The Athena Award recognizes individuals who actively assist women to realize their full potential, achieve professional excellence in their business, and improve the quality of life for others in the community.
Congratulations 2013-2014 ATHENA® Award Recipient:
Sue Mathias , Geisinger Health Systems
Pictured (L to R): Jim Barbarich, GSVCC Interim President; Sue Mathias, 2013-2014 ATHENA Award Recipient; Patty Fulmer, ATHENA Committee Chair; Eric Rowe, Wood-Mode, Inc., 2009 ATHENA Award Recipient.
The nomination form for the Athena Award asks the nominator to rate and list the accomplishments of the person they are putting into nomination based upon three criteria. These criteria include 1.Assisting women in reaching their full leadership potential, 2. Provide valuable service by contributing time and energy to the community, and 3. Demonstrate excellence, creativity, and initiative in their profession. After hearing how our 2013 Athena Award recipient, Sue Mathias, fulfills each of the three criteria, each and everyone one of us will truly appreciate how deserving Sue is of this years’ award as presented by her nominator Mrs. Angela L. Brouse.
Assisting women in reaching their full leadership potential and demonstrating excellence, creativity, and initiative in their profession, which are two of the criteria, but in the case of Sue, can’t be separated.
A true example of her dedication to bettering the development of women was her involvement in the development and success of Susquehanna Valley Women in Transition (SVWIT), currently known as Transitions. She was a key community member who recognized the importance of a support network for women in transition. Sue became part of a core group who persisted in their vision of a comprehensive support network to provide emotional support, legal advice, and physical safety for victims of domestic violence. It was this point that SVWIT was born and Sue has been a vital member for the majority of its’ existence serving on the BOD including chair for seven years, volunteer, staff counselor, and advocate. Being a part of Transitions has enabled her to be instrumental in assisting hundreds of women get back on their feet with many obtaining jobs, professional careers, and college degrees.
In her professional career she assists in Women’s Healthcare Issues as the Service Line Director for Institutional Advancement for Women’s Health at the Geisinger Health System, and now as Senior Director of Central/West. These positions allow her to keep her finger on the pulse of the healthcare needs of her community. Sue has also been diligently working to uncover philanthropic support for Women’s Cardiovascular programs at Geisinger, which include educating women on cardiovascular health. She is also involved in the innovative Geisinger program designed to screen, treat, and follow women indentified with the increased risk for cardiovascular disease. Additional professional accomplishments consist of assisting women are helping raise funds for the Marie Lamey Endowment aiding uninsured and underinsured women receive mammograms, she sits on the Comprehensive Breast Cancer Committee at Geisinger active in helping establishing funding to better serve the mammography needs of women. Her current position as a development officer at Geisinger with Women’s Health Services now offers her the opportunity to showcase the creative and enterprising collaboration between Bucknell and Geisinger in their parallel programs.
Additional professional accomplishments include 22 years as a psychotherapist assisting individuals, couples, and families on issues of adolescent and adult development; member of Bucknell’s adjunct faculty; Counselor and Outreach Coordinator for SVWIT; Community Educator, Career Development Institute (Now Synergy); Public Relations for the CSIU and Community Education for Mental Health/Mental Retardation.
Throughout her professional career Sue takes on the role of a leader. Not only does she encourage others to strive to reach their potential, she makes sure it happens. She is the one saying “this would be a great career step for you” or “I know someone who might be able to help you, let me give them a call”. Her number one goal is to help people and assist them with their needs.
In addition to her contribution to the community through her involvement with SVWIT, as mentioned above, Sue is also part of these community activities: Founder and Coordinator – The Race for Women’s Heath, a major fundraising event for Family Planning; Founder, chair and intermittent Committee Member for the SVWIT Auction; Member Women’s Health Advisory Group, Evangelical Hospital; Served on the BOD of SUN Family Planning; Board Member Family Planning Plus for Snyder, Union, Northumberland, Mifflin, and Juniata Counties; Co-founder and cooperating parent - River Valley Community School, a parent run alternative school for preschool and elementary school aged children in Union County; Board Member, the Actors Company Theatre, New York, NY - through this involvement she has brought culture and creativity to central PA through TACT, the theatre company from New York.
On a personal note, Sue is a 1969 graduate of Bucknell in American History. She earned her Master’s Degree in Education as a School Psychologist in 1991. She and her husband John have been married for 44 years and continue to make their home in Union County. They have two daughters Katy and Maggie and two grandchildren.
Susan earned the 2013 Outstanding Alumni Award for Bucknell University which exemplifies the mission of Bucknell’s founders which is “to educate our students to serve the common good and to promote justice in ways sensitive to the moral and ethical dimensions of life.”
In closing Angela Brouse’s words sum up why Sue Mathias clearly fits the criteria for the Athena Award and I quote “She has done her amazing volunteer work quietly, with no need for recognition for many, many, years. She’s a role-model, leader, inspiration, friend and truly a woman everyone looks up to and respects."
Thank You 2013-2014 Sponsors:
Premier Sponsor: Susquehanna Bank
Pin Sponsor: Keystone Building Products, Inc.
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