The Sacramento State Alumni Association and the University will recognize seven outstanding alumni for their professional and personal achievements at the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Awards on Thursday, April 20, at the Leslie and Anita Harper Alumni Center. The annual event celebrates community and industry leaders for their contributions to Sacramento State and the community.

This year’s Distinguished Alumni Awards honorees include six Distinguished Service Award recipients and one Rising Star.

The Distinguished Service Award is given in recognition of professional success and community service. This year’s Distinguished Service Award recipients are:

  • Kimo Ah Yun ’90 (Communication Studies): After earning his communication studies degree at Sacramento State, Ah Yun returned to the University as a faculty member in his old department and began a series of steady steps up the academic ladder. In 2016, he was named dean of the Diederich College of Communication at Marquette University. His many honors include the Jack Hunter Meta-Analysis Award from the International Communication Association and multiple articles in scholarly journals.
  • Kraig Clark ’91 (Accountancy): When it comes to creating successful high-tech companies, Clark has the Midas touch. In 1997, he co-founded CoreLogic, a data analytics service for the mortgage banking industry that created hundreds of regional jobs, generated millions of dollars in annual revenue, and resulted in a profitable merger after just 10 years. Clark then harnessed his business acumen and passion for the environment to found two more companies: JLM Energy, an energy technology firm; and eScreen Logic, an environmental consulting firm.
  • Carol Garcia ’80 (Family and Consumer Sciences): Garcia’s career in community banking spans 37 years, including her current position as senior vice president at Community 1st Bank in Roseville. Her community involvement features service on the Roseville City Council, the Sierra College Board of Trustees, and as a co-founder and chair of the Placer Breast Cancer Endowment. She has been recognized with the Roseville Chamber of Commerce’s Athena Award and was named in a national Nabisco-sponsored contest called “Celebrating 100 Extraordinary Women.”
  • Gilbert Herdt, MA ’72 (Anthropology): When it comes to scholars and experts in anthropology, few can match Herdt’s accomplishments. The world-renowned clinical and cultural anthropologist specializes in human sexuality, ranging from sexual identity and orientation in children and adolescents to aging in LGBT adults. He has published more than 30 books and edited more than 100 scientific peer-reviewed journal articles, chapters, encyclopedia articles, and scholarly reports. He also founded the National Sexuality Resource Center at San Francisco State University.
  • Andrei Tokmakoff ’89 (Chemistry): Water is known as an essential property for living. Tokmakoff sees it as much more. The Henry G. Gale Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Chicago leads a research group studying the properties of, and the molecules that dissolve in, water, such as proteins. His accolades include the Ernest K. Plyler Prize for Molecular Spectroscopy from the American Physical Society, and the David and Lucile Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering.
  • Angelo Williams, MA ’06 (Education), MA ’07 (Higher Education Leadership), Ed.D. ’10: Growing up as the son of a civil rights activist, Williams can’t remember a time when he wasn’t interested in social justice. These days, he is advising parents on how to keep their families and their communities healthy as director of community engagement and mobilization for the California Black Health Network. He also is introducing high school students to the power of activism through an NAACP youth chapter summer program and serves on the faculty at Sacramento City and Sierra colleges.

The Rising Star Award is given to a graduate of Sacramento State who has received his or her first Sacramento State degree since 2006 and has made outstanding contributions professionally, to the community, or to Sacramento State. This year’s Rising Star Award recipient is:

  • Ryan Harrison, MS ’11 (Criminal Justice): “A labor and employment Swiss army knife” is how Harrison describes his role as principal human resources consultant for the California Senate Rules Committee, where he draws on his background in law enforcement and labor and employment law. In his spare time, he serves on the board of Cottage Housing, a housing and addiction treatment program for the homeless. He also volunteers as a mentor at McClatchy High School and is a fellow of the Nehemiah Emerging Leaders Program.

The Distinguished Alumni Awards is the culminating event for Sacramento State’s annual Alumni Month festivities. Each year, the Sacramento State Alumni Association dedicates the month of April to celebrating its alumni with a full slate of activities – receptions, lectures, sporting events and more – designed to bring the Hornet Family together.

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