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.

 

2014 Distinguished Alumni Awards Dinner

October 16, 2014
Lory Student Center, Fort Collins
5:30 p.m. Cocktail Reception, 6:30 p.m. Dinner and Program


Alumni Association members $50 per person, nonmembers $60 per person. A portion of the registration is a donation to the Jim and Nadine Henry Alumni Association Scholarship.

Register online or call the Office of CSU Events at (970) 491-4601 or (877) 498-7787. Please make your reservations by October 8.

Sponsorship
Premier $5,000, Gold $3,500, Green $2,000, Table $1,000. Download sponsorship recognition details (PDF). To confirm your sponsorship, contact Donna Reiser at donna.reiser@colostate.edu or (970) 491-5176.

 

About the Program

 

 2014 RECIPIENTS

William E. Morgan Alumni Achievement Award
Walter Scott, Jr.
Chair of Level 3 Communications (retired)
Director of Berkshire Hathaway
Philanthropist

Charles A. Lory Public Service Award
Dr. Loren W. Crabtree
Former Provost and Academic Vice President at Colorado State University
Former Chancellor of the University of Tennessee

Jim and Nadine Henry Award
John Hirn
CSU Sports Historian and National Sales Manager, Rodelle, Inc.

Albert C. Yates Student Leadership Award
Kayla Jean Boos
Project Engineer Intern at Saunders Construction

Distinguished Athletic Award
James R. Smith
Owner, Smith Investments, Inc.

Distinguished Extension Award
Lee Sommers
Colorado State University Extension (retired)

Distinguished Faculty Award
Phil Risbeck
Profess of Graphic Design, Department of Art, Colorado State University

Graduate of the Last Decade (GOLD) Award
Aaron Anthony Madonna and Juwon Melvin
Co-Founders of LifeSoap Company and DreamReel Media

Distinguished Alumni Employee Award
Rudy Garcia
Senior Associate Vice President of University Advancement, Colorado State University

Distinguished International Alumni Award
Ter-Fung Tsao
Chairman, Standard Foods-Taiwan
 
College of Agricultural Sciences Honor Alumnus
Clinton D. Pilcher
Global Director for Insect Resistance Management, DuPont Pioneer

College of Business Honor Alumna
Cheryl Zimlich
Board Member and Executive Director, Bohemian Foundation

College of Engineering Honor Alumnus
Terry Ruhl, P.E., F.ASCE
President of Global Transportation Market, CH2M HILL

College of Health and Human Sciences Honor Alumna
Beryl “Brownie” McGraw
Retired educator and committee member for health and child-focused issues

College of Liberal Arts Honor Alumni
Carry Griffin
Founder, Griffin & Company, Inc.
Tom Suber
President, U.S. Dairy Export Council

College of Natural Sciences Honor Alumna Award
Leslie A. Buttorff (Cavarra)
CEO and President, Quintel Management Consultants

College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Honor Alumnus
Dr. R. Craig Postlewaite
Chief of Public Health Division in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs

Warner College of Natural Resources Honor Alumnus
A. Alonso Aguirre
Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University
 

 

 

 

William E. Morgan Alumni Achievement Award

Walter Scott, Jr.
B.S. ’53, Civil Engineering

Walter Scott, Jr. enrolled at what was then Colorado A&M in the fall of 1949. During college summers, he worked for Omaha-based construction and mining giant Peter Kiewit Sons’, Inc. at the massive Garrison Dam project in North Dakota. After earning his civil engineering degree in 1953, he and his wife moved to their hometown of Omaha where Mr. Scott joined Kiewit full time. Following 1954-1956 service in the U.S. Air Force, he returned to Kiewit and assumed increasingly responsible roles.

When Peter Kiewit passed away in 1979, Mr. Scott succeeded him as chairman and CEO. When the company’s two divisions became separate companies in 1998, he became chairman of Level 3 Communications, retiring from that role in the spring of 2014. In addition to Kiewit, he is also a director of Berkshire Hathaway, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, and Valmont Industries.

Mr. Scott is known as one of Omaha’s leading philanthropists. Among his many civic leadership roles, he is best known for his 32-year chairmanship of the Omaha Zoological Society, a period in which it has become recognized as one of the finest zoos in the world. He has also been exceptionally kind to his alma mater, funding Scott scholarships and providing the lead gift for the Suzanne and Walter Scott Bioengineering Building.

 

Charles A. Lory Public Service Award

Dr. Loren W. Crabtree

Teaching, in and outside of the classroom, has always been Loren Crabtree’s passion. He has taught a total of 23 discrete history, honors, and international education courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, most of them dealing with Chinese history and U.S.-China relations. His publications often grew out of and amplified his teaching endeavors. Beyond the campus, he has delivered short courses for the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Faculty, and other organizations. Most notably, he led a team that secured multi-year NEH grants for training 70 high-school teachers from Colorado and Wisconsin to incorporate Chinese and Indian history into their courses. He served as a faculty member and executive dean on four Semester at Sea voyages, and implemented the C. Y. Tung Program on Sino-American Relations.

Dr. Crabtree received his training at the University of Minnesota in history and Asian studies. e has taught and served as an administrator at five institutions during a career spanning nearly 50 years. The bulk of his career—34 years— was spent at Colorado State University, where he taught in the history department, was dean of the College of Liberal Arts, and ultimately provost/academic vice president. He then served as chancellor of the University of Tennessee and Distinguished Professor of History, and most recently was interim president of the Institute for Shipboard Education with Semester at Sea.

As a CSU administrator, Dr. Crabtree instituted programs to internationalize the university, initiated planning that eventually culminated in CSU’s marvelous University Center for the Arts, led general education reforms, and championed interdisciplinary research and teaching. At the University of Tennessee, Dr. Crabtree implemented a 10-year program to internationalize the university and prepare students to be “ready for the world.” He served on the Executive Committee of UT-Battelle, the corporation managing Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the nation’s premier federal research laboratory. At the national level, he served on APLU commissions seeking to develop comprehensive internationalization and ensure institutional accountability. Most recently, he helped to found Arizona State University’s new campus in Lake Havasu City.

Dr. Crabtree is grateful to his family, his wife, Monica, and his three children, Christopher, Kathryn and Paul, and to his many colleagues and mentors for their generous support over the years.

 

Jim and Nadine Henry Award

John Hirn
B.A. ’93, History

A native of Northglenn, Colorado, John Hirn has spent his career in the grocery business, currently working as the national sales manager for one of the largest vanilla extract brands in the United States, Fort Collins-based Rodelle, Inc.

During his spare time, Mr. Hirn’s passion rests with CSU athletic history. As a student, Mr. Hirn fell in love with CSU athletics during his freshman year when the men’s basketball team won their second consecutive WAC championship and the football team won the 1990 Freedom Bowl. In 1992, Mr. Hirn went to work for the Silver Spruce Yearbook and wrote an article celebrating the 100th anniversary of football at CSU.

Over the next 17 years, he turned that yearbook article into the book Aggie to Rams: The History of Football at Colorado State University. This book is the first definitive history of football and all Athletics at CSU with more than 600 photos and 448 pages celebrating CSU football history. Sales are donated to the CSU Athletic Scholarship fund.

After Aggies to Rams was published in 2009, Mr. Hirn assisted the athletic department with the updated graphics at Hughes Stadium, including the history timeline on the west concourse. He has also been a writer for The Horn magazine, maintained a website dedicated to CSU athletic history (www.coloradoaggies.com), written articles for the Ram Alumni Athletes Association, and continues to assist the sports information department as the school’s volunteer athletic historian.

In 2013 Mr. Hirn completed a two-year project helping to update Moby Arena with a new hall of fame display along with an interactive display featuring biographies of all 150 inductees in the CSU Sports Hall of Fame. Mr. Hirn spent countless hours collecting artifacts, photos, stories, and data for the display on the south concourse of Moby Arena and maintains an archive of CSU athletic history.

Mr. Hirn and his wife, Nicole, live in Fort Collins with their three children and have attended CSU football games as season ticket holders since his 1993 graduation.

 

Albert C. Yates Student Leadership Award

Kayla Jean Boos
B.S. ’14, Construction Management

Kayla Boos fell in love with construction at a very young age. Her father let her help update the family bathroom, and it was love at first hammer swing. Growing up, Ms. Boos became very involved in her church youth group, participating in construction mission trips each summer. Through those trips she became extremely passionate about helping others, and realized the myriad of tangible benefits that a construction project can bring to another’s life.

After graduating from high school, Ms. Boos pursued a degree in construction management with a minor in Spanish. Throughout her career at CSU, she held multiple leadership positions, including vice president of the Habitat for Humanity student chapter and president of Sigma Lambda Chi Honors Society. She has been a member of two competition teams, and acts as a student ambassador to new and prospective students in the program. Last December, Ms. Boos was elected Director of Operations for the Construction Management Student Board of Directors, coordinating the two largest student fundraisers in the department and serving as a mentor and advocate for 13 student clubs. Ms. Boos was one of four women in the construction management program selected to attend the Kiewit Women in Construction Leadership Conference in Fall 2013.

Since graduating, Ms. Boos has planned and coordinated annual construction trips for college-aged students across the country. She has also volunteered in Guatemala, and sponsors the education of a 14-year-old boy named Alex. In the spring of 2014, Ms. Boos worked as project leader for the Construction Management Cares Walter Family Project, a project dedicated to creating home modifications to improve accessibility to the Walter household. She enjoys mentoring younger students, and spends her office hours in the computer lab tutoring, editing resumes, and answering questions about the department.

Originally from Breckenridge, Ms. Boos moved to Littleton with her parents and brother as a child, where her mom taught elementary school and her dad built custom homes. She enjoys running, playing the piano, archery, and would never say no to a good book and a cup of coffee. 

 

Distinguished Athletic Award

James R. Smith
B.S. ’67, Business, M.S. ’69, Economics, M.S. ’71, Business Finance

James Smith has been playing, watching, or supporting CSU Athletics for 50 years. In 1963, Mr. Smith joined the football team as a walk-on, playing both tight end and offensive guard. Over the years, he has provided significant amounts of time, talent, and treasure to create many important elements within the Department of Athletics, including founding the Former Athletes Association, creating the CSU Sports Hall of Fame, and creating Ram Masters, the funding arm of the men’s golf program. As a member of the board for 22 years, including three years as president, Mr. Smith initiated the endowment for golf scholarships, which is now in excess of $750,000. The Ram Master’s program has raised nearly $2 million for the CSU golf program.

Outside of Athletics, Mr. Smith’s involvement with Colorado State includes serving on the CSU Development Council for nine years, including two years as chairperson, member of the College of Business Entrepreneurship Board and Global Leadership Council and President’s Advisory Committee.

Since 1980, Mr. Smith has been owner of Smith Investments, Inc., a real estate and investment firm. He has served on the Fort Collins Chamber of Commerce, the Fort Collins Board of Realtors, the Fort Collins Country Club Board, and is an active member of his church.

He has received other awards from Colorado State University, including the Bob Chixx (?) Memorial Award (1996), College of Business Honor Alumnus Award (1998), Jim and Nadine Henry Award (2005), and Larry LaSasso Spirit Award (2009). In 2012, he received the Jerry McMorris Community MVP Award from the Colorado Football Coaches for Charity.

Mr. Smith has two daughters, Carrie, a vice president with Wells Fargo Bank in San Francisco, and Amy, a nationally ranked cyclist in Steamboat Springs. Mr. Smith is married to Kathy Kregel (’71).

Mr. Smith is a life member of the Alumni Association.

 

Distinguished Extension Award

Lee Sommers

Lee Sommers, Ph.D., was born and raised on a dairy farm in southern Wisconsin and was actively involved in 4-H and Grange programs during his youth, providing him with practical experience in both crop and animal agriculture. This interest in agriculture was present in his education, obtaining a B.S. in agriculture at Wisconsin State University-Platteville followed by a M.S. and Ph.D. in soil science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A faculty member for the Department of Agronomy at Purdue University for 15 years, Dr. Sommers taught a variety of courses in soil microbiology, soil chemistry, and environmental pollution with a research emphasis in recycling wastes on cropland and the environmental aspects of agricultural activities. In 1985, he accepted the position of department head in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Colorado State University. In 1996, he was appointed director of the CSU Agricultural Experiment Station and continued in that positon until his retirement in 2013, fostering interdisciplinary programs in agricultural research and joint programs with Extension. In addition, he served as interim dean in the College of Agricultural Sciences, 2000-2001 and 2008-2009, emphasizing relationships both within the university and with external constituents. During his academic career he was actively involved in scholarship publishing, including numerous refereed journal articles, Extension bulletins, technical reports, and the publishing of 15 book chapters.

Dr. Sommers has held leadership positions in numerous scientific organizations including president of Soil Science Society of America, president of American Society of Agronomy, chair of Agronomic Science Foundation, and chair of the Experiment Station Section. He also served as co-chair of the 18th World Congress of Soil Science, the premier international meeting for soil science. In addition, he has received several awards, including fellow of Soil Science Society of America, fellow of American Society of Agronomy, Environmental Quality Research Award for the American Society of Agronomy, Agronomic Service Award-American Society of Agronomy, and Soil Science Professional Service Award.

He is married to Mary Kay Sommers, a retired elementary school principal for the Poudre School District. Together they have three children: Brian, Kiersten, and Gwen, and are very proud of their seven grandchildren.

 

Distinguished Faculty Award

Phil Risbeck
Professor of Graphic Design, Department of Art, College of Liberal Arts

Phil Risbeck is considered an international leader in the field of graphic design. A graduate from the University of Kansas with a B.F.A and M.F.A., Professor Risbeck is an internationally published artist. He has exhibited and been honored by a variety of institutions, including The Library of Congress Prints and Photography Division collection, the Russian National Graphic Design Exhibition in Moscow, and the International EXLibris Exhibition for the National Library of Bulgaria.

A founder of CSU’s Colorado International Invitational Poster Exhibition (CIIPE) in 1979, Professor Risbeck brought international attention to the design community in Fort Collins. CIIPE is considered one of the finest contemporary poster exhibitions in the world today. His graphic design classes combine design with service-learning opportunities, partnering with organizations around the state. His passion for teaching is exemplified by the numerous awards his students have received. Professor Risbeck continues to be an active faculty member, serving the Department of Art, College of Liberal Arts and CSU for more than 45 years. In 2012, Professor Risbeck was named University Distinguished Professor, the highest academic recognition awarded by the university. His achievements include serving as chair for the Department of Art for ten years, the first co-director of the School of the Arts, and the development of Visual Voice, the newsletter for the Department of Art.

Outside of the CSU community, Professor Risbeck has received countless awards and recognitions for his artistic achievements. On two occasions he has been awarded honorary diplomas: Honorable Diploma for Contributions to World and Russian Poster Art from the Moscow Academy of Design; and from the UN Council for Public Awards for Outstanding Contributions to Graphic Design. In addition he has been honored with three international residencies in Colombia, Argentina, and Brazil. Other honors include chairman of International Jury, Second East + West International Poster Biennial, Beijing and Wuhan China; The David Lord Award for Distinguished Service to the Performing Arts, Fort Collins, Colorado; and the Special Medal Award for Contributions to International Poster Design, Oporto, Portugal.

 

Graduate of the Last Decade (GOLD) Award

Aaron Anthony Madonna
B.A. '08, Sociology

Juwon A. Melvin
B.S. ’08, Business Administration

Aaron Anthony Madonna has an entrepreneurial spirit combined with a passion for helping others. While a student at Colorado State, Mr. Madonna was a founding member of the student organization United Men of Color, a group focused on making a positive change on campus and in the community through service, leadership development, community building, and culturally inclusive programming.

Juwon Melvin understands the value of hard work. Paving the way for future members of his family, Mr. Melvin was honored as a Jackson Distinguished First Generation Scholar. Throughout his time on campus, Mr. Melvin was an active member of the CSU community participating in the Key Communities, Presidential Ambassador program, and the United Men of Color. Mr. Melvin also served as a peer mentor for the Black/African American Cultural Center.

As public speakers, social entrepreneurs, and authors, Mr. Melvin and Mr. Madonna continue to share their leadership and vision with the world.

In 2007, Mr. Melvin and Mr. Madonna, founded DreamReel Media. Together, they have published two books, Help! IDK What I Want To Do With My Life and Destination College: Achieve Your Dream. Published in 2010, both books help young adults envision the life they want for themselves. 

In 2011, Mr. Melvin and Mr. Madonna have used their educations to create opportunities for others to live better, healthier lives. As co-founders of LifeSoap Company, they work to bring drinkable water to developing countries through the sale of natural skin care products. Mr. Melvin and Mr. Madonna have traveled throughout Central America creating valuable and sustainable partnerships with local villages and schools. In just three years, LifeSoap has helped more than 1,200 schoolchildren access clean water. Since the company has launched, LifeSoap has been featured in O Magazine, Self, 5280, the Denver Post, and Denver 9News.

Mr. Melvin continues to be an active member of the Colorado community, working with the Puksta Foundation and the United Men of Color Alumni Committee. Mr. Melvin has come back to CSU as a speaker for TEDxCSU and the CSU Connect Dinner.

Mr. Madonna works as a solutions specialist for Verizon Wireless and is a member of the Verizon LEAD Program, and is an active member of the United Men of Color Alumni Committee.

 

Distinguished Alumni Employee Award

Rudy Garcia
B.S. ’81, Management

Senior Associate Vice President of University Advancement Rudy Garcia has more than 30 years’ experience of progressive responsibility in managing large teams of University employees, in both college and central units, with budgets in excess of $90 million in state and research funding.

Currently, Mr. Garcia provides valuable guidance and support to the vice president for University Advancement. Mr. Garcia plays an integral role in all areas of finance and operations, as well as serving as the designated liaison from Advancement to the Colorado State University Foundation. Mr. Garcia played a key role in securing the funding that was needed by University Advancement to complete Colorado State University’s first comprehensive campaign. 

Throughout his 30 years at CSU, Mr. Garcia has provided external and internal customers with superior leadership during critical transition phases, including hiring professional and technical staff, implementing budget plans, writing effective business plans, and installing effective management systems. Mr. Garcia has been described as energetic and collaborative, and he is known for cleaning up problems, raising the bar with new business standards, creating a “sense of place” congruent with the University community, and seamlessly integrating all the pieces.

Prior to joining University Advancement, Mr. Garcia worked as an assistant dean in the Warner College of Natural Resources. He played a key role in all areas of development and alumni relations, and worked closely with the dean and other development staff in securing a $30 million gift to the college from alumnus Edward Warner. This became the lead gift to begin the first comprehensive campaign at CSU, and was also used to name the college. The Warner College of Natural Resources is the only named college at Colorado State University.

Mr. Garcia is a life member of the Alumni Association.

 

Distinguished International Alumni Award

Ter-Fung Tsao
M.S. ’72, Civil Engineering; Ph.D. ’76, Agricultural Engineering

Dr. Ter-Fung Tsao is an accomplished businessman living in Taiwan. He credits his professional start and success to the education and direction he received at Colorado State University. After completing a B.S. in civil engineering in Taiwan, he came to CSU to continue his studies, and in 1976, received his Ph.D. in agricultural engineering with a food processing focus, a program that was the forerunner of the successful chemical engineering department at CSU.

Following graduation, Dr. Tsao took a position as a research engineer with the Quaker Oats Company in Barrington, Illinois. He was extremely successful in this role, and received the prestigious Chairman Award an unprecedented three times. In 1981, he returned to Taiwan as the plant manager of Quaker’s brand new oatmeal and baby cereal factory. In 1986, when Quaker decided to divest their Taiwan business, Dr. Tsao followed his entrepreneurial heart and acquired Quaker’s entire Taiwan operations associated license and founded Standard Foods. In the nearly 30 years since, Standard Foods has expanded into milk powder, edible oil, nutritional and healthy drinks, and many other products. Today, Standard Foods is the third largest food company in Taiwan, with a thriving operation in China, and is listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

Beyond being an active chairman for Standard Foods, Dr. Tsao was an initial investor and closely engaged with the formation of Sina.Com, the world’s largest Chinese language web portal, and now he serves as a director. Outside of the business world, Dr. Tsao helped found, and is the chairman of, the Taiwan chapter of International Life Science Institute. He is also intimately involved with Angel Heart Family Foundation and the Chinese Christian Relief Association. 

Dr. Tsao recently made a substantial gift to complete and furnish the 150-person lecture hall in the new Scott Bioengineering Building. Named in honor of Dr. Tsao mentor, the Judson M. Harper Auditorium is a state-of-the-art teaching facility that supports the University’s academic and research programs. Dr. Tsao is married and has two children, Arthur and Katherene, and three grandchildren.

 

College of Agricultural Sciences Honor Alumnus

Clinton D. Pilcher
B.S. ’93, Agricultural Sciences

Dr. Clinton Pilcher has spent most of his career working to improve insect pest management options to farmers.  Dr. Pilcher’s interest in entomology started as a young boy working in corn and wheat fields with his father, an Extension entomologist. He has dedicated his professional career to developing insect control solutions created through agricultural biotechnology.  His ultimate goal is to help farmers globally manage these valuable tools in a sustainable manner in order to meet future food production needs.

Dr. Pilcher began his career with Monsanto working as a research entomologist.  Currently, he is DuPont Pioneer’s global director for insect resistance management (IRM) within the industry affairs and regulatory department.  He recently became active in CropLife and chairs the biotechnology team within the Insecticide Resistance Action Committee.  This group is responsible for global education and implementation of effective IRM strategies. He has travelled to many countries within Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa, and South and Central America educating key stakeholders on biotech pest control solutions and collaborating with industry, academic, and government officials on management strategies to delay insect resistance development.  Most of his efforts, however, have been working with U.S. farmers on managing challenging corn insect pests.

After finishing his B.S. in bioagricultural science at Colorado State University, he received his M.S. and Ph.D. in entomology and crop production and physiology at Iowa State University. Dr. Pilcher and his wife, Carol, a fellow entomologist, have always been agriculture supporters.  They invest in the next generation of agriculture leaders by contributing to the College of Agricultural Science’s scholarship programs at CSU as well as sponsoring the Pilcher Leadership in Agriculture endowed scholarship at ISU. They also actively support the National Future Farmers of America Foundation.

Dr. Pilcher has received several awards including the Future Seed Giant award sponsored by the American Seed Trade Association and Seed World magazine, as well as awards for activities with the Entomological Society of America. 

Dr. Pilcher is an outdoor enthusiast and is involved with several conservation organizations such as Pheasants Forever.  He and Carol reside in Grimes, Iowa where they have fun with their dogs, Abby and Frazer.

 

College of Business Honor Alumna

Cheryl Zimlich
B.S. ’86, Accounting

Cheryl Zimlich is a board member and executive director of Bohemian Foundation, a philanthropic, grant-making institution based in Fort Collins, Colo. that works to involve Fort Collins citizens in the care and improvement of their community. The Foundation seeks to improve the well-being of children, strengthen the role of music in our community, and inspire citizens into action on community issues. Bohemian also seeks to strengthen democracy and promote active and informed participation. Mrs. Zimlich is also responsible for the development of Bohemian’s Global Initiatives program that seeks to discover and promote high-impact, sustainable solutions to the world’s most acute challenges at the intersection of poverty alleviation, public health, and the environment. 

Mrs. Zimlich is a philanthropist, respected community leader, and 20-year volunteer in the education and nonprofit sectors. In addition to Bohemian Foundation, Mrs. Zimlich has held board and leadership positions in more than a dozen organizations. She currently serves on the boards of advisors for Colorado State University’s College of Business Global Leadership Council and Center for Advancement of Sustainable Enterprise, as well as UniverCity Connections, the Fort Collins Downtown Development Authority, Homeward 2020, and the national nonprofits Little Kids Rock and Book Trust.

She resides in Fort Collins, Colorado with her husband and three children.

 

College of Engineering Honor Alumnus

Terry Ruhl, P.E., F. ASCE
B.S. ’88, Civil Engineering

Terry Ruhl is a recognized leader in the field of transportation infrastructure development with 26 years of industry experience. He serves as president of CH2M HILL’s global transportation market, a more than $1 Billion business spanning the aviation, bridges, highways, ports, public transportation, and rail sectors. 

From performing major infrastructure investment studies in Colorado to executive sponsorship on the Panama Canal’s third set of locks project, the HS2 planned high-speed railway in the United Kingdom, Mumbai’s international airport modernization, and the King Abdulaziz Public Transport Project in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Mr. Ruhl helps link businesses, communities, and families around the world by land, sea, and sky.

Mr. Ruhl’s involvement with CSU is multi-faceted. He has served on the College of Engineering Advisory Board and supported the development of the signature Engineering II research and academic building. In 2012, Mr. Ruhl offered commencement speech advice to the College of Engineering graduates, crediting his CSU degree with laying a solid foundation for his professional career and his life. More recently, Mr. Ruhl has been instrumental in developing a partnership between CSU and CH2M HILL to establish a presence for the University in Denver’s South Metro region. And he is working with the College of Engineering to develop undergraduate programs in the fields of transportation and infrastructure development, and the business practices of engineering consultancy.

Mr. Ruhl is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE Fellow), the Institute of Transportation Engineers, and the Transportation Research Board. He also served as the board of director’s chair for the Airport Consultants Council and has written many articles on airport planning and engineering, as well as overall transportation and business management issues. He and his wife, Leslie, have three children: Logan, Tanner, and Jordan, two of whom are proud to call CSU home.

 

College of Health and Human Sciences Honor Alumna

Beryl "Brownie" McGraw
B.S. ’65 and M.Ed. ’72, Education

Though Beryl (“Brownie”) McGraw was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and attended 12 schools in 13 years, she graduated from East High School in Denver, Colorado. She enrolled at Colorado A&M in 1948, pledged Gamma Phi Beta, was pinned to Sigma Nu by Fum McGraw in 1949, they were married in 1950 after his first year with the Detroit Lions. His professional football career took him on a five-year stint with the Lions, back to Fort Collins, and then on to Pittsburgh where Mr. McGraw coached for the Pittsburgh Steelers. They eventually returned to Fort Collins where Mrs. McGraw finished her degree and started teaching at Wellington Junior High.

When all three of the McGraw children turned 10 years old, they spent their summers working on 10-day horseback pack trips, where they learned a lot about hard work and people. They then owned and ran a working cattle and guest ranch on the Laramie River, which they sold when Mr. McGraw was asked to be interim athletic director.

Over the years, Mrs. McGraw served in several leadership positions within Poudre School District, including dean of students at Blevins Junior High School, dean of women and then dean of students at Rocky Mountain High School, assistant principal and then principal at Rocky before becoming principal at Lincoln Junior High.

In 1990, she took a part-time position at the district attorney’s office as a juvenile specialist, working with agencies concerned with health, drug use, restorative justice, and before-and-after-school activities. She retired in 2011.

Mrs. McGraw currently serves on the following committees: Center for Family Outreach (past president); Crimestoppers (president); Health District Mental Health/Substance Abuse Steering Committee; Health District Early Identification and Early Intervention Task Force (chair); Community Health Improvement Plan Mental and Emotional Well-Being Steering Committee; Griffin Foundation Scholarship Committee; and Inspiration Playground Grant Committee (Chair).

The McGraws have three children: David (Patti; daughter Tara, son Sean and his wife Emily and their son Eli); Mike (twin sons Conor and Shane); and Debbie (Carl Hansen; daughter Lisa and her husband Kaycee Lyttle; daughter Kalie – both daughters are CSU graduates). Mr. McGraw died in 2000.

Mrs. McGraw is a life member of the Alumni Association.

 

 

College of Liberal Arts Honor Alumni

Cary Griffin
B.A. ’77, Technical Journalism

Tom Suber
B.A. ’75, History

Cary Griffin and Tom Suber first met at CSU’s Ingersoll Hall in 1973. Ms. Griffin was studying journalism and Mr. Suber was majoring in history with an Asian studies minor. After going their separate ways in 1975 when both were congressional interns, they met again 10 years later, and married in 1986. They reside in Washington, D.C., and have two sons, ages 22 and 17.

After graduation, Ms. Griffin used her writing skills (and a referral from her CSU technical journalism adviser Derry Eynon) to secure a position as an assistant editor with Gorman Publishing in Chicago. That led to a public relations position with a major food commodity promotion board, also based in Chicago. From there she headed to San Diego where she held account executive positions with two of San Diego’s leading PR firms. It was in San Diego where Ms. Griffin first became interested in building development, design, and construction. In the early 1980s, she accepted a marketing position in Washington, D.C. with Hanley Wood, Inc., a leading magazine publisher in the residential and commercial architecture, design, and building industry.

Following five challenging and exciting years helping Hanley Wood become one of the most respected magazine publishers in the country, Ms. Griffin started her own marketing communications company in Washington, D.C. in 1989. She represents national building product manufacturers who market to the residential and commercial construction industries. Her award-winning firm has been in business more than 25 years and is one of a handful of marketing communications firms to specialize in the building industry. From the outset, the company has offered a paid intern program for college students majoring in journalism, public relations, or communications.   

Mr. Suber went directly from CSU to earn a master’s degree in foreign service from Georgetown University, upon the completion of which he backpacked through Asia. During that trip he had the pleasure of staying in Thailand with noted CSU alumnus and journalist, Bill Latch (deceased). Mr. Suber returned to the U.S. to start his career in Wisconsin and Illinois in sales and management positions with export manufacturers of pollution control equipment.

A move to Washington, D.C. by one of the firms allowed Mr. Suber to move into agriculture with two different international consulting firms before joining the dairy industry in 1990. In 1995, Mr. Suber was hired as president of the newly-formed U.S. Dairy Export Council, a trade association developing export markets for U.S. dairy processors and farmers, where he continues to serve. He also chairs a U.S. government trade advisory committee and is on the board of directors for the Dairy Research Institute, the Food & Agricultural Export Alliance, and Commonwealth Academy.

 

College of Natural Sciences Honor Alumna Award

Leslie A. Buttorff (Cavarra)
B.S. ’79, Statistics

Probability and statistics came naturally to Leslie Buttorff.  She started using probabilities in 2nd grade when approached for a business venture to sell her hair for savings bond stamps. While attending Wheat Ridge High School in the Denver metro area, a CSU representative came to Ms. Buttorff’s math class and talked about statistics degrees. Because she loved math, and because statistics offered careers in a field she enjoyed and a good income, she decided to major in statistics at CSU.

Statistics helps people think differently about things and to solve problems. Statistics allows one to combine business, math, and economics all into one subject; this is valuable for the business world because probability and analysis come into play in almost every business opportunity. Ms. Buttorff received her master’s degree in finance, industrial engineering, and statistics from Iowa State University.

Ms. Buttorff spent 15 years at an engineering company, Stone and Webster, working on regulatory matters for many utilities across the globe. Statistics was used to determine increment pricing, marginal power demands, and failure rates for nuclear and hydroelectric equipment. Currently, Buttorff is CEO and president of Quintel Management Consultants, a company that deals with management consulting and SAP technology integrations for public sector and utility organizations. She created the company in 2002.  Quintel has won many awards for successful SAP implementations.

Before she founded Quintel, she was a director at Arthur D. Little where she was a key participant in business development, sales and was the president of EDS’ Oil and Gas, Utilities and Chemical business units. In addition to Quintel, Ms. Buttorff owns a real estate company in Colorado and is chairwoman for Active Youth Network (AYN).  AYN targets youth organizations and assist them with fundraising and growth activities.

Ms. Buttorff sponsors a scholarship at CSU for high school seniors who enroll in the CSU statistics department. She also hopes to have her investment company, Prosperity Ventures, help other CSU ventures to expand and grow.

Ms. Buttorff lives in the Belleair Shores, Florida area in the winter months. She enjoys golf, swimming, traveling, skiing, and basketball, and is an avid Denver Broncos fan. She has two sons, Jordan and Nick.  Her brother and sister, Nick and Jennifer Cavarra, also attended CSU, as well as her significant other, John Miles.

 

College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Honor Alumnus

Dr. R. Craig Postlewaite
B.S. ’74, Veterinary Science; D.V.M. ’76

Dr. R. Craig Postlewaite serves as chief of the Public Health Division in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs. There he provides policy, direction, and oversight for all aspect of military public health. Dr. Postlewaite has developed numerous policies and programs to prevent disease, disability, and death among Service members and their families, to include protection of Service members’ health during deployment. As the senior public health policy maker, he delivered testimony to Congress; contributed toward many national and international military public health initiatives; and directed the establishment of a radiation exposure registry for 75,000 DoD members and their families in Japan exposed to low-levels of radiation following the 2011 tsunami.

Dr. Postlewaite was commissioned in the Air Force in 1973 on an Armed Forces Health Professional Scholarship and earned a doctor of veterinary medicine degree from Colorado State University in 1976 and a master’s degree in public health from Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health in 1987. He retired as a colonel in 2002 after having served for 26 years as an Air Force veterinarian and an Air Force Public Health Officer. He served as an assistant professor of biology at the U.S. Air Force Academy; the Command Public Health Officer, United States Air Forces in Europe; and director of Health Risk Management in the Office the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Environment, Safety, and Occupational Health.

Dr. Postlewaite’s military decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal. His civilian awards include the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Civilian Service and the Johns Hopkins Woodrow Wilson Excellence in Government Service Award. He is married to Betty Postlewaite(B.S. ’74, M.S. ’76), has two grown children, and resides in Burke, Virginia.

 

Warner College of Natural Resources Honor Alumnus

A. Alonso Aguirre
M.S. ’87 and Ph.D. ’90, Fishery and Wildlife Biology

 

Dr. Alonso Aguirre, a veterinarian by training, received his M.S. and Ph.D. in wildlife biology and protected area management from Colorado State University. He is associate professor at the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at George Mason University where he heads a program of collaborative research that focuses on the ecology of wildlife disease and the links to human health and conservation of biodiversity. His research has been instrumental in revealing the impact of emerging diseases of marine wildlife populations. Until recently, he served as the executive director of the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation and director of the Mason Center for Conservation Studies. Previously, he was senior vice president at EcoHealth Alliance (formerly known as Wildlife Trust) in New York, also holding appointments at the Consortium for Conservation Medicine, the Center for Environmental Research and Conservation at Columbia University, and at Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.

He cofounded the emerging discipline of conservation medicine and authored both seminal books on the topic, and has published more than 160 papers.He has advised governments of several countries in the Americas, Southeast Asia, and Western Europe. Dr. Aguirre has briefed the Mexican and U.S. Congress. His work has been the focus of extensive media coverage including Bioscience, Conservation In Practice, E-Magazine, Science News, Environmental Health Perspectives, the New York Times, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Newsweek, National Public Radio, Al Jazzera Stream TV, CBS, LTV and other international magazines, TV and radio shows. 

Dr. Aguirre has received numerous awards including the Harry Jalanka Memorial Medal from Finland for outstanding contributions to wildlife medicine and the Conservation Award of the Year from the Mexico State Commission of Natural Parks and Wildlife for his role in conserving protected areas for monarch butterflies. Dr. Aguirre and his wife, Hannia, live in a farmhouse in Front Royal, Virginia, with their two spoiled Birman cats and 13 chickens.