Newsmakers

Phil DiRuocco (’67) was named to the Westchester (N.Y.) Sports Hall of Fame in October 2014. Before retiring in 2000, he served the Irving School District for 33 years, most notably as athletic director and varsity baseball coach.

Glenda Martin (’74, ’75) was named the Lincoln County Volunteer of the Year. Some of the many activities she was credited with include teaching free exercise classes, delivering hot meals to senior citizens and the homebound, and working extensively with her church.

Mary Evans (’75) was named a 2013 National Distinguished Principal by the National Association of Elementary School Principals. She has served as the principal at Cumberland Trace Elementary School in Bowling Green, Ky., since 1996.

Pamela (Weatherby) Popp (’83) was named to the Board of Directors of Sepsis Alliance, the nation’s leading patient advocacy organization promoting sepsis awareness. As a sepsis survivor and health care lawyer she will provide the organization personal and professional views on the need for sepsis awareness.

Mark Ackerson (’86) will serve as the new director for the Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps. Founded in 1948, the Cavaliers are one of the most successful drum and bugle corps in history, winning 20 national championships, including seven Drum Corps International world championships since 1992. Each summer, 150 male brass, percussion and color guard performers age 16-22 present a marching music show considered among the most challenging and original in the world. Ackerson marched in the Cavaliers color guard in the 1980s before joining the tour management team in 1991.

Chuck Woods (’86) is the Chief Financial Officer and vice president of finance for Global Services & Support (GS&S), a business unit of Boeing Defense, Space & Security. In this role, he is responsible for all finance-related activities for GS&S, a $9 billion business that provides innovative and capabilities-driven solutions in logistics, supply chain management, aircraft modifications, training and other services with more than 15,000 employees working in nearly 300 locations around the world, including operations in Australia, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom.

Sherri (Elliott) Thomas (’88) was selected as one of six educators in the state for the 2014 “Stars of the Classroom!” sponsored by the Missouri Lottery and the St. Louis Cardinals. This program celebrates excellence in education by honoring outstanding Missouri educators. She had the honor of throwing out the first pitch at a Cardinals game on July 5, 2014. Thomas is the principal of Lewis and Clark Middle School in Jefferson City.

Matt Williams (’90) has been named president of the Columbia (Mo.) Landmark Bank. In his new role with Landmark Bank, he will serve as Columbia branch president and will also manage the local commercial loan department. Landmark Bank is a community bank with $2.1 billion in assets and 42 locations in 28 communities across Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.

Jessica (Prinster) Dederer (’91) was named marketing director for Family Resource Center, one of Missouri’s largest agencies dedicated to preventing and treating child abuse and neglect.

Jenny Lindquist (’92) was named the Veterinarian of the Year by the Missouri Animal Control Association. The award is given to the veterinarian who has provided outstanding service to aid an animal welfare program.

Lori Nix (’93) provided photography and artwork for the July 7-14, 2014 issue of Time magazine. Her work was on the cover and in the feature story, “The Smarter Home.”

Gregory J. Linhares (’94) was selected as the clerk of court for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.

Tyson Ketchum (’96) was named to the Kansas City Business Journal’s “Best of the Bar” list of outstanding area lawyers chosen by their peers. He is a member of Armstrong Teasdale’s litigation practice group and has successfully represented corporations and individuals in a wide variety of commercial and tort litigation cases. The primary focus of his practice is employment, insurance coverage and personal injury cases.

Jeremy Boesch (’97) of St. Charles, Mo., was selected as the Wentzville School District Teacher of the Year for 2013-14. An English teacher at Timberland High School, he was one of only seven finalists for the statewide Teacher of the Year award. Candidates are judged on the respect and admiration of students, parents and colleagues. Selection is also based on their ability to inspire and educate students of all backgrounds and abilities.

Jamie (Smith) Manker (’98, ’00) is among 50 finalists for the $1 million Global Teacher Prize. The award is designed to raise the status of teaching and is open to applicants worldwide. Manker was selected from more than 5,000 nominations and 1,300 final applications. The 50 finalists come from 26 countries. Ten finalists will be announced in February with the winner revealed in March. Manker teaches at Rockwood Summit High School in Fenton, Mo.

Mark L. Wolz (’98) was named president over commercial activities for Midwest Bank Centre. He operates out of MBC’s Fenton, Mo., branch.

Brent Povis (’00) developed the game “Morels,” which was named 2014’s Best New Card Game by Games magazine.

Jimmy Kuehnle (’01) was selected to be one of 102 artists in the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art show “State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now.” During the exhibit, which ran from September 2014 into January 2015, Kuehnle created a large-scale inflatable biomorphic creature that “lived” on the water outside the museum in Bentonville, Ark.

Nathan Becker (’08) was selected as one of only 10 business journalists to receive the Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business Journalism through Columbia University in New York City. The fellowship offers qualified journalists the opportunity to enhance their understanding and knowledge of business, economics and finance in a year-long, full-time program. Fellows take courses at Columbia’s graduate schools of journalism, business, law and international affairs. Becker is a copy editor and sports editor for The Wall Street Journal.

Adam Hoskins (’08) joined the Minneapolis office of Faegre Baker Daniels as an associate. He earned his law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School in 2012.

Galen Gibson-Cornell (’09) was selected for a three-month artist residency at the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica, in Venice, Italy. In 2013, he received a Fulbright fellowship to explore the urban walls and poster culture of Budapest, Hungary. His artwork has been featured in solo and group exhibitions across the United States and Europe.

Jansen Otterness (’09) was promoted to manager at BKD’s Southern Missouri practice. BKD is a national CPA and advisory firm. Otterness is a member of BKD National Health Care Group and provides audit services to community health center clients.

Benjamin Friesen (’10) joined Husch Blackwell’s business litigation group and will work out of the Kansas City, Mo., office. He received his J.D., summa cum laude, from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, where he was an Omar E. Robinson Scholarship recipient, managing editor of The Urban Lawyer and a staff member of the UMKC Law Review.

Joseph Grissom (’11) received a 2014 Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellowship. As a Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellow, he will receive a $30,000 stipend to complete a special intensive master’s program at Ball State University that will prepare him to teach math and/or science in Indiana’s urban and rural public schools.

Paul Friz (’12) participated in an internship at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., where he spent time as the assistant to the Rosetta project manager. The Rosetta space probe made headlines in November 2014 when it successfully landed on the surface of a comet. Friz is pursuing a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from the Missouri University of Science and Technology and conducting research at the NASA Langley Research Center in Virginia.

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