Distinguished Alumni Awards 2017


celebration of alumni achievement wrapped up 2017’s Alumni Month activities at Sacramento State. The annual Distinguished Alumni Awards honored seven community and industry leaders for their contributions to the University and the community with a dinner and awards program at the Leslie and Anita Harper Alumni Center.

The six Distinguished Service Award recipients were Kimo Ah-Yun ’90 (Communication Studies), Kraig Clark ’91 (Accountancy), Carol Garcia ’80 (Family and Consumer Sciences) Gilbert Herdt MA ’72 (Anthropology), Andrei Tokmakoff ’89 (Chemistry), and Angelo Williams, MA ’06, ’07 (Education), EdD ’10.

The Rising Star Award, given to an outstanding alumnus who has received his or her first Sacramento State degree since 2006, was presented to Ryan Harrison, MS ’11 (Criminal Justice).

Kimo Ah Yun ’90 (Communication Studies)

Kimo-Ah-Yun“It’s crazy.”

Ask Kimo Ah Yun to describe his journey from someone who had never considered attending college to his current role as dean at a respected liberal arts university and you’ll find he can’t quite believe it himself.

Take a closer look at Ah Yun’s path and you’ll see a blend of drive and fortuitousness, starting with his days as a student at Sacramento State.

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Distinguished Service Award Recipient: Kraig Clark ’91

Clark-KraigWhen it comes to creating successful high-tech companies, Kraig Clark ’91 (Accountancy) has the Midas touch.

In 1997, Clark and fellow Sac State alumnus Steve Schroeder ’93 (Business Administration) teamed up to create CoreLogic, a data analytics firm for the mortgage banking industry. The duo built a dynamic company that created hundreds of regional jobs, generated millions in annual revenue and resulted in a profitable merger after just 10 years. 

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Distinguished Service Award Carol Garcia ’80 (Family and Consumer Sciences)

Garcia-C-smallHometown and Hornet pride run deep for fifth generation Roseville native Carol Garcia ’80 (Family and Consumer Sciences). The Distinguished Service Award recipient is joined by her mother, husband, sister and daughter as proud Sacramento State alumni and active community volunteers.

“We are very grateful that we have Sac State here,” says Garcia. “It really fulfills a wonderful need for education in our region.”

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Distinguished Service Award Recipient: Gilbert Herdt, MA ’72

Herdt-GilbertWhen it comes to scholars and experts in anthropology, few can match the accomplishments of Gilbert Herdt ’71, MA ’72 (Anthropology).

The world renowned clinical and cultural anthropologist specializes in human sexuality—ranging from sexual identity and orientation in children and adolescents to aging in LGBT adults. He’s published more than 30 books and edited more than 100 scientific peer-reviewed journal articles, chapters, encyclopedia articles and scholarly reports. 

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Distinguished Service Award Recipient: Andrei Tokmakoff ’89

TokmakoffWater is known as an essential property for living. Andrei Tokmakoff ’89 (Chemistry) sees it as much more.

The Henry G. Gale Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Chicago leads a research group of nearly a dozen doctoral students and post-doctoral trainees. Dubbed The Tokmakoff Group, they study the properties of, and the molecules that dissolve in, water, such as proteins.

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Distinguished Service Award Recipient: Angelo Williams, MA ’06, MA ’07, EdD ’10

Wiliams-AngeloGrowing up as the son of a civil rights activist, Angelo Williams, MA ’06 (Education), MA ’07 (Higher Education Leadership), EdD ’10 can’t remember a time when he wasn’t interested in social justice. What he didn’t know until much later is that he also shared his father’s passion for education. And for Sacramento State.

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Distinguished Alumni Awards Rising Star: Ryan Harrison, MS ’11

Harrison-Ryan“A labor and employment Swiss Army knife.”That’s how Ryan Harrison, MS ’11 (Criminal Justice) describes his role as principal human resources consultant for the California Senate Rules Committee.

“I address all employment issues, including employee misconduct, discipline, worker’s compensation, reasonable accommodations and investigations,” says Harrison. “It really draws upon my background of being a law enforcement officer as well as my experience specializing in labor and employment law.”

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