Distinguished Alumni Awards


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.


Nominations are now open for the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Awards. See below for award descriptions and nomination instructions and forms.


2016 Distinguished Alumni Awards Video

Nomination Forms & Award Descriptions

NOMINATION DEADLINE: Friday, June 30, 2017 (by 5 p.m. MST).
All nominations must be RECEIVED by this time/date.


Online form | Download PDF form

This award is named for Colorado State University’s 8th President, Dr. William E. Morgan, whose participation in and commitment to the life of Colorado State University for over 30 years has significantly contributed to Colorado State’s position as a premier institution of higher education. This award is the highest honor given by the Association and is reserved for alumni who have excelled at the national or international level. The purpose of this award is to recognize a graduate of Colorado State University who has attained extraordinary distinction and success in his/her field of endeavor, whose achievements have brought credit to Colorado State University and benefit to his/her fellow citizens.

The ideal candidate must have:
• degree from Colorado State University
• proven record of extraordinary distinction and accomplishment in his/her field
• demonstrated achievements that have brought credit to CSU
• demonstrated leadership and service to his/her community and society at large
• received national or international recognition
• made a significant contribution of time and talent to the University
• demonstrated value for the university’s commitment to research, education, extensionand service


Online form | Download PDF Form

This award is named for Dr. Charles A. Lory, 5th president of Colorado State University, whose leadership helped the university attain a vital balance of teaching, research and service. It is given to an individual who has demonstrated exceptional and sustained leadership in his/her community, professional field, or personal commitments, and has given a significant contribution of time and talent to the University. The recipient need not be a Colorado State University alumnus/a.

The ideal candidate must have:
• demonstrated exceptional and sustained leadership in his/her professional field and/or personal commitments
• demonstrated extraordinary and exemplary public and/or community service
• made a significant contribution of time and talent to the university


Online form | Download PDF form

This award is given in honor of Jim (’40) and Nadine (Hartshorn) (’41) Henry of Longmont, Colorado, who exemplify extraordinary service to Colorado State University and its academic, athletic, and alumni programs. This award is presented annually to a person who represents the highest goals of the Alumni Association and Colorado State University, and who has given significant support and service to the Alumni Association and the University. The recipient need not be a Colorado State University alumnus/a.

The ideal candidate must:
• adequately embody and demonstrate the four core values of the CSU Alumni Association: Pride, Tradition, Relationships and Diversity
• demonstrate a commitment to, and involvement in, the life of the university
• have given significant support to the CSU Alumni Association and the university
• demonstrate a record of service to the university, the CSU Alumni Association and Athletics


Online form | Download PDF form

The purpose of this award is to recognize a recent graduate for his/her accomplishments made in the area of career, service, and/or volunteer efforts that have brought honor to the individual and to Colorado State University. The nominee must have graduated from Colorado State University within the last ten years and must have received at least his/her undergraduate degree from Colorado State.

The ideal candidate must have:
• obtained CSU undergraduate degree within the last ten years from the nomination deadline (2006-2016)
• demonstrated contributions that have brought honor to the individual and to CSU in the area of career, service and/or volunteer efforts 


Online form | Download PDF

The purpose of this award is to recognize an individual for his/her outstanding commitment to Colorado State University Athletics, who has contributed to the goal of excellence in athletics, and brought honor to the university. The recipient may be a current or former Athletic Department staff member, former athlete, or dedicated volunteer and does not need to be a Colorado State University graduate.

The ideal candidate must have:
• evidence of outstanding commitment to CSU Athletics
• made significant contributions (as a staff member, athlete, volunteer or donor) towards the success of CSU Athletics
• demonstrated achievements that have brought honor to the university


Online form | Download PDF form

Colorado State University has a strong and rapidly growing base of alumni who have enrolled to CSU from abroad, herein referred to as “international alumni”. In recognition of the unique and distinguished alumni in this internationally diverse pool, the Distinguished International Alumni Award recognizes international alumni who have attained distinction and honor in their countries, and continue to create and sustain connections with the University.

The ideal candidate must:
• have a degree from Colorado State University
• be a former CSU student who came from another country
• have proven distinction and honor in their home country
• have continuous engagement with the University after graduation


Online form |Download PDF form

Each year, the Colorado State University Alumni Association honors an outstanding alumnus/a from each of the University's eight colleges. An Honor Alumnus/Alumna is a former student who, by his/her distinguished career and service to the University, state, nation, or world, has brought honor to Colorado State University and to himself/herself.

Ideal candidate must:

  • Be a former student from his/her respective college.
  • Have a record of distinction and accomplishment in his/her field.
  • Have demonstrated service to the University, state, nation, or world.
  • Have demonstrated achievements that have brought honor to CSU and to himself/herself.
  • Have demonstrated their pride in CSU through contributions of time and/or resources

Nomination Tips

  • Write a paragraph for each of the criteria listed. Include a couple of examples of how the nominee "lives" the criteria.
  • Ask multiple people who can provide different points of view or are from different parts of the nominee’s life to address the criteria. Compile these notes into one nomination. This will make it a more comprehensive nomination.
  • Try to include a full picture (time wise) of the nominee’s actions. Include some examples from the nominee’s past and some more recent examples to show the continued demonstrated commitment and actions related to the criteria.
  • Use the forms provided and follow the directions carefully.
  • It is better to put information from external sources into the actual nomination than to include additional older newspaper articles or other documents.

2016 Recipients

William E. Morgan Alumni Achievement Award

Richard L. Robinson  (B.S., animal science, '51)
CSU Alumni Association Life member

Richard L. “Dick” Robinson is a fourth-generation native of Denver. He attended schools in Denver, graduating from East High School, and then attended Colorado A&M College (now Colorado State University), graduating with a B.S. in agriculture.  CSU awarded him an honorary doctorate in 2007.

Robinson was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army after completing his college ROTC. He served on active duty for two years in the field artillery. He spent a majority of his time in Korea, where he was decorated with the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart.

He then began his career in the dairy business, working in the milk plant operated by his family. He has spent his entire working career in the dairy business. Robinson is presently manager of Robinson Management LLC.

He served for many years on the boards of several public companies: U.S. Bancorp, based in Minneapolis, Minn.; American Land Lease; Horizon Organic Dairy; and United States Exploration Inc. He has chaired several civic and community organizations: Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce; CSU Board of Governors; Mountain States Employers Council; and Denver Area Council, Boy Scouts of America. He was also the initial chairman of the Milk Processor Education Program that presented the milk mustache ad program.

Robinson, an avid golfer, is a member of the Castle Pines Golf Club and Denver Country Club. He has been married to Marcia for 60 years and has two children, John and Ellen, and two grandchildren.

Edward A. Robinson (B.S., animal science, '54)
CSU Alumni Association Life member

Edward A. “Eddie” Robinson was born in Denver on May 2, 1932. He is a fourth-generation native of Denver; his great-grandfather, Lewis Robinson, settled in Lakewood, Colo., in 1885. Robinson attended Denver Public Schools, graduating from East High School; he then attended Colorado A&M College (now Colorado State University), graduating with a Bachelor of Science in agriculture in 1954.

Robinson was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S Army after completing his college ROTC. He served on active duty for approximately two years; the majority of his service was in Germany. He returned home in 1956 and, after serving in the inactive Reserve, he received an honorable discharge on Oct. 2, 1962, with the rank of first lieutenant.

He then began his career in the family dairy business. Eddie spent his entire working career in the dairy products processing business.

Robinson has been and continues to be involved in numerous community and charitable organizations. He currently serves as a lifetime member and past chair of the Denver Zoological Foundation; the Denver Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau (VISIT DENVER); and National Jewish Health medical and research center. He is also a past chair of St. Joseph Hospital Foundation. Robinson is a director emeritus of the Colorado Restaurant Association and past board member of both the Metro State College of Denver Foundation and the Colorado Commission of Higher Education. Robinson also served on the board of the Central Bank of Denver, and, subsequently, on the U.S. Bank local advisory board. 

Robinson is married to Susan Robinson and, together, they have a blended family of six children and eight grandchildren. The Robinsons reside in Greenwood Village, Colo.

Robinson enjoys playing golf and is a member of Cherry Hills Country Club. He was president of the club in 2003, and was also a member of Green Gables Country Club and Cherry Creek Country Club.

Robinson and his brother, Dick Robinson, formed the present Robinson Dairy in 1975 by purchasing the assets of Robert’s Dairy for their operations in Denver. They sold the company to Dean Foods in 1999. The Robinson brothers  currently are managing partners with their investment company, Robinson Management LLC.

Charles A. Lory Public Service Award

Douglas and Wynne Odell

Doug Odell received his B.A. in geology in 1980 from California State University in Sonoma and holds a B.A. in psychology. Wynne Odell received her B.A. in biology/geology from Whitman College and an M.B.A. from the University of Washington. The Odells founded the Odell Brewing Co. in 1989 with two principal purposes in mind: to be self-employed and to save American beer. Achieving instant success on the first count, Doug and Wynne Odell began to fine-tune their second goal to optimize its impact. Three key values emerged that shaped Odell Brewing Co.’s future: quality, collaboration, and contribution.

The Odells have been presented with the Brewers Association’s Recognition Award for a lifetime achievement of positively promoting the American craft-brewing community. Odell Brewing was named the “Best Company to Work For” in Colorado in 2015 and is an award-winning brewery with countless honors for individual beers. 90 Shilling was one of Doug Odell’s first offerings, and remains the brewery’s top-selling flagship. It recently won a Gold Medal at the 2016 World Beer Cup.

Doug and Wynne Odell first began supporting Colorado State University 25 years ago, just two years after moving to Fort Collins to open their original brewery. When CSU launched the Beverage Business Institute and the Brewing Science course, the Odells were early supporters, not only with their financial resources, but with time and talent. While Wynne Odell became engaged with the College of Business, Doug Odell’s passion for brewing led him to give countless hours in support of the brewing course. The Odells and Odell Brewing Co. recently made a $100,000 cash commitment to CSU’s Fermentation Science and Technology program, in support of building and equipping the new pilot brewery and analytical laboratory in the Gifford Building. Beyond the more obvious gifts of money, time, and beer, the indirect benefits of having icons in the industry such as Doug and Wynne Odell support and endorse the efforts of CSU are immeasurable. When others in the industry see the Odell logo associated with the BBI, it projects an instant credibility that is critically important in terms of having an impact within the industry.

The Odells have a daughter, Corey, and a son, Riley, who is a 2014 CSU graduate.

Jim and Nadine Henry Award

Thomas (B.S., farm and ranch management, ’58) and Margaret Bradbury
CSU Alumni Association Life Members

Tom and Margaret Bradbury met at Colorado State University and were married in Danforth Chapel on the Oval in 1958. They then began ranching in Byers, Colo., which became their home for the next 45 years. Located about 40 miles east of Denver, the Bradbury Land and Cattle Co. continues to strive to be a top-quality farm and cattle operation. The Bradburys have been equal partners through their dedication to the Byers community, CSU, and agriculture.

The Bradburys have made a life of hard work and raising a tight-knit and committed family. Byproducts of this work and commitment have been quality Hereford and Red Angus cattle and world-champion quarter horses. A major highlight for Tom and Margaret Bradbury was owning and racing Dash for Speed, who was the 1990 World Champion Racing Quarter Horse. Tom Bradbury was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Association National Hall of Fame in 2015.

The Bradburys raised four children on the ranch. The entire family was committed to doing its part to make Byers a better community. The Bradburys have always had a passion for education and have given many scholarships to many graduates in the Byers community. Over the years, Tom and Margaret Bradbury have served in various capacities, such as on the Byers school board, and with the Byers Booster Club and the Byers Volunteer Fire District. Tom Bradbury also helped establish the Bijou Telephone Co., and he served as its president for 40 years. 

Tom Bradbury has been a director of the National Western Stock Show since 1977 and was a member of the Executive Committee for 10 years, retiring this year. Margaret Bradbury served as a volunteer at the NWSS for 12 years. She was a member of the arrangements committee for the Citizen of the West dinner for about 20 years and was chairman for two years. The National Western Stock Show and CSU have close ties, and the NWSS offers many scholarships to students attending CSU.

The Bradburys have earnestly campaigned for the betterment of CSU. They are longtime 1870 Club members (donors who give at least $1,870 each year); served on the Campaign Leadership Council in 2008, helping to lead the campaign that raised $537.3 million for the University; are Ram Club members; and have funded two Legacy Scholarships for CSU athletics, one for football and one for women’s basketball, and currently are Legacy donors for a football athlete. Tom Bradbury was a member of the Alumni Board, and received the Distinguished Alumni Award in Agricultural Sciences in 2004. Tom and Margaret Bradbury are passionate Rams fans, have been longtime season football ticket holders, and have been members of the CSU Beef Club since its inception. Two of their children attended CSU, and six of their 13 grandchildren have become CSU Rams.

The Bradburys now live in southeast Aurora and also spend part of the year in Arizona.

Albert C. Yates Student Leadership Award

Daniele Croteau (B.S., apparel and merchandising, '16*)

Daniele Croteau is an apparel and merchandising major with minors in mathematics and business administration at Colorado State University. She is expected to graduate from Colorado State University in December 2016, completing her degree in just three-and-a-half years. She is on the Dean’s list, is an Honors Scholar, and is the Green and Gold Scholarship recipient. Croteau participates in Fall Clean Up and CSUnity. Croteau participates in the Fashion Group International Student Chapter at CSU, where she served as president for two years. Croteau volunteers at various events in her industry and is passionate about CSU, fashion, and her career.

Croteau has split her time among school, the student organizations, and work off campus. With a heavy course load, Croteau has had a very busy schedule as a University student; however, she has strived to maintain excellent performance in all areas. Her professors admire her hard work ethic and ability to soar. With a 3.979 GPA and busy schedule, Croteau represents CSU pride and is a role model to her peers.

*anticipated graduation date

Distinguished Graduate of the Last Decade Award

James Iacino (B.A., political science, ’05; M.B.A., business administration, ’12)
CSU Alumni Association Life Member

President and Chief Executive Officer James Iacino, grandson of Mose Iacino, founder of Seattle Fish Co., represents the third generation of the Iacino family in the seafood business. Iacino oversees the largest seafood distribution operation in the region, including processing and distribution facilities in Denver and Kansas City, and a team that operates 24/7 to supply more than 12 million pounds of seafood annually throughout the Rocky Mountains. Seattle Fish Co. operates based on a vivid vision to sustainably feed people to ensure the health of our communities and the planet. He’s a recognized leader within the seafood industry, graduating from the National Fisheries Institute’s Future Leaders program, and in the community, serving on the Cooking Matters Colorado Leadership Council, the Colorado Children’s Chorale Board of Trustees, and the ACE Scholarships Board of Advisors.

Iacino is currently actively involved with Colorado State University through his service as founder and chairman of the Green & Gold Foundation. The foundation comprises business and community leaders from around the country who share a passion for the University and have combined resources to make a more meaningful impact in the form of annual gifts to support college initiatives and students through direct scholarships. He has also established the Iacino Honors Scholarship to help the University recruit the most talented potential students from Colorado to join our Rams community.

Iacino has received numerous awards, both personally and on behalf of Seattle Fish Co. Most recently, he was named the EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2016 Family Business Award winner in the Mountain Desert region. Iacino and his wife, Meghan, a CSU alumna, currently reside in Denver, with their dog, Carlton, and cat, Drama. They are expecting their first child, a baby boy, this December.

Distinguished Alumni Employee Award

Carmen Menoni (Ph.D., physics, ’87)

Colorado State University Distinguished Professor, Dr. Carmen Menoni, is an internationally recognized researcher and role model for women in engineering and science. She has established strong research programs in semiconductor physics, optical materials science and engineering, and nano-scale imaging. Dr. Menoni is the co-PI for the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center for Extreme Ultraviolet Science and Technology and serves as president of XUV Lasers, a small startup company established jointly with Dr. Jorge Rocca to commercialize EUV sources and related application technologies. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, American Physical Society, Optical Society of America, and International Society for Optics and Photonics. Her innovative research has received national and international recognition, including an R&D 100 Award, widely recognized as the “Oscars of Innovation,” for leading the development of a compact extreme ultraviolet light-based microscope. In 2012, Dr. Menoni received CSU’s Scholarship Impact Award, and she received the IEEE Distinguished Lecture Award for the Photonics Society in 2014.


Jorge Rocca (Ph.D., electrical engineering, ’83)

Colorado State University Distinguished Professor, Dr. Jorge Rocca, is an international leader in the development of compact X-ray lasers. He and his team have found ways to dramatically improve the quality of ultrashort wavelength light produced by small-sized lasers – a groundbreaking discovery particularly valuable for nanoscience and nanotechnology. Dr. Rocca is the director of the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center for Extreme Ultraviolet Science and Technology, a partnership between CSU, the University of Colorado Boulder, and the University of California Berkeley/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Dr. Rocca is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the Optical Society of America, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Among his many achievements, he is the recipient of the Willis E. Lamb Award for Laser Science and Quantum Optics by Physics of Quantum Electronics and the Arthur L. Schawlow Prize in Laser Science. Dr. Rocca also received the IEEE Distinguished Lecturer Award from the Lasers and Electro-Optics Society in 2008.

Both of these professors are innovative in their classrooms, taking their profound knowledge and sharing it with the students of Colorado State University.

Distinguished Faculty Award

John Straayer, Ph.D.

Dr. John Straayer, professor of political science, joined Colorado State University after receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Arizona in 1967. He will complete a half-century of service at CSU at the end of this academic year.

Dr. Straayer chaired the political science department from 1972 to 1987, served two terms as faculty representative on the CSU Board of Governors, and has directed his department’s internship program in the Colorado General Assembly for nearly four decades, with more than 1,000 students having participated in the program. Dr. Straayer has taught a wide variety of courses and participated extensively in faculty governance.

Dr. Straayer’s prime academic interests have been Colorado politics, and his writings include a dozen books and a variety of articles and book chapters. Most notable is his study of the Colorado legislature, titled The Colorado General Assembly (1990, 2000). His work was described by the Colorado State Publications Library as the classic work on the institution. For years, Dr. Straayer has been a Colorado and national media go-to source for commentary on Colorado politics.

Among the many awards Dr. Straayer has received are the CSU Oliver P. Pennock Distinguished Service Award, the John N. Stern Liberal Arts Distinguished Professor Award, awards for Distinction in Outreach and Advancement, and several commendations from the Colorado General Assembly. He and his wife, Judy, established the John Straayer Citizenship and Public Service Scholarships for Colorado State University student-interns.

Dr. Straayer has three children, Kathy of South Lake, Texas; David of Parker, Colo.; and Jeffrey of Denver; plus five grandchildren – Lena, Tim, Trinity, Sophia, and Sloane.

Distinguished International Alumni Award

Gye Woon Choi (Ph.D., civil engineering, ’91)

Dr. Gye Woon Choi holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Inha University, a master’s in civil engineering from Seoul National University, and a doctorate in civil engineering from Colorado State University.

Dr. Choi is a proud alumnus of Colorado State University with a stellar track record of experiences in water resources management. His outstanding leadership is highlighted through his past appointments as the 13th president and chief executive officer of K-water, secretary-general of the World City Water Forum, secretary-general of the International Conference on Hydro-Science and Engineering 2000, vice president of the Korea Water Forum, chairman of the Korea National Committee on Large Dams, vice president of the Korean Civil Engineering Association, and founder and first president of the Asia Water Council.

Dr. Choi’s exceptional vision invigorated his industry expertise in multiple sectors of the nation. With his proficiency in identifying untapped markets and improvement opportunities, he rendered various global partnerships, connecting the world for the improvements of water quality and resource management. Particularly, the seventh World Water Forum is an exemplar of how his emphasis on effective communication between public and private sectors promoted favorable results for the participating organizations worldwide with the successful launch of Smart Water Management Initiative. The event also brought CSU and Korea closer, initiating various research collaboration opportunities. With a career-long history of working for environment and water management, Dr. Choi has been recognized with a number of awards such as Environmental Grand Prize given by Chosun newspaper, the most prominent newspaper in the Republic of Korea.

Dr. Choi’s family has been avid supporters of his academic and organizational endeavors. His loving, supportive wife, Mrs. Young Sook Park, is also a marvelous pianist who dedicates her talents to her church as an accompanist. Dr. Choi and Mrs. Park have two sons who both have the fondest memories of Fort Collins. His oldest son, Wung Rak Choi, who is an ophthalmologist at Severance Hospital at Yonsei University in Korea, spent four years in Fort Collins attending Bennett Elementary School. He married Ji Yeon, a high school math teacher, last October. They are expecting their first child this November. Dr. Choi’s younger son was born in Fort Collins during Dr. Choi’s time at CSU. He recently graduated from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology with a degree in mathematics. He currently is working toward becoming a certified public accountant. He also serves as a Sunday school teacher at his church. The Chois enjoy spending time together, going on family vacations.

Distinguished Athletics Award

John Mattos (B.A., English, ’71)

John Mattos has proven, through his 31 years of collegiate coaching, that Colorado State University’s women’s swimming and diving program is among the best in the nation.

As an accomplished student-athlete at CSU, Mattos was a Western Athletic Conference champion and a National Conference Athletic Association All-American finalist in the 100 and 200 backstroke. He still holds the school record in the 100 backstroke, which was set at the 1970 NCAA championships.

In 1980, Mattos started coaching at CSU, where he coached 13 All-Americans, had 68 student-athletes swim in NCAA championships, and had athletes set 116 school records. Mattos has more than 220 career dual-meet wins, more than any other coach in school history, and he guided teams to two regional titles and eight conference championships.

In 1983, Mattos was honored as the first male to receive the Coach of the Year Award from the Sportswomen of Colorado and was named the NCAA Division I Coach of the Year in 1994. Mattos was also selected as an assistant coach for the United States Swimming World Long Course Championship team and as head coach of the National Junior Elite Training Camp team for Olympic development.

In 1994, he coached Amy Van Dyken to CSU’s first NCAA individual event championship in the 50 freestyle, where she set new American, NCAA, and U.S. Open records. Van Dyken went on to the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta where she became the first American woman to win four gold medals, and she trained with Mattos for the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, where she won two additional gold medals.

In 2004, Mattos was selected to the Short Course U.S. World Championship coaching staff that competed at the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind., the first swimming event ever held indoors with portable pools in a 20,000-seat venue.

As a longtime member of the College Swimming Coaches Association of America and the American Swimming Coaches Association, Mattos achieved Distinguished Coach Awards, Master Coach Awards, and The Richard E. Steadman Award. He has spoken at the American Swimming Coaches Association, College Swimming Coaches Association of America, and Mexican swimming annual conventions, and has presented at USA Swimming-sponsored symposiums to educate coaches nationally. Mattos was inducted into the CSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005.

Mattos retired from CSU in 2011 and serves as president of the Ram Alumni Athletes Association. He lives in Fort Collins with wife, Connie, and they have a daughter, Marissa Valorie. The family spends most of their free time outdoors in Colorado, on the beaches of Southern and central California, and on the beautiful shores of Lake Tahoe.

Distinguished Extension Award

Robert Sturtevant (B.S., outdoor recreation, ’75; M.S., recreation resources, ’80)

Nancy Sturtevant (B.S., business administration, ’94; M.S., business administration, ’06)
CSU Alumni Association Life Members

Bob Sturtevant received both his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science from Colorado State University through the Warner College of Natural Resources and was fortunate to join CSU as a forester in 1978. He retired from the Colorado State University Extension/Forest Service in May 2010 and began his encore years in Ethiopia, serving as a Peace Corps volunteer at the Wondo Genet College of Forestry and Natural Resources. Returning to Fort Collins in 2013, he has found part-time volunteer positions that allow him to spend as much time as possible in the forest.

During his tenure with CSU, Sturtevant was involved in a wide variety of projects, including the Big Thompson flood recovery, private land management, state forest management, and forestry education and Extension. He spent a year in Australia on a forester exchange and was involved in taking two National Christmas trees to Washington, D.C.

Sturtevant has been very involved in the Society of American Foresters and currently serves as the Colorado-Wyoming continuing education coordinator as well as the adviser for the CSU Alpha Student Chapter. He was recognized in his earlier years with the National Young Forester Award and, more recently, as a Fellow and, in 2013, he received the John Beale Memorial Award for lifetime service to forestry.

Sturtevant currently serves as the adviser to the CSU Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity, conservation chair for the Ben Delatour Scout Ranch, Philmont Scout Ranch Visiting Forester Committee member, board of directors member for the Coalition for the Poudre River Watershed, and vice-moderator for Plymouth Congregational Church. He continues to serve the Warner College as a forestry instructor.

Other awards Sturtevant has received include the United Way Volunteer of the Year; Woodland Park, Colorado Wagon Boss Award; William T. Hornaday Gold Medal; CSU Distinguished Administrative Professional Award; CSU Ram Pride Award; and CSU SLICE Advisor of the Year Award.

Sturtevant is married to his co-award recipient, Nancy, and they have two children, Carl and David, and two grandchildren, Karli and Kyle.

Nancy Sturtevant raised two boys and worked for Hewlett-Packard for 19 years before finishing her Bachelor of Science in accounting at Colorado State University. She went on for a Master of Science in computer information systems. She was hired by Accenture and performed technology consulting for various companies and agencies around the country.

After spending a life-changing year in Australia, Sturtevant immediately volunteered at the CSU International Office. This turned into a long-term avocation, and Sturtevant become a fixture both at the International Office as well as the Fort Collins International Center. One of her accomplishments was to start an outdoor program for the students. Sturtevant and her husband, Bob, would organize trips lasting from one to four days and load up students and camping gear to explore Colorado and the surrounding states.

Once retired, the Sturtevants joined the Peace Corps and served in Ethiopia where Nancy Sturtevant was an information technology teacher, mentor, and troubleshooter for Wondo Genet College. Back in Fort Collins, she jumped back into international work and currently serves as the program coordinator for the CSU International Office. 

Other areas of service to the community include adviser to the Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity, special needs coordinator, McBackpack Project, treasurer for the Murulle Foundation, and nominations committee chair for Plymouth Congregational Church. While in Ethiopia, the Sturtevants assisted in building a kindergarten, which now has 230 students and is supported through fundraising efforts led by the couple.

Nancy Sturtevant’s awards include CSU International Office – Max and Peggy Becker Lifetime Achievement Award; NAFSA: Association of International Education’s Hugh Jenkins Award for lifetime leadership in showcasing volunteerism and volunteers in the advancement of international education; CSU International Programs Distinguished Service Award; CSU Ram Pride Award; and CSU SLICE Outstanding Advisor Award.

The Sturtevants have two children, Carl and David, and two grandchildren, Karli and Kyle.

College of Agricultural Sciences Honor Alumnus

Stuart Ross (B.S., agronomy, ’85; M.B.A. business administration, ’89)

Stuart Ross was born and raised on a cotton and cattle farm in Rhodesia. After completing his national service in the Rhodesian air force, and working for three years on the family farm, Ross attended Colorado State University and obtained a Bachelor of Science in agronomy and an M.B.A. Between degrees, Stuart worked as a research associate in the Department of Agronomy at CSU.

After graduating in 1989, Ross worked for a managed health care plan in Denver and was recruited to help build an integrated health care delivery system, Physician Health Partners, a well-regarded component of the Denver health care market.

In 1995, Ross was recruited to join Levine Healthcare, a very successful consulting firm specializing in helping health plans and insurers interested in entering the Medicare Advantage program. Ross worked with major health plans across the United States, and Levine Healthcare became the pre-eminent Medicare risk/advantage consulting firm in the country. In 1996, Ross met his wife, Valarie, during a consulting job in Memphis, Tenn. Weary of being a road warrior and contemplating marriage, Ross accepted an offer to return to Denver as the chief operating officer of Physician Health Partners.

In 2000, Ross, along with four other investors, decided to build a new Medicare Advantage health plan in Puerto Rico. The Rosses packed their bags, put their house on the market, and moved to Puerto Rico. Starting the company with Val and one other employee, Ross began the lengthy process of obtaining regulatory approval from both the U.S. and Puerto Rican governments to begin operating on the island. In September 2001, MMM Healthcare began operating and, by the end of 2004, the company had 500 employees, almost 100,000 enrollees, and annual revenue of $600 million. These numbers caught the eye of a New Jersey-based company, which purchased MMM at the end of 2004.

Stuart and Val Ross have spent the years since then traveling, building homes, establishing a charitable foundation, and becoming more involved with CSU. They established the Rhodesian Farmers Memorial Scholarship, which provides full tuition for three years for exceptional students in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at CSU. Ross is a member of the Dean’s Leadership Council and is working closely with Dean Ajay Menon to develop an Ag Innovation incubator at CSU. The Rosses currently live on their ranch near Glenwood Springs, Colo.

College of Business Honor Alumnus

Michael Mooney (B.S., business administration, ’71)

Michael Mooney is a 1971 graduate of the College of Business at Colorado State University. Upon earning his bachelor’s degree, he was commissioned a lieutenant and Distinguished Air Force Graduate in the United States Air Force through the ROTC program at CSU. While on active duty, he was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service. In addition, he received recognition as the Company Grade Officer of the Year for the entire Air Force Command for his professional duties and his family service to the Vietnamese immigration community of that decade. Mooney’s professional duties as an officer focused on the analysis and negotiation of sole-source multimillion dollar contracts for jet craft and missiles. 

Mooney earned his master’s degree in business from the University of Utah while serving as a captain in the United States Air Force. In 1982, Mooney was recruited by Allergan Pharmaceuticals Inc. In his 12 years at Allergan, his responsibilities included multiple business acquisitions in Europe, the United States, and South America. He led the team that purchased American Medical Supply’s Medical Optics Division in 1988, which thrust Allergan into the ophthalmic surgical business. As senior vice president and chief financial officer of North and South America, he, along with the executive team of Allergan Medical Optics, led the way to many of the innovations in today’s treatment of cataracts and other ocular disorders. 

In 1994, Mooney was recruited into the entertainment industry by the British major, EMI Limited, and was executive vice president and CFO of North American Commercial Operations. During his 16 years, he and the EMI executive team helped develop the careers of many of the world’s top artists, including Garth Brooks, Coldplay, Katy Perry, Norah Jones, Keith Urban, the Rolling Stones, Janet Jackson, and many others across the genre spectrum.

Since his retirement from 40 years in the corporate environment, Mooney has dedicated his weekly time to counseling and mentoring others of all ages and backgrounds in career development. With more than 800 volunteer hours at the Los Angeles LGBT Career Planning Center and Homeless Youth Center, he recently was awarded the Gold Star Award for his outstanding service and commitment to others.

Mooney has served on the College of Business Dean’s Global Leadership Council since 2008, through which he has had the honor of mentoring a number of CSU students.

Mooney and his partner of 37 years, Mitch Hollander, have three children, Jennifer, Matthew, and Amy, who, with their exceptional spouses, are raising their five amazing grandchildren.

College of Engineering Honor Alumnus

Richard George (B.S., civil engineering, ’73)

During two decades at the helm of Suncor Energy, Rick George oversaw the successful transformation of a small privately held oil sands company with a valuation of $1 billion, to Canada’s largest integrated energy company with a public valuation of more than $50 billion. He was named “Outstanding CEO of the Year” in 1999 and received the Canadian Business Leader Award in 2000.

George was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in December 2007 for his leadership in the development of Canada’s natural resources sector, for his efforts to provide economic opportunities to Aboriginal communities, and for his commitment to sustainable development. In 2008, he was inducted into the Canadian Petroleum Hall of Fame.

In May 2013, George was elected as chairman of the board of Penn West Exploration. In 2012, George was elected to the board of the Royal Bank of Canada and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. As well, he was selected by the Ivey School of Business to receive the 2012 Ivey Business Leader Award. George also recently published a book with HarperCollins Canada called Sun Rise: Suncor, the Oil Sands, and the Future of Energy.

He served as chairman of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives from 2003-2006 and was selected to serve as chair of the Canadian contingent of the North American Competitiveness Council in 2008. He was also a member of the Calgary Committee to End Homelessness in 2007 and chair of the 2008 Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference.

Originally from Brush, Colo., George spent 10 years with Sun Co., primarily in the U.K., the last four of which were spent as managing director of Sun Oil Britain Limited. He moved from London, England, to Canada in 1991.

George holds a Bachelor of Science in engineering from Colorado State University and a law degree from the University of Houston Law School and is a graduate of the Harvard Business School Program for Management Development. He and his wife have three children. The entire family became Canadian citizens in 1996.

College of Health and Human Sciences Honor Alumna

Nancy Richardson (B.S., housing and interior design, ’82)

Nancy Richardson is the co-founder and co-owner of Otter Products LLC, and the brains behind the OtterBox brand’s name and logo. She serves as co-founder and board member of Blue Ocean Enterprises Inc. and Blue Ocean Holdings LLC, firms dedicated to strategic investments in new businesses and real estate. Richardson serves as a design adviser on Blue Ocean’s commercial real estate and redevelopment projects, directing the vision for the company’s interior spaces. She and her husband have two grown sons and reside in Fort Collins, Colo.

In addition to these roles, Richardson focuses her time and efforts on giving back to the community through the initiatives of the Richardson Foundation, the private philanthropic organization of the Richardson family. In 2010, she founded the OtterCares Foundation, a private foundation dedicated to inspiring youth to change the world. In 2016, she founded the Blue Ocean Foundation, which exists to support economic growth through economic development and philanthropic efforts in communities where Blue Ocean conducts business.

Richardson also serves as a board member for CURE International, a Christian health care network that operates charitable hospitals and pediatric surgical programs in 29 countries; and Rescue: Freedom International, a nonprofit working in seven countries to empower the rescue and restoration of women and children suffering in sexual slavery; and she serves on the Northern Regional Council for the El Pomar Foundation.

Richardson has been widely recognized for her service to the Northern Colorado community. She received the Women of Distinction Award in 2012 from BizWest and the 2014 Colorado State University Outstanding Alumna Award. Along with her husband, Richardson has been honored with the Hope Award by the MS Society’s Colorado-Wyoming Chapter, the 2012 Lamplighter Award from Team Fort Collins, the Collins Award from the Fort Collins Chamber of Commerce, and the Values-Aligned Leadership Summit Award from Colorado Christian University.

College of Liberal Arts Honor Alumnus

Shaesby Scott (B.F.A., art, ’97)

Shaesby Scott graduated in 1997 with a Bachelor of Arts in fine arts. Scott’s inspiration is rooted in art and sculpture. At a young age, he was exposed to art by his mother and other influential artists who pioneered abstract expressionism during the 1960s and ’70s. A native of Lafayette, La., he traveled to various artists’ studios nationwide, gaining exposure to the highest magnitude of the art world.

After studying different mediums, Scott discovered that sculpture was his passion. Scott started working with metal in the form of furniture and, while he enjoyed the aspects of the studio, Scott found this trade limiting, and he could not freely express his creativity. His interests soon turned to metalsmithing, opening a new door and teaching Scott to scale down large sculptures into smaller, more intimate forms.

An opportunity led Scott to Rio de Janeiro in 2000, and it was there that he discovered his real passion: jewelry. Scott soon realized his opportunity to incorporate all skills sets he had learned thus far and launched his first jewelry collection in July 2001. Now based in Austin, Texas, Scott is recognized for creating handcrafted pieces that combine art and fashion. He continues to develop new work representing his creative passion for design. The Shaesby collection can be found at Neiman Marcus, Barneys, and fine specialty stores nationwide and internationally. Scott is the recipient of the Platinum Guild award and has been recognized as a “rising star” by JCK.

Scott has stayed connected to his alma mater over the years. Whenever Scott discusses what led him to his jewelry line, he mentions Colorado State University. In addition, Scott has always been involved in student success. CSU often connects students with Scott; he is an invaluable mentor and supporter for emerging talent. Scott’s wife, Catherine Pees Scott, is also a proud alumna with a B.A. in history, ’98. They have three children, Samuel, Wilton, and Finn.

College of Natural Sciences Honor Alumnus

Dean Tsao (Ph.D., biochemistry, ’73)

Dr. Dean Tsao is a Ph.D. graduate of the College of Natural Sciences at Colorado State University, earning a doctorate in biochemistry in 1973. Since this time, Dr. Tsao has had more than 30 years of success in the biotechnology industry. After graduating from CSU, he was honored with the American Heart Association Post-Doctorate Fellowship. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Dr. Tsao was a visiting professor at the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine, Beijing, and adjunct professor at Chang Gung Medical College, Taiwan, and visiting scientist at Veterans General Hospital, Taiwan.

Dr. Tsao not only became an accomplished scientist, having authored more than 40 scientific publications and currently holding more than 20 patents, but he is also a successful entrepreneur with an excellent track record of growing valuable companies in the biotech community. The companies he established have developed thousands of products that are currently being used in the diagnosis and research of cancer, HIV, Down syndrome, and numerous other medical conditions. The companies he founded include Zymed Laboratories, which was acquired by Life Technologies (Invitrogen) in 2005; Genemed Synthesis, which was acquired by Texas Resources in 2006; and Genemed Biotechnologies, which was acquired by Sakura Finetek at the end of 2015. Dr. Tsao currently serves as the founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Plexbio, a company that introduces breakthrough multiplex technology for companion diagnostics in precision medicine. Plexbio is listed in the emerging stock market in Taiwan and is expected to make its initial public offering next year.

Dr. Tsao has a great excitement for innovative technologies and is passionate about commercializing these opportunities to help those in need in the health care industry. This kind of passion was evident in his own life, when he discovered he had breast cancer in 2003. Through his mastectomy, he identified a diagnostic problem. The surgical procedure that detected the presence of cancer cells in sentinel lymph nodes took more than an hour to complete during his surgery. Dr. Tsao knew that he could shorten that analysis time and cut the overall time of a patient under anesthesia. He created a rapid test that cut the detection time from more than 60 minutes to a mere 10 minutes.

Dr. Tsao is proud of the education he received at CSU and, to date, has donated more than $700,000 to the College of Natural Sciences. He currently resides in both Taiwan and California with his wife, Ping-Ping, and enjoys spending time with his two daughters, Connie and Carolyn, his sons-in-law, and four grandchildren.

College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences Honor Alumna

Patricia Olson, D.V.M. (Ph.D., physiology and biophysics, '81)

Dr. Patricia Olson started on her professional path when she received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1970 from the University of Minnesota, where she also completed her master’s degree in 1976. She and her husband interned at Cornell University and then went to Dr. Olson’s hometown in Fairbault, Minn., to open a private practice. Her husband, Jerry Olson, was recruited by Colorado State University, and they relocated to Fort Collins. She worked for a year in clinics, and then decided to pursue her doctorate in reproductive endocrinology and physiology in the Department of Biomedical Sciences.

Dr. Olson joined the faculty in 1981 as assistant professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences. During her tenure, she and Dr. Mo Salman co-founded the National Council on Pet Population and Policy, a group that identified risk factors and intervention strategies for pet relinquishment. Dr. Olson remained on faculty at CSU until 1989, when her husband was recruited to the University of Minnesota, and she worked there as a clinical associate. Dr. Olson then went to Washington, D.C., for a year as an American Veterinary Medical Association science fellow to study the causes of Gulf War Syndrome, working with Sen. Jay Rockefeller and his staff to help draft legislation that led to federal funding to research causes of the syndrome.

After her work in Washington came to a close, Dr. Olson began an extensive career in nonprofit work, including positions at Guide Dogs for the Blind and the American Humane Association. In 2004, she was selected to head the Morris Animal Foundation, the nation’s largest nonprofit funding organization of research benefiting companion animals and wildlife. Following her tenure with MAF, Dr. Olson was appointed as the chief veterinary adviser for the American Humane Association, the nation’s voice for the protection of children and animals.

Dr. Olson devoted her career to championing animal welfare and is a highly sought-after speaker and counselor to organizations and governmental agencies around the world. She helped establish numerous programs that foster the human-animal bond – from preventing animal and child abuse to promoting humane dog-training methods to consulting for governments and industries on humane and healthful transportation of animals worldwide. She has won numerous awards for her work to advance animal health. In 1998, she was named Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year.

Dr. Olson speaks highly of the doctorate she received from CSU, crediting the program for helping her develop problem-solving skills and learning how to gather resources to accomplish necessary tasks, as well as empowering her to do things that she didn’t think she could do. She credits Dr. Terry Nett with being a great role model and mentor.

Warner College of Natural Resources Honor Alumnus

Roger Steininger (Ph.D., earth resources, ’86)
CSU Alumni Association Life Member

Roger C. Steininger (Ph.D., 1986) collected his first mineral specimen at the age of 12 somewhere in Detroit, Mich., and knew that a lifelong passion would develop. Dr. Steininger has been involved in metallic mineral exploration and development for almost 50 years, starting at the Climax molybdenum mine near Leadville, Colo. He has been involved in numerous mineral deposit discoveries, including the Pipeline gold deposit in Nevada, which contained in excess of 20 million ounces of gold. Recently, he was a founding partner of NuLegacy Gold Corp., which is a publicly traded company that has discovered the Iceberg gold deposit in central Nevada.

Dr. Steininger has been associated with Colorado State University since the mid-1970s when he decided to complete a Ph.D. in geology. The departmental faculty was extremely supportive of his need to continue full employment in the Denver area while attending classes in Fort Collins. This was the start of his close association with the University and the Warner College of Natural Resources. Deeper roots were developed when his daughter, Kimberly Ann Burrows, graduated in 1995 from CSU with a B.A. in journalism. Dr. Steininger is a current member of the Dean’s Council of the Warner College and is chair of the Geosciences Advisory Council. Dr. Steininger and his wife, LuAnne, have also endowed a scholarship in the Department of Geosciences.

Dr. Steininger has many outside interests and volunteer associations. He recently retired as chair of the Geological Society of Nevada Foundation, is treasurer and past board member of the Historic Reno Preservation Society, and is active in the Nevada Historical Society. For the past 20-plus years he has written a quarterly U.S. exploration review column for the Society of Economic Geologists Newsletter. Dr. Steininger has numerous economic geology and mining history publications to his credit.

One of the most important aspects of Dr. Steininger’s life is family. He and LuAnne recently celebrated 50 years of marriage, and have lived in Reno, Nev., for the last 35 years. Their two children, Kimberly and Gary, also live in the Reno area with their spouses. Four grandchildren complete the family.