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Outstanding Young Alumni Award

Purpose of Award

This award serves to recognize and reward one of our outstanding Penn State young Political Science alumni for their success and influence as a leader.

Eligibility for Award

Any person may be nominated who is a graduate of the College of the Liberal Arts and majored in Political Science or any other major currently or previously administered by the Department of Political Science. Eligibility is limited to individuals who have graduated from the University within the last fifteen years. Current members of the University faculty or staff are not eligible. Eligible candidates should have a record of significant career achievements and be outstanding young role models for current Liberal Arts students.

Nature of the Award

The title Outstanding Political Science Department Young Alumni Award shall be conferred upon the recipient by the Dean of the College of the Liberal Arts. The recipient will be invited to campus to receive the award in the spring of each year, coinciding with the Department of Political Science annual Alumni-Student Banquet. So that recipients may be appropriately recognized and to enable us to inform others about their accomplishments, awards will only be presented to recipients who are able to attend the banquet. Recipients, who are unable to attend the ceremony in the year nominated, will be invited to participate in a subsequent year.

Selection Process

Nominations will be solicited from the faculty, staff and from the Political Science Board of Alumni Visitors. Nominators will be responsible for preparing a nomination dossier for each candidate(s), to include a resume and a letter detailing why this person is being nominated.

The Directors of Development and Alumni Relations, in conjunction with the Political Science Board of Visitors awards committee and the head of the Political Science department, will narrow the nomination list to no more than five candidates. The Dean of the College of the Liberal Arts will then make the final selection.


2016/17: Brad Hawkins

Brad M. Hawkins is Vice President of Bernstein Global Wealth Management in Washington, DC. He advises high-net-worth individuals and institutions regarding investment strategies and, in conjunction with the Wealth Management Group, works closely with clients and their professional advisors on a wide range of investment matters, including tax and estate planning, concentrated stock positions and the sale of a privately held business. He has been with the firm since 2008. He is a member of the board of directors of Hopecam, a non-profit which works to overcome the social isolation experienced by children in treatment for cancer. He is an active member of the board of the Penn State Alumni Association Metro Washington, D.C. Chapter.

2014/15: Caroline Casagrande

Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande is currently serving her Fourth term in the New Jersey Assembly and is the Assistant Republican Leader. She represents the 11th Legislative District and is the youngest Assemblywoman ever elected. Casagrande is a member of the Appropriations, Financial Institutions and Insurance and the Women and Children Committees.

Assemblywoman Casagrande began her political career at Penn State, where she was elected student body president. After graduating Rutgers School of Law she returned to Monmouth County to practice law. Casagrande served as a partner in the firm of Menna, Supko and Casagrande, in Shrewsbury, and as municipal attorney to Manalapan Township and special counsel to Fair Haven.

Casagrande is the Founder and Director of the Young Women's Leadership Institute, a program designed to nurture leadership skills of select high school juniors.

The Governor chose Assemblywoman Casagrande to serve as a Commissioner on the Congressional Redistricting Committee, which redrew the State’s Congressional districts. As a leading Republican, she concentrates on strengthening the economy by improving the workplace for women and families as well as ensuring ethics reform, fiscal responsibility, and tax relief.

The National Foundation for Women Legislators chose Assemblywoman Casagrande as one of its 2014 Elected Women of Excellence Award winners. She also received the 2014 Child Advocate of the Year Award from the New Jersey Alliance for Children, Youth and Families. Casagrande was also given the Guardian of Small Business Award by the National Federation of Independent Businesses, and the Taxpayer Champion Award by the New Jersey Taxpayers Alliance. The Assemblywoman is a recipient of the Today's Youth Asia Young Achievers Award and was named a 2013 “NJ Rising Star” by Gannett Company, Inc.

In 2010, she participated in an exchange program to Nepal as a delegate of the American Council of Young Political Leaders, an affiliate of the U.S. Department of State. In 2013 Assemblywoman Casagrande was part of a bipartisan delegation to Israel as part of the American Jewish Committee’s Project Interchange.

The Penn State Alumni Association honored Caroline in 2010 with the Alumni Achievement Award for those alumni reaching an extraordinary level of achievement by age 35 or younger.

Assemblywoman Casagrande is a resident of Colts Neck, where she lives with her husband Stephen Chance and two sons Harrison and Teddy and their dog Thatcher.

2013/14: KerriLaine Prunella

KerriLaine Prunella is Human Resources Branch Chief, National Institutes of Health, where she directs a full range of human resources management functions for institutes and centers within NIH. She earned a degree in International politics in 2001 from Penn State and an MBA degree in federal program management from Trinity University in Washington D.C. She worked in a variety of positions in the public and private sectors, including the U.S. Federal Highway Administration and the U.S. Department of Treasury. KerriLaine developed, directed, and evaluated human resources policies and programs in connection with key program areas.

KerriLaine serves as a mentor to Penn State students in the Colleges of the Liberal Arts and Health and Human Development. She was Vice President and President of the Penn State Professional Women’s Network of Washington.

2012/13: Caroline Hunter

Caroline Hunter was nominated to the Federal Election Commission by President George W. Bush on May 6, 2008.  Her appointment was approved by the United States Senate on June 24, 2008.

Caroline has a history of public service, having previously been appointed as the Vice-Chair of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, as well as serving as deputy director of the White House Office of Public Liaison.  From 2005 to 2006, she served as executive officer at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman.  Prior to working as an executive officer, she was associate counsel and then deputy counsel at the Republican National Committee where she provided guidance on Election Law and the implementation of the Help America Vote Act.

Caroline graduated cum laude from the University Of Memphis School Of Law and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in International Politics from The Pennsylvania State University in 1993.

Caroline lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and two daughters.

2011/12: Sean Misko

Sean Misko is a special advisor to the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (SRAP) at the U.S. Department of State.  He is shaping efforts to facilitate a political settlement of the Afghanistan war and coordinating negotiation of a strategic partnership to guide U.S.-Afghan relations.

Prior to joining the SRAP office in 2009 as a special assistant and policy advisor to Richard C. Holbrooke, Misko was part of a team dispatched to Afghanistan by Gen. David Petraeus to evaluate the security situation.  The assessment he co-authored informed the incoming Obama administration’s policy review.  Misko previously served as a special assistant to the deputy associate director of the Office of Management and Budget’s National Security Division (2008), Presidential Management Fellow in the U.S. State Department’s Office of Iranian Affairs (2006­–08), and as a Roberts Intelligence Fellow and political analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency (2005–06). Misko also consulted for the New York City Police Department’s Counterterrorism Division, co-authoring a report on al-Qaeda’s evolution.

A recipient of the State Department’s Superior Honor Award and the CIA’s Exceptional Performance Award, Misko was selected as a 2011 Manfred Wörner Fellow by the German Marshall Fund.  He earned a Master of Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in 2006.

At Penn State, Misko was a Schreyer Honors Scholar and played trumpet in the Blue Band.  He was recently inducted as a 2012 recipient of Penn State’s Alumni Achievement Award and lives in Arlington, VA.

2010/11: Jennifer J. Davis

Jennifer (J.J.) Davis was appointed Vice President for Finance and Administration in September of 2010 at the University of Delaware. She joined the University in November 2008 as the Vice President for Administration and assumed the Vice President for Finance and Administration role approximately two years later, adding financial operations to her portfolio. She provides leadership for the University’s finance functions and human resources functions, including real estate and risk management, student financial services, internal audit, general accounting, procurement, personnel supervision, recruitment, labor relations, benefits, education and training programs, employee wellness and employee performance evaluation, as well as budget planning and development, payroll and records management and the Office of Equity and Inclusion. J.J. also leads all decommissioning and demolition efforts on the former Chrysler Assembly Plant site. She was named International Women’s Forum Fellow in 2008. Additionally in 2008, she received the Delaware Quality Award for Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Council of State Governments Innovation Leader for OMB, and the National Association of State Personnel Officers Award for Healthcare Innovation and New Human Resource Recruitment System. She serves as a director of the WSFS Corporation, a Delaware-based bank.

Ms. Davis earned both her bachelor’s degree in political science and her master’s degree in policy analysis from Penn State, through its integrated Undergraduate-Graduate Degree program. Ms. Davis resides in Newark, Delaware with her husband and two children.

2009/10: Corey O'Brien

Corey is currently a County Commissioner for Lakawanna County, where he serves on the board of Elections, the Juvenile Detention Board of Managers, the Pension Board, the Prison Board, and the Salary board. In addition, he is the chairman of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport Authority.

As an attorney, Corey represents financial institution clients on structuring alternatives, federal and state charter conversions, holding company formations, mutual holding company reorganizations, capital raising transactions, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate governance. He advises clients on the formation of de novo financial institutions and related capital raising transactions. Corey also counsels corporate clients on various regulatory and general corporate matters, capital raising, strategic growth opportunities and defending against hostile takeover bids.

In previous positions as law firms, Corey served as lead special counsel to financial institution clients in northeastern Pennsylvania and underwriter’s counsel on federal and state charter conversions, mutual holding company reorganizations and partial and full conversions. He spent several years as an attorney at another Washington D.C. law firm that specializes in financial services.

Prior to practicing law, Corey served as a staff member in the Legislative and Public Affairs Division of the U.S. Agency for International Development and also served as an intern in the White House Office of Legislative Affairs during the Clinton Administration. He was the president of the Undergraduate Student Government while at Penn State, and also served as host of "The Pulse with Corey O'Brien," a Sunday morning political and current events talk show that aired on FOX56 in over 600,000 households in over 17 counties throughout Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania.

2008/09: D. Bruce Hoffman

D. Bruce Hoffman graduated in 1989 with high distinction. His honors thesis was focused on the political impact of deforestation on the Amazon-- a topic that continues to interest him today. After graduation, Bruce moved closer to the Everglades rather than the Amazon and attended law school at the University of Florida. While there, he joined law review and was awarded the W.D. MacDonald prize for graduating first in his class.

Bruce is now a partner with Hunton and Williams, a firm with offices in Washington, DC and Miami, Florida. His main areas of practice are antitrust and unfair competition, including merger review, government investigations, and private and government antitrust litigation. He  was lead counsel for Cingular Wireless in a challenge to the company’s $41 billion merger with AT&T Wireless Services. Bruce also defended one of the primary defendants in two sets of national antitrust class action cases alleging price fixing in the market for bananas.

Earlier in his career, the Federal Trade Commission enlisted Bruce to be a director in the bureau of competition, and as an associate director in regional litigation. He oversaw many of the Bureau of Competition’s programs, investigations, and litigations. He investigated high profile mergers involving giants such as GE, Wal-Mart and Sunoco.

Serving his profession is Bruce’s passion: he was a Member of the ABA Antitrust Section Task Force that provided feedback on the FTC’s Proposed Administrative Litigation Rules. He also serves as Associate Editor of the Antitrust Law Journal and has led several Bar Association committees.

He received the Official Commendation for Superior Service from the Federal Trade Commission, and is listed inInternational Who's Who of Competition Lawyers and in Chambers USA for Antitrust.

2007/08: Christian Marrone

Christian Marrone is Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs in the U.S. Department of Defense.  He served previously as Director of the Office of Legislative Counsel of the Department of Defense, a position he was appointed to in April 2006 by the White House.  He has served as legal counsel to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs, with responsibility for the Department’s legislative program. This has included managing the entire process of creating and submitting the most complex piece of legislation in the Federal Government – the National Defense Authorization Act.  He has also conducted policy and legal review of all Department legislation and of Congressional requests for official policy views of pending legislation.

Prior to that appointment, Christian served as Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs. He was legal counsel to both the 55th Presidential Inaugural Committee for President George W. Bush and the Pennsylvania State Republican Committee for Victory ’04 Bush/Cheney Campaign.

Before becoming involved in national government, Chris was an Assistant District Attorney in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania and served five years as Special Assistant to the Pennsylvania Senate Appropriations Committee, where he spearheaded a number of successful economic development and law enforcement initiatives.

Christian earned his degree from Penn State in 1997. As an undergraduate, he was a member of the Football Team and earned the Scholar Athlete Award for Academic Excellence. He also was named to the Phi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society.

In 2002, he earned both a masters degree in Government Administration from the University of Pennsylvania and a law degree from Temple University Law School. He is a member of Phi Delta Phi International Legal Fraternity, the Republican National Lawyers Association, and the Federalist Society. In 2002, Philadelphia Business Journal named him the recipient of the 40 Under 40 Award.

Christian has also served his alma mater as a member of the Political Science Mentorship and Advising Program.

2006/07: Kathleen L. Casey

Kathleen L. Casey was appointed by President George W. Bush to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and sworn in on July 17, 2006. Her term expired in 2011. In May 2013, the Pennsylvania State Senate approved her nomination to the Penn State University Board of Trustees, and in March of 2014, Ms. Casey was appointed to the Board of Directors of HSBC serving as a member of the Group Audit Committee and the Financial System Vulnerabilities Committee.

Prior to being appointed Commissioner, Ms. Casey spent 13 years on Capitol Hill. Before her appointment as Commissioner, she served as Staff Director and Counsel of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee. Ms. Casey was primarily responsible for guiding the Chairman’s and Committee’s consideration of, and action on, issues affecting economic and monetary policy, international trade and finance, banking, securities and insurance regulation, transit and housing policy, money laundering and terror finance. Significant issues the Committee considered under Ms. Casey’s direction include: reform of Government Sponsored Enterprises, reauthorization of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, Deposit Insurance Reform, insurance regulation, Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, Sarbanes-Oxley implementation, and credit rating agencies.

From 1996-2003, Commissioner Casey served as Legislative Director and Chief of Staff, respectively, for Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL). As Legislative Director, Commissioner Casey was instrumental in the drafting and passage of several laws. She developed, managed, and coordinated all aspects of legislative operations with a key focus on the appropriations process. In her capacity as Chief of Staff, Ms. Casey acted as key advisor on all policy and political matters.

From 1994-1996, Ms. Casey served as Staff Director of the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Regulatory Relief, Senate Banking Committee. She was responsible for advising and staffing the Senator on all committee issues, including Private Securities Litigation Reform Act, Whitewater special investigation, and financial services regulatory relief legislation. Commissioner Casey also served Senator Shelby as Legislative Assistant from 1993-1994, during which she was responsible for handling all tax, budget, and finance policy matters.

Ms. Casey was born in Tripoli, Libya. A member of the State of Virginia and District of Columbia bars, Commissioner Casey received her J.D. from George Mason University School of Law in 1993. She received her B.A. in International Politics from Pennsylvania State University in 1988.

2005/06: Rudy Glocker

Rudy Glocker earned his bachelor’s degree in 1991 and a master’s degree in 1993, with a focus on international and American politics. A year later, he did an internship at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute in Sweden. In addition to his academic responsibilities, he was also the head football coach for the Division Champion Karlskrona Seahawks in Karlskrona, Sweden.

In 1994, Mr. Glocker  was hired to be a financial analyst for Credit Suisse First Boston. Two years later he went to Minsk, Belarus, as the manager for new business development for Byelocorp International, a sporting goods wholesaler in the former Soviet Union. In 1997, he was accepted into Harvard’s MBA Program with a focus on finance and investment management. Since 1998, he has been working at Goldman Sachs. His first position was as a salesman as part of the North American EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) sales force; two years later he was made head of EMEA sales. Based in Boston, Mr. Glocker has since 1998 been Vice President of the Equity Products Group at Goldman Sachs. In that position, he is responsible for selling U.S. equity products to hedge fund clients of the company.

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