2013 Distinguished Alumni Awards

Allison A. Campbell ’85
Director of the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Allison A. Campbell, a physical chemist, has earned national and international recognition for her work in basic science and applied biomedical research. Her study of the mineralization of bone and teeth led to the development of a coating that enables artificial joints to adhere to bone, a life-enhancing application for patients. Earlier this year Campbell was elected as a Fellow of the prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Equal to her dedication to research and development is her commitment to inspire an interest in science in others. Since 2005 you Campbell has served as the director of the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, one of ten institutions under the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. Her leadership there enables more than 700 scientists from around the world to conduct collaborative research in energy and the environment. Campbell is a fervent advocate for science education and shares her enthusiasm with young students through hands-on education programs.

At Gettysburg College Campbell was a member of the Sceptical Chymists and recipient of an undergraduate research award. She was also at ease on the softball diamond and a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. After completing her chemistry major at Gettysburg College in 1985, her science journey was temporarily diverted by a horse. Campbell represented the United States in the 1987 Junior World championships and was a candidate for the U.S. Olympic Equestrian Team. In 1991 she earned returned to science to earn your doctorate in physical chemistry from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Gettysburg College awarded Campbell its Young Alumni Achievement-Career Award in 2000.

Michael A. Chagares ‘84
Federal Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia

Michael Chagares applied his major in political science to great effect as an attorney in both the private and public sectors. In 2006 President George W. Bush nominated him to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia. Chagares' nomination gained swift and unanimous approval from the U. S. Senate. 

Following graduation from Gettysburg he earned his juris doctor degree from Seton Hall University School of Law, where he edited the Law Review and graduated with honors. Chagares began his legal career as a law clerk for Judge Morton Greenberg on the Third Circuit, the seat he now occupies as Federal Judge. A well-respected appellate litigator in private practice, he served as Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey from 1990 to 2004 and was later named Chief of the Civil Division, representing the District of New Jersey in all civil cases.

Chagares has contributed to his profession with a number of scholarly legal publications and as professor. Seton Hall University recognized his excellence in teaching by naming him the 2013 Adjunct Faculty Member of the Year. New Jersey Super Lawyers magazine included Chagares on its list of outstanding lawyers, a designation for those who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Attorneys have described him as “knowledgeable,” having “excellent judicial temperament,” and fair.

As an undergraduate at Gettysburg College Chagares was a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon and president of his senior class. He has remained close to his classmates and alma mater as a class officer, reunion committee volunteer, and participant in the Key Alumni Resource Effort (K.A.R.E).

Jeffrey C. Oak ’81
Senior Vice President, Corporate Responsibility and Development
Bon Secours Health System, Inc.

Jeffrey Oak's involvement with Gettysburg College’s Student Conduct Review Board and Intervarsity Christian Fellowship as a Gettysburg College student foreshadowed his life’s work in upholding the highest ethical standards. He has been a champion of transforming organizations by building ethics and compliance programs into the core of their governance and operational structure. Oak is regarded as a national leader in promoting sustainable culture change.

After graduating cum laude from Gettysburg College in 1981 Oak earned his master of divinity degree from Yale University, where he was awarded a Prize Fellowship for Teaching Excellence. For ten years he worked as an ethics consultant to educational and nonprofit organizations and as executive administrator and pastor of a large multinational Methodist congregation. Oak returned to Yale in 1994 to pursue his master of arts and his doctorate in philosophy.

Oak became the first ethics and compliance officer at Arden Hill (now Elant), a nonprofit organization providing housing and health services. In 1991 he was appointed senior vice president of the national Council of Ethical Organizations, working to foster ethical and legal conduct in business, government, and the professions. Oak became the principal advisor to the Undersecretary for Health at the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), helping the VHA build an ethics and compliance program and receiving the agency’s highest award for exemplary service. Presently, as Senior Vice President and Corporate Responsibility Officer for Bon Secours Health System, Oak is building a culture of integrity and has created an extensive compliance infrastructure. In 2009 he was given responsibility for oversight of the company’s philanthropy, which has since raised $55 million, all while maintaining extensive public speaking, teaching, and publication schedules.

Henry W. Wedaa ‘49

President, Valley Environmental Associates 

Hank was the founder (1975), President, and General Manager of California School Book Fairs (CSBF), Inc. The company specialized in providing children’s books to schools in California and other western states. He sold the company to Scholastic, Inc. in 1989. 

Hank is the president of Valley Environmental Associates, an organization he started in 1970 that specializes in aviation-oriented environmental impact studies and air quality issues. As an aviation environmental consultant, he conducted a wide variety of environmental studies in southern California and other state airports. 

Hank also worked for Olson Laboratories, a subsidiary of Northrop Corporation, as a Program Manager for environmental impact studies including the Los Angeles International Airport and the Fresno, CA airport. Prior to Northrop, Hank served as the Project Engineer on a Nuclear Light Water Breeder Reactor Program for Aerojet-General Corporation. He has also served as Chief of Ordnance at the Martin Company and as Engineering Department Head for Aerojet. 

Hank has authored and co-authored more than 30 technical papers and reports about shock tube phenomena, explosive stems, warhead development, weapons systems, fuel cells, and airport use land.

In addition to serving as Vice Mayor and Mayor of Yorba Linda, CA, he also served as City Councilman. He received the 1990 Distinguished Leadership Award by the Orange County Section of the American Planning Association. Hank has also served as the chairman of the governing board of South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD), chaired the North American Clean Air Alliance for Zero Emission Vehicles, and is the co-founder of Fuel Cells for Transportation. He was involved in the 1989, 1991, and 1994 air quality management plans. He has served as a member of the SCAG Environmental Quality Committee and as a delegate to the South Coast Regional Coastal Commission.

Hank fought in WWII. A 20-minute video called “Flight to War” is about his experiences.

Why I Give to Gettysburg