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Alumni Awards

Each year, awards are presented to our alumni. These are presented to an individual or individuals who “have completed at least 10 years of faithful and profitable Christian service vocation.”


Honoring Alumni Serving Around the World

The Clarks Summit University Alumni Association presents special alumni awards each fall at the annual Alumni Bible Conference. The Alumnus of the Year, Outstanding Service Award, Young Alumnus Service Award and Athletic Hall of Honor recognizes those among us deserving of special honor.

God has greatly used many of our alumni around the world in a variety of capacities to bring honor and glory to His name. The Alumnus of the Year has been presented every year since 1967, the Outstanding Service Awards were first given in 1984 and the Young Alumnus Service Award was first given in 2016.

It is the great privilege and responsibility of the alumni family to participate in the selection of the annual alumni award recipients.

You may also contact the Alumni Department at 570.585.9202 or The deadline for nominations is May 31 each year. The Alumni Executive Council makes the final award selections. Members review all nominations.


Alumnus of the Year Award

Each year, one individual is awarded the Alumnus of the Year Award. Clarks Summit University alumni nominate individuals during the spring. The Alumni Association Council selects the award winner.

Candidates must have:

  • Received a degree from Clarks Summit University.
  • Completed at least 10 years of faithful and profitable Christian service in their profession.
  • Demonstrated loyalty to Clarks Summit University, its programs and/or its students or graduates.
  • Cultivated an evident pursuit of Christ-centered thinking and daily lifestyle that honors Him.
  • Hold an evident dedication to developing the life of Christ in others.


Outstanding Service Award

Each year, four individuals are awarded Outstanding Service Awards. Clarks Summit University alumni nominate individuals during the spring. The Alumni Association Council selects the award winners.

Candidates must have:

  • Received a degree from Clarks Summit University.
  • Maintained a quality association with Clarks Summit University for at least 10 years.
  • Cultivated an evident pursuit of Christ-centered thinking and daily lifestyle that honors Him.
  • Hold an evident dedication to developing the life of Christ in others.

A few examples of ministry/professional areas of potential award winners are: Pastor, youth pastor, educator, missionary, deacon, women’s ministry leader, lay worker, counselor, other significant ministry.


Young Alumnus Award

Each year, one individual is awarded the Young Alumnus Award. Clarks Summit University alumni nominate individuals during the spring. The Alumni Association Council selects the award winner.

Candidates must have:

  • Received a degree from Clarks Summit University within the past five years.
  • Cultivated an evident pursuit of Christ-centered thinking and daily lifestyle that honors Him.
  • An evident dedication to developing the life of Christ in others.


Athletics Hall of Honor

Clarks Summit University’s Defender Athletics program established The Hall of Honor in 2006. The distinction recognizes former student-athletes, coaches, administrators, special individuals and teams. Membership is based on excellence in athletic achievement and demonstrated Christ-centered values while involved in the university’s athletics programs.

Induction is the highest athletic honor the university bestows. Membership not only recognizes extraordinary achievement, it also sets an example of the distinct Christ-centered values and attributes the Clarks Summit University athletic programs desires to cultivate in present and future participants.

Visit the CSU Defender Athletic site for details.

Alumni Awards
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Alumni Award Recipients

Alumnus of the Year Award Recipients

2020 Alumna of the Year

Barb Peil
Alumna of the Year award Barb Peil Peil’s foundation for ministry began at home. Raised in Poughkeepsie, New York, she made a profession of faith at an early age. Wanting to serve Him in career ministry led her to Clarks Summit University in 1981. A Bible major with an emphasis in Secondary Education English, Peil was inducted into the Alpha Gamma Epsilon Honor Society, served as a resident assistant in Barndollar Hall and was on the Student Leadership Council.

Following her graduation from CSU in 1985, Peil earned a Master of Arts in Christian Education in 1987, becoming one of Dallas Theological Seminary’s first female graduates.

Over the next 30 years, Peil used her Bible training to serve God capably and confidently in what she calls “ministry investments.” Initially, she taught students how to communicate and write—both in high school and then as adjunct faculty at Biola University and The Master’s College. For 11 years, she served the Lord at “Insight for Living,” the radio ministry of Chuck Swindoll, and then later for seven years at “Walk in the Word.” Peil also came alongside communicators and pastors, helping to take their message from spoken word to the page.

“Writing has never been the objective for me—it’s how to best get out the message,” admits Peil.

A gifted communicator, educator and writer, Peil has written for prominent pastors and has been a go-to editor for several Christian publishers, like Zondervan, Moody, LifeWay, Worthy Media and Thomas Nelson. Just last year, the YouVersion app invited her to write several devotional plans, which have since been downloaded more than 100,000 times.

Peil has also served the Lord with ELIC, traveling to more than five countries helping teachers get placed in spiritually dark areas of the world. With an eye toward global ministry, she also helped Prison Fellowship International with communication strategies. Today, Peil serves as vice president of communications at Thru the Bible, the radio ministry of Dr. J. Vernon McGee. She recently began condensing the content of 1,300 studies, which have aired on Christian radio for over 50 years, and making them accessible as written summaries. “I couldn’t do this without my training from CSU and DTS,” said Peil. “We’re taking God’s whole Word to the whole world—same message, new mediums.”

“In these years of ministry, I’ve left my heart all over the globe—mostly by sharing God’s Word through Christian radio and publishing with people I’ll meet around the table in heaven someday,” said Peil. “In my freshman year, I filled out Jesse Eaton’s commitment card: ‘Yes, I am willing to go into overseas missions.’ The answer has always been ‘yes,’ but the path has been unexpected…The secret, I am learning, is being willing to take the next step with Jesus, day by day. And let His Word—with applied Principles of Bible Study methods—build your confidence in what you hope for, in things you are certain of, but cannot see. Follow every thread, and you’ll find Jesus. Follow Jesus, and you’ll find life.”

Previous Alumnus of the Year recipients:
2019 — Jack Spates
2018 — Jeff Howell
2017 — Mel Walker
2016 — Kelly Haight
2015 — Marty Dittmar
2014 – Glen Lavy, Esq.
2013 – Cheryl Fawcett
2012 – Rev. Jim Showers
2011 – Dr. Paul Plew
2010 – Jeff Hash
2009 – Chaplain James E. May III
2008 – Dr. David Crandall
2007 – Dr. James M Grier
2006 – Donald Trott
2005 – R. Eldon Brock
2004 – Floyd Donald Drake, Sr.
2003 – Carl Elgena
2002 – Charles Ware
2001 – Robert Gromacki
2000 – R. Craig Golden
1999 – David McClain
1998 – Ken Rudolph
1997 – Jesse Eaton
1996 – David L. Moore
1995 – Charles Vermilyea
1994 – Willard Stull
1993 – Benjamin McGrew
1992 – Gordon Lewis
1991 – Wilbur Strader
1990 – Manfred Kober
1989 – Austin Plew
1988 – Robert Hayden
1987 – Helen Finch
1986 – Harold & Patricia Miller
1985 – John White, Jr.
1984 – Nina & V. Ben Kendrick
1983 – G. Heath Bobbett
1982 – Friedhelm Loescher
1981 – Mark Jackson
1980 – Kenneth Elgena
1979 – Bernard Bancroft
1978 – G. Arthur Woolsey
1977 – Mead Armstrong
1976 – Daniel Gelatt
1975 – Ruth Haycock
1973 – Cass Santos
1972 – Jessica Minns
1970 – Douglas Christen
1969 – Albert Williams
1968 – James Jeremiah
1967 – Merle Hull

Alumni Outstanding Service Award Recipients

2020 Outstanding Service Award Recipients

Gina Ruby (’86)
Gina Ruby Outstanding Alumni Award God led Ruby to Clarks Summit University from Kalispell Montana in 1982. Gifted musically, Ruby chose CSU because of their outstanding bible teaching and music program. She was a member of Chamber Singers for all four years and traveled on a gospel team. She graduated in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science in Bible, Music and Elementary Education.

After graduation, Ruby moved to San Diego, California, where she served two years on staff at Christian Heritage College. She married a pastor, and they were involved in youth ministry from 1988 to 2002.

In 2002, life took an abrupt turn. Her marriage ended unexpectedly. It was during these darkest days, God gave Ruby the verse Nehemiah 1:8, and she adopted “choose joy” as her mission to get through life’s tough storms. During that time, Ruby did volunteer missions work in Uganda, Brazil, Bolivia, Mexico and the Dominican Republic. She sang, took up ballroom dancing and focused on creating her dream of a health and wellness career.

“Even if we have a day job in the secular workplace, we are still called by God to do missions,” Ruby said. “As I live my life, my work has become my mission field. Our community is our mission field. The secular workplace can be a forgotten mission field, and sometimes we truly are the only Bible some people will ever read.”

In 2006 Ruby married Andy. Ruby has been a certified health coach for the past 16 years and loves opportunities to integrate spiritual things into her coaching.

In 2018, Ruby was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. Through that experience, she found her firm foundation in God and trusted in His faithfulness and omnipotence as she clung to her “choose joy” philosophy. She used cancer as a platform to talk about the Lord with others, because as she said, “No one is going to tell a cancer patient to be quiet.” God chose to heal Ruby, and she is grateful for every day she gets with her husband Andy, enjoying life in California with her bonus daughter, son-in-law and grandson.

“’Choosing Joy’ has been my life buoy and anchor when yucky stuff happens,” Ruby said. “I especially needed that in 2019 when my brother Brandon was diagnosed with cancer and the Lord called him home.”

Ruby’s positive testimony through good and bad times, faithful witness for Jesus Christ and her loyal support of CSU has inspired many.

“The training at CSU is biblical and foundational training that carries students through the rest of their lives,” said Ruby. “All those great classes that I took built a foundation. They taught me about the Word of God. They showed me who I am and who Jesus is. That foundation carried me through the years. It gave me a love for vocational ministry. The foundation I got then set the whole trajectory of my life.”

Dr. Norman Peart (’83)
Outstanding service award Dr. Norman Peart In 1979 when Norman Peart arrived on campus at Clarks Summit University, he couldn’t imagine all God would call him to do. Raised in New York City, Peart came to Christ at the age of 14.

Saved without the context of the local church, Peart remembers having communion by himself, following instructions he saw on television. God led him to Evangel Baptist Church in Queens where he was discipled and grew. Encouraged to attend CSU by his pastor, John Mlynar, Peart planned to pursue missions. “Early on I realized that Christians were saved to serve, and it changed my whole focus,” Peart said.

At a Mission Conference, Peart heard Rev. Starlon Washington. Washington pointed out that countries who sent missionaries were not always leading vibrant ministries at home. It was there that Peart felt called to be a pastor and serve God in the local church. “You would think, at a missions’ conference, people would be called to go into missions. I, at a missions conference, felt called to go into the pastorate,” Peart said.

While at CSU, Peart served as president of the Pastoral Interest Fellowship, a member of the Student Leadership Council and a resident assistant in Christen Hall. He received the Preacher of the Year Award and was named Who’s Who Among American College and University Students.

Peart graduated in 1983, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Religious Education. He went on to earn Master of Divinity and Master of Theology degrees from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. He also earned a Doctor of Philosophy in sociology and urban studies from Michigan State University. During his years in Michigan he served on the pastoral staff of Community Bible Baptist Church in Grand Rapids.

Peart met his wife Carolyn at a wedding in Pennsylvania. They communicated long distance and still have their love letters that they sent each other over their courtship. They married in 1990 and have four sons.

With a burden to start a multi-cultural church, Peart began to pursue church planting.  “It’s amazing the way God put together the tapestry of my life in preparation for ministry,” he said.

In 1995, the Pearts planted Grace Bible Fellowship in Cary, North Carolina. The church grew under Peart’s leadership, and he currently serves as lead pastor. Peart has worked as a post-doc researcher and adjunct lecturer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is currently adjunct professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological College and Seminary and a volunteer chaplain with the Cary Police Department.

In 2015, Peart founded Building Bridges, a group that enhances community unity. He is the author of “Separate No More: Understanding and Developing Racial Reconciliation in Your Church.”

“I know now why my pastor pointed me in the direction of CSU. It was their strong, foundational teaching,” said Peart. “I got a heavy grounding in Bible. The Bible was real, and I saw it in the lives of people around me. It wasn’t just the Word, it was the Word communicated. I was influenced by great men like Dr. Emert and Dr. Carter. I learned to value history and the Bible. I learned to love the Church and that the Church not only has a history but a future, and I was going to get to be a part of it.”

Doug (’85) and Sharon Martin (’85, ’10)
Outstanding service award Doug and Sharon Martin Sharon McClain arrived on campus at Clarks Summit University at the age of five. The daughter of David and Janet McClain, who served in the Murphy Memorial Library for over 40 years, Sharon met Doug Martin from Detroit, Michigan while they were students at CSU. While a pastoral studies major, Doug played men’s varsity basketball under Coach Jim Huckaby. Sharon was a Fletcher Hall resident assistant and member of the Honor Society.

“Our favorite memories include playing on the men’s and women’s basketball teams and dorm life in Ridley and Fletcher,” said Sharon.

The Lord used a summer mission’s trip to Brazil with ABWE missionaries to call Doug and Sharon to missions. They graduated in 1985 and were married at Heritage Baptist Church by Rev. Milo Thompson.

Early in their marriage, Doug was a youth pastor, and Sharon was a Christian schoolteacher. The Martins moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where Doug completed his Master of Divinity degree in 1992. He served as an associate pastor at North Park Baptist Church, and Sharon taught at Bethel Christian School. They served together as resident directors at Grand Rapids Baptist College, now Cornerstone University. They welcomed three daughters during their time there.

In 1994 the Martins were commissioned by ABWE as career missionaries. They spent seven years church planting in Romania. Doug initiated the launch of the team’s translation ministry, camping ministry and the Church Ministries Institute for Lay Leader Training. Sharon led women’s ministries, discipled teen girls and taught at Bucharest Christian Academy.

In 2000, the Martins served in Hungary as part of ABWE’s Vision Team serving Central and Eastern Europe. Doug was the regional coordinator and also organized the Global Missions Forum to help pastors and churches in Central and Eastern Europe become missionary senders. Doug taught as adjunct professor at the College of Theology and Education in Chisinau, Moldova. Sharon served as an educator and later elementary school principal at the International Christian School of Budapest. Sharon was able to complete her Master of Arts in Education from CSU in 2010.

“As an educator, the value and importance of a biblical worldview cannot be overstated,” said Sharon. “It is the basis for everything we do. We need to think biblically in order to teach biblically.”

The Martins returned to the US in 2010 and settled in York, Pennsylvania, where they currently serve at ABWE International Headquarters. Doug is executive director for ABWE North America, which has evolved to become EveryEthne. Doug formulates vision and direction for the ministry, builds the leadership team and creates systems and tools to advance the Church in North America. Sharon serves in the president’s office as the executive administrator for board and legal operations.

“CSU prepared us well for ministry and gave us practical experience,” said Sharon.

Previous Outstanding Service Award recipients:
2019 — Gil Thomas, Dave Cunningham, Matt Pollock, Kathy Compton
2018 — Tammy Beideman, Ken Riley, Chris Brown
2017 — Michelle Hammaker, Craig Miller, Bill and Kathy Brittain
2016 — Derek Mosher, Dan Cruver, Mike Bacon
2015 — Tim Ahlgrim, Russ Schelling, Mark Stuenzi, Ruth Nearmyer Trott
2014 – Mark Meyers, Ray Rouse, John Saucier, Christine (Bujnak) Warner
2013 – John Frey, Kristi Walker, Dennis Wilhite
2012 – Rev. Doug & Cheryl Boisvert, Pastor Patrick McGoldrick, Sue Lodico, Sgt. George Peach
2011 – Fran Weddle, Dr. Robert Kelleman, Ruth Rising
2010 – Ken and Arlene Updyke, Richard Blades, Martin Eaton
2009 – Dr. Don Whipple, Sherrie Holloway, Michael and Kim Ryall
2008 – James R. Howell, Wanda Southworth Leffel, Dr. Colin Smith, Mel Walker
2007 – Dr. Steve Viars, Dr. Rodney Decker, Jane Schmitz, Darlene Knafel
2006 – Joseph Flatt, Kennard Mosher, Delores Woods, Wilbur & Nona Janowski
2005 – W. Robert Mattox, C. David Barrows, Doris Youmans, Martha Lentsch
2004 – Carl Hills, Harold Green, Elizabeth Jones, Mary Shellhammer
2003 – Glenn Seaver, RoseLee Bancroft, Carl & Wilma Abbott, Bob Marsh
2002 – Donald Shirk, Saleen McElwain, Tim & Barb Vermilyea, Donald Moffitt
2001 – Harold Comings, Ellen Glanville, Dick & Ruth Gelina, Eddy Smith
2000 – Chris Hindal, Robert Lightner, Tim & Helen Matchett, Jacquelyn Mitchell
1999 – Victor Decker, James Grier, J. Murray Murdoch, Larry & Jacqui Armstrong, Verna Hollenback
1998 – Terry Zebulske, David Boehning, Andy & Diane Large, Bethel McGrew
1997 – Richard Alhgrim, James Lytle, Polly Strong, Lena VanGilder
1996 – Barry Stewart, Cheryl Fawcett, Paul & Elaine Kintner, Gerald & Thelma Strope
1995 – Willis Hull, Christopher Davis, Fred & Rachel Whitman, Beryl Kach
1994 – James Jeffery, Earle Harriman, Linda Short,
1993 – Donald McCall, Richard Engle, Paul Weimer
1992 – James Vogel, David McClain, Donald Bond
1991 – Richard Christen, Joyce McNamee, George Chadwick, Beverly McElwain
1990 – Karl Smith, Valerie Wilson, Artus Larkin, Harry Dodd
1989 – R. Craig Golden, Clara Crumb deRosset, C. Lloyd Button
1988 – Floyd Drake, Martha Green, David Moore
1987 – R. Eldon Brock, Jesse Eaton, Carl Elgena, Donald Trott II
1986 – Marylou Brownell, Warren Birdsall, Benjamin McGrew, Charles Vermilyea
1985 – Charles Cuthbertson, Patricia Brannen, Robert Hayden, Robert Gromacki
1984 – Mary Thompson, Rev. & Mrs. M.O. Burman, David Layhe

Young Alumnus Award Recipients

2020 Young Alumnus Award

Nathan Miller (’15)

Young alumnus award Nathan Miller Nate Miller grew up in Lewistown, Pennsylvania and was raised by his parents, Bob and Christine Miller who encouraged him to get a college education at a Bible college.  In 2011, Nate attended Baptist Bible College/Clarks Summit University to study in the Communications program with an emphasis in writing and went on to graduate in 2015. During his time as a student he played for the men’s collegiate soccer team, worked various jobs on-campus, served as a Bancroft Resident Assistant under Frank Judson, and served with the local Mission Scranton ministry under the then BBS Dean, Dr. Mike Stallard.

Becoming involved with Mission Scranton opened Nate’s eyes to the major needs to reach the children and youth in the inner-city of Scranton. It was during his time as a student and serving in ministry that he grew in his passion for his relationship with God and local missions. During his senior year, he felt called by God to make Scranton his new home and become bi-vocational to continue serving with Mission Scranton. Two days after walking across the CSU commencement stage, he began working full-time at CSU in the Mail Center and Marketing Department and stepped into leadership for Mission Scranton.

In the past 5 years, Nate has worked with many student employment teams on campus as well as developing Mission Scranton ministry teams with mostly CSU students every school year and summer. Nate said, “God has blessed me with wonderful opportunities to do life with college and inner-city students and point them back to the hope I have in Jesus Christ. Back in college, I did not imagine God using a simple-insecure-small town guy like me to be part of his work.” Nate served in different leadership capacities with Mission Scranton as he led initiatives to start new programs and develop additional ministry teams that has grown as high as 40+ volunteers. He now serves as the Executive Director of Mission Scranton and Marketing Services Coordinator of CSU. He is working towards serving as a full-time local missionary with Mission Scranton, and continuing a partnership with CSU to disciple the college students while mobilizing them to reach inner-city Scranton for Christ.

Previous Young Alumnus Award recipients:
2019 — Chris Kish
2018 — Aleisha Buchanan
2017 — Aaron Hixson
2016 — Christian and Katie Attlesey




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