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Distinguished Alumni Awards Celebrates 29 Years

Posted September 13, 2019 in Articles

As part of Homecoming festivities, Cleveland State University’s Distinguished Alumni Awards program will take place on Friday, Oct. 4. Twelve outstanding graduates will be honored for their service, leadership and career achievements.

The 29th annual awards ceremony will be held at the Bert L. and Iris S. Wolstein Center, 2000 Prospect Ave. Tickets are $125. The evening includes a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and the awards program at 6:30 p.m. Valet parking is included. For reservations, call 216-687-2078 or visit

This year’s honorees are:

George B. Davis Award for Service to the University– Linda Kane, bachelor of business administration/accounting, 1979. Kane enjoyed a successful 35-plus-year career in the real estate industry, 25 of those years with Forest City Enterprises, Inc. She retired in January 2016 as senior vice president, having served in several executive-level financial roles.

Monte Ahuja College of Business – Ted Laufik, bachelor of business administration,1977; master of business administration, 1986. Laufik is the chief financial officer and chief compliance officer at Cyprium Investment Partners. He joined the firm in 2014.

College of Education and Human Services – Donna Y. Ford, bachelor of communication and Spanish, 1984; master of education in counseling, 1988; Ph.D. in urban education/educational psychology,1991. One of the nation’s top scholars in the field of gifted and multicultural/urban education, Ford is a Distinguished Professor in the College of Education and Human Ecology at The Ohio State University.

Washkewicz College of Engineering – Joseph Masters, bachelor of civil engineering, 1979. Now retired, Masters served from 1997 to 2015 as vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of URS Corporation.

College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences – Dwayne Bray, bachelor of communication, 1988. The senior coordinating producer at ESPN for the past 13 years, Bray has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize three times and has won the Edward R. Murrow, Alfred I. DuPont and Peabody Awards.

School of Nursing – Michael Trompak, bachelor of nursing, 2015. Trompak is a critical care and emergency nurse in International Operations at the Cleveland Clinic. He volunteers as the EMS director of Programa de Educacion Paramedico, a nonprofit, Christian hospital in the Dominican Republic.

College of Sciences and Health Professions - Habeebah Rasheed Grimes, bachelor of psychology, 1999; master of clinical psychology/counseling, 2001; master/specialist in school psychology, 2002. Rasheed Grimes is the chief executive officer of the Positive Education Program, a nonprofit that provides services for youngsters with severe mental health and behavioral challenges and their families.

Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs – Christopher Alvarado, master of urban planning, design and development, 1999. Since 2014, Alvarado has served as executive director of Slavic Village Development.

Cleveland-Marshall College of Law – Brent Buckley, juris doctor, 1982. Buckley is a founding member and managing partner of Buckley King LPA.

Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Honors College – Huong Mai Nguyen, bachelor of international relations and Spanish, 2009. Since 2011, Nguyen has worked for the World Bank and is currently an energy specialist in the Energy and Extractives Global Practice, based in Washington, D.C.

Athletics – Christine Kohler Myeroff, bachelor of physical education and health, 1986. Kohler Myeroff was inducted into the CSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2018 and currently serves on the Cleveland Metro Parks Zoo Society Board of Trustees.

College of Graduate Studies - India Pierce Lee, master of psychology, specializing in diversity management, 2017. Pierce Lee joined the Cleveland Foundation in 2006 and serves as senior vice president, program, where she leads the grant making team to define Greater Cleveland’s critical needs and leverage resources to help meet those needs.

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