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Alumni Association

Distinguished Alumni Awards - Honoring Alumni

Nomination Criteria

Distinguished Service Awards are given in recognition of professional achievements and community service.  Nominees must have achieved prominence in their chosen field and brought distinction to the University and/or their community through their accomplishments.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is given to alumni for exceptional career achievements, exceptional contributions to the campus and community, and for setting high standards of excellence in their personal and professional lives. 

Honorary Alumnus Awards are given to friends of the University who have demonstrated a close affinity to the campus and who have rendered exceptional support and leadership to the University or Association.

The Rising Star Award is given to a graduate of Sacramento State who has received his or her first Sacramento State degree since 2006 and has made outstanding contributions professionally, to the community or to Sacramento State.

NOTE: Current Alumni Association Board Directors, Chapter Leaders or others in key Association leadership positions are not eligible for consideration during their active term.

DEADLINE for 2018 nominations will be due Wednesday, November 1, 2017. Please check back over the summer when the nomination form will be open.

2017 DAA Honorees

The Distinguished Alumni Awards event will be held on Thursday, April 20th, at the Harper Alumni Center, Sacramento State. Reserve your seat at the EARLY BIRD rate by clicking here. See videos and pictures from the event below.

Distinguished Service Award

  • Dr. Kimo Ah Yun '90 (Communication Studies)
  • Kraig Clark '91 (Business Administration)
  • Carol Garcia '80 (Family and Consumer Sciences)
  • Dr. Gilbert Herdt, MA '72 (Anthropology)
  • Dr. Andrei Tokmakoff '89 (Chemistry)
  • Dr. Angelo A. Williams, MA '06 & '07, Ed.D. '10 (Education)

Rising Star Award

  • Ryan M. Harrison, MS '11 (Criminal Justice)


Sponsorship Opportunities

There are several sponsorship opportunities available. Please review our sponsor information sheet (PDF). To learn more about how you can benefit from partnering with the Alumni Association, please visit our Sponsors/Affinity Partners page

For questions, please contact Veronica Delgado, Membership and Marketing Manager at or (916) 278-3862.

2016 Sacramento State Distinguished Alumni Awards Honorees

Distinguished Service Awards

Christine '92 and Michael Ault '92 (Communication Studies)
Some call it a revitalization, others, a renaissance. For Michael and Christine Ault, it’s the couple’s calling to reshape the economic development, identity and reputation of California’s capital city. Michael is executive director of the Downtown Sacramento Partnership, a nonprofit that has been transforming the downtown district since 1995. Christine is a communications consultant and advisor for the economic development group Valley Vision where she has led numerous job growth and marketing initiatives.

Christine and Michael Ault

Ann Perez '78 (Physical Education), MS '92 (Education)
Craig Perez '77 (Physical Education)
Craig and Ann Perez are a true Sac State pairing. The two worked together during college and have stayed connected, avidly supporting Hornet Athletics and other campus programs. Ann has 28 years of experience as an educator, working in different capacities ranging from teaching and developing curriculum to administrative positions. Craig was instrumental in getting the Sac State Aquatic Center developed as part of his career at Sac State.

Cate Dyer

Tim Murphy ’91 (Government), CEO, Sacramento Regional Builder's Exchange
An early interest in politics, leadership skills gained at Sac State and an internship at the California Senate Republican Caucus sealed the deal for Tim Murphy’s future in policy and government relations. In his role as CEO of the Sacramento Regional Builder’s Exchange, Murphy is using his skills and knowledge to help advance the construction industry association and its membership.

Tim Murphy

Deborah Ross-Swain ’73, MS '75 (Speech Pathology and Audiology), Director/Owner, The Swain Center
For thousands of children and adults with communication, learning or processing disorders, Deborah Ross-Swain is a beacon of light in a dark and confusing world. Swain founded her Santa Rosa practice in 1985 with a focus on pediatric early intervention for speech and language development delays, as well as autism and autism spectrum disorders. Swain is also a past president of the California Association of Speech Pathologists and Audiologists in Private Practice.

Deborah Ross Swain

Rising Star Award

Justing Knighten'08 (Communication Studies), Vice President, Lucas Public Affairs
There are many words to describe Justin’s role in the Sacramento community: engaged, connected, but perhaps most of all, busy. Professionally he is vice president of Lucas Public Affairs, where he manages public affairs and communications campaigns for clients on complex issues related to renewable energy, Internet and technology, health care, travel and tourism, education and biotechnology. In addition, Knighten is a key contributor with the Harvey Milk Foundation and Best Buddies International.

Justin Knighten

Honorary Alumna Award

Susan McGinty, Professor Emertia, Department of Physical Therapy
The emerita physical therapy professor faced an uphill climb when she set out to take Sac State’s physical therapy program to the doctoral degree-granting level. Her pursuit was successful and vision was realized in Fall 2012 when 32 physical therapy doctoral candidates stepped foot on campus. She left a lasting legacy in the department and with the students, now alumni, which she taught. Faculty and staff can meet in the “McGinty Conference Room” in Folsom Hall and there’s a McGinty Cup fundraising golf tournament to fund scholarships.

Susan McGinty

2016 Event Videos

Campus Remarks
President Robert S. Nelsen

DAA Recipients 2016
Stingers Up!
Award recipients with President Robert S. Nelsen

Distinguished Service Award Recipient
Christine ’92 and Michael ’92 Ault (Communications Studies)

Distinguished Service Award Recipient
Tim Murphy ’91 (Government)

Distinguished Service Award Recipient
Craig ’77 & Ann ’78, MA ’92 (Physical Education)

Distinguished Service Award Recipient
Deborah Ross-Swain ’73, MS ’75 (Speech Pathology and Audiology)

Rising Star Award Recipient
Justin Knighten ’08 (Communications Studies)

Honorary Alumna Award Recipient
Susan McGinty

Past Recipients - 2015


Order of the Hornet 
President Alexander Gonzalez (video)

Lifetime Achievement Award
Jan Scully*** (video)

Distinguished Service Award
Cate Dyer (video)
Pat Fong Kushida (video)
Jim Gomez (video)
Lee Ritchey (video)
Tami R. Bogert and Scott Yuill (video)

Rising Star Award
Philip I. Person**** (video)

Award Information

The Order of the Hornet Award was presented from 1972-1985.  In 1987 the awards became known as the Distinguished Service Awards, periodically giving Order of the Hornet (*) designation to selected recipients. 

Later added were Honorary Alumnus/a (**), Lifetime Achievement (***) and Rising Star (****) categories. 

Faculty/Administrator awards are designated (^).

Past Recipients 1995-2014


Distinguished Service Award
Maureen Bauman
Chris Higdon
James P. Mayer
Javed Siddiqui
Kerri Thomas


Distinguished Service Award
David Bugatto
Cheryl Dell
Michael Kuhlmann
Garry Maisel
Rhonda Staley-Brooks

Rising Star Award
Christina Preston****


Lifetime Achievement Award
Joseph F. Sheley***

Distinguished Service Award
Greg J. Hagwood
John & Margi Herzog
Kit Miyamoto
Mark Otero

Rising Star Award
Robert Meza****
Janay Swain****


Distinguished Service Award
Thomas M. Gilbert
Paul Lau
Ted Puntillo
Tina Treis

Rising Star
Krista Bernasconi****

Honorary Alumni Award
Dr. Alexander Gonzalez
Patricia Clark-Ellis 


Distinguished Service Award
Douglas Curley
Helena Fitch-Snyder
Eddie Kho
Cristina Mendonsa
Michael Reinero
Holly Tiche

Rising Star
Baldwin Chiu****


Lifetime Achievement Award
Larry Cook***

Distinguished Service Award
Karen Bakula
Charles E. Bell
Alejandro Garcia
Jan A. Nolta

Honorary Alumnus Award
George Crandell**


Distinguished Service Award
Michael Carter
John Gesek
Greg Knapp
Sia Nemat-Nasser
Walt Schaub
Paulette Trainor

Honorary Alumnus Award
Mark Drobny**
Pamela O. Stewart**


Lifetime Achievement Award
Roger Valine***

Distinguished Service Award
Larry Augusta
Lauren Hammond
Kim Hughes^
Scott W. Maxwell
Gloria Nomura
Alice D. Perez
Lloyd O. Snelson
Larry Williams
Karen Zamarripa
Daniel Zingale

Honorary Alumnus Award
Daniel Cole**


Lifetime Achievement Award
William Campbell III***

Distinguished Service Award
Jack Bertolucci
Patrick Fenwick
Jack Higdon
Marilyn Hopkins^
Theresa Parker
Randy Reynoso
Rene Syler


Distinguished Service Award
Michael L. Brown
Sonney Chong
Todd Murch
Albert Najera
Kirk B. Sturm
Scott C. Syphax
Ann Weldy^
Rosemary Younts


Distinguished Service Award
Fred Dalkey
Kayla Gillan
Craig T. Johnson
Kenneth A. Macias
Robin Martial
David H. Mering
Scott J. Modell^
Melba O. Mosher
Pamela G. Saltenberger
Robbie Waters
Mary Jane Young

Honorary Alumnus Award
Ray Clemons**^


Distinguished Service Award
Virginia Avila
Robert Dean
Edward Del Biaggio^
Mike Dourgarian
Jim Fitzpatrick
Gail Hullibarger
Judy Quattrin^
Ben Roberts
Marlene Von Friederichs-Fitzwater

Honorary Alumnus Award
Rosemary Clemons**
Gary Hart**^
Nicholas Windeshausen**^


Distinguished Service Award
Christopher Cabaldon
Dale Carlsen
Richard C. Johns
Suzanne Kingsbury
William H. Lee
Mary Louise Mack
Gil Moore
Robert Perry-Smith
Felicenne Ramey^
H. John Shaw, III
Fred Teichert

Honorary Alumnus Award
Roy Brophy**


Lifetime Achievement Award
Angelo Tsakopoulos***

Distinguished Service Award
Patricia Cochran
Ron Davis
Gregg Lukenbill
Kathleen McGrath
Kitty O'Neal
Ray Shaddick
Michael Ubaldi
Robert Waste^

Order of the Hornet
Dennis Gardemeyer*
Gary Kimmel*

Honorary Alumnus Award
Muriel Johnson**


Lifetime Achievement Award
Joe A. Serna, Jr.***^

Distinguished Service Award
Suzanne Adan
Louis Blanas
Jesus Fernandez Jr.
Mary Hargrave
Janet McWilliams
Kenneth Owens
Tony Saca
Michael Stevens
Robert Thomas

Order of the Hornet
Catherine MacMillian*
Dixie Schneider*

Honorary Alumnus Award
Stan Atkinson**


Distinguished Service Award
Lory Heron
Albert Hurtado
Joseph Mohamed Sr.
Randy Paragary
Gail Tom^
Charles Trainor

Order of the Hornet
Phillip Cowan*
Melinda Melendez*
Paul Robins*

Honorary Alumnus Award
Alex Spanos**
Harry Sweet**


Distinguished Service Award
Edward Chavez
Christine Dean
Daniel Decious^
Daniel DeFoe
Clarke J. Dominguez
Kelvin K. Lee
Mike McGowan
Ted Morse
John Moulds
Paul Sax

Order of the Hornet
John Messner*
Bev Short*

Honorary Alumnus Award
Thomas Hobday**


Distinguished Service Award
Janice Rogers Brown
Irvin Faria^
Giselle Fernandez
Roger Fong
Joseph J. Kearns
Steve Pleau
Roger Valine
Richard Weaver
Tom Weborg

Order of the Hornet
Steven Yamshon*

Honorary Alumnus Award
Cal Boyes**^


Distinguished Service Award
William Collard
Gloria Glyer
Kenneth Kerri^
Duane Lowe
Denise Mazzucca-Barrett
William Popejoy
Jan Scully

Honorary Alumnus Award
Josef Moorehead**^


Distinguished Service Award
Mary Buehler
Al Geiger
Robert Metcalf^
John Poswall
Pauline Roccucci
Raymond Valdez

Order of the Hornet
Isabel Hernandez-Sema*^
Frank LaPena*^

Honorary Alumnus Award
Louis Desmond**
Enlow Ose**

Past Recipients 1972-1994


Distinguished Service Award
Allen Johnson
Gregory Kondos
Dave Lucchetti
Sylvia Minnick
Barbara O’Connor^
James Shelby

Order of the Hornet
John Smith*^
Jack Waymire*

Honorary Alumnus Award
Donald Gillott**^


Distinguished Service Award
Phil Boyer
Jamie Candelaria
Kenneth Hansen
June LaVerne Long
Antonia Lopez
Sam Pannell
Dennis Tootelian^

Order of the Hornet
Ron W. Smith*

Honorary Alumnus Award
Fred Anderson**


Distinguished Service Award
Felicia Bessent
Ward Connerly
Linda Dixon
William Dorman^
John Fitzgerald
Elizabeth McClatchy
Don Zingale^

Honorary Alumnus Award
Fred Hummel**


Distinguished Service Award
Fred Uhl Ball
Grantland Johnson
Said Kaki
Trong Nguyen
Leticia Quezada
Joe A. Serna Jr.^

Order of the Hornet
Robert W. Bell*
Gary Quattrin*


Distinguished Service Award
Deborah Colberg^
C. Carson Conrad
Fred Dawkins
M. Wayne Thiebaud
Malcolm Weintraub

Order of the Hornet
David Morse*
John Ranlett*^

Honorary Alumnus Award
Norman J. Phillips**


Distinguished Service Award
Dr. W. Richard Cobb^
Marjorie Geiszler
C. Stanley Gilliam
Robert Mange
Robert Rivinius

Order of the Hornet
Winnie Leung*


Distinguished Service Award
Margo Murray
Jean Runyon
William Whitehead^

Order of the Hornet
William Campbell III*
Robert Curry*^


Distinguished Service Award
John McNamara
Frank Borgia
Nick Floratos

Order of the Hornet
Dorothy Lombard*
Coach Bob Mattos*


Order of the Hornet
Lloyd Connelly
John P. Kearns


Order of the Hornet
Carl Ludwig^
Thomas Willoughby


Order of the Hornet
W. Lloyd Johns^


Order of the Hornet
Steven Arvizu
Sandra Baker


Order of the Hornet
George Creel^
Rod Hamilton
Ann Reardon


Order of the Hornet
Henry A. Bamman^
Phillip Isenberg
Gordon P. Martin^
George Sumner


Order of the Hornet
Keith B. Kenny
J. Harold Severaid^


Order of the Hornet
Lewis Crowl^
Joe A. McGowan^
Stanley Pretzer^
Efra Zollinger^


Order of the Hornet
Robert Gustafson
Harold B. Roberts^


Order of the Hornet
Donald Bailey^
John W. Baker^


Order of the Hornet
Hubert McCormick^


Order of the Hornet
Gordon D. Schaber
Robert Wyman