Celebrating 10 years of the 10 Within 10 recognition

Alumni share life updates and thoughts on their time at CMU

| Author: Jason Fielder | Media Contact:

The Central Michigan University Alumni Association is celebrating a decade of 10 Within 10 award recipients by catching up with past winners! Nearly half of the 100 honorees have provided us with updates on their lives and their thoughts on CMU since earning their awards. Below we highlight a few of the responses we received.  

Kasee Stratton

A woman with blonde shoulder length curly hair, half hair is pulled back, green/blue eyes, light pink lipstick, smile with teeth, dangling pearl earrings, swoop neck black shirt, and gray background.Kasee Stratton (’06) earned the 10 Within 10 Recognition in 2015. She currently lives in Starkville, Mississippi, where she works as the Executive Director of the Mississippi Institute on Disabilities at Mississippi State University.  

“When I was named one of the 10 within 10 in 2015,” Stratton says, “I was very early in my career as a school psychology faculty member. I had just started a small clinic called the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Clinic (ADDC) at Mississippi State University. Since that time, the clinic has grown significantly, serving over 100 clients a week meeting their educational, social, and behavioral needs. Flash forward and I have now taken over as the Executive Director of the newly formed Mississippi Institute on Disabilities at Mississippi State University. The Institute now houses the ADDC, a research and service center called the T.K. Martin Center for Technology and Disabilities, and numerous affiliated research labs serving the needs of individuals throughout the southeast with disabilities. Personally, since 2015, I have become the mother of two beautiful girls, Aviana (age 7) and Adalyn (age 3). They are the light of my life, and we enjoy every chance we get to come back to Michigan and campus.” 

When asked what one word comes to mind when thinking of CMU today, Stratton responded: “family.” 

Steve Poe

A man with a gray beard, smile teeth, maroon short sleeve shirt, dark brown eyes, light blue water background.Steve Poe (’07), earned the 10 Within 10 Recognition in 2017. He currently lives in San Angelo, Texas, working as the Chief Operating Officer of the Ross Medical Group for the United States Air Force.

“Since being named one of the 10 within 10,” Poe says, “Things have come full circle. Nearly 12 years later, I am back at the same United States Air Force Base Medical Group that I started my military career at (and where my kids were born), now serving as the Chief Operating Officer on the Executive Staff. Goodfellow Air Force Base was one of my favorite assignments so the opportunity to come back and lead in a larger capacity was a dream come true. I've recently been promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and have been selected to take command next summer of the Medical Support Squadron at the 87th Medical Group at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey.” 

Poe’s one word that comes to mind when thinking of CMU today is “blast!” He adds, “By far, the best four years of my life were spent at CMU. The friends, opportunities and experiences I had were unrivaled.” 

Matt Franklin

A man with short black hair, smile with teeth, dark brown eyes, light blue button up dress shirt with a collar, light green long tie with spots, navy blue suit coat, and gray background.Matt Franklin (’04) was a member of the inaugural 10 Within 10 Recognition group in 2014. He currently lives in Flint, Michigan, where he works as the evening anchor for ABC 12 News.

“Since being named one of the 10 within 10,” Franklin says, “I've celebrated two big milestones.  The first was winning my first Emmy Award for a special series I co-hosted and co-produced called, "The Path Forward." It was an in-depth and raw look at issues of race in mid-Michigan following the death of George Floyd in 2020. (The second milestone came) a few months later when I was selected to join the CMU Alumni Board Association. I felt that this was my chance to give back to an institution that has given so much to me. I truly believe without my foundation at CMU, I wouldn't be where I am in my professional career. Joining the Alumni Board is my chance to help spread the word about CMU!” Franklin’s word that comes to mind when thinking of CMU is: “pride.” He goes on to say, “I haven't met a Chip who isn't proud to let the world know they went to CMU!” 

These are just a few of the updates provided to us by many of the previous 10 Within 10 Recognition winners. Read more 2023 updates here.

Note: The 10 Within 10 Recognition recognizes young alumni who bring honor to Central Michigan University through work in their career and/or community. Nominees must be graduates within the past 10 years and age 35 or younger. Nominate alumni for the 2024 10 Within 10 Recognition here.

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