Liberal Arts Alumni Society Board

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Liberal Arts Alumni Society Board of Directors

  • Janice Alperin 74 Political Science
  • Andy Atkins 81 Political Science
  • Linda Belfus 70 English
  • Sharon Callahan 83 French Business
  • Thandi Clements ’14 Letters, Arts, and Sciences
  • Barbara Cohen 74 Speech
  • Christopher Dobbins ’06 Crime, Law, and Justice
  • Rob Dwyer ’92 Economics
  • Joe Farrell ’85 History
  • George Gowen ’81 Economics
  • Peter Grollman ’95 Political Science
  • Dick Hayes ’68 Political Science
  • Jeff Lampo ’81 Economics
  • Dana Lawson ’90 General Arts and Sciences
  • Jennifer Lowe ’98 International Politics
  • Debbie Montick ’80 Political Science *Immediate Past President
  • Dale Predmore ’86 Labor Studies and Economics
  • Michael Rosenblatt ’68 Psychology
  • Randall Sones ’80 Foreign Service and International Politics *President
  • Amy Ward ’90 Labor Relations
  • Randy Wussler ’86 Psychology
  • Najee Rodriguez, senior International Politics, History *Student Representative
Mission Statement

The mission of the Liberal Arts Alumni Society Board of Directors is to help identify and connect Liberal Arts alumni and friends with the College and, in the process, enable and encourage all to contribute their time, talent and resources to provide tangible support for the Dean’s priorities involving students, faculty, and programs.

Board of Directors members are active, engaged advocates for the humanities and social sciences, committed to advancing Penn State, and leaders in initiatives—including philanthropy and engagement with faculty and students—that guide and support the College’s progress and success.

Goals of Alumni Society Board of Directors

  1. Cultivate a worldwide community of alumni and friends by providing opportunities to connect to the College, and its students and faculty.
  2. Engage in activities that move alumni and friends to provide student and faculty support, specifically, program and financial support.
  3. Recognize the contributions of alumni and friends to the College community and to society as a whole.

Role of Alumni Society Board of Directors

Directors will assume a leadership role in developing, expanding, and sponsoring activities consistent with core values of community, education, and service, including:

  1. Programs—mentor program, student meetings, classroom opportunities, career workshops and panels, fundraising for student scholarships, faculty and department programs.
  2. Events—faculty speakers, tailgates, donor events, mentor events, identification and cultivation events on a regional and global level.
  3. Awards and recognition—unit, college, and university level alumni awards; on-line profiles of successful, engaged alumni and friends.
President's Profile

Randall Sones
’80 Foreign Service and International Politics

President, Liberal Arts Alumni Society Board

Randy is the former general counsel for Allegis Group, an international staffing company serving many industries. Prior to Allegis Group, Randy was an associate in the Corporate and Securities Department at Piper & Marbury. He holds his juris doctorate from American University. At Penn State, Randy has participated in the college's Law Careers panel and is currently a mentor in the Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program. Randy has also established a Trustee Scholarship in honor of former college roommates. Randy joined the board in 2014. He and his wife, Karen, have three adult children and reside in Boalsburg, Pennsylvania and Vero Beach, Florida. 

Board Member Bios

Janice Alperin
Janice retired as acting general counsel with Colonial Pipeline Company, based in Alpharetta, Georgia, which provides transportation-related services to shippers of gasoline, diesel fuel, home heating oil, jet fuel, and other refined petroleum products. This followed several years in which she served as Colonial’s senior director of legislative and regulatory affairs and external communications. Janice also previously served as vice president of government affairs for El Paso Corporation and was a commercial litigation attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice. She is a mentor in the Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program, has participated in the college’s Law Careers panel, and established a scholarship in the college. She resides in Bethesda, Maryland.

Stuart “Andy” Atkins
Andy has more than thirty-five years of experience as an entrepreneur and CEO, building and leading two technology services companies—ExecuTrain and most recently CRM manager (a Salesforce Ventures Company)—from start‐up to successful exit. In addition to his entrepreneurial and executive career, Andy is a fundraising consultant for The Precision Institute, which offers a unique training program for adults on the autism spectrum by honing their talents and helping them develop new skills that help prepare them to enter the professional work environment. Andy created an unrestricted fund to support the mission of the Liberal Arts Career Enrichment Network in 2014. Andy and his wife, Jane, have two daughters, one of whom, Bobbie, graduated from Penn State in 2018. The family resides in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.

Linda Belfus
Linda is a publishing and content strategy consultant. She previously served as a senior vice president at Elsevier, a leading global provider of web‐based, digital information for health and science professionals, where she oversaw the content team. Prior to that, she co‐founded and served as CEO of Philadelphia‐based medical publisher Hanley & Belfus, which was acquired by Elsevier in 2002. In addition to her Penn State degree, Linda earned her master’s degree from Villanova University.

Linda is a board member and secretary of the Philadelphia chapter of the Make‐A‐Wish Foundation. At Penn State, she has mentored more than twenty students in the Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program and established the Linda and Alan Belfus Undergraduate Scholarship and the Linda Poist Markey Open Doors Scholarship in the College of the Liberal Arts. She resides in Media, Pennsylvania.

Sharon Callahan
Sharon moved to Washington, D.C., in 1985 and embarked on a 34-year career with the Central Intelligence Agency where she served in an array of mission areas, including counterterrorism, counterintelligence, Africa, East Asia, and cyber. She served overseas in Africa, Asia, and Europe and represented the agency for two years at the FBI’s National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force. She retired at the end of 2019 as an executive manager and received the CIA’s Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal. Sharon currently works part-time as an instructor and mentor with the agency’s new hires; she also completed a certification in Teaching English as a Second Language and works with students from other countries who are learning English. Sharon maintains proficiency in French, Spanish, and Italian. At Penn State, Sharon enjoys participating as a mentor in the Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program and serves as an alumni admissions volunteer for Penn State’s Undergraduate Admissions Office. Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Sharon currently resides in Herndon, Virginia. She has a daughter, Emily, who graduated from Penn State in 2018.

Thandi Clements
Thandi is vice president of marketing and client relations for Washington Capital Management, a 100 percent employee-owned multi-strategy investment adviser based in Seattle, Washington. In this role, Thandi draws upon her many years of experience within the Taft-Hartley community to maintain important client relationships and managing key client accounts. Her role includes exploring new market opportunities that support the growth of the firm. Prior to her current role, Thandi accumulated years of experience in large group sales for a national, employer-sponsored insurance provider. Since graduating, Thandi has volunteered as a World Campus Ambassador and participates as a mentor in the Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program. She received the Penn State World Campus Outstanding Alumna Award in 2019 in recognition of her success as a leader and her dedication to Penn State World Campus. She resides in Dana Point, California.

Barbara Cohen
Barbara is the retired president and founder of Kannon Consulting, a marketing and strategy consulting firm that provided advice to both businesses and nonprofit organizations facing market disruption. Throughout her more than thirty years in the marketing and strategy industry, she counseled businesses and organizations in the media, technology, utility, human services, and education sectors. Prior to Kannon, Barbara was a partner at Booz Allen Hamilton, a global information technology consulting firm, and held marketing positions at Procter & Gamble. At Penn State, Barbara served on the advisory task force for the business minor in the College of the Liberal Arts and sat on the Women in Leadership panel. She and her husband, Robert (Bob) Chirinko, established the Cohen-Schwartz Renaissance Fund, a Trustee Scholarship, and a Paterno Fellows Program scholarship. She was named a Penn State Alumni Fellow in 2016. Barbara and Bob reside in Chicago, Illinois.

Christopher Dobbins
Chris is currently director of people strategy and planning for San Francisco-based DoorDash, where he leads long-range business planning and effectiveness. He also spent time at Uber during its culturally transformative years, where he and his team were integral in shaping procedure and controls in support of diverse, equitable, and inclusive employment. Chris began his corporate journey at Twitter, where he was the founding member of the recruiting operations organization, enabling the company’s talent strategy as it matured from private to publicly traded. Chris is also a veteran of the United States Air Force, where he served five years as an intelligence officer, primarily in unmanned aerial vehicle operations. As a Penn State student, he was a member of the Air Force ROTC. In addition to his Penn State degree, Chris holds a certificate in leadership and strategy from Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program. He resides in San Francisco with his fiancée, Lindsay.

Robert Dwyer
Rob is managing partner for Dominion Real Estate Partners and Dominion Real Estate Investments in Scottsdale, Arizona. The companies offer clients private placement investment opportunities in land, commercial/industrial, and multifamily real estate. Rob also heads a consulting firm, Private Investment Partners, which assists clients in business development and investment. Rob and his wife Jeanne have established a memorial scholarship in Rob’s father’s name. They have a son and a daughter and reside in Scottsdale.

Joseph Farrell
Joe is a partner with Latham & Watkins, based in Los Angeles, California. He provides employment law advice to and represents employers in litigation in the automobile, biotech, finance, food services, garment, healthcare, retail, technology, telecommunications, and utilities industries. Joe also provides legal advice to not-for-profit organizations and writes on a variety of employment law topics; for instance, he is the contributing editor for the Rutter Group’s California Practice Guide, Employment Litigation, Age Discrimination chapter. He also teaches employment law as an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California's Gould School of Law. Joe is a mentor in the Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program; he has also established a Trustee Scholarship in honor of Professor Art Goldschmidt and a fund for study abroad. Joe resides in Altadena, California, with his wife, Brenda.

George Gowen
George is the founder of Avir Realty Group, LLC, the consulting and brokerage affiliate of Avir Corporation, which focuses on corporate real estate work. George’s roles have included acquisitions, dispositions, analysis, debt origination and the full range of asset management, leasing, and property management. George also supervises construction from ground-up development through minor tenant improvements. At Penn State, George is a mentor in the Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program, and he served on the inaugural Alumni in Business panel. He and his wife Karen created a fund in the Paterno Fellows Program and are annual donors to the Liberal Arts Futures Fund. They reside in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, have three adult children, and are excited to be first-time grandparents this year!

Peter Grollman
Peter is currently senior vice president for external affairs at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), where he oversees the hospital’s Marketing and Public Relations, Government Affairs, and Community Relations departments. He also supports CHOP’s president and CEO on external affairs and ensures that all of the hospital’s external communications align with its mission and strategy. Peter began his tenure at CHOP in 2007 as the hospital’s director of government affairs, community relations and advocacy; before that, he served as an aide in the U.S. Senate before joining a Washington, D.C.-based public affairs firm specializing in healthcare advocacy. In addition to his Penn State degree, Peter holds a master of governmental administration degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

Peter serves on the boards of the Greater Philadelphia YMCA, the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia (chair), and the University City District; he also served on the Health Transition Review Team for Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf. He is a recipient of the Community Service Award from Chai Lifeline, Education Innovators Award from the Social Innovations Journal, and the Outstanding Public Service Award from Penn State’s Department of Political Science.

Richard Hayes
Dick is the retired senior vice president and tax director for Allianz of America, an insurance and asset management firm that provides services to more than 86 million customers in 70 countries. He also previously held senior leadership positions at Arthur Young & Co., First Interstate Bancorp, and Wells Fargo. In addition to his Penn State degree, Dick earned juris doctorate and master of laws degrees from the New York University School of Law. Dick and his wife, Bebe, relocated in 2020 to the State College area after living in California for forty years. They are long-time supporters of Penn State and the College of the Liberal Arts, having established a Dean’s Fund in the college and funded programs in the Department of Political Science and the Child Study Center.

Jeff Lampo
Jeff is the end-to-end supply chain manager for Covestro, one of the world’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of high-tech polymer materials. He has more than twenty-five years of experience in strategic planning, product management, supply chain management, and project management. Jeff is a mentor in the Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program, and he and his wife, Lisa, created the Jeffrey and Lisa Lampo Open Doors Scholarship in 2018. The Lampo’s have a college-aged son and reside in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania.

Dana Lawson
Dana has more than twenty-five years of hospitality experience working with restaurant and hotel operations. She is executive vice president at Singer EVI, a restaurant equipment and supply company that designs and installs commercial grade kitchens in multi‐unit restaurants, national and regional chains, and independent food groups from coast to coast. They work with companies such as Jersey Mike’s Subs, Mission BBQ, Sweetgreen, and Federal Taphouse. The Lawsons reside in Glenelg, Maryland, and have two daughters—Jessica, a 2021 Penn State graduate (Political Science and Public Relations) who lives and works in Washington, D.C.; and Anna, who lives in Boulder, Colorado.

Jennifer Lowe
Jennifer is vice president of national strategy and engagement for The Boeing Company. Prior to joining Boeing, Jennifer spent nearly a decade working on Capitol Hill, including stints as chief of staff for Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minnesota) and chief of staff for the Office of the President Pro Tempore during Sen. Ted Stevens’ (R-Alaska) tenure—the first woman to hold that position. She also directed the U.S.-China Interparliamentary Group, which was the official dialogue vehicle between the United States Senate and the National People’s Congress. She and her husband, George, recently established the Mies Lowe Family Trustee Matching Scholarship in the College of the Liberal Arts. The couple and their three children currently reside in Arlington, Virginia.

Debbie Montick, Past President
Debbie was a managing director and is currently a senior consultant at Patomak Global Partners in New York City and Washington, D.C., where she advises corporate clients on strategic regulatory, governance, and operational matters. She was senior counsel and director in the legal department in asset management at Nomura in New York City from 1993–99 and 2004–07. She was also previously associate counsel and first vice president at Mitchell Hutchins Asset Management Inc.; associate counsel at Kemper Financial Services, Inc.; senior attorney at Guardian Life Insurance; and an enforcement attorney at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Debbie is an active mentor in the Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program and has established a Trustee Scholarship in the college. In addition to her tenure as ASB president, Debbie previously chaired the Paterno Fellows Task Force and the Student Engagement Task Force. She is currently a member of the Penn State Alumni Association Alumni Council and Development and Fundraising Committee. She has four children and resides in Westfield, New Jersey.

Dale Predmore
Dale is senior vice president and senior legal counsel for The Swiss Re Group, a leading wholesale provider of reinsurance, insurance, and other insurance-based forms of risk transfer. He is a mentor with the Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program and he and his wife, Lisa, have created the Lisa and Dale Predmore Scholarship in the college. The Predmores have two children and reside in Syosset, New York.

Michael B. Rosenblatt
Michael retired from his position as of counsel at Rosenberg & Estis, P.C., based in New York City, in 2019. A prominent expert in landlord/tenant and rent regulatory law, Michael also previously served as general counsel for the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR)’s Office of Rent Administration. Michael began his legal career with the New York City Legal Aid Society and was an administrative law judge with the New York State Public Employment Relations Board. He also worked for the DHCR’s Enforcement Bureau and later as general counsel for the Rent Stabilization Association of New York City. He holds a juris doctorate from New York Law School. Michael has served as a mentor in the Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program and participated in the college’s Law Careers panel. He also currently serves on the advisory boards of the NYC Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association and the Hope Gala. He and his wife, Karen, recently created an Open Doors Scholarship in the college. They reside in New York City.

Randall Sones, President
Randy is the former general counsel for Allegis Group, an international staffing company serving many industries. Prior to Allegis Group, Randy was an associate in the Corporate and Securities Department at Piper & Marbury. He holds his juris doctorate from American University. At Penn State, Randy has participated in the college’s Law Careers panel and is currently a mentor in the Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program. Randy has also established a Trustee Scholarship in honor of former college roommates. He and his wife, Karen, have three adult children and reside in Boalsburg, Pennsylvania and Vero Beach, Florida.

Amy Ward
Amy is chief human resources officer for the Americas for MUFG Union Bank; before that, she was senior vice president/HR executive for PNC Financial Services Group in Pittsburgh. Amy has been a mentor in the Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program since 2010 and recruited Penn State students to join PNC’s summer internship and full-time development programs. Amy and her husband, Matt, reside in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey. They have two daughters, one of whom, Remy, is also a Penn State alumna.

Randy Wussler
Randy is a senior vice president for Green Street, a research firm that provides insight to large commercial real estate investors and stakeholders. In this role, he guides the firm’s product development and mergers and acquisitions strategies. Randy has spent the bulk of his career leading the conception, development, and execution of product strategies at leading data and analytics firms in the technology and real estate sectors, including CoreLogic, DataQuick, and Harte Hanks. In addition to his Penn State degree, Randy earned his M.B.A. from San Diego State University. He has been active in local symphonies as a principal trombonist and maintained his connection to Penn State as an officer in the San Diego Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association and as a mentor in the Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program. Randy and his wife, Tish ('86 Engineering), recently made a gift creating the Bernard and Florence Rokosz Memorial Scholarship in the College of Engineering. He currently resides in San Diego, California.

Najee Rodriguez (Student Representative)
Najee is a senior majoring in History and International Politics (with a concentration in National Security). A Schreyer Scholar and Paterno Fellow, he has served as a first-year representative, College of the Liberal Arts representative, vice president, and Committee on Justice and Equity chairperson for the University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA), a Lion Ambassador, a member of the President’s Commission on LGBTQ+ Equity, a member of the Presidential Leadership Academy, a Liberal Arts Peer Adviser, and an office assistant for Penn State’s Office of Educational Equity.

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