The Manheim Township Alumni Association is proud to announce the recipients of its Distinguished Alumni Award for 2022.  Since 1997, Manheim Township has honored graduates who have outstanding professional accomplishments and who have positively impacted their community.  The annual recognition is meant to spotlight the noteworthy achievements of alumni and inspire current students.  

The 2022 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients are Darla Bair, class of 1970; Edward F. Gallagher, class of 1977; and Karen M. Rice (Huber), class of 1988.

DARLA BAIR  ’70

Darla Bair ’70 was co-editor of the yearbook, served on the staff of the Hi-Lite student newspaper, was a member of Choir, County Chorus and National Honor Society and a Girl Scout while a student at Manheim Township.  Bair attended Millersville University, receiving a BS in Music Education in 1974.  She earned an MA in Interdisciplinary Arts for Children from the College at Brockport, State University of New York in 1999. 

Bair was a public-school music educator, teaching elementary through high school classes in the Rochester, New York area for nearly 30 years. In 1996, she founded the Amadeus Chorale, a youth choral group, in Rochester. As artistic director, for 25 years Bair led various choirs in hundreds of performances for concerts, tours, dignitaries, and nationally televised audiences, as well as for albums and music videos.

In 2015, she was ordained an interfaith minister and formed the Calm in the Chaos Interfaith Center in Brockport, New York. She has developed an interfaith curriculum for children, and, as co-chair, led the Interfaith Charter for SUNY Brockport. As a spiritual teacher, she seeks to serve her community, one person at a time.

Bair is the author of a music resource handbooks and a children’s book, has composed and directed numerous youth musicals and adult dinner theaters, and served as a church music director for more than 20 years. Bair’s family includes her parents and two adult daughters, Molly and Emily. She is a recently returned resident of Lancaster, after living in New York state for more than 40 years. 

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EDWARD F. GALLAGHER '77

Edward F. Gallagher '77 is a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas, in Houston, Texas. He studied criminology, political science, and Spanish at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, graduating magna cum laude in 1982.  He earned his law degree from Villanova University in 1985 and is licensed to practice law in Texas and Pennsylvania.  

As a student at Manheim Township, Gallagher participated in basketball, soccer and Key Club, volunteered with the MT Ambulance Association, and served as a student police officer with the MT Police Department.  As a college student, he worked summers as a seasonal police officer in Ocean City, Maryland. Upon graduation from law school, Gallagher continued his law enforcement career moving to Houston in 1985 as an FBI special agent. Since 1990, he has been with the U.S. Attorney’s Office serving as an assistant U.S. attorney.

Having served as chief of the Organized Crime Strike Force and Chief of the Major Offenders Division, Gallagher is currently a prosecutor in Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.  He has been commended by former U.S. attorneys general Barr, Ashcroft and Holder, former FBI Director Louis Freeh, former U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, and honored by the city of Houston for his prosecutorial achievements as well as his leadership in coordinating the Human Trafficking Rescue Alliance. Gallagher has been recognized by the Drug Enforcement Administration for outstanding contributions in drug law enforcement and by the Department of Homeland Security for outstanding support of human smuggling and trafficking prosecutions.

Gallagher is an adjunct professor at the University of Houston Law Center teaching National Security Law and Human Trafficking Law since 2011. In 2018, Gallagher earned an M.A. in Pastoral Studies from St. Thomas University. He is an ordained permanent deacon in the Roman Catholic Church serving the Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton parish in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. He volunteers with Special Youth Services, a social justice ministry mentoring in-custody teens at the downtown Houston Juvenile Justice Center, and with the National Red Cross as a spiritual care team member.

Gallagher and his wife of 34 years, Martina, reside in Houston.  They are parents of two adult children, Catherine and Chris. 

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KAREN M. HUBER (RICE) '88

Karen M. Rice (Huber) ‘88 is a professor in Millersville University’s School of Social Work. She holds a BA in Psychology from Millersville University, an MSW from Temple University and a PhD from the School of Social Work at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

Before beginning her university teaching career, Rice worked as a child welfare caseworker and supervisor at the Lancaster County Children and Youth Social Service Agency.  She joined the Millersville University faculty in 2006 as adjunct professor of social work, becoming full professor in 2021. 

Committed to the promotion of diversity, equity and inclusion efforts at Millersville and in the broader community, Rice has been a leader in the development and implementation of Millersville University’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) strategic plan. In 2022, she was appointed inaugural faculty fellow for the Office of Diversity and Social Justice, supporting faculty in identifying ways to foster inclusive, equitable learning environments. At Millersville, she has helped to enact implicit bias training and DEI training for faculty, staff and students, to develop a resource guide for supporting students’ wellbeing needs, and to create a clothing closet and lending library.  Rice is a recipient of Millersville University’s Vanguard Award for support of students transitioning to college and a three-time nominee for Millersville University Educator of the Year. She was inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa: The National Leadership Honor Society in 2019.

Rice’s professional achievements benefit her local and academic communities. She has served as co-principal or principal investigator on two multi-year, million-dollar, federal grants to address Lancaster County’s workforce needs in substance use disorder treatment and behavioral healthcare. Recognized for her expertise in human rights work, Rice has been solicited to serve on professional association boards and editorial boards and to author manuscripts on the topic. 

Rice volunteers with Church World Services, is a Lancaster County Children and Youth Citizens Advisory Board member, United Way of Lancaster County's Equity Committee member; Resource Committee member for HDC MidAtlantic; and co-chair of Governor Wolf’s HEAL PA Poverty Reduction Action Team. She lives in Lancaster and has two adult children, Austin and Karlee.