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Awards Recognize Young Alumni Living Duquesne's Mission

The 2014 recipients of the Mind, Heart and Spirit Awards were honored by the Duquesne University Alumni Association and the Office of Alumni Relations as exceptional examples of living Duquesne's mission.

Michelle J. Kane of Baltimore, Matthew V. Rudzki of Sharpsburg, Cpt. David A. Watkins of Lorton, Va., Colin S. White of Washington, D.C., and Dr. Keith S. Wolfe of Brookville joined 39 other alumni who have received this award since 2007.

Megan Peterson, president of the Young Alumni Council, presented this year's honorees with their awards at a ceremony on Nov. 21. This is the second year that the Young Alumni Council has sponsored the program, refocusing it to honor alumni who have graduated within the past 10 years.

Michelle J. Kane, N'09

Kane's passion for providing the best care for children and young adults facing life threatening illnesses extends beyond her role as a nurse in the Pediatric ICU at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She volunteers with Pediatric Heart Care Without Barriers, a group that provides care to pediatric patients in need of cardiac surgery in developing hospitals outside of the United States. Kane is responsible for patient care and helping to train the nurses who will remain at the hospital when the U.S. team returns home. Additionally, Kane volunteers at Camp Sunrise, a summer camp for pediatric cancer patients and survivors.

Matthew V. Rudzki, L'13

Rudzki serves his community as vice president of Sharpsburg Council, board member of the Allegheny River Towns Enterprise Zone and a member of the St. Juan Diego Parish Pastoral Council. He assists in organizing neighborhood cleanup days and the annual Guyasuta Days festival, and coaches at the Sharpsburg youth basketball clinic. Through his public service and dedication to his faith, Rudzki affects positive change in his community. Rudzki currently practices at Giuffre Law Office in Aspinwall. 

Cpt. David A. Watkins, GLPA'12

Watkins spent five years enlisted in the Army National Guard before he was commissioned as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Officer in 2008. He earned his degree from Duquesne while serving on active duty, with one year of his studies completed while deployed to Afghanistan. He currently commands the EOD Company responsible for protecting the President and other U.S. leaders. Watkins
encourages others to achieve their goals as a track and field coach for aspiring Olympians. In 2014, he served as both manager and coach for the U.S. Teams in the World Relays and Pan-American Olympic Festival.

Colin S. White, A'07

As a community volunteer specialist for the U.S. Green Building Alliance, White inspires others to make a positive impact by supporting thousands of volunteers who commit more than 500,000 hours a year to the green building movement. He provides training and resources to volunteers, ensuring that they each engage in a personally and professionally meaningful experience. He previously managed the Pittsburgh LIFT office (formerly National Student Partnerships), a social service agency staffed by volunteers dedicated to serving low-income families. As a Fellow for Coro Center for Civic Leadership, White served as a consultant to several organizations.

Dr. Keith S. Wolfe, GE'08

Through his dedication to childhood empowerment and education in his career and volunteer work, Wolfe has made a significant contribution to the positive growth of our children. Starting his career as a music teacher at Valley High School in New Kensington, Wolfe became an administrator in the Brookville Area School District, and is superintendent of the Punxsutawney Area School District. He volunteers with the Bucktail Council Boy Scouts of America, the local Zion Church and the 4-H Rifle Team.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.