Penn State Department of Sociology and Criminology Holds 2014 Award Ceremony

Published: Oct 20, 2014

The Penn State Department of Sociology and Criminology held its third annual award ceremony and reception Thursday, October 16th at the Nittany Lion Inn. Three exceptional individuals were recognized for their success and influence as leaders, for significant career achievements, and for being outstanding role models for current students.

Michael Ostroff, Founder and President of The Ostroff Group was awarded the 2014 Outstanding Alumni Award

Michael Ostroff, originally from Philadelphia, splits his time between Florida and New York. A Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE), he is the founder and principal of The Ostroff Group (TOG), a consulting firm that works exclusively with domestic and global non-profit organizations to help them achieve their organizational and philanthropic goals. The firm has an extensive track record of success working with a broad range of clients in the cultural, educational, health, human service areas and with the Jewish community. Services of The Ostroff Group include comprehensive financial resource development programs focusing on annual, capital and planned giving programs, board/leadership development, strategic planning and marketing.(Left to Right: Dean Chris Long, Michael Ostroff, Department Head John Iceland)

Michael’s fundraising career spans 35 years and he has played leadership roles in campaigns that have collectively raised in excess of $1 billion. Prior to forming The Ostroff Group, Michael worked on behalf of community organizations in Cleveland, New Jersey, Rochester, Montreal and Boca Raton. With a keen understanding of volunteer and donor motivation, Michael specializes in major gift solicitation, campaign and strategic planning, coaching of nonprofit professionals and volunteer/board training. He is a frequent presenter on those topics in North America, Europe and Israel.

Michael holds a BA in Social Welfare from Pennsylvania State University, an MSc in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University, and an honorary doctorate from the Hebrew Union College.  He serves on several non-profit boards, has three adult children, two grandchildren and is married to Esther Rosenberg.

Delore Zimmerman, Ph.D., President of Praxis Strategy Group, was awarded the 2014 Outstanding Alumni Award.

Delore earned his doctoral degree in Sociology from the Pennsylvania State University in 1986 where his research focused on the mobilization of territorial-based alliances for economic development.

Delore is a founder and President of Praxis Strategy Group a research, policy, strategy and development company that works with leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs in business, government and education to create more opportunistic and competitive ventures and communities. Delore has served as the principal investigator on eight competitively awarded Small Business Innovation Research projects to develop leading-edge practices and tools for development professionals and community leaders to build innovation-based economies.  He has worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs and companies to start and grow their business.

 (Left to Right: Dean Chris Long, Delore Zimmerman, Department Head John Iceland)

Since 2004 Delore has served as the Executive Director of the Red River Valley Research Corridor, a regional development effort to catalyze a more science and technology-based economy.

In 2009 he co-founded Praxis Africa, a farm, food and ag communications enterprise headquartered in Accra, Ghana.   As the result of his work in rural Ghana Delore was installed as the Development Chief for the Awutu-Mankessim traditional area in Central Region in October 2011. His stool name is Nai Awuah Kotoko.

Delore serves as a board member on several technology companies.  He has served as the Honorary Vice Commander at the Grand Forks Air Force Base for six years.

Delore is a native of Wishek, North Dakota and holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of North Dakota.  He is married to Sonia Zimmerman, Ph.D., OTR, an Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy at the University of North Dakota. They have two adult children, Ian and Rachel, and a grandson Levi.  Delore enjoys traveling, sailing, reading science fiction and playing guitar.

Paul Amato, Arnold and Bette Hoffman Professor of Family Sociology and Demography, was awarded the 2014 Faculty Award.

Paul is a nationally renowned scholar on marriage, marital quality, divorce, and family structure and child wellbeing. He has written five books, edited three volumes, and published over 100 journal articles and book chapters. According to Google Scholar, his work has been cited over 20,000 times. He received the Reuben Hill Award from the National Council on Family Relations for the best published article on the family in 1993, 1999, 2001, and 2008. He received the Stanley Cohen Distinguished Research Award from the American Association of Family and Conciliation Courts in 2003, the Distinction in the Social Sciences Award from the College of the Liberal Arts at Pennsylvania State University in 2003, the Distinguished Career Award from the Family Section of the American Sociological Association in 2006, and the Ernest Burgess Distinguished Career Award from the National Council on Family Relations in 2008.

Paul has held elected offices in several professional associations and is currently the president of the National Council on Family Relations.  He received his PhD in Behavioral Science from James Cook University in Australia in 1983.

Congratulations to all of our awardees!