Chuck Alpuche ‘81 receives President’s Award

Oct 26, 2011


By Annmarie Ely

College President Dr. Joseph S. Brosnan chose Chuck Alpuche ’81, a retired PepsiCo executive and a member of DelVal’s Board of Trustees, to receive the President’s Distinguished Alumni Award for 2011.

Alpuche said he was deeply honored by the award.

“DelVal has a very special place in my heart,” Alpuche said. “It really prepared me for PepsiCo.”

The President’s Award highlighted the Alumni Achievement Awards ceremony Oct. 22 in The Shapiro Wing of the Joseph Krauskopf Library.

“I think this is one of the exciting parts of homecoming,” said Ray Funkhouser ’72, the alumni representative on the Board of Trustees who hosted the awards. “It brings pride to all of us when we see what our peers have accomplished in their careers and their lives.”

Dr. Brosnan said Alpuche has been a loyal alumnus and a good friend of the college. He was a commencement speaker and a Watson Executive-In-Residence speaker.

Alpuche helped the college greatly with the 2010 Precarious Alliance symposium, which dealt with the conflict between natural and human systems. The event brought more than 300 people together to discuss current issues related to the food system.

In addition to the President’s award, five others were given.

Robert Sabol ’63 received the Animal Science Award.

Sabol, a resident of Texas, started a company called STILLMEADOW, Inc. with his wife. He still works there full time with his two sons.

STILLMEADOW, Inc. is an independent contract research facility.

Sabol said he is forever grateful for his DelVal education. He remembers the opportunities to get work experience and to be involved in campus activities such as A-Day.

“There’s many choices in life,” said Sabol. “I came here and that was the best choice of my life… I’m always an Aggie.”

He said a DelVal alumnus is the head of his company’s chemistry department.

When the employee asked what being a DelVal grad had to do with Sabol’s decision to hire him, he replied, “Everything.”

“Working for me are a lot of Aggies,” said Sabol.

William Bartles ’69, also of Texas and an active trustee, received the Business Award.

Bartles has been a  college trustees since 2003.

He has taught at the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University in Dallas for the last 20 years.

Dr. Brosnan accepted on his behalf, saying that Bartles has done a remarkable job working with DelVal’s finance department.

“I have nothing but admiration for Bill,” said Dr. Brosnan.

Bartles credits DelVal with launching his career and getting him into graduate school.

“He’s been a really important person in my life,” said Dr. Brosnan of Bartles. “He helped mentor me from the day I arrived at the college.”

Lawrence Hepner ’74, who has been a DelVal faculty member since 1979,  received the Plant Science Award.

Funkhouser said Hepner “has had a tremendous impact on so many students that have gone here.”

Hepner said when he attended DelVal in the 70s, he knew he was going to get a really good education.

“The quality has remained very high,” said Hepner.

Jennifer Jesiolowski Smith ’90 received the Science Award.  Smith works with Godiva Chocolatier . She has made significant contributions to the food industry.

Jesiolowski Smith was part of an advisory panel that made recommendations for the supplier management section of the GMA-SAFE audit standards, which are used industry wide by hundreds of food companies to assess food safety and quality systems.

“The hands-on experience (at DelVal) really gave me the competitive edge when I was interviewing right out of college,” said Jesiolowski Smith. “As I was sitting across that interview desk I could talk about those experiences.”

Dr. Dominic Montileone received the Staff/Faculty Recognition Award for the positive impact he has had on the lives of students.

He has been a DelVal professor and administrator. He helped with developing academic programs and with the accrediting process.

He quoted Russell Conwell’s book, “Acres of Diamonds” saying, “You can travel the world searching for treasures only to find acres of diamonds in your own backyard.”

“DVC has been one of my acres of diamonds and continues to develop as acres of diamonds for future students and alumni,” said Dr. Montileone.

Funkhouser urged people to let the alumni association know about classmates who have done wonderful things with their lives, saying he knows there are “remarkable alumni that we just don’t know about.”

The Alumni Association also awarded four scholarships at the event.

Kayla Romberger received the Freshman Scholarship in memory of Nathan Brewer ’24, Stephanie Brewer received the Junior Scholarship in honor of Frank LaRosa ’52, Devin Cunningham received the Junior Scholarship in honor of Kevin Keim ’68, and Jessica Bensinger received the Aggie Spirit Scholarship in memory of Annette Capp ’79.