Penn State Harrisburg recognizes outstanding alumni achievement
Penn State Harrisburg recently announced the recipients of annual awards for the achievements of college graduates. A graduate from each of the college’s five academic schools has been recognized for outstanding professional achievement.
A virtual award recognition ceremony took place on October 8.
Here are the biographies of the five recipients.
Rita Girondi 1973, 1979g
The School of Behavioral Sciences and Education has recognized Rita Girondi, President of Training Masters Inc. She leads a team with a combined experience of 20 years in the fields of education, technology , school management, business ownership, business leadership, sales and personnel. areas of training. Girondi spent nearly five decades as an education professional, including 12 years as a teacher before moving on to leadership roles in schools in Pennsylvania and California. She formed the Thompson Learning Corporation in 1995, where she served as President and CEO for seven years until the schools became part of Kaplan Higher Education. She started Training Masters Inc. in 2002. Girondi is a strong advocate for community fundraising events, having been co-chair of IO Silver Hearts and Style and Strong events for a decade. These events helped raise nearly $ 2 million for Penn State Health’s Cardiovascular Specialty Clinic. She is the recipient of the President’s Award from National Education Centers and the recipient of the Pennsylvania Businesswoman’s Award. Girondi received a BA in Humanities and MA in Education and Curriculum Studies from Penn State Harrisburg, his Certificate in Educational Administration from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Doctorate in Education from Temple University.
Brian Rusignuolo 2013g
The School of Business Administration honored Brian Rusignuolo, Chief Information Officer and Senior Vice President of Select Medical Group Corporation. He provides technology vision and strategy to one of the largest specialist acute and post-acute care providers in the country. Select’s network includes more than 130 hospitals specializing in acute long-term care, as well as more than 1,700 outpatient clinics that provide physiotherapy and occupational therapy services. He joined Select Medical in 2001 where he developed talent and mentored leaders within the Information Services team. Rusignuolo is the Treasurer of the Board of Directors of the Technology Council of Central Pennsylvania and is a member of the Penn State Harrisburg IT Advisory Council. He is also a member of the University of Harrisburg IT Professional Development Council of Advisors. Rusignuolo graduated from Gettysburg College and received his MBA from Penn State Harrisburg.
Carol Schaubhut 1991
Carol Schaubhut, owner of Steri-Clean Maryland / Delaware, is this year’s School of Humanities recipient. His company is a leading specialist in biohazard cleanup, crime scene and hoarding in the Maryland and Delaware area. The goal of Steri-Clean Maryland / Delaware is to help those affected by hoarding by providing individuals with the tools and skills to live a clutter-free life. More recently, Schaubhut and his company played an important role in cleaning up many schools, office buildings and government sites during the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to Steri-Clean, Schaubhut worked for an IT placement company after a 21-year career in audio-visual radio that included stints in Dallas, Texas, Allentown, Pennsylvania, and Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She received a BS in Humanities from Penn State Harrisburg after receiving her Associate’s degree in Mass Communication from Harrisburg Area Community College.
La-Verna Fountain 1983
The School of Public Affairs honored La-Verna Fountain, Founder and President of Meaningful Communications Matter, LLC. Her organization uses the training to focus on bridging the gap in misunderstandings at home, in the community and in the workplace and on developing intentional and healthy dialogue. Previously, she was Vice President of Strategic Communications and Construction Business Initiatives at Columbia University, where she led internal and external communications for the university’s largest administrative office, consisting of 2,000 people, and administered a number of award-winning programs and products designed to strengthen businesses owned by minorities, women and local interests. She is currently an instructor at Columbia School of Professional Studies. Fountain is a former senior advisor to Save the Children, an international children’s aid organization serving low-income rural and urban communities across the country. She began a government career in Pennsylvania, becoming the first black and the first female press secretary / public information officer for the Pennsylvania State Police. A U.S. Army veteran and author of two books, Fountain received her M.Sc. in Negotiations and Conflict Resolution from Columbia, her B.A. in Public Policy from Penn State Harrisburg, and her Associate’s Degree in Police Administration from Harrisburg Area Community University.
David Ellis 1991
David Ellis, President and CEO of Entergy New Orleans, LLC, has been recognized by the School of Science, Engineering and Technology. His role includes overseeing the financial and operational performance of the company, customer service, regulatory and government relations, economic development programs, communications, charitable contributions and environmental policy. Ellis has nearly 30 years of experience providing global reliability solutions and clean energy technologies, having served as President of New Jersey-based Global Power Technologies. He has also held a number of leadership roles at energy-focused companies including demand response company Comverge and its wholly owned subsidiary Clean Power Markets. Its current organization supplies electricity and natural gas to hundreds of thousands of consumers. Ellis has written and contributed to various professional publications and newsletters, as well as presented in several national venues including the Edison Electric Institute, the National APPA Conference for Colleges and Universities, and the World Energy Engineering Conference. He received his MBA from Eastern University after receiving a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Penn State Harrisburg. He has also completed certificate-based courses at Drexel University and the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
To nominate a Penn State Harrisburg graduate for a future Alumni Achievement Award, contact the Alumni Office.