College alumna Joan M. Buzzallino, class of 1966, is set to receive the Ivy Young Willis Award in the Mansion at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 21.
Buzzallino- an education major- began teaching at a New York elementary school before joining IBM as a marketing manager in the 1970s, becoming one of the first women to work in sales for the computer giant.
After 15 years, Buzzallino made the transition to human resources. She climbed her way up the HR ladder, eventually being named vice president in the company’s Global Affairs department, overseeing affairs in 170 countries across the globe.
In 2005, Buzzallino retired from the company and served for nine years on the College’s Board of Trustees. She also established a scholarship fund that allows a student who otherwise couldn’t afford it to embark on a study-abroad experience around the globe.
She also financially backs the Buzzallino Family Faculty fund, which rewards professors “dedicated to academic excellence and outstanding undergraduate teaching,” according to the College’s website.
The Ivy Young Willis Award was first awarded to Constance Clayton in 1992. According to the website, it is awarded to a “woman who has made an outstanding contribution in the field of public affairs,”in addition to someone who has “made a noteworthy contribution to the civic life of her community.”
William G. Willis founded the award as a means to honor his late wife, whose work in Pittsburgh, Pa. paved the way for reading to be taught on public television. Willis was also the father of Martha Dale, a 30-year employee of the College who passed away last fall.