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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Apr 9, 2008    #022
Contact: Wandra Brooks Green
816-235-1601

2007-08 Alumni Achievement Award winners announced The 17 distinguished graduates will be honored before hundreds on April 17

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) has selected 17 outstanding alumni for 2007-08 who will be honored at the dinner at 6:00 p.m. Thursday, April 17, in the UMKC Swinney Recreation Center, 5030 Holmes St. UMKC’s Alumni Association will highlight the recipient’s stories and achievements.

One alumnus is chosen from each of the University’s 12 academic units to be recognized for distinguished accomplishments in his or her profession and for outstanding community service. In addition, five alumni were selected for their inspiration and leadership at a level that crosses disciplines and exceeds expectations.

Robert M. Arnold, Alumnus of the Year (M.D. 1983)
Professor, University of Pittsburgh Medical School
Dr. Arnold is a nationally recognized scholar, clinician and educator in medicine and bioethics. He served as president of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities and played a significant role in drafting standards for bioethics consultation. Arnold is a leader in palliative care and continues to play an active role in educating medical students and residents.

Freda Mendez Smith, Bill French Alumni Service Award (B.A. 1980)
President, UMKC’s Women’s Council

Mendez-Smith has served as a member of the Alumni Association Governing Board and as co-chair of the Apapito Mendoza Scholarship Fundraising Committee, raising money for student scholarships. She is President of MANA de Kansas City, a national Latina organization. Mendez-Smith has dedicated her time and expertise to organizations including the Mattie Rhodes Center, Cabot Westside Health Center and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

David Bates, Spotlight Award (B.S.P. 1993)
Chief Pharmacist and National Pharmacy Consultant of the Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response

The Spotlight Award is given to a person who has brought positive attention to UMKC and its home city. Commander Bates’ unlimited contributions to his community give him this honor. Bates, who is an Adjunct Professor, was at UMKC on September 11 when terrorists attacked. He immediately returned to New York. He also has received the Public’s Health Service’s “Crisis Response Service Award” for his service during the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.

Stanley E. Banks, Defying the Odds Award (B.A. 1979, M.A 1991)
Assistant Professor and Artist-In-Residence, Avila University

Defying the Odds is not so easy to do, but Banks was able to overcome many obstacles to become the man he is today. Growing up in urban poverty, Banks had lost eight family members by the time he was 18 due mostly to violence. He chose a different path. Banks is artist-in-residence at Avila University and author of two collections of poetry. His accomplishments include the Writer’s Place Award for furthering the cause of literature in Kansas City, 1989 National Endowment for Arts fellowship in poetry, and the Langston Hughes Prize in Poetry.

The Neff Family, Legacy Award

Lloyd L. Neff, Sr. was a 1918 graduate of the University of Missouri Pharmacy School, followed by three generations of graduates from the school. The Neff Family has made an impact at UMKC. The Legacy award recognizes a family with a tradition of attending the University and a record of outstanding service to it and the community, making the Neff Family the perfect choice for this year’s award. Neff, Sr. founded Lloyd L. Neff and Sons Prescriptions Center and owned three shops downtown and in Kansas City, Kansas. In addition to their commitment to pharmacy, the Neff Family has a long history of alliance and support with the Missouri Pharmacy Association, the UMKC Pharmacy Foundation, the UMKC Alumni Association and the University of Kansas City Trustees.

Alumni Achievement Awards (by academic unit)

Karen Foss, College of Arts & Sciences (B.A. 1976)
Vice President for Public Relations, Ameren Services

Karen Foss is recognized as one of the longest running female news anchors in the United States. After her graduation from the Communication Studies department at UMKC, she was chosen to be the first co-anchor of the evening news for Kansas City’s CBS affiliate. She was inducted into the Emmy’s prestigious Silver Circle in 2005, which recognized her important contributions to broadcast journalism for more than 25 years.

Pinghui Feng, School of Biological Sciences (M. A. 1997, Ph. D. 2001)
Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Dr. Feng has studied the molecular action of two anti-apoptotic proteins produced by gamma herpes viruses. He is also currently working on projects at UT Southwestern Medical Center that include molecular pathogenesis of disease in humans and pro-inflammatory signaling. Feng is very attentive to his research and studies, leading to a successful career in both the classroom and the laboratory.

Alan Weber, Henry W. Bloch School of Business and Public Administration (M. B.A. 1993)
Founder, Data to Strategy Group

Weber is CEO of Marketing Analytics, lecturer at the Bloch School and a successful direct marketer, who was honored as Direct Marketer of the Year in 2004. Weber has made numerous contributions to the community, as well as the UMKC Bloch School. He is serving in leadership roles for the UMKC Alumni Association, Alumni Minority Affairs Committee and Bloch School Alumni Association Board.

Mary Louis Jones, Conservatory of Music and Dance (M.M.E. 1985, D.M.A. 1992)
Director of High School Orchestras, Supervisor for String Programs, Liberty School District

Mary Louise Jones, a teacher of music for more than 40 years, has received numerous awards including the prestigious Citation for Exceptional Leadership and Merit from the American String Teachers Association. By serving as both an adjudicator and music teacher, she has inspired many young performers throughout the United States. Also, Jones is a board member of the National School Orchestra Association.

Ravishankar Chandra, School of Computing and Engineering (M.S. 1993)
Chief Operating Officer, Sonoa Systems

Chandra has established himself as an innovator in the field of Internet technology, involved in the development of numerous software systems. Over the past 14 years, Chandra has held senior technical and business executive leadership positions demonstrating strong entrepreneurial skills.

Lynn Mouden, School of Dentistry (D.D.S. 1975)
State Dental Director of Arkansas

In 1992, Dr. Mouden founded P.A.N.D.A (Prevent Abuse and Neglect through Dental Awareness). The program trains oral health professionals to recognize child abuse and neglect and to work with social services professionals to assure family inventions. He has been honored by Missouri Dental Association and is a member of several organizations, including the International College of Dentists and served as spokesman on family violence for the American Dental Association.

Karen Williams, School of Dentistry, Division of Dental Hygiene (M.S. 1985, Ph. D. 2001)
Professor and Director of the Clinical Research Center

Dr. Williams is recognized internationally for her research and her presentations of continuing education seminars. Williams is co-investigator on international research collaboration between UMKC and the University of the Western Cape, South Africa, which resulted in a $4.4 million grant from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicines. Williams’ has been recognized as the Oral Health Related Quality of Life Model for Dental Hygiene.

David Donovan, School of Education (Ph.D. 1998)
Psychologist, Behavior Consultants

During his tenure with the Community Counseling and Assessment Services, Dr. Donovan demonstrated deep commitment to training students, the counseling and assessment services, the School of Education, and to the field of psychology. Donovan is a successful psychologist and serves on the board of the Greater Kansas City and Topeka Psychoanalytic Center. He was recently identified as one of the “Trendsetters” in Kansas City by Kansas City magazine.

Keith Cutler, School of Law (J.D. 1989)
Attorney, James W. Tippin & Associates

As a trial lawyer, Cutler’s areas of practice include insurance defense and subrogation, general liability defense, professional liability defense and small business representation. He has received awards, including the Decade Award from the UMKC Law Foundation and the 2005 Legal Leaders of Year Award from the Daily Record. Cutler has also served as president of Jackson County Bar Association and has been appointed a member of the Missouri Supreme Court Civil Rules Committee.

Wendell Clarkston, School of Medicine (M.D. 1984)
Professor, Department of Internal Medicine

For eight years, Dr. Clarkston served as the Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education strengthening the UMKC residency programs and the School of Medicine’s sponsorship. Clarkston and a onetime Fellow developed a software program establishing a database for gastroenterology procedures that is mouse-driven and intuitive. He was named one of Kansas City’s Best Doctors in the 2003 and 2004 issues of Kansas City magazine. In addition to teaching students and residents, Clarkson provides gastroenterological care as part of an outreach program in rural Missouri.

Peggy Ward-Smith, School of Nursing (Ph.D. 1998)
Associate Professor

Not only has Dr. Ward-Smith established herself as a prominent national and international scholar, but she is dedicated to mentoring and teaching graduate and doctoral students at the UMKC School of Nursing. Currently, Ward-Smith is working with the Children’s Mercy Hospital Pediatric Palliative Care Team to develop a value inventory instrument for professionals to provide cultural, ethnic, and religious information with appropriate results in the health care plan. She has published numerous scholarly publications and is currently a contributing editor to the Journal of Urologic Nursing.

School of Pharmacy, Matt Hartwig, (R.Ph. 1992)
Co-President/CEO, Red Cross Pharmacy, Inc.

In addition to being an active member of the School of Pharmacy Foundation Board, Hartwig guides and advises pharmacy interns and other students seeking careers in the profession. He is the fourth member of his family to graduate from the UMKC School of Pharmacy. Hartwig is a member of the National Community Pharmacists Association, the Missouri Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.

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