Carlow University Announces Five Alumni as its 2017 Carlow Laureates

Carlow University announces five alumni as their 2017 Carlow Laureates. This is the university’s highest honor given to alumni.

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Drew Wilson, Director, Media Relations April 05, 2017
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Carlow’s Most Prestigious Alumni Honor Will Be Awarded on Friday, May 12, 2017

Pittsburgh, Pa. – Carlow University has named five distinguished alumni as its 2017 Carlow Laureates, the university’s most prestigious alumni award.  The Laureates will be honored during a special luncheon at the Duquesne Club on Friday, May 12, 2017, beginning at 11:30 a.m.

“Carlow Laureates are alumni whose work, thought, and action demonstrate the highest standards of professional accomplishment and leadership, whether it is in their chosen disciple, in academics or through community service,” said Suzanne K. Mellon, PhD, president of Carlow University. “Recipients of this award are lasting tributes to their own professional excellence, the transformational education they received at Carlow, and the dynamic environment which helped to fuel their ambitions and their desire to make a difference in the best ways they can.”

The 2017 Carlow Laureates are:

David Debenham, JD, a partner in the law firm of McMillan, LLP, in Ontario, Canada, who earned his master of science degree in fraud and forensics in 2013.

Misti McKeehen, MS, the inaugural director of PittServes at the University of Pittsburgh, who earned her bachelor of arts in communication and business in 2007. This award is the inaugural Young Carlow Laureate award presented to alumni who have made an impact in their careers in the first ten years following graduation.

Howard B. Slaughter, Jr., PhD, the president and chief executive office of Habitat for Humanity for Greater Pittsburgh, who earned his bachelor of arts degree in business and communication in 1993.

Donna Marie Vivio, MPH, MS, the former senior newborn health advisor for USAID, who earned her bachelor of science in nursing in 1976.  Noted:  This award will be presented posthumously to her family, as Vivio died in November 2016, following a courageous battle with cancer.

Rachelle Zomack, MS, director of the Cardiothoracic Transplant Unit at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital, who earned her bachelor of science in nursing in 1991.

In addition to being honored at the luncheon on May 12, the Carlow Laureates will take part in Carlow’s commencement ceremony taking place at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 13, 2016, at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Oakland.


About Carlow University
Carlow is a private, co-educational, Catholic university located in the heart of Pittsburgh’s “Eds, Meds, and Tech” district. Founded by the Sisters of Mercy, Carlow’s graduates, curriculum, and partnerships reflect its strong commitment to social justice; ethical, forward-thinking and responsible leadership; and service to the community that has a meaningful impact. Undergraduate and graduate degrees are offered in three colleges: Health and Wellness, Leadership and Social Change, and Learning and Innovation. Carlow graduates are in demand for their professional expertise, in fields ranging from nursing, the sciences, and perfusion technology to counseling, education, and forensic accounting; their entrepreneurial spirit and creative mindset; and their ability to manage change.  Carlow’s eleven athletic teams are known as the Celtics, a reflection of the university’s Irish heritage and roots.

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