Past winners of the W. W. Patty Distinguished Alumni Award, N–Z
Short biographies of past winners of the W. W. Patty Distinguished Alumni Award, last name beginning with N–Z, listed chronologically.
Short biographies of past winners of the W. W. Patty Distinguished Alumni Award, last name beginning with N–Z, listed chronologically.
Dr. Wolfson is the Distinguished Service Professor of Public Health, Medicine and Pharmacy, Senior Associate Dean, Morsani College of Medicine and Associate Vice President, Health Law, Policy and Safety at the University of South Florida and is faculty at Stetson University College of Law.
Dr. Wolfson researches and writes about health care law, ethics, policy, technology, safety and finance; provides research-based analyses to state and federal branches of governments; and is a health policy consultant to national and international news organizations. He won the largest Medicare fraud and abuse settlement involving a single clinician in U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) history. He holds a doctorate in public health from the University of Texas, a law degree from Stetson University College of Law, a master’s degree in public health from Indiana University, a master’s degree in history from New York University, and an undergraduate degree in history from the University of Illinois. He was appointed Special Guardian Ad Litem for Theresa Marie Schiavo. He has been a Faculty Scholar to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a Senior Fulbright Scholar at the University of Tokyo and W. K. Kellogg Fellow in Health Care Finance.
Dr. Wolfson has three sons, and is married to psychologist, Olga Skalkos.
Emily Nagoski is the award-winning author of the New York Times bestseller, Come As You Are: The Surprising New Science that will Transform your Sex Life; and The Come As You Are Workbook. She co-authored, with her sister Amelia, Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle.
She began her work as a sex educator at the University of Delaware, where she volunteered as a peer sex educator while studying psychology. She minored in cognitive science and philosophy. She went on to earn a M.S. in Counseling and a Ph.D. in Health Behavior, both from Indiana University, with clinical and research training at the Kinsey Institute. Now she combines sex education and stress education to teach women to live with confidence and joy inside their bodies.
Emily says she’ll spend the rest of her life trying to deserve the opportunities and mentorship she received at Kinsey. She lives in western Massachusetts with two cats, a rescue pit bull named Thunder, and a cartoonist.
John Seibert received his B.S. in Education from Baylor University in 1978, and an M.S. in Recreation from Indiana University Bloomington in 1979. During his time at IU, he served as the Graduate Intern in the Division of Recreation Sports.
For more than 30 years John has served as Director of the Valparaiso, Indiana, Department of Parks and Recreation, and the Executive Director of the Valparaiso Parks Foundation. He has also served as Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas' Chief of Staff/Staff Administrator and as an adjunct professor for the University of Valparaiso. During his time as Director of the Valparaiso's Department of Parks and Recreation the department has received several awards including the Indiana Parks and Recreation Association (IPRA), the Indiana Association of Towns and Cities, the Indiana Greenways Foundation, and the Shirley Heinze Land Trust. In 2016, the Valparaiso Central Park Plaza was named one of "America's Great Public Spaces" by the American Planning Association.
John has served as President of the Indiana Parks and Recreation Association and is a current member of the National Advisory Board of the Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands. He received IPRA's Outstanding Professional Award and its Distinguished Life Member Award. John was also named United Way Executive of the Year and was the 2016 Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce Community Leader of the Year.
John lives in Valparaiso, Indiana with his wife, Rin, who is also an IU alum.
An inspiration to tens of thousands of young people, George Taliaferro has exhibited throughout his life the courage and determination that made him an All-American both on and off the gridiron. Captain for the football, basketball, and track teams at Gary Roosevelt High School, he enrolled at Indiana University in 1945 and as the team's leading rusher helped the Hoosiers to their only outright Big Ten championship and only unbeaten season. He was Indiana's most valuable player in 1948, and was also named First-Team All-American. He was elected a member of the National College Football Foundation's Hall of Fame. The first African-American player to be drafted by a National Football League club in 1949 he chose to join the Los Angeles Dons and later played for the New York Yanks, the Dallas Texans, and the Baltimore Colts. When his football career ended, he devoted himself to social work positions in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. After earning a Master's degree at Howard University, he taught at the University of Maryland and was dean of students at Morgan State University. Mr. Taliafero spent two decades serving Indiana University as a special assistant to the University President, the IUPUI chancellor, and the dean of the School of Social Work. Then and now, he has fought to overcome discrimination against minorities. He worked unrelentingly to help create and strengthen the Neal Marshall Alumni Club.
Dr. William A. Oleckno's career has been one of excellence as revealed by his many achievements, his unrivaled professionalism, and his unwavering dedication to the field of public and environmental health. He has generously shared his talents and time to the betterment of his field as an educator, professional, and mentor.
Since graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 1973 with a Master of Public Health degree in Environmental Health, William Oleckno has had a long and distinguished career as an academician and program administrator.
He took his first academic position as an instructor in the Public Health Academic Programs at the IU School of Medicine in Indianapolis. There he successfully built and managed the program while teaching and completing his doctoral degree with a focus on environmental health and safety in the School of Public Health (HPER) at IU Bloomington. Shortly after completing his doctorate degree in 1980, Oleckno became associate professor and coordinator of the newly approved Community Health Program at Northern Illinois University (NIU) in DeKalb. Dr. Oleckno immediately made his mark at NIU by developing first-class academic programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels with new concentrations in Environment and Health, Health Promotion, and Health Administration. During his long career at NIU, Dr. Oleckno was recognized for his outstanding teaching abilities and dedication to students.
The recipient of several teaching and research awards, he also published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and two popular epidemiology textbooks. Both textbooks have received excellent reviews and have been adopted by faculty at many universities and colleges throughout the United States. Dr. William A. Oleckno has had a long and successful career in public and environmental health with a number of notable achievements. His teaching and research have helped shape the public health profession, and exemplifies the ideals set forth in the W. W. Patty Distinguished Alumni Award.
Curt Simic is widely recognized as a national leader in fundraising for higher education, management of foundations, and foundation-institution relationships. He has more than 40 years of experience in all areas of development and alumni and external relations, at both public and private institutions of higher education. His career included leadership positions at Yale, Tennessee, Alabama, Oregon, and California (Berkeley).
The capstone to his career occurred in 1988 when he became president of the Indiana University Foundation, a position he held from 1988 to 2008. In this role, he was the Chief Development Officer for Indiana University, responsible for oversight of all fundraising in a multi-campus development operation with centralized and decentralized functions, investment of the endowment, and development-related administrative services.
The recipient of many awards and honors, he continues to be a presenter and author on development topics and has been an advisor and consultant to many colleges, universities, and non-profit organizations. He has authored book chapters, articles, and brochures about the relationship between foundations and their educational institutions, the fundraising responsibilities of foundation and of institutional governing board members, faculty relations, and funding mechanisms for foundations. It is altogether fitting that Curt Simic should receive the W.W. Patty Distinguished Alumni Award, named in honor of the School's first dean.
Mr. Troy Vaughn is the Director of Recreation Services at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and has been since fall, 2005. Prior to that, he was the Associate Director for Sports facilities and Recreation Services at Ball State University from 1996–2005. He has previously worked for the University of Evansville (Evansville, Indiana), Franklin College (Franklin, Indiana) and Hendrix College (Conway, Arizona) in campus recreation and residence life. He is also a former athletic trainer. Interests and involvement include being the chair of the Games Management Team for the State Outdoor Championships in Cape Girardeau the past two years (Missouri Special Olympics), serving as member of the City of Cape Girardeau Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, coaching his daughter's two softball teams, directing the youth tackle football league in Cape Girardeau, and he has a specific interest in resume evaluation and development for students and professionals alike from throughout the country. Originally from Indianapolis, Vaughn is married to wife Lori and has two children—Casey and Ally.
Dr. Roger Zabik was born and raised in South Bend, Indiana. He attended Washington-Clay High School where he participated in football, basketball, and track. After high school, Roger enrolled in Ball State Teachers College majoring in physical education with a minor in biology. Following graduation, Roger taught seventh and eighth grade science and coached the Clay County High School football team. He then went on to receive his master's from Indiana University in the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation (now called the School of Public Health) in 1964 and continued on to be a student lecturer and while completing the Physical Education Doctorate program. After working as an Assistant Professor of Physical Education at Western Michigan University, Roger was promoted to Associate Professor in 1971 and to the Chair of the Health, Physical Education, and Recreation Department in 1973. During his tenure as Chair, Roger initiated revisions in the curricula offered to students, added majors in Health Education, Community Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation to the department, updated existing programs, and constructed a plan for a new student recreation facility. Roger also served as the acting associate dean of the College of Education for five years. In 1994, he stepped down as department chair, yet continued to teach exercise physiology to undergraduate and graduate students in the department. Roger retired in 2002, allowing time for his wife, Elizabeth, and himself to partake in traveling, playing golf, bow hunting and spending time with their three sons and seven grandchildren.
J. Robert Rossman, is an author, speaker, and consultant on recreation program design and management as well as designing customer experiences. He has held a variety of roles in park and recreation administration for over 38 years. Most recently he was Professor and Dean of the College of Applied Science and Technology at Illinois State University, where he still holds the titles of Professor Emeritus and Dean Emeritus.
Dr. Rossman's distinguished career began in Oak Park, Illinois. While there, he supervised the operation of seven neighborhood recreation centers and developed several community-wide programs including special events and other activities. During this time he also earned a master's degree through an extension program offered by the Department of Recreation and Park Administration at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 1975, he accepted an appointment as a Lecturer in the Department of Leisure Studies at the University of Illinois and held this position while he earned his doctorate in 1981. Upon completing his Ph.D., he was appointed as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Leisure Studies at the University of Illinois. Since leaving the U of I in 1983 he held academic and administrative appointments at three universities including the University of North Texas, the University of Nevada Las Vegas and Illinois State University.
Dr. Rossman is the recipient of several awards and honors including, but not limited to, the Charles K. Brightbill Award from the University of Illinois, and the Garrett G. Eppley Distinguished Alumni Award from Indiana University. In 2006 he was selected to present the Jay B. Nash Scholar Lecture by the American Association for Physical Activity and Recreation. Dr. Rossman earned his B.S. in Recreation from Indiana University in 1968.
Sue Willey is in her sixth year as director of athletics and her 33rd overall at the University of Indianapolis. She was selected as the 2005 Division II Administrator of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Woman Athletic Administrators (NACWAA). Dr. Willey was also selected as the 2004 "Pathfinder Award Winner" presented in recognition of her strong commitment to provide quality sport and leadership opportunities for girls and women in the state of Indiana.
Dr. Willey has served on numerous NCAA committees and governing bodies, as well as campus committees. She holds the distinction of being the first female to serve on the President's Cabinet, and currently serves as a member on the Enrollment Management Committee, and Financial Aid and Policies Committee.
Dr. Willey serves on the Great Lakes Valley Conference Executive Committee and she is currently serving a four-year term on the NCAA II Great Lakes Region Softball Committee. A 1993 inductee into the UIndy Athletic Hall of Fame, Dr. Willey earned 19 letters and 11 MVP awards in her four-year career. She was the Female Athlete of the Year from 1972-75. She also coached 23 years at U of I, directing 43 different teams in five sports. She was the GLVC softball Coach of the Year in 1989, and her softball teams earned national academic honors in 1996 and 1997.
Dr. Willey also serves as an Associate Professor of Health and Physical Education and has taught in the Department of Kinesiology for more than 26 years, with a special teaching interest in Sport Ethics. Dr. Willey holds a master's degree and a doctorate from Indiana University.
Dr. Roberta Ogletree presently serves as Professor in the Department of Health Education and Recreation at Southern Illinois University, where she also serves as an Adjunct Faculty member in the Women's Studies Program. She has been on the faculty at Southern Illinois since 1991. Her teaching and research interests include Women's Health, Human Sexuality Education, and professional preparation.
Prior to her doctoral graduate work at Indiana University in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Dr. Ogletree served in various teaching capacities including stints at Eastern Illinois University, Lake Land College, Bowling Green State University, and LaGrove Community High School (Farina, Illinois). She is the author or co-author of dozens of articles and publications, and has co-written two textbooks on health education skills and competencies, and sexuality education curricula. Examples of her service to the University and to the profession are extensive—and too numerous to mention. She holds memberships in the American School Health Association; the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance; the Association for the Advancement of Health Education; Eta Sigma Gamma; the Illinois Association for Professional Preparation in Health Education; the Illinois School Health Association; and Midwest AAHPERD. In particular, she has held significant leadership roles in the American School Health Association.
The recipient of several honors and awards, Dr. Ogletree regularly performs as a reviewer and consultant. She earned her H.S.D. from Indiana University in 1991. Prior to the doctorate, she earned a master's from Bowling Green State University, and bachelor's degree from Eastern Illinois University.
Mick Renneisen serves at the Director of Bloomington Parks and Recreation, a position he has held since July of 1996. Previous to his appointment as the head department administrator, he worked with the Bloomington department in capacities as sports coordinator, director of sports and revenue facilities, and sports division director. In 2007, the Bloomington Parks Department received the highest honor award from the National Recreation and Park Association—the Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management.
Mick is considered to be one the premier leaders of the profession, not only in Indiana, but also throughout the nation. During his tenure, he has served on numerous Indiana Parks and Recreation Association (IPRA) and National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA) committees. He served as the IPRA president in 1997. He was a member of the Board of Regents for the NRPA/Oglebay School of Sports Management from 1991-93.
Mick has been a member of the Bloomington/Monroe County Convention and Visitor's Bureau Board since 1990 serving as its president in 2003-04. Active in the Bloomington and Indiana University communities, Mick has also served as the internal press box announcer for Indiana University home football games since 1983. He has also served as a NCAA statistician for Indiana University basketball games. Each November, Mick performs statistician work at the annual Maui Basketball Invitational in Hawaii (it's a tough job, but somebody has to do it!). In addition, he has been a licensed IHSAA official for basketball, football, baseball and softball for many years. He has also been a sports analyst for local high school football and basketball radio broadcasts and served as the host of the television shows "Big Red Football" and "Big Red Sports" covering Indiana University athletic programs. Mick earned two degrees in Recreation from Indiana University; a bachelor's in 1979, and a master's in 1988.
In the state of Louisiana, Gene Young is known as "Mr. Recreation" because of his leadership and accomplishments at both the local and national levels. He retired in January 2003 after having worked 50 years for BREC (Recreation and Park Commission for East Baton Rouge Parish), the last 42 years as head of the department. Gene Young dedicated himself to whatever was necessary to bring BREC to the nationally recognized and award-winning status that it enjoys today. His career was distinguished by perseverance and unlimited energy as he fought for land to build parks, and interacted with the general public to understand their recreation needs. He worked for public trust to generate acceptance for tax revenues, and worked with limited funds and volunteers on many occasions to build recreation facilities to meet public demands for diverse interests in recreational programs. At the conclusion of his tenure with BREC, budgets had increased to over $28 million, attendance had increased from less than two million to over nine million visits a year; many major facilities were built, including a zoo, a 15-acre arboretum, two major stadiums, a velodrome, a $3 million horse activities center, a $3 million performing arts center, an historic plantation park, an art gallery, a swamp nature center park, an astronomy observatory, a handicapped children park, three 18-hole golf courses, six tennis centers, and many others. Over $5.5 million in land was donated to BREC during his tenure as superintendent.
The legacy of Gene Young is the outcome of a vision and life-long struggle to provide close-to-home neighborhood parks for every citizen. He began his career in parks and recreation at Camp Rio Vista, a summer camp for boys in Ingram, Texas. In 1951, as a Playground Director and part-time Center Director for the Austin Recreation Department, he developed and supervised programs ranging from athletic sports to story telling, talent shows, pet shows, puppet shows, band concerts and quiet games. In 1953, he completed his master's degree in recreation from Indiana University. Previously, he completed a B.S. from the University of Texas at Austin, and an associate of arts degree from Lamar State University.
During his professional career, he also served on many boards and councils, including membership on the Board of Trustees of the National Recreation and Park Association; he was named a Life Trustee in 1998. His involvement included service on numerous committees. He is also a member of the American Recreation and Park Society Branch and served on its National Facilities Standards Committee, Awards Committee, and represented APRS on CAPRA and the Congress Program Committee. He was selected as a Fellow, American Academy for Parks and Recreation Administration in 1994, and has served five years as its representative to the Commission on Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies. In 2002, he was awarded the Cornelius Pugsley Medal by the Academy, the highest award given in the recreation and parks field.
Ronald A. Olson is chief of the Parks and Recreation Division in the state of Michigan's Department of Natural Resources. He is responsible for ensuring the overall performance, effectiveness, supervision, and administration of all of the division's programs, which serve to provide outdoor recreation opportunities for Michigan's citizens and visitors to the state's parks, recreation areas, great lakes harbors, and public water access sites.
Previously, he served as associate city administrator in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He has also worked in the field of parks and recreation in Rockville, Maryland, and St. Joseph's County in Indiana. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota and his master's degree in the Department of Recreation and Park Administration at Indiana University.
Donald Wagner has been both a faculty member and administrator since the completion of his H.S.D. in health and safety from IU in 1976. Prior to his doctoral work, he received bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Cincinnati, where he is currently a professor of health promotion. Wagner is director of the Center for Prevention Studies and director of Graduate Studies at the University of Cincinnati. He has authored numerous articles and chapters and is the recipient of several awards, including the Sylvia Boltz Tucker Award for Distinguished Service from the College of Education at the University of Cincinnati. He has served as project director, co-director, principal investigator, and author for more than 80 grants and contracts.
Susan K. Telljohann, HSD, CHES, is a Professor of Health Education at The University of Toledo. She received her doctoral degree in health sciences from Indiana University with an emphasis on school and college health education. Her experience in health education spans over 20 years, including health instruction from the junior high to the university level. She has done research and published over 50 articles on health education in professional journals, presented over 50 papers and professional conferences and is the lead author of Health Education: Elementary and Middle-Level School Applications, 4th edition (McGraw-Hill, 2004). In addition, she is a co-author of the HealthSmart curriculum for K-High School (ETR Associates) and a co-author of the Teach and Reach health series (ETR Associates).
She served as the President of the American School Health Association from 2000-2001, was the Contributing Editor for the Teaching Ideas Column in the American Journal of Health Education and has served on many professional health education committees throughout her professional career.
She is the recipient of several honors and awards, including the Distinguished Service Award from both the American School Health Association and the American Association of Health Education, The University of Toledo Outstanding Teacher Award, the Phi Delta Kappa Educator of the Year Award, and the Ohio Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Outstanding Young Professional Award.
Dr. Guy Parcel, is Executive Dean and John P. McGovern Professor in Health Promotion at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Public Health. He also serves as professor of behavioral sciences at the UT School of Public Health and professor of pediatrics at the UT-Houston Medical School. He has directed NIH- and CDC-funded research projects to develop and evaluate programs to address sexual risk behavior in adolescents, diet and physical activity in children, smoking prevention in adolescents, and self-management of childhood chronic diseases including asthma and cystic fibrosis.
Guy is currently principal investigator of Healthy Passages, a community-based longitudinal study of adolescent health funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). From 1991-98 he was principal investigator of an evaluation of the Safer Choices program, a school-based intervention program to reduce behaviors that result in HIV/STD infection, funded by the CDC. This effective program is now available to high schools nationwide. He was principal investigator of the 1991-94 nationwide multi-center Child and Adolescent Trial for Cardiovascular Health funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. This effective program includes health education, physical education, school food service, and parent involvement. The CATCH program has been adopted by elementary schools nationwide including over 1,250 elementary schools in Texas, which equals access to over 600,000 children in the state of Texas.
Guy received his bachelor's and master's degrees in health education at Indiana University and his PhD at Pennsylvania State University with a major in health education and a minor in child development and family relations. He has authored or co-authored numerous scientific papers and book chapters over the past 30 years. In 1990 he received the American School Health Association's William A. Howe Award for outstanding contributions and distinguished service in school health.
A native of Elkhart, Indiana, James A. Peterson received his bachelor's in social science from Hanover College and his master's in recreation and park administration from Indiana University. Jim is also a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps.
Jim began his professional career as a recreation center director and city-wide supervisor in Kansas City. He served as superintendent of recreation in Evansville, Indiana for more than seven years, and for twenty-three years as a member of the faculty of Indiana University. In 1967 he was given a joint appointment, serving as a member of the administration for the department of recreation and park administration, and also as a specialist in recreation and parks with the Cooperative Extension Service of Purdue University. This dual appointment provided an unusual opportunity to bring resources of these two great universities together on important problems in the park and recreation field.
In addition to supervising county and community recreation studies throughout Indiana, Jim has served as a private consultant for park and recreation studies throughout the United States. He also served as a consultant for the U.S. Navy. A leader in the development of international studies in the park and recreation movement, in the fall of 1973, Jim returned from a six-month, around-the-world sabbatical leave that took him to nineteen countries in Europe and Asia, visiting with park and recreation administrators in forty-five major cities of the world.
Active in professional circles, Jim is past chairman of the Midwest and Great Lakes regional councils of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and the first recipient of the Great Lakes Outstanding Professional Award. He served as general program chairman of the first National Congress for Parks and Recreation in Washington, DC, in 1966 and again in Phoenix in 1980—the only professional to serve in this capacity twice in his career.
At the state level, because of Jim's long-standing leadership in Indiana, he was awarded the Indiana Park and Recreation Association's two highest awards, the Man of the Year Award and appointment as Distinguished Life Member. He has also been given the 1982 Hanover College Alumni Achievement Award, elected as a charter member of the American Academy of Park and Recreation Administration, and was named a Sagamore of the Wabash in 1988.
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