BGSU selects recipients of annual Accomplished Alumni Awards

BOWLING GREEN, O.—From chief executive officers to child welfare advocates, Bowling Green State University alumni are serving their communities and making an impact in the world. The University recognized the service and achievements of 23 such alumni during the Accomplished Alumni Awards dinner on Friday, May 13, in the Lenhart Grand Ballroom of the Bowen-Thompson Student Union.

“The Alumni Awards dinner is an important opportunity to recognize the many accomplishments of our alumni. I am humbled to be surrounded by so many talented and generous people,” said Montique Cotton Kelly, director of Alumni Affairs at BGSU. “This is also a great way for these honorees to reconnect with their Falcon family.”

Honorees are recognized as the most accomplished graduates among more than 162,000 living BGSU alumni. Each award recipient was chosen by a committee based on the recommendations of his or her peers, and each has mastered a diverse talent or skill during their education at BGSU. The ceremony celebrates the excellence of the University community.

The Alumni Community Award is presented to a BGSU graduate who has performed outstanding voluntary service beyond normal business or professional obligations. The 2011 honoree is Dianne Dillon (’92), of Travelers Rest, S.C., who is a passionate community volunteer and has worked as a nonprofit fund-raising and marketing professional for more than 10 years. She volunteers as an advocate and committee member for such organizations as the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Diabetes Association, United Way, and Chamber of Commerce.

The Alumni Service Award is presented to a BGSU graduate who demonstrates exceptional leadership, devotion and service for the betterment of the BGSU Alumni Association.

John Quinn (’69), mayor of Bowling Green, will be honored for has demonstrating his dedication to improving the city through civic service, volunteer work and supporting his alma mater throughout his three decades of involvement in municipal government.

The Honorary Alumnus Award is presented to a respected individual who is not a BGSU graduate but whose efforts have significantly contributed to the growth and development of Bowling Green State University.

Randy Lewis, of Portland, Ore., will be recognized for having spent seven years leading the weeklong LeaderShape Institute training for BGSU students.

The Recent Graduate Award is presented to an individual who has graduated from BGSU within the last 15 years and has demonstrated a commitment to civic involvement and to participation in University and/or Alumni Association activities.

Gary Novotny (’03, ’04) is a federal investigator for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in Arlington, Va. He was named 2007 Agent of the Year, a highly selective award based on overall performance, volunteer work, and mentorship of new agents.

In addition to the individual awards, BGSU’s colleges honored their outstanding alumni. Receiving recognition were: College of Arts and Sciences
Conrad Allen (’91, ’97), of Livingston, Texas, who works as an exploration geologist
Dr. Peggie Hollingsworth (’71), of Ann Arbor, Mich., retired as a research biologist
Dr. Lois Zimmerman (’51), of St. Petersburg, Fla., retired physician and medical missionary in Africa

College of Business Administration
Donna Walker Barnes (’51), of Seattle, Wash., retired as first female executive for The Boeing Company
Robert Maurer (’65), of Bowling Green, attorney and commercial and residential real estate developer
Patrick Ryan (’74), of Wadsworth, Ohio, CPA, owner of Aero-Instruments and the PDR Group
Barry Sanders (’87), of Westlake, Ohio, president of ScottsMiracle-Gro

College of Education and Human Development
Leanne Grotke Andreas (’63), of Miramar Beach, Fla., retired, first female to be a full-time women’s athletics director in the Big Ten
Sharon Swigart Cook (’61), of Columbus, former BGSU trustee, real estate agent for Coldwell Banker King Thompson
Jennifer Crusie Smith (’73), of New Richmond, Ohio, best-selling novelist in 20 countries

BGSU Firelands
Terri Stephan (’96, ’00), of Sandusky, executive director of the Erie County Court Appointed Special Advocate Association (CASA)

College of Health and Human Services
Laurence Benz (’84), Louisville, Ky., physical therapist and health-care entrepreneur
Larry Mershman (’77, ’81), of Bowling Green, executive director of the Wood County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services, and the first director of the Wood County Work Release program

Susan Rowe (’87), of Toledo, constituent liaison for U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur
Dr. Gail Whitelaw (’81), of Columbus, director of the Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic at The Ohio State University

College of Musical Arts
Matthew Balensuela (’85), of Terre Haute, Ind., distinguished professor of music at DePauw University
Ryan Nowlin (’00, ’04), of Woodbridge, Va., award-winning composer for “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band

College of Technology
Mark Dent (’84), of North Canton, Ohio, vice president and general manager for Turner Construction Company in Cleveland
Dr. Ahmad Zargari (’90, ’93, ’94), of Morehead, Ky., chair of applied engineering and technology at Morehead State University

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(Posted May 13, 2011 )