The University of Arizona

Alumni Association Awards Graduates and Friends of the University

By Rebecca Ruiz-McGill, University Communications | October 23, 2008

Arizona Governor Janet A. Napolitano is one of the three who will receive the Alumni Public Service Award.
Arizona Governor Janet A. Napolitano is one of the three who will receive the Alumni Public Service Award.
J. Sarah Gonzales is being recognized with one of three Distinguished Citizen Awards.
J. Sarah Gonzales is being recognized with one of three Distinguished Citizen Awards.

The University of Arizona Alumni Association will recognize the achievements of 26 former Wildcats and community leaders and two alumni council organizations during its 2008 Homecoming Awards and Recognition Ceremony.

The ceremony will take place Oct. 24, from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Arizona Memorial Student Union Grand Ballroom South.

"Since 1943, The UA Alumni Association has presented accomplished alumni and friends with distinguished awards. Our goal is to recognize alumni, friends of the institution, community leaders, faculty, staff, students, alumni chapters and clubs, and college alumni councils for outstanding achievement and/or service to the UA," said Christopher J. Vlahos, president and executive director of the UA Alumni Association.

"Those being recognized include a long-time music educator, two Arizona politicians, an East Indian educator, an Asian and an Italian pharmacist, a Mexican American entrepreneur, a Native American physician, and a Mexican American social justice activist," said Jennifer P. Rich associate editor for the Alumni Association.

Arizona Gov. Janet A. Napolitano is one of three who will receive the Alumni Public Service Award. Napolitano will receive the award for her unequivocal support for the university system.

In addition, the Governor is being recognized for her support for quality schools, voluntary full-day kindergarten for all Arizona children, affordable health care, sensible and forward-thinking economic development and for pushing forward a historic teacher pay raise.

The Alumni Association also will recognize J. Sarah Gonzales with one of three Distinguished Citizen Awards being given. Gonzales is being recognized for her work to affect change and achieve social justice.

In 2003 she graduated from the UA with a master's degree in higher education and tailored her UA experience around diversity and social justice efforts, working directly with students as a graduate hall director, serving as a member of the Diversity Initiatives committee and working in Chicano-Hispano Student Affairs.

Gonzales currently serves as the director of the Racial Justice Program at the YWCA of Tucson, where she conducts anti-racism workshops and training sessions for K-12 and college students and professionals.

Carroll A. Rinehart is one of the seven recipients of the Professional Achievement Award. Rinehart, a UA graduate, has distinguished himself for his accomplishments and service as a music educator at the UA and in the U.S., Mexico, Canada and Australia; and as a principal and music educator within Tucson's public school systems.

He developed the musical education program Opening Minds through the Arts, which has earned national recognition for its mode of guiding 2nd- and 3rd-grade students in writing and performing their own operas.

Gudrun M. Godare will receive this year's Leo B. Hart Humanitarian Award. Godare has been involved in literacy work all of her professional life – as a teacher-librarian working with children; a facilitator of countless literature study groups for adults; a mentor for aspiring teachers and teacher-librarians; and as a volunteer in several literacy organizations and projects.

In all, 10 alumni awards will be given during the ceremony. The award and all its recipients are as follows: 

The Bear Down Award was established in 1986 and is given to an individual or individuals who have performed noteworthy or meritorious service on behalf of the UA. The Bear Down Award will be given to Jon W. Alquist, Michele A. Schulze, Frank W. Soltys Jr., Klindt D. Breckenridge and David D. Lee.

The Distinguished Citizen Award was established in 1962. The award is given in recognition of distinguished service in nonprofit organizations or other outstanding volunteer service. This year's winners are J. Sarah Gonzales, Mary E. Hall and Alberto Piña Moore.

The Extraordinary Faculty Award was established in 2001. The Extraordinary Faculty Award is presented by the Alumni Association to faculty members who bring honor or distinction to the UA. Kevin P. Boesen, Michael Mayersohn and Nancy A. Moran are this year's winners.

The Honorary Alumnus Award was established in 1947 and is given to non-alumni of the UA who have demonstrated continued interest in and exceptional loyalty and service to the University for 10 years or longer. Winners include James A. Christenson, Douglas Goodman and Albert L. Picchioni.

The Leo B. Hart Humanitarian Award was established in 1986 and is given for outstanding contributions to social justice and welfare. This year's recipient is Gudrun M. Godare. 

The Professional Achievement Award, established in 2000, is given to a person who has attained prominence in her or his field. Preference is given to an alumna or alumnus of the UA. This year's winners are Bruce A. Bethancourt, Melinda Waters Burke, Robert T. Dorr, Patricia Nez Henderson, Peggy MacMacken, Carroll A. Rinehart and Roxann Rokey.

The Public Service Award was established in 1963 to recognize individuals who are present or past holders of public office. Recipients have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the public. Representative Jennifer J. Burns, Governor Janet A. Napolitano and Joey E. Ridenour will receive the award.

Sidney S. Woods Alumni Service Award was established in 1941 and is given to an alumna or alumnus who has demonstrated unwavering interest in and loyalty to the UA for a minimum of five years. The award is given to an individual who has been out of school for more than 15 years. Franklin C. Shelton is this year's award recipient.

The College Alumni Council Award of Excellence was established in 2000 and is given to all college alumni councils or college advisory boards represented on the UA Alumni Association Board of Directors that have distinguished themselves throughout the course of the year. This year's award goes to the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Alumni Council.

The College Alumni Council Red and Blue Award was established in 2000. The award goes to the one chartered college alumni council or college advisory board represented on the Arizona Alumni Association national Board of Directors that has provided the most distinguished service to its college and the university during the previous academic year.

The Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences Council of Alumni and Friends is this year's winner.