Alumni Association to recognize seven recipients of 2009 Alumni Awards
09/16/2009

Seven alumni of Fort Hays State University will be honored with awards from the FHSU Alumni Association at the Alumni Awards Banquet Friday, Sept. 25, during Homecoming celebrations.

Four alumni will receive Alumni Achievement Awards, the association’s highest honor, for outstanding, unselfish contributions in service to community, state or nation, both as citizens in their chosen careers and through philanthropy. Recipients are Thomas Arnold, Hutchinson, a partner in the law firm of Oswalt, Arnhold, Oswald & Henry; Dr. Julie Ballenger, Ellerslie, Ga., professor of biology at Columbus State University; David "Mitch" Brown, Palm Beach Garden, Fla., vice president of interior design and showrooms for William R. Eubanks Interior Design Inc.; and Dr. Lynn Lashbrook, Gresham, Ore., president and founder of Sports Management Worldwide, Portland, Ore.

One young alumni, Franklin "Terry" Bruce, Hutchinson, an attorney and state senator, will receive the Young Alumni Award. It is given to 10- to 15-year graduates in recognition of professional and educational achievement, community activities, honors and awards or other accomplishments.

Denis Miller, Phillipsburg, a partner in Mapes & Miller CPAs, will receive a Nita M. Landrum Award for alumni or friends who have provided sustained volunteer service for the betterment of the Alumni Association or Fort Hays State University, especially in their home communities.

Dr. Don Moses, Surprise, Ariz., will be recognized as only the fifth recipient of the President's Award. This award is given by the president when someone makes a substantial contribution to the university through professional and personal achievements. Past recipients are Daron Jamison, former staff member of U.S. Sen. Robert Dole; former CEO of General Bank of Los Angeles Li Pei Wu; and internationally famous author Mickey Spillane.

Thomas Arnhold, Hutchinson, graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in political science in 1975 and went on to earn a Juris Doctor from the Washburn University Law School in 1978. He is a partner and attorney in the Hutchinson firm of Oswalt, Arnhold, Oswald and Henry. He also spent 24 years as a judge advocate in the Kansas Army National Guard, retiring as a colonel in 2007. For the last seven years of his military service he was the staff judge advocate for the 35th Infantry Division. At his military retirement, he was awarded the Legion of Merit, the highest award given to members of the military in peace time.

His legal career ranged widely, from indigent criminal clients in Kansas District Courts to cases before the Kansas Supreme Court. His military service included duty in Bosnia in 2003 and in New Orleans in 2005 during the response to hurricane Katrina.

In addition to his career as an attorney and military JAG officer, Arnhold has co-written two books on workers’ compensation, co-authored a book on real estate law, written another book, "A Wingshooter's Guide to Kansas," and published articles in The Army Lawyer and in The Territorial Magazine. In 2008, he began writing as a guest columnist for The Hutchinson News and also writes for Hutchinson Magazine.

Besides the Legion of Merit, Arnhold's 20 military decorations include the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal and the Army Commendation Medal. He and his wife, Joleen, were also named the outstanding volunteers in 1999 by Trinity Catholic High School.

Dr. Julie Ballenger, Ellerslie, Ga., graduated with a Master of Science degree in botany in 1988. She earned her B.A. in biology from Central College, Pella, Iowa, in 1983 and her Ph.D. in botany from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, in 1992. She has studied in Mexico, the Bahamas, London, Panama, Peru, Botswana, Ecuador, Belize, Australia and New Zealand. She is a professor in the Department of Biology of Columbus State University. She was also a teaching fellow at Miami University and a post-doctoral research associate at the L.H. Bailey Hortorium, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. She began at Columbus as an assistant professor of biology in 1995.

In 1999, Ballenger and her colleague, Bill Birkhead, developed an independent international studies program that led to tropical ecology courses in Africa, Australia and Latin America and health care courses in the Bahamas. In 2004, the Department of Biology at Columbus State University was recognized with a "Best Practices Award" by the Georgia Board of Regents as the "Most Internationalized Department" in the university system in accordance with the request to increase the emphasis of international education opportunities on all campuses.

She was also the interim director of Oxbow Meadows, the result of a multi-million dollar rehabilitation project that turned an old landfill into a 1,600-acre wetlands and academic center. Her awards and honors include the 2003 Educator of the Year at Columbus. She also won the Faculty Development Award four times and, in 2008, she was given the Outstanding Service Award. In 2007, the Columbus State chapter of Beta Beta Beta Biology Honor Society, with Ballenger as chapter advisor, was named the nation's best in scholarship, dissemination of scientific information and promotion of biological research.

She is a member of the American Society of Plant Taxonomists, Southeastern Biologists, the Georgia Academy of Science, the International Association of Botanists, the Association of Southeastern Biologists, the Botanical Society of America and the National Geographic Society. She has also been the national advisor for the local chapter of Beta Beta Beta, the national biology honor society, and was president of the local chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, the academic honor society, and also of Phi Beta Delta, the international honor society.

Mitch Brown, Palm Beach Garden, Fla., graduated from FHSU in 1989 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in interior design. He is vice president of design and showrooms for William R. Eubanks Interior Design Inc., with offices in Palm Beach, Memphis, Tenn., and New York City.

His career began even before graduation, when he worked at Vitztum Decorative Center, Hays. Along with owner George Vitztum, he founded an internship program at Vitztum for fellow design students. At Lady Primrose, Dallas, Texas, he was creative director. While there, he was instrumental in the design of the reception for England's Queen Elizabeth II during her tour of the United States. From Los Angeles, he traveled the state creating and marketing furniture for several high-end furniture manufacturers and interior designers, including Michael Taylor, Cashé and Mel Lowrance. He joined Eubanks' firm in 1998.

Brown's work has been featured in a variety of publications, including Veranda, Quest (NYC), InStyle, Palm Beach Illustrated, MidSouth Magazine, Florida Design, Spectacular Homes of Tennessee, The Best of Florida Design, 100 Designers' Favorite Rooms, Spectacular Homes of Metro New York, Michaels, Visions of Design, and Interiors.

During his tenure at Eubanks, his projects and work have reached from coast to coast in the United States and several European countries. From Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Palm Beach, and throughout the heartland, Brown has left his mark of style and hard work. Throughout his career as a designer, and in the antique furnishings world, he has worked with several celebrities and public figures such as Rod Stewart, Elton John, Martha Stewart and Lady Bird Johnson. His talent has led him to involvement with several charities and museums such as the Norton Museum of Art, Palm Beach, the Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis, Tenn., Greystone Mansion, Los Angeles, the Crystal Charity Ball, Dallas, and the Design Industry Foundation Fights Aids, Dallas.

Dr. Lynn Lashbrook, Portland, Oregon, graduated FHSU with a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education in 1970. He went on to earn a Master of Education degree from Springfield College, Springfield, Mass., and a Doctor of Education degree from the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley. He is the president and founder of Sports Management Worldwide, a sports management online training institute.

He served as a football coach at Northern Colorado and, after earning his doctorate, returned to FHSU for six years of teaching and coaching. He then went to the University of Missouri, Columbia, where he served as assistant athletic director for five years. His next move was to Edwardsville, Ill., to be athletic director at Southern Illinois University. He then moved on to the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, as athletic director. After a total of 22 years in education, he became a sports agent before founding Sports Management Worldwide, the first ever online sports career school with students from more than 100 countries and renowned faculty from major sports venues all over the globe.

His awards include the Meritorious Service Award for Outstanding Performance and Leadership at the University of Alaska and recognition for playing an instrumental role in establishing the first NCAA athletic exchange with Russia, with the Khabarovsk Institute of Sport and Physical Culture. He was also honored as Professor of the Year at the U.S. Sports Academy.

As a businessman, he cites as among his major accomplishments recruiting 40 NFL players and servicing their careers from draft to free agency. In addition, his sports agency has more than 200 agents worldwide representing hundreds of athletes globally. Lashbrook is a nationally known sports business speaker, having spoken on five of seven continents in addition to hosting sports career conferences at major sporting events.

Terry Bruce, Pretty Prairie, graduated from FHSU in 1997 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science. He earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Kansas. He is an attorney at Forker, Suter and Rose LLC, Hutchinson, and is a Kansas state senator serving on the Judiciary, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Utilities committees. He is vice chair of the Legislative Post Audit Committee and is on the Judicial Council Subcommittee on End of Life Decisions.

He was also communications director for the Kansas House majority leader for a legislative term. Before that, he spent the first three years of his legal career, from August 2000 to December 2003, as an assistant Reno County district attorney. He has been in private law practice since June 2004.

As a legislator, he has been recognized with the Ethanol Producers Senator of the Year award and the Pro-Jobs Legislator Award from the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In the 2007 Legislature, he authored the Kansas Renewable Fuel Standards legislation that created incentives for gas stations to offer renewable fuel blends, such as ethanol and bio-diesel, in order to make them more available to the public and to encourage rural economic development.

He is a member of the FHSU Alumni Association, Cause for Paws (a volunteer, non-profit organization to raise funds for the care of stray cats and dogs), the Reno County Chamber of Commerce, the Reno County Young Professionals, the Kansas Bar Association and the Reno County Bar Association.

Denis W. Miller, Phillipsburg, earned a Bachelor of Science in accounting from FHSU in 1973. He is a partner in Mapes and Miller CPAs, Phillipsburg. After graduating from FHSU, he worked from 1973 to 1976 as a staff accountant for Fox & Co. in Wichita while working to obtain his CPA. He went on to work for two years as controller for an oil company in Hutchinson. He was in charge of the Smith Center office of Kennedy & Coe from 1978 to 1984, then started his own. In 1989, he bought a Stockton practice and merged with Vick and Mapes CPAs of Norton in 1990, the firm now known as Mapes and Miller CPAs. The firm has six offices, Phillipsburg, Norton, Stockton, Quinter, WaKeeney and Hill City.

Miller is and has been a member of numerous professional and business organizations and is a past president of the Phillipsburg Chamber of Commerce and the Phillipsburg Rotary Club. He is a past board member of the Kansas Society of CPAs and is also a past chair of several KSCPA committees. He also served on the State of Kansas Banking Board and head of the local economic development committee. He is active as a member of the FHSU College of Business and Leadership Committee, is a trustee of the FHSU Foundation Executive Committee and is a member of the Foundation's Investment Committee.

He is a life member of the FHSU Alumni Association and is a past member of the Board of Directors. His service to the university has also included serving on a committee to find a dean for the College of Business and Leadership.

He and his wife, Geraldene "Sue" Miller, are steadfast supporters of Tiger athletics and hold season tickets. He hires FHSU graduates whenever possible and sponsors the annual Student Recognition Program in Phillipsburg. He also actively recruits incoming and transfer students and serves on three local foundation boards that provide scholarships to area students and grants to local organizations.


Dr. Don Moses, is director and professor emeritus at the University of Illinois School of Music. He is also the founding director and conductor emeritus of the Classical Music Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria. Prior to his association with the University of Illinois, Moses also served on the faculties of Indiana University and the University of Iowa. During his tenure at Indiana University, from 1964-1973, Moses conducted the university’s Chamber Singers. They performed some 250 concerts throughout the United States, including concerts in Carnegie Recital Hall in New York and the National Museum in Washington, D.C.

In 1973, Moses joined the faculty at the University of Iowa, where he founded the "Kantorei," an ensemble of 30 singers which represented the university on tours and concerts throughout the United States. He also conducted the University of Iowa Symphonic Choir and was music director and conductor of the Opera Theatre. During 1983, Moses was the first American guest conductor of the professional Györ Philharmonic Orchestra in Györ, Hungary. The orchestra toured throughout the western part of Hungary and eastern Austria performing the works of Beethoven.

From 1976 to 2000, he was the music director of the Classical Music Festival in Eisenstadt. Since its inception, Moses has conducted more than 100 concerts of symphonies, concerti, masses and operas in Vienna, Eisenstadt, and other Austrian cities. In 1982, the Classical Music Festival Orchestra and Chorus recorded Haydn's "Harmoniemesse in the Haydnsaal of the Esterhazy Palace," the performance hall for which Haydn wrote and performed most of his extensive repertory. In 1991, Moses received the First Edition of the Franz Joseph Haydn Medallion produced by the City of Eisenstadt, and the government awarded him its highest honor, the Gold Medal, for his service to the city of Eisenstadt in connection with the founding and continuation of the Classical Music Festival. In 1993 Moses received the Medal of Honor from the State of Burgenland, Austria.

Moses is the author of four books, "Face to Face with an Orchestra," published by Prestige Publications 1987, "The Complete Conductor," published by Prentice Hall in 1995, and "Face to Face with Orchestra and Chorus," published by Indiana University Press in 2004. His fourth book is being published by Classical Heritage, LLC and is due for publication the last week of September, 2009. This book, "The Masses of Joseph Haydn," is the first complete book on Haydn's masses in the last 60 years and the first ever in English. More information about this publication can be found at www.haydnmasses.com.


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