2009 Poet Awardees

2009 Poet Award Recipients
Outstanding Young Alumnus: Joseph Akrotirianakis '95
Alumnus Achievement: Dean Salisbury '85
Community Impact: Phyllis Lee Swinnerton '54
Service to the College: Ivan Guevara '59
Honorary Alumnus: Frederic A. Bergerson
Poet Awards Committee Chair: Dennis Welch '68

Pictured above, left to right: Guevara, Akrotirianakis, Welch, Swinnerton, Salisbury, Bergerson.

2008 Poet Awardees

2008 Poet Award Recipients
Outstanding Young Alumni: Jay '97 & Nikomi Arroyo '97
Alumna Achievement: Penny (Carns) Fraumeni '68
Community Impact: Cathy Pearce Standiford '81
Service to the College: Dr. Richard B. Cheatham '68
Honorary Alumnus: Dr. Joseph Price
Poet Awards Committee Chair: Dennis Welch '68

Pictured above, left to right: Cheatham, Standiford, Arroyo, Fraumeni, Price.


Poet Awards 2010
Each year, Whittier College is proud to recognize select members of the alumni body as Poet Awardees in four categories: Outstanding Young Alumnus/a, Alumna/us Achievement, Community Impact, and Service to the College. When warranted, the College will also award the status of "Honorary Alumnus/a" to a member of our extended Poet community, and Purple & Gold will similarly select a candidate to receive the "Purple & Gold Honorary Service." Candidates in all categories are nominated by peers and colleagues, and all submissions are reviewed, then voted upon, by a special committee of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, headed this year by Vincent J. Fraumeni '69.

Poet Awardees are further recognized at a formal ceremony, held during Whittier Weekend.
This year, the Poet Awards Ceremony and Breakfast will be held on
Saturday, October 16, at 8:00 a.m. in A.J. Villalobos Hall.

Please congratulate all our Poet Award recipients for their extraordinary accomplishments,
their true Poet spirit, and their impressive leadership within our Whittier College community.
Alumna Achievement

Adrienne Cisneros-SelekmanAdrienne Cisneros-Selekman '81
Strategic Public Relations & Communications Consultant

Adrienne Cisneros-Selekman is a seasoned professional in public/media relations, government affairs with experience in corporate America, national and presidential campaigns, and high-profile events, including the 2000 Presidential Hispanic Inaugural Gala and the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games “Torch Run” media celebrations. Most recently, she served as a political appointee to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) at the highest level of government, Senior Executive Service. Early in her career, she served as a political appointee at the U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, in Washington, D.C.;  Vice-President of Media Relations at ShandwickWeber-Powell/Tate; and as an invited member of fast-paced presidential campaigns for Bush 41, Bush 43, and Bob Dole. As a member of the White House Advance team, she traveled worldwide facilitating foreign and domestic events and was responsible for logistics and technical requirements for the traveling press and local press. Her overseas travels included two war zones--Kabul, Afghanistan and Tbilisi, Georgia--and her most adventurous experience was being tail-hooked and catapulted off the USS John C. Stennis, a nuclear-powered super aircraft carrier, deployed in the Arabian Sea.

In her most recent past, she was sworn in at the U.S. Department of Energy and served in the George W. Bush Administration as Associate Director for the DOE's Small Business Office. She obtained her undergraduate degree in business, and is an active member of the Sachsen Society.

Outstanding Young Alumni

Manuel Roman Manuel Roman '00
Field Director, Change to Win Federation

Manuel Roman has spent the last decade in the service of others as a labor organizer and strategist. In his fight for social justice-- to secure the rights of and ensure fair and safe conditions for marginalized workers--he has served as a leader in nonprofit organization Change to Win, and with Unite Here union, a group assisting in the recent, coordinated hotel workers protests to effect changes in policy and treatment.

Paul A. Moore '04
United States Army Scout (Active)

Paul Moore has, even in his short absence from Whittier College, demonstrated his calling to service and active commitment to personal convictions, time and time again. Upon his graduation six years ago, he enrolled in the Mustard Seed program, a nonprofit organization based out of Jamaica, to assist the country’s poorest children living with AIDS and other physical and mental disabilities. Completing the program he next joined the Peace Corps, assigned to Azerbaijan. Still looking to serve his country and humanity, he joined the United States Army, where he is currently a U.S. Army Scout; to date, he has served active tours in Iraq, and is currently posted to Afghanistan.

Community Impact

Bob BrueschRobert "Bob" Bruesch '65
Award-winning Educator, Coach, and Independent Educational Consultant; founder, Rosemead Boys & Girls Club, Rosemead Y.E.S., Youth Soccer Club,
Rosemead Organization in Support of Youth; former mayor and city councilman, City of Rosemead; former president, Garvey School District; member, Los Angeles County School Trustees Association; representative, California School Board Association

Bob Bruesch has worn many titles over the years—teacher, administrator, board member, mayor, trustee—but none so thoroughly describe him as servant to his community. After graduating from Whittier in 1965 with a degree in history, Bob began his now 44-year career with the Garvey School District, where he has taught elementary through middle school classes; led such key initiatives as an outdoor education program that annually takes 200 children to camp as part of their curriculum; and served on the Garvey Board of Education for seven years, including two terms as its president.

Outside of the classroom, he has equally impacted thousands of young lives over the years. Among his community efforts, he founded the Rosemead Soccer Club and the Rosemead Boys and Girls Club, and served as the latter’s president from 1974-1982. He established the Summer Camping Program in the High Sierras in 1973 that took more than 1,000 local children to Mammoth Lakes for a week each summer. By 1984, Bob was elected to the Rosemead City Council, and was elected mayor for no less than five terms over the course of nearly 20 years. His commitment to civic service since that time has stretched to include his election to the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments and the San Gabriel Valley Vector Control District. In the past 10 years, he has also helped found the West San Gabriel Valley Consortium of School Districts; the Rosemead Organization in Support of Youth (ROSY) that awards deserving, low-income eighth-graders laptops for use in high school; and the Garvey Education Foundation that gives over $10K in grants each year to schools and teachers for special projects.

Service to the College

Vincent Daigneault '85
Vice President & Financial Advisor, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney; member, Whittier College Board of Trustees; membership chair, Purple & Gold Club; past chair, Memorial Scholarship Fund

Vincent “Vince” Daigneault is vice president for wealth management at Smith Barney in Whittier, having worked in the financial services industry since his graduation from Whittier with a B.A. in business administration. He is a member of the Whittier Host Lions Club and serves on their board of directors and as chairman of the memorial scholarship fund.  He is also a member of the Whittier Area Chamber of Commerce and a former president of the Whittier Exchange Club.  Vince played football while in college, and is a lifetime member of Purple & Gold, the College’s athletic support group.  He was the founding president when P&G merged with the 11-9-5 Club in 1994 and continues to serve on the board of directors.  He was first elected to the Whittier College Board of Trustees in 2004.

Honorary Alumni
Robert "Mr. Whit" Whitaker, P'85, '89, '96, GP '11
Former member, Whittier College Purple & Gold Board of Directors; volunteer, Purple & Gold Classic Basketball Tournament and All-Sports Award Banquet

Bob Whitaker began supporting the Whittier College sports program in the early 1970s, when he first moved to the community with his wife and young children. A true lover of sports (especially his home Chicago teams), Bob immediately became a fan of Whittier College athletics by attending football and basketball games with his neighbor and friend Hal Conely ’56. From there, he has spent the last 40 years as a member of the Poet sports family, a devoted spectator and supporter of nearly all of the Poet 21 varsity teams, sitting in the stands and along the sidelines regardless of whether the Poets were in a “rebuilding” year or having a championship season. With three of his children now grown Poet alumni and one grandchild currently completing her undergraduate program, “Mr. Whit” is well-known by coaches, staff, families and players as “The Poet Superfan,” and can, off the top of his head, give you the player names, select sports, and exact seasons of what he considers Whittier’s best of the last 40 years.
Sharon D. Herzberger, Ph.D.Sharon D. Herzberger, 14th President of Whittier College
President of Whittier College

Sharon Herzberger became Whittier College's 14th president on July 1, 2005. Since then, she has led successful initiatives to affirm the founding values of Whittier College, enhance academic offerings, beautify the campus, invigorate Poet athletics and other student life programs, build outreach to and stronger networks among Whittier College alumni all over the world, and deepen and broaden connections to the City of Whittier and the greater Los Angeles area. Under President Herzberger's leadership and with strong commitment from Whittier's faculty, two Centers of Distinction were launched in 2009-10: the Center for Science, Health, and Policy and the Center for Collaborations with the Arts. Both Centers expand Whittier's interdisciplinary curriculum and provide opportunities for students to pursue research or creative projects. A signature program of the Center for Collaborations with the Arts will be "LA Arts Terms" that expose both Whittier and visiting students to the multitude of arts institutions in Southern California and bring artists-in-residence to campus. Capital projects completed include a dramatic expansion of the Campus Center, the refurbishment of historic Hoover Hall, upgraded science labs and media-ready classrooms, and enhanced athletic facilities.

Energetic, positive, forward-thinking, and a constant at numerous Whittier gatherings both here and abroad, President Herzberger exemplifies the true Poet spirit, and is well-deserving of the status of Honorary Alumna.

David Herzberger, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair of the Department of Hispanic Studies, University of California, Riverside

David Herzberger specializes in modern Spanish literature, with a more concentrated focus on Francoist and post-Francoist Spain. He has written extensively on the post-Civil War Spanish novel, and has devoted much of his research in the past 15 years to the relationship between fiction and historiography. More specifically, he has shown how Francoist historians sought to affirm the historical necessity of Franco by linking the regime to a heroic and Christian past, while fiction of the postwar period often served as a voice of opposition to this practice. Dr. Herzberger is the author or editor of five books and numerous articles on the literature and culture of Spain. He has been a fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies and is recipient of the William Riley Parker Prize from the Modern Language Association. He is currently working on several projects that examine the Spanish novel during the transition to democracy in Spain as well as the post-transition period, and is completing a book on the Spanish novelist Javier Marías.

An ardent supporter of Whittier College, Dr. Herzberger can be found most often on the sidelines or in the stands rooting all 21 Poet sports teams to victory at various matches; co-hosting students, alumni, trustees, and other VIPs at Whittier College events at the Herzberger residence, Wardman House, and beyond; consistently (and personally) supporting the College's fundraising efforts; and always cheerfully lending a willing hand to meet requests of academic and administrative departments.





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