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Sacramento State News - California State University, Sacramento
April 8, 2008

Sacramento State to honor alums,
supporters for accomplishments

Eight Sacramento State alumni, including a two-time Super Bowl champion and a current National Football League offensive coordinator, will be honored at the annual Distinguished Service Awards at 6 p.m., Thursday April 17 at the Alumni Center on campus. The event will also honor two community leaders as “honorary alumni.” 

The awards recognize former Sacramento State students who have “brought distinction to themselves and the University through their accomplishments.” It is a highlight of April’s Alumni Month festivities, which celebrate the University’s alumni.

This year’s honorees are:

Distinguished Service Awards:

  • Michael Carter spent many years as an education advocate in northern California. He also played professional football and is executive director of Open Heart Kitchen in the Bay Area.
  • John Gesek won two Super Bowl championships playing offensive line for the Dallas Cowboys and is a partner in a financial advisory services firm.
  • Greg Knapp (’86, Communication Studies) is the offensive coordinator for the NFL’s Oakland Raiders. He held the same role with the San Francisco 49ers and the Atlanta Falcons.
  • Sia Nemat-Nasser (’60, Civil Engineering) is the director of the Center of Excellence for Advanced Materials and Distinguished Professor of Mechanics and Minerals at UC San Diego.
  • Walter B. Schaub (‘76, Communication Studies) is a longtime Sacramento radio personality, known to most by his on-air names “Uncle Walty” and “Walt Shaw,” and for his community involvement.
  • Paulette Trainor has won numerous awards as an interior designer in the Sacramento area, as well as for her volunteer work.

Honorary Alumni:

  • Mark Drobny is the founder of Drobny Law Offices. He is a member of the University Planned Giving Advisory Committee and has assisted in securing support for Sacramento State academic programs.
  • Pamela Stewart is a retired business consultant who has been a valuable supporter of Sacramento State as a member of the President’s Executive Committee and the University Foundation at Sacramento State.

Tickets for the Distinguished Service Awards are $100 per person. Reservations can be made by calling (916) 278-6295 or online at

Media assistance is available by contacting the Sacramento State public affairs office at (916) 278-6156.




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California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
6000 J Street • Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 • (916) 278-6156 •