Lycoming College honors individuals with 2019 Alumni Awards
The Lycoming College Alumni Association Executive Board (AAEB) honored four individuals during the College’s Alumni and Reunion Weekend festivities. Award recipients were selected by the board through nominations received from alumni and other members of the College community. AAEB president Bob Martin ’95, along with vice president Brad Webb ’05, presented this year’s awards.
“A career that has taken me around the world”
Paul Fochtman, ’90, was awarded the Dr. James E. Douthat Outstanding Achievement Award for his collective strength towards significant accomplishments in the professional field and his dedicated support of Lycoming.
Fochtman is the head of school at Frankfurt International School in Germany. As a teacher, he has taught high school chemistry, economics, physics and spent a short time as a kindergarten teacher. He has led schools of 700 students up to 4,000 students.
“My experience at Lycoming College in the classroom, on the tennis court, and with the brothers of Kappa Delta Rho has launched me with the skills and confidence to educate, lead and navigate a career that has taken me around the world,” Fochtman said.
Service and leadership
Ron Frick, ’83, was bestowed the Angela R. Kyte Outstanding Alumni Award for his demonstration of a lifetime of service to humanity and whose life exemplifies those qualities encouraged and fostered by Lycoming.
Frick is president of the Lycoming County United Way where he leads an organization mobilizing resources to change lives in Lycoming, Sullivan and Tioga Counties. He has been a United Way volunteer for over three decades.
“My Lycoming College education and leadership experiences prepared me for a life of servant leadership. The network and friendships I made have continued to serve me in my role as president of the Lycoming County United Way, an organization I served for 33 years before becoming its chief executive officer,” Frick said.
Amilcar Guzman, ’08, received the Taunia Oechslin Young Alumni Award for making significant contributions to his profession, demonstrating leadership and accomplishment in his career, and exemplifying outstanding service and volunteerism to the college or community for the first 15 years after graduating.
Guzman is the director of research, evaluation and outcomes at the League of Women Voters where he leads the organization’s evaluation department. He also serves as the national president of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Alumni Association.
“Receiving an alumni award from Lycoming validates my experience. I arrived at Lycoming a shy and insecure 18-year-old who didn’t belong to a family, and I was able to blaze a trail in my career that I never thought possible,” said Guzman. “The lessons that I learned and people I met at Lycoming have helped shape who I am today.”
Mel Zimmerman was presented the Dale V. Bower Service Award for his outstanding service rendered to the College. After 38 years of service to Lycoming, Zimmerman retired from teaching in 2016. He remains director of the College’s Clean Water Institute which he founded in 1999. He continues to direct two minors, coordinates K-12 education outreach through the College’s Environmental Education Center at Waterdale and serves as chair of the advisory committee of the newly acquired Lycoming Biology Field Station.
“This award is a nice capstone and much appreciated after many years of teaching, and I hope to have influenced student awareness of the natural environment, as well as ways to protect and sustain it,” Zimmerman commented. “So many of my courses involved field, hands-on laboratory activities that I hope shaped how students viewed the natural environment.”