Houghton College is proud to announce Judge Sheila A. DiTullio ’77 as the 2012 Alumna of the Year. DiTullio will be presented with the annual award during a service in Wesley Chapel at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, October 3, 2012.
DiTullio was a pre-law student at Houghton, majoring in history and political science. She was also an avid basketball player, remembered by her college basketball coach, Bill Greenway, as “an outstanding guard, dependable, a player willing to sacrifice personal honors for the team concept.” DiTullio learned to balance the demands of a pre-law curriculum with that of an athletic career, and was described by her academic advisor and mentor, Katherine Lindley, as “short in stature but not short in spirit.”
Following her graduation, DiTullio went on to complete her Juris Doctor degree at the Western New England College School of Law in ’80. She has been practicing law as a judge and trial lawyer for the past 28 years, presiding over a caseload comprised mostly of criminal matters, but also of a civic calendar.
DiTullio was appointed supervising judge of the criminal courts of Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee and Wyoming counties in January 2011 and was named a New York State acting Supreme Court justice in January ’08. DiTullio has served as an Erie County court judge since January 1996.
“I have known Judge Sheila DiTullio, both as a colleague in the District Attorney’s Office and as a Criminal Court Judge, for almost twenty five years,” said Frank J. Clark, former Erie County district attorney. “During that time, she has always exhibited those characteristics which I feel are the hallmarks of a good lawyer and a good judge: schooled in the law, resolute in purpose and determined to achieve a righteous result. I join you in publicly recognizing Judge Sheila DiTullio’s exemplary service as a prosecutor and a judge.”
Prior to her judicial post, DiTullio served as the first female chief of the Erie County District Attorney’s Office Grand Jury Bureau from 1988-95; and first female chief of the Erie County District Attorney’s newly created sex crime unit from 1984-86. DiTullio was also an assistant attorney general in the New York State Attorney General’s Office from 1986-88 in the practice of environmental law.
Judge DiTullio will be formally recognized during chapel service on Wednesday, October 3. She will provide brief remarks following Wednesday’s ceremony, as well as speak during a panel discussion on civic engagement, this year’s Homecoming theme, during a lunch with Professor of Political Science Peter Meilaender and political science students.
Each year the Houghton College Alumni Board meets together and determines who will receive this prestigious honor. Nominations are taken, carefully reviewed, and prayerfully decided. The award is given in recognition of an alumnus’ or alumna’s high level of accomplishment and excellence in his or her particular field or area of service, while maintaining strong Christian values of faith and integrity.