What are the Recipes for Success?

By Myra Saturen
October 04, 2012

What special ingredients go into a Recipe for Success?  Seven highly accomplished individuals who have a blend of achievement and community involvement were honored on October 3 at Northampton Community College's (NCC) Recipes for Success 2012 alumni awards presentation. 

Dr. Mark Erickson, new president of NCC, made some brief remarks that he is "honored and thrilled to be at Northampton Community College.  It is a great and special place."

The honorees included:          

Joan M. Christopher, '91, received the Distinguished Service to NCC Award, given to an Joan Christopherindividual  who demonstrates a strong participation in NCC activities and programs that advance the mission of the College.

She is a co-author of  The Lehigh Valley Cement Industry, a part of Arcadia Publishing's Images of America series; done research for several PBS series, 1950s, 1960s, Bethlehem Steel, and Allentown.  She has worked for Broadcast Images, Clark Production and RCN TV4.  In addition to the Girl Scouts, she has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity's Women Build projects and is the president of the Purdue Alumni Club of the Lehigh Valley. She also organized a highly successful career night at a high school for ten years and volunteered for the Northampton County Historical and Genealogical Society.   Christopher majored in creative writing with a minor in library science from Purdue University and earned an NCC associate degree in radio/TV fifteen years later.   

Walter A. Bartholomew '97 received the Distinguished Service to the Community Award, which isWalter Bartholomew presented to an individual who has demonstrated distinguished accomplishment in any field of community service. 

When Walter A. Bartholomew was born in 1972, his life expectancy was said to be ten years.  Diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, he has not only celebrated his fortieth birthday recently, but also leads a highly successful and very busy life as a professional and a fundraiser.

He grew up in Phillipsburg, New Jersey, graduating from Phillipsburg High School in 1990.  In 1995 he returned to school at NCC and transferred to Purdue University in 1997.  In 2000 he received a bachelor's degree in genetic engineering.

Walter has held numerous executive positions including leadership roles at Abbott Labs, Roche, GE Healthcare, and presently as head of sales at Renishaw Diagnostics, a Scotland-based firm that specializes in molecular screening for infectious diseases.  He was co-owner of GrantAlder, a small biotech company.  As head of sales for Renishaw, he travels around the United States and the world.  Additionally, he is a scientific advisor to firms such as Teleflex Medical (Arrow International, Reading, PA), Perouse Medical (Paris, France), and Personal Medical Devices (Allentown). 

He is board director of the Lehigh Valley Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, aiding in fundraising efforts to find a cure for the disease and lobbying in Washington, D.C.  In this capacity, he has met with presidents, vice presidents and politicians. 

Bartholomew's Recipe for Success:  "My parents instilled in me to put other people first.  We can solve problems if we see each other as equals."  He said he attributes his whole career to NCC.  "NCC enlightened me to education." 

Maryann Haytmanek received the Educator's Award, presented to a current or former facultyMaryann Haytmanek member who has demonstrated distinguished accomplishments in education which contribute to Northampton and the student population. 

She has devoted community and volunteer work with the Steel City Volunteer Fire Company Auxiliary, Big Brother Big Sister, Milestone Equine Rescue, Homeland Security Safe Grant for Animal Preparedness, low-cost rabies vaccine clinics, soup kitchens, children's benefit drives, Adopt a Highway, the Heifer Project International, Age-in-the-Classroom, senior care facilities, and the American Red Cross disaster relief efforts.  She also has done fundraising for local animal shelters and sends holiday greetings to U.S. soldiers. 

She is project director of the New Choices program at NCC, where she assists parents and homemakers entering or reentering the job market to support their families. She is also the project director for KEYS at NCC, a program that provides a contact person on campus for any student who receives cash assistance, in order to help him or her navigate the unfamiliar waters of a college campus and to increase retention and completion. In July 2012, she became project director of the Benefits Access for College Completion program, which will reach out to NCC students with low incomes to assist them in accessing public and community benefits that will help them remain in school and complete their degrees and certificates. 

Haytmanek was movingly introduced by Dr. Sharon Lee-Bond, a beneficiary of the New Choices/New Options program who described herself as a living example of Haytmanek's dedication.  Lee-Bond is now associate professor of biology at NCC and the recipient of a National Association of Biology Teachers Award. 

Haytmanek's Recipe for Success: Likening it to her grandmother rolling out dough for kiffles, she said, "There is no one recipe. No one size fits all.   It will feel right if the person you are working with is successful. Listen, challenge yourself, learn new things, and celebrate success.  Give credit to the people who helped you."

Michael J. Caruso, CLU, ChFC, received the Honorary Alumnus Award, presented to an individualMichael Caruso who has demonstrated a dedication and commitment to further the Northampton mission. 

Forty years ago, he founded the Caruso Benefits Group, which provides employee benefit solutions through insurance counseling, communications, technology, HR support, and compliance oversight.  Caruso Benefits Group serves a clientele ranging from individual entrepreneurs to organizations with thousands of employees.  As chairman of Caruso's board of directors, Michael helps drive the group's strategic advancement efforts and provides support to executive management.  Caruso Benefits Group has three divisions: MJ Caruso and Associates, Independent Business Association and The Benefits Firm.  He is a past president of the Northampton Community College Foundation and a trustee emeritus of Lehigh University.  Currently he is on the Lehigh Valley Partnership board of directors and acts as chairman of the Lehigh Tower Society for Planned Giving. 

Caruso's Recipe for Success: He cited a Winston Churchill speech from 1939: "Never, never quit."  Caruso went on to say that the recipe for success is simplicity.  "Have a passion, an excitement for what you are doing.  Realize how little is based on what you do; you have to have parents, teachers, mentors, friends, people who will not just tell you what you want to hear.  Take time every night to just sit back and breathe; think of the blessings you have and that will bring a smile to your face, and people will know how much they mean to you."  

Tara J. Fetzer '05, received the Outstanding Young Alumna Award, which recognizes a young alumnus/a for exceptional professional achievement, community service and/or service to the College. 

She received her associate degree in veterinary technology from NCC, with a 4.0 GPA; a bachelor's degree in large animal science from Delaware Valley College, where she graduated summa cum laude; and a doctorate in veterinary medicine from North Carolina State University, where she ranked eighth in a class of 76.

Tara is the recipient of 28 awards and honors, including Emerging Leader of the Lehigh Valley, NCC Presidential Ambassador, and Who's Who among American Colleges. 

Her teaching, internship and related experiences are numerous.  This year, she is serving as a small animal intern and instructor at Texas A & M University.  She has been a counselor and lecturer at the Zoo Vet Camp at the North Carolina Zoo and participated in a turtle rescue team and coordinated a carnivore team at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine.   At NCC, she was a peer tutor in veterinary technology and an advisory board member to the veterinary technology program.  She provided vaccinations to animals at the Honduras Veterinary and Public Health Mission and helped develop an emergency plan for large animals through the Bucks County Animal Response Team. 

In Texas working on her internship, Fetzer was not able to be present to accept her award.  She sent a message that said NCC is a truly amazing school and that her attendance here was the single best decision she has made in her life.  Professor of Biology Charles Rinehimer described Fetzer as an incredible young woman who already in her twenties had a "bucket list" of things she wanted to accomplish.  "There is nothing she won't try," Rinehimer said, giving an example of Fetzer joining an equestrian team although she had never ridden a horse before.

Richard M. Patricia '89 received the Professional Achievement Award, which is presented to an Richard Patriciaindividual who demonstrates a distinguished accomplishment in any field of professional endeavor. He graduated from Northampton Community College with an associate degree in Radio/Television, from William Paterson University with a bachelor's degree in communications and from Wilkes University with a master's degree and a 4.0 GPA (emphasis on classroom technology). 

Richard has worked for CNBC, Twin County Cable, RCN, Comcast Cable, Lehigh University, NCC, and other radio stations.  At CNBC, he has worked on shows such as The Phil Donahue Show, the Geraldo Rivera Show and the John McLaughlin Show.  For six years, he produced daily segments for RCN's broadcast of the Philadelphia Eagles Training Camp.  One of his videos, The Lehigh Valley's Best-Kept Secret," received an Emmy nomination.  He is an instant relay operator for RCN Sports, a documentary filmmaker, and wedding and event videographer.  His film Strive for Happiness, about living with loved ones who suffer with mental illness, won a first-place 2008 Silver Telly Award and an Indie Award through IndieFest. 

Currently, Richard is employed as a broadcast media arts and communication academy teacher at Warren County Technical School in Washington, New Jersey, where he was awarded Teacher of the Year in 2012.  He takes great satisfaction in seeing his students succeed.  His students have won more than 140 awards including Skills USA and Telly Awards.  One of his students has won two local Emmy awards.  Among the companies his students work for are Disney, MSNBC, National Geographic, The History Channel, B104 Radio, WNTI Radio, and on the set of The Florentine, starring Luke Perry and Chris Penn. 

For his contributions to many professional education and standards projects, Richard received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the National School Public Relations Association and an Outstanding Teacher Award from the Warren County Human Relations Commission.  . 

Patricia's Recipe for Success:  He recalled his low grades in high school and a guidance counselor advising him not to go to college.  Nevertheless, he went on to ultimately receive a master's degree.  Enrolling at NCC was the best decision he ever made, he said.  "The instructors are top-notch.  NCC offers one of the best educations money can buy. This place is awesome."  Patricia especially attributed his success to Mario Acerra, professor of communication/theatre and Donna Acerra, professor of communication/theatre. Overall, Patricia gave this recipe: 7 cups caring family, 2 cups greatest professors, 4 1/2 tablespoons the best friends and employers, topped with one of the most comfortable, warm colleges in the area."

John C. Posh '88 received the President's Award, presented to an individual who reflects to the John Poshcommunity the unique character, personality and level of excellence typified by a Northampton education.   Since his graduation from NCC in 1988, he has had a distinguished career of more than 25 years in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), including clinical imaging, research, education, and administration.  John is now the director of the MRI program at the University of Pennsylvania and an adjunct lecturer in radiology and forensics at Quinnipiac University.  He also serves on several committees of the International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, Section for Magnetic Resonance Technologists. 

Posh's Recipe for Success:  "Do what you love doing, do it better than anyone else, and do it in ways no one tells you it's possible to do." He thanked NCC for giving him the entry and tools to do what he loves. 

Each of the honorees thanked their families and friends.   

Gerald L. Long, who was named NCC board member emeritus, was thanked for his dedication and commitment.   

Members of the musical group Satori performed for the evening's reception, and NCC students in the culinary programs prepared and served hearty appetizers.  A video showing the College's earliest days, in the late 1960s, produced by NCC graduate Brian Shaud, showed the excitement of pioneering students, staff and faculty at the new college. 

Go to the Flickr slideshow to view photos from this event.






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