Elizabethtown Alumni Receive Educate for Service Awards
Two Elizabethtown College alumni were recognized at the annual President’s Dinner October 26 for their dedication to service. Elyse Braxton ’87 and Alyce Spector ’77 were presented with an Educate for Service award, the highest honor graduates from Elizabethtown can receive from the College and its alumni association. The awards, a tradition since 1966, are given to alumni who have demonstrated commitment to one of three areas: Service through Professional Achievement, Service to the College or Service to Humanity.
This year, the Service through Professional Achievement award was presented to LT Elyse M. Braxton ’87. After earning a bachelor’s of science degree in Finance and International Business from Elizabethtown College, LT Braxton began her career as a professional representative for the pharmaceutical industry. At 36, she felt called to the military, but was worried she was too old to enlist. In 2002, she joined the USO, and after meeting an Air Force chief master sergeant at a fundraiser, she decided to take a tour of a military base: The experience led her to join the Navy reserves in April 2003. While in boot camp, Braxton served as a medical yeoman and earned the distinguished graduate award.
After a volunteer experience at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, LT Braxton realized her passion for nursing, and in 2005 enrolled in the nursing program at Villanova University. She graduated cum laude in 2006, and earned her commission as an ensign in the Navy Nurse Corps. After passing her licensure exam, LT Braxton completed a tour-of-duty at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. Since then, she has served in Kuwait and Okinawa and is currently stationed at the Naval Hospital urgent care clinic in Oak Harbor, Washington.
LT Braxton has been honored with a number of distinctions and awards, including the Fleet Marine Force Qualified Officer designator, Humanitarian Service Medal for her Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal with a bronze star in lieu of a second award, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with a gold star in lieu of a second award, Naval Air Crew and Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist and wings.
Alyce Spector ’77 is the recipient of the Service to Humanity award. Mrs. Spector’s passion for serving the community began in high school, when she volunteered to catalog books at the Historical Society of Dauphin County. While at Elizabethtown College, Mrs. Spector majored in Secondary Education, and went on to substitute teach in Harrisburg City and Susquehanna Township Schools. Since then, Mrs. Spector has dedicated much of her time to helping the community. She has served on the board of a number of organizations including the Dauphin County Historical Society, the Susquehanna Art Museum, the Rabbi David L. Silver Yeshiva Academy, the Institute for Cultural Partnerships, the Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg, the national boards of the Women’s Division of the United Jewish Appeal, the State of Israel Bonds organization and the Harrisburg YWCA. She is the founder of the Kidney Foundations of Central Pennsylvania and has served as president of the Mental Health Association of the Capital Region. She also introduced the Tolerance Program, and trained more than 60 public school teachers on issues of racism and bigotry and developed training programs in 28 school districts.
Mrs. Spector has been honored numerous times for her dedication to helping others. She received the Jerusalem City of Peace Award from State Israel Bonds, and the Provost Award for Outstanding Community Service from Penn State University, Harrisburg Campus. She was awarded both the YWCA Women of Excellence Award, and the Mental Health Association of the Capital Region Festival of Hope Tribute Award.