Alumni Awards

View the 2021 Alumni Awards virtual ceremony here.

On Tuesday, August 31, 2021, King’s College President Rev. Thomas Looney, C.S.C., Ph.D. conferred Alumni Awards upon five distinguished alumni who have demonstrated remarkable contributions to their professional fields, to the communities in which they live, and to King’s College. Members of the faculty, staff, administration, and alumni assisted the president in the selection process from among nominees submitted by alumni and friends of the College. Alumni Awards are typically presented annually during the College’s Commencement Weekend. Due to the global pandemic, the King’s College 2021 Alumni Awards ceremony was held in a virtual environment.

The 2021 Alumni Award Recipients are: Dr. PJ Utz '86 - Outstanding Professional Achievement Award (Arts & Sciences); Mr. Michael Bukosky '75 - Outstanding Professional Achievement Award (Business); Mrs. Marian Palmeri '77 - Robert J. Ell Award for Outstanding Service to Alma Mater; Dr. Daniel Simpson '13 - Service to Society; and Dr. Jaclyn Beck, PA-C '16 - The Leo Award.

The Awards for Outstanding Professional Achievement (Arts and Sciences and Business) honor alumni who have distinguished themselves through exceptional professional achievement. Dr. PJ Utz '86 is a professor of medicine and associate dean for medical student research at Stanford University School of Medicine. A native of Roaring Brook Township, Pa., Utz graduated from King’s College in 1986 with his Bachelor of Science in Biology. He also minored in English, philosophy, and chemistry. He received numerous awards while at King’s, including the Center for Independent Living Award, the Regina Award for Biology, and the CRC Chemistry Award. Utz graduated from Stanford University School of Medicine in 1991, and after finishing his medical degree, completed a short-track residency in internal medicine and rheumatology at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Mass. He joined the Stanford faculty in 1999. Utz is an expert in the development of multiplexed assays for studying autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), connective tissue diseases, type 1 diabetes, and immunodeficiency disorders. Through his collaborative research and work, he has contributed to the use of protein arrays in clinical trials and the development and human testing of tolerizing DNA vaccines for type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Utz also serves as the director of Stanford’s NIAID-funded Autoimmunity Center of Excellence, as the principal investigator (PI) of the Accelerating Medicines Partnership RA/SLE Leadership Center, and as a co-PI for an NIAID influenza vaccine program. In addition to his work as a researcher, Utz is a dedicated and innovative educator who founded Stanford Institutes of Medical Research, one of the nation’s largest and most-respected immersive high school research programs. Utz has held the positions of associate director, co-director, and director of the Medical Scientist Training Program at Stanford since 2008. He has been awarded faculty teaching awards in the Department of Medicine and in the Immunology Interdepartmental Ph.D. Program. More than 60 scientists and 14 thesis students have benefitted from Utz’s teaching and mentorship, and he has served on more than 70 Ph.D. thesis committees. Utz has served on numerous boards, advisory committees, and community organizations including the Arthritis National Research Foundation, on which he is a current board member. He currently resides in Portolo Valley, Ca. with his wife of 28 years, Heidrun, with whom he has raised two children, Ashley and Oliver.

Mr. Michael W. Bukosky ’75 is a leader in the healthcare industry, with more than forty years of progressive financial, administrative, and executive experience working in healthcare settings. A native of Nanticoke, Pa., Bukosky earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Accounting from King’s College in 1975. He later earned his Master’s in Healthcare Administration in 1987 from Southwest Texas State University, where he also served as an adjunct professor. His professional life began at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital as an assistant administrator in Patient Financial Services, and he quickly rose to the role of executive director of the Scott and White Clinic, a multispecialty, physician-led organization. Building on his experience there, he was later named executive vice president and chief administration officer at the Carle Clinic Association, and later, chief executive officer of University of Louisville Physicians. He has also served as chief administrative officer of USMD Holdings, Inc. and president of USMD Physician Practice Management. Throughout his expansive career in healthcare administration, Bukosky has had the opportunity to mentor and develop hundreds of young healthcare leaders and executives. He currently serves as president and chief operations officer of US Specialist Management. Bukosky has served as a fellow in the American College of Medical Group Practice Administrators. He has also served on the Executive Committee of the American Medical Group Association from 2009-2013 and held the position of Chairman of the Board in 2013. He was elected to the King’s College Board of Directors in October of 2019.  Bukosky and his wife, Judy Dalmas Bukosky ’75, have three children, Tara, Craig, and Brooke, and they are grandparents to two granddaughters, Vivienne and Virginia. After their son, Craig, passed away from leukemia at age 12 in 1995, Bukosky organized his first junior golf tournament in Craig’s honor for golfers 7-18, a tradition that has continued for more than 25 years. In addition to his love of golf, Bukosky is a highly competitive racquetball and softball player. Bukosky currently resides in Temple, Texas.

The Robert J. Ell Alumni Award for Outstanding Service to Alma Mater is named for Robert J. Ell '50, the first Director of Alumni Relations at King's College, and is conferred upon an alumnus or alumna for extraordinary service, dedication, and commitment to King's College. Mrs. Marian Palmeri ’77 has had and continues to have many important affiliations with King’s College. She began her time at King’s as an undergraduate student and graduated in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. She then became a loyal alumna and volunteer, and in 1999, transitioned to a staff member who has worked at the College for 22 years. Palmeri currently serves as the director of institutional research, a position she has held since 2002. Palmeri’s dedication to the College reaches beyond her duties in the academic affairs division and extends into her generous gift of time in support of King’s College’s mission. She has been a constant presence on campus, volunteering her time to work towards improving the student experience. She has volunteered to flip pancakes at the grill during finals week at countless Flapjack Fests, worked to assist new students and parents during freshman orientation and senior week, participated in CitySERVE trips, and most recently, has volunteered to deliver meals to students in quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic. Palmeri also teaches HCE classes, is a mentor to the Achievement Plus Program, and has served as a volunteer for the institutional advancement division to help raise funds during important campaigns. Along with her husband, Louis Palmeri ’77, she worked as a volunteer with the alumni phonathon from the 1970s through the 2000s, where she took on leadership roles of class chairperson, decade section chairperson, and ultimately chairperson of the phonathon. It became a family affair to work at the alumni phonathon, as they also enlisted the help of their children, Chris and Jessica, to assist with the efforts over the years. She has been instrumental in coordinating reunions for her fellow Monarchs in the Class of 1977. Palmeri has been actively involved in supporting the College’s Catholic identity, having served as the chair of the Catholic Identity Committee, as well as having represented King’s at the canonization of St. Andre Bessette. Palmeri and her husband currently reside in Kingston, Pa.

The Award for Service to Society is presented to an alumnus or alumna who has distinguished himself or herself through selfless and caring personal commitment to benfit others. Though Dr. Daniel J. Simpson ’13  is in his fourth year as an emergency medicine resident physician in the Level 1 Trauma Center at Albert Einstein Medical Center in North Philadelphia, his colleagues have already described him as “a leader in the field of Emergency Medicine”. In his current position, Simpson routinely treats critically ill and injured patients with life-threatening conditions. During the last year, Simpson’s already challenging job was made even more heroic as he selflessly treated a relentless surge of COVID-19 patients at Albert Einstein, which experienced the greatest number of COVID patients in Philadelphia along with Temple University. Continually putting himself at risk of exposure to the disease, Simpson not only provided for his patients’ medical needs, but also comforted the fatally ill when family members were unable to be with them.  A native of Stillwater, New Jersey, Simpson began his studies in Biology and Neuroscience at King’s in 2009, and graduated summa cum laude with his Bachelor of Science in 2013. Displaying an early dedication to serving his community, Simpson participated in multiple SERVE trips throughout his time at King’s, both in the continental U.S. and in Mexico. In recognition of that service, Simpson was the recipient of the Fr. James J. Doyle, C.S.C. Volunteer of the Year award in 2013. He held leadership positions in various organizations at King’s including the Emergency Response Team, EMT-B, Student Allies for Equality, the Lambda Chapter of Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Professional Health Society and was a peer tutor in the Academic Skills Center. He continued his education at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and earned his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine with honors in 2017.  Simpson has performed his postgraduate training at the Einstein Healthcare Network in Philadelphia and also completed the Rural Emergency Medicine Elective at the Block Island Medical Center in Rhode Island.  He continues to conduct research, perform lectures, and issue publications that focus on critical issues in emergency medicine. Upon completion of his residency, Simpson will continue tirelessly serving patients at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden, New Jersey. Simpson resides in Philadelphia with his Russian blue cat named Jax.

The Leo Award is presented to an alumnus or alumna within 15 years of their graduation who has demostrated outstanding achievement in his or her professional or community activities. Named for the King's College mascot, it suggests the energy, prode, and sense of purpose that the recipient personifies. Dr. Jaclyn Beck, PA-C ’16 is a healthcare professional who quotes Dr. Paul Farmer at the top of her resume, referencing his words, “The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world,” as her daily inspiration and guiding principle in her medical career. Beck is a senior surgical PA-C at Bergen New Bridge Medical Center at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, where she covers a wide variety of surgical subspecialties throughout the pre-, intra-, and post-operative periods. She also works as a per diem Critical Care PA-C in emergency medicine at Envision Physician Services in Morristown, N.J., and during the global pandemic, she has assisted her fellow healthcare colleagues in treating people suffering through the COVID-19 virus. A native of West Milford, N.J., Beck’s education began at Montclair State University, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Family and Child Studies in 2012. She then came to King’s College to pursue her Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies, and graduated summa cum laude in 2016. While at King’s Beck earned the Thomas J. Lemley Award for Diversity and Health Disparities, the Nathanial Alston Student Achievement Award, and was the Class of 2016 Community Service Award Recipient. Beck continued her medical education at the University of Lynchburg in Va., where she graduated summa cum laude with her Doctor of Medical Sciences degree and performed her doctoral fellowship in general and vascular surgery. She has completed post-doctoral certificates in Global Health and Disaster Medicine, Healthcare Administration and Management, and is working to complete a third certificate in Emergency and Disaster Management. The federal government’s Department of Health and Human Services has appointed her a member of the Trauma and Critical Care Team of the Disaster Medical Assistance Team, part of the HHS Public Health Emergency program. She has given of her time and talents as a healer on both short and medium-term medical missions in Haiti, Kenya, and Azerbaijan, where she was part of a trauma surgery team caring for civilian refugees victimized by the Armenia-Azerbaijan war. King’s professor Dr. Joel Shuman, who taught Beck in a clinical ethics course in the PA program, spoke of her mission to care for those who are suffering, saying “She is not the only student of mine who has been moved by love to care for those who most desperately need it. But I know of no other who has followed love so far down that path.” Beck is a part-time Christian medical missionary, an aunt of two adorable nephews, and proud dog mom to an adopted Yorkshire Terrier named Rascal.