Bethany College Announces Alumni Award Recipients

BETHANY, W.Va. — Bethany will present its annual awards honoring outstanding alumni at the Alumni Awards Dinner, Saturday, May 5, as a part of the College’s Alumni Weekend events. Bethany will recognize Dr. Kathleen Downey '75 with the 2012 Alumni Achievement Award and Sharon Bogarad '76 with the 2012 award for Distinguished Service to Alma Mater.

After graduating from Bethany in 1975, Dr. Downey received her M.D. from the University of Pittsburgh Medical School in 1979. She completed her residency in Family Medicine at the University of Cincinnati and went on to work for several years at PhysicianCare as Medical Director. In 1987, Dr. Downey moved to the Wyoming Family Practice Center - a community office with affiliations with the University of Cincinnati – and in 2011, she was named Medical Director.

During her time with the Wyoming Family Practice Center, Dr. Downey worked with medical students both in the classroom and in the residency training program for family physicians, and was named teacher of the year three times.

Dr. Downey has worked in locations around the world, including New Zealand, the Bering Sea in Alaska and a Navaho Indian Reservation. She has authored two medical book chapters as well as several articles for state medical magazines, and has traveled the country to share her knowledge and experience with medical students, residents and practicing physicians. She has organized free physicals for the Special Olympics, and is currently working on a program to help doctors re-enter the medical field after taking time off for raising children or other personal matters. On two occasions, Dr. Downey has been asked to represent all female family physicians at the National Convention for Family Physicians, and this year she has been named Caring Doctor of Cincinnati by the Visiting Nurse Association of Cincinnati.

Dr. Downey and her husband, Bill Stiver have three sons and reside in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Bogarad graduated from Bethany Cum Laude with a BA in Communications. She immediately received a position as a feature writer for a local newspaper, and worked for four years as a producer for WTOV-9.

She attended Duquesne School of Law and, in 1991, she opened her own practice specializing in personal injury, wrongful death, family law, wills and estates and social security. Admitted to practice law in West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, Bogarad is also admitted into federal practice in the U.S. District Courts of the aforementioned states as well as the Supreme Court of the United States. She maintains her practice in Weirton in the building known as the George S. Rigas home, which is on the National Registry of Historic Places.

In addition to her professional career, Bogarad has served the College and her community in several ways. She was a member of the Bethany College Alumni Council for 18 years, serving as president from 2000-2002, and has been Chapter Advisor for Phi Mu for 11 years. She has participated in Kalon and other enrollment programs, and was a member of the Presidential Search Committee during her term as Alumni President.

She has served as Chairman for the United Way Campaign, Board Member for the Hugh O'Brian Youth Foundation, and Chairman of the Mary H. Weir Friends of the Library. Most recently, Bogarad completed a term as Chairman for the Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce, having served on the board over fifteen years.

During the dinner, the College will also honor Marc B. Chernenko '78 and Joyce Dumbaugh Chernenko '78 as co-recipients of the 2012 Alumnus of the Year Award. This award was established by the Office of the President to recognize alumni who have demonstrated loyalty to the College and exceptional achievement throughout their lives, both professionally and in service to the community.

To view the full schedule of Alumni Weekend events or to register, visit

Bethany College is a small college of national distinction located on a picturesque and historic 1,300-acre campus in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. Founded in 1840, Bethany is the state’s oldest private college.

By: Noelle Wright
Office of Communications Student Assistant