Past O'Hara Winners
2004 Frank O'Hara Award Winners
- Rep. Kevin J. Blaum '74
Rep. Blaum is Democratic Chairman of the House Judicial Committee, a member of the Rules Committee and is currently serving his eleventh term representing the 121st Legislative District. The Wilkes-Barre native was elected as a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1980 after serving five years on Wilkes-Barre City Council. Mr. Blaum also served as Chairman of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, where he instituted a program to combat sexual assault on college campuses. Under Governor Robert Casey, he was also a member of the Governors Commission on Children and Families.
- David H. Burton, Ph.D., '49
Arts and Letters
Dr. Burton earned his master of arts degree and doctorate at Georgetown University. He served in World War II, earning a Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Combat Infantry Badge. Dr. Burton was a member of the faculty at St. Joseph's College for more than 50 years, including 24 as the history department chair. He is the author/editor of some 20 books, many of them in the field of historical biography, including the lives of Theodore Roosevelt, Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., William Howard Taft and Clara Barton.
- Mark E. Chopko, Esq., '74
Religion and Spirituality
Mr. Chopko serves as general counsel to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, D.C. As such, he is the chief legal officer and supervises a corporate legal staff of six. Mr. Chopko earned his juris doctorate from Cornell Law School. He has served as assistant general counsel to the U.S. Catholic Conference, Inc., the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, as senior attorney and attorney of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and as trial counsel for the Cornell Legal Aid Clinic. His more than 40 articles address a variety of topics, including church-state affairs, education, biomedical issues and liability issues.
- William J. Corcoran, Esq. '64
Mr. Corcoran earned a juris doctor degree from Georgetown University in 1967. He served in the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps from 1968 to 1971, and presently serves as Senior Counsel in the Public Integrity Section of the Criminal Division. In 1972, he joined the U.S. Department of Justice as a trial attorney. He served as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in Philadelphia, as a trial attorney in Washington, D.C., and has argued several criminal trials in the U.S. Courts of Appeals. He has served as Deputy Chief and Acting Chief of the Narcotics Section of the Criminal Division, Counsel to the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Program. Mr. Corcoran has twice received the Attorney General's Award for Distinguished Service to the U.S. Department of Justice.
- Dominick A. Cruciani Jr., M.D., '54
Dr. Cruciani served as an infantry soldier in the Korean War and as a medical officer during the Vietnam War. He earned his medical degree from Georgetown Medical School in 1958, and opened a private practice in ophthalmology in Scranton and the Pittston area. Dr. Cruciani has been very active in local, state and national medical societies. He is a yearly participant in fund-raising for the University campaigns, and served as chairman of the annual alumni drive in 1976. He is a former member of the board of trustees of The University of Scranton.
- Peter J. Danchak '84
Mr. Danchak has been employed by PNC Bank since 1984. He is president of the Northeast Pennsylvania region of PNC Bank, a member of The PNC Financial Services Group. Before being named president, he held several positions, including senior vice president, division manager for the corporate banking line of business for the Northeast Pennsylvania Market, and vice president of East Stroudsburg corporate, and regional vice president in Scranton corporate banking. Mr. Danchak serves on the board of directors of many local institutions, including Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania, The Regional Chamber Partnership, the Scranton Industrial Development Company and the Boy Scouts of America. He also serves as a member of The University of Scranton Board of Regents and College Board of Visitors.
- Mary Beth Farrell '79
Ms. Farrell is executive vice president, finance and administration services of AXA Client Solutions, LLC. Before joining AXA, she was employed as senior vice president and controller for GreenPoint Bank. She has also been employed by Citibank, and by KPMG Peat Marwick. Ms. Farrell, a University trustee, is vice chair of The University of Scranton's President's Business Council formed by a prominent group of metropolitan New York-based alumni. She has also served on the National Board of the University's Alumni Society.
- Rosellen M. Garrett, Ph.D., C.R.N.P.
Dr. Garrett will receive the University Service award. She recently retired from her position as associate professor of nursing at The University of Scranton. Most notably, Dr. Garrett was the founder of the University's nursing department in 1980. She was responsible for the development of the curriculum, including the nursing laboratory, off-campus clinical learning sites and initial recruitment and development of faculty. Dr. Garrett earned her master of science degree in psychiatric/mental health nursing from the University of Maryland and her Ph.D. from The Medical College of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Medical Sciences. She earned her certificate as a family nurse practitioner from Binghamton University. Dr. Garrett has also maintained a private practice in individual and marriage counseling.
- Lt. Gen. Daniel J. O'Neill, '59 G'64
Lt. Gen. O'Neill will receive the award for Education. His career as a military leader includes active duty in the U.S. Army and Pennsylvania Army National Guard, where he served in every command from platoon leader to Division Commander. As an educator, he has worked as a classroom teacher, coach, high school principal and Superintendent of Schools in the Wayne Highlands School District. He has served on many boards and committees, including the Visiting Middle States Association Evaluation Committee, the Wayne Memorial Hospital Authority Board, and the Wayne Bank Board of Directors. He was appointed by former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge to serve on the Base Retention and Closure Committee-PAC. He serves as an adjunct professor teaching educational leadership courses and mentors many new and aspiring school administrators.