Four New Members Join Duquesne University's Century Club
Four new members of the Century Club of Distinguished Duquesne University Alumni were inducted on Oct. 11.
The Century Club was established during Duquesne's 100th anniversary in 1978 to recognize graduates with exemplary records of professional achievement and service to the University and their communities. Of the nearly 100,000 alumni since 1878, only 321 have been admitted to its elite ranks.
The 2013 class of Century Club inductees are: the Rev. James P. McCloskey of Bensalem; Lisette "Mimi" McCormick of Regent Square; Robert Wanovich of Shaler Township; Sr. Linda Yankoski of Emsworth.
Their biographies follow.
Rev. James P. McCloskey, C.S.Sp., Ph.D., Arts 1974
President, Holy Ghost Preparatory School
As a child, McCloskey walked to elementary school past the gates of Holy Ghost Prep in suburban Philadelphia. Most of his vocation has been spent in service to Holy Ghost Prep and to Duquesne University, which he attended as a Spiritan seminarian.
Following his ordination in 1980, McCloskey spent three years as a missionary in Paraguay. In 1984, he became pastor of St. Mark the Evangelist in Harlem, one of the first African-American Catholic congregations in the Archdiocese of New York. He administered the parish and its elementary school and was a chaplain at Harlem Hospital.
He was appointed headmaster of Holy Ghost Prep in 1990. While many Catholic schools struggled to survive, Holy Ghost Prep thrived under his leadership, realizing significant improvements in infrastructure and curriculum, and notable gains in enrollment, endowment and reputation. He was named president of the school in 2001.
In 2002, he returned to Duquesne as Vice President for University Relations, laying the groundwork for the Advancing Our Legacy campaign and setting the stage for growth in the University's development, alumni relations and public affairs offices.
In 2003, he was named Provincial Superior of the Spiritans in the eastern United States; the next year he was elected to the General Council of the Congregation, based in Rome, specializing in the area of education. There, he was actively involved with schools at all levels, including Duquesne, Holy Ghost Prep, emerging institutions of higher learning in Africa, and elementary schools in impoverished communities spanning six continents.
In 2009, he again returned to Duquesne, this time as Vice President for Mission and Identity. His tenure was marked by expansion across the division, which now encompasses Spiritan Campus Ministry, the Center for Catholic Intellectual Tradition and the Center for Spiritan Studies. He was instrumental in the development of Duquesne's Center for the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, the establishment and recruitment of new endowed chairs in Mission Studies and African Studies, and the implementation of the Mission and African aspects of the University's current Strategic Plan.
McCloskey returned to Holy Ghost Prep for a second term as president in July.
He holds advanced degrees from the Catholic Theological Union, Weston School of Theology and Fordham University. He has served on the boards of Holy Ghost Prep, Duquesne University, the Catholic Theological Union and Holy Family Institute.
Lisette M. "Mimi" McCormick, Esq., Law 1981
Executive Director, Pennsylvania Interbranch Commission for Racial and Gender Fairness
McCormick earned a bachelor's degree from Penn State University in 1976 and worked for two years as a special assistant to the president of the National Urban Coalition in Washington, D.C., before beginning legal studies at Duquesne.
After graduation, she joined the Neighborhood Legal Services Association, and later clerked with the Pennsylvania Superior Court and served as an Allegheny County assistant public defender and special deputy attorney general and assistant counsel for the state Department of Environmental Protection. She entered private practice with Tabakin, Carroll & Curtis in 1991, representing clients in civil litigation with an emphasis on employment discrimination, civil rights and environmental cases.
In 2000, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court selected McCormick to serve as executive director of its 10-member Committee on Racial and Gender Bias in the Justice System, overseeing a three-year study and $750,000 budget.
After the committee produced its report containing 173 recommendations for improving fairness and access, the Interbranch Commission for Racial and Gender Fairness was established in 2004-with McCormick named as its leader.
She continues her work to implement the committee's recommendations and study other related issues. Her efforts have examined racial, ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in the imposition of the death penalty, ensured the availability of language interpreters in both judicial and administrative proceedings, improved the quality of defense for the indigent, and shed light on the reality of human trafficking across Pennsylvania.
McCormick has served as an adjunct professor in Duquesne's Law School since 2007 and arranges internships for Duquesne Law students with the Interbranch Commission.
She serves on the boards of the National Consortium on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts and the Program for Female Offenders, and volunteers her time to represent victims of domestic violence for the Neighborhood Legal Services Association.
The 2012 recipient of the Allegheny County Bar Association's Carol Los Mansmann Helping Hand Award, McCormick has received additional honors from the American Civil Liberties Union, the Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Trial Lawyers, the Women and Girls Foundation and the Homer S. Brown Law Association.
Robert T. Wanovich, Pharm.D., Pharmacy 1989, Graduate Pharmacy 1991
Vice President for Market Strategy and Delivery, Highmark Inc.
After earning undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Mylan School of Pharmacy, Wanovich began his career as a clinical pharmacy specialist in internal medicine with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. In 1993, he joined Intell-Rx, a local entrepreneurial venture that developed software allowing health providers to track the medications prescribed to patients, thus preventing clinical errors and drug interactions.
He joined Highmark in 1995 as manager of Clinical Services and Product Development, and was promoted to director of Clinical Pharmacy Services in 2005. During this period, he conducted extensive research, producing a dozen publications and making more than 40 presentations in industry forums. His work combined rigorous pharmaceutical inquiry with keen understanding of evolving business principles in managed care and benefits.
In 2006, he was named Highmark's vice president for pharmacy affairs, overseeing all clinical, financial, strategic and operational aspects of the company's prescription drug benefit and specialty pharmacy programs, a nearly $3 billion annual operation. Nearly five years later, Wanovich became vice president for market strategy and delivery, integrating provider and clinical strategies across all of Highmark's core markets.
Wanovich has testified before legislative bodies, including the Pennsylvania Senate Banking and Insurance Committee, on policy issues such as mail-order pharmacy restrictions, and is active on a national level with the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Association, the American Pharmaceutical Association and the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy.
He has twice led Highmark's corporate fundraising efforts on behalf of the United Way, and assists the North Hills Community Outreach and Variety, the Children's Charity.
Wanovich has been an adjunct assistant professor in Duquesne's Pharmacy School since 1995 and previously taught at the University of Pittsburgh's School of Pharmacy. He has been keynote speaker at Duquesne's White Coat Ceremony and spring Commencement.
Currently a member of Duquesne University's Alumni Board of Governors and the Pharmacy Dean's Advisory Board, he was previously a member of the Pharmacy Alumni Association Board. Wanovich received the Pharmacy School's Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2007 and the School's Gerard J. Wolf President's Award in 2002.
Sister Linda Yankoski, CSFN, Ed.D., Graduate Education 2003
President, Holy Family Institute
Yankoski joined the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth in 1972. After completing religious studies, she was assigned to work at the Holy Family Institute as a social work intern in 1975, beginning a 38-year career with the institute.
She received her bachelor's degree in social work from the University of Pittsburgh in 1978 and a master's in administration from Notre Dame in 1982. She pursued doctoral studies in education at Duquesne while serving in her current position.
Yankoski implemented new programs and services to meet changing community needs. Establishing one of Allegheny County's first independent living programs for youth, she opened seven group homes and developed a family preservation program in which counselors worked with children and families across Allegheny and Armstrong counties.
Appointed executive director in 1988, she set out to secure national accreditation, which was granted in 1990. She continued to expand the scope of services provided, introducing special education day schools, an alternative education program, school-based mental health services, family therapy services, and a program offering low-income families assistance with paying energy bills. In 2001, she was named president.
In this role, she has continued to adapt in turbulent times, implementing a violence prevention initiative and establishing a workforce development program. When refugee children came to Pittsburgh following Haiti's devastating earthquake in 2010, the Institute took in 12 orphans, developing a comprehensive program-including preschool and elementary education-to help these and other unaccompanied children.
In 2011, the institute launched an international college preparatory program, through which dozens of international students now live on its campus and study in local Catholic high schools. Last year, Holy Family Institute implemented a new approach to residential treatment, designed to help reduce recidivism among juvenile offenders.
Recently elected as chair of Catholic Charities USA, Yankoski has also served on the boards of the Council on Accreditation, Families International, the Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern Pennsylvania, and Community Care Behavioral Health. She sat on Duquesne's board for 10 years, serving as vice chair, and remains an emeritus member.
Her honors include the Diocese of Pittsburgh's Manifesting the Kingdom Award, Woman of Spirit Award from Carlow University, Champions for Children Award from the Homeless Children's Education Fund, Campfire USA Award, and Woman of the Year in Religion from Vectors Pittsburgh. In 2011, she was recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for her efforts on behalf of Haitian refugee children.
Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic research universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. The University is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review for its rich academic programs in nine schools of study for nearly 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and by the Washington Monthly for service and contributing to students' social mobility. Duquesne is a member of the U.S. President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for its contributions to Pittsburgh and communities around the globe. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Princeton Review's Guide to Green Colleges acknowledge Duquesne's commitment to sustainability.