Parsons College alumni moving up in world
Note: This is the third of a five part series regarding the upcoming Parsons College Wall of Honor induction and All-Class Reunion weekend.
Ten distinguished student-alumni will be inducted into the Parsons College Wall of Honor during the fifth annual ceremony at 10 a.m. Oct. 5 at the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center.
Organizer David Neff said interested people, history buffs and friends of Parsons College are all invited to attend the events.
Among the 10 people being inducted into the Wall of Honor are David Harding and Larry Litwin.
David Harding graduated from Parsons College in 1971 and now lives in Tallahassee, Fla.
After a flourishing stint at Parsons with heavy involvement in intramurals, the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity, as a resident counselor, as well as finding time to become Fairfield’s “first-ever” director of parks and recreation, Harding headed off to Ball State University to obtain his master’s degree. He followed that up by enrolling at Florida State where he earned a doctorate.
Florida agreed with Harding. As of now, he’s touting more than 25 years experience in applied economic research, statistics, and more than 15 years leading and directing the socioeconomic section of the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission).
The primary objective of the economic section is to maximize the conservation of marine and wildlife resources in Florida through the application of applied economics. A few of their research study projects included, assessing the economic impact and value of Florida’s public piers and boat ramps; economic value of public access for recreational boating; national resource damage assessment of BP’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico; and a economic and travel route analysis of Hurricane Katrina.
Harding is the chief economist at the Florida Marine Research Institute (Fish and Wildlife Research Institute) and has 10 years experience teaching college-level economics, policy analysis, problem solving and leadership, with many invited professional presentations under his belt. He also is a visiting assistant professor at the University of Florida in Gainesville and the University of North Carolina in Greensboro.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has awarded Harding the following awards: Outstanding Achievement in Economics, Superior Job Performance, and Executive Director’s Special Recognition Award.
In the community, Harding has contributed his time advising and instructing students/graduates, as a nonpaid member of the Graduate Faculty in Agricultural Economics at Florida A&M University since 1999.
Looking back, he credits Parsons as the foundation of his academic enlightenment and achievements.
“Parsons allowed me to dream of what might be, and has served me well throughout my career,” he said.
Harding is married to Barbara, has one son and three grandchildren.
His Parsons Wall of Honor presenter will be Jim Kennedy.
Larry Litwin graduated from Parsons College in 1967, and now resides in Berlin, N.J.
Litwin has been from one end of the public relations arena to the other. Between reporter, anchor, editor, assistant director, director, adviser and educator, he’s done it all. Litwin’s accumulated so many awards and tokens of recognition — 300 reported — if they were lined up, they’d run from Fairfield to Mount Pleasant.
His lifelong affection for Parsons was born in the mid-1960s. His first big gig was at KMCD in Fairfield as sports director. He was the voice of the Parsons Wildcats football team when they played in the Pecan Bowl. That assignment carried over to the basketball season and the NAIA tournament in Kansas City.
Upon graduating from Parsons, Litwin headed back east intent on continuing his education. He stayed in the radio field through Philadelphia and New York before heading to Glassboro State College to pursue his master’s degree in communications and work for the college as assistant director of community relations. After stops at Haverford Township and Washington Township Public Schools as director of community relations and public information, respectively, he went on to the glamour of television.
Litwin worked in the multi-roles of reporter, anchor and editor at KYW-TV. He was then in-and-out of his own apparel business before landing with the U.S. Department of Labor in Philadelphia as deputy regional director of information and public affairs before landing at Wilmington University in Delaware as adjunct professor of public relations and marketing. Currently he’s back in Glassboro, N.J., working for Rowan University in the role of associate professor in the College of Communications and serving as an advisor to several related entities.
Litwin serves on numerous boards and committees and is a member of a number of communication societies and is involved with several community projects, such as the Red Cross, DARE, Alliance on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, March of Dimes, Economic Development, and finds time to umpire baseball during the summer.
Of all the awards, the most meaningful to Litwin are: The Rowan University Mentoring Award; induction to The Public Relations Society of America College of Fellows; and induction to the South Jersey Baseball Hall of Fame. When asked by Rowan College students why he wears the green and white at commencement, he proudly says, “Because I graduated from Parsons College and it’s my way to pay tribute.”
Litwin and wife Nancy, who was a co-ed at Parsons, have been married 45 years. They have two children and three grandchildren.
Mrs. Litwin will present her husband to the Wall of Honor.
Additional information regarding registration for the events of the weekend can be obtained by contacting David Neff at 919-4640 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information about inductees William Bangham and Dorothy Bell was printed Wednesday in The Fairfield Ledger. Information about David Elliot and the late Edwin Green was printed Thursday. Information on the remaining Parsons Wall of Honor inductees is scheduled to be printed Monday and Tuesday.