Outstanding Alumni Award Winners – 2018
Back row: L-R – Dr. Thomas Windley, PT; Dr. Aisha Lord Ryan, KAAP

Front row: L-R – Ms. Diane Oliver, BHAN; Ms. Belena Butler, NURS; Ms. Susan Shibutani, MMS

It was another busy weekend on the University of Delaware campus as thousands of Blue Hens came back home for the 10th-annual Alumni Weekend. The College of Health Sciences used the opportunity to recognize some truly amazing alumni who are impacting the world around them. (You can read about Alumni Weekend here.) 

Alumni were selected on the basis of their exemplary professional accomplishments and strong connections to the community. They were recognized during a reception June 1 in the atrium of the STAR Health Sciences Complex. 

Diane Oliver was honored as an outstanding alumna of the Department of Behavioral Health and Nutrition. She has served as adjunct faculty at UD since 2007 and also has been the dietetic internship site supervisor for five semesters, in addition to working as a registered dietitian helping adolescents in Delaware’s school-based health centers. She was nominated by Beth Schwenk, who noted Oliver’s service on the board of directors for the March of Dimes and also as chair of its grant review committee. 

Dr. Aisha Lord Ryan was honored by the Department of Kinesiology and Applied Physiology. Dr. Lord, who was nominated by William Rose, owns ALL Therapy LLC in Middletown and has been active both on campus and in the community. She was a guest speaker at the undergraduate Physical Therapy Interest Club earlier this year and has previously been a guest lecturer on entrepreneurship at UD’s Lerner College of Business and Economics.

Susan Shibutani was recognized by the Department of Medical and Molecular Sciences. She has 39 years of service at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and has served as supervisor of hematology there for 30 years. In nominating Shibutani, Paula Melancon said, “she has strong leadership skills and serves as both a mentor and educator for MLS students.”

Dr. Thomas Windley was honored by the Department of Physical Therapy. He is the founder and owner of Premier Physical Therapy and Sports Performance, which has six clinics throughout the state of Delaware. Windley, who was nominated by Dan White, also founded a sports residency program which benefits UD DPT students, provides athletic training services to five local high schools, one college, and multiple youth sports programs. 

Belena Butler was recognized by the School of Nursing. While an undergraduate at the University of Delaware, she led the creation of the Black Nurses Association – now known as the Multicultural Student Nurses Association – and served as its first president, focusing her efforts on recruiting more minorities into the nursing program at UD. Butler, who was nominated by Emily Hauenstein, is the clinical advanced educator for a staff of 70 critical care nurses at Grady Health System in Atlanta, Ga.