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.
About the Program
William E. Morgan Alumni Achievement Award
John A. Ikard, M.B.A.
B.S. ’79, Psychology
John Ikard is the consummate community banker with a long history of civic involvement both on a local and national level. He joined FirstBank in 1981 as a management trainee and rapidly rose through the ranks and was elected president and CEO of the company in 1999. FirstBank is the second largest bank in the State of Colorado and one of the five largest privately held banks in the country.
Mr. Ikard has become a nationally recognized banking leader, serving on the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and as the chair-elect of the American Bankers Association (ABA). The ABA is the largest banking association in the country representing 5,000 banks from across the country. During the banking crisis of 2008, Mr. Ikard led a management team that drove FirstBank to record profits from 2007 to 2012. In recognition of this achievement, he was awarded the prestigious “2010 National Community Banker of the Year” by the influential American Banker publication.
Mr. Ikard has always been active in local organizations and nonprofits. He is past chair of Colorado’s most prominent business organization, the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. He has also served as chair of the Denver Economic Development Corporation, president of the Denver Council of Boy Scouts of America, vice-chair of The Children’s Hospital Foundation, and board member of the Colorado State University System Board of Governors.
Civic involvement and giving back to the community have always been one of Mr. Ikard’s driving objectives, and this guiding principle is reflected in FirstBank’s corporate culture. Since the year 2000, FirstBank has contributed more than $40 million dollars to philanthropic endeavors and was the state of Colorado’s second largest corporate contributor in 2012.
He and his wife, Karen, have four children.
Charles A. Lory Public Service Award
Jean Sutherland, Ph.D.
M.A. ’72, English
Fort Collins, Colo.
Jean Sutherland’s life has been a dedication to home, family, and an extended, multi-faceted, unconventional teaching, public service, and philanthropic career. Starting in the 1960s, Dr. Sutherland worked with the Poudre School District and assisted teenage drop-outs while earning her master’s degree from Colorado State University.
In 1976, Dr. Sutherland went abroad with her husband, Tom, to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where she taught and served as counselor for American and international teenagers for two years through a military coup. She returned home to teach freshmen English while earning her doctorate from the University of Colorado in Boulder.
In 1983, her husband’s work took Dr. Sutherland to Beirut, Lebanon and the American University of Beirut where her commitment to an English as a Second Language program for affected Lebanese youth gave her a meaningful life while Tom was abducted and held as a hostage for more than six years. Throughout these years, partnering with a Lebanese-American businessman, she helped affect a dialog channel between the American government and a spiritual advisor to Hezbollah operating to ease tensions and defuse crises until all hostages had been released.
Dr. Sutherland and her husband returned to the United States in November of 1991, and for 12 years, they were on a speakers’ circuit, adding the account of her experiences in Lebanon to his, and co-authoring their book At Your Own Risk. In 2001, her life changed direction with a compensatory award for her husband’s captivity, with which they funded the Sutherland Family Foundation. The Foundation gives them the privilege of giving back to their Colorado communities for their tenacious caring and support over the hostage years, which was a lifeline to the Sutherlands and their three daughters, Ann, Kit, and Joan.
Recently, Dr. Sutherland has worked for land and wildlife conservation through board positions on Legacy Land Trust and the Colorado Audubon Society. She presently serves on the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado Board of Trustees.
Jim and Nadine Henry Award
Tim and Jackie O’Hara
Jackie – B.S. ’82, Marketing
Fort Collins, Colo.
Both Tim and Jackie O’Hara are Colorado natives from the CSU class of 1982. They met, married, and never left Fort Collins. The O’Haras raised two daughters, both graduates of CSU. Their Ram family made football and men’s and women’s basketball a scheduling priority, and they made many memorable road trips with the Ram teams over the years, including Europe.
Between Tim and Jackie, they’ve served on the CSU Athletics board of directors, Ram Good Time Auction committee, and Ram Club membership committee. Small jobs on their property also helped a few athletes find temporary employment. Tim was instrumental in making the “Now Entering Ram Country” sign a reality at the south I-25 gateway into Fort Collins, and the couple was awarded the Larry LaSasso Spirit Award in 2005.
Tim shares his career talents as a professional photographer with CSU, offering images for many posters and media guide covers over the years. He has owned and operated Tim O’Hara Photography for the past 31 years. Tim has also served as president of the LaPorte Area Planning Commission and The Center for Fine Art Photography. He is currently working with UniverCity Connections to bring more recreation opportunities along the Poudre River.
Jackie is the owner of Jet Marketing, a boutique agency located in Fort Collins. She helped to found the annual Fort Collins music festival, NewWestFest, and she is currently the executive vice chair with the Fort Collins Convention and Visitors Bureau. She has completed two fundraising walks for RamStrength, helping to raise money for families in Ram Country who are fighting cancer.
On game day, under the “A” and in the southwest parking lot at Hughes Stadium, Tim and Jackie can always be found in the center of their tailgating compound hosting friends. Oldest daughter Katie, who makes Steamboat Springs her home, and daughter Riley, who lives in Scottsdale, Ariz., do their best to make it home for at least one tailgate every year — after all, it’s the O’Hara family tradition.
Albert C. Yates Student Leadership Award
B.S. ’13, Nutrition and Food Science
Fort Collins, Colo.
Amy (Smith) Emch has a thirst for knowledge and fierce intelligence that are balanced by her humility and quiet leadership style. “My biggest motivator is my desire to help improve people's quality of life through nutrition,” explains the College of Health and Human Sciences 2013 Outstanding Senior. A 4.0 student in the Honors Program, Mrs. Emch graduated summa cum laude this spring with a major in nutrition and food science and a minor in gerontology.
Emch has spent the last four years at CSU embracing opportunities to put her classroom knowledge to work in the community.Smith has a knack for identifying gaps between education and real life and finding creative ways of addressing them.
As a leader in CSU’s Nutrition and Fitness Club, Emch created a program called Kitchen Transition, which was designed to help freshmen living in the residence halls transition to living off campus. She created an educational fair, which is now an annual project, in the residence halls to teach students about shopping and preparing healthful foods on a budget, and on food safety tips.
Her honors thesis project combined her passion for community service and nutrition education: she created a nutrition and physical education program called Cooking Up Active Summer Fun for Kids for low-income children enrolled in the Summer Food Service Program.
Mrs. Emch has worked as a nutrition educator and class assistant with Cooking Matters, a nonprofit organization that teaches low-income families about nutrition and how to cook healthful meals on a budget. She also volunteered more than 100 hours at Mountain Vista Retirement Community.
She married her high school sweetheart, Alex Emch, in July and is currently completing her dietetic internship at Penrose St. Francis Health Services in Colorado Springs, pursuing her goals of becoming a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator.
Distinguished Athletic Award
Janay DeLoach Soukup
B.S. ’08, Psychology, Human Development & Family Studies
M.S. ’12, Occupational Therapy
Fort Collins, Colo.
Born in Panama City, Florida, Janay DeLoach Soukup was raised in a military family, regularly moving every few years as a young child and teenager. Her last stent of military life was spent in Alaska. Though a basketball fanatic, Mrs. DeLoach Soukup chose to compete in track and field simply because it was fun. Little did she know, she would have a successful high school track and field career in the long jump event, soaring to a distance of 19'5" in her senior year, setting the state record, which she still holds.
With multiple scholarship offers, Mrs. DeLoach Soukup chose Colorado State University and spent the next five years as a long jumper and sprinter and finished her collegiate career as a four-time NCAA All- American in Track and Field.
Mrs. DeLoach Soukup lives in Fort Collins with her husband, Patrick, and two dogs, and trains with Tim Cawley, her coach and friend for more than 10 years. Passionate about helping others, she finds the time to work and improve the lives of others working as an occupational therapist at a local hospital.
In 2012, Mrs. DeLoach Soukup won a bronze medal in long jump at the London Olympics. In 2013, she defended her USA National Indoor Track and Field Championship in long jump for a second straight year, making her a three -time champion. After recently capturing her very first USA Outdoor Track and Field Championship long jump title this past June, she has high hopes to becoming a world champion in the long jump and hurdles.
Distinguished Extension Award
Judith Barth, Ph.D.
Ph.D. ’03, Education and Human Resource Studies
Fort Collins, Colo.
The hallmark of Judy Barth’s career in Extension has been supporting the development of others, beginning with the 4-Hers she worked with in the first fifteen years of her career and continuing with the hundreds of professionals who have been hired under her watchful care. Her commitment to the growth of others is reflected in how she shares her wealth of knowledge and expertise with the Extension agents and specialists who have been a part of the leadership development programs she helped develop and the hundreds of college students who have benefited from her advisory roles.
Dr. Barth’s national leadership in Extension spans 38 years and includes co-authoring a national Extension curriculum on change, chairing the development of a national Extension white paper on the successful use of alternative revenue streams, and serving on the Excellence in Extension national task force. She served as one of four authors/program leaders for the National Extension Leadership Development program, and continues to share her leadership development expertise through the Western Extension Development Program. Dr. Barth also led the development of the first CSU Extension Strategic Plan for Diversity and authored a successful proposal for CSU to be one of the initial eight pilot states in a national Extension diversity effort.
Her commitment to Extension and 4-H led her to serve as chair of the Larimer County Fairgrounds Task Force, which completed two successful ballot initiative campaigns resulting in the purchase of land for and development of The Ranch. She has also volunteered her time as treasurer for Plymouth Congregational Church during their successful $3 million capital campaign, and later as vice moderator and moderator. And, for more than 40 years, she has been an active volunteer with Delta Delta Delta sorority, serving in multiple national leadership positions.
Dr. Barth attributes most of her career success to her parents and early mentors who instilled in her a strong work ethic, commitment to excellence in all things, and a belief that people will support what they help to create. She especially attributes her success to her two sons, Jason and Dustin, and her partner, Jim Sparks.
Judy Barth is an annual member of the Alumni Association.
Distinguished Faculty Award
Toni Zimmerman, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Human Development and Family Studies
Director, Marriage & Family Therapy Graduate Program
College of Health and Human Sciences
Professor Toni Zimmerman is an authority on how gender and diversity shape family relationships and the role of power dynamics in couple and family therapy. She also has contributed significantly to research examining the effectiveness of relationship advice in popular self-help books especially in the area of equality. Dr. Zimmerman also has developed a social justice curriculum for youth that emphasizes fairness and respect. She and her colleagues have been awarded numerous grants and contracts for their research in the area of mentoring at-risk youth. They developed a curriculum called Campus Corps which is a unique mentoring program that brings together CSU students and at-risk youth from the community for an intense therapeutic group mentoring program in a service-learning course. This research has led to multiple publications, the development of a learning community on campus, hundreds of CSU students from more than 80 majors being involved each year, and the most vulnerable youth in our community are benefitting greatly from it. Dr. Zimmerman has authored and co-authored more than 100 journal articles and chapters in these important research areas.
Dr. Zimmerman, who joined CSU's faculty in 1991, directs the nationally recognized marriage and family therapy program. The Center for Family and Couple Therapy, which provides high-quality therapy services to families, couples, individuals, adolescents, and children from across northern Colorado, is part of the training program. Therapy students in the program receive more than 500 hours of hands-on training through the center.
Dr. Zimmerman has received multiple teaching awards and recognitions. Some of the more recent awards include: Exceptional Innovation Instruction in Service Learning for the Campus Corps team, CSU Institute for Teaching and Learning (2012),The Colorado Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Supervisor of the Year Award (2012), University Distinguished Teaching Scholar (2009), Best Teacher Award from the Alumni Association (2009), Outstanding Teacher Award from the College of Health and Human Sciences (2009), the Margaret B. Hazaleus Award, Colorado State University Women’s Caucus (2002).
Dr. Zimmerman is married to Craig, her best friend and partner for more than 25 years. They have two wonderful daughters: Misha and Sage.
Graduate of the Last Decade (GOLD) Award
B.A. ’08, Journalism and Technical Communication
Ashley Colburn’s desire to travel started at an early age and began in earnest when she studied for a semester in Spain. Colburn navigated the country by train, bus, and plane while she learned the language and also found time for trips to Switzerland, Italy, Germany and Britain.
Ms. Colburn enjoyed her work throughout college at her campus television station where she was a producer, weather girl, anchor, and creator of a half-hour series about traveling in Colorado called Inside Colorado, College Style. During her college years, she interned at ABC in Los Angeles, was an editor for the San Diego County Fair newsletter for two summers, and hosted Ecofishing Adventures on the Outdoor Channel, The Sportsman Channel, and FOX Sports West.
Ms. Colburn began her career as a host, producer, and writer for Wealth TV in 2009. She produced her first travel show “WOW Croatia!,” which was awarded Croatia’s Golden Pen Award (Best U.S. Media) and won an Emmy in 2010. Following her success with the Croatia show, Ms. Colburn created TAKEOFF with Ashley Colburn, a travel series that premiered in 2010 on WealthTV and took her to over 25 countries on six continents over two seasons.
Since late 2011 Ms. Colburn has run her own production company, Ashley Colburn Productions, with the aim of “Finding the Wonder in the World: Wonderful People. Wonderful Cultures. Wonderful History. ” Ashley Colburn Productions filmed Wonders of Croatia, a seven-part travel series that covers the main tourist regions of the country, Wonders of Slovenia in 2012, and Wonders of Latvia and Wonders of Switzerland in 2013. These television series are marketed and distributed worldwide. Ashley Colburn Productions also produces and hosts a new web series through GOGO vacations titled, Paradise Found.
She received her second Emmy in 2012 for her work in “Wonders of the World: Machu Picchu.” Her production of “TAKEOFF: Thailand” was awarded a Telly as well as the silver prize in the Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition.
She has been a television panelist at NEM in Dubrovnik, Croatia, and is often a travel expert for travel events worldwide.
Distinguished Alumni Employee Award
F. Jay Breidt, Ph.D.
M.S. ’89, Statistics
Ph.D. ’91, Statistics
Jay Breidt is professor of statistics and former chair of the Department of Statistics. After receiving his master’s and doctorate degrees from Colorado State, Dr. Breidt joined the faculty at Iowa State University, where he was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 1996. In 2000, he returned to Colorado State University.
Dr. Breidt’s research interests include the study of new theory and estimation methods for complex surveys, supported by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Forest Service. He has applied these interests to help revise recreational fisheries surveys for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to advise South Africa on the development of a new land resource inventory, and to assist the state of Colorado in election auditing procedures. He regularly serves on advisory committees for federal agencies, including four panels convened by the National Academy of Sciences. He is a member of the Federal Economic Statistics Advisory Committee, which guides analysis and development of national statistics. His work helps coordinate efforts of three major agencies: the U.S. Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the Bureau of Economic Analysis. He works to examine the agencies' programs and provides advice on statistical methodology and research needed for the collection and analysis of federal economic statistics.
Dr. Breidt has received numerous awards, including recognition with a Distinguished Achievement Award from the American Statistical Association Section on Statistics and the Environment (2004), selection as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association (2004), and election as a member of the International Statistical Institute (2006). For his career accomplishments, he was recently named a 2013 College of Natural Sciences Professor Laureate, the highest academic title awarded by the College to its faculty members. He and his wife, Julie, have three children, Emily, Anna, and Matthew.
Distinguished International Alumni Award
Lubna Hamid Tahtamouni, Ph.D.
Ph.D. ’05, Zoology
Since obtaining her doctorate in 2005, Lubna Tahtamouni has been working as an associate professor in the Department of Biology and Biotechnology at the Hashemite University in Zarqa, Jordan. In 2011, she was appointed department head.
In order to establish better research facilities at her university, she kept abreast of current research methods and approaches by spending a summer at the WEHI Institute in Melbourne, Australia, and later, summers at the lab of Professor James Bamberg at Colorado State University.
Using the experience she gained during those summers, Dr. Tahtamouni secured governmental and university support to establish a modern multiuser video imaging microscope facility. In 2008, she was appointed director of that facility.
Dr. Tahtamouni has been awarded numerous local and international awards. These include: the King Hussein Institute for Biotechnology and Cancer Scholar (2009), the L’OREAL-UNESCO for Women in Science Pan Arab Regional Fellowship (2011), and the organization for Women in Science for the Developing World Award for Young Women Scientists in Biology for the Arab Region (2011).
In order to make an impact on quality education in her country, Dr. Tahtamouni has helped organize the Faculty of Science Scientific Fair for 2006, 2007 and 2009, a proposal writing workshop in 2010 and 2011, and a workshop in 2010 on medical applications of stem cells. She is trying to bring about change within her university and country to help develop a better research culture. She is also a strong voice for the development and advancement of women in scientific careers; seven female students have received their master’s degree working in her lab.
Dr. Tahtamouni is a member of the American Society for Cell Biology, the American Association of Cancer Research, Third World Organization for Women in Science, and the Jordan Society for Scientific Research. She and her husband, Ghalib AlNusair, reside in Amman, Jordan.
College of Agricultural Sciences Honor Alumnus
Paul W. Skinner, Ph.D.
M.S. ’83, Agronomy
Saint Helena, Calif.
Paul Skinner’s influence in the world of wine comes from the deep perspective of someone who is a soil scientist, agronomist, researcher, and innovator. After earning a bachelor’s degree in water resource management from the University of Wisconsin, a master’s degree in agronomy from Colorado State University, and a doctorate in soil science from U.C. Davis, he began to investigate and develop new and improved technologies for data collection, analysis, and interpretation that removed a lot of the uncertainty from vineyard management.
In 1994 he founded Terra Spase, a consulting service for vineyard owners and wineries, based on the idea that deciding what vines to plant, where to plant them, and how to manage them should be based on data and not guesswork. Terra Spase offers a variety of services related to soil and weather, including soil analysis and mapping, which allows viticulturists to farm in a precise way to optimize grape yields and the quality of fruit and wine they produce. In addition, Dr. Skinner currently holds four patents on high-tech, automated irrigation systems for vineyards and other horticultural crops.
As a viticultural consultant to the wine and grape growing industries, Dr. Skinner’s expertise has spread across the United States as well as into northern Mexico and China. Dr. Skinner enjoys fine-tuning the production of his Sequum wines, in which three of the grape varietals are grown on his own two-acre ranch, and continues to provide consultation to vineyards throughout California and internationally.
Dr. Skinner is a member of the American Society of Agronomy, Soil Science Society of America, American Society of Enology and Viticulture, Group of International Experts of Vitivinicultural Systems for CoOperation, Napa Valley Grape Growers, and Napa Valley Wine Technical Group.
He and his wife, Anita Davena, have three children, Jessica, Dominic, and Kristina, and live in the midst of their Kidd Ranch Vineyard in St. Helena, Calif. with their two Aussies, Athena and Sgt. Pepper.
Paul Skinner is an annual member of the Alumni Association.
College of Business Honor Alumnus
Jason S. Wheeler, M.B.A.
B.S. ’96, Business Administration
Menlo Park, Calif.
Jason Wheeler joined Google in 2002 and currently serves as vice president of finance. In this role, he is responsible for financial operations, accounting, tax and treasury, and financial planning and analysis. Previously, Mr. Wheeler built and managed the corporate financial planning team and was the head of finance for EMEA operations (based in London) where his role covered all financial responsibilities for the region.
Before joining Google, Mr. Wheeler held various financial analyst positions at Hewlett Packard, and was a management consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton for a variety of companies in the communications, media and technology industries.
Mr. Wheeler received an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School in 2000. At Colorado State University, he was a Boettcher Scholar, president of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity, and graduated summa cum laude. He is currently a member of the Financial Advisory Board for the College of Business at CSU.
Mr. Wheeler and his wife, Robyn, have three children, Jake, Sofie, and Ellie. Mr. Wheeler is an avid cyclist and occasional triathlete, completing the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon in 2012. He is a lifelong baseball fanatic and can solve a Rubik’s cube in less than three minutes (when he’s been practicing).
College of Engineering Honor Alumni
B.S. ’96, Civil Engineering
Mark Boyer started his career as a project engineer and manager for DeMateo Construction and Flatiron Structures where he worked on the multi-billion dollar Central Artery Tunnel Project, “the Big Dig,” in Boston. Mr. Boyer was the founder and president of The Willits Group, a full-service real estate development and investment company where he worked on over $300 million in real estate transactions. Mr. Boyer received a master of science degree in development and finance from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He moved back to his home state of Colorado to join his lifelong friend Paul Spencer in building Clean Energy Collective.
B.S. ’94, Electrical Engineering
Paul Spencer is an entrepreneur with 23 years of experience in building progressive businesses from the ground up through self-funding, private equity, and venture capital organizations. He started his first company, a systems engineering business, while a freshman at CSU. Mr. Spencer spent the first decade of his career building emerging technology and software companies within systems engineering, healthcare, and finance. He spent the second decade of his career building service companies and running a fourteen-state region for Qwest Communication’s e-business division. Starting in 2007 as the president and co-founder of Bonsai Communities, Mr. Spencer led the charge in making sustainable neighborhoods a reality with a holistic approach in conservation and resource use, creating healthy living environments. This concept paved the road to what would become Clean Energy Collective (CEC).
The CEC develops affordable, community-owned renewable energy projects in full partnership with local utilities. In partnership with Holy Cross Energy (HCE), they offer the nation’s first customer-owned community solar program. Mr. Spencer and Mr. Boyer have been instrumental in pushing state and federal legislation to support their evolution of community-based clean energy ownership under a directive of mutual benefit and fairness to both utilities and their ratepayers. Their efforts have resulted in Clean Energy Collective having implemented more community solar projects than all of the U.S. community solar market combined.
The two have partnered with local businesses to reach out to local nonprofits in their community like the Aspen Homeless Shelter and LIFT-UP in Garfield County. Some of their awards include: the Colorado Sunny Award, the National Innovate Green Power Program of the Year from the Department of Energy, PV America's 2012 National PV Project of Distinction, Climate Change Business Journal's 2012 Project Merit Award, and the Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute's 2011 Land Use Entrepreneurs Award.
Mr. Spencer is a past member of the board of directors of the Mountain 2 Mesa Home Builders Association and serves as president of the board of Tom’s Door, a local nonprofit serving individuals in financial need.
Mr. Boyer enjoys spending time skiing, camping, hiking and fishing with his wife, Sarah Schlesinger, and their three daughters.
College of Health and Human Sciences Honor Alumna
Beatrice M. Romer
B.S. ’51, Child Development
Beatrice Romer is a recognized leader in early childhood education and family literacy. Upon graduation from Colorado A&M, Mrs. Romer received a master’s degree in educational psychology from the University of Colorado at Denver and is certified as a family life specialist by the National Council on Family Relations. She has served on eight national boards and 19 state boards to improve childhood education and train parents how to become better caregivers.
In her early career, Mrs. Romer founded the Montview Community Preschool in Denver, and served as the director for six years. The former Colorado first lady created and chaired First Impressions, a statewide initiative that concentrates on the crucial first five years of a child’s life. Through projects such as “Read to Me, Colorado” and the Colorado Initiative for Family Learning, Mrs. Romer took the lead in making family literacy a priority for Colorado.
On a national level, Mrs. Romer served on the boards of the Child Care Action Campaign, the Family Resource Coalition of America and the Home Instruction Program for Preschool Youngsters (H.I.P.P.Y. USA). She also served as a member-at-large on the governing board of the National Association for the Education of Young Children and has sat on the National Head Start Fellowship Review Committee.
Mrs. Romer initiated and chaired the Colorado Women's Health Campaign, part of the Governors' Spouses Program, National Women's Health Campaign. The Colorado campaign, "Good Health for Women is Everyone's Business," was designed to raise awareness about disease prevention and health promotion for women.
The Bea Romer College of Parental Arts (BRCPA) is a nonprofit entity that offers classes on parenting over the lifespan and across lifestyles. Founded in 2001, the BRCPA is the first of its kind in the United States, elevating the parenting dialogue from topical workshops on specific issues (discipline, nutrition, education, etc.) to a more sophisticated level.
Mrs. Romer has received numerous awards, including Friend of Education Award and a Citation for Distinguished State and Government Service for Advocacy on Behalf of Colorado’s Children.
Bea Romer is a life member of the Alumni Association.
College of Liberal Arts Honor Alumnus
David B. Danbom, Ph.D.
B.A. ’69, History
David Danbom’s connections with Colorado State University are deep and intimate. His mother, Rowene, taught in the Department of Journalism and Technical Communications after her retirement from a career in public relations. He met his wife, Karen, on their first day at CSU in September of 1965. His brother, Dan, earned a CSU degree in 1968. And one of his children, Mark, is a 2005 graduate in accounting.
After receiving a history degree in 1969, Dr. Danbom pursued graduate studies at Stanford, where he received a Ph.D. in 1974. He accepted a position in the history department at North Dakota State University, where he taught until his retirement in 2010.
Dr. Danbom has written four of his six books on American agriculture and rural life, becoming what Pulitzer-Prize-winning historian David Kennedy calls, “the foremost historian of rural America.” His first book, The Resisted Revolution: Urban America and the Industrialization of Agriculture, 1900-1930, remains one of the most cited works in the field, and Born in the Country: A History of Rural America, has been characterized as “the best, most thoughtful, and most comprehensive” work of its kind. Dr. Danbom has received numerous awards for his work, and in 1990 he was elected president of the Agricultural History Society.
At North Dakota State University, Dr. Danbom won a number of awards for teaching and public service. He was named Fargo Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Professor, and in 1990 was chosen as North Dakota Professor of the Year by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. He also played an active role in his community, serving on the Mayor’s Committee for Downtown Redevelopment in Fargo, and on the city’s Historic Preservation and Human Relations commissions. He also wrote more than 100 op-ed columns for the Fargo Forum newspaper.
Dr. Danbom and Karen moved to Loveland in 2011. They have two children, Elizabeth and Mark.
David Danbom is an annual member of the Alumni Association.
College of Natural Sciences Honor Alumnus Award
Glenn D. Boutilier, Ph.D.
B.S. ’74, Chemistry
Glenn Boutilier, Ph.D., has worked for Procter & Gamble since 1980. He started as a staff scientist in the paper product development department, became a research fellow in 1992, and was admitted to the prestigious Victor Mills Society in 2000; it is the highest scientific and technical honor that can be bestowed upon a company technologist. Dr. Boutilier’s area of focus is fiber modification and adhesion problems. He has worked on such products as the papermaking belt materials for Charmin, Glad Press N Seal, and Luvs elastomeric waistband. He has 21 U.S. patents assigned to Procter & Gamble. In 1995, Procter & Gamble received the National Medal of Technology Award, citing technology in the tissue and towel products that use technology covered by patents on which Dr. Boutilier is a co-inventor.
Dr. Boutilier received a doctorate in analytical chemistry from the University of Florida. He is a member of the American Chemical Society and the Society for Applied Spectroscopy. He has received several awards, including the Model Mentor Award (2003), Cincinnati Chemist of the Year (2003), and the Be Winners Award for Impress Process Development (2002). He has 19 publications in refereed journals, including two from undergraduate research at CSU. In 1983 a group of Procter & Gamble analytical chemists developed a one-day course to better inform chemistry students about careers as industrial analytical chemists. Dr. Boutilier has taught this course 54 times at universities, regional and national American Chemical Society meetings, and other conferences.
Dr. Boutilier and his wife, Donna, have enjoyed a season subscription at the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra for more than 30 years. They have three daughters, Sara, Emily, and Joanna. The family has spent at least one week each summer on organized bicycle tours, including 21 years on the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure. This summer, they completed the Transamerica Trail – a 4,300 mile cycling route from Virginia to Oregon.
Glenn Boutilier is an annual member of the Alumni Association.
College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Honor Alumnus
Richard L. Barz
B.S. ’75, Microbiology
Palm Springs, Calif.
Rick Barz started with Leprino Foods Company (LFC) in October 1975 as their first hired, entry level lab microbiologist. Thirty-seven years later, he retired as a senior vice president of product quality and development. Once a small Italian cheese company, Leprino Foods Company has become the world’s largest manufacturer of mozzarella cheese and whey protein/lactose products.Since 1995, LFC has been the exclusive supplier of mozzarella cheese to the three major pizza chains in the United States.
At LFC, Mr. Barz created and managed the quality assurance, quality control, and product development departments. Later, he established and led the analytical, culinary, pilot plant and field support functions as well as the research functions. These groups were responsible for ensuring high quality products that met customer expectations. While in charge of these departments, Mr. Barz was granted multiple patents for processes that manufacture mozzarella cheese more efficiently as well as patents for freezing cheese and for methods that impact the performance of mozzarella cheese when cooked on pizza.
In addition to working with the production plan and customers, Mr. Barz worked closely with regulatory and legislative groups such as the USDA, FDA, and CDC on approving the use of lower fat and lower sodium cheese products for schools. He also worked closely with CSU and Western Dairy to educate and support dairy farmers supplying milk to a new LFC factory in Greeley.
Mr. Barz has actively recruited and hired dozens of CSU graduates, many in technical fields.
He and his wife, Susan, have two children, Megan and Ricky.
Rick Barz is an annual member of the Alumni Association.
Warner College of Natural Resources Honor Alumna
Robbie Rice Gries
B.S. ’66, Geology
Robbie Gries is founder and president of Priority Oil & Gas LLC, a Denver-based natural gas production, petroleum exploration and development company with producing properties in Kansas and Wyoming as well as exploration projects in the Rocky Mountain region. She has been in the petroleum industry for 40 years and has combined the business side of oil and gas with her passion for the science of geology, publishing more than 30 papers. Gries has been director for the Colorado Oil and Gas Association and president of American Association of Petroleum Geologists. While president, she visited professional petroleum societies in 44 countries and included visits and lectures to approximately 50 universities.
Graduating from Colorado State University in 1966, Gries was the first woman to acquire a bachelor’s degree in geology from the University. She then acquired a master’s degree in geology from the University of Texas, where she serves on the advisory council for the Jackson School of Geosciences Geology Foundation. She was a founding member of the CSU Geology Advisory Council, and has been active as an officer, leader, and scientific contributor to the Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists. She is a Fellow and past treasurer of the Geological Society of America, and the 2012 recipient of the Michel T. Halbouty Outstanding Leadership Award from the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.
Gries co-founded GeoScience World, an Internet resource for the geosciences providing digital access to geological publications to more than 19 countries, and a founder of People House, a Denver-based center for human potential started in 1974. She is past president of the Colorado Women’s Forum and 1997 recipient of the Woman Leader of Excellence Award from the Colorado Women’s Leadership Coalition.
Gries and her husband, David E. Bailey, currently reside in Lakewood, Colo. Their daughter, Lynn Gries, is a trauma surgeon and teaches at the University of Arizona Medical Center.