Each year, the History and Political Science Department recognizes a woman who has made a noteworthy contribution to the civic life of her community—local, regional, national, or international—by inviting her to Cabrini to speak to our students and receive the Ivy Young Willis Award.
The Ivy Young Willis Award and Lecture program began in 1992 through the generosity of William G. Willis, father of Martha Dale, a 30-year employee of Cabrini who passed away in 2012.
To honor his late wife, Willis combined his own interest in political science and his wife’s involvement with the League of Women Voters and the World Affairs Council, bestowing the award at Cabrini College to a woman who has made an outstanding contribution in the field of public affairs.
Ivy Young Willis was a teacher, administrator, and reading consultant whose work at WQED in Pittsburgh lead the way for the teaching of reading on public television. This series is dedicated to her memory and to her strong belief that women have a unique talent for improving the climate and conduct of public affairs.
For more information, contact Nova Johnson at 610-902-1015 or email@example.com.
This year’s recipient is Joan M. Buzzallino ’66. After graduating from Cabrini College with a bachelor of science in elementary education in 1966, Joan M. Buzzallino ’66 taught elementary school on Long Island, and then joined the IBM Corporation as an educational support representative in New York, N.Y.
In the early 1970s, Buzzallino was among the first women in the IBM sales organization as a marketing manager in Philadelphia and a branch manager in Morristown, N.J.
After 15 years in sales at IBM, Buzzallino accepted a position in human resources.
A champion of employee, management, and executive development, Buzzallino moved up in the ranks of human resources, eventually rising to vice president of human resources for IBM’s Global Industries, which had a presence in 170 countries.
She became senior human resources executive for the IBM Personal Computer Company and then human resources vice president for IBM manufacturing and sales, the unit responsible for IBM’s 190,000 engineers and scientists.
During her tenure, she was a leader in succession planning and a strong advocate for diversity and inclusivity. She retired from IBM in 2005 and served for nine years on the Cabrini College Board of Trustees.
She served on the Board of Directors for the Stamford Museum and Nature Center in her Connecticut hometown, and is an active participant in the IBM On Demand Community, an initiative that underlines IBM’s support for volunteerism around the world and focuses on utilizing the skills and expertise of IBM employees and retirees in their communities.
At Cabrini, Buzzallino established a scholarship that provides a global experience to a student who otherwise couldn’t afford it, with preference given to a minority student.
Buzzallino also generously endowed the Buzzallino Family Faculty Fund, which recognizes and rewards faculty members who are dedicated to academic excellence and outstanding undergraduate teaching and who carry out the vision and spirit of Cabrini College on a daily basis.