2010 Distinguished Alumni Award

Michael A. Murphy

Michael A. Murphy 1984
College of Applied Science and Technology

Michael Murphy is senior vice president, global sales for Choice Hotels International. He leads the company's global sales and intermediary marketing efforts in collaboration with the Choice Central Reservations Systems team, corporate groups, and both domestic and international brand teams. He's responsible for managing and growing Choice's $1 billion in annual sales to the corporate travel, leisure, motor club, government, SMERF (Social, Military, Educational, Religious, Fraternal) group meeting and GSA (General Services Administration) segments worldwide. Prior to joining Choice in 2009, Murphy served as senior vice president of sales for Marriott International, Inc.

Murphy is dedicated to his profession of 25 years. He is a member of RIT's International Hospitality Advisory Board, a trustee of the Professional Convention Management Association, and has held other industry leadership positions, including past president of the Insurance Conference Planners Association Hospitality Partners Committee.

As a student, Murphy recalls the experience of assisting the sales and marketing leadership of the Stouffer Rochester Plaza Hotel with a city-wide sales blitz to announce the hotel's opening and generate business leads—an experience that launched his career. As valuable as the applied experience was, he considers the social networking offered by RIT even more valuable, as he met his wife of 25 years, Lisa McCartney Murphy '83, on campus 27 years ago.

Stephen R. Whittaker

Stephen R. Whittaker 1968
College of Imaging Arts and Sciences

Stephen Whittaker credits his degree in printing management for saving his life. After graduating from RIT in 1968, Stephen married his wife Ann, and by fall he was drafted into the US Army and sent to South Vietnam. A chance meeting with an outgoing soldier who needed a replacement pressman secured Stephen a job in a classified printing plant in a combat zone. Sadly, the thirteen other servicemen who arrived the same day were sent to the field and did not return home. After a fourteen month tour, Stephen returned home and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Medal and seven other military decorations. More recently, he was presented with the John Peter Zenger Medal for military bravery by the Printing Industry Alliance of NY, NJ and PA.

Mr. Whittaker has worked at Monroe Litho, Inc. in Rochester, New York for the past 26 years where he is currently the Vice President of Quality Management and Sustainability Initiatives. A senior member of the American Society for Quality, he manages and organizes third party external audits for quality and sustainability systems within Monroe Litho, and he is also responsible for the management of the firm's FSC and SFI Certifications. In 2008 Monroe Litho became the fifth commercial printer in the US to earn the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership Certification and the company was recognized as one of the sixteen safest companies in the United States by EHS Magazine.

Dedicated to his profession and his community, Mr. Whittaker is an adjunct professor in the School of Print Media, College of Imaging Arts and Sciences at RIT and is also a member of the Rochester Area Business Ethics Foundation, a group that promotes business ethics and recognizes local companies for their exemplary ethical practices. A 33o Scottish Rite Freemason, he serves on the Board of Governors of the Frank and Bette Paul 32o Masonic Learning Center for Children, a non-fee organization that teaches children with dyslexia to read.

Irene S. Jacobs

Irene S. Jacobs 1978
College of Liberal Arts

Irene Jacobs is committed to creating a world where all children have the opportunity to achieve their full potential. She attests that her RIT education provided her with the knowledge about how to be a change agent in the world and taught her the value of laughter and light-heartedness in the face of dealing with challenging social problems such as poverty and injustice.

Since March of 2009, she has served as a consultant for government, philanthropy, and non-profit organizations. Her clients include the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, University of Arizona and First Things First, Arizona's early childhood development and health organization. Previously, Irene served on Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano's Executive Team as Senior Policy Advisor and Director of the Office of Children, Youth & Families, overseeing eight divisions in the governor's office that served the community on the issues of early childhood education, substance abuse prevention and treatment, youth development, juvenile justice, domestic violence, women and children's health, finance and community relations.

Ms. Jacobs believes that the optimum time to positively impact a child's success is during the first years of life. She has put her belief into action through her work as director of the State School Readiness Board, serving from 2003 until she was promoted to Senior Policy Advisor in 2006. The Board's work guided the Governor's actions pertaining to early education and laid a foundation for First Things First.

Ms. Jacobs serves on the Board of Directors of Educare of Arizona, United Healthcare Children's Foundation, and the Clothes Helping Kids Foundation. Prior to her transition to consulting, she served on the Boards of the Arizona Early Education Funds, Arizona Grantmaker's Forum, Interagency Council on Homelessness and Arizonan Substance Abuse Partnership.

Philip J. Reiner

Philip J. Reiner 1978, 1980
College of Science

Dr. Philip Reiner is the Chief Scientist for the Advanced Engineering Technology Division for Stanley Associates Inc. in Huntsville, Alabama. His group provides full spectrum design, development, and fabrication support services for systems based on MEMS/NEMS, fiber optic, and electro-optic technologies. In addition to his BS in physics from RIT, he holds a PhD in physics from the University of Rochester. His research interests include nano-technologies, micro-electro mechanical systems (MEMS) development, liquid crystal polymers, and thin and thick film technologies development. Dr. Reiner is currently developing advanced MEMS-based components and systems for commercial and defense applications. He also develops advanced research programs for multiple US agencies. He is a member of IEEE, ISA, and NDIA and holds three patents. He also served as a captain in the US Army Ordnance Corp. and was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal in 1989.

Says Dr. Reiner, simply put, Rochester Institute of Technology provides students one of the best science and engineering foundations available in the country. The reason is simple: the faculty and staff are dedicated to ensuring that students like me have a fundamental grasp of key scientific and engineering principles balanced with an excellent understanding of how the business world works. For me, this paved the way to success in graduate school and later in my career as a scientist. I owe a great deal of gratitude to the faculty and staff in the science, engineering, and mathematics departments. You gave me a tremendous head start with my peers by providing me with your very best effort to teach and lay a foundation on which I have been able to build.

Croswell Phillip Chambers

Croswell Phillip Chambers 1988
B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences

Croswell Phillip Chambers began his career with IBM in 1988 and has been with Lexmark since the company's inception in 1991. Today he is among the most knowledgeable technology executives in the nation when it comes to the complicated challenges of output and document workflow. As a principal architect of Lexmark International's enterprise-scale output strategy, he has overseen global device consolidation, systems integration, document process improvement and environment management initiatives, enhancing the value and impact of Lexmark's overall IT investment.

Mr. Chambers has served as director of client management services for Lexmark International's Printing Solutions and Services Division (PS&SD) in North America since 2008, managing print services clients including top banks, retailers and pharmacies, helping them to optimize their printing infrastructure, reduce associated costs, improve enterprise document management and efficiently manage their output infrastructure.

Previously, Mr. Chambers served as chief information officer for Lexmark, managing the company's worldwide IT strategy and operations. During a time of tremendous opportunity and change, Mr. Chambers led global and local system deployments that helped streamline operations, boost productivity, reduce costs and deliver industry-leading financial performance. Initiatives during his tenure included global network and data center consolidation and outsourcing. He oversaw the implementation of global procurement and financial controls, Enterprise Resource Planning, the transition to voice-over-IP, sales force and customer support automation, and deployment of eCommerce and human resources systems.

Mr. Chambers shares his expertise on IT issues, contributing to numerous publications such as CIO Today, Internet World, TechRepublic and ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association), and he contributes to his community through service on the board of Hospice of the Bluegrass, a non-profit organizing that provides quality end-of-life care to terminally ill patients and their families.

Holly M. Hillberg

Holly M. Hillberg 1992
Kate Gleason College of Engineering

As Chief Technology Officer and Vice-President, Carestream Health, Inc., Holly Hillberg leads a global team of research and development professionals in the creation and commercialization of digital solutions for healthcare institutions worldwide. Ms. Hillberg is responsible for leading technology and intellectual property strategy, setting direction for advanced research and innovation, and driving commercialization efforts. Her other responsibilities range from regulatory affairs, health, safety and environment, and product design and usability. Prior to joining Carestream Health, Inc., Ms. Hillberg was with Eastman Kodak Company for 20 years in a variety of technical and business leadership positions, starting up new businesses and transforming existing ones to success.

Earlier this year, Ms. Hillberg was honored with the prestigious Rochester Athena Award in recognition of her professional achievement, leadership excellence and community service. In 2005, she received the Kodak Jane Lanphear Legacy Award, an award recognizing women who exemplify high values, provide exceptional mentoring to many women, and who demonstrate balance among career, personal, and community responsibilities.

Ms. Hillberg values her RIT education, acknowledging that it was instrumental in her career as she—and her company—transitioned to digital imaging. Being a chemical engineer, the bridge program, and MS in EE was quite valuable in opening doors.... Ms. Hillberg has stayed close to RIT, especially the Women in Engineering WE@RIT program. Being a woman, an engineer, and an advocate/mentor for teenagers, this program resonates with me on many levels. It supports a sense of community for young engineers in training and is the reason why RIT's female retention level in engineering is so high. In addition to her involvement with women of RIT, Ms. Hillberg volunteers with junior and senior high youth programs, including coordination of an annual inner-city housing renovation program and leading domestic and international youth mission trips.

Sharon L. Applegate

Sharon L. Applegate 1979
National Technical Institute for the Deaf

With more than 25 years of experience in nonprofit agencies serving deaf, deaf-blind, hard-of-hearing and late-deafened people, Sharon L. Applegate is an accomplished non-profit executive and a major contributor to the civic life of the deaf community in Massachusetts and beyond. Since 2003, Ms. Applegate has been the Executive Director of DEAF, Inc. (Developmental Evaluation and Adjustment Facilities, Incorporated), based in Boston, Mass. Since its founding in 1977, DEAF, Inc. has remained Massachusetts' only community-based, multi-service agency operated by and for Deaf, deaf-blind, hard of hearing and late-deafened people. Under her leadership, DEAF, Inc. has expanded health support services and outreach; implemented youth and elder services; improved standards for service delivery that have been recognized as best practices in the field; increased visibility through strategic public relations; established a development department and has kept the agency fiscally stable in changing economic times.

Before joining DEAF, Inc., Ms. Applegate was the Assistant Executive Director of the New York Society for the Deaf (NYSD), and managed city-wide comprehensive behavioral, social and rehabilitative services, including New York City's Ryan White HIV-AIDS Case Management program; an OMH-licensed Mental Health Clinic and Psychiatric Treatment Apartment program; an OSAS-licensed Substance Abuse program; and the OMRDD-licensed Individual Residential Alternative.

A graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology's National Technical Institute for the Deaf with an associates degree in Medical Laboratory Technology, Ms. Applegate also holds a bachelor's degree in sociology from Columbia University and master's degrees from Columbia University in social work and public health.

Reflecting on the part NTID played in her personal and professional development, Ms. Applegate says, It was at NTID where I was empowered by language, culture and the network of my peers, but mostly importantly, also, through NTID's support and belief that deaf students can succeed in a hearing world.... [NTID] was the stepping stone for me to higher education and bigger dreams. Her passion for leadership was sparked while still a student: My new-found sense of self as a student at NTID enabled me to run for and win a seat on the school's Student Congress. There I developed the leadership skills that provided the foundation for my ongoing development as a leader in my community and the agencies that serve our communities.

Jay Levine

Jay Levine 1976
Saunders College of Business

Jay Levine is a Partner in Ernst & Young's National Tax office, and is the Americas Markets Leader of Business Tax Compliance. He is responsible for working with companies to improve their tax operations through process improvement, technology and strategic outsourcing, and he delivers innovative solutions to clients by gaining an in-depth understanding of their business and the unique nature of their organization.

Mr. Levine has over 33 years experience as a CPA and tax professional, including more than 26 years as a tax technology and process professional. He has designed and developed many software products and led in the integration of technology into the delivery of tax services. He has authored numerous articles for both tax and technology publications and is a frequent speaker on outsourcing, process improvement and tax related technology subjects.

Mr. Levine thinks RIT's co-op experience gave him a leg up in his early career. I had several co-op jobs including Medicaid auditor, bookkeeper, and running my own company. In each of these, I was exposed to real business experiences that I was able to utilize as a foundation for projects/clients that I was assigned. That, combined with the opportunity to take elective technology courses put him far ahead of his peers in the early 1980s when technology exploded in business. I was the first person in the US to have a position of National Director of Tax Technology. It became the steppingstone for the rest of my career.

Stephanie Maltz Levine

Stephanie Maltz Levine 1975
Saunders College of Business

Stephanie Levine held several financial and accounting positions with companies in both New York and Washington DC during her career. She started working in accounting upon her graduation from RIT in 1975 at Voplex Corporation in Pittsford, NY. After moving to Long Island, she joined Paramount Pictures Corporation's contract accounting department. When the family relocated to Washington, DC, Mrs. Levine worked as CFO of Kostmayer Communications, Inc., a public relations firm.

Mrs. Levine retired when she moved to Florida, but continues to apply her accounting skills as treasurer of her Hadassah chapter and several other not-for-profit organizations. She also serves as a delegate to the South Palm Women's Golf League and is chairperson of the Golf/Greens Committee at Aberdeen Golf & Country Club in Boynton Beach, FL, where last fall she and her husband both shot their career rounds—88 and 82 respectively—on the same day.

Together, the Levines are deeply committed to RIT. In 2003, they established the Jay J. and Stephanie M. Levine Endowed Scholarship in Accounting for women students of the E. Philip Saunders College of Business.

Says Mr. Levine, I've had a pretty successful career, and we wanted to give something back to RIT. My wife graduated with a BS degree in business administration, my son with a BS in business administration and information systems, and his wife, with BS and MS degrees in psychology.