KANSAS CITY, Mo., April 15, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The University of Missouri-Kansas City Class of 2015 Alumni Award recipients includes a doctor who serves people in the world's poorest places, national deputy finance director for George W. Bush's presidential campaign, an army veteran who used the GI Bill to forge his path to an executive position with Sprint, start-up music label owners, and a law grad who made a name for himself leading Major League Baseball and Major League Hockey.
Each year, the UMKC Alumni Association Governing Board and the campus recognize outstanding individual alumni, and one family, with top honors. UMKC will celebrate these alumni at a luncheon event on April 23 on the UMKC campus that typically raises more than $100,000 a year in scholarship support.
"The UMKC Alumni Awards Celebration is one of UMKC's proudest moments," said Pat Macdonald, President of the UMKC Alumni Association. "It's a chance to let the world see the kind of graduates this institution sends out its doors at each Commencement ceremony."
Here are the 2015 UMKC Alumni Awardees:
Nicholas Comninellis (M.D. '82) Alumnus of the Year – Dr. Nicholas Comninellis is changing the face of global health in the world's poorest places as president and CEO of the Institute for International Medicine (INMED). This Kansas City-based organization is dedicated to equipping professionals to serve the impoverished, marginalized or neglected. Under his leadership, INMED has become a widely recognized leader in international health training and mentorship.
Eugene Agee (M.B.A. '98) Defying the Odds Award – Growing up on Chicago's South Side, Agee survived gang violence and racism, joining the military at age 17. Today, Agee serves as Vice President of Procurement and Real Estate, at Sprint, and has championed small and minority owned business as well as diversity initiatives within Sprint.
Fehr Family - Legacy Award – The Legacy Award honors a family with a history of attending UMKC. The Fehr family legacy began with Irene "Dolly" Fehr who received an economics degree in 1947. Her son, Don Fehr, a graduate of the UMKC School of Law, is one of the most prominent figures in professional sports law. The former executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, Don Fehr is currently the director of the National Hockey League Players' Association. Don's wife, Stephanie, holds degrees from the College of Arts & Sciences and the School of Education. Their son, David Fehr, and his wife, Kathryn, both earned Masters of Fine Arts in Acting and Directing in 2008 from UMKC and founded the Linchpin Theater in Chicago. In all, 12 Fehr family members attended UMKC.
David D. McIntire (D.M.A '09) and R. Andrew Lee (M.M. '06, D.M.A.'10) Spotlight Award - Lee and McIntire met at UMKC in 2005 and soon after founded a record label specializing in minimal and electroacoustic music. Their Irritable Hedgehog label has established itself as a significant voice in its genre. To date, the company has released 11 albums that have made "best" and "top" lists of respected critics. Their recording of "The Time Curve Preludes" was named a 2012 Critics Choice by Gramophone, the gold standard in classical music reviews.
Annie Presley (M.P.A. '95) Bill French Alumni Service Award – Among her many volunteer efforts for her alma mater, Presley led the UMKC Alumni Association's efforts to refresh and rebrand the Disney Kangaroo and launch a new apparel line. An author, fundraiser and political consultant and entrepreneur, Presley also was National Deputy Finance Director for President George W. Bush's presidential campaign.
Each year, every UMKC school and college presents an Alumni Achievement Award to one graduate:
Jacquelyn Boan (M.S.N. '95) School of Nursing and Health Studies – Boan has been a family nurse practitioner for 17 years. She is known for her expertise in Advanced Nursing Practice in Geriatrics and is certified in wound, ostomy and continence nursing. A national presenter, Boan's passion for geriatric care led her to work with state and federal regulatory agencies to improve care in long-term settings.
Karen Daniel (M.S. '81) Henry W. Bloch School of Management – Daniel serves as Chief Financial Officer and member of the Board of Directors of Black & Veatch, a Kansas City metropolitan area based, multi-billion dollar global engineering, consulting and construction company. Daniel is equally known for her leadership at Black & Veatch and her dedication to the metro area. As a member of the Kansas City Missouri Parks Board, she led the $80 million restoration of the Liberty Memorial.
Steve Edwards (B.S.E.E. '78) School of Computing and Engineering (SCE) - Edwards is chairman and CEO of Black & Veatch, only the seventh person to lead the company since its inception in 1915. He is a member of the SCE Executive Advisory Council and through his support, the Black & Veatch Scholarship was established. His company regularly recruits SCE students and partners with UMKC for continuing education classes.
Toni Erickson (B.S.D.H. '93) School of Dentistry - Dental Hygiene – Erickson is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the UMKC School of Dentistry, providing instruction to undergraduate dental hygiene students. She also is an entrepreneur who started HealthStaff Dental Staffing Solutions, serving dental professionals in the Kansas City metropolitan area.
Larry Long, Jr. (Ph.D. '97) School of Education – Long's life-work focuses on the wellbeing of university students as Senior Director of Counseling and Educational Support Services for KU Medical Center. He also established Position in Counseling Centers, a first of its kind website listing employment openings in counseling centers around the world.
Timothy G. Mitchell (B.S.P. '96) School of Pharmacy – Mitchell is a strong supporter of the Neosho, Mo., community and of independent pharmacy. After the Joplin, Mo., tornado, Mitchell was among the first responders, setting up emergency dispensaries, giving tetanus shots and providing medications. Mitchell has established two annual scholarships through the UMKC Pharmacy Foundation.
Bert W. Oettmeier, Jr. (D.D.S. '78) School of Dentistry – Oettmeier received the Harry M. Klenda Award for Outstanding Council Service for his efforts supporting "patient rights" in the Kansas legislature, and serves as National Vice President of the American College of Dentists, an organization that represents ethics, professionalism and scholarship.
Narong Prangcharoen (D.M.A. '10) Conservatory of Music and Dance – A former Guggenheim Fellow whose music is performed world-wide, Prangcharoen is Composer-in-Residence with the Pacific Symphony in California and the Thailand Philharmonic and is recognized as one of the "national" composers of Thailand.
Raymond T. Wagner, Jr. (J.D. '85) School of Law – Wagner, vice president of Government and Public Affairs at Enterprise Holdings, turned a difficult experience into good public policy. After his son developed a life threatening staph infection, Wagner worked with the Missouri General Assembly to pass "Raymond's Law," requiring hospitals to track infection rates and make that information public.
William R. Ward (B.S. '68) College of Arts & Sciences – Known among his peers for his contributions to our understanding of how planets and satellites form and evolve, Ward is one of the originators of the giant impact theory of the moon's formation.
Jonathan M. White (B.S. '98) School of Biological Sciences – At MRIGlobal, one of the nation's leading research institutes, White is a principal investigator on three National Cancer Institute programs, which support the search for new cancer therapies. White is an expert in areas including GMP pharmaceutical chemistry and organic analytical and synthetic chemistry.
Kimberly Wiele (M.D. '81) School of Medicine – As an assistant professor of Radiology at the Mallinckrodt Institute at Washington University and Staff Radiologist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Mo., Wiele has dedicated her career to breast cancer imaging and awareness. She is described as being among the best breast imagers in the country for her ability to detect malignancy on a screening examination and perform multi-modality breast procedures.
SOURCE University of Missouri-Kansas City