At the annual Penn State Schuylkill Alumni Society Awards dinner on March 16, a longstanding faculty member and two Penn State alumni were recognized with campus awards.
David G. Norris, instructor in business administration, was presented with the Honorary Alumni Award. This award is intended to honor an individual for significant contributions towards the University's welfare, reputation, or prestige. Norris earned a bachelor of science degree in economics with a minor in psychology from St. Lawrence University in 1967, and an M.B.A. with a concentration in marketing from Cornell University in 1973. He served in the U.S. Naval Officer Corps from 1968-1971, which included a tour of duty as an intelligence officer in Vietnam. For his service, Norris was awarded the Combat V for Valor.
"To develop continuing, mutually beneficial relationships with my students, faculty colleagues, administrative staff, and community leaders for the purpose of sharing knowledge and experience; providing guidance and expertise through teaching, advising, and consulting; as well as involvement in meaningful campus relationships and community service activities is how I would describe my professional responsibilities as a Penn State Schuylkill faculty member," said Norris. "But what has been most rewarding is knowing that through my ongoing efforts, I have been able to effectively connect with my students."
Michael Navarra was selected for the Outstanding Young Alumni Award, which is intended to honor alumni 35 years or younger who are achieving success in their chosen field, and who are make admirable contributions within their communities.
Navarra's career as a publicist reflects the dedication of the groundbreaking artists he's championed over the years. After graduating from Penn State in 2008 with a bachelor of arts degree in Communications-Telecommunications, he broke into the music business as an intern for Columbia Records when he was drafted into their Big Red internship program. His success in the program propelled him into the wheelhouse of Columbia's publicity department, where he earned a full-time position as digital publicist in 2009. By 2010, Navarra refined his acumen in the digital space to include creating comprehensive campaigns across various media platforms, propelling himself to the role of director of publicity. In 2011, he was assigned to the campaign for the then-unknown group One Direction. Within three months, the United Kingdom band exploded, with Navarra finding himself in the midst of his first truly global campaign, working the front lines of one of the decade's most phenomenal pop success stories. Recognized by his peers as innovative and resourceful, he has also played a role in helping to steward the media campaigns of Juicy J, T.I, MKTO, Ella Henderson, Little Mix, and the music soundtrack from the Fox TV show "Empire," among others. In fall 2015, Navarra was named one of Billboards 5 Up-and-Coming Young Music Power Players to Watch as part of their Billboard 40 under 40 profile. Navarra is currently based in the Sony Music Building in Beverly Hills, California.
Col. Barry L Shoop, 1980, was recognized as the Outstanding Alumni Award recipient, the highest honor that Penn State Schuylkill Alumni Society bestows. The award is intended to recognize and salute the achievements of outstanding alumni whose personal lives, professional achievements, and community service exemplify the objectives of their alma mater. He earned his bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Penn State in 1980, a master's degree in electrical engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in 1986, a master's degree in national security and strategic studies from the U.S. Naval War College in 2002, and a doctorate in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 1992.
Shoop, is a professor of electrical engineering and the head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the United States Military Academy at West Point. During his 20 years at West Point, he has served in a number of leadership positions including director of the Electrical Engineering Program and director of the Photonics Research Center. In his current role, he is responsible for an undergraduate academic department with more than 79 faculty and staff, supporting Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology Inc. (ABET) accredited programs in electrical engineering, computer science, and information technology, serving more than 2,300 students annually.
His military assignments include science adviser to the director and chief scientist of the Joint IED Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, a $4.5 billion organization addressing the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) challenge worldwide. He also served as the chief of the Afghanistan Military Academy Implementation Support Team assisting the Afghanistan government build a military academy modeled after West Point. Earlier in his career he served as a senior electronics engineer at the U.S. Army Foreign Science and Technology Center and an electronics engineer for the Defense Satellite Communication System Earth Terminal.
He is currently the 54th president and CEO of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), the largest technical professional society in the world, with more than 430,000 members in over 160 countries worldwide. He has also served on the board of directors of the Optical Society of America (OSA) and the board of directors of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). He is a Fellow of the IEEE, OSA, the International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE), and a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Eta Kappa Nu, and Sigma Xi. He received the 2013 IEEE Haraden Pratt Medal, the 2013 SPIE Educator Award, and the 2008 OSA Robert E. Hopkins Leadership Award. He holds a patent on photonic analog-to-digital conversion, and has authored more than 150 archival publications as well as 8 books and book chapters. He is a licensed professional engineer in the state of Virginia.