2005 Award Recipients

Lifetime Achievement Award

James H. Meyer '53 '55 received two degrees from Penn State – a Bachelors and a Masters of Science in Meteorology in 1953 and 1955, respectively. Prior to his education he was a member of the U.S. Navy. Jim has had a long and distinguished career from his first job with the Air Force Research and Development Center to the formation of his own company Meteorological Applications. Here are a few of the highlights. In the fall of 1963, while on a field study of atmospheric refractivity conditions in the vicinity of Cape Kennedy and Patrick AFB in FL, he photographed a significant cloud formation. His pictures were published in the Life Science Library in ’65, Clouds of the World and National Geographic in ’72, Time Life Books in ’82 and other text books and magazines during the late seventies. In 1967, he initiated and chartered the Cape Kennedy Chapter of the American Meteorological Society where he served as its first elected president. In 1972, Jim received his “Certified Consulting Meteorologist” certificate and became the 110th CCM of the American Meteorological Society. 

In 1978, when approached by several companies to consult for them, Jim formed his own company while still employed at Johns Hopkins University and began doing more and more work in forensic meteorology. In late 1984 through 1987, he took part in the “Peace Shield” program which was the investigation of the air defense radar system for Saudi Arabia which included the training of Saudi technicians. Most of the research under this project was classified. Jim also worked extensively on projects relating to the meteorological implications for the air defense of U.S. Navy ships. After his retirement, the Applied Physics Laboratory presented Jim with a letter of appreciation noting his “numerous important contributions to Laboratory programs in the areas of meteorology and environmental measures.” Since his retirement, he has devoted his time to his consulting firm testifying as an expert in forensic meteorology for various law firms. Personally, Jim acted as chairman for various activities at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory Recreation department. He joined the Knights of Columbus and became a Grand Knight for the St. John the Baptist Council 11106. He has been very active in the various charitable projects that his council oversees. In 2005, he established a trustee scholarship for talented undergraduate meteorology students at Penn State. Jim is a lifetime member of the Penn State Alumni Association with his wife Joan. They live in Silver Spring, Maryland.


Outstanding Alumni Award

Mark A. Freemer '81 graduated from Penn State in 1981 with Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. He started his career at a Big 8 accounting firm in Pittsburgh. He moved back to DuBois in 1982 to accept a position with a local CPA firm. In a short period of time, he moved to Clyde, Ferraro and Co., LLP where he is currently a partner. Mark is well respected in the area and is an active member of the community using his talents to benefit others. He has served on the S&T Advisory Board of Directors, and he is a current member of the board for Farmers National Bank. He has served as a board member of DuBois Regional Medical Center as both a past board president and chair of the finance committee. Mark is treasurer of the DuBois Area United Way, chair of the finance committee, and has served as a campaign co-chair. He has also served as treasurer and chair of the finance committees for the DuBois Area Catholic Schools and Goodwill Industries. Mark is a lifetime member of the Penn State Alumni Association and is married to Betty.


Outstanding Young Alumni Award

Sharon Anne Melzer '99 graduated from Penn State in 1999 with a double major in History and Administration of Justice. She continued her studies at Florida State University where she received her Masters of Science degree in Criminology. She then returned to Penn State in Harrisburg where she received a Masters of Public Administration.  

Sharon began her doctoral studies in Justice, Law and Society at America University in Washington D.C. where she received a coveted Graduate Merit Award as well as a Graduate Faculty Assistantship. Professionally, Sharon has served as a research, evaluation and financial analyst for the PA Commission on Sentencing and the PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency. She was a case manager for Child Guidance Resource Centers in Media, PA. She has also served as both a residential rehabilitation counselor and a youth care counselor. Sharon has published articles on organized crime, trafficking of women and children, money laundering and white-collar crime (including encyclopedia entries) as well as presented on similar topics at national conferences. 

In addition to her professional achievements, Sharon has also taken the time to give back to her community. She was a volunteer for a Presidential Campaigns effort to register voters. She is an active member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).  She has donated time to collect items for homeless vets and vets at the Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital in Washington D.C. and the Van Zandt Medical Center in Altoona. She is a lifetime member of the Penn State Alumni Association and an active member of the Crime, Law and Justice Alumni Program Group.