CWU News

CWU Alumni Association Honors Distinguished Alumni of the University

The Central Washington University Alumni Association will recognize ten outstanding Wildcat alumni for their professional achievements and their ongoing support and commitment to the university.

The Distinguished Alumni Awards recognize CWU graduates who have made a name in their fields, earned respect among colleagues and in the general community, and who have had an impact on a regional, national and/or international level.

The awards will be presented during the alumni association’s annual Distinguished Alumni Award dinner, which will be held on Friday, October 14, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. in Sue Lombard Hall on the CWU campus.

“This event honors those alumni who have gone above and beyond in their careers and through their personal and professional achievements,” noted Scott Wade, vice president, university advancement. “These outstanding individuals truly embody what being a Wildcat is all about.”

This year’s outstanding alumni will include:

• Don and Verna Duncan, winners of the 2016 Legacy Award, which is the association’s highest award. The Duncans are being honored for their lifelong commitment to education and continued learning. While at Central, Don earned a bachelor’s degree in recreation administration and master’s degree in school psychology and counseling while Verna double-majored in psychology and music. Verna worked as an elementary teacher for 23 years, primarily in the Central School District, while Don held a number of positions in higher education, including serving as Dean of Men and Students at Central. In the 1980s, they established the Don and Verna Duncan Community Service Scholarship at CWU.

• Jean Adams, the 2016 Distinguished Alum of the Year, who is being recognized for her outstanding achievements in the banking and investment industry. Adams is a 1988 finance graduate from Central. She currently serves as Senior Vice President - Investments, Senior Financial Advisor at Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC. Adams served on Central Washington University’s Foundation Board from 2007 to 2013.

• Jeff McShane, the 2016 Distinguished Alumni/College of the Sciences, who is co-founder and former president of Northwest Aerospace Technologies and currently serves as executive vice president of Zodiac Aerospace. McShane is a 1985 law and justice graduate.

• Fred Kohout, the 2016 Distinguished Alumni/College of Arts and Humanities, who is chief marketing officer and senior vice president of Cray Inc. Kohout has been in senior roles in both privately and publicly-held technology companies over the last 25 years. Kohout is a 1981 broadcast journalism graduate and currently serves as chair of the College of Arts and Humanities Advisory Board.

• John Ladner, 2016 Distinguished Alumni/College of Education and Professional Studies award winner, who is managing director of fleets, standards, and operational control for Alaska Airlines. In that role, Ladner is responsible for overall flight operations for his company. He is a 1989 flight technology graduate.

• Mandi Kime, winner of the 2016 4 Under 40 Leadership Award/College of Education and Professional Studies, who serves as director of safety for the Associated General Contractors of Washington. In her position, Kime assists members of her organization with safety compliance efforts and enhances the safety culture within the AGC’s members. Kime is a 2001 Safety & Health Management and Spanish graduate.

• Crystal McDonald, winner of the 2016 4 Under 40 Leadership Award/College of Arts and Humanities award, is a trial lawyer who focuses on personal injury cases. Early in her career, she often represented children and young adults neglected by the Department of Social and Health Services. She is a 2005 political science and communication graduate.

• Taylor Steele, winner of the 2016 4 Under 40 Leadership Award/College of the Sciences, is a project manager for OneEnergy Renewables. Steele is responsible for site selection, acquisition, permitting, and interconnection for OneEnergy’s Pacific Northwest solar photovoltaic projects. She is a 2013 International Studies graduate.

• Lucas Westcoat, winner of the 2016 4 Under 40 Leadership Award/College of Arts and Humanities award, serves as senior communication manager for Microsoft’s Windows and Devices group. In that role, he explores the intersection of technology and creativity and helps advance the company’s goal to make technology more personal. He is a 2005 interdisciplinary studies/business communications graduate.

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