1:17 p.m., Nov. 2, 2009----The University of Delaware honored the special achievements of five alumni during its annual Presidential Citation for Outstanding Achievement recognition ceremony held Friday, Oct. 30, in the Roselle Center for the Arts.
Honored were David Bullock, CEO of White Bullock Group, a business development firm with a focus on social media; Faye (Harper) Corman, a global product stewardship specialist for DuPont; Louis Honick, an entrepreneur and founder of HostMySite.com; Scott Rosas, senior consultant with Concept Systems Inc., where he has a national impact on children and families; and Rob Van Etten, president of Brighton Cromwell, a supply chain integrator for the defense industry.
Since its inception in 1992, the Presidential Citation program has honored UD graduates who have exhibited great promise in their professional and public service activities.
UD President Patrick Harker welcomed the recipients and their guests to the ceremony, which was held in the Gore Recital Hall as part of Homecoming Weekend activities. Harker also recognized past recipients of the UD Excellence in Teaching and Excellence in Advising awards.
“Our alumni, all 143,000 of them, carry the name of the University of Delaware with them long after they've left campus and made their mark in the world,” Harker said. “They are our ambassadors and in them our principles are made manifest.”
Harker noted that the 2009 honorees embody the goals and principles outlined in the University's Path to ProminenceTM strategic plan.
“Our Path really comes down to one promise, a promise upon which every other goal is predicated -- we will achieve excellence and have an impact in everything we do,” Harker said. “The five individuals we're honoring this afternoon have internalized the promise and live it every day.”
Receiving a Presidential Citation from UD, Harker said, means the University has recognized the honorees as people of influence from among the many policymakers, artists, educators, scholars, scientists and CEOs who bear the distinction of being Blue Hens.
“As young alums, that sounds pretty good,” Harker said. “You have many more years to continue on this path of excellence, and I'm going to speak for everyone here when I say we can't wait to see what you do next.”
Harker was introduced by Monica Taylor, vice president for Development and Alumni Relations, who said “I'm pleased to recognize our alumni back to campus and to welcome all of you here today to this very special ceremony.”
Bullock, who received a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering in 1990, is president and CEO of White Bullock Group, Inc., a business development firm in Murfreesboro, Tenn., that helps businesses increase sales through the use of various tools, including social media. He also serves as chief marketing officer at Social Media Connection. Bullock also is co-author, with UD alumnus Brent Leavy, of Barack 2.0, which has been referred to as “a field manual to social media.”
“The UD experience launched me on a wonderful journey from manufacturing to an 'engineer's playground' at a robotics firm, and on to my own business,” Bullock said. “I thank my loving parents and all those who have made this honor possible. Special thanks to Dr. Ralph Cope for demonstrating that engineering is everywhere, and to Dr. Burnaby Munson for teaching me that there are no new problems, only interesting ways to solve them.”
Faye (Harper) Corman
Corman, who received a bachelor's degree in agriculture in 1997, serves as a global product stewardship specialist for DuPont. Responsible for following more than 200 industrial and consumer products from beginning to end to ensure that the chemicals do not harm people or the environment, Corman has worked with a pilot team for corporate regulatory social networking to get the word out on environmental stewardship.
A passionate advocate for children, Corman is a dedicated volunteer with The Little Rock Foundation for visually impaired and blind children.
“Delaware gave me the educational foundation to succeed in my career, but it also gave me something more -- it taught me that we get what we give,” Corman said. “Whether it was showing children and their families all that the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources had to offer at Ag Day, performing a rocking half-time show at Delaware Stadium with the UD Marching Band, or staying late with my lab partner to try just once more time to see if we could get an experiment to work, it was what I gave that mattered most.”
Honick, who graduated with a bachelor's degree in computer and information sciences in 1998, co-founded HostMySite.com in 1997 as a remedy for dissatisfaction with customer service at Web hosting companies. He served as chief executive officer, until its sale to Wachovia Capital Partners in 2008. Today, Honick continues to be involved with HostMySite.com as chief strategy officer, ensuring that its key value -- “great customer service builds a great business” -- is upheld.
Recently, Honick founded 302 Properties LLC, a real estate investment company that buys distressed properties and renovates them for sale.
“My time at UD was incredibly valuable in preparing me for my life as a technology entrepreneur. I concurrently held down a full time job at Computer Sciences Co., worked on my start up business (HostMySite.com) and carried a heavy credit load in my computer science major,” Honick said. “I am asked why I chose to build the business here in Delaware and I always cite the outstanding talent pool from UD as a major factor. I am honored to received the Presidential Citation and appreciate the important role that UD has played in my life.”
Rosas received a bachelor's degree in history, a master's degree in individual and family studies and, in 2002, a doctorate in family studies. He is a senior consultant with Concept Systems Inc., where he has a national impact on the lives of children and families by providing national consultation built on the research methodology he developed as a graduate student at UD.
Rosas also served as an associate faculty member at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, and he joined the American Evaluation Association, where he serves as a leader within its ethics committee.
“The interdisciplinary program within the College of Education and Public Policy has allowed me to explore areas of interest to me and create a learning experience that has become the foundation for my work,” Rosas said. “I truly value my time at the University -- its influence and impact on me has endured.”
Rob Van Etten
Van Etten graduated in 2003 with a double major in finance and marketing, and is now president of Brighton Cromwell. He joined the family business in 2004, when his father turned it from a consulting firm into a supply chain integrator for the defense industry. After his father's unexpected death the following year, Van Etten took over the company and doubled its revenue within a year.
Recently, he partnered with both the New Jersey Department of Labor and the Veterans Administration Hospital to provide jobs to military veterans, and the company has a “Hire Veterans First” initiative for many job openings. Brighton Cromwell has been named the 21st fastest growing business in America, as well as the fastest growing company in New Jersey.
“Over the course of my four years at the University, I made lasting friendships, learned business principles and crafted one of the most important business skills -- interacting with all different types of people,” Van Etten said. “I am a perfect example of how the University of Delaware Lerner College of Business and Economics creates well-rounded students who are ready to tackle and solve any problem.”
The ceremony concluded with a reception for the honorees and their guests in the Roselle Center for the Arts.
Article by Jerry Rhodes
Photo by Duane Perry