Four alumni to be honored during Homecoming

Congratulations to the following alumni, who will be honored in a private ceremony on Friday, Oct. 21, as part of Homecoming Weekend on campus. We encourage you to reach out to the recipients personally (look for their e-mail addresses in B-Link) or feel free to send a note to and we will share it with the recipients. 

Bucknell University Distinguished Citizenship
Carolyn Speer Miles '83, P'14

Bucknell University Distinguished Citizenship Young Alumni Award
Joshua DeWald '96

Association for the Arts Academy of Artistic Achievement Award
Makoto "Mako" Fujimura '83, P'13

Bucknell Engineering Alumni Association (BEAA) Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award
Alan Bilanin '68 P'96

Bucknell University Distinguished Citizenship

Carolyn Speers Miles '83, P'14

The award is given to an alumnus or supporter who exemplifies the mission of Bucknell's founders, which was "to educate our students to serve the common good and to promote justice in ways sensitive to the moral and ethical dimensions of life."

Carolyn Speer Miles '83, P'14 is president and CEO for Save the Children, a nonprofit international development organization providing hope and opportunity to children in need. She has traveled to almost 50 countries in her work with Save the Children and has extensive media and professional speaking experience. After graduating from Bucknell in 1983 with a bachelor's in animal behavior, Miles worked in business at large and small firms including American Express, where she worked in the credit card group in New York and travel-related services in Hong Kong. She was also a successful private entrepreneur in Asia.  After 13 years in business, she made the transition to the public sector.

Miles went to Save the Children in 1998, first as associate vice president and then as vice president and managing director for sponsorship and marketing. In 2004, she was named executive vice president and chief operating officer and, in September 2011, she assumed the role of president and CEO.

With programs in the United States and more than 80 countries worldwide, Save the Children helps children and families through health, education, protection and economic opportunities, as well as emergency assistance during natural disasters, war and conflict. Miles has driven strategy and day-to-day operations during a time of tremendous growth for the organization.

Miles is a board member and chair of the Nominations/Governance Committee for Blackbaud, a major supplier of nonprofit software. She also serves on the board of the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, where she earned an M.B.A. Miles and her husband, Brendan, have three children, Bucknell sophomore, Keegan '13; Patrick, 16; and Molly, 10.

Bucknell University Distinguished Citizenship Young Alumni Award

Joshua DeWald '96

This award is given to an alumnus or alumna who has graduated in the last 15 years and has gone above and beyond in commitment to service to humanity.

Josh DeWald has spent the past 15 years involved with humanitarian interventions and managing projects that have benefitted 7 million people. He has worked across the world in partnership with a range of governments, local and national non-governmental organizations, and private sector actors.

DeWald graduated in 1996 with a bachelor's in English language and literature and an additional concentration in economics. He studied abroad in London, rowed on the crew team and was involved with two student publications. Between his junior and senior years, DeWald made up his mind to join the Peace Corps after graduation and wound up in a small village in Northeastern Kyrgyzstan working as a school teacher and helping to form a community development committee to implement school construction, water system and agriculture projects.

After volunteering, DeWald was hired by the Peace Corps as a consultant to assess new sites and projects in Kyrgyzstan. There, he met officials from Mercy Corps, an international relief and development agency, which he later joined as an emergency program officer in Kosovo in 1999. Over the next two years, DeWald worked to serve victims of the Kosovo War, both in Kosovo and in neighboring Montenegro.  Since 2003, he has worked on long-term assignments in Eritrea, Sri Lanka and Nepal, as well as on short-term assignments in or related to Ethiopia, Sudan and Southeast Asia. He is currently Mercy Corps’ regional director for South and Central Asia, supporting work in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Nepal, India and Sri Lanka.

DeWald is married to Basman Towfique, whom he met at Clemson University, where he earned his master's in agricultural and applied economics in 2002. They have two daughters, Daria, 7, and Noor, 5.

Association for the Arts Academy of Artistic Achievement Award

Makoto Fujimura '83, P'13

Established in 1990 to recognize Bucknell alumni and friends distinguished in and devoted to the arts.

Makoto Fujimura is an artist, writer and speaker who is recognized worldwide as a cultural influencer by both faith-based and secular media. He graduated from Bucknell in 1983 with a degree in animal behavior and studio art, and a minor in creative writing. A Presidential appointee to the National Council on the Arts (2003-09), he has contributed internationally as an advocate for the arts, speaking with decision makers and advising governmental policies on the arts. Fujimura’s work is exhibited at galleries around the world, including Dillon Gallery (New York), Sen Gallery (Tokyo), the Contemporary Museum of Tokyo, Tokyo National University of Fine Arts Museum and Oxford House, Taiku Place (Hong Kong). He has painted live on stage at New York’s legendary Carnegie Hall as part of an ongoing collaboration with composer and percussionist Susie Ibarra.

A popular speaker, he has lectured at numerous conferences and universities, including the Aspen Institute, Yale, Princeton, the Q Conference and IAM’s Encounter 10. Fujimura’s second book, Refractions: A Journey of Faith, Art and Culture, is a collection of essays bringing people of all backgrounds together in conversation and meditation on culture, art, and humanity. Fujimura founded the International Arts Movement in 1992 to gather artists and creative catalysts to “wrestles with deep issues of art, faith and humanity.”

Fujimura and his wife, Judy Beebe Fujimura '83, P'13 are the parents of Taylor, Lydia and Bucknell junior CJ '13.

Bucknell Engineering Alumni Association (BEAA) Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award

Alan Bilanin '68, P'96, P'96

The award is given to an engineering alumna/us who has distinguished themself through extraordinary commitment to the College and the University, exemplary professional achievement, or noteworthy contributions to society.

Dr. Bilanin graduated Cum Laude with a bachelor's of science in mechanical engineering degree and held memberships in both Engineering and Math honor societies.  He continued his studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, graduated at the top of his class and earned the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Aeronautics and Astronautics in 1973.

His doctoral research centered on fundamental studies of the mechanisms by which vortices from aircraft are dissipated.  While at M.I.T., he was a consultant to Bolt, Beranek and Newman Inc.  In working at Aeronautical Research Associates of Princeton in 1975 he became Head of Aeromechanics and continued in that position through 1979.  In 1979 he founded Continuum Dynamics Inc. (CDI) and led the company as President and Senior Associate since its founding. CDI provides engineering services and technical solutions for industry and government including: aerospace technology, nuclear power technology, forest management/agrochemical applications and pharmaceuticals.  As president, he pursued a wide range of research interests including investigations into unsteady steam condensation associated with loss-of-coolant accidents in boiling water reactors for the General Electric Company; safety relief valve dynamics for the Electric Power Research Institute; steam/water flows in complex piping systems; design of novel debris strainers for nuclear power plant cooling water reservoirs; studies of vortex wake breakup in submarines; assessment of the impact of icing and heavy rain on aircraft performance; development of tractor trailer drag reduction devices; and design of a novel system for bridge scour mitigation using scrap automobile tires.

Since his graduation from Bucknell, Bilanin served as a principal investigator on over 100 research and development projects, and authored 13 U.S. and international patents, as well as over 200 technical reports and peer reviewed journal publications.