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Alumni Association Awards

Our alumni are pretty outstanding. And once a year, we have an opportunity to recognize outstanding alumni at our Alumni Association Awards Banquet. The McDaniel College Alumni Association awards program honors individuals who personify the College’s tradition of excellence. In their careers, communities and at the College, these alumni exemplify what it truly means to be a Green Terror.


Some of our 2022 Alumni Association Award recipients (pictured left to right):  John W. “Jack” Fringer Jr. ’60; Dr. Theresa Anne Hess ’07; Michelle Shearer M.S. ’96; Marcus "Lee" Primm '89; Don Dea ’76;  McDaniel College President Julia Jasken

Alumni Association Award

2023 Alumni Association Award Winners

On June 2, 2023, five alumni will be honored at our Alumni Association Awards Celebration. 



2023 Alum of the Year Corynne Courpas

Alum of the Year - Corynne B. Courpas ’76

Corynne B. Courpas graduated in 1976 with a bachelor’s degree in Biology and spent the first decade of her career working at Springfield Hospital Center as a medical technologist. During that time, she also worked part-time in her family’s restaurant and was pursuing her Master of Business Administration from University of Baltimore, which she completed in 1987. Combining her love of the food service industry and her knack for business, she worked at Performance Foodservice from 1987 until she retired in October 2020.

While she spent the first 13 years of her life in Baltimore, she moved to Westminster permanently in 1977, and she has strived to contribute to the college, the city, and the county ever since. “While I have no children of my own, I am actively involved in the lives of my nieces and nephews, and I strive to make Carroll County a better place for their futures,” she says.

Courpas has done so by working with the Carroll County Democratic Central Committee since 1990, currently serving as chair; serving as a board member for the YMCA from 1995 to 2001, including two years as president; as a member of the Carroll County NAACP and Carroll County Arts Council; and as current president of both the Carroll County Torch Club and The Arc of Carroll County.

On the Hill, Courpas has been an active volunteer for the Carroll County Student Grant Program, the Green Terror Sports Hall of Fame, her class Reunion committee, and the Alumni Association Awards Committee. She served as the president of the Alumni Council from 2007 to 2009 and is currently the vice chair of the WMC Heritage Society. She was the 2014 recipient of the Alumni College Service Award.

2023 Young Alumni Award Jasmin Chavez Cruz

Young Alumni Award - Jasmin Chavez Cruz ’19

Jasmin Chavez Cruz graduated with majors in Political Science and Spanish in 2019. While on the Hill, she was the founder of the McDaniel League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), vice president of the Student Government Association, a Global Bridge Advisory Board member, and a Global Fellow. She studied abroad in Oaxaca, Mexico, and was also a member of the Trumpeters Leadership Honor Society, the Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society, and the Phi Sigma Iota International Foreign Languages Honor Society.

Currently, Chavez Cruz is a confidential assistant for the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics. In this role, she works to advance educational equity and economic opportunity for Latino and Hispanic students, families, and communities across the nation. She regularly serves as a keynote speaker for national and statewide organizations, including the Virginia College Advising Network, College Advising Corps, the Virginia Latino Higher Education Network, and the Hispanic Leadership Alliance.

In the community, Chavez Cruz is the Virginia state director for LULAC, a member of the McDaniel College Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee of the Alumni Council, and an ambassador for the Salvadoran American Chamber of Commerce. While still a student on the Hill, she was named National Woman of the Year by LULAC, and in 2022, she was presented with LULAC’s Emerging Leader Award.

2023 Alumni Community Service Award - Ludley Howard

Alumni Community Service Award – Ludley O. Howard ’84

Ludley O. Howard earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 1984. He went on to earn a Master of Social Work in 1990 from Smith College. Howard has been the founder and principal therapist of The Howard Group, LLC since 2010. Based in Columbia, Maryland, the group practice provides mental wellness services to African American adolescents, adults, and families.

He is also the founder and CEO of Pride Youth Services Inc., a private nonprofit mental wellness organization founded in 2001 that provides case management and youth development programming to young people throughout the Maryland and Philadelphia regions.

Whether facilitating therapeutic services for those experiencing various life challenges, assisting in the development of treatment plans, or leading weekly enrichment groups for adolescents, Howard has put his psychology and social work degrees to good use.

A licensed clinical social worker in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia, he has served in consulting roles with the Montgomery County Department of Juvenile Services; The Choice Program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; and The Martin Pollack Project.

2023 Alumni College Service Awardee Donald Schenk

Alumni College Service Award - Donald F. Schenk ’71

Donald F. Schenk graduated in 1971 with a bachelor’s degree in History and was commissioned in the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant from the Green Terror Battalion. After a 33-year career in the Army, he retired as a brigadier general. He ran his own defense consulting firm for five years, before joining General Dynamics Land Systems as a senior leader in 2009.

In addition to ROTC on the Hill, Schenk was devoted to his fraternity, Phi Delta Theta, which he served as president. He returned to McDaniel in 1979 to assume responsibilities as assistant professor of Military Science for three years. During this time, he also served as a faculty advisor to the Maryland Beta Chapter of Phi Delta Theta. In 2014, he once again signed on as advisor for the chapter, a position he values and enthusiastically engages in to this day.

“Nothing can replace the critical thinking skills acquired through the exemplary liberal arts education I received at McDaniel College,” Schenk says. “Combined with an appreciation for diversity of background, experience, and ability, those skills made me a better citizen of the nation and of the world.”

Schenk was the recipient of the McDaniel College Trustee Alumni Award, the college’s highest alumni award, in 2005, and was named the Samuel V. Stone Chapter Adviser of the Year for Phi Delta Theta in 2021. In addition to his volunteer work with Phi Delta Theta, he has devoted volunteer time to his Veterans Service Organization and Fisher House Michigan.

2023 Alumni Professional Achievement Award Greg Merril

Alumni Professional Achievement Award - Greg Merril ’87

Greg Merril, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Psychobiology in 1987, is a serial life-science entrepreneur and an inventor with 20 issued patents. Merril says his entrepreneurship streak began on the Hill when he founded or co-founded multiple extracurricular activities, including the string ensemble and the Ecology Club.

Within two weeks of graduation, Merril founded HT Medical Systems. It started as an education media production company, but they soon developed the world’s first commercially successful virtual reality surgical training simulators.

He went on to found several start-ups, including partnering with National Geographic to create the “National Geographic GeoBee Challenge” trivia game, which was the top growing educational app on iPad. Merril also developed a helmet-based impact sensor to help address traumatic brain injuries in football players.

Since 2016, Merril has been co-founder, CEO, and chair of Adaptive Phage Therapeutics Inc. (APT), a clinical stage biotech firm based in Gaithersburg, Maryland. APT is advancing a cure for antibiotic-resistant infections.

Merril has been named an Ernst & Young regional Entrepreneur of the Year, had his products recognized twice as Innovation of the Year by the Consumer Electronic Association, received the 2015 International Sports Technology Award for Best Wearable Technology, and been selected as a Wall Street Journal Start-up Company of the Year.