Glendale set Ninosky on right path

IUP recognizes attorney’s work, contributions

Courtesy photo / John Ninosky, an Irvona native and a graduate of Glendale High School, has been named the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Ninosky is a 1993 graduate of IUP.

Over the past 35 years, the Indiana University of Pennsylvania has honored only 365 of its 140,000 alumni with its Distinguished Alumni Award, and this year, a renowned attorney originally from Clearfield County is among the select group of recipients.

John Ninosky, a 1993 graduate of IUP, was born and raised in Irvona, and he’s proud of the education he received at Glendale High School.

“My education prepared me very well with the basics and the foundation that permitted me to have success both in college and onto law school,” Ninosky, a 1989 Glendale graduate, said. “When it came to the bedrocks of education, they were emphasized and taught well by the teachers at Glendale.”

Ninosky named the late Tom Terza as his favorite teacher from Glendale, saying, “He had a unique teaching style that really tried to make the material understandable to all the students in the class, and he also cared a lot about the students’ well-being and ability to understand the material.”

From his early years at Glendale, Ninosky showed great potential as both an athlete and a student.

“He was always super smart when we were growing up, definitely one of the smartest kids in my class,” said Tom Terza Jr., Ninosky’s friend and classmate at Glendale. “He always worked really hard in sports and the classroom. He was as good an athlete as he was a student.”

Ninosky was later led to IUP by both his family members and the opportunity to play baseball at the collegiate level.

“It was a school that many of my family members have gone to, and when I had the chance to play baseball there, I took it,” Ninosky said. “To me, the environment at IUP was an environment that encouraged success. The professors wanted the students to do well, and opportunities were provided to the students to achieve their academic goals.”

Currently residing in Harrisburg, Ninosky is an established attorney who defends health care professionals in medical malpractice and civil rights lawsuits in a statewide practice with the firm of Marshall, Dennehy, Warner, Coleman and Goggin.

Ninosky has successfully tried juries to verdict in 11 different courts of common pleas, as well as all three Pennsylvania federal courts.

Ninosky has been recognized consistently with Pennsylvania Rising Star and Pennsylvania Super Lawyer designations, and he was included in the 24th edition of “The Best Lawyers in America.”

In addition to his career as a lawyer, Ninosky is an adjunct professor, teaching classes in the Advocacy Program at Penn State Dickinson Law School.

He also has served both his community and his alma mater in numerous ways. Ninosky is a former mayor and Paxtang Borough council president.

“I feel that it’s important that people get involved at the local level because that is something they can control,” he said. “All politics are local, so to have the most positive impact on the community, you need to do it at the local level, and that is something everybody can do. Anyone can be involved at the local level and try to better their community.”

At IUP, he has served as the president of the board of directors of the Alumni Association. He also has served on the IUP board of directors for six years, in addition to playing a role in the activities of the Government Relations Committee and mid-state admissions events.

“We are so pleased to recognize John for his outstanding service to IUP and the IUP Alumni Association with the Distinguished Alumni Award,” said Mary Morgan, IUP’s director of the Office of Alumni and Constituent Relations. “John has provided so much of his time and talent to IUP. His commitment to IUP extends beyond his leadership of the Alumni Association, as he is a positive role model for students, a wonderful advocate for his alma mater and continually serves as an ambassador for IUP in his community.”

Ninosky believes his continued involvement at IUP has proven to be a way for him to give back.

“IUP was very good to me because it gave me the opportunity to achieve my academic goals and gave me a solid base to go on to law school,” Ninosky said. “(Staying involved) was a way for me to give back to the university that had given me so much.”

Ninosky’s peers and colleagues recognize him as a leader in every role that he serves, both at the university and in the community.

“John has been a charismatic and energetic leader for the Alumni Association Board of Directors the past four years,” Tracy Settle, the alumni association vice president, said. “His collaborative approach to business, coupled with his exceptional abilities to deal with complex issues and negotiate mutually supportive outcomes, made him a very effective board president and vice president. His service to IUP and the Alumni Association has been nothing short of exemplary.”

Ninosky’s service to IUP earned him the recognition worthy of the prestigious Distinguished Alumni Award, presented in April.

“It is very humbling to know that the alumni association thought enough of me to give me the award, especially knowing that there have only been about 350 other folks that have received the award and knowing that these folks are at the pinnacles of their careers,” Ninosky said. “It is humbling to be among such a prestigious group of individuals.”

IUP has proven to be a truly special place to Ninosky and his family for many years.

“IUP is where I met my wife. It gave me a quality education and some of my best memories with my kids have been at IUP,” Ninosky said. “As a student and alumnus, IUP has been important to me and my family and a great place for memories.”


Name: John Ninosky

Age: 46

Hometown: Irvona

High School: Glendale High School (1989)

College: IUP (1993)

Current residence: Harrisburg

Family: Wife Tammy; daughter, Kristen; and son, Johnny