Alumni Association to honor 7 graduates for achievement, service at Homecoming banquet

Four alumni of Fort Hays State University have been selected as recipients of this year's Alumni Association Achievement Award for outstanding, unselfish contributions in service to community, state or nation, both as citizens in their chosen careers and through philanthropy.

Two others will be awarded the Young Alumni Award, which recognizes 10- through 15-year graduates for professional and educational achievement, community activities, honors and awards or other accomplishments since graduation.

And one FHSU graduate will receive the Nita M. Landrum Award for alumni or friends who have provided sustained volunteer service for the betterment of the Alumni Association, or the university, in their communities.

The awards will be presented at the annual Alumni and Endowment Awards Reception and Banquet Friday, Sept. 30, during Homecoming celebrations at FHSU.

The 2005 Alumni Achievement Award winners are: Dr. William L. Havice, who earned degrees from FHSU in 1977 and 1979, a professor and associate dean for academic support services and undergraduate studies in the College of Health, Education and Human Development at Clemson University, Clemson, SC; Dr. Katrina M. Hess, a 1989 graduate and a family medicine physician and medical director of the Hess Clinic and Hess Medical Services, Hays; Dr. Donald W. Kaufman, 1965 and 1967, a professor of mammalian ecology, Division of Biology, Kansas State University; and Robert D. Orr, 1980, founder and chief executive officer of Brooke Corp., Phillipsburg.

Young Alumni Award winners are LaNette Schmeidler Parker, 1995 and 1996, a communication consultant with Towers Perrin, San Francisco, CA; and Dr. Mark D. Haub, 1992, assistant professor of human nutrition at Kansas State University.

Jerry Anderson, 1959, a Kinsley rancher who also crafts handmade furniture, is the recipient of the Nita M. Landrum Award.

Dr. William L. Havice

Havice earned a B.S. (1977) and an M.S. (1979) in industrial arts from FHSU. In 1984, he earned an Ed.S. degree from Pittsburg State University and, in 1994, a Ph.D. from Kansas State University.

"As a professional in the field of technology education, Dr. William Havice is at the top level," wrote Dr. Kendall Starkweather, executive director of the International Technology Education Association, in supporting Havice's nomination for the Alumni Achievement Award. "Universities look for persons to honor that make them look good because of the accomplishments of that person, the influence that person has had on their profession and the degree of caring that person gives to others," said Starkweather, who concluded, "Dr. Havice is that person!"

He taught and coached at Morenci High School, Morenci, AZ, from 1977-78 and, after receiving his master's degree, taught at FHSU from 1979 to 1996 as instructor, assistant professor, associate professor and professor of technology studies. He joined Clemson University as a professor of technology and human resource development in 1996, was named coordinator and professor in 2000 and, in 2001, associate dean of academic support services and undergraduate studies for the College of Health, Education and Human Development.

While a student at FHSU, he was a varsity wrestler, earning honor letterman status three years and also competing in the NAIA national wrestling tournament three times, finishing seventh in 1977. He also participated in intramural sports -- football, softball and swimming, in which he was all-university champion for four years. He was on the Deans Honor Roll and was a member of Epsilon Pi Tau, Phi Kappa Phi, the Industrial Arts Club and the Residence Hall Association.

He is a member of the ITEA and served on the international board of directors, is on the Board of Examiners for the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, is a member of the International Society for Technology in Education, a co-trustee for Epsilon Pi Tau and has been an international advisor for the ITEA Technology Education Collegiate Association. He has won many awards in his field and has numerous scholarly presentations and dozens of refereed publications, including book chapters and an edited book.

While in Hays, Havice served as an officer of Lions Club and was co-president of Hays' O'Loughlin Parent-Teacher Association. He and his wife, Pamela, an assistant professor at Clemson, were named Girl Scout Couple of the Year in 1991 and 1996 in Hays.

He and his wife have two children, Brooke Ann and Briana Lea.

Dr. Katrina M. Hess

Hess graduated from FHSU with a B.A. in chemistry in 1989. For the next year she was a biochemistry research assistant at the University of Kansas School of Medicine, from which she graduated as a doctor of medicine in 1994. She was a resident physician at Smoky Hill Family Practice in Salina until 1997, when she became a staff physician at Hays Family Practice. In 2000, she opened Hess Medical Services and Hess Medical Clinic, which now employs a staff of 16 and serves 5,000 patients from Hays and northwest Kansas. She also served eight years as a surgical technician and unit leader in the U.S. Army Reserve, achieving the rank of staff sergeant.

"She gives freely of her experience and expertise to anyone who could benefit from them," said Dr. James Hohman, chair and professor of chemistry at FHSU, who taught and advised Hess during her time at the university, in a letter supporting her nomination for an Alumni Achievement Award. "A medical practice depends in part on the 'people skills' of the doctor: empathy and a genuine caring attitude are as important in many cases as high intelligence and clinical skill. Dr. Hess possesses all these attributes to a very high degree," Hohman said.

While at FHSU, she earned an academic scholarship and the Chemistry Department Academic Scholarship, was a member of the Chemistry Club and was president of the Physics Club. She was the department's ACS Outstanding Senior Student in 1989.

Hess is a member of the Kansas Medical Society and the American Medical Association.

She is a member of and has received the resident Teaching Award from the American Academy of Family Practice and has served as a board member of the Kansas Academy of Family Physicians and on the board of directors and the active staff of the Northwest Kansas Surgery Center.

Hess is also a volunteer faculty member at the University of Kansas, participates in Fort Hays State's nurse practitioner program and in Wichita State University's physician assistant program.

She has volunteered as a medical missionary in Panama and as a physician in various indigent health care clinics and has served as physician to a pediatrics diabetes camp. She also served as director of the Veterans Affairs Branch Clinic and organized the new VA-Hays Branch clinic.

Hess and her husband, optometrist Kendall Krug, a 1983 FHSU graduate, have two children, Laura and Russell.

Dr. Donald W. Kaufman

Kaufman earned two FHSU degrees, a B.S. in general science in 1965 and an M.S. in zoology in 1967. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Georgia in 1972.

"If you would ask animal ecologists anywhere in the world to name the top five researchers working with animals in a grassland environment, I am confident that Dr. Don Kaufman would be on that list," said Dr. Eugene Fleharty, professor emeritus of biology at FHSU, in a letter recommending Kaufman for an Alumni Achievement Award. Fleharty continued, "He has played an active role in the scientific community. He has served his scientific organizations by working on various committees, boards and serving in various offices. He is a consummate teacher and, in addition to touching thousands of undergraduate students, has mentored over a dozen doctoral students."

Kaufman has taught at the University of Arkansas and at the State University of New York, Binghamton. From 1977 to 1980, he was the initial director of the Population Biology and Physiological Ecology Program of the National Science Foundation, Washington, D.C. He then became an assistant professor at Kansas State University and eventually a full professor in 1991. While at KSU, he has conducted research on mammalian ecology and behavior, prairie ecology and mammalian conservation biology and served as director of the Konza Prairie Biological Station from 1986 to 1987 and from 1990 to 1991.

Kaufman is a member of the American Society of Mammalogists and has served on its board of directors. He also belongs to the Central Plains Society of Mammalogists, is on its board of governors and is a member of the Kansas Chapter of the Wildlife Society, currently serving as president.

He is a long-time financial supporter of education activities at the Konza Prairie Biological Station. He and his wife, Dr. Glennis Kaufman, a research assistant professor in mammalian ecology, are also major contributors to the Sternberg Museum of Natural History building fund and are life members and adjunct curators.

They are also financial supporters of the Fleharty Graduate Assistantship in the biological sciences at FHSU, created and underwrite the annual Graduate Student Research Award of the Central Plains Society of Mammalogists and are strong supporters of preservation, revitalization and the arts in their hometown of Lucas.

He and his wife have one child, Dawn Kaufman, who also is a research ecologist.

Robert D. Orr

Orr graduated from FHSU with a bachelor of arts degree in 1980. He is founder and chief executive officer of Brooke Corp., a public company with more than 600 employees. The corporation franchises insurance agencies with more than 400 locations across 26 states.

"The pride Rob exhibits for the state of Kansas is nothing short of phenomenal," wrote John L. Allen, chief operating officer of the Cincinnati Reds and a 40-year friend of Orr's, in supporting the nomination for an Alumni Achievement Award.

"As the founder of Brooke Corp., he insisted that it be a Kansas corporation and maintain strong ties to the state. As the company has grown to national prominence, he has maintained that loyalty and pride. As a native Kansas, I truly appreciate what he continues to return back to his homeland," said Allen, who concluded, "Rob is humble about the many contributions he has made, but this is an award he richly deserves, and I know he will cherish it."

Orr is a U.S. Air Force veteran and a graduate of the Colorado School of Banking. He has served as president of several Kansas banks and is the author of "Death of an Insurance Salesman?," which outlines his philosophy regarding insurance distribution. Over his career, he has supported youth baseball and Hospice Inc. of Northwest Kansas and has made significant contributions to communities around Smith Center. Orr also located the Brooke Processing facility in Phillipsburg, providing employment and opportunity for adults and youths in the area, some from as far away as Smith Center, where he currently resides.

"Easily, he could have placed this facility in a more urban area, but I believe he is committed to providing opportunity in northwest Kansas,” said another long-time friend, Joe L. Barnes, M.D., a member of the board of directors of the Brooke Corp., who also wrote to support Orr's nomination.

"He is diligent and committed in that regard. I believe he has achieved success personally and professionally and with each new opportunity made available with that success, he looks for an opportunity to 'give back' and provide opportunity for someone else," said Barnes.

Orr and his wife, Kimba, have three children, Kaley, Casey and Kelsey.

Dr. Mark D. Haub

Haub graduated from Fort Hays State in 1992 with a B.A. in psychology. He received an M.S. in exercise science from the University of Kansas in 1996 and a Ph.D. in exercise physiology from KU in 1998, earning an Outstanding Master's Student Award and an Outstanding Doctoral Student Award along the way. He also won a research fellowship from the University of Arkansas for Medical Science to study nutritional physiology.

"As a professional, Mark has made an impact on his department (Human Nutrition) and the College of Human Ecology," wrote a colleague at Kansas State University, Dr. Betsy Barrett, recommending Haub for a Young Alumni Award. "Mark has received numerous grants to study practical issues that relate to the human body and nutrition.

He has published extensively and is one of the most prolific assistant professors I have known. He also has taught several graduate and undergraduate courses and students have told me he is an excellent instructor because he encourages them to think 'out of the box.' "

Haub was an instructor on the interim graduate faculty in the Department of Physical Education at the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1998, and from 1998 to 2000 was a research fellow in the Nutrition, Metabolism and Exercise Laboratory at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, where he was also a guest lecturer for the Department of Dietetics and Nutrition in 1999. He joined KSU in 2000 as an assistant professor in the Department of Human Nutrition, became a faculty associate for the Galichia Center on Aging in 2001 and a faculty affiliate at the Center for Basic Cancer Research in 2002.

At FHSU, Haub attended on an athletic scholarship, earned all-district honors in track and field and lettered in track and cross country. He was a resident assistant and resident manager of Agnew Hall. He was also a member of Psi Chi.

He is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Diabetes Association, the American Society for Nutritional Sciences, the International Association for the Study of Obesity and the North American Association for the Study of Obesity.

His volunteer work includes service in the vestry of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Manhattan, at the Rocky Mountain Food Bank, at a Ronald McDonald House and at the Chicago Rescue Mission.

His wife, Michelle, a 1993 and 1994 graduate of FHSU, is a speech-language pathologist. They have one child, Trae.

LaNette Schmeidler Parker

Parker graduated from FHSU with a B.A. in English in 1995 and an M.A. in English in 1996.

"In short, LaNette can do it all," said Deborah L. Johnson, chief human resources officer for Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, an international law firm with about 500 owners and 1,500 employees across the world, writing in support of Parker's nomination for a Young Alumni Award. In the letter, she details the difficulties of establishing strategic direction and communicating with employees.

"LaNette changed that," Johnson wrote. "She single-handedly built the employee communications function at Pillsbury Winthrop – introducing regular internal publications and managing large campaigns, and introducing our staff to the world through advertisements and a recruiting Web site."

"During LaNette's tenure, the firm underwent a significant merger (at the time, it was the largest law firm merger in U.S. history) and experienced several reductions in force," Johnson said.

Parker was the office manager for Professional Home Health Services in Hays while earning her degrees. In 1997, she went to work as an operations and human resources assistant for an Oakland, CA, law firm and joined Pillsbury Winthrop as a human resources project coordinator in 1999. She became manager of human resources communication in 2000, a post she held until 2003, when she joined Towers Perrin as a communication consultant.

At FHSU, she served as Student Government Association president, secretary and senator and was a member of the Student Alumni Association, Mortar Board Honor Society, Sigma Tau Delta and English Club and was a VIP Ambassador. She was among the first to add a leadership studies emphasis.

She is a member of the International Association of Business Communicators and serves on the Membership Committee of the San Francisco chapter. She is leading an effort to establish an endowed scholarship for members of the Schmeidler family and has returned to FHSU to tell English majors how they can apply their degrees outside of teaching.

Her husband, Brion Parker, is an industrial engineer.

Jerry D. Anderson

Anderson graduated from FHSU with a B.S. in biology in 1959.

"Jerry is one of the most loyal and active alumni from FHSU that I know," wrote Ron Pflughoft, a 1970 graduate of FHSU and a former executive director of the FHSU Alumni Association, supporting Anderson's nomination for the Nita M. Landrum Award.

"He has served on both the Alumni and Endowment boards. He worked with the admissions staff in recruiting prospective students from the Kinsley area. He and his wife have set up a trust that will eventually award scholarships to young people from his community. Besides supporting and attending concerts and athletic events, he and his wife are always ready to serve the university. Jerry's a real doer."

Anderson has been self-employed for 45 years as the owner-operator of a ranch in Kinsley. For the last 20 years, he has also been building, selling and donating hand-made furniture from boards (100-year-old yellow pine) salvaged from a two-story barn that sat on the original Anderson homestead. The barn was destroyed by a tornado in 1984. He has exhibited and sold furniture in Taos, NM, Denver and Green Mountain Falls, CO, as well as in Kansas.

He and his family were featured in FarMarCo magazine and his furniture has been widely publicized.

At the university, he was president of his freshman and sophomore classes and was vice president of the student body in his senior year. He served on the Student Council for three years and on the Interfraternal Council. He served as president and secretary treasurer of Delta Sigma Phi. He also served on the FHSU Alumni Association Board of Directors and is a trustee of the FHSU Endowment Association. He has also served on the Executive Committee and as chair of the university's Farm Management Committee.

Anderson was director and president of the Kinsley Co-op, director of Investors Savings and Loan and an advisory director of Farmers Bank and Trust. He is also an active member of the Kansas Livestock Association.

For years, he presented awards at the annual awards assembly for Kinsley High School students who would be attending FHSU. He has served the Methodist Church as a lay leader and Sunday School teacher and has been a member of most of the church’s committees.

Anderson and his wife, Dianne, have two children, Lisa Gales and Scott Anderson.

Back to Index

Office of University Relations   |  600 Park Street   |  Hays, KS  67601-4099
(785) 628-4206   |   Fax (785) 628-4152
Kent Steward, Director   |  |  Kurt Beyers, Assistant Director   |