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McDaniel College Alumni Association celebrates 2024 award winners

The McDaniel College Alumni Association honored six alumni as recipients of 2024 Alumni Association Awards during Alumni Weekend.

Alumni Award winners 2024

McDaniel College President Julia Jasken with Young Alumni Award recipient Ashley Day Gibbs '12, Professional Achievement Award recipient Christopher Schaber, Ph.D. '89, Alum of the Year Donald Mosby Rembert Sr. '61, Alumni Council President James Martin '93, and College Service Award recipient Debbie Dale Seidel '84.

The McDaniel College Alumni Association honored six alumni who personify the college's tradition of excellence at a special dinner and ceremony held May 31 to kick off Alumni Weekend.

2024 Alumni Award recipients

2024 Alumni Association Award recipients with President Julia Jasken

Recipients of 2024 Alumni Association Awards included:

Alum of the Year

2024 Alum of the Year Don Rembert

Donald Mosby Rembert Sr. '61

Donald Mosby Rembert Sr., who earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the college in 1961, was a member of the college’s ROTC program and commissioned as a second lieutenant into the U.S. Army. He was honorably discharged serving for more than a decade active duty in the Army, U.S. Army Reserve, and U.S. Naval Reserve.

He then went on to work in the restaurant industry as owner and general manager of multiple restaurants before becoming a business advisor and a certified financial planner.

He is currently founder and senior manager of Rembert Pendleton Jackson, specializing in global investment asset allocation, retirement and estate planning, and small business consulting. His other areas of experience include income tax planning, cash management, risk analysis, and estate and trust administration.

Rembert has remained an active volunteer of the college, earning the Alumni College Service Award in 2016. He served on the college’s Board of Trustees from 2007 until 2023 and is actively involved as a member of the McDaniel College Alumni Council and Alumni Association.

As the past chair of the WMC Heritage Society, which he co-founded in 2004, Rembert has enthusiastically honored the history of Western Maryland College while embracing the future of McDaniel College. His impact is evident all over campus, from Rembert House to Rembert Way and Rembert Field at Kenneth R. Gill Stadium, all named in honor of him and his wife, Judith Ellis Rembert '60.

He also established the annual Rembert Lecture in 2005 in the Economics and Business Administration Department.

Young Alumni Award

2024 Young Alum Ashley Day Gibbs

Ashley Day Gibbs ’12

The Young Alumni of the Year Award recognizes graduates of the last 15 years who exemplify the McDaniel spirit through their professional, community and college service achievements.   

Ashley Day Gibbs graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from McDaniel in 2012. She began her career teaching sixth grade with AmeriCorps at Saint Ignatius Loyola Academy in Baltimore. She then moved into politics as the director of scheduling for former Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, where she became inspired to start Women Leading Baltimore to connect teenage girls in Baltimore City with professional women, which became a nonprofit in 2015.

She spent four years as a college and career counselor at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Baltimore and launched the “Pay It Forward” internship program at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute to encourage more girls and students of color to consider careers in STEM. Most recently, she served as the director of mentor engagement for iMentor Baltimore, recruiting corporate partners and more than 200 adult volunteers to mentor high school students as they begin to plan for life after high school.

A CollegeBound Foundation alum, Gibbs has served as a board member for the foundation since 2016. She also continues to give back to her alma mater, McDaniel College, as a member of the McDaniel Women’s Leadership Network and the McDaniel College Corporations and Foundations Committee.

In 2021, she was named one of The Daily Record’s Leading Women and was included on the Baltimore Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 list. She was recognized in 2023 among The Baltimore Banner’s Emerging Leaders.

Community Service

2024 Community Service Ann Kehinde

Ann C. Kehinde '84

The Alumni Community Service Award is given to a graduate who has performed outstanding voluntary service to their community beyond normal business or professional obligations.

Ann C. Kehinde graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and Political Science in 1984. She also completed a certificate in Interpreter Training at the college. She holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Maryland’s Francis King Carey School of Law. For the past 30 years, she has been an administrative law judge in the Office of Administrative Hearings for the State of Maryland.

From 2015 to 2019, Kehinde served as a board member for Unified Efforts Inc., providing strategic and programmatic support for at-risk youth and was the board vice president from 2017 to 2019.

Since 2016, she has been working with the Immigration Working Group at Stony Run Friends Meeting in Baltimore, where she tutors immigrants of all ages in reading, citizenship, ServSafe, and commercial driver’s license test preparation; chaperones trips and camps for refugee children; and helps families adjust to living in the United States.

Kehinde has also been active in the Interfaith Coalition for Black Lives since 2020. She developed and maintains the organization’s website and a newsletter for the more than 40 organizations in the coalition. On-the-ground activities have included delivering Thanksgiving meals to Baltimore City schoolchildren, providing meals during school breaks, collecting food and cleaning supplies for a pantry in Turner Station, collecting coats for the Baltimore Hunger Project, and collecting diapers for ShareBaby.

Professional Achievement

2024 Prof Achievement Christopher Schaber

Christopher J. Schaber, Ph.D. '89

The Alumni Professional Achievement Award is presented to a graduate who has gained distinction in their chosen field or profession and whose accomplishments reflect admirably on McDaniel College.

Christopher J. Schaber, Ph.D., completed a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Economics, and Chemistry in 1989 and went on to Temple University’s School of Pharmacy to earn a master’s degree in Pharmaceutics and then Union Institute & University for a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences.

As an executive and entrepreneur, Schaber has more than 34 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries and has a proven track record of advancing novel therapies from discovery to approval, as well as securing funding and partnerships. He has spent 25 years as a C-level executive.

Schaber says his time on the Hill was a tremendous period of transformational growth in his life that has led him to where he is today, as a person “driven to closely align the personal definition of career success with that of helping others.” Schaber has been building businesses to serve those with rare diseases with one passion in mind: “identifying and advancing new drug therapies to market that help patients live longer and better lives,” including in his position as chairman, president, and CEO of Soligenix Inc. in Princeton, New Jersey.

A recognized leader and influencer in the rare disease community, Schaber received the Mentor’s Mentor Recognition Award in 2021 and was named to The Medicine Maker Power List in 2023. He was included as PharmaVoice’s 100 Most Inspiring People in 2019 and was a 2018 finalist for EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year. He is the co-inventor on several issued and pending patents and author on multiple publications and abstracts. He serves on the boards and councils of various organizations such as the Alliance for Biosecurity, BioNJ, and the National Organization for Rare Disorders.


College Service

2024 College Service Deborah Seidel

Deborah Seidel '84

The Alumni College Service Award is given to a graduate who has demonstrated exceptional leadership, devotion, and service for the betterment of the McDaniel College Alumni Association. 

Deborah Seidel earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Economics from the college in 1984. She worked for over 34 years in financial services with Merrill Lynch and T. Rowe Price before retiring in 2018 as a vice president for T. Rowe Price Group, Inc., and subsidiaries.

Seidel has been a loyal alumni volunteer, mentoring students, reviewing resumes, serving on her class Reunion committees, and leading fundraising efforts. She is a past president of the McDaniel College Alumni Association and remains an active member in the association through various committees, including helping with the establishment of the Green and Gold Alumni Council.

She is also on the alumni board for the Phi Alpha Mu sorority and a member of the McDaniel College Band, as well as the Lyric Band of Hanover. Additionally, she has served on the board of directors for Carroll Hospital since 2019 and was the recipient of the 2023 Carroll County Good Scouts Award along with her husband, Professor Emeritus of Economics and Business Administration Ethan Seidel.

In 2023, she was elected to the McDaniel College Board of Trustees.

Bailer Award

2024 Bailer Award Melissa Couillard

Melissa Couillard M.S. ’13

The Joseph R. Bailer Award was established by the family of Dr. Bailer, one of the college’s most highly respected career educators, and is presented annually to a McDaniel College master’s degree recipient who has made a significant contribution to the field of education.

Melissa Couillard has served as an elementary mathematics resource teacher for Carroll County Public Schools since 2006.

She completed teacher certification from the college in 1994 and went on to earn a master’s degree in Elementary Education with Elementary Math Instructional Leader Certification from McDaniel in 2013. She graduated from Hollins College in Roanoke, Virginia, in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science.

She started her teaching career as a fifth-grade teacher at Carrolltowne Elementary and Linton Springs Elementary schools in Sykesville, Maryland, before moving on to be a resource teacher. From 2003 to 2005, she worked part time providing support to the elementary mathematics department in Carroll County Public Schools then taught fifth grade STEM at Mount Airy Elementary School for one year before taking on her current role. She also taught at McDaniel as an adjunct lecturer for one semester in August 2018.

Couillard holds Maryland State Department of Education certificate endorsements as an elementary mathematics instructional leader and in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).