Annual Maryville Awards

Maryville University
Alumni and Community Awards

Maryville University
Alumni and Community Awards

Maryville University
Alumni and Community Awards

students in chemistry lab

Maryville is proud to recognize those who give generously of their time and talents to Maryville and to the community at large, as well as those whose work brings distinction to their profession.

In 2023, award recipients will be recognized at the Maryville Forward celebration on May 20, 2023.



The Walker Medal recognizes outstanding contributions or achievement in the field of Health and Wellness.

Click the arrow below to see additional past recipients.

  • Sister Mary Roch Rocklage

    Sister Mary Roch Rocklage, RSM, was the modern-day foundress of the Mercy health system. She helped lay the groundwork for a decades-long relationship between Maryville University and Mercy.


  • Alumni, Faculty and Student Nurses

    In 2022, Maryville awarded the Walker Medal to all Maryville nursing alumni, students and educators. President Mark Lombardi, PhD, presented the Walker Medal to the Maryville nursing community during the 2022 Nurse Pinning Ceremony.


  • Missouri Foundation for Health

    The Missouri Foundation for Health (MFH) works to improve the health and well-being of individuals and communities most in need through partnership, experience, knowledge and funding.

  • Nurses for Newborns

    Nurses for Newborns was born out of a need to prevent infant mortality, child abuse and neglect in low-income neighborhoods where resources are scarce. It was founded in the early 1990s.

  • Wings of Hope

    Wings of Hope is an aviation nonprofit organization that delivers humanitarian programs to impoverished communities to help them become more self-sufficient through improved health, education, economic opportunity and food security.


  • Michael DeBaun

    Michael R. DeBaun, MD, MPH, is the JC Peterson Chair in Pediatric Pulmonology at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. Previously he served as the Ferring Family Chair in Pediatrics at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

  • Lynn Britton

    Lynn Britton joined Mercy in 1992, and was named president & CEO in 2009. Through his innovative leadership, vision and knowledge of the organization, he has presided over Mercy’s growth and the role it plays in the health and welfare of our community.

  • Myrtle E. Walker and Earl E. Walker

    The Myrtle E. And Earl E. Walker Medal was presented to Myrtle Walker and posthumously to the late Earl Walker. Maryville’s state-of-the-art building and home to the College of Health Professions is just one example of the Walkers’ impact in the field of healthcare.



The Heart of Maryville Award, formerly Centennial Award, recognizes a lifestyle best exemplifying the values of the Sacred Heart tradition.

Click the arrow below to see additional past recipients.

  • Colleen “Coke” Hennessy

    Colleen “Coke” Hennessy has dedicated both her personal and professional life to the service of others. She credits her time at Maryville with helping her to identify her strengths and talents and determine how to use them to serve others.


  • Suzie Weiss

    Suzie Weiss’ love of Maryville runs as deep as her family legacy, which stretches back more than 100 years. Her grandmother studied at the old campus of Maryville Academy and in 1940, her mother, Kathleen Desloge, graduated from the original Maryville College.

  • Barbara Lamy Cooney

    Barbara Cooney exemplifies a life of service through the arts, the Society of the Sacred Heart and more. After earning a Bachelor of Arts at Maryville, she earned a master’s in English literature and a teaching certificate elsewhere.

  • Jacque Thaman Niekamp

    Jacque Thaman Niekamp, ’66, has always quietly gone about her work. Never seeking recognition, her steadfast purpose, strength of principles, loyalty, faith and integrity embody the values of the Society of the Sacred Heart.


  • Peggy Padberg McGarry

    The Heart of Maryville Award recognizes a lifestyle best exemplifying the values of the Sacred Heart tradition. Peggy Padberg McGarry is, literally, a lifelong member of the Maryville family.

  • Rosemary O’Neil

    Rosemary O’Neil, ’46, first discovered Maryville through the network of Sacred Heart schools when she attended a Sacred Heart high school in her native Chicago.

  • Evelyn Chiao Yuan

    Evelyn Chiao Yuan was the first student from China to attend Maryville on a scholarship. Yuan commemorates her experience by annually endowing the Evelyn Yuan Scholarship, awarded to an academically gifted Asian student.

  • Janet A. McMahon

    Janet A. McMahon, ’62, serves as director of a foundation begun by her father in the turbulence of the 1960s to provide food and clothing for the needy. She recently retired as bookkeeper with her family’s hotel business.



The Young Alumni Award recognizes young alumni who bring distinction to their professions, their community and their alma mater.

Click the arrow below to see additional past recipients.

  • Ryan Cockerham

    For Ryan Cockerham, giving back has always been a part of his life. Growing up in a family where philanthropy was front and center, it’s no surprise he now devotes much of his personal and professional life to helping others.


  • Morris “Tre” Jenkins

    Tre Jenkins works as a corporate partnerships executive for the Atlanta Falcons. A lifelong sports fan, Jenkins says he sometimes “feels like a kid” getting to do what he loves for a living and working for the top league in professional sports.


  • Adam Boyer

    Every day, as Adam Boyer makes sure 60,000 people have well-functioning computers and cell phones, he’s really working toward a larger goal: sending astronauts to the moon, and eventually to Mars. Boyer is the senior finance and business operations manager at Leidos.

  • Greg Schwartz

    Life has been sweet for Greg Schwartz. Not only did he discover his career interest as a student at Maryville; he also met his wife, Tracey Schrock Schwartz, ’09, on campus. His career path also took him to the “Sweetest Place on Earth”: Hershey, Pa.

  • Tyler Mathews

    Tyler Mathews, ’09, ’12, is the executive director for Venture Cafe STL, which enhances and accelerates the innovation process through spaces, programs and conversations that encourage individuals and organizations to gather and build relationships.


  • Stephanie Stegman

    Stephanie Stegman earned a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Maryville in 2008. She has never looked back, except to remember the positive experiences and supportive relationships she developed while on campus.

  • Minyu Cao

    Minyu Cao, ’13, was a multicultural scholar and co-president of the Maryville Cultures Connect program. In 2012, she was the only student in the nation to receive the Actuary of Tomorrow-Stuart A. Robertson Memorial Scholarship.

  • Cuong Dang

    Cuong Q. Dang is the co-founder of Enliven, a creative technology company in St. Louis focusing on user experience on web and mobile technologies. As Enliven’s CEO, Dang directs business strategies and leads user experience work.

  • Jenny Bristow

    As a full-time student, Bristow earned her BS in e-marketing, while also working full-time. Bristow was named Maryville’s e-marketing Student of the Year in 2006.



The Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes volunteers who have made significant contributions to the University within the past year.

Click the arrow below to see additional past recipients.

  • Darin Sorrell

    For Darin Sorrell, volunteering is a way of paying it forward to current and future students at Maryville. He remembers his time as a Maryville student as a formative one, including building strong relationships with both fellow students and faculty and staff—many of whom he remains close with today.


  • Scott W. Denney

    Scott Denney owns Denney Lumber Company, a family business he began with his late father, Les Denney. But Denney has carried his dad’s legacy into another “family business” too: the Walker Scottish Rite Clinic at Maryville University.

  • Betty C. Hayward

    Betty Hayward, ’82, currently serves on Maryville’s Executive Committee of the National Leadership Council and Duchesne Society. Betty volunteers at the Siteman Cancer Center’s Infusion Center and American Parkinson Disease Association.  

  • Ann Geis Boyce and Don Boyce

    Service is a way of life for Ann Geis Boyce, ’68, and her husband Don, who share the honorary title of Volunteer of the Year. The Boyces have become the go-to couple when an extra hand is needed or a leadership role needs to be filled.

  • Paul Kravitz

    It is rare for someone who is not an alumnus to be recognized as “Volunteer of the Year.” Paul Kravitz has facilitated new partnerships including connecting Maryville with the Maccabi games, which Maryville hosted in 2016.

  • Al Hammerman

    Al Hammerman, MD, a versatile composer and on-stage talent, helped launch Kids Rock Cancer, Maryville’s unique music therapy program for children with cancer and other blood disorders.

  • Lonnie Folks

    The Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Lonnie Folks, ’82, ’98, director of athletics for Richard Stockton College. He has served Maryville and the Saints athletic community with distinction for two decades.



The Dean’s Award recognizes graduates and others who bring distinction to their profession, to their community and to Maryville within the field of Arts and Sciences.

Click the arrow below to see additional past recipients.

  • Tim Rozar

    Tim Rozar serves as senior vice president and chief of staff at RGA Reinsurance Company. He was first introduced to RGA as a student—he was hired as an intern during a Maryville career fair. Since then, Rozar has worked with the company in a variety of roles.


  • Laraine Davis

    When Laraine Davis was growing up, she and her two brothers were the only black students at their predominantly white school. Now, Davis’s job is to ensure that her Wells Fargo Advisor’s global workplace is diverse.

  • Daniel Abebe

    How does a kid with a 2.8 high school GPA wind up at Harvard Law School? The road begins at Maryville, according to Daniel Abebe, PhD, JD, now vice provost at the University of Chicago Law School. Abebe chose Maryville at the urging of his parents.

  • Nicole Sahin

    Nicole Sahin, ’01, launched Globalization Partners with a mission to eliminate the hurdles that come with managing a global workforce. She has led her organization to a ranking of No. 33 on the 2017 Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing private companies.


  • Kathryn Cox

    Kathryn Cox, ’91, has enjoyed a successful career in actuarial science at RGA, where she first began as a Maryville student intern. As senior vice president of business development, Cox works with client companies on the front lines.

  • Nikki LaBruyere Mamuric

    Nikki LaBruyere Mamuric, ’00, has been on a fast-track since receiving her BA from Maryville. After earning an MBA from Washington University, she moved into marketing with Proctor & Gamble, Church & Dwight and L’Oréal.

  • Kathleen “Kay” Quinn-Malone

    Kathleen “Kay” Quinn-Malone is the anchor of KSDK NewsChannel 5’s First at Four program and co-anchor of NewsChannel 5 at Six. Prior to these roles, she anchored the weekend evening newscasts.

  • Stacey Corbet Morse

    Stacey Corbet Morse, ’89, earned her BFA in studio art after first considering a career in business. These are two fields she has successfully combined since her Maryville days.



The Dean’s Award recognizes graduates and others who bring distinction to their profession, to their community and to Maryville within the field of Business.

Click the arrow below to see additional past recipients.

  • Brandon Loeschner

    Brandon Loeschner is working in a niche and growing market for CPAs: gaming services. As partner and national practice leader of the gaming services practice at RubinBrown, Loeschner is building a national brand in the industry.


  • Melissa Lenz

    Melissa Lenz is past president of the Kiwanis Club of Crestwood-Sunset Hills and has worked with the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis. She’s also a member of the United Way’s de Tocqueville Society Cabinet.

  • Michael Reth & Sergey Abrosimov

    Michael Reth, CEO of Axiom Product Administration, and Sergey Abrosimov, CTO, are riding the success that comes from creating a company that disrupts traditional and outdated business practices.

  • Stephen Kitts

    Stephen Kitts, ’83, is EVP of investment banking at UMB Bank. His dedication to building outstanding teams and empowering individuals are the cornerstones of his success as a leader.


  • Robert Tucker

    Robert E. Tucker, MD, MBA, AIF, has enjoyed two successful careers. He was an orthopedic hand surgeon for more than 25 years and served as medical director of the St. Louis Orthopedic Institute.

  • James Eberlin

    In 2015, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon awarded Jim Eberlin the Governor’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award, in recognition of his success in founding not one, but three start-up companies.

  • Susan Rowold Brueggemann

    Susan Rowold Brueggemann is a human resources leader, talent management expert and director of human resources for Jim’s Formal Wear LLC.

  • Mary Pfanstiel Heger

    Mary Pfanstiel Heger is CIO and vice president of information technology and the Ameren Service Center for Ameren Services, a subsidiary of Ameren Corporation.



The Dean’s Award recognizes graduates and others who bring distinction to their profession, to their community and to Maryville within the field of Education.

Click the arrow below to see additional past recipients.

  • LaTonia Collins Smith, EdD

    LaTonia Collins Smith, ’15, is Harris-Stowe State University’s 21st president and its first African American female president. The University is the only Historically Black College and University (HBCU) institution in the St. Louis region.


  • Rosalyn Manahan

    As assistant principal at Pattonville High School, her high school alma mater, Rosalyn Manahan, EdD, is following in her mentor’s footsteps by helping students set and achieve academic and personal goals.

  • Charlotte Ijei

    Charlotte Ijei, EdD, is director of pupil personnel & diversity for the Parkway School District. Her passion for moving the district toward educational equity has been both personal and professional.

  • Rodney Lewis

    As the principal at Ballwin Elementary, Rodney Lewis, EdD, ’11, has positively influenced the lives of thousands of elementary students in the Parkway, Valley Park, Ferguson-Florissant and Rockwood school districts.

  • Patrick Sly

    Patrick J. Sly retired in 2016 following a 26-year career with Emerson. Most recently he served as executive vice president, managing the Emerson Charitable Trust and the company’s community relations.

  • Patrick McPartland

    Patrick McPartland, ’14, earned his master’s in education at Maryville. For the past 25 years, he has served as a social studies educator at Parkway South High School.

  • Jason Adams

    Jason Adams, EdD, is the principal of Maplewood Richmond Heights Elementary in the Maplewood Richmond Heights (MRH) School District. Adams earned each of his four degrees at Maryville University.

  • Michael Dragoni

    Michael Dragoni has a long academic association with Maryville University. He earned his bachelor’s in art education followed by a master’s in educational leadership.



The Dean’s Award recognizes graduates and others who bring distinction to their profession, to their community and to Maryville within the field of Health Professions.

Click the arrow below to see additional past recipients.

  • Andrew Dwiggins

    After a career as a musician and songwriter, Andrew Dwiggins decided to pursue a degree in music therapy. Now, he uses his guitar as a vehicle for providing music therapy to cancer patients as manager of patient support services at the St. Louis University Cancer Center.


  • Alison Tompkins Cole

    Alison Tompkins Cole, MT-BC, a graduate of Maryville’s Music Therapy program, works with patients and families of BJC Hospice and Evelyn’s House hospice facility to foster connections through music while also relieving patients’ pain and anxiety.

  • Cy Woodrome

    Cy Woodrome has built a nontraditional career in a field dominated by traditional methods. Having already earned a degree in anatomy & physiology, he enrolled in Maryville’s Weekend and Evening College to become a cardiothoracic nurse.

  • Shani Johnson

    Shani Johnson, ’05, is a life strategist, coach, author and motivational speaker. In 2013, she launched SCJ Enterprises which serves as a vehicle for women of all ages to become empowered and inspired.

  • Rubel Brothers (Greg, Matt and Jason)

    Physical therapy is sort of a “family business” for the Rubel brothers: Greg, ’97, Matt, ’00, and Jason, ’03, ’04. It’s no surprise that all three have developed successful careers marked by increasing responsibilities over the years.

  • Charles “Michael” Roth

    Mike Roth is both a skilled administrator and a compassionate advocate for seniors. These combined qualities have contributed to his successful career with Alexian Brothers Sherbrooke Village for 25 years.

  • Christine Crain

    Christine Crain is the COO for Mercy Kids, a division of Mercy. In this role, she serves as executive leader for strategic and operational initiatives related to pediatric and neonatal services across Mercy’s four-state region.

  • Crystal Weaver

    Crystal Weaver earned her BA in music therapy and her MA in rehab counseling. She is the senior music therapist at SLU Cancer Center and is also responsible for fostering community partnerships with the St. Louis Symphony.



The Online Learning Award recognizes online graduates and others who bring distinction to their profession, to their community and to Maryville.

  • Richard Trietley, EdD

    After more than 20 years as an active-duty officer in the U.S. Army, Richard Trietley, ’22, pursued his online Doctor of Education degree to propel him to his next career endeavor: university president.


  • Taryn Denezpi

    The ability to earn her degree online is why Taryn Denezpi, DNP, ACNPC-AG, is able to help stroke victims today. Through the flexibility of virtual classrooms, Denezpi navigated moving across the country, managing a high-risk pregnancy and caring for a new baby — all while earning a doctorate in nursing practice.