Awards Recognize Young Alumni Living Duquesne’s Mission

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

Michelle J. Kane, Matthew V. Rudzki, Capt. David A. Watkins, Colin S. White and Dr. Keith S. Wolfe 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 Nov. 21 ceremony. This is the second year that the Young Alumni Council has assumed sponsorship of the program and refocused the award 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 also responsible for helping to train the nurses who will remain at the hospital when the U.S. team returns home. Additionally, she volunteers at Camp Sunrise, a summer camp for pediatric cancer patients and survivors.

Matthew V. Rudzki, L’13

Rudzki serves his community as the vice president of Sharpsburg Council, a board member of the Allegheny River Towns Enterprise Zone and a member of the St. Juan Diego Parish Pastoral Council. He also 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 practices at Giuffre Law Office in Aspinwall.

Capt. David A. Watkins, SLPA’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. Watkins currently commands the EOD Company responsible for protecting the President and other U.S. leaders. He encourages others to achieve their goals as a track and field coach for aspiring Olympians. In 2014, Watkins served as 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. White 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, he served as a consultant to several organizations.

Dr. Keith S. Wolfe, GE’08

Through his dedication to childhood empowerment and education in both his career and volunteer work, Wolfe has made a significant contribution to the positive growth of children. After beginning his career as a music teacher at Valley High School in New Kensington, he served as an administrator in the Brookville Area School District and has been superintendent for the Punxsutawney Area School District for five years. Additionally, Wolfe volunteers with the Bucktail Council Boy Scouts of America, the local Zion Church and the 4-H Rifle Team.

Learn more about the Mind Heart and Spirit Awards.