Carlow University Honors Six Women of Spirit® for 2020

Six outstanding local community leaders will be honored at Carlow University’s Women of Spirit® Awards Gala on April 2 at Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland.

Marketing and Communications For Immediate Release
Drew Wilson, Director, Media Relations January 21, 2020
412.578.2095 (phone)
412.260.6807 (cell)

They Will Be Honored on April 2 at Carnegie Music Hall, Oakland

Pittsburgh, Pa. – For the celebration of its 90th anniversary, Carlow University is pleased to honor six outstanding Women of Spirit® awardees at the university’s 15th Women of Spirit® Awards Gala on April 2, 2020, at Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland.

“Carlow’s Women of Spirit® demonstrate characteristics central to the mission of our University,” said Dr. Suzanne K. Mellon, president of Carlow University. “The Women of Spirit® Awards program has earned a distinguished place as a Pittsburgh treasure.  Since its beginning in 1993, women leaders have been recognized for their professional and personal leadership and their service to others.  In turn, they share their expertise with the Carlow community by actively participating in the life of the University and in the development of its students.”

Awardees were nominated and then considered by a Women of Spirit® selection committee made up of former awardees and university officials.  The awardees were chosen based on several criteria, including a strong commitment to values, accomplishments that have led to new knowledge or discoveries, and innovation or leadership that has brought about change for the good of humankind.

The awardees are (More complete bios of all the awardees are available at the end of the release.):

The Honorable Kim Berkeley Clark, President Judge, 5th Judicial District, Pennsylvania.

Kristen S. Kurland, Professor of Architecture, Information Systems, and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University.

Karen L. Larrimer, Executive Vice President, Chief Customer Officer, Head of Retail Banking, PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.

Anne V. Lewis, Board Chair, Oxford Development Company.

Nancy D. Washington, PhD, Educator and civic leader.

Sister Susan Welsh, RSM, President and CEO (retired), Pittsburgh Mercy Health System.

This renowned program provides Carlow scholarships to undergraduate students with financial need, academic excellence, documented community service, and leadership skills through volunteerism, or participation in school or community organizations; as well as career exploration workshops for high school students.

The Women of Spirit® Awards will be presented on Thursday, April 2, 2020 at 7 p.m. in the Carnegie Music Hall, 4400 Forbes Avenue, Oakland.  The awards program is preceded by a dinner reception beginning at 6:00 p.m.

The Gold Sponsor for the Women of Spirit® awards is WQED Multimedia.  Pittsburgh Magazine is the media sponsor for the event.


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, curricula, 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 four colleges: Health and Wellness, Leadership and Social Change, Learning and Innovation, and Professional Studies. 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 13 athletic teams are known as the Celtics, a reflection of the university’s Irish heritage and roots.

Bios of the Women of Spirit® Awardees

The Honorable Kim Berkeley Clark

President Judge

Fifth Judicial District of Pennsylvania

Judge Kim Berkeley Clark currently serves as the President Judge of the 5th Judicial District of Pennsylvania (Allegheny County). She is the first African-American to serve as President Judge in Allegheny County.

Judge Clark serves as a judge of the Family Division, where she primarily hears Juvenile Court cases. Judge Clark was appointed to the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County by Governor Tom Ridge in March 1999. She was elected to a full ten-year term in November 1999. Judge Clark served as the Administrative Judge of the Family Division from January of 2006 to January 2009 and from 2013 through 2017. Judge Clark is the first African-American to be appointed as an Administrative Judge in Allegheny County. Prior to becoming the Administrative Judge of Family Division, Judge Clark served as the Supervising Judge of Juvenile Court.

Judge Clark currently serves as the Chairperson of the Pennsylvania Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission. From July 2015 to July 2016, Judge Clark served as President of the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges. In her capacity as a Juvenile and Family Court Judge, Judge Clark also serves as a member of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Juvenile Procedural Rules Committee; the Pennsylvania Interbranch Commission on Racial, Gender, and Ethnic Fairness; the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency—Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Committee; the Pennsylvania State Children’s Roundtable (Chair of the Dependency Benchbook Committee); the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network (President-elect); and the American Bar Association Juvenile Justice Standards Task Force.

Prior to taking the bench, Judge Clark served as an Assistant and Deputy District Attorney in Allegheny County for almost sixteen years. In her capacity as an Assistant and Deputy District Attorney, she tried more than 150 jury trials, including numerous sex assault and child abuse cases and approximately 75 homicide cases. Judge Clark tried the first gang-related and drive-by shooting homicide cases in Allegheny County and headed the Crimes Persons Unit, which handled all of the sex assault and child abuse cases in Allegheny County.

She served as the President (2006-2007), Secretary (1997-2003), and member of the Board of Governors (1996-2003) of the Allegheny County Bar Association. She is the first judge and the first African-American female to serve as President of the Allegheny County Bar Association. She also is a Fellow of the Allegheny County Bar Foundation, a member of the Homer S. Brown Law Division, a member of the Women in the Law Division, the Family Law Section, and the LGBT Rights Committee.

Judge Clark was born and raised in Wilkinsburg, PA. She graduated from Wilkinsburg High School and received her B.A. in French from Tennessee State University. Judge Clark received her law degree from Duquesne University School of Law.

Judge Clark is active in her church and the community.  She is a life-long member of the Church of the Holy Cross, where she is a member of the choir, accompanist and has served as interim organist and choir director. She has also served as the Vice-Chancellor of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh. She is a member of the International Women’s Forum (Western PA). She has served as a trustee for the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, and as a member of the Allegheny County Jail Oversight Board (past chair), Lydia’s Place Advisory Board, Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council Advisory Board, The Pittsburgh Project Board of Directors, and the Advisory Committee of the Pittsburgh Urban League’s Urban Youth Empowerment Program. She is a former board member of Pittsburgh Pastoral Institute, Womanspace East, and the Urban League of Pittsburgh.

Judge Clark has received numerous awards for her professional and community service.  Most recently, she received the William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence. The Rehnquist Award, presented annually by the National Center for State Courts, is one of the nation’s highest judicial honors. This prestigious award honors a state court judge who demonstrates the outstanding qualities of judicial excellence, including integrity, fairness, open-mindedness, knowledge of the law, professional ethics, creativity, sound judgment, intellectual courage, and decisiveness and who are taking bold steps to address a variety of issues affecting their communities.  In December of 2018, Judge Clark received the Ronald Brown Leadership Award from the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh.

Judge Clark is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Links, Inc. and the Girlfriends, Inc.  In June of 2013, Judge Clark had the honor of moderating a panel discussion on the needs of caregivers of children of incarcerated parents at the White House.

Judge Clark is married to Walter Hales, Jr. She enjoys music, reading and cooking in her spare time.

Kristen S. Kurland

Professor of Architecture, Information Systems and Public Policy

Carnegie Mellon University

Kristen Kurland is a Teaching Professor of Architecture, Information Systems, and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy and School of Architecture, President of CMU’s Andrew Carnegie Society, and serves on CMU’s Board of Trustees.

Professor Kurland’s research focuses on interdisciplinary collaborations in health, the built environment, and spatial analysis using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). She works closely with CMU’s Heinz College, School of Architecture, and Civil and Environmental Engineering colleagues and students on health, urban design, economic development, sustainability, and IT issues. She actively collaborates with Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health, and many public health departments.

Professor Kurland’s teaching at Carnegie Mellon University includes building information modeling (BIM), computer aided design (CAD), 3D visualization, computer aided facility management (CAFM), and GIS. At the Heinz College, she also teaches infrastructure management to executive physicians in the Master of Medical Management (MMM) program and is a faculty advisor for Heinz College Health Care Management and Policy Systems Synthesis projects. She has a strong interest in technology enhanced learning and has been teaching online courses since 1999. Her distance courses are taught in the Heinz College MMM, Master Science of Information Technology (MSIT), and Adelaide Australia programs.

In addition to her full time faculty position at CMU, Kristen Kurland is the president of a local consulting firm that has implemented computer technology programs in numerous organizations. Her clients include architects, engineers, hospitals, universities, corporations, as well as local, state, and federal governments.

Professor Kurland is also the co-author of a series of best-selling GIS workbooks for Esri, Inc. the world’s leading GIS software developer, including GIS Tutorial 1 Basic Workbook, GIS Tutorial for Health, and GIS Tutorial for Crime Analysis.

Karen L. Larrimer

Executive Vice President, Head of Retail Banking and Chief Customer Officer


Karen L. Larrimer is executive vice president, head of Retail Banking and

chief customer officer of The PNC Financial Services Group. In this role, she

is responsible for leading PNC’s consumer businesses, business banking,

brokerage, all distribution channels, digital, enterprise customer advocacy

and marketing.

Larrimer assumed the leadership of Retail Banking in July 2016. She was

named chief customer officer in March 2014 and has held a number of

executive positions at PNC, including chief marketing officer and executive

vice president for business banking, where she directed strategic planning,

marketing, and product management and development. She served in

leadership roles with treasury management and the small business sales

teams across PNC’s regions. Prior to joining PNC, Larrimer served as a sales

executive for Ernst & Young and held management positions at Mellon


Larrimer serves on the board of directors for The PNC Foundation. She is a

member of the board and the immediate past chairman for the United Way

of Southwestern Pennsylvania, a board and executive committee member

of the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, and a board and executive

committee member of the Duquesne Club. In addition, she serves on the

board of trustees for Robert Morris University (RMU) and volunteers on the

Board of Visitors for the RMU Women’s Leadership and Mentorship

Program. Larrimer is also an emeritus board member for Goodwill of

Southwestern Pennsylvania.

Larrimer has been recognized as one of the Most Powerful Women in

Banking by American Banker magazine for the past five years (2015-

2019); received a Most Powerful and Influential Woman Award by the

National Diversity Council’s Pennsylvania Awards Committee (2014) and

was a finalist for the 2014 Athena Award. She received the Girl Scouts of

America Award of Distinction in Business (2013) and was named a Working

Mother magazine “Mother of the Year” (2010), “Women Worth Watching”

by Diversity Journal magazine (2009), and one of the Best 50 Women in

Business in Pennsylvania (2003).

Larrimer graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in business management

and a concentration in marketing from Point Park University in Pittsburgh,

and completed the Carnegie Mellon University Center for Executive

Education Leadership Program.

Anne V. Lewis

Board Chair

Oxford Development Corporation

Anne Lewis is Board Chair of Oxford Development Company, one of the region’s most prominent privately-held enterprises, family-owned since its founding in 1962.

Lewis has able been active in Pittsburgh’s civic leadership for more than two decades, spearheading major development efforts for the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Fox Chapel Country Day School, Shady Side Academy, and, most recently, Point Park University.

In 2014, Lewis was named a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania by then Governor Tom Corbett in recognition of her exceptional public service to the Commonwealth. Fewer than 500 Pennsylvania women have been so honored since the award was established in 1949. More recently, she was honored by the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh with its Tribute to Women Leadership Award (2017).

In 2001, Lewis led the Children’s Museum in the largest development initiative of its 25 year history: a $31 million capital campaign to underwrite the consolidation of two historic Pittsburgh landmarks, the Old Post Office Building and the Buhl Science Center, into a LEED® certified (silver) award winning architectural design.

At Fox Chapel Country Day School, she led it in its first strategic plan, a $1.3 million capital campaign, the construction of a major new wing and a successful search for a new head of school.

Later, at Shady Side Academy, she led the construction of the $1.2 million Hillman Performing Arts Center (2004), the renovation of the LEED® certified (gold) Rowe Hall Complex (2006), and a Pre-K building on the Junior School campus (2007).

Since 2010, Lewis has served on the board of Point Park University – including a six-year term as Board Chair.  Under her leadership, the university undertook its largest-ever capital campaign to expand its downtown campus, including a $7.4 million new Pittsburgh Playhouse that opened in October 2018.  She is a board member of the Buhl Foundation, the Pittsburgh Promise, the Pittsburgh Foundation, Allies for Children, and the Fred Rogers Company.

Lewis and her family have long been active in supporting the victims of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (better known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease). In 2010, the ALS Association of Western Pennsylvania established the Anne Lewis Humanitarian Award and Fund in honor of her efforts.  She has been honored as a Trustee Emeritus of Fox Chapel Country Day School, Shady Side Academy, and the Children’s Museum.   She is also a supporter of Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College as an alumna (MPM, 1990), past commencement speaker, member of the dean’s advisory council, and donor of the Anne V; Lewis and Edward J. Lewis Post-Graduate Fellowship in Social Innovation.

Nancy D. Washington, PhD

Educator, Education Administrator, and Civic Leader

Educator and academic administrator Nancy Washington, was born on March 5, 1939 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Courtney Duckrey and Tanner Duckrey. She received her B.S. degree in education from Boston University in 1960, and her M.Ed. degree from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1963. She went on to receive her M.S. degree from Temple University in 1967, and her Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Pittsburgh in 1973.

Washington began her twenty seven year career with the University of Pittsburgh in 1972 when she was hired as an assistant professor of psychology at the Greensburg campus, while also finishing her Ph.D. After graduating, she became a senate officer for the university, representing the Greensburg campus. She served on various committees around women’s issues, and issues of affirmative action, campus safety, campus diversity, and budget policy. In 1979, she became an associate professor of psychology. Throughout the 1980s, Washington worked with the student affairs committee on issues of South Africa and developed minority enrollment and retention programs. In 1989, Washington was appointed to assistant professor of clinical epidemiology and family medicine and assistant dean of minority affairs at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. In February 1993, Chancellor J. Dennis O’Connor appointed Washington as assistant to the chancellor, where she focused on minority affairs at affiliated schools and helped the Black Action Society start a black cultural center on campus. In 1994, she helped establish the Center for Minority Health, with funding from the R.K. Mellon Foundation. Washington retired from the University of Pittsburgh in 1999.

During her career, Washington also served on various boards, including Pennsylvania’s Council on the Arts, The Carnegie Museum of Art, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, and the Pittsburgh Foundation, where the Nancy and Milt Washington Fund was established in 1994.

Additionally, Washington has received many awards for her work, which include the YWCA’s Voluntary Community Service Leadership Award in 2001, the Humanitarian Award from Three Rivers Youth in 2008, the Outstanding Community Leaders Award by the Community College of Allegheny County in 2010, and the History Makers Award in the field of community service, given by the Senator John Heinz History Center for contributions to the history of Western Pennsylvania.

Washington has two daughters, Linda Armstrong and Lara Washington, as well as three grandchildren: Zoe, Kendall, and Tanner.

Susan Welsh, RSM

President & CEO (retired)

Pittsburgh Mercy

On January 1, 2008, when Susan Welsh, RSM, became president and CEO of Pittsburgh Mercy, she became responsible for successfully transforming the former hospital-based health care system into one of the largest population-based, people-centered, health and human service nonprofit organizations and employers in Southwestern Pennsylvania. With Sr. Susan’s collaborative leadership, what was previously a loosely connected network of community-based services addressing behavioral health, intellectual disabilities, addiction, homelessness, abuse, and other forms of trauma, has become a strong, independent, and integrative health care home which serves more than 33,000 people annually in 60+ locations in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

Her leadership ensures that the Sisters of Mercy health care legacy in Pittsburgh, begun by Catherine McAuley in 1843, continues with its “feet on the streets” approach – meeting those most in need, where they are in their life’s journey.

Sr. Susan came to health care from a finance and education background. She started her career as an educator, teaching English in middle and secondary schools in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. As treasurer of the Sisters of Mercy in Pittsburgh for many years, she directed and managed the finances of the congregation and served on her religious community’s leadership team as vice president for eight years.

In addition to her primary responsibilities at Pittsburgh Mercy, Sr. Susan serves on the board of directors at Carlow University and chairs the McAuley Ministries Foundation board. She served on the board of directors at Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where, during her tenure, she chaired the finance committee and participated in numerous other board committees.

Sr. Susan earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Carlow University in 1970. She went on to complete a Master of Education degree at Duquesne University in 1976, and earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Robert Morris University in 1986.

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