2012 Award Recipients
Mother Clarissa Dillhoff Award for Distinguished Achievement in Mentoring
Jeff Traylor '05
Jeff Traylor has dedicated his career to his students. He currently teaches in the theology department, serves as junior class moderator, and coaches the girls softball team at Roncalli High School. For the past five years, Traylor has had students recognized as national award winners in the Holy Cross Family Ministries "Try Prayer It Works" contest. In 2010, Traylor's softball team not only won the state championship, but also received a National Sportsmanship Award for the great sportsmanship they showed by offering to forfeit a game against Marshall Community High School, a team who had never played before, in order to teach them the fundamentals of softball.
Traylor has stayed involved with Marian University by cheering on the Marian University Knights and attending alumni association events. He is currently working with his father, Chuck Traylor '75, towards establishing an endowed scholarship in his late mother's name (Deborah Mackel Traylor '75), which would benefit students participating in the Student Government of Marian University (SGMU).
Donald A. Fleming Award for Distinguished Professional Achievement
Mary Rihm Riggle '80
Mary Rihm Riggle has worked as a certified public accountant at La Rosa & Co., LLC for the past 28 years. Very involved with the Indianapolis business community, Riggle is a current member of the Indiana CPA Society and the American Society of Woman Accountants (ASWA) and has served as ASWA's president and treasurer.
Riggle has not only had a successful professional career, but has continually given back to Marian University and the Indianapolis Community. At Marian University, Riggle has served as a member of the M-Club board, a host for the freshman-alumni dinners, a member of the Board of Trustees and Finance Committee, and president and vice president of Marian University Alumni Association. In addition to the work she has done with Marian University, Riggle has been involved with the Special Olympics of Indiana and worked as a committee member for the Ronald McDonald House.
Founders' Award for Distinguished Service to Marian University
Merle Tebbe '74
Merle Tebbe is currently the director of human resources and administration at Mundell & Associates, Inc. In addition to a rich professional career in human resources, Tebbe has volunteered extensively for Marian University. He has given the welcoming address to the graduating seniors twice, helped with Knights Called to Serve, and participated on the Marian University Alumni Association (MUAA) board for many years. Tebbe has served as president of MUAA board for two terms, been a member of the Marian University Board of Trustees, and volunteered at everything from Networking Knights to the Distinguished Alumni Awards Ceremony.
St. Francis and St. Clare Award for Distinguished Achievement in Peace and Social Justice
Robert (Bob) Ripperger '69
For the past 11 years, Bob Ripperger has worked to promote the involvement of fathers in the lives of their young children. Ripperger serves as chief operating officer for Fathers and Families Center, a center founded as the Father Resource Program in 1993 by Wishard Health Services to provide job readiness training, job placement, GED preparation and other educational support, and parenting education. Ripperger assists more than 600 families annually and has made a lasting impact as a mentor to hundreds of young men and their families.
In the decades prior to his time at Fathers and Families Center, Ripperger worked for the Department of Defense, developing and delivering educational programs for both civilian and military employees.
Mary McNulty Young Award for Distinguished Achievement in Community Service and Volunteerism
Kathy Harbor Miller '75
Kathy Harbor Miller has always held a passion for helping people. She has pent the past 11 years volunteering her time and energy in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, holding many positions within the foundation and receiving frequent recognition for her time, education, and work. A breast cancer survivor herself, Miller has also participated in the Pink Ribbon Connection Breast Cancer Survivor Fashion Show and Luncheon.
Miller has dedicated her entire career to helping others. She has worked as a child welfare counselor, an inpatient social worker, a crisis intervention clinician, and an intake mental health therapist. She also co-developed and implemented a summer camp for disadvantaged youth.
Central Indiana Chapter Young Alumni Award
Denis O'Brien '05
Denis O'Brien has recently become chief executive officer, business coach, and team leader at Keller Williams Realty. He as received many professional awards including the #1 Buyer Agent in 2008 and 2009, and the Path to Success Award three times in 2011. As part of a team, he has been awarded the Triple Platinum Keller Williams Award, the Double Platinum Keller Williams Award, and the Quadruple Platinum Keller Williams Award.
O'Brien is a very active member of the Indianapolis and Marian University community. He is currently on the Agent Leadership Council for Keller Williams, the Marian University Alumni Association Board of Directors, the Young Professionals of Central Indiana Board, and the Young Professionals of Skyline Club of Indianapolis Board. He also volunteers with the Knights of Columbus as well as the Southside Metropolitan Board of Realtors.