Six Albright alumni accepted awards from the Albright College Alumni Association during an on-campus 2021 Homecoming Weekend ceremony, Sept. 26.
“I am delighted to have the privilege of recognizing remarkable graduates who have truly made their alma mater proud,” said Alumni Association Board Chair, Sean Crossley ’11 during the ceremony. Photos of 2021 awardees are by Albright History Professor, John Pankratz, Ph.D.
Josue Matos ’19
Young Alumni Achievement Award
The Young Alumni Achievement Award recognizes Albright College graduates, who are 35 years or younger when nominated, demonstrating outstanding professional or volunteer achievements.
Josue Matos is the proud owner and operator of Berks County’s first and only self-pour taproom and restaurant, Beer Wall on Penn, which first opened its doors in West Reading during the spring of 2019 — the same year that Matos graduated with an Albright College School of Professional Studies degree in business administration.
The idea for his unique bar experience came to life during an Albright business capstone project. Officially a business owner while still a student, Matos found time to speak about his entrepreneurial endeavor with fellow students and alumni. Beer Wall on Penn (West Reading) is the first self-serve taproom in the state.
Rev. Leonard Buxton ’52
Mary Fry Good ’49 Service to Alma Mater Award
This award is presented to Albright alumni for outstanding service to their alma mater.
After utilizing his bachelor and graduate degrees in psychology to teach psychology at Claflin University and Benedict College, Leonard Buxton earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Sacred Theology from the Boston University School of Theology. He retired as director of church relations for the Methodist Hospital of Brooklyn, N.J., having served as a minister at 17 churches throughout his career.
Buxton is part of a three-generation Albright College family: his mother, Ella Buxton, was a member of the class of 1918; his brother, Robert Buxton, was a member of the class of 1947; and his son, the Reverend Jon Buxton, is a member of the class of 1984. Very active on campus as an Albright student, Buxton eventually became his own recruiting committee, bringing countless loads of potential students to Albright for tours and visits. He helped to organize reunions in Reading and New York City as an alumnus.
Buxton released the first volume of his two part, 90-year autobiography, “This Is My Story, This Is My Song” in 2019, and completed the second volume, “Sing Along With Me” in 2021.
Cynthia Rothenberger, D.N.P. ’87
Distinguished Alumni Award
A Distinguished Alumni Award winner and Albright nursing graduate, Cynthia Rothenberger is an assistant professor of nursing at Alvernia University, concentrating on medical-surgical nursing, maternal-child nursing, diabetes education and cardiovascular health promotion/disease prevention. Before joining Alvernia’s teaching staff, Rothenberger held several nursing roles, primarily as a clinician and clinical nurse specialist in cardiac nursing, both in inpatient and outpatient settings.
A Certified Diabetes Educator and a Clinical Nurse Specialist, Medical-Surgical Nursing, Rothenberger earned a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Pennsylvania and a doctorate in nursing practice from Case Western Reserve University. She has conducted research, presented and published in areas of chronic illness, self-management and nursing education. She is a regular speaker and member of the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses, the American Association of Diabetes Educators and the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses. She has been recognized by the Pennsylvania League of Nursing and Alvernia for her work in education.
Steven Groff, M.D. ’87
Distinguished Alumni Award
Highly active on campus as an Albright student, Steven Groff graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in biology and earned a medical degree from the University of Virginia.
For nearly 20 years, Groff served his community as an Orthopedic Surgeon before becoming a successful entrepreneur. As president of KDV Orthopedics, he led a large multi-organization merger to form OSS, a vital healthcare entity in South Central Pennsylvania. He served three terms as president of OSS Health System and was founding chairman of the ambulatory surgical center.
But following a serious cycling accident, Steven began a completely new, successful path as an entrepreneur, founding Wyndridge Farm in 2014. Wyndridge is a combination restaurant, wedding and corporate event venue, and beverage manufacturer in York County, Pennsylvania.
Four years after opening Wyndridge, he founded three new companies: Groff North America (GNA), Groff Health and Groff NA Hemplex. GNA is a comprehensive hemp-cannabis refinery, extraction, purification and formulation facility, with a diverse team of experts leading the way in research and production of raw materials from all aspects of cannabis plants. As such, GNA was approved as one of only four new private companies to hold marijuana grow licenses. Harking back to Groff’s medical background, his grow license will be used to study antibacterial aspects of THC and CBD at the company’s 80,000 square foot facility in Red Lion, Pa., and is expected to be a monumental step in advancing opportunities for medical and scientific research in Central Pa., and the U.S.
Lindsay Phillips, Psy.D. ’00
Distinguished Alumni Award
An Albright College class of 2000 graduate, Lindsay Phillips is a member of the psychology faculty at Marywood University, teaching undergraduate through doctoral students. She has a particular passion for supporting student research and training clinicians, and has written and presented numerous publications on teaching psychology, training psychologists and other clinical topics. A licensed psychologist in Pennsylvania, Phillips is board certified in clinical psychology, maintaining a private practice in addition to her work in education.
After graduating summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Albright, Phillips earned a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Temple University and a doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Chestnut Hill College.
She worked her way through graduate school by providing mental health services in community agencies and jails, while remaining linked to Albright by teaching in the School of Professional Studies, starting as an adjunct in 2003, and teaching full-time in the Applied Psychology program from 2006 to 2018.
Earning a Judy E. Hall Early Career Psychologist Award from the National Register of Health Service Psychologists and a Teaching Resource Prize from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, Phillips shares her knowledge by serving on several regional boards and committees. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, she has devoted a portion of her private practice time to frontline and healthcare workers. And among other volunteer opportunities, she provides free consultation to organizations that promote successful re-entry from prison to society.
David Martin, D.A. ’67
Jacob Albright Award
The Jacob Albright Award is the highest honor bestowed upon an Albright graduate. It is presented to alumni who have used their liberal arts education to its greatest potential, thereby making outstanding contributions to the Albright community, their profession and society.
A member of Albright’s class of 1967, Martin was highly active as an Albright student, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in economics before attending Bethany Theological Seminary of the Church of the Brethren for two terms. During the Vietnam War, Martin withdrew from seminary and volunteered for the draft as a conscientious objector. He served two years of alternative service as the administrative assistant to the director of the Church of the Brethren volunteer service program.
Earning his master’s degree in economics from Penn State University in 1971, Martin began instructing economics classes at Penn State’s Schuylkill campus a month later. He receiving his doctorate in economics from Lehigh University in 1980, focusing on private finance, money and banking and international economics. Seven years later, he was certified as a Chartered Financial Analyst, and subsequently graded Level 3 CFA exams for the next 16 years. Throughout his career, he has been an active member of economic and financial advisory committees and associations.
Martin began his career at Albright in 1983, as “the finance guy,” moving on to serve as an associate and full professor of economics, where he says that he derived tremendous enjoyment from working with Albright students and observing their development. Still, he found time to serve on campus taskforces and committees, and even chaperoned a spring break trip to help clean up New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
Passionate about focusing on the applicability of classwork in real world business circumstances, Martin involved alumni in his teaching to enhance the curriculum and to connect students with business professionals. He would often host networking dinners for students and alumni at his home, where discussion would include career paths, current business trends and news.
He has previously been honored for his Albright work as the recipient of the Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award and the United Methodist Exemplary Teaching Award.