Distinguished Alumni Awards

Distinguished Alumni Awards mark

The Colorado State University Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Awards program recognizes CSU alumni and friends who have distinguished themselves professionally, brought honor to the University, and have made significant contributions of time and/or philanthropy to the university or their community.

 

Distinguished Alumni Awards Dinner

Thursday, Oct. 15, 5:30 p.m., Lory Student Center Ballroom, CSU campus

 

Become an official event sponsor! 

Learn about sponsorship opportunities (PDF).

 

About the Program

For more information about the Distinguished Alumni Awards dinner, please contact the office of CSU Events and Donor Engagement at 877-491-7787 or 970-491-4601. Or email Csuevents_fyi@colostate.edu

 

 2015 RECIPIENTS

William E. Morgan Alumni Achievement Award
Mary Cleave, Ph.D. (B.S., Biological Science, ’69)

Charles A. Lory Public Service Award
Robert (Bob) Wilson

Jim and Nadine Henry Award
Larry and Kay (B.S., Occupational Therapy, ’60; M.S., Occupational Therapy, ’79) Edwards

Albert C. Yates Student Leadership Award
Christine Nicolaysen (B.S., Interior Design, ’16*)
*Anticipated graduation year

Distinguished Athletic Award
E. Michael Blasi (M.S., Psychology, ’67; Ph.D., Psychology, ’70)

Distinguished Extension Award
Laurel Kubin (B.S., Consumer Sciences, ’71)

Distinguished Faculty Award
Gay Israel, Ed.D.

Graduate of the Last Decade (GOLD) Award
Terrance Unrein (B.S., Construction Management, ’10)

Distinguished Alumni Employee Award
Blanche Hughes (M.Ed., Education, ’84; Ph.D., Sociology, ’95)

Distinguished International Alumni Award
Ying Lee (B.S., Forest Management Science, ’73)
 
College of Agricultural Sciences Honor Alumnus
Dale McCall (B.S., Vocational Agriculture, ’68; M.Ed., Trade and Industrial Education, ’72; Ph.D.,
Vocational Education ’82)

College of Business Honor Alumnus
Gary Halley (B.S., Business, ’60)

College of Engineering Honor Alumni
Desi Rhoden (B.S., Electrical Engineering ’83; M.S., Electrical Engineering, ’84) and
Lisa Rhoden (B.S., Electrical Engineering, ’84)

College of Health and Human Sciences Honor Alumna
Patricia Kendall (Ph.D., Food Science and Nutrition, ’83)

College of Liberal Arts Honor Alumnus
Yusef Komunyakaa (M.A., English, ’81)

College of Natural Sciences Honor Alumnus
Rocco Fabiano (B.S., Zoology, ’78; M.S., Biochemistry, ’80)

College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Honor Alumnus
Mark Dewhirst (D.V.M, ’75; Ph.D., Radiology and Radiation Biology, ’79)

Warner College of Natural Resources Honor Alumna
Joyce Berry, Ph.D. (M.S., Earth Resources, ’76)
 

 

 

 

William E. Morgan Alumni Achievement Award

Mary Cleave, Ph.D.
B.S., Biological Science, ’69

Mary L. Cleave, Ph.D., P.E., is an environmental engineer who retired from The National Aeronautics and Space Administration as the associate administrator for science in 2007. In that capacity, she was responsible for numerous spacecraft, from those at the edge of our solar system to those orbiting the sun. She also previously served as deputy associate administrator for earth science at NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C. and is currently serving on corporate boards and advisory committees in both for-profit and not-for-profit sectors.

In 1991, she joined NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., where she worked as the project manager for SeaWiFS – a project that helped the United States increase its understanding of climate change, oceanography, and atmospheric science. 

Cleave also flew on the space shuttle Atlantis as a mission specialist, where she was the flight engineer responsible for deploying the Magellan spacecraft in 1989.

Before joining NASA, Cleave worked as a research engineer at the Utah Water Research Laboratory and earned a Ph.D. in environmental engineering, an M.S. in microbial ecology at Utah State University, and a B.S. in biological science from Colorado State University. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the American Astronautical Society Flight Achievement Award, 1989; NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, 1994; Friend of Mongolia, 1995; and NASA Engineer of the Year, 1998. She is a member of Tau Beta Pi, Sigma Xi, and the Association of Space Explorers.
 

Charles A. Lory Public Service Award

Robert (Bob) Wilson

In 1970, Bob Wilson joined a construction crew working on an addition to Columbine Care Center on Parker Street in Fort Collins. Wilson discovered that he truly enjoyed interacting with the residents and took a job as a maintenance man for the facility. When the company fell into bankruptcy in 1971, it hired Wilson to become administrator of the failing facility.

Wilson took the bankrupt 120-bed nursing home to what we now know today as Columbine Health Systems. Columbine Health Systems operates three independent living facilities, three assisted-living facilities, and five skilled-nursing facilities in Fort Collins, Loveland, and Windsor. Columbine employs more than 1,400 people who care for 1,150 people each day.

Wilson has served as president of the Colorado Health Care Association for 12 years, providing unique insights that have assisted in the growth of Columbine Health Systems. He is also a current member of the board of the American Health Care Association and president of the Independent Owners of Nursing Homes.

From working with the Department of Social Work in the 1970’s to providing internship opportunities, to donating $5 million in 2015 for the creation of the Center on Aging as part of the new medical center on campus, Wilson works with Colorado State University in a variety of capacities to introduce young people to gerontology.

He also sponsors a $30,000 scholarship fund at CSU for students pursuing a minor in gerontology. In addition, Columbine Health Systems still hosts student interns in human development; CNA, LPN, and RN programs; social work; exercise sports science; pharmacy; pre-occupational therapy; and pre-med each semester.

Wilson’s accolades include the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Entrepreneur Award (1988); Colorado Health Care Association Vesta Bowden Award for Outstanding Service in the Long Term Care Industry (1992); Larimer Center for Mental Health Outstanding Board Member (2000); Northern Colorado Business Report 2012 Bravo! Award; and Fort Collins Area Chamber Collins Award (2011).

 

Jim and Nadine Henry Award

Larry Edwards
Kay Edwards
B.S., Occupational Therapy, ’60; M.S., Occupational Therapy, ’79

Larry Edwards, a Nebraska native, graduated from the University of Nebraska at Kearney with a B.S. in chemistry and physics. He served as alumni president for UNK in 2008, and received the Distinguished Alumni Service Award in 2010. He currently serves as a trustee of the University of Nebraska Foundation and has funded yearly scholarships as well as donated to the UNK capital campaign.

Larry Edwards founded the Light Center in 1971, and has been the owner/manager for 44 years. He served as a director of the National Home Lighting Institute for five years. He also is an avid pilot, an avocation he has embraced for 40 years.

Kay Kepler Edwards grew up in Fort Collins, graduating from Colorado State University with a degree in occupational therapy. Following time in practice, she taught in the occupational therapy department at CSU for seven years, and completed her Master of Science there in 1979. She has been an active member of the Delta Delta Delta alumnae at CSU for 45 years.

Together, Larry and Kay Edwards have established a scholarship in the College of Health and Human Sciences’ Department of Design and Merchandising and have donated to a variety of other causes across campus. Additionally, Larry and Kay Edwards are active community members, supporting several local charities.

 

Albert C. Yates Student Leadership Award

Christine Nicolaysen
B.S., Interior Design, ’16*
*Anticipated graduation year

 

 

Distinguished Athletic Award

E. Michael Blasi
M.S., Psychology, ’67; Ph.D., Psychology, ’70

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distinguished Extension Award

Laurel Kubin
B.S., Consumer Sciences, ’71

 

Distinguished Faculty Award

Gay Israel, Ed.D.

 

Graduate of the Last Decade (GOLD) Award

Terrance Unrein
B.S., Construction Management, ’10

 

Distinguished Alumni Employee Award

Blanche Hughes
M.Ed., Education, ’84; Ph.D., Sociology, ’95

 

Distinguished International Alumni Award

Ying Lee
B.S., Forest Management Science, ’73

 

College of Agricultural Sciences Honor Alumnus

Dale McCall
B.S., Vocational Agriculture, ’68; M.Ed., Trade and Industrial Education, ’72; Ph.D., Vocational Education ’82

 

College of Business Honor Alumnus

Gary Halley
B.S., Business, ’60

 

College of Engineering Honor Alumni

Desi Rhoden
B.S., Electrical Engineering ’83; M.S., Electrical Engineering, ’84
Lisa Rhoden
B.S., Electrical Engineering, ’84

 

College of Health and Human Sciences Honor Alumna

Patricia Kendall
Ph.D., Food Science and Nutrition, ’83

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

College of Liberal Arts Honor Alumnus

Yusef Komunyakaa
M.A., English, ’81

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

College of Natural Sciences Honor Alumnus

Rocco Fabiano
B.S., Zoology, ’78; M.S., Biochemistry, ’80

Rocco Fabiano has had an eclectic career. He has split his time between serial entrepreneurship and large organizations, and has managed businesses ranging from consumer finance to mobile software development. He credits his education at Colorado State University, where he received his B.S. in zoology and his M.S. in biochemistry, for providing him with the ability to rapidly adapt to new business environments.

Fabiano is currently chairman of Gimbal Inc., a mobile software company focused on location and proximity. Gimbal’s clients include Apple, the National Football League, and Major League Baseball. Fabiano is also a member of the board of directors of MicroPower, which creates solar-powered, wireless video technology, and he is a member of the board of directors of Art Capital, which finances the acquisition of fine art for collectors worldwide.

As an entrepreneur, Fabiano has founded a number of companies, taking two public and selling two. He was the Ernst & Young/NASDAQ Entrepreneur of the Year in 1997 and is the former chairman of the San Diego chapter of the Young Presidents Organization. In his free time, Fabiano works to arrange financing for renewable energy and water conservation programs in California.
 

 

College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Honor Alumnus

Mark Dewhirst
D.V.M, ’75; Ph.D., Radiology and Radiation Biology, ’79

Mark Dewhirst received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1975 and Ph.D.in Radiology and Radiation Biology in 1979 from Colorado State University. The native of Manhattan, Kan. has spent more than 30 years studying hyperthermia, causes of tumor hypoxia, and tumor angiogenesis.

Throughout his career, Dr. Dewhirst has placed important emphasis on the value of companion animal cancers as models for human cancer. He has collaborated with colleagues from CSU and North Carolina State University to author more than 70 papers involving clinical trials with companion animal cancers.

Dr. Dewhirst is the recipient of multiple awards, including the Failla Medal and Lecture from the Radiation Research Society in 2008 and the Eugene Robinson Award from the Society for Thermal Medicine in 1992. He was named a fellow of the American Society for Radiation Oncology and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and, in 2012, ASTRO awarded its Gold Medal to Dr. Dewhirst.

In recognition of his passion for mentoring, he was selected in 2011 to become the first associate dean of faculty mentoring in the Duke School of Medicine. He established a novel and successful program to assist fellows and junior faculty members to be more successful in securing highly competitive National Institutes of Health grants. 

In recognition of the invaluable training he received while a student at CSU, Dr. Dewhirst and his wife, Nancy, have recently established the Mark and Nancy Dewhirst Scholarship Endowment, which offers financial support for Ph.D. students enrolled in the Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

 

Warner College of Natural Resources Honor Alumna

Joyce Berry, Ph.D.
M.S., Earth Resources, ’76

Joyce Berry has served as Colorado State University’s dean of the Warner College of Natural Resources twice, as well as CSU’s vice president for Advancement and Strategic Initiatives and director of the Environment and Natural Resource Policy Institute. Earlier in her career, she was a research associate and administrator at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, where she created the school’s first Student Affairs and Career Office, and co-developed student and women’s leadership programs and the Professional Life-Long Learning Program.

Berry received her bachelor’s degree in political science and graduate degree in education from the University of California at Berkeley. She also received her master’s degree in regional resources planning from CSU and Ph.D. from Yale University. 

Her research, teaching, and outreach focuses on the integration of science, policy and management, public involvement strategies, public attitudes and values toward natural resources, and leadership and organizational change – areas in which she’s co-authored/edited four books.

Berry has been involved throughout her career with several environmental groups, serving in various committee capacities. She is currently serving on the CSU External Advisory Board of School of Global Environment Sustainability and served for many years on the CSU Alumni Board. Both Berry and her husband, Joe, are lifelong Alumni Association members, as well as avid Rams fans. Although they have recently moved to Pennsylvania to be with their daughter and her family, the Warner College of Natural Resources and CSU will always be a part of the Berry family – as evidenced by a CSU flag flying proudly in front of their Pennsylvania home.