Three Shippensburg University alumni will be honored with awards during the annual Alumni Awards Dinner on October 22 as part of the university’s Homecoming celebration.
Dr. Neal Dando will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. This award recognizes the life-long achievement and personal commitment in the recipients field of endeavor for the benefit of the community and society. Dando graduated from Shippensburg University in 1979 with dual majors in biology and chemistry. He continued his studies to receive a master’s degree and PhD in chemistry. Retired from Alcoa as a senior technical specialist after 30 years, he has been granted 13 patents, holds 65 external refereed publications, co-invented/developed four commercial products, and presented at 15 invited seminars. While at Alcoa, he developed a perfluorocarbon (PFC) monitoring program implemented at all Alcoa aluminum smelters world-wide, resulting in a sustainable 1 million ton reduction in annual PFC emissions and worked with the Allegheny Intermediate Unit to create an Industrial Immersion program whereby groups of teachers are invited to Alcoa Technical Center for one-day sessions to experience first-hand real-world problem solving in order to better understand skill sets required to be effective in industrial jobs across a range of educational skill levels. Neal is the 2021 president for The Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy, a non-profit educational organization based in Pennsylvania that organizes an annual Conference and Exposition on laboratory science and was the 2019-20 chairperson for the Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh.
David Weisgerber will receive the Exceptional Service Award in recognition of the selfless giving of his time and efforts to the betterment of Shippensburg University. He has dedicated over 15 years of his life volunteering at Shippensburg University. He has served as a devoted member of the College of Arts and Science Advisory Board since 2006 and currently serves as chair emeritus on the Annual Fund Leadership team at the Shippensburg University Foundation. He served as a campaign volunteer for the Lighting the Way Capital Campaign from 2013-2017, then served as National Annual Fund Chair from 2018-2020 where he devoted generously of both his time and treasure. He supports the men’s and women’s track and field team as well as the College of Arts and Science on an ongoing basis. He has also spent time engaging fellow classmates and bringing them on board to the Annual Fund Leadership team encouraging alumni to devote both time and treasure for the betterment of Shippensburg University. David graduated in 1981 earning a Bachelor of Arts in history, and a JD from Dickinson School of Law in 1984. He recently retired after 35 years of practicing law in Maryland, primarily as a criminal defense attorney.
Rochelle Plummer will be honored with the Cultural Impact Award for her direct impact on diversity and cultural experiences of students on campus. Rochelle began her professional career at Shippensburg University in January of 2019 as the inaugural director for Students First, a program that serves first-generation students. In this role, Plumber established and led the newly opened Center for Emerging Scholars. In August 2019, she was appointed executive director for student retention. Under her leadership, Shippensburg University was named by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators and their Center for First-generation Student Success, as part of the 2020-21 cohort, a First-gen Forward Institution. The First-gen Forward designation recognizes institutions of higher education that demonstrate a commitment to improving experiences and advancing outcomes of first-generation college students. Additionally, in spring of 2020, Rochelle received a special invitation for Shippensburg University to participate in and receive further distinction as a First Scholars institution for her work with first-generation students. Rochelle was accepted into the Emerging Leader Program 2021 Cohort as part of the American Association of State College and Universities. In July, Rochelle was named associate vice president for academic success at King’s College. She is a graduate of the organizational development and leadership program at Shippensburg, where she earned her Master of Science in 2012. She also has a Master of Arts in English from Wilson College and begins her dissertation process spring of 2022 for her doctorate degree in administration and leadership from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
The Alumni Award dinner will also recognize recipients of the Outstanding Young Alumni Award and Distinguished Alumni Award.