University to Honor Alumni at June Event

May 31, 2016

The University of Scranton will honor four individuals with the Frank J. O’Hara Alumni Award and a member of its class of 2006 with its Frank J. O’Hara Recent Graduate Award at Alumni Weekend 2016. The awards will be presented at a ceremony Friday, June 3, on campus.

The Frank J. O’Hara Alumni Award is named in honor of Frank J. O’Hara ’25, who served as an administrator at the University for 53 years. It is the highest honor bestowed jointly by the University and the Alumni Society. The 2016 recipients of the award are: Bart P. Billings, Ph.D. ’66, G’68, Col. U.S. Army (Ret.) Carlsbad, California; Kevin P. Moran ’01, Philadelphia; Karen M. Murphy, Ph.D. ’91, Clarks Summit; and Thomas P. O’Brien ’86, P’19 Basking Ridge, New Jersey.

The Frank J. O’Hara Recent Graduate Award is bestowed on alumni who have graduated within the past 10 years and have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to service for others in their personal or professional achievements, and embody Scranton’s Catholic and Jesuit values. The 2016 Frank J. O'Hara Recent Graduate Award recipient is John L. Gownley ’06, Bronx, New York.

Bart P. Billings, Ph.D. ’66, G’68

Dr. Billings has been working in the field of mental health, human services and management for nearly 50 years. He possesses licenses in clinical psychology, marriage and family therapy and has past expertise as a certified rehabilitation counselor. In February 2014, he received the International Human Rights Award from the Citizens Commission on Human Rights.

Dr. Billings served the U.S. Army for 34 years and was the commanding officer for an army reserve general hospital section. He has founded and directed The Annual International Military and Civilian Combat Stress Conference for 22 years, as well as Prisoner of War Conferences. He was the founder and president of TBH Productions, a manufacturing company called that produced OmniSonic professional audio loudspeakers for dealing with vibroacoustic disease.

Dr. Billings has given testimony to Congressional and State Legislative Hearings on the need for better mental health treatment programs for military personnel and their families. Some of these hearings resulted in the awarding of multi-million dollar Department of Defense grants. He is responsible for initiating Congressional Hearings to discuss psychiatric medication and increased suicides in the military.

His book titled “Invisible Scars – Treating Combat Stress, PTSD without Medication” is a lifetime labor of Billings’ work with this issue and the residual effects of medicating our veterans.

Dr. Billings earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology and master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling from Scranton.

Kevin P. Moran ’01

Kevin Moran has been active in social justice work in Camden, New Jersey, for more than a decade. For the past seven years, he has been the executive director of New Visions Homeless Day Shelter, a day shelter for homeless men and women. Moran was also a founding board member of Joseph’s House of Camden, a homeless overnight emergency café. Prior to his time at New Visions, he spent four years as the director of the Romero Center, a peace and social justice education retreat center. He serves as a board member of nonprofit organizations in Camden and Philadelphia, including: Guadalupe Family Services, Joseph’s House of Camden and Contemplative Leaders in Action-Philadelphia.

After graduating from Scranton with bachelor’s degree in elementary education, Moran joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and worked as the education coordinator for Our Next Generation, Inc., in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He then received a master’s of social work and master’s of public administration, with a concentration in nonprofit administration, from Marywood University.

Karen M. Murphy, Ph.D. ’91

Murphy is the Secretary of Health for Pennsylvania. She is a proven executive who has demonstrated her ability to lead complex organizations and initiatives in both the public and private sectors. Prior to assuming her role in Governor Wolf’s cabinet, she served as director of the State Innovation Models Initiative, a $900 million investment by the Center
for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation aimed at accelerating health care innovation across the nation.

Murphy was the former president and CEO of the Moses Taylor Health Care System. Prior to becoming CEO of Moses Taylor Health Care System, she served in various roles in health care administration. As founder and CEO of Physicians Health Alliance, Inc. (PHA), Murphy led an integrated medical group practice within the Moses Taylor Health Care System.

An author and national speaker on health policy and health care innovation, Muphy currently serves as a clinical faculty member in the Medicine Department at The Commonwealth Medical College. She earned a diploma as a registered nurse from the Scranton State Hospital School of Nursing, a bachelor’s degree from the University, a MBA from Marywood University and her doctorate from Temple University.

Her husband, Martin M. Murphy, is a 1978 graduate of the University.

Thomas P. O’Brien ’86, P’19

O’Brien is co-founder, CEO and president of SumRidge Partners, LLC, an electronic fixed income market maker. Prior to starting SumRidge Partners in August 2010, O’Brien was co-head of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney’s Retail Capital Markets Division and a member of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney’s management and risk committees. Previously, he was head of Retail Fixed Income Trading, which included U.S. credit, rates and municipal bond trading. He began his career with Dean Witter in 1991 as an institutional MBS trader and subsequently traded various fixed income products over his career.

O’Brien is a member of the University’s Board of Trustees and currently chairs its finance committee. He is a founding member of the executive committee of the University’s Presidential Business Council (PBC) and recently completed tenures as PBC vice chair and PBC chair. In 2006, he served as a co-chair of the PBC’s Annual Award Dinner. He regularly speaks to students in the Fixed Income Securities and Markets course, which he created with his former University finance professor Frank P. Corcione, Ph.D.

O’Brien earned a bachelor’s degree in economics/finance from Scranton and an MBA from Fordham University. His son Michael is a member of the Scranton’s class of 2019.

The Frank J. O’Hara Recent Graduate Award Recipient:

John L. Gownley ’06

A native of Scranton, Gownley is the chief sacristan, assistant director of campus ministry for liturgy and a resident minister at Fordham University.

For the last five years, Gownley has supported the direction of large-scale liturgies including ordinations for the USA Northeast and Maryland Provinces, and special liturgies that included Cardinal Dolan of New York, Cardinal Ortega of Cuba and Father General Adolfo Nichols, Superior of the Jesuits. He chaperones international missionary trips and will be leaving for Poland next month for a Jesuit service trip and meeting with Pope Francis for World Youth Day.

Gownley began his career in Jesuit education at Georgetown University, coordinating services for students with disabilities and directing
their undergraduate tutoring program. Simultaneously, he worked at Georgetown Preparatory as a housemaster in their boarding program.

Gownley served as Scranton alumni club president in Washington, D.C., and New York City areas, and also served on The Alumni Society Advisory Board from 2008 - 2015, where he served as chair of the alumni and student engagement committee.

A third generation Scranton Legacy graduate, Gownley is the son of Atty. Robert Gownley Jr. ’69 and Nancy Gownley ’01. He is the youngest of six children, all of whom attended The University of Scranton, and he is the grandson of the late Atty. Robert Gownley Sr. ’40.

Back to Top