BETHANY - Bethany College will recognize four alumni, including a Weirton woman and a Wellsburg pair, as outstanding alumni at its Alumni Awards Dinner set Saturday during its Alumni Weekend, Friday through Sunday.
They alumni are Dr. Kathleen Downey, recipient of the Alumni Achievement Award; Weirton attorney Sharon Bogarad, recipient of the Distinguished Service to Alma Mater Award and Judge Joyce Dumbaugh Chernenko and Marc Chernenko, co-recipients of the Alumnus of the Year Award.
The four will be honored at the college's alumni awards dinner to be held at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Commencement Hall.
Other events during the weekend will include the art exhibit awards reception from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday at the Renner Art Gallery, the Darline Nicholson breakfast at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Bennedum Commons, Alumni Association luncheon at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the Renner Gallery and reunion class photos at 5 p.m. Saturday at Phillips Lounge.
Also scheduled is the Scroll Society Breakfast, which will honor all members of the Class of 1962 and is open to all alumni who have celebrated their 50th reunion.
To register or for information, visit www.bethanywv.edu/alumni/events/alumni-weekend/ or call (304) 829-7411.
A 1975 Bethany graduate and 1979 graduate of University of Pittsburgh Medical School, Downey served for several years as medical director for the University of Cincinnati's PhysicianCare. In 1987, she moved to the Wyoming Family Practice Center, also affiliated with the University of Cincinnati, and in 2011, was named medical director. While there, she worked with medical students in the classroom and residency training program and was named teacher of the year three times.
Downey also provided her services in New Zealand, Alaska, a Navaho Indian Reservation and other exotic locations; organized free physicals for Special Olympics, represented female family physicians at the National Convention for Family Physicians, and this year was named Caring Doctor of Cincinnati by the Visiting Nurse Association of Cincinnati.
A 1976 Bethany alumna, Bogarad graduated cum laude with a bachelor's degree in communications and was a feature writer for a local newspaper and producer for WTOV-TV before entering the field of law.
After studying at the Duquesne School of Law, she opened her own practice in 1991. Licensed in West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania, she also has been admitted into federal practice in the U.S. District Courts of the aforementioned states as well as the Supreme Court of the United States.
Bogarad was a member of the Bethany College Alumni Council for 18 years, serving as president from 2000 to 2002 and on the the presidential search committee; was chapter advisor for Phi Mu for 11 years and participated in Kalon and other enrollment programs.
She has served as a United Way chairman, board member for the Hugh O'Brian Youth Foundation, chairman of the Friends of the Mary H. Weir Library and chairman of the Weirton Area Chamber of Commerce, serving on the latter board for 15 years.
A 1978 Bethany alumnus, Marc Chernenko graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in history and political science and from the West Virginia University College of Law. He has practiced law in Wellsburg since 1981 with William E. Watson and Associates and has served as Wellsburg city solicitor.
He has been admitted to practice in the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and U.S. District Court for the Northern and Southern districts of West Virginia, served on the West Virginia State Bar Lawyer Disciplinary Board, has been general counsel to the West Virginia Trial Lawyers Association-LAWPAC and chairman of the 1st Judicial Circuit Public Defender Corp. and is on the West Virginia State Bar District Character Committee.
He was a member of the Bethany College Board of Trustees and served on several college committees. He also has been a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph Health and Welfare Foundation board of directors, chairman of the Brooke County Committee on Aging, treasurer of Wellsburg United Methodist Church, a board member of the Upper Ohio Valley United Way and president of the Brooke County United Way.
His wife, Joyce, graduated magna cum laude from Bethany in 1978 with a bachelor's degree in communications before graduating from the WVU College of Law in 1981. She joined William E. Watson and Associates in 1982. In 2002 and 2008 was elected family court judge for the 1st Judicial Circuit of West Virginia, having been appointed to the Family Court in 1996 and 1999, and served two consecutive terms as president of the West Virginia Family Court Association.
She implemented a family court custody mediation program and a parent education program in her circuit before those programs were mandated statewide. The state Supreme Court has awarded her $100,000 in grants to establish monitored parenting and exchange centers in Wheeling and Weirton to protect victims of domestic violence and children in high conflict custody cases.
She has been named to the Supreme Court's family court legislative committee and domestic violence jurisdiction committee and was selected by the Supreme Court to train new family court judges.
She has served as general adviser to the Theta chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha and Panhellenic Council and has assisted with Greek life programming, bringing about such events as the All Greek Faculty Staff Appreciation Reception and the Christmas tree auction held during the college's first light-up night.