BETHANY, W.Va. – The Bethany College Alumni Association has announced the recipients of its 2021 awards.

Alumni Award Recipients 2021Cheryl Ryan Harshman ’74, Rick Jackson ’78 and Stephen Ruben ’70 will receive the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award; Megan Tarbett ’00 will receive the Outstanding Community Service Award.

The recipients will be honored at a dinner ceremony at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8, outside Old Main as part of Bethany’s Homecoming festivities. The dinner is open to all alumni. Tickets are $25 and those planning to attend should register.

Members of the Bethany Alumni Association voted on the recipients.

Harshman is a children’s book author, visual artist and the director of Sandscrest Episcopal Conference and Retreat Center in Wheeling, W.Va. In 2018, she retired from West Liberty University’s Elbin Library and previously worked at libraries in Moundsville, W.Va., Pittsburgh and New Haven, Conn. Her children’s books include “Christmas Morning,” “Sally Arnold” and “Red Are the Apples” (with husband, Marc Harshman). In addition, galleries, museums, exhibitions across the region have accepted her prints and paintings.

After receiving her Bachelor of Art in English from Bethany, Harshman received a Master of Library Science from the University of Pittsburgh and a certificate in Archives Management from Rutgers University.

Jackson is an award-winning journalist with more than 30 years of experience as an anchor and reporter on network and local television, and public radio. He is the host of “The Sound of Ideas” and “NewsDepth” on WVIZ/PBS in Cleveland.

He was inducted into the Ohio Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2001. He graduated from Bethany with a degree in communications and journalism and is featured in the college’s Communications and Media Arts Wall of Fame.

Ruben is the managing director of the Ruben Law Firm in San Francisco and is a Certified Family Law Specialist through the California Board of Legal Specialization. He’s regularly held the distinction of “Northern California Super Lawyer” for his work in family law. In 2019, the Family Law Institute named Ruben its California Family Law Litigator of the Year.

After receiving his bachelor’s degree from Bethany, Ruben completed his juris doctorate at Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago Kent-College of Law. He has completed additional legal training at Dominican College in San Rafael, Calif., and Pepperdine University School of Law in Malibu, Calif.

Tarbett is the director of the Putnam County Library System in Hurricane, W.Va., bringing her community together with books and programming. She serves such organizations as the West Virginia Humanities Council, Leadership Putnam County, Leadership West Virginia and Generation Charleston, and is past president of the West Virginia Library Association. She also works weekends as a DJ on Electric 102.7 in Charleston and is a co-founder of Mardi Bras, an annual underwear drive for shelters.

She has a Bachelor of Art in English Language and Literature from Bethany and a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh.

The dinner will also recognize the 2020 winners, who were honored in a virtual ceremony last year. The 2020 recipients are Scarlett Foster ’79, the Robert A. Sandercox Award; John Somsky ’71, Distinguished Service to Alma Mater Award; Mark Bado ’87, Alumni Achievement Award; and the Rev. Amos Acree ’69, Community Service Award.


Bethany College, founded in 1840, is the oldest private college in West Virginia. The Bethany experience focuses on academic excellence in the area of liberal arts and prepares students for a lifetime of work and a life of significance.