Carlow University Names Six Women of Spirit® Awardees for 2018

Carlow University has named six Women of Spirit® awardees who will be honored on April 5, 2018, at Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland.

Marketing and Communications For Immediate Release
Drew Wilson, Director, Media Relations February 01, 2018
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University of Virginia’s Teresa Sullivan Joins Deborah Acklin, Lenore Blum, Diane Holder, Margaret Rosenzweig, and Jeannette South-Paul, MD as the 2018 Class

 Pittsburgh, Pa. – Carlow University has named six outstanding women – one national awardee and five local awardees – as its 2018 class of Women of Spirit®.  They will be honored at Carlow University’s 14th Women of Spirit® Awards Gala on April 5, 2018 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, who was a member of the selection committee. “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.”

From all of the nominations received, one national award recipient and five local recipients were selected.  Recipients 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 (complete bios of each recipient follow at the end of this release):

Teresa Sullivan, PhD, who took office in 2010, is the University of Virginia’s eighth president in its history. She is national Woman of Spirit® awardee.

Deborah Acklin is the president and chief executive officer of WQED Multimedia.

Lenore Blum, PhD, is the Distinguished Career Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University.

Diane P. Holder is the executive vice president of UPMC, president of UPMC Insurance Services and chief executive officer of UPMC Health Plan.

Margaret “Peggy” Rosenzweig, MSN, PhD, is an associate professor for acute and tertiary care at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Nursing.

Jeannette South-Paul, MD, is the Andrew W. Mathieson Professor and Chair in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

The Women of Spirit® Awards will be presented on Thursday, April 5, 2018 at 8 p.m. in the Carnegie Music Hall, 4400 Forbes Avenue, Oakland.  The awards program is preceded by a reception beginning at 6:30 p.m.

All proceeds of this renowned program benefit the Women of Spirit® awards program initiatives including need-based scholarships to Carlow students, and summer career exploration workshops for high school girls, with scholarships for those from underrepresented populations.

The Women of Spirit® Selection Committee was chaired by Helen Hanna Casey.  In addition to Dr. Mellon, the rest of the selection committee included Michele R. Atkins, Eva Tansky Blum, Karen Wolk Feinstein, PhD, Louise Reiber Malakoff, Mary Lou McLaughlin, Sally Wiggin, and Doris Carson Williams.


Biographies of the 2018 Women of Spirit® Awardees

Deborah L. Acklin

President and Chief Executive Officer

WQED Multimedia

Deborah Acklin is president and chief executive officer of WQED Multimedia, the nation’s first community-owned public media company, also known worldwide as “Mister Rogers’ station”.

Acklin has served in multiple executive roles in public broadcasting, the cable television industry, and commercial broadcasting. At WQED Multimedia, she manages or has managed the operations, strategies, and fundraising to create original multi-platform content distributed across four television channels, three radio channels, an interactive web-based global media distribution portal, an education department, and PBS, NPR and their member stations.

Her tenure includes many achievements, including an unprecedented three Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards for Station Excellence, given by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences to a general manager of a commercial or public television station in Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia and New Jersey.

Having held several roles at WQED, Acklin returned to the company in 2002 after spending several years at the National Geographic Society where she was recruited to help launch the National Geographic Channel on cable and satellite television. In her role at National Geographic, Acklin produced more television hours than any other producer in the Society’s long history.

Acklin also served as executive producer for The War That Made America, a four-hour, high-definition (HD), internationally-released docu-drama for PBS which focused on the French and Indian War. The War That Made America was broadcast in nearly 100 countries.

Acklin co-developed blockbuster music specials for PBS which to date have generated hundreds of millions of dollars for public television. She also oversaw production of WQED’s national documentaries for PBS, and has a long career in national and local journalism, public affairs programming, documentaries and magazine programs.

For public radio, Acklin guides WQED-FM 89.3, and its worldwide distribution on and various web applications. WQED-FM is the producer, presenter and worldwide distributor of the internationally-acclaimed Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Radio Series, heard in more than 100 domestic markets and in 181 countries.

Lenore E. Blum

Distinguished Career Professor of Computer Science

Carnegie Mellon University

Lenore Blum (PhD, MIT) is Distinguished Career Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) where she is also Faculty Director of the Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, and Founding Director of Project Olympus, a proof-of-concept innovation center she founded in 2007 that works with faculty and students to bridge the gap between cutting-edge university research/innovation and economy-promoting commercialization for the benefit of our communities. Project Olympus is a good example of Blum’s determination to make a real difference in the academic community and the world beyond.

Blum is internationally recognized for her work in increasing the participation of girls and women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields. A panel she organized in 1971 at UC Berkeley on women in mathematics quickly galvanized a group which joined forces with the newly forming Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) on the East Coast. She was founding co-Director (with Nancy Kreinberg) of the Math/Science Network and itsExpanding Your Horizons conferences which has served over one million middle and high school girls nationally and internationally since inception in the early 1970s. At CMU she founded the Women@SCS program and CS4HS, the latter now sponsored world-wide by Google. In 2004 she received the US Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring. In 2009 she received the Carnegie Science Catalyst Award recognizing her work targeting high-tech talent to promote economic growth in the Pittsburgh region and for increasing the participation of women in computer science.  Since 2007, over half the Carnegie Mellon start-ups have come through Project Olympus. And in the fall of 2017, 50% of new computer science majors at Carnegie Mellon were women.

Blum has served the professional community in numerous capacities, including as third President of the Association for Women in Mathematics, Vice President of the American Mathematical Society (AMS), and as a member of the MIT Mathematics Visiting Committee. She has taught at the University of California at Berkeley, was a Senior Researcher at the International Computer Science Institute and Deputy Director of the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, both also in Berkeley. She is currently on the Advisory Board of the new free online WorldQuant University, built on the premise that while talent is universally distributed, opportunity is not. Blum is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and inaugural fellow of the AMS and the AWM.

Blum’s research, from her early work in model theory and differential fields (logic and algebra) to her more recent work in developing a theory of computation and complexity over the real numbers (mathematics and computer science), has focused on merging seemingly unrelated areas. The latter work, founding a theory of computation and complexity over continuous domains (with Felipe Cucker, Mike Shub and Steve Smale), forms a theoretical basis for scientific computation. On the eve of Alan Turing’s 100th birthday in June 2012, she was plenary speaker at the Turing Centenary Celebration at the University of Cambridge, England, showing how a little known (to logicians and computer scientists!) paper of Turing’s is fundamental to this theory.

Diane P. Holder

Executive Vice President, UPMC

President, UPMC Insurance Services Division

CEO, UPMC Health Plan

Diane P. Holder is an Executive Vice President of UPMC, President of the UPMC Insurance Services Division, and CEO of UPMC Health Plan.  During her tenure, the companies of the UPMC Insurance Services Division have been recognized nationally for having the highest quality and outstanding service. As part of an integrated health care delivery system, UPMC Health Plan is owned by UPMC, an integrated global health enterprise and academic medical center that is recognized nationally for its clinical excellence, technology innovation, and clinical care, education, and research. Through its eight regulated health insurance companies and affiliates, UPMC provides health coverage and benefit management for more than 2.8 million members and is the second largest provider-owned health insurer in the nation.

Holder has held a number of senior leadership positions in health care, including hospital and insurance CEO roles. She has deep expertise in the strategic and operational requirements of integrated payer-provider systems and has been actively engaged in the national dialogue on this subject.

Recognized for her leadership in business, as well as for her distinguished dedication to the community, she has received numerous honors and awards. These include: the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce’s prestigious 2014 Athena Award, the Pittsburgh Business Times Diamond Award that honors Southwestern Pennsylvania’s outstanding business leaders; one of Pennsylvania’s Best 50 Women in Business by the Governor, and as a 2015 Woman Who Makes a Difference Award recipient, from the International Women’s Forum recognizing twelve women from around the globe who have “exhibited exemplary leadership and created trailblazing change”.

In 2011, she created a partnership between UPMC Health Plan and The Advisory Board Company to form Evolent Health, a now publicly traded, independent health care services company that assists hospital systems nationwide to develop population health programs and build risk and health insurance infrastructure, modeled in large part after UPMC. Holder was the founding CEO of Community Care Behavioral Health, the largest not-for-profit behavioral health management company in the nation.

Holder received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and her master’s degree from Columbia University. She serves as a faculty member of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and adjunct faculty of the Graduate School of Public Health. Holder serves on a number of local, regional, and national boards, including the Heinz History Center, the Pittsburgh Symphony, Chatham University, the Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania, the Alliance of Community Health Plans, and Evolent Health. She is a frequent speaker on the subject of health care delivery and financing.

Margaret “Peggy” Rosenzweig

Associate Professor for Acute and Tertiary Care

University of Pittsburgh

School of Nursing

Margaret “Peggy” Rosenzweig grew up in North Side of Pittsburgh, the sixth of nine children. Her mother had been a Mercy Hospital nurse and instrumental in Peggy’s career choice. Peggy attended Perry High School, initially attended Gannon College and was a transfer student to Carlow in 1978 and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1981. During her clinical rotations at Carlow, she realized that cancer nursing was of great interest to her.

Upon graduation, she worked at Shadyside Hospital in medical oncology as a staff nurse. After one year, she left Pittsburgh to work with the Jesuit Volunteer Corp as a nurse in an underserved farm worker clinic in rural Louisiana. In this role, she was introduced to the great health care needs of minority and poor patients and of the potential of the expanded nursing role in meeting these needs. Rosenzweig has maintained a clinical practice as an oncology nurse practitioner in cancer care, specifically breast cancer care for over 27 years.  She also volunteers as a nurse practitioner in the community with underserved patients at the Catholic Charities Free Health Care Center.

Following her graduation from Carlow College in 1981 with a degree in Nursing, Rosenzweig went on to earn an MSN, Family Nurse Practitioner and PhD in Nursing from University of Pittsburgh.

She is the founder and director of the Oncology Nurse Practitioner Program at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, and also serves on the faculty as Associate Professor in Acute & Tertiary Care. She is a published author in distinguished peer-reviewed journals such as Oncology Nursing Forum, American Journal of Critical Care, and Journal of Cancer Education, and has received a variety of honors for her educational and outreach efforts. She is also the recipient of numerous research grants.

The focus of Rosenzweig’s teaching is primarily ethics and oncology care for nursing students across all curricular levels. Through various educational initiatives directed towards students and clinicians across the health sciences, she teaches strategies to improve patient-health care provider communication skills, particularly in advanced illness and palliative care.  Additionally, through her research, Rosenzweig seeks to better understand cancer illness to inform interventions directed towards educating and supporting patients with breast cancer, in order to empower them in obtaining optimal health care work. Along with her research team, she works to ensure that all women with breast cancer receive timely diagnosis, treatment, and support across the breast cancer care continuum. Her research and teaching initiatives are directed toward African American women with breast cancer and to women with metastatic breast cancer as they progress through illness. Specifically, her studies explore the impact that bio-behavioral and psychosocial factors have on the cancer patient and how approaches and interventions can be tailored to improve the illness experience.

Rosenzweig also maintains clinical practice as a nurse practitioner for women with breast cancer at UPCI/Magee Women’s Hospital and serves as a member of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Ethics Consult Service. An oncology nurse for over 20 years, she has stated that “working with cancer patients and families has allowed me to see courage and grace by which many patients and families face a serious illness” and she encourages young nurses to enter the cancer care field “because it does allow a wonderful blend of science and caring.”

Her research and teaching focus on ensuring that underserved populations receive the cancer care they require and have an optimal healthcare experience. In addition to educating the next generation of nurses with this goal, Rosenzweig volunteers as a nurse practitioner providing primary care at the Catholic Charities Free Care Clinic in Pittsburgh. She is active in several nursing organizations, including the Oncology Nursing Society, both locally and nationally and she serves on the Practice Council of the Pennsylvania State Nursing Association. She is also an advocate for diversity within the health sciences, serving as a representative from the School of Nursing within the schools of the health sciences on pipeline health science programming for urban high school age children.

At Carlow University, Rosenzweig has demonstrated her commitment to nursing philanthropically by establishing the Mary Ellen Quin Endowed Nursing Scholarship, in memory of her mother.

Jeannette E. South-Paul, MD

Andrew W. Mathieson Professor and Chair, Department of Family Medicine

University of Pittsburgh

School of Medicine

Dr. Jeannette South-Paul’s commitment to help the underserved is a passion that was ingrained in her and her five siblings by their hard-working immigrant parents.

“You can’t assume that everyone has what they need,” says South-Paul, who grew up in Philadelphia as the daughter of Jamaican-born parents working in the

children’s evangelical ministry. “My background experiences gave me a commitment to education to service and to faith that have stayed with me for the last 60 years.”

Growing up, she volunteered as an adolescent in the rescue mission her family ran in inner city Philadelphia, before heading to the University of Pennsylvania to earn her undergraduate degree in medical technology. She then attended the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine on an army scholarship, which spawned a 22-year career as a family physician in the U.S. Army.

Upon her retirement from the army, she was recruited in 2001 to be chair of family medicine at the University of Pittsburgh at UPMC. She serves as a leader and manager for a department that reaches both Allegheny and Westmoreland counties. The mission of the department is to provide high-quality patient care, support research initiatives and to equip future physicians with the tools needed for family-oriented patient care.

South-Paul is enthusiastic about all of the department’s programs, including the obesity awareness program called Fitwit, but her real passion project is the one she created seven years ago, the Maikuru program. South-Paul works with teen mothers to develop the education and training they need to have careers that allow them to be productive and independent. She partners them with mentors and organizes classes on self-esteem, spirituality, contraception and more.

“An obstacle is what you see when you take your eyes off the goal. If you can’t see that goal, all you see are the obstacles,” says South-Paul, who treats mostly low-income minority patients twice a week at the UPMC Matilda Theiss Health Center. “My strategy is to give them those goals, so it allows them to lift their horizon enough so they can navigate around their obstacles.”

Teresa A. Sullivan


University of Virginia

Teresa A. Sullivan is the University of Virginia’s eighth president. Since taking office in 2010, she has led UVA through a period of significant progress. In fall 2012, she launched a planning effort to provide a road-map for the University’s future while gathering input from 10,000 alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff, and others. This effort produced a new strategic plan for the University, the Cornerstone Plan. Early successes from the new plan include an endowed Data Science Institute, a major in Global Studies, and a minor in Entrepreneurship. The University has overhauled its academic advising, and piloted the Meriwether Lewis Institute for Citizen Leadership. Under Sullivan’s leadership, the University has developed a new financial model to ensure stability and transparency, launched a substantial program in Organizational Excellence, and created a program to expand the full-time faculty in multidisciplinary clusters.

President Sullivan has assembled a highly effective leadership team, led by executive vice president and provost Tom Katsouleas, executive vice president and chief operating officer Pat Hogan, executive vice president for health affairs Dr. Rick Shannon, vice president for advancement Mark Luellen, and a group of experienced deans, vice presidents, and staff. Working with her team, Sullivan has prepared UVA to tackle the serious challenges in higher education related to cost-containment, affordability, student-debt reduction, faculty compensation, and the emergence of online education. UVA now has ongoing efforts, at both the unit and pan-University levels, to reduce costs, improve processes, and enhance efficiency, while protecting the quality of the academic enterprise.

In 2013, Sullivan proposed an aggressive plan to improve faculty compensation after many years of stagnation in faculty salaries. Under her leadership, faculty and staff have been encouraged to experiment strategically with new technologies. UVA’s Applied Research Institute has extended the University’s research capacity to include new partners. The renovated and energized Licensing and Ventures Group assists faculty, staff, and students in protecting and enhancing their intellectual property. In spring 2013, Sullivan led the University to completion of its $3-billion capital campaign, and quickly announced plans to raise financial support for three strategic priorities: retaining and recruiting top faculty, restoring the University’s Jeffersonian Grounds, and providing needy students with scholarships.

Sullivan is leading preparations for the celebration of the University’s bicentennial beginning in October 2017. As part of this effort, she launched the President’s Commission on Slavery and the University to explore and report on UVA’s historical relationship with slavery.

Sullivan is a respected scholar in labor force demography. The author or coauthor of six books and many scholarly articles, her most recent research has focused on measuring productivity in higher education. Sullivan is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She serves as Chair of the Council of Presidents for the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges; Chair of the Council of Presidents of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities; Co-Chair of the National Research Council’s Committee on Improving Higher Education’s Responsiveness to Regional STEM Workforce Needs; and as a member of the Advisory Board for the Northern Virginia Technology Council, the trade association of the technology industry in Northern Virginia. She is a member of the executive committee of the Virginia Business Higher Education Council and of the Business Higher Education Forum. In 2013, the Governor appointed her to the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Investment Authority.

Sullivan came to UVA from the University of Michigan, where she was provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. Prior to her work at Michigan, Sullivan was executive vice chancellor for academic affairs for the University of Texas System and a faculty member at the University of Texas at Austin. She is a graduate of Michigan State University’s James Madison College, and earned her doctoral degree in sociology from the University of Chicago. She is married to Douglas Laycock, the Robert E. Scott Distinguished Professor of Law at UVA. They have two adult sons.


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 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 13 athletic teams are known as the Celtics, a reflection of the university’s Irish heritage and roots.

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