Governor Tom Corbett and First Lady Susan Corbett today recognized eight outstanding women as this year's Distinguished Daughters of Pennsylvania. The women were honored at the Governor's Residence in Harrisburg where they were presented with medals and citations for their achievements.
"The exceptional accomplishments of this talented group of women bring both honor and respect to Pennsylvania," Corbett said. "I am grateful for their continued commitment to making our state a better place."
This year's award recipients are:
-- Joan Myers Brown, Philadelphia
-- JoAnne Epps, Shamong, N.J.
-- Silvia Ferretti, D.O., Erie
-- Pat Halpin-Murphy, Ambler
-- Judith Thomas Horgan, Pittsburgh
-- Feather O'Connor Houstoun, Philadelphia
-- Kathleen Marshall, New York, N.Y.
-- Suzanne Yenchko, Lemoyne
"The governor and I are pleased to recognize this group of influential women who truly exemplify the highest standards of leadership and service," Mrs. Corbett said. "Each recipient has had a positive, lasting impact on their community and on our commonwealth."
Distinguished Daughters of Pennsylvania was established in 1948 as a way to honor women who have shown distinguished service through a professional career and/or voluntary service. Nominated to receive the honor by non-profit organizations within Pennsylvania, the women do not need to be a native of Pennsylvania, but must have lived in the state.
Joan Myers Brown, Philadelphia
Joan Myers Brown is recognized as a pioneer in the world of dance in Philadelphia and internationally. She founded the Philadelphia School of Dance Arts in 1960 and The Philadelphia Dance Company Philadanco in 1970, where she continues to serve as Executive/Artistic Director. She is the recipient of the prestigious Philadelphia Award, the Hazelet Award and Philadelphia Magazine's 10 Best Philadelphians Award, among many others.
JoAnne Epps, Shamong, N.J.
JoAnne Epps became the Dean of Temple Law in 2008 after serving on the faculty since 1985, and as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 1989-2008. She is an officer of the American Bar Association Section of Litigation, serves on the Board of Directors of the Defender Association of Philadelphia, and is active in several other legal and civic organizations. She teaches criminal law, criminal procedure and evidence, at Temple's Philadelphia campus, as well as China and Japan. She has authored or co-authored numerous academic publications.</tt>
Silvia Ferretti, D.O., Erie
Dr. Silvia Ferretti has been a driving force behind the growth of osteopathic medical education in Pennsylvania. As Provost, Senior Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs of Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, she has dedicated her career to the education and training of future doctors, pharmacists and dentists. Beyond her professional work, she has been actively involved in charitable and economic development endeavors in Erie and throughout Pennsylvania.
Pat Halpin-Murphy, Ambler
Pat Halpin-Murphy founded the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition in 1993 and continues to serve as the organization's president. She was appointed by four successive governors to the Pennsylvania Cancer Advisory Board and co-chairs the Pennsylvania Income Tax Check-Off for Breast and Cervical Cancer Research Committee. In addition to service on multiple national boards and commissions, she co-authored both editions of the book, "Breast Cancer: Covered or Not? A Guide on Insurance."
Judith Thomas Horgan, Pittsburgh
As a volunteer, Judith Thomas Horgan founded Child Watch of Pittsburgh, which has made great strides in mobilizing the community to focus on the needs of at-risk young people. In addition, Judy has served on the boards of a number of agencies that promote programs for girls and boys including the Allegheny County Children Youth & Families Advisory Board, the Children's Home of Pittsburgh and the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, among others.
Feather O'Connor Houstoun, Philadelphia
Feather O'Connor Houstoun has served in the public and non-profit sectors of Philadelphia and the region for more than 20 years. Most recently, she was appointed by Corbett to the Philadelphia School Reform Commission. She previously served as president of the William Penn Foundation as well as Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare under Governor Tom Ridge. Author of numerous publications, she is a columnist for Management Insights, a joint publication of Governing Magazine and the Ash Institute of Democratic Governance at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.