Four Alumni Recognized for Career Achievements During Annual Alumni Awards Luncheon
College was just the beginning of an incredible journey for many Lebanon Valley College alumni. They contribute in powerful ways in their professional careers, serve their local communities, and even influence future generations of Dutchmen.
The College recognized four members of its alumni family with special awards during the annual Alumni Luncheon held during Homecoming 2017. The awards are voted on by the Alumni Awards Committee.
Read on to learn about this year’s recipients.
Alan Newsome ’07, actuarial science and economics, Voya Financial
The Young Alumni Award recognizes an individual who graduated within the last 15 years for achievements in one’s profession, and significant service to the community and/or College.
Now employed in corporate asset liability management at Voya Financial in West Chester, Pa., Alan Newsome also spent five years with John Hancock Life Insurance Co. in Boston, Mass. He has contributed to the professional community by serving as both a vice chair and senior consultant for the actuarial CFE I exam, and through his membership in the American Academy of Actuaries and International Association of Black Actuaries. Outside of his profession, Newsome’s philanthropic work includes membership on the Board of Advisors for Artists for Humanity Inc. and on the Board of Directors for World Unity Inc.
During his years at LVC, Newsome served as a resident assistant for three years and participated in L.E.A.D., the Lebanon Valley Educational Partnership program, the Student Programming Board, the track & field team, and the Math Club. He also studied abroad during a semester in Australia. As an alumnus, he has remained involved with LVC through his membership on the LVC Leadership Council and the 2017 Math Curriculum Review Committee, along with speaking at January's Mathematical Sciences colloquium and participating in the in the LVC Humanities Wall Project.
Newsome lives in Bryn Mawr, Pa., with his wife of four years, Ashton Lattimore, and their 6-month old son Asa. In their free time, Alan and his family enjoy cooking, hiking, and traveling.
Heather Gateau McEndree ’00, music education and music, Cumberland Valley School of Music
The Creative Achievement Award is presented for distinguished creative accomplishments in the arts and journalism.
As the program director at the Cumberland Valley School of Music, Heather Gateau McEndree is an innovator for music education for kids. She began the Musikgarten program in 2011, which is an international curriculum of music for kids from newborn to 9 years of age to enjoy music through singing, listening to music, and playing instruments. Twice she has received the Musikgarten Exemplary Program Award, an honor only given to 87 programs in all of North America.
To expand music offerings in the community, McEndree plans to set up music camps and choirs, collaborate with Network Ministries to provide guitar and piano lessons, and work with a local Christian School for music programs. She also started some pilot programs to bring music instruction to Franklin County (PA) Head Start classrooms and added curriculums for art and dance.
Prior to her current position, McEndree taught music where she received a first-year teacher award and three nominations for Teacher of the Year in her district. After graduating from LVC, she served a graduate assistantship and completed a master’s of music education degree at Temple University, which included courses in early childhood music.
Joseph Tomtishen ’07, psychology, North Schuylkill High School
D. Clark Carmean Award in Admission is presented for notable service to LVC’s Admission Office, especially with new student referral and recruitment.
A generous spirit, Joseph Tomtishen takes pride in sharing his unabashed love for The Valley. As North Schuylkill High School’s counselor and football coach, he encouraged 30 students to come to LVC during the past decade. Nearly a third of them went on to play football for the Flying Dutchmen. Tomtishen seeks out those who are good students and who demonstrate values such as self-discipline, a willingness to help others, love of family, and selflessness.
His love for The Valley was evident when after graduation he joined the football coaching staff and commuted daily from Frackville for three years. When he made the difficult decision to relinquish that position, he assumed the role of recruiter for Schuylkill County and the surrounding area.
After leaving The Valley, Tomtishen went on to earn a master of education and secondary school counseling degree from Bloomsburg University. He and his wife, Megan, reside in Frackville and recently welcomed daughter Gretchen in September.
Dr. Erik Orndorff ’93, elementary education, Pequea Valley School District
The June Herr Outstanding Educator of the Year Award honors an alumnus of the College who has made extraordinary contributions to the field of education.
With almost 25 years of service in public education, including teaching, coaching, and administration, Dr. Erik Orndorff has influenced thousands of young lives during his career..
In his current role as superintendent, Pequea Valley School District has been nationally recognized as a leader in educational innovation and customized learning. Accolades include being named an Apple Distinguished School, one of only 87 nationwide; appearing in U.S. News highlighting its success in the personalized learning approach; and receiving Apple Distinguished Program Status for its visionary leadership, innovative teaching and learning, and flexible learning environment.
At LVC, Dr. Orndorff was a member of the football team, and received all-Middle Atlantic Conference honors twice and won the John Zola Award. He was inducted into the LVC Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009.
In addition to a B.S. in education from Lebanon Valley, Dr. Orndorff holds a master’s of education degree from Shippensburg University, and a doctorate in education from Immaculata University. Education was a logical career choice as many in his family work in education. Dr. Orndorff and his wife, Melissa, a teacher’s aide in the Garden Spot School District, have two daughters, Olivia, age 17, and Brooke, 15.