Contact: Allison Goodin, College Relations Associate – Media, 610-740-3790



Recipients Recognized at Reunion Luncheon


Allentown, PA (June 6, 2008) – Lauren Lippincott Giguere ’79, of Schnecksville, PA, and Joan Fernandez Knecht ’58, of Bedminster, NJ, will receive Cedar Crest College’s 2008 Alumnae Award at the College’s Reunion Celebration Luncheon, on Saturday, June 7, 2008 at 12:30 p.m. in the Hamilton Boulevard Building. 

Lauren Giguere
Lauren Giguere

Since 1970, the Alumnae Association has bestowed its highest honor on alumnae who exemplify the positive contributions that Cedar Crest Graduates make through their careers, volunteer work and family life.  The award is given after consideration in five categories including service to the College, professional achievement, volunteer work, humanitarianism and single exceptional achievement.

With more than 25 years of experience, both professional and volunteer, working with corporate, education and foundation leaders, local, state and federal funding agencies, and community and faith-based organizations, Lauren Lippincott Giguere ‘79 has established herself as an example of inspirational leadership in the Lehigh Valley.  Her dedication and commitment to issues that impact economic, educational and community conditions have distinguished her as an alumna of Cedar Crest College.

Upon graduating from Cedar Crest in 1979 with bachelor of arts degrees in psychology and sociology, and subsequently receiving her M.Ed from Lehigh University, Giguere began her career as a youth counselor with the Private Industry Council of the Lehigh Valley.  Since then she has held numerous positions including many with Lehigh Carbon Community College.  In 2003 she began working for the City of Allentown as Deputy Director of Community & Economic Development.

Giguere has an expansive list of community volunteer activities including serving on the boards of the Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley, the Apsires Committee of Lehigh County Conference of Churches and the Allentown Economic Development Corporation.  She has volunteered for the Allentown Human Relations Committee and the Latino Leadership Alliance where she was responsible for conducting the “Si Se Puede” (Yes I Can) Workshops that helped Latino teens see that college is possible for them.

In 2006, the Allentown Human Relations Commission established an award in her name, which recognizes significant contributions of individuals who exemplify the highest standards of achievement in community service through their exceptional dedication to diversity and furthering the ideals and mission of the Commission.  She was also honored by the Executive Women’s Council of the Lehigh County Chamber of Commerce in 2001 as the recipient of its Athena Award.

Joan Fernandez Knecht

’58 receives the Alumnae Award for her many outstanding achievements in volunteerism, both nationally and internationally.  After spending two years studying at Cedar Crest College from 1954-1956, a time when the bachelor of science in nursing was not yet established, Knecht was urged by her advisor to pursue that degree, which she completed at Cornell University in 1959.  Since then, her career as a nurse has taken her all around the globe, from New Jersey, New Orleans and New Mexico, to Thailand, Cambodia, and the Philippines.

Over a 40 year period, Joan has been both a practicing nurse and a nurse educator.  She has been a professor of nursing at the County College of Morris in Randolph, NJ and also served as visiting professor at Santa Fe Community College in New Mexico.

Since the 1990s, Knecht has taken her nursing experience and dedication to helping others to some of the world’s poorest areas.  She served as a nursing consultant at a major medical center in Thailand and Kenya.  She spent a month as a volunteer nursing instructor at Angkor Hospital for Children in Cambodia.  Knecht has volunteered twice with “Healing the Children” in the Dominican Republic and Ecuador, a program that helps children with eye examinations, eye glasses and surgery for cataracts, crossed eyes, eye cysts and enlarged lids. 

This international work has inspired Knecht to begin collaborating with others to design an educational proposal that would make it possible for a nurse in Cambodia to earn a BSN which she describes as a “true challenge to help nurses in this country, which struggles daily to rebuild the destroyed segments of its society.”

Knecht has also been there to lend her compassion and expertise when tragedy struck on American soil including serving as a Salvation Army and Red Cross volunteer after the 9/11 attacks, and joining reconstruction mission trips to Mississippi after the destruction of Hurricane Katrina.

For more information, please contact the College Relations Office at 610-740-3790.



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