Recreation industry professionals, a state representative and an All-American athlete turned general counsel are among those to be recognized at Central Michigan University’s annual Alumni Awards ceremony.
The CMU Alumni Association celebrates five alumni, a student leader and a corporate partner this month with an invitation-only ceremony and dinner in recognition of their support to the university.
Alumni Award winners distinguish themselves by contributing significant time, talent or financial resources to help advance and bring positive recognition to CMU.
“The 2019 Alumni Award recipients are truly remarkable,” said Brittany Milan, associate director of alumni engagement. “Their commitment to their professions and pride for CMU give us all something to reach toward. We look forward to celebrating their accomplishments with CMU alumni and friends.”
This year’s honorees are:
Allison Brookshier, Future Alumni Leader Award
Allison Brookshier balances a demanding academic load and extracurricular activities with 20 hours a week helping to recruit CMU’s future students through the Enrollment Phonathon.
“Allison is actively engaged in every facet of what a CMU student should hope to aspire to,” said George Yang, senior assistant director of annual giving and engagement, who nominated Brookshier for the award.
Brookshier, a biochemistry major from Toledo, Ohio, was a three-time Phonathon Caller of the Month in 2018 before becoming leader of a team of 15 students who have made more than 100,000 calls to prospective applicants.
Brookshier is a Centralis Scholar, Ronald E. McNair Scholar, a member of the Organization of Women Leaders and president of the Society for Women in STEM. A research assistant to biology faculty member Deric Learman, she is credited in two published microbiology research papers and has presented at conferences. She expects to graduate in May 2020.
Ryan Moran, class of 2007, Alumni Service Recognition Award
Ryan Moran has taken his career in the recreation industry to new heights with his time at the U.S. Army Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation.
This work as a government civilian contractor includes the management of several U.S. Army recreation centers and installation-wide special events, where he serves military personnel and their families by offering community-based recreation programs.
Moran said one of his greatest honors was taking a six-month temporary duty assignment as a deployed entertainment coordinator. During this time, he was responsible for organizing entertainment for 17 different military installations in Iraq.
“Ryan is the epitome of what we not only want our graduates from the Department of Recreation, Parks and Leisure Services Administration to be, but what Central Michigan University wants all graduates to strive for,” said Tim Otteman, RPL faculty member.
Sarah Anthony, class of 2006, Alumni Service Recognition Award
State Rep. Sarah Anthony is no stranger to service.
Anthony was sworn in as the 68th district’s state representative in 2018, making her the first African-American woman to hold the seat in Lansing’s history.
In 2012, Lansing residents elected Anthony to the Ingham County Board of Commissioners, where she was described as a fearless leader for health care access, social justice, and services for senior citizens and working families.
Her recognitions include the Michigan College Access Network’s Board of Directors Award for being a champion for postsecondary education for both her eight-year position as MCAN’s deputy director and later for her work as an elected official.
Ron Bacon, Honorary Alumni Award
For 40 years, Ron Bacon has been devoted to helping CMU’s recreation, parks and leisure services administration students succeed, beginning with recruiting CMU students for summer jobs in the 1970s. A founding member of the RPL Professional Advisory Board in 1994, Bacon has served as a guest lecturer, curriculum consultant, accreditation contributor and student mentor.
“Ron offers valuable professional knowledge, connections and expertise to advance the education of our students and their future successes as recreation professionals,” said Megan Moreno, senior director of development, charitable giving and strategic partners.
Bacon also has made significant financial contributions to ensure RPL student success, most notably through establishing and growing the Ron and Susan Bacon Outdoor Recreation Award beginning in 2006.
PNC Bank, Corporate or Foundation Partner Award
Regionally headquartered in Lansing, PNC Bank is a main street community partner that helps to advance the experience of CMU students, student-athletes, faculty and the university's impact on the larger community.
PNC and the PNC Foundation help fund CMU athletics, the College of Business Administration, the Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center and the Child Development Learning Laboratory in the College of Education and Human Services.
The bank partners with community-based nonprofits to enhance educational opportunities with an emphasis on early childhood education and to promote community growth through economic development.
“PNC is an ideal partner that leverages CMU's community engagement and impact by providing funding that enables CMU students to partake in service-learning activities and to make a positive difference in the lives of others,” said Moreno.
PNC is based in Pittsburgh as the nation’s fifth-largest bank by number of branches and eighth-largest in assets.
Michael O’Donnell, class of 1970, Dick Enberg CMU Alumni Commitment Award
As chair of CMU’s successful $100 million Fire Up for Excellence Campaign, Michael O’Donnell established the O’Donnell President’s Discretionary Student Success Fund with a major gift.
“His commitment to student success paved the way and set an example for CMU alumni and friends” to join the historic campaign, said Jennifer Cotter, executive director of advancement and campaign advancement. Cotter nominated O’Donnell for the Enberg Award.
Following a 33-year career with Arthur Andersen focusing on large multinational energy clients, O’Donnell co-founded Protiviti Inc., an international risk consulting and internal audit firm. Following his retirement from Protiviti in 2009, he served on numerous boards and most recently was chairman of a global telecommunications construction management firm.
He serves on the CMU Advancement Board, was a CMU commencement speaker in 2004 receiving an honorary doctoral degree, entered the College of Business Administration Hall of Fame in 2015 and served as homecoming grand marshal in 2017.
Robert Stebbins, class of 1988, Distinguished Alumni Award
Robert Stebbins spent his time hitting the books and hitting the field while a student-athlete at CMU in the '80s. Due to his formidable work ethic, Stebbins finished his sports career as an Academic All-American football player.
Currently, Stebbins serves as general counsel for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington D.C. Previously he practiced law at Willkie, Farr & Gallagher LLP in New York, focusing on mergers and acquisitions, private equity and venture capital, investment funds, and capital market transactions.
Stebbins stays involved with CMU by supporting athletics and by regularly providing advice and career guidance to current students and alumni.
10 Within 10
In addition to honoring Alumni Award winners, Saturday’s ceremony at the Courtyard by Marriott at Central Michigan University will recognize CMU's 2019 10 Within 10 award recipients — graduates who honor CMU through work in their career or community within 10 years of receiving a CMU degree.