Distinguished Alumni Awards

Distinguished Alumni Awards mark

The Colorado State University Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Awards program recognizes CSU alumni and friends who have distinguished themselves professionally, brought honor to the University, and have made significant contributions of time and/or philanthropy to the university or their community.


Distinguished Alumni Awards Dinner

Thursday, Oct. 15, 5:30 p.m., Lory Student Center Ballroom, CSU campus


Become an official event sponsor! 

Learn about sponsorship opportunities (PDF).


About the Program

For more information about the Distinguished Alumni Awards dinner, please contact the office of CSU Events and Donor Engagement at 877-491-7787 or 970-491-4601. Or email Csuevents_fyi@colostate.edu



William E. Morgan Alumni Achievement Award
Mary Cleave, Ph.D. (B.S., Biological Science, ’69)

Charles A. Lory Public Service Award
J. Robert (Bob) Wilson

Jim and Nadine Henry Award
Larry and Kay (B.S., Occupational Therapy, ’60; M.S., Occupational Therapy, ’79) Edwards

Albert C. Yates Student Leadership Award
Christine Nicolaysen (B.S., Interior Design, ’16*)
*Anticipated graduation year

Distinguished Athletic Award
E. Michael Blasi (M.S., Psychology, ’67; Ph.D., Psychology, ’70)

Distinguished Extension Award
Laurel Kubin (B.S., Consumer Sciences, ’71)

Distinguished Faculty Award
Gay Israel, Ed.D.

Graduate of the Last Decade (GOLD) Award
Terrance Unrein (B.S., Construction Management, ’10)

Distinguished Alumni Employee Award
Blanche Hughes (M.Ed., Education, ’84; Ph.D., Sociology, ’95)

Distinguished International Alumni Award
Ying Lee (B.S., Forest Management Science, ’73)
College of Agricultural Sciences Honor Alumnus
Dale McCall (B.S., Vocational Agriculture, ’68; M.Ed., Trade and Industrial Education, ’72; Ph.D.,
Vocational Education ’82)

College of Business Honor Alumnus
Gary Halley (B.S., Business, ’60)

College of Engineering Honor Alumni
Desi Rhoden (B.S., Electrical Engineering ’83; M.S., Electrical Engineering, ’84) and
Lisa Rhoden (B.S., Electrical Engineering, ’84)

College of Health and Human Sciences Honor Alumna
Patricia Kendall (Ph.D., Food Science and Nutrition, ’83)

College of Liberal Arts Honor Alumnus
Yusef Komunyakaa (M.A., English, ’81)

College of Natural Sciences Honor Alumnus
Rocco Fabiano (B.S., Zoology, ’78; M.S., Biochemistry, ’80)

College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Honor Alumnus
Mark Dewhirst (D.V.M, ’75; Ph.D., Radiology and Radiation Biology, ’79)

Warner College of Natural Resources Honor Alumna
Joyce Berry, Ph.D. (M.S., Earth Resources, ’76)




William E. Morgan Alumni Achievement Award

Mary Cleave, Ph.D.
B.S., Biological Science, ’69

Mary L. Cleave, Ph.D., P.E., is an environmental engineer who retired from The National Aeronautics and Space Administration as the associate administrator for science in 2007. In that capacity, she was responsible for numerous spacecraft, from those at the edge of our solar system to those orbiting the sun. She also previously served as deputy associate administrator for earth science at NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C. and is currently serving on corporate boards and advisory committees in both for-profit and not-for-profit sectors.

In 1991, she joined NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., where she worked as the project manager for SeaWiFS – a project that helped the United States increase its understanding of climate change, oceanography, and atmospheric science. 

Cleave flew on the Space Shuttle Atlantis as a mission specialist.  She was the flight engineer and operated the robot arm on the Space Shuttle in 1985 and deployed the Magellan spacecraft from the Shuttle in 1989.  Magellan went on to study Venus. She also served in a range of technical and engineering capacities supporting the shuttle program, including CAPCOM (capsule communicator) for five shuttle flights. 

Before joining NASA, Cleave worked as a research engineer at the Utah Water Research Laboratory and earned a Ph.D. in environmental engineering, an M.S. in microbial ecology at Utah State University, and a B.S. in biological science from Colorado State University. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the American Astronautical Society Flight Achievement Award, 1989; NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, 1994; Friend of Mongolia, 1995; and NASA Engineer of the Year, 1998. She is a member of Tau Beta Pi, Sigma Xi, and the Association of Space Explorers.

Charles A. Lory Public Service Award

Bob and Kitty WilsonJ. Robert (Bob) Wilson

In 1970, Bob Wilson joined a construction crew working on an addition to Columbine Care Center on Parker Street in Fort Collins. Wilson discovered that he truly enjoyed interacting with the residents and took a job as a maintenance man for the facility. When the company fell into bankruptcy in 1971, it hired Wilson to become administrator of the failing facility.

Wilson took the bankrupt 120-bed nursing home to what we now know today as Columbine Health Systems. Columbine Health Systems operates three independent living facilities, three assisted-living facilities, and five skilled-nursing facilities in Fort Collins, Loveland, and Windsor. Columbine employs more than 1,400 people who care for 1,150 people each day.

Wilson has served as president of the Colorado Health Care Association for 12 years, providing unique insights that have assisted in the growth of Columbine Health Systems. He is also a current member of the board of the American Health Care Association and president of the Independent Owners of Nursing Homes.

From working with the department of social work (now the School of Social Work) in the 1970’s to providing internship opportunities, to donating $5 million in 2015 for the creation of the Columbine Center for Healthy Aging as part of the new medical center on campus, Wilson works with Colorado State University in a variety of capacities to introduce young people to gerontology.

He also sponsors a $30,000 scholarship fund at CSU for students pursuing a minor in gerontology. In addition, Columbine Health Systems still hosts student interns in human development; CNA, LPN, and RN programs; social work; health and exercise science; pharmacy; pre-occupational therapy; and pre-med each semester.

Wilson’s accolades include the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Entrepreneur Award (1988); Colorado Health Care Association Vesta Bowden Award for Outstanding Service in the Long Term Care Industry (1992); Larimer Center for Mental Health Outstanding Board Member (2000); Northern Colorado Business Report 2012 Bravo! Award; and Fort Collins Area Chamber Collins Award (2011).


Jim and Nadine Henry Award

Larry Edwards
Kay Edwards
B.S., Occupational Therapy, ’60; M.S., Occupational Therapy, ’79

Larry Edwards, a Nebraska native, graduated from the University of Nebraska at Kearney with a B.S. in chemistry and physics. He served as alumni president for UNK in 2008, and received the Distinguished Alumni Service Award in 2010. He currently serves as a trustee of the University of Nebraska Foundation and has funded yearly scholarships as well as donated to the UNK capital campaign.

Larry Edwards founded the Light Center in 1971, and has been the owner/manager for 44 years. He served as a director of the National Home Lighting Institute for five years. He also is an avid pilot, an avocation he has embraced for 40 years.

Kay Kepler Edwards grew up in Fort Collins, graduating from Colorado State University with a degree in occupational therapy. Following time in practice, she taught in the occupational therapy department at CSU for seven years, and completed her Master of Science there in 1979. She has been an active member of the Delta Delta Delta alumnae at CSU for 45 years, and established an endowment to name chairs for the Fort Collins Symphony over the past 15 years.

Together, Larry and Kay Edwards have established a scholarship in the College of Health and Human Sciences’ Department of Design and Merchandising and have donated to a variety of other causes across campus. Additionally, Larry and Kay Edwards are active community members, supporting several local charities


Albert C. Yates Student Leadership Award

Christine Nicolaysen
B.S., Interior Design, ’16*
*Anticipated graduation year

Christine Nicolaysen is a senior in the interior design program at Colorado State University. Originally from Aurora, Colo., Nicolaysen has been particularly interested in leadership at CSU and has held such positions as student liaison and student representative to the board for the American Society of Interior Designers, and served as treasurer and president for the Student Hospitality Network. Outside of CSU, Nicolaysen serves as a member of the Center for Education on Social Responsibility Junior Board and the Kappa Kappa Gamma Beta Mu House Corporation Board.

As a connection to her first degree in business finance from the University of Colorado, Nicolaysen also serves as a young alumna mentor to a sophomore business student at CU. Nicolaysen graduated with distinction from CU and was awarded the Senior Student Leadership Award. Since January, Nicolaysen has worked as an intern for the Denver-based interior design firm, Gallun Snow, and previously she interned for a sustainability-focused residential interior designer at Inspirit LLC.

Nicolaysen is a recipient of the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation, CSU Women’s Association, and Eva Floy Smith Wheeler scholarships. In her free time, Nicolaysen loves spending time with her family, two golden retrievers, and friends, as well as hiking and practicing yoga.


Distinguished Athletic Award

E. Michael Blasi
M.S., Psychology, ’67; Ph.D., Psychology, ’70

Dr. E. Michael Blasi has been a psychologist for more than 40 years, and is now retired. He received his B.A. from Regis University, where he studied English literature and psychology, graduating magna cum laude. Blasi went on to earn his M.S. and Ph.D. in psychology from Colorado State University.

He was appointed assistant professor in the Department of Graduate Studies in Education at Indiana State University. After receiving his state license for private practice and state certification for school psychology, he left the academic setting and focused on more applied areas.

Along with private practice, Blasi worked in psychological services in school settings and was an adjunct professor at Metropolitan State University in Denver. He established the Rehabilitation Consulting Service, which offered assessment and broad-based consultation services for diverse fields, including architecture, firefighting, schools, and state agencies. 
Blasi has belonged to numerous professional organizations, including the American Psychological Association.

A longtime fan and supporter of Rams athletics, Blasi established – in memory of his parents – the Edith and Emil Blasi Memorial Scholarship, awarded to a student-athlete in football. He is a member of the Ram Club and Touchdown Club, and believes that the training of a student-athlete offers a unique opportunity to unlock leadership potential.


Distinguished Extension Award

Laurel Kubin
B.S., Consumer Sciences, ’71

Laurel Kubin is dedicated to educating people, developing youth, and improving communities through Colorado State University Extension, and she is passionate about connecting the public in numerous ways to their land-grant University.

Kubin has served as county Extension director and Extension agent in Colorado and California, and she has been involved in Extension’s 4-H Youth Development program throughout her career. Kubin has also provided state and national leadership in the Extension organization.

As a founding partner of the financial literacy initiative in Northern Colorado, Kubin continues to provide personal finance education through a variety of collaborations. She is an originating partner of the Rocky Mountain Conference on Aging, and she has engaged and managed hundreds of volunteers as she has multiplied the impact of Extension programs.

She served as president of Epsilon Sigma Phi, the national organization for Extension  professionals, and also chaired the Joint Council of Extension Professionals. She has received numerous awards, including Woman of Distinction from the Northern Colorado Business Journal (2013), and the Mary Ellen Edmonson Educator of the Year award from the Association of Financial Counseling and Planning Education (2013).

She currently serves on the Colorado Consumer Insurance Council, is a volunteer for the American Association of Retired Persons conducting Life Reimagined checkups, and is a leader in her church.
A Colorado native from Genoa on the Eastern Plains, Kubin graduated from Colorado State University in 1971 with a B.S. in consumer sciences. She is married to Frank, and they reside in Windsor, Colo., where they enjoy traveling, gardening, and spending time with family and friends.


Distinguished Faculty Award

Gay Israel, Ed.D.

Dr. Richard (Gay) Israel completed his Ed.D. in exercise physiology from West Virginia University in 1976 and joined the faculty at Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he founded the Howard University Human Performance Lab. In 1981, he moved to East Carolina University, where he founded that institution’s internationally recognized Human Performance Lab and served as founder and director of the Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factor Identification/Reduction Program. In 2008, 12 years after leaving East Carolina University, his distinguished contributions there were recognized with his designation as a Centennial Leader of the College of Health and Human Performance, which honored distinguished research and service among faculty from the first 100 years of existence of this fine institution.  

In 1996, Israel joined Colorado State University as professor and department head of the Department of Health and Exercise Science. During Israel’s 18-year tenure as department head, undergraduate enrollment tripled, a new Ph.D. program in Human Bioenergetics was added, and research expenditures grew from less than $50,000 a year in 1996 to a peak of more than $2 million annually. Israel also established the Human Performance Clinical/Research Laboratory (HPCRL), and is founder and executive director of CSU’s Heart Disease Prevention Program. The HPCRL was dedicated in May 2000 and by 2008 was awarded the prestigious designation as a CSU Program of Research and Scholarly Excellence.

Among his many accolades and honors is his most recent in 2015 from the American College of Sports Medicine – the Citation Award – a prestigious recognition for his leadership and contributions in the areas of research and service to the College. The foregoing details provide an overview of a 39 year career in the academy characterized by, vision, hard work, and a generosity of spirit that is always seeking ways to open doors for others to flourish.


Graduate of the Last Decade (GOLD) Award

Terrance Unrein
B.S., Construction Management, ’10

Terrance Unrein is a 2010 construction management graduate from the College of Health and Human Sciences, where he graduated with honors. During his time at Colorado State University, Unrein served in many leadership capacities at the department, college, and University levels, including as president of the Construction Management Student Board of Directors, construction management competition team captain, and college Dean’s Leadership Council member, among others. During his graduation ceremony, he delivered the student commencement speech and, around this time, he and two of his friends and fellow student leaders, Brady Babbitt and Jeb Bair, decided to found a student scholarship, which they have funded annually since 2010.

Upon graduation, Unrein worked in the construction industry on federal military installations  prior to becoming a consultant in the power and energy business.  Today, Unrein provides economic, regulatory, and technical consulting and advisory services to the power and renewable energy markets, where he has been involved with some of the nation’s largest recent power and energy developments. He is passionate about identifying and resolving key environmental and technical risks on large-scale transactions to ensure energy developments occur in a legally sound and ethical manner. Unrein continues to refine his business acumen to help solve and mitigate high-risk issues before they have potential to harm our built and natural environments. In the future, he envisions a career where he can continue influencing top decision-makers and business executives to make principled development choices based on sound judgment, whether it be in the public or private sectors.

Unrein maintains a connection with CSU by serving as a member of the College of Health and Human Sciences Emerging Leaders Council, occasionally guest-lecturing on campus, and being a scholarship donor. In his free time, he enjoys fly-fishing, backpacking, home-brewing beer, and spending time with his wife, Laura, who received her master’s degree in construction management from CSU in 2011.

Distinguished Alumni Employee Award

Blanche Hughes
M.Ed., Education, ’84; Ph.D., Sociology, ’95

Helping others find their unique potential has driven Dr. Blanche Hughes throughout her career. Whether through teaching, mentoring students and staff, or speaking on issues ranging from diversity to family management, Hughes’ passion for improving lives and communities makes her one of Colorado State University’s most impactful leaders.

Hughes is in her ninth year as vice president for CSU’s Division of Student Affairs, which includes 21 departments that collaborate with the University community to help students and staff succeed. It’s one of the largest divisions on campus to administer, but Hughes always finds time to support and encourage colleagues and contribute to the campus culture. She also teaches and advises in the Student Affairs in Higher Education Graduate Program and teaches a seminar for first year students in the Key Academic Residential Community.

Before becoming vice president, Hughes spent six years as associate vice president for Student Affairs, 11 years as the director of Black Student Services (now the Black/African American Cultural Center) at Colorado State, and two years as a professor of the sociology department at Pikes Peak Community College, where she was chair of the department for one year.

Hughes earned a Master of Education degree in student affairs and a Ph.D. in sociology from CSU and received her Bachelor’s degree from Earlham College. She has received numerous honors and awards, including the NASPA James J. Rhatigan Outstanding Dean Award in 2012, and she was selected as one of Northern Colorado’s Super Women for 2015 by the Fort Collins Coloradoan. She is married to Wayne and has four children (two graduated from CSU) and four granddaughters.

Distinguished International Alumni Award

Ying Lee
B.S., Forest Management Science, ’73

Ying Lee may live on the other side of the world in Singapore, but her spirit of generosity and innovation resonates strongly at Colorado State University, where her support of the Warner College of Natural Resources and other diverse areas has made a major impact.

Lee was born and raised in Singapore and developed a fascination for forestry while helping out on the family-owned rubber plantation. She followed in the footsteps of her siblings and traveled to the United States for a higher education. After two years at Illinois Wesleyan University pursuing a medical degree, Lee transferred to CSU and changed her major to forest management science.

Lee’s experience at CSU further established her passion for forestry and influenced her entire career. She earned a master’s degree in natural resource management at the University of Georgia in 1976 and, after returning to Singapore, worked in a leadership position with the National Parks Board from 1979-1987 and later as a successful investment adviser and business leader. She continues to lead in her field and enjoys her free time with her husband and family. 

Throughout her successful career, CSU has always been close to Lee’s heart. In 2010, her support helped build the foundation of the Conservation Leadership Through Learning initiative, an innovative graduate program led by Warner College’s Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources. The program provides real-world and cross-cultural training that empowers students to meaningfully contribute to solving the environmental challenges of our time.

In 2013, the program was awarded the Western Association of Graduate Schools Award for Excellence and Innovation in Graduate Education.

College of Agricultural Sciences Honor Alumnus

Dale McCall
B.S., Vocational Agriculture, ’68; M.Ed., Trade and Industrial Education, ’72; Ph.D., Vocational Education ’82

Dr. Dale McCall has been involved in the agricultural industry for his entire life. McCall was active in the Future Farmers of America in high school in Yuma, Colo., where he received a number of awards and served as the chapter vice president and chapter president.
McCall went on to Northeastern Junior College to pursue his lifelong dream of being an agriculture teacher. While at NJC, McCall was a varsity football player, Livestock Judge of the Year, and student body president. McCall transferred to Colorado State University, majored in agricultural education, and served as president of Alpha Tau Alpha. He has taught high school agriculture for a number of years and has also taught animal science at NJC.

McCall received his bachelor’s in 1968, master’s in 1972, and Ph.D. in 1982, all from CSU. During this time, McCall stayed involved in farming and ranching in the Yuma area.

McCall is involved with CSU in a variety of ways. McCall and his wife, Judy, established a teaching assistantship in agriculture education at CSU. In 2014, McCall was inducted into the CSU Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics Hall of Fame. McCall recently completed a six-year term as president of the Colorado FFA Foundation and was instrumental in planning and fundraising for the new Co-Bank Agricultural Education Center that officially opened Sept. 26, 2015. McCall also serves on the CSU Extension Service Advisory Committee and the CSU Agricultural Education Advisory Committee.

McCall has served in numerous community leadership and service roles including on the St. Vrain Valley School Board and the Weld County Fair Board, and as president of the United Power Round-up Foundation. He currently serves as vice president of the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union (a three-state organization – Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico) representing family farmers and ranchers. McCall also has been involved in education along with farming, and served as a teacher, principal, superintendent, and BOCES executive director for more than 40 years. McCall continues to serve today as the part-time executive director of the Colorado BOCES Association that supports rural school districts throughout Colorado.

The McCalls have two children. Tim, and his wife, Liz, along with grandson, Robert, and granddaughter, Mary Kate, operate the combination irrigated and dryland family farm near Yuma, Colo. The McCalls’ daughter, Karla, and her husband, Steve, and their two sons, Derek and Devon, live in Mead, Colo.

College of Business Honor Alumnus

Gary Halley
B.S., Business, ’60

Gary Halley has played an instrumental role in Colorado State University’s transformation into a modern, state-of-the-art University. In the College of Business, Halley’s generosity has had a major impact on student learning and facilities with the development of the Gary B. Halley Financial Data Lab, which provides real-world business training and even includes an NYSE “ticker.”

Halley served in the Korean War as a young man, an experience that inspired a lifelong dedication to helping fellow veterans. After he returned to the states, he attended CSU and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in business in 1960. His passion for business led to a successful career that has allowed him to give back in so many ways.

Among those who have benefited from Halley’s generosity are military veterans and first-generation students in the College of Business. Scholarship funds that Halley created give these students access to a world-class education at CSU and opportunities that may not have been possible otherwise.

Halley’s gifts to the College of Business have also enabled the development of programs that give students unique, hands-on experience in investing. Students are exposed to cutting-edge tools and ideas in finance that prepare them with the skills and confidence they need to excel in the investment profession. The addition of socially responsible investment criteria to the programming helps the college promote a vision that commits students to the highest standards of business practice.


College of Engineering Honor Alumni

Lisa Rhoden
B.S., Electrical Engineering, ’84

Desi Rhoden
B.S., Electrical Engineering ’83; M.S., Electrical Engineering, ’84

Lisa Rhoden is an international business consultant specializing in industry trade organizations, bringing together major companies from around the world and coordinating the rollout of advanced technology. With a B.S.E.E. from Colorado State University and minors in computer science and mathematics, Rhoden migrated toward the software side of technology, where she served as a software manager for VLSI Technology and director of software and IT for ASM America. Rhoden received her technology M.B.A. from Arizona State University before becoming involved with international trade organizations as vice president of Advanced Memory International Inc.  and president of the Universal Flash Storage Association. Rhoden leads the UFSA, a worldwide nonprofit trade organization coordinating the certification and rollout of next-generation Flash memory that will directly support full-motion video.

Rhoden is involved with CSU in a number of ways. To honor the impact of two of their professors, she and her husband, Desi, helped establish the Aram Budak Scholarship Endowment in Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Paul Wilbur Scholarship Endowment in Mechanical Engineering, which offer assistance to deserving CSU engineering students. In addition, the Rhodens provided funding for the Biomedical Engineering Teaching Laboratory in the new Suzanne and Walter Scott, Jr. Bioengineering Building. They have also established the first endowed college professorship in electrical and computer engineering with the Lisa and Desi Rhoden ECE College Professorship Endowment fund, to help attract and retain the very best engineering professors in ECE at CSU.

Desi Rhoden has a long history of working on the bleeding edge of technology with international leaders in the semiconductor industry. He has served as an engineer/scientist with Hewlett-Packard and an engineering fellow with VLSI, and was a founder, president, and CEO of Advanced Memory International Inc., a nonprofit industry trade organization responsible for coordinating the worldwide rollout of DDR and DDR2 SDRAM. Rhoden serves as an industry consultant and helped two companies (Inphi and Montage Technology) enter the market as successful publicly traded companies. Rhoden has more than 30 years as a primary leader in computer memory development, and he has led development of many generations and types of memory for everything from cellphones to mainframe computers.

Rhoden has received many leadership awards, including the JEDEC Award of Excellence, the highest honor from the world’s leading semiconductor standards organization. Rhoden was also Alumnus of the Year for CSU’s ECE department in 2010 for his work in computer memory. Rhoden has a B.S. and an M.S. in electrical engineering from CSU. He is a member of the IEEE and is a Vietnam veteran. 

Rhoden is involved with Colorado State University in a number of ways. To honor the impact of two of their professors, he and his wife, Lisa, helped establish the Aram Budak Scholarship Endowment in Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Paul Wilbur Scholarship Endowment in Mechanical Engineering, which offer assistance to deserving CSU engineering students. In addition, the Rhodens provided funding for the Biomedical Engineering Teaching Laboratory in the new Suzanne and Walter Scott, Jr. Bioengineering Building. They have also established the first endowed college professorship in electrical and computer engineering with the Lisa and Desi Rhoden ECE College Professorship Endowment fund to help attract and retain the very best engineering professors in ECE at CSU.

College of Health and Human Sciences Honor Alumna

Patricia Kendall
Ph.D., Food Science and Nutrition, ’83

Growing up on a farm in Kansas and attending a one-room school, Pat Kendall credits 4-H Extension with much of her early development and later career choices. She received her B.S. in home economics education and M.S. in foods and nutrition from Kansas State University. In 1974, she joined Colorado State University, first as a research assistant, then as a food and nutrition Extension specialist. She earned her Ph.D. in food science and nutrition from CSU.

As an Extension specialist, Kendall presented hundreds of programs on nutrition and food-safety topics across Colorado. At the national level, Kendall helped develop strategic plans for Extension-based programs and served as panel manager for three different federal grant initiatives. She also led several multistate research projects aimed at finding practical solutions to food-safety issues. From 1997-2000, Kendall served as associate head and graduate programs coordinator for the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition in the College of Health and Human Sciences. From 2009-2013, she was associate dean for research in CHHS.

Kendall loves mentoring students. She served as the major adviser for 47 M.S. and 10 Ph.D. candidates, bringing in more than $4 million in grant dollars to help fund their research. She is past president of the Society for Nutrition Education and the Colorado Dietetic Association, and has received numerous awards in recognition of her work.

In 2010, CSU’s nutrition center was renamed the Kendall Anderson Nutrition Center after receiving donations from Kendall and Danette Anderson.


College of Liberal Arts Honor Alumnus

Yusef Komunyakaa
M.A., English, ’81

Yusef Komunyakaa was born and grew up in the small town of Bogalusa, La., before and during the civil rights era. During the Vietnam War, he served a tour of duty in the Army as a journalist for the military paper, covering major actions, interviewing fellow soldiers, and publishing articles on Vietnamese history and literature. Upon his return to the states, he turned to poetry, eventually becoming one of the most popular and important American writers of his generation. Komunyakaa obtained his bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, in 1975, an M.A. in creative writing from Colorado State University in 1978, and an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of California, Irvine, in 1980. 

Komunyakaa’s books of poetry include Taboo, Dien Cai Dau, Neon Vernacular (for which he received the Pulitzer Prize), The Chameleon Couch, and the forthcoming The Emperor of Water Clocks. He has been the recipient of numerous awards including the William Faulkner Prize (Université Rennes, France), the Kingsley Tufts Award for Poetry, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Poetry Society of America’s Shelley Memorial Award, and the 2011 Wallace Stevens Award. His plays, performance art, and libretti have been performed internationally and include Slipknot, Wakonda’s Dream, Nine Bridges Back, Saturnalia, Testimony, The Mercy Suite, and Gilgamesh (a verse play) with Chad Gracia. He is Global Distinguished Professor of English at New York University.


College of Natural Sciences Honor Alumnus

Rocco Fabiano
B.S., Zoology, ’78; M.S., Biochemistry, ’80

Rocco Fabiano has had an eclectic career. He has split his time between serial entrepreneurship and large organizations, and has managed businesses ranging from consumer finance to mobile software development. He credits his education at Colorado State University, where he received his B.S. in zoology and his M.S. in biochemistry, for providing him with the ability to rapidly adapt to new business environments.

Fabiano is currently chairman of Gimbal Inc., a mobile software company focused on location and proximity. Gimbal’s clients include Apple, the National Football League, and Major League Baseball. Fabiano is also a member of the board of directors of MicroPower, which creates solar-powered, wireless video technology, and he is a member of the board of directors of Art Capital, which finances the acquisition of fine art for collectors worldwide.

As an entrepreneur, Fabiano has founded a number of companies, taking two public and selling two. He was the Ernst & Young/NASDAQ Entrepreneur of the Year in 1997 and is the former chairman of the San Diego chapter of the Young Presidents Organization. In his free time, Fabiano works to arrange financing for renewable energy and water conservation programs in California.


College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Honor Alumnus

Mark Dewhirst
D.V.M, ’75; Ph.D., Radiology and Radiation Biology, ’79

Mark Dewhirst received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1975 and Ph.D.in Radiology and Radiation Biology in 1979 from Colorado State University. The native of Manhattan, Kan. has spent more than 30 years studying hyperthermia, causes of tumor hypoxia, and tumor angiogenesis.

Throughout his career, Dr. Dewhirst has placed important emphasis on the value of companion animal cancers as models for human cancer. He has collaborated with colleagues from CSU and North Carolina State University to author more than 70 papers involving clinical trials with companion animal cancers.

Dr. Dewhirst is the recipient of multiple awards, including the Failla Medal and Lecture from the Radiation Research Society in 2008 and the Eugene Robinson Award from the Society for Thermal Medicine in 1992. He was named a fellow of the American Society for Radiation Oncology and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and, in 2012, ASTRO awarded its Gold Medal to Dr. Dewhirst.

In recognition of his passion for mentoring, he was selected in 2011 to become the first associate dean of faculty mentoring in the Duke School of Medicine. He established a novel and successful program to assist fellows and junior faculty members to be more successful in securing highly competitive National Institutes of Health grants. 

In recognition of the invaluable training he received while a student at CSU, Dr. Dewhirst and his wife, Nancy, have recently established the Mark and Nancy Dewhirst Scholarship Endowment, which offers financial support for Ph.D. students enrolled in the Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.


Warner College of Natural Resources Honor Alumna

Joyce Berry, Ph.D.
M.S., Earth Resources, ’76

Joyce Berry has served as Colorado State University’s dean of the Warner College of Natural Resources twice, as well as CSU’s vice president for Advancement and Strategic Initiatives and director of the Environment and Natural Resource Policy Institute. Earlier in her career, she was a research associate and administrator at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, where she created the school’s first Student Affairs and Career Office, and co-developed student and women’s leadership programs and the Professional Life-Long Learning Program.

Berry received her bachelor’s degree in political science and graduate degree in education from the University of California at Berkeley. She also received her master’s degree in regional resources planning from CSU and Ph.D. from Yale University. 

Her research, teaching, and outreach focuses on the integration of science, policy and management, public involvement strategies, public attitudes and values toward natural resources, and leadership and organizational change – areas in which she’s co-authored/edited four books.

Berry has been involved throughout her career with several environmental groups, serving in various committee capacities. She is currently serving on the CSU External Advisory Board of School of Global Environment Sustainability and served for many years on the CSU Alumni Board. Both Berry and her husband, Joe, are lifelong Alumni Association members, as well as avid Rams fans. Although they have recently moved to Pennsylvania to be with their daughter and her family, the Warner College of Natural Resources and CSU will always be a part of the Berry family – as evidenced by a CSU flag flying proudly in front of their Pennsylvania home.