LVC Recognizes Outstanding Alumni for Their Careers and Contributions

Lebanon Valley College alumni award winners

Lebanon Valley College graduates achieve more in their personal lives, careers, and communities. This year’s recipients of our annual alumni awards and citations are being recognized for their outstanding contributions.

 

Dr. JonnaLynn K. Mandelbaum ’69 
Watch her video feature.
The highest alumni award, LVC’s Distinguished Alumna Award is presented for significant service to one's profession, the community, and to the College.

Dr. Mandelbaum has dedicated her life to helping others as an author, educator, health professional, philanthropist, international health consultant, and advocate for displaced women and their children. 

A former United Methodist missionary who now lives in New Mexico, Mandelbaum spent her professional career in international health. She worked to improve education for nurses, midwives, physicians, and other healthcare providers throughout the world as a missionary nurse and health consultant in Mozambique, the Philippines, Zimbabwe, and Central and Eastern Europe. She also taught nursing and developed projects for the United States Agency for International Development, Project Hope, and Peace Corps. This extensive international experience led her to write and publish a trilogy of books based in Mozambique.

Mandelbaum established The Almond Tree Scholarship at LVC in 2017. The full-tuition scholarship supports students of high promise but limited financial means from sub-Saharan Africa. The inaugural recipient, Shingirai Guchu ’21 from Zimbabwe, graduated with the Class of 2021. Darrell Duri ’22 and Fatima Madondo ’22, two other recipients of The Almond Tree Scholarship, are also from Zimbabwe. 

Mandelbaum earned her R.N. at the Methodist Hospital School of Nursing before achieving a B.S.N. from LVC. She continued her education, earning degrees from the University of Maine (P.N.P.), Johns Hopkins University (M.P.H.), and Georgian State University (Ph.D.). At the latter, she earned her doctorate in comparative and international education. 

 

Jasmine Ammons Bucher ’97, M’11, P’14, P’23 | Director of Educational Technology and Adjunct Instructor of Education | Lebanon Valley College 
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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. 

Along with Bucher’s work at the College, she serves as the theatre director at nearby Palmyra Area High School (PHS) and received an honorable mention for the 2018 Tony Award for Excellence in Theatre Education. Passionate about communication, expression, and collaboration, she seeks opportunities to help others find their voice for community good. A classically trained vocalist and experienced musical theatre performer, she is in her 12th year directing Palmyra’s annual musical and directs the Palmyra Theatre Gold Star Theater Camp for elementary and middle school students. 

Bucher is president of the PHS Musical Boosters, a member of the Educational Theatre Association, and troupe director for the International Thespian Society Troupe #8430. She has participated in master classes with numerous Broadway performers through the Broadway Dreams Foundation.  

Bucher holds a bachelor of arts degree in English and an MBA from LVC along with a master of arts degree in humanities from The Pennsylvania State University.   

 

Alumni Citation Recipients 

Alumni Citations are awarded each year to graduates who have achieved outstanding accomplishments in their field.

 

Marsha Curry-Nixon ’04 | Founder and Executive Director | Amiracle4Sure Inc. 

Curry-Nixon was released from state prison in 1997 and reunited with her family after her six children were released from foster care. She needed to find a way to provide, so she developed a five-year plan to improve her circumstances and the lives of others who had found themselves on the wrong side of the law. What emerged was Amiracle4Sure Inc. in 2010, an organization that helps individuals transition back into the community from incarceration and other challenges.

Curry-Nixon established the AMiracle4Sure Educational Scholarship at LVC in 2018.  She has been involved with LVC’s Office of Intercultural Affairs and Inclusive Programs, notably as a speaker at the annual Donning of the Kente and Lavender Ceremony.

She received the YWCA of Greater Harrisburg’s 2018 Tribute to Women of Excellence Award, which recognizes Central PA’s leading female professional and community volunteers. She also was honored as the American Association of University Woman Harrisburg chapter’s Community Woman of the Year in 2019–20.

She received her associate degree from Harrisburg Area Community College, a bachelor’s degree from Lebanon Valley College, and a master’s degree from Capella University. Hear from one of the recipients of the AMiracle4Sure Scholarship.

 

Dr. Eric Roden ’83 | Professor of Geoscience | University of Wisconsin-Madison 
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Dr. Roden, the Albert and Alice Weeks Professor of Geomicrobiology, conducts research on the metabolism of microorganisms in soils and sediments and the influence of microbial activity on the geochemistry of fluids and solids in those environments. His work has been published in almost 150 peer-reviewed publications and has been cited more than 10,000 times. He has received 25 federal research grants totaling more than $8 million for his laboratory work.

Roden has served as a reviewer for numerous scholarly journals and research grant applications and is currently an associate editor for the Frontiers in Microbiology journal. Among his most important achievements is the mentoring of 20 M.S. or Ph.D. students and 15 postdoctoral scholars. He teaches undergraduate survey courses on microbial life in Earth’s extreme environments and astrobiology, and upper-level courses on geobiology, aqueous geochemistry, and mathematical modeling of geochemical reaction systems.

He received the Marion L. and Chrystie M. Jackson Mid-Career Clay Scientist Award, which recognizes mid-career scientists for excellence in contributing new knowledge to clay minerals science through original and scholarly research.

Roden received his bachelor of science from LVC, then earned his Ph.D. in marine estuarine environment science from the University of Maryland. 

 

Todd Snovel ’06 | Vice President of Student Affairs and Community Engagement | Pennsylvania College of Art and Design (PCAD) 
Watch his video feature here.

Prior to Snovel’s arrival at the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf appointed him as the inaugural executive director for the Pennsylvania Commission on LGBTQ Affairs. In this role, he advised the Governor on policies, practices, legislation, and systems that impacted LGBTQ individuals and communities. He was the first person to hold such a position in the U.S. 

Snovel is passionate about contributing to his community and advocating for equality and access to education, the arts, and healthcare. He currently serves on the boards of the Keystone Business Alliance, Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition, and Lebanon Community Theatre. He also serves on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force for the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce, Community Engagement Committee for the Fulton Theater, and Personnel Committee at the Lebanon Country Club. 

Snovel has received the Athena Award from the Lebanon Valley Chamber of Commerce, was named Advocate of the Year by the Keystone Business Alliance, was recognized with the Catalyst Award from the Harrisburg Regional Chamber, and was listed as one of Central Pennsylvania’s 40 Under 40 by the Central Penn Business Journal. 

Snovel has led workshops and trainings on issues of equity and inclusion for businesses, organizations, and conferences and is an active presenter, contributor, and foundation trustee for ACPA: College Student Educators International. He has taught college-level courses on the studies of genders, sexualities, and identities and holds an M.A. in organizational leadership from Mansfield University along with a bachelor of arts from LVC.