Distinguished Alumni Awards 2022

Mermaid, Old West

Dickinson honors alumni in media, medicine, finance, professional sports

Bestowed by the Alumni Council, the Distinguished Alumni Awards recognize outstanding Dickinson alumni who demonstrate exemplary service to the college, accomplishment in their professional and civic lives, and strength of character. This year, Dickinson recognized the following alumni for their achievement and service.

Walter E. Beach Distinguished Alumni Award for Service

Roberta Greenspan

Roberta Zmuda Greenspan ’77 (deceased)

Roberta Zmuda Greenspan was a major proponent for Dickinson; she spent the last 40+ years of her life volunteering her time and energy to our alma mater in numerous ways. To name just a few, she was a class agent, reunion chair, Alumni Council member, member of the Dickinson Fund Advisory Council and chair of the D.C. Regional Council. Over the years, she chaired each class reunion with great enthusiasm and diligent leadership. While a student at Dickinson, Greenspan was the Hufstader Award winner, a proud member of Wheel and Chain and Delta Nu, and a fierce competitor on multiple athletic teams, resulting in two women's basketball teams on which she played being inducted into the Dickinson College Athletics Hall of Fame. Most importantly, Greenspan loved her family and was a friend and mentor to all who met her.

Professional Achievement Award

Paul Kanev

Paul Kanev '75

Paul Kanev has distinguished himself as not just a superb and successful neurosurgeon but as a compassionate and comforting presence in many families’ lives. Since 1990, Kanev is one of only two pediatric neurosurgeons tandem-trained in pediatrics, and patients have shared that he is a terrific surgeon—and person—who inspires confidence. He graduated from Temple University’s Lewis Katz School of Medicine, and he completed residencies in pediatrics and neurosurgery and a fellowship in pediatric neurosurgery. Throughout his career, Kanev has been at the forefront of his field, mentoring and training numerous neurosurgeons, contributing to the field’s literature and embracing the latest life-saving technologies. He worked at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center for 12 years and will finish his career teaching and seeing nonoperative children at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. 

“It’s an honor to be the recipient of this award,” says Kanev. 

Kirsten Nixa Sabia

Kirsten Nixa Sabia ’92

Kirsten Nixa Sabia is the vice president of integrated communications at the PGA TOUR, where she oversees the tour’s storytelling content machine. As part of this role, Sabia leads the implementation of outside-the-ropes messaging across linear, digital, social and ancillary coverage outlets, which includes personification of PGA TOUR players, sponsor priorities and impact storylines. Sabia joined the PGA TOUR in 1999 and has held multiple previous positions within the organization. She also served on the Donna Foundation board in Jacksonville for nearly a decade and is a 30-year volunteer for Dickinson, including service during the past three years on the Delta Nu Alumni Advisory Board. Sabia lives in Atlantic Beach, Fla., with her husband, Barry, and their goldendoodle, Pennie.

“Dickinson has played a pivotal role in my life,” says Sabia. “I’m appreciative of the experiences that led to my degree but even more so of the relationships that will transcend time. I’m honored to represent the college with this award.”

Outstanding Young Alumni Award

Portrait of Fabiola Cineas

Fabiola Cineas ’12

Fabiola Cineas is a reporter at Vox.com, where she covers race and policy, exploring systemic injustice in America. She has hosted for the Vox Conversations podcast and is also a host and producer for Vox Media Studios. As a host of the Emmy-nominated YouTube original series Glad You Asked, Cineas explained contemporary issues to Vox's YouTube audience of 10.6 million viewers. Before joining Vox, she was an editor and writer at Philadelphia magazine, where she covered business, tech and national events, and was an education reporter for the Philadelphia Public School Notebook and Chalkbeat. Cineas was Dickinson’s 2021 Cogan Fellow and has been a featured guest on Dickinson’s podcast, The Good. A master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania in hand, Fabiola began her career with Teach for America, teaching English and writing to middle schoolers at a charter school in Camden, N.J.

"I'm humbled to be recognized as one of Dickinson's Outstanding Young Alumni of the Year,” says Cineas. “My time at Dickinson—studying English and political science, joining and leading a few clubs and organizations, studying abroad in Bologna, Italy—helped me develop the skills that I rely on today to be effective in my work."

J.D. Dolan

J.D. Dolan ’07

At Dickinson, J.D. Dolan served as ROTC battalion commander and as the president of Phi Delta Theta. He graduated magna cum laude and earned top honors as a National Distinguished Military Graduate and top 2% officer in the nation. He went on to earn the Darby Award and was a distinguished-honor graduate at the U.S. Army Ranger School. Later, Dolan served as a platoon leader and Strike Force commander, during four combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, the last three as a member of the nation’s heralded Joint Special Operations Command. As a Ranger commander, Dolan led what has since been called one of the most significant battles in the war on terror. He earned the Bronze Star medal for valor, and his unit earned both the Presidential Unit Citation and the Valorous Unit Award. Dolan later taught at St. John’s University, earned an MBA from Columbia Business School, published a book on finance for soldiers and their families and co-founded LDR Growth Partners, a private-equity firm. He led a major ground-support operation during the collapse of Afghanistan in 2021 and has facilitated cross-border humanitarian support during the ongoing war in Ukraine. Dolan serves as a director on the board of Operation Healing Forces and No One Left Behind while mentoring graduating Army ROTC cadets and transitioning U.S. veterans. He resides in Annapolis, Maryland, with his wife Grace and goldendoodle Darby.

“Simply being nominated for an award like this is meaningful, and being selected among an ever-rising sea of successful and philanthropic Dickinsonians—who continue to find a way to have an outsized impact in their respective fields, firms and nations—makes this award that much more significant," says Dolan. "It’s an honor I don’t take lightly.”


Published May 24, 2022