College of Education > News and Publications > News: Oct. - Dec. 2010 > Boswell, Donson Named 2010 Alumni Fellows by Penn State Alumni Association

Boswell, Donson Named 2010 Alumni Fellows by Penn State Alumni Association

College of Education alums Donald Boswell and Paula Donson have been named Alumni Fellows by the Penn State Alumni Association.

DonBoswell.jpgby Joe Savrock (October 2010)

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Two prominent College of Education alumni—Donald K. Boswell ’75 H&HD, ’77g Edu and Paula M. Donson ’82g Edu—have been named 2010 Alumni Fellows by the Penn State Alumni Association. Boswell and Donson were honored with other Fellows on October 13 at a dinner hosted by President Graham Spanier.

Donson_Paula.jpgThe Alumni Fellow Award is the most prestigious award given by the Penn State Alumni Association. Since 1973, the Alumni Fellow Award has been given to select alumni who, as leaders in their professional fields, are nominated by an academic college and accept an invitation from the president of the University to return to campus to share their expertise with students, faculty, and administrators.


Boswell is president and CEO of Western New York Public Broadcasting Association (WNED) in Buffalo, N.Y. He has managed the WNED public broadcasting operations since January 1998.

Boswell held previous positions with North Texas Public Broadcasting Inc. in Dallas, KCTS in Seattle, and WVIA in Pittston, Pa.

Boswell has been instrumental in focusing WNED and the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) on childhood education. Recently he oversaw the shift of the Emmy award-winning children’s series Reading Rainbow (produced at WNED for national PBS broadcast) from a broadcast program to a Web-based writing project, giving children a platform to create stories for local and national recognition. Under Boswell’s management, WNED has produced a number of other programs for national PBS broadcast.

Boswell’s leadership helped the station earn a $2.5 million grant from The John R. Oishei Foundation to create the pioneering digital learning service called ThinkBright and Well.

Boswell has won the Canadian Consulate General Ambassador Award, PBS Underwriting Award, PBS National Underwriting Award, PBS Special Events Award, and PBS Festival Membership Award. In 2004, he received the Leadership and Service Award from Penn State’s College of Education.

Boswell is chair emeritus of American Public Television. He has served on other national and international boards, including the PBS Foundation, HSBC Bank USA, Buffalo-Niagara Partnership, and the Buffalo Museum of Science. Boswell is a member of Iota Alpha Delta, an honorary counseling fraternity of graduate students as Penn State.


Donson is director of training and development for Alaska Railroad Corporation, overseeing employee professional development. She also is an adjunct faculty member with the University of Alaska Anchorage, where she helped create and operate the Master of Science Project Management Program.

Donson previously worked with Wakefern Food Corporation, managing a $1 million budget to support staff development. Under her supervision, Wakefern achieved its goal of hiring minorities and women to fill 40% of open supervisory and management positions.

Donson began her corporate career with Unisys, where she designed and implemented a range of management-development programs. There, she helped launch Alaska’s first wireless telephone system.

Donson recently pledged $2.4 a million estate gift to Penn State's College of Education—the largest gift ever made to the college. The Paula M. Donson Graduate Scholarship for Innovation in Education aims to recognize and provide financial assistance to doctoral degree candidates who are pursuing unique contributions to the field of education.

Donson has won the Unisys Excellence Award and has been named to two elite listings: Who’s Who in the East and Who’s Who Among American Colleges and Universities. She has published over 20 journal articles.

She is a member of Penn State’s Atherton Society and has held membership in numerous other organizations, including the American Society for Training and Development, the Association for Quality and Participation, and the Association for the Gifted to the American Educational Research Association.