Outstanding Colorado State University graduates and friends will be honored at the annual Distinguished Alumni Awards dinner on April 18.
The Colorado State University Alumni Association’s top award, the William E. Morgan Alumni Achievement Award, will be presented to Jean Bethke Elshtain, the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics, Divinity School, The University of Chicago. Professor Elshtain, regularly named as one of America’s foremost public intellectuals, lectures widely in the United States and abroad on themes of democracy, ethical dilemmas, religion and politics and international relations. In 2002, she received the Goodnow Award, the highest award bestowed by the American Political Science Association for distinguished service to the profession.
David and Paula Edwards will receive the Charles A. Lory Public Service Award for demonstrated exceptional and sustained leadership for their significant volunteer efforts at Colorado State and in the Fort Collins community. For more than two decades they have invested their time, expertise and leadership by committing themselves to building a community in areas of philanthropy, healthcare and social services, arts and culture and education. The Edwardses are involved in the Colorado State University Campaign Leadership Council, United Way of Larimer County, UniverCity Connections and the College of Liberal Arts Great Conversations among many others.
The recipients of Colorado State University’s Jim and Nadine Henry Award are Bill and Jan Woods. The Woodses have demonstrated a life-long commitment to Colorado State and have been avid athletic boosters and members of the Ram Club. They have provided the leadership necessary to maintain the annual painting of the "A," an event which is meaningful to not only the university, but the entire Fort Collins community. The Woodses created the Ram Ambassadors program, which provides courtesy hosts at major CSU sporting events. As lifetime members of the Alumni Association, Bill Woods has served on the Alumni Association Board of Directors, including the role of president, and he currently serves as the commissioner of the annual Ram Club membership drive, leading other community volunteers to raise money for student athlete scholarships.
Sidney Simonson will be honored with the Albert C. Yates Student Leadership Award in recognition of his leadership efforts and contributions. While at Colorado State, Simonson completed an internship at the Colorado State Senate and became chairman of the board of the Rocky Mountain Student Media Corporation. He is the first college student to hold this position. Simonson is also the only college student to be appointed to the Larimer County Corrections Board, the Fort Collins Transportation Board, the Fort Collins Elections Commission and the Fort Collins Personnel Board. He serves on the Colorado State University Police Review Board, the Resources for Adult Learners Board, and he is the co-chair of Better World Books, an organization that collects used textbooks and ships them to students in Africa.
Barbara Boardman, extension agent from 1973-1990, has been awarded the Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Extension Award. As an Extension agent, Boardman became an expert not only in horticulture, but also in how Extension reaches out to local communities and individuals with education to improve their lives. She was an early adopter of the Master Gardener program. She has helped build community gardens, including the successful non-profit, Growing Gardens, senior center community gardens and Master Gardener clinic sites. Boardman became the second female in the United States in Cooperative Extension within horticulture and is still a role model of many of her past students.
An alumna who is the director and founder of the ArtsLIVE Youth Festival and the executive director of the Bedell World Citizenship Fund will be honored as the Distinguished Graduate of the Last Decade. The GOLD award, which recognizes recent graduates for accomplishments that have brought honor to Colorado State, will be presented to Sami Bedell. ArtsLIVE is a Youth Festival that promotes arts year around in the creative corridor of Northwest Iowa. The BWCF strives to support initiatives that encourage cultural, political, economic, spiritual and intellectual change toward a world of greater human kindness. As executive director, Bedell supports nonprofits that advocate for arts and culture, conservation and the environment, community, education, global connections, and health and human services.
Colorado State University Distinguished Professor John Sofos will be honored with the Distinguished Faculty Award. Sofos’ research is in microbial food safety. He has authored, or co-authored with his students and collaborators, more than 250 refereed journal papers, 50 book chapters, six books, 375 abstracts and numerous other publications. He has presented more than 180 invited lectures in the United States and a number of other countries. Sofos is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, the Institute of Food Technologists, the American Society of Animal Science and the International Association for Food Protection. He has served on the United Sates National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods and he is also a scientific editor for the Journal of Food Protection.
The Distinguished Athletic Award is being given to Mike Pierce, former president of the Ram Club Board of Directors. The Ram Club Board of Directors is comprised of community leaders who focus on how to grow the annual giving fund, the Ram Club. In 2002, Pierce started the Ram Legacy of Champions Program. For the past 25 years, Pierce has been an independent insurance agent in Northern Colorado and is currently a principal of LBN Insurance Agency. He believes higher education prepares young adults socially and academically to succeed in the world and wants student-athletes to succeed in many ways.
Montana’s Governor Brian Schweitzer will receive the College of Agricultural Sciences Honor Alumnus award. Schweitzer was elected as Montana’s 23rd governor in 2004. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in International Agronomy from Colorado State and later earned a Master of Science degree in Soil Science from Montana State University. Schweitzer’s business and agricultural experience is broad and deep, including extensive farming and ranching experience in Montana, and successful agricultural business projects on five continents. He began a career of irrigation development that took him to Africa, Asia, Europe and South America. In 1993, Schweitzer was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to serve on the Montana State USDA Farm Service Agency committee. He served for seven years with the FSA, and his three-person committee was responsible for the operation of 46 county offices, 300 employees and a budget of more than $300 million.
Kim Jordan, president and CEO of New Belgium Brewing Company of Fort Collins, has been selected as the Honor Alumna for the College of Applied Human Sciences. New Belgium has grown to more than300 people in 18 years and is the third largest craft brewery in the United States. Jordan and her husband, Jeff Lebesch, started the company in the basement of their home in 1991. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Jordan was a social worker. She has done everything from bottling and delivering beer to the designing of marketing materials to design input on the brewery. Today her time is spent steering the company toward its long-term mission. She is currently a member of Gov. Bill Ritter’s Business Advisory Group, a director for the Brewers Association, ex officio board member of the Beer Institute and a member of a few Fort Collins community boards.
Brenda Davis, global chief information and change initiatives officer for MolsonCoors Brewing Company, will receive the College of Business Honor Alumna award. Davis is responsible for MolsonCoors Brewing Company’s information technologies, as well as the Corporate Program Management Office. She has a proven track record as a senior executive in both technology and business roles. She has worked in the oil and gas industry where she was accountable for supporting all facets of United States and international accounting, tax and financial systems. At Electronic Data Systems she developed technology solutions to solve business issues for General Motors.
David Stewart, president and CEO of Stewart Environmental Consultants Inc., is the College of Engineering Honor Alumnus. In addition to the three degrees he received from Colorado State University, he received a Master of Science degree in environmental engineering from the University of Arizona. He is currently the vice president of Engineers Without Borders for the United States. Stewart is a recognized expert in the field of environmental engineering, especially in innovative water and wastewater treatment technologies. He currently holds several patents and patent pending applications in the field of inorganic membranes and the treatment of produced water from the oil and gas industry.
Lee Kamlet, head writer for World News with Charles Gibson, is the College of Liberal Arts Honor Alumnus. In 1981, Kamlet joined ABC News as a producer, where he covered three presidential campaigns and stories ranging from the aftermath of the Persian Gulf War, to child poverty, for which he won a Columbia University/DuPont Award. In 1998, Kamlet joined NBC News as a producer at Dateline NBC. There, he won three Emmy awards for the Columbine High School massacre, the story of Flight 93, which crashed on 9/11, and the return of kidnapped victim Elizabeth Smart. He also produced a report on union corruption, which won an Emmy.
Gary Stroy has been named the Honor Alumnus in the College of Natural Sciences. Since 2007 Stroy has been the president and CEO of IntelliDx, Inc., a medical technology company that is developing an automated bedside blood analyzer for use in the critical care areas of hospitals. With experience in both the pharmaceutical and medical device businesses, he was a senior manager at four large pharmaceutical firms, a founder of seven medical device companies, an angel investor, venture partner or general partner with several first-tier West Coast venture capital firms and a board member at several drug and device firms. He pioneered the use of immunoassay technology in therapeutic drug monitoring and is often credited for conceiving of the first personal glucose monitor, a consumer device that revolutionized the management of diabetes.
Dr. Charles H. Hobbs will be honored as the Honor Alumnus for the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Hobbs served in the U.S. Army Veterinary Corp from 1966-1969. He then went to the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he became director of toxicology and vice president of Lovelace Biomedical and Environment Research Institute. His research centered on the health effects of inhaled chemicals and air pollutants and inhaled organisms causing infectious diseases. He developed an Animal Biosafety Level 3 facility for study of potential bioterrorism agents at the Institute. Hobbs has served as chairman or a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Institutes of Health.
Longtime U.S. Forest Service crew member Jim LaBau will receive the Honor Alumnus award for the Warner College of Natural Resources. LaBau’s career led him to Alaska where he ultimately became a research project leader. Although he spent 30 years working in Alaska, he also did forest inventory and monitoring in states along the West Coast, Utah, Colorado, Hawaii, and even Indonesia. He retired from the Forest Service in 1993 and then joined the University of Alaska Anchorage as a senior research associate. Currently he is an affiliate faculty member at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. LaBau has published nearly 80 forest inventory and forest health monitoring articles. In 1987 he was elected to the Society of American Forestry as a Fellow.