currently the Treasurer for Region II overseeing all financial decisions on behalf of the mid-Atlantic region states. In this role he serves on the Professional Development Committee, Program Committee, and Steering Committee to provide financial guidance, budgeting and analysis for the regions servicing officers and members. Nationally, Mr. Oglesby continues to service NCURA in greater roles. He is currently the Chair of Collaborate, which is NCURA’s professional networking and sharing platform. Mr. Oglesby is a traveling faculty member for NCURA, delivering instruction across the country as it relates to auditing sponsored programs, and is a part of the 2020 Executive Leadership Program cohort for rising leaders in the profession.

Mr. Oglesby lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with his wife, Dominika, and 4 children.  He enjoys the outdoors, sports, reading and spending time with his family. Mr. Oglesby and his family are very involved in their communities regularly participating in clean-up efforts in their neighborhood, providing support to local churches and programs, and passionately supporting the many entrepreneurs in their circles. Through real estate the couple also provides affordable housing in the Philadelphia area. In 2017 they started the Lamar and Dominika Oglesby Scholarship to help support young students from their hometowns of Darby Borough and Philadelphia, that attended their high schools (Penn Wood High School, Lansdowne, PA and Mercy Vocational High School, Philadelphia, PA), whom may be in need financial support while embarking on their collegiate journey at Bloomsburg University.

Mr. Oglesby has plans to continue his education by pursuing his doctorate in Higher Education in 2021.

Link to video: https://vimeo.com/467714109


Lamar Oglesby
Paul Clifford

Paul Clifford '96: Distinguished Service Award

Paul J. Clifford is the chief executive officer of the Penn State Alumni Association and associate vice president for alumni relations for Penn State. He is the organization’s 11th chief executive in its 150-year history and began his tenure in January 2016.

With 174,496 members, the Penn State Alumni Association is the largest dues-paying alumni association of its kind worldwide. The Alumni Association’s mission is to connect alumni to the University and to each other; provide valued services to members; and support the University’s mission of teaching, research, and service.

Clifford guides Penn State’s alumni relations strategy; oversees engagement initiatives with the Alumni Association’s 174,000+ members and 300 affiliate groups; leads a 70-member staff; and manages the Alumni Association’s broad range of programs, benefits, services, and resources, including a $13 million annual operating budget.

A Pennsylvania native, Clifford joined Penn State after serving as the University of Oregon’s associate vice president of advancement and executive director of the University of Oregon Alumni Association. While at Oregon, Clifford directed all programs, events, communications and services for the University’s 190,000 alumni and led a team of 40 professionals across four locations. He was responsible for increasing membership by more than 8 percent; implementing an alumni scholars program; and leading the University’s Philanthropic Relationships and Engagement Team, an innovative model that cross-functionally integrates traditional alumni relations, annual giving, and other engagement strategies.

Clifford has spent his entire career in the alumni relations field and has broad national experience. A 12-time CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) Award winner, Clifford has served on or chaired myriad CASE committees and is a five-time faculty member for the organization’s Summer Institute for Alumni Relations.

Clifford earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and holds a Master of Education degree in Higher Education from The Pennsylvania State University. Prior to his service at the University of Oregon, he was associate vice chancellor for alumni relations at East Carolina University and the president and CEO of the East Carolina Alumni Association—positions he held from 2004–2014. Previously, he was director of alumni outreach at the University of Connecticut Alumni Association, director of alumni affairs at SUNY New Paltz, and assistant director for alumni communications and student programs at James Madison University.

Clifford is also the host of Alumni Trending, a highly-rated non-profit business podcast aimed to deliver professional development to fellow advancement professionals.  A native of Conyngham, Pa., Clifford and his wife Jennefer (BU ’96) have three children: Aidan, Avery and Abbey.

Link to video: https://vimeo.com/467717187


Bill Bent '83: Distinguished Service Award

Bill Bent is Executive Vice President – Retail Production for Loan Simple a mortgage banker.  He leads a production team as a coach, mentor and manager.  He is an accomplished speaker, author and executive coach in addition to his Loan Simple role.  Following near death from a life-altering accident in 2014, he made it his mission to share with others both the wisdom of his life experience and his professional skill in helping companies grow and flourish.  He is passionate about helping people be their best on all levels:  mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually.

Prior to Bill’s accident, he was five times named one of the Top 100 Most Influential Mortgage Executives by Mortgage Executive Magazine.  He previously served on the Board of Directors at Academy Mortgage Corporation and as the Executive Vice President of National Production.

Under Bill’s guidance, Academy grew from being a 130-person regionally-based mortgage company to one of the nation’s largest independent mortgage companies, operating in 40 states, employing over 2,300 people and generating over $8 billion in annual production in 2015.

Bill was with Waterfield Financial Corporation for 21 years prior to its sale, where he served as Executive Vice President of Production for 10 Western states.  During his tenure, he was consistently the highest annual producers in originating mortgages, building the highest producing branch in Waterfield’s history, and developing the Western region into the largest in the company, managing $1 billion in annual production.

Bill’s audiences include:

He continues to inspire people to make positive changes in their lives and their businesses.  

His first book will be released in 2017.

Bill lives in Evergreen, Colorado, with his wife, Liz, and three children.  He is an avid runner, and enjoys hiking, cross-country skiing and golfing. 

Link to video: https://vimeo.com/467705614


Bill Bent
John Wetzel Picture

John Wetzel '98: William T. Derricott '66 Volunteer of the Year Award

John Wetzel, widely recognized as one of the thought leaders in and voices of corrections today, was appointed Secretary of Corrections for the PA DOC in January 2011 by Governor Corbett following a 22 year career in county corrections that culminated in a position of warden at Franklin County jail where he oversaw a 20% population reduction during his tenure.  After Gov Corbett’s defeat, he was reappointed by Governor Wolf in January 2015 and again in January 2019.  During his tenure as Secretary, not only did DOC experience the end of a 24-year average growth of 1500 inmates per year, but also the first population reduction in PA in over 4 decades, with a total reduction thus far of over 4,200 inmates.  Secretary Wetzel has guided the Department in restructuring Community Corrections, the mental health systems and significant security enhancements while at the same time, significantly reducing spending.  With 30 years of experience in the corrections field, he served as Chair of the Council of State Government’s Justice Center’s Executive Board of which he is now a member.  He also served as the recent President of the CLA (Correctional Leaders Association) formerly ASCA and a member of Harvard’s Executive Session on Community Corrections. On the federal level, he was tapped by the Obama administration to be the corrections expert on the Chuck Colson taskforce – which was a congressionally created group tasked with assessing the Federal Bureau of Prisons and providing the administration and congress with recommendations on improvement.  More recently, he was named by the Trump administration to the congressionally created oversight committee to the federal First Step Act.  He is graduate of Bloomsburg University, and recipient of honorary Doctorate degrees from both Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Chestnut Hill College.

Link to video:  https://vimeo.com/467710570