All Press Releases for February 13, 2020

Rita Marie Kepner, PhD, Presented with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award by Marquis Who's Who

Dr. Kepner has been endorsed by Marquis Who's Who as a leader in the fields of education, art, communications and disaster assistance

    NORLAND, WA, February 13, 2020 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Marquis Who's Who, the world's premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to present Dr. Rita Marie Kepner with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. An accomplished listee, Dr. Kepner celebrates many years' experience in her professional network, and has been noted for achievements, leadership qualities, and the credentials and successes she has accrued in her field. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.

Leading a successful and diverse career for nearly 50 years, Dr. Kepner has taught various art and communications courses at the University of Washington, Evergreen College, Washington State University, City University of Seattle, and the Emergency Management Institute (EMI) at Emmitsburg, Maryland, as well as at the Department of the Navy in Bremerton. A talented artist, she served as an artist-in-residence for the City of Seattle and an informal visual arts ambassador between the U.S. and Poland. Meanwhile, in the communications field, she has provided her expertise as a writer, editor and public affairs specialist for the Seattle district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, editor for Schweinfurt Crusader and spokesperson for the Exxon Valdez oil spill clean-up operations, among other roles.

Aligned with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Dr. Kepner has been serving as one of the appointed disaster assistance spokespersons and one of the public affairs reservists under headquarters assignment in Washington since 1993. She has likewise excelled as a member of the disaster reservist public information and congressional affairs division for the Agency. Dr. Kepner has been actively involved in more than 74 disaster management relief efforts since joining FEMA, including for Hurricane Katrina, the flooding in Louisiana, Chicago, Pennsylvania and Texas, the Joplin, Mississippi, tornado, Hurricane Sandy, and fires and earthquakes throughout California. Most recently, she has assisted survivors in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria in 2018.

Working primarily through the medium of sculptures, Dr. Kepner's work has been featured in one-woman and group shows at various galleries throughout Poland, Hungary, Germany, Canada and Washington state. A collection of her art has likewise been on permanent and rotating display at City University of Seattle since 2015. Most recently, Dr. Kepner's artwork was displayed in group exhibitions in Sequim during 2018 and 2019 and at the Northwind Gallery in Port Townsend in 2019. The National Museum of Women in the Arts has one of her bronze sculptures on display in their management offices.

In addition to sculptures, Dr. Kepner has produced small to large wood and stone carvings, as well as many drawings. She has published articles in several magazines, including Northwest Arts, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Leonardo magazine. In 2013, Dr. Kepner co-authored her first book, "Through Fire and Water" under the pen name Rita Marie Matthiesen.

Dr. Kepner has led numerous initiatives throughout her community over the years. In 1984 she founded the Bainbridge Island Arts and Humanities Council. She also founded the Chimacum School District Learning Boosters in Chimacum in 1989 and participated in the original formation committee for Gallery 9 in Port Townsend, WA in 2003. Dr. Kepner has further volunteered her time as a consultant to the emergency operations team from KPTZ radio and in various positions with the Aradia Medical Clinic in Seattle, the Marrowstone Island Community Association, the Marrowstone Island Foundation and Washington State Seawater Intrusion Advisory Committee, and local water conservation.

Dr. Kepner received a Bachelor of Arts at Harpur College at State University of New York in 1966, a Master of Arts in management at City University of Seattle in 1998 and a Doctor of Philosophy at the Edward R. Murrow School of Communication at Washington State University in 2010. She also completed postgraduate coursework at Oklahoma University, Seattle Pacific University, Western Washington University and Washington State University. In 1984, Dr. Kepner received an honorary diploma from the Academy of Bedriacense in Italy.

The recipient of a Merit Award for Superior Journalistic Achievement from the U.S. Army in 1984 and 1985, Dr. Kepner has since also received several other awards from the Department of the Army and the Department of the Navy, as well as over a dozen Recognition Certificates from FEMA. Furthermore, she won several awards for her artwork, including a First Prize for Non-Objective Sculpture in Waterbury, Connecticut, and an Award for Creative Work in the Fine Arts from Harpur College. A celebrated Marquis listee, Rita is married to John C. Matthiesen. They are the parents of Stewart J. Matthiesen who is married to Courtney Moore. Dr. Kepner has been showcased in multiple editions of Who's Who, including Who's Who in America, Who's Who of American Women and Who's Who in the World.

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