Legacy of Leadership 2008

Dr. Madeleine Wing Adler

In June 2008 Madeleine Wing Adler retired after completing her sixteenth year as president of West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Prior to her appointment as WCU's first woman president, she was the academic vice president at Framingham State College, in Framingham, Massachusetts. Dr. Adler's academic field is political science, and she is widely published in the areas of politics, public policy, and urban affairs. She holds a bachelor of arts in political science from Northwestern University and a master of arts and Ph.D. in political science from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

With about 13,000 undergraduate and graduate students, West Chester University is the second largest of the fourteen institutions in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The University is a regional comprehensive university offering degrees in the arts and sciences, advanced-study preparation for fields such as medicine and law, teacher preparation and certification, education for specific professions, and continuing education.

Central to Dr. Adler's presidency is what she terms distributed leadership. By distributed leadership, President Adler means regarding all employees as experts in their own right—to be valued for their individual experience and expertise. Under distributed leadership, everyone is responsible and accountable for leadership within his or her area, and good ideas can come from throughout the University. Distributed leadership creates an institution-wide sense of teamwork and responsibility for using university resources efficiently and wisely, monitoring performance, and seeking continuous improvement.

President Adler has become a leader in the community by serving in various professional and civic activities. Locally, she chairs the Chester County Community Foundation Board of Directors and serves on the Willow Financial Bancorp Board of Directors. She is on the Big Brothers Big Sisters Southeastern Pennsylvania Advisory Board and was a founding member of the Fund for Women and Girls. Nationally, Dr. Adler serves on the board of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU).

Among her many honors are the 1998 Chester County Citizen of the Year, 1998 March of Dimes Woman of Achievement, 2001 Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition Pink Ribbon Award, 2002 Philadelphia Business Journal's Women of Distinction Award, 2003 Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Citizen Award, and 2005 Distinguished Citizen Award from the Boy Scouts of America's Chester County Council.


Mrs. Tina (Agostino) DePrisco, Class of 1992

Tina received her B.A. in communication studies and is currently employed at MEDecision, Inc. in Wayne, PA as a product manager. She has also held positions as a recruiter, market researcher and quality assurance officer. Tina volunteers at Hillsdale Elementary School and the Calvary Lutheran Church, serves as secretary of the board of directors of Family Services of Chester County and with Gaudenzia, Inc. as a member of the Chester County Community Affairs Council. She is also an alumnus of Leadership Philadelphia 2007.

While a student, Tina was involved in RHA, was a basketball cheerleader, served as vice-president of the Abbe Society from 1991-1992 and was a resident assistant in Tyson Hall. Tina lives in West Chester with her husband Michael, also an alumnus, and their three children, Michael (11), Madeline (8), and Grace (4).

Ms. Joliene Ford, Class of 1996

Joliene earned a B.A. in communication studies. Following graduation, Joliene went to work for the National Museum of Women in the Arts where she served in a variety of event planning positions. In 2000, Joliene's career took her to the New York Philharmonic where she served as the associate director of special events and volunteer services. From January 2007- June 2007, she served as the special events manager for Helen Keller International. She is currently back at the New York Philharmonic as the board liaison and executive assistant to the chairman.

As a student at WCU, Joliene was involved in the Abbe Society, Brian's Run and Student Activities Council. She also served as chair of the homecoming committee and vice-president of SGA. Joliene worked as an orientation leader and as a flag football referee. She was also awarded the honor of Who's Who Among University and College Students.

Joliene is an active volunteer with NY Cares, the Brooklyn Animal Rescue Center, and Young Democrats. She resides in NYC and is currently taking classes at the French Culinary Institute.

Mr. Daniel Harry, Class of 1990

Dan earned his B.S. in pre-physical therapy from WCU and went on to earn an M.S. in human resources management & labor relations from Michigan State University in 1995. Since then, Dan has traveled around the country implementing and selling software with SAP. He has worked for a variety of companies and is currently employed at the SAP headquarters in Newtown Square as an account manager.

While at WCU, Dan was a member of the Friar's Society and served that organization as treasurer and secretary. He is also a member of Phi Epsilon Kappa Fraternity and was the president and treasurer of Goshen Hall RHA. Dan also served as a resident assistant and an orientation leader and was also honored in Who's Who Among University and College Students.

Dan makes his home with Susan and their two golden retrievers, Kody and Elli, in Narberth, PA. He is an avid golfer and supports the on and off field endeavors of another Legacy of Leadership recipient's young athletes, John Nickolas' sons, John and Michael.

Mr. Reginald Nealy, Criminal Justice Professor

Reggie came to WCU in 1984 to teach in the department of criminal justice. Prior to that time, he not only was awarded a Purple Heart as a marine in Vietnam, but worked for the Pottstown Police Department and was a faculty member at Lincoln University.

Reggie was honored as the public citizen of the year from the National Association of Social Workers, was placed on the Pottstown High School "honor roll" and was commended by the FBI for his commitment to excellence in education.

At WCU, Reggie has served as the faculty advisor of the criminal justice society for 21 years and was a faculty advisor to Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, earning the distinction of outstanding chapter advisor. He also served the university as the chair of the university athletics advisory board, the university retention committee, student volunteer committee, and was an academic advisor to 85 students per year.

Reggie retired in December and is enjoying his time in North Carolina with his wife, Sharon. Two of his four children have attended WCU.

Dr. Paul Oliaro

Paul has served higher education in a variety of capacities. Early in his career, he was a resident director and an assistant director of residence hall programs at Michigan State, where he earned both his master's and doctorate degrees. From 1980-1993, Paul worked at the University of Vermont, first as the assistant dean of students and director of residential life and then at the assistant vice president for student affairs.

Paul came to WCU in 1993, serving as the vice-president for student affairs until 2002. While at WCU, Paul was the chair of the board of directors of SSI, the president's work group (drug and alcohol prevention) and the campus mediation advisory board. He also served as president of the American College Personnel Association and was a contributor to the publication, "Principles of Good Practice in Student Affairs," a statement that guides the work of student affairs practitioners today. In August of 2002, Paul left WCU and went to serve as the vice-president for student affairs and dean of students at California State University, Fresno (CA). He also serves as the chairperson for the California State University Athletic Corporation Board. Paul has received many commendations, most notable in 2003, the ACPA award for excellence in practice.

Paul lives in California with his wife Kathy. They have two children and four grandchildren.

Mr. Patrick Regan, Class of 1989

After receiving his B.A. in economics, Patrick held various sales and sales management positions. He worked for 3M Company and Corporate Express before taking a position with Ernst & Young, first in their health care area and most recently covering two of the firm's Office of the Chairman (OCA) clients in the private equity area as a business development executive.

While at WCU, Patrick was elected treasurer and subsequently president of Ramsey Hall. He continued his leadership involvement as RHA president, vice president of SGA and eventually president of SGA.

Patrick makes his home in North Jersey with his wife, Linda, two daughters, Sara (7) and Hannah (4) and his 11 year old Yellow Lab, Chester (named after WCU!) He is an active volunteer in his community coaching soccer and delivering chili to those that are in need.

Mrs. Elizabeth (Corey) Shimer, Class of 1989

Liz graduated with a B.S. in business management with a minor in organizational psychology and obtained a master's degree in human resource management from Rutgers University. Upon graduation, Liz started her career with Prudential Securities in NYC as a personnel administrator and progressed to associate vice-president of human resources. She then moved to PricewaterhouseCoopers and PwC Consulting where she functioned in a variety of human capital roles. Currently, Liz is a leader in the talent management function at Harris Corporation in Florida. In addition to her corporate experience, Liz has owned her own human capital consulting company, Talent Innovations, LLC.

As a student, Liz was a member and officer of Zeta Tau Alpha, president of Inter-Greek Council and a Rho Chi (rush advisor) for Panhellenic Council. She also worked in Sykes Student Union, was a founding member of Order of Omega and was honored as Greek Woman of the Year in 1988.

Liz lives in Tampa, FL with her husband, Scott, and daughter, Stephanie (6) and their two "not-so-designer" dogs, Ally, a Shih Tzu and Brandy, a Labradoodle. She is a member of the United Way of Tampa Bay's Women's Leadership Council and a number of other volunteer organizations.

Mr. John Stoddart, Class of 1993

John received a B.S. in economics and also a masters of business in economics and finance in May 1999. Following graduation, John was employed by First National Bank of Chester County as a shareholder relations officer. In 2000, John was promoted to the vice-president and portfolio manager at First National's wealth management division.

As a student at WCU, John was the chapter president of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. He was the vice-president of the Black Greek Council as well as a member of the cross county/indoor & outdoor track team. John also served in a paraprofessional position as a desk assistant in Tyson Hall.

John is actively involved in his community. He was a long time member of the West Chester Rotary Club, a former board member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeastern PA and a member and former treasurer of the WCU Alumni Association. John lives in Wilmington, DE.

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