Outstanding Colorado State University graduates and friends will be honored at the annual Distinguished Alumni Awards dinner on Friday, Feb.17. Award recipients honored during the evening are:
– Nicholas Booth of Bellvue, Colo., and Jacksonville, Fla., received the Alumni Association’s top award, the William E. Morgan Alumni Achievement Award. During his career at Colorado State University, Booth made many trips to Washington D.C. to obtain funding from the National Institute of Health and the National Science Foundation for planning, developing, improving and expanding the veterinary college at Colorado State University. He was instrumental in procuring land and funds for purchase and construction of most new buildings currently used by the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. These building have an added cost of nearly $20 million. Booth graduated from Colorado State University in 1951 with a M.S. in physiology.
– Kevin Ann Oltjenbruns of Fort Collins, emeritus associate dean of the College of Applied Human Sciences and emeritus professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Colorado State University, will be honored with the Charles A. Lory Public Service Award. Oltjenbruns retired in July 2005 after 31 years of service to the university. She is an internationally recognized leader in the field of death, dying, grief and loss, and was essential program implementation in these areas at Colorado State and in the community. Since she helped start the first hospice in Fort Collins, which recently celebrated its 25th anniversary, Oltjenbruns has been an instrumental part of the Larimer County Hospice, serving as a board member and recently helping to conceptualize the new hospice grief center, Pathways, which opened in October 2005. Oltjenbruns came to Colorado State as a Boettcher scholar to study math with a concentration in computer science. After her graduation in 1971, Oltjenbruns continued her study at Colorado State to receive a master’s in human development and family studies.
– Dr. James G. Fox, current professor and director of comparative medicine at the Whitaker College of Health and Sciences at MIT, will receive the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award from Colorado State University. Fox lives in Harvard, MA. Fox graduated from Colorado State University in 1968 with a degree in veterinary medicine. Fox then worked at the Laboratory Animal Branch of the U.S. Army Veterinary Corp. in Fort Detrick. In 1974 he joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a research associate and was soon after appointed head of the Division of Laboratory Animal Medicine as an associate professor in 1975. Fox serves on the ad hoc advisory committee for the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology, NIH-supported, post-DVM, PhD trainee awards at Colorado State University. Also, in the past years he has served as a laboratory animal medicine consultant for projects based in Colorado State Laboratory Animal Resources.
– Dana Hoag, professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at Colorado State, receives the award for Cooperative Extension. Hoag received his B.S. in farm and ranch management from Colorado State in 1980, and in 1981 he graduated with his M.S. in agricultural economics. Hoag is active in working with Cooperative Extension faculty in his department, on campus and Colorado. He obtained funding for the RightRisk program for farmers. The program helps farmers and ranchers understand risks to their profits and learn how their management decisions affect those risks. Hoag also was instrumental in bringing the Colorado Institute of Public Policy to Colorado State University. CIPP encourages problem solving among the environment, agriculture and people through research. Hoag lives in Fort Collins.
– Robert Johnson, of El Camino Village, Calif., a former Air Force satellite operator, received the award for the College of Engineering. Johnson graduated from Colorado State in 1969 with bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. He spent 21 years in the U.S. Air Force obtaining domestic and international experience in the acquisition, testing, and operation of ground- and space-based command, control, communications and computer information systems. His career included serving as mission director at the Air Force Satellite Control Facility at Onizuka Air Force Base in California where his team was responsible for controlling orbit constellations for two satellite programs of high national priority. He completed his military service in September 1990. Johnson has organized several events for Colorado State alumni in the Los Angeles area and has served as an alumni ambassador and coordinator for local high schools.
– Richard McConnell, of Johnston, Iowa, will receive the College of Agricultural Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award. A university alumn and native of Haxtun, Colorado, McConnell recently retired as president of Pioneer, the world’s largest seed company which provides goods to farmers in more than 70 countries. McConnell dedicated his professional career to the application of genetic and plant breeding principles to improve the quality of crops, and has been a leader in developing technology to better support better support international markets. Before culminating his career with Pioneer as president, McConnel held numerous positions within the company including directing global research programs for several major crop species and overseeing product development and personnel at 60 research stations developing corn, alfalfa, canola, soybean and sunflower technology. Pioneer brand seeds are recognized today worldwide and dominate many sectors of the market.
– Gene Vaughan, broker and owner of RE/MAX Alliance in Fort Collins will be honored by the College of Applied Human Sciences. Vaughan earned his bachelor’s degree from Colorado State in physical education, now the Department of Health and Exercise Science, in 1970. He continued his education at Colorado State and earned a master’s degree in education in 1972. Vaughan also became a licensed broker in the state of Colorado in 1972. He has been a broker/owner of RE/MAX First Associates, Inc. since 1987. A RAMS Club member since 1974, he served as Greater RAM Club Director in the early 1980s and from 2002-2005. Vaughan has been an active member of the Colorado State University Development Council since 2003 and will complete his term in 2006.
– Carl S. McGuire III, of Brush, will receive the Distinguished Graduate of the Last Decade Award from Colorado State University’s Alumni Relations office as part of its annual Distinguished Alumni Awards. He graduated summa cum laude from Colorado State University in 1996 with a B.S. in agricultural economics and pre-agricultural MBA. His lengthy career has included serving his country in the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General Corps, working as Naval Legal Service Office in Guam and as trial counsel in the Trial Service Office West in Bremerton, Wash. After his career in the Navy, McGuire started a solo law practice. He is currently working as a county court judge in Washington, as well as serving as a Sterling Alternate Municipal Court judge.
– Virgil Nylander, of River Falls, Wis., has been selected as the 2006 College of Natural Sciences Honor Alumnus. Nylander graduated from Colorado State University in 1967 with a bachelor of science and in 1969 with a masters of science. Both degrees are in psychology. His career at the University of Wisconsin began in 1979, when he was named chairman of the psychology department. Five years later, he was promoted to associate dean of the College of Education. In 1987, he became the assistant chancellor for administration, and in 1995, he was named chancellor for administration and finance.
– Monica Pleiman, president and chief executive officer of Optimum Management Systems, has been selected as the College of Business Honor Alumnus. Pleiman, who lives in Denver, graduated from Colorado State in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in information systems. She formed Optimum Management Systems in 1998 and grew it from four employees and $40,000 in revenue to 90 employees and $7 million in revenue today. As a student at Colorado State, Pleiman was involved in numerous extracurricular activities including Student Affairs for Alpha Phi Sorority and serving as a member of the College of Business Council. She continues to support Colorado State as a member of Computer Information Systems Advisory Board. Pleiman is a board member of the Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce, the Denver School of Science and Technology and the DIA Partnership. She also serves on the Rocky Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council and as co-chairwoman of Education to Elevate Colorado’s Economy Summit. She is a member of the Colorado Education Alignment Council and publisher for Latino SUAVE magazine.
– Bernard E. Rollin’s contributions to the philosophy, biomedical sciences and animal sciences departments at Colorado State University earned him the university’s Alumni Relations Distinguished Faculty Award. Rollin, a professor, researcher and author is a university distinguished professor and teaches in the philosophy, biomedical sciences and animal sciences department. Rollin is the leading university bioethicist and is credited as one of the leaders who established the field of bioethics in the nation. As a professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Rollin taught the first philosophy course in veterinary ethics ever offered in the United States. The courses grew into a philosophy program that is required within Colorado State’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and has significantly contributed to the university’s international prestige in veterinary medicine. He has helped other universities across the globe establish their own programs on veterinary ethics. Rollin serves as a member of and advisor to a national group of experts devoted to the study of humane animal ethics and developing solutions to animal problems. He was a principal architect in 1985 federal legislation on issues related to animals and society, and has testified before congress about animal issues and ethics. In addition, Rollins consults extensively on animal ethics and the humane use of animals in research, advising groups including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, American Association for Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care, American Humane Association, Department of Defense, National Institute of Health, National Science Foundation, multiple universities, and government offices in foreign countries including Canada, England, New Holland, Africa and Australia. He also organized the National Western Stock Show Animal Ethics Committee.
– Dr. Robert K. Shideler, retired veterinary professor, will receive the Jim and Nadine Henry Award from Colorado State University Alumni Relations for his support and service to the university and the Alumni Association. Shideler graduated from Colorado State in 1948 with his DVM degree and began a practice in Illinois. He then moved to Mississippi and began an equine practice that became nationally respected. Shideler was elected president of the Mississippi Veterinary Association and was chosen as the State’s Veterinarian of the Year in 1973. He returned to Colorado State University in 1974 as a faculty member and head of the equine field services section. In addition to teaching, Shideler became an integral member of the Equine Reproduction Research laboratory at Colorado State and pioneered new techniques for embryo transfer. Shideler retired from the Department of Clinical Sciences in 1995, but has maintained interests in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences through fundraising efforts. He is a Greater Ram Club member, has served on the Development Board, and has been a regular member of the 50 Year Club, of which he served as president in 2002.
– Ken Wilhelm of Denver has been selected as the honor alumnus for Colorado State University’s Distinguished Athletic Award. Wilhelm graduated from Colorado State in 1952 with a bachelor’s degree in general agriculture. He entered U.S. Air Force pilot training during the Korean War and spent four years in the Air Force. He also spent two years flying in the Wyoming Air National Guard and 10 years in the Air Force Reserve. In 1956, Wilhelm began his career with McCoy Caterpillar Co. He worked his way up from sales trainee to chief executive officer of McCoy Heavy Equipment Division, Engine Division and Forklift Division, in 1972. He left in 1977 to start Beco Equipment Co., which pioneered the "Rent to Rent" heavy construction business equipment that became the standard for all new equipment dealers. Wilhelm retired in 2000, but continues to visit his office every day. He continues to support Colorado State with commitments such as serving on the steering committee for construction of Hughes Stadium, the search committee for a new athletic director and the campaign for a new stadium. He also served three terms on the Development Council. He was a founding member of the Ram’s Horn Club, a member of the fundraising committees for the McGraw Athletic Center and the Jack Christiansen Track project and a lifetime member of the Colorado State University Alumni Association.
– William T. Ward, III, former director of Alumni Relations and lifelong Colorado State supporter, will be honored as the College of Liberal Arts honor alumnus. Through his support of the Colorado State Alumni Association, Ward has been a part of the Colorado State community for more than fifty years. Ward, who lives in Pueblo, was a member of the Colorado State Alumni Association board of directors and served as president in 1972. He went on to serve as the director of Alumni Relations from 1973 until 1986. Additionally, Ward was the director of the Colorado State University Foundation and the director of Development and Alumni Relations at Colorado State University, Pueblo. Ward graduated from Colorado State in 1957 with a degree in physical education and minors in math and physical sciences.
– Colorado State University will honor David R. Anderson, emeritus professor of fishery and wildlife biology, as the Warner College of Natural Resources honor alumnus. Anderson, who lives in Fort Collins, is a leader for the academic and scientific advancement of global wildlife population measurement and interpretation. Anderson ran the Colorado Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, an agency operated by the federal government based at Colorado State, for 19 years. The agency conducts research concerning the management of fishery and wildlife resources, educates fishery and wildlife biologists at the graduate level and provides technical assistance to conservation groups. In addition to working with various types of animals, such as bats and fish, and contributing to numerous books and monographs, Anderson also taught various courses within the Warner College of Natural Resources, influencing students and colleagues by sharing his knowledge and research. Anderson graduated from Colorado State in 1964 with a degree in wildlife management and received his master’s in wildlife biology from the Warner College of Natural Resources in 1967.
– Erin Northup, recent health and exercise science graduate, will be honored with the Albert C. Yates Student Leadership Award. Northup graduated from Colorado State in December 2005 and is currently interning at Poudre Valley Hospital in the Community Health Education department. She co-coordinated programming and implementation for the "Take the Next Step" employee wellness program. She also assisted with implementing youth obesity prevention programs, planned committee meetings, performed school health screenings and developed written education materials. As a student at Colorado State, Northup was especially committed to student life, working as a resident assistant as well as promoting wellness among her fellow students in the Wellness Zone and through Hartshorn Health Services. Her many activities included assisting with program design, implementation and materials development for eating disorders awareness programs, stress relief, residence hall physical activity promotion programs and other topics; coordinated health events on campus; and served as a mentor and role model to students. She was involved with the Student of Color Retreat, RamServe Projects, the Key Academic Community and CSUnity. She organized a student clothing drive that resulted in the donation of over 25 large bags of clothing to charity.
– Four business leaders and Colorado State University alumni will be honored with the Provost Alumni Award.
Bruce D. Given, president and chief executive officer of Encysive Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company in Houston, Texas, graduated from Colorado State University in 1976 with a bachelor’s degree in physical sciences. Before coming to Encysive Pharmaceuticals in 2002, Given worked for Johnson and Johnson, serving as the international president of Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics, general manager of Transfusion Medicine Worldwide Ortho-Clinical Diagnostic and other positions within the company. Given also held numerous executive and senior management positions with Sandoz Pharma, Ltd., Sandoz Research Institute and Schering-Plough Corporation.
Stephen C. Hillard, president and CEO of Council Tree Communications, Inc. is also honored with the Provost Alumni Award. Hillard, who graduated from Colorado State in 1970 with a degree in political science, founded Council Tree Communications, a $1 billion communications investment fund, in 1998. Hillard, who lives in Golden, recently established the Council Tree Endowment for the Philosophy Department at Colorado State University. Prior to founding Council Tree Communications, Hillard held a variety of senior management positions with Cook Inlet Corporation, working up to his tenure as the chief operating officer. Hillard supports many educational and social institutions including the Denver Public Schools Foundation, the Colorado Children’s Campaign, the Juan Diego Center for Hispanic Families, the Museo de las Americas, Escuela Tiatailoco and the Women’s Center at the University of Denver.
Dennis and Mary Peery of Loveland also share the honor of the Provost Alumni Award. Dennis Peery graduated from Colorado State University with a bachelor’s in electrical and computer engineering in 1971 and his wife graduated with a bachelor’s degree in the same subject in 1984. After graduation, he worked for Hewlett Packard in positions ranging from R&D engineer to project manufacturing engineering, quality, consumer satisfaction and regional facilities management. He retired in 2000 after 35 years of service. Mary Peery also worked at Hewlett Packard after her graduation in 1984. Her career has focused on mass storage, digital imaging and other leading edge technologies. She was general manager of Hewlett Packard’s hardcopy scanner division in Greeley in 1998 and became the company’s vice president of digital imaging in 2000. In 2002, Mrs. Peery was promoted to be Hewlett Packard’s senior vice president of digital imaging and publishing. Currently, she works as the senior vice president of strategic change management for the imaging and printing group. The couple also takes time to volunteer and serve their community. Peery was a volunteer for the 2002 Olympics and now assists with Habitat for Humanity and his local church. Mary Peery also volunteers at church and is a current member of the Larimer County Hospice Board of Directors.