University Communications staff
Sacramento State’s annual Distinguished Alumni Awards recognize and honor people associated with the University who are proud exemplars of the value of their educations, and who have contributed significantly to Sac State and the wider community.
The University’s Alumni Association has given the awards each year since 1972.
The seven people chosen as 2020 Distinguished Alumni have achieved high levels of excellence in several fields. They were honored the evening of Oct. 15 during a virtual celebration that took the place of an annual gala preempted this year by pandemic-caused safety requirements. (Watch the recorded event.) The event also raised more than $8,000 for student scholarships through an online auction.
“So many of our Hornets go on to do amazing things – they solve difficult problems, teach future leaders, and blast through glass ceilings,” said University President Robert S. Nelsen. “This year’s Distinguished Alumni have done those things and more.”
These are this year’s Distinguished Alumni:
Distinguished Service Award
- Preet Didbal ’98 (Physical Education), founder, Redefine and Empower
- Jamillah Moore ’92, MA ’95 (Communication Studies/Intercultural Communication and Public Policy), president, Cañada College, San Mateo County Community College District
- Jenni Murphy Ed.D ’12 (Education Leadership and Policy), dean, College of Continuing Education, Sacramento State
- Scott Owens ’86 (Criminal Justice), retired district attorney, Placer County
Rising Star Award
- Rhys Hoskins ’15 (Business Administration), first baseman/outfielder, Philadelphia Phillies
- Alyssa Nakken ’12 (Psychology), assistant coach, San Francisco Giants
Honorary Alumnus Award
“The recipients always tell us how honored they are to have been chosen, and I am sure it is for them, and for their families,” Nelsen said. “But the Distinguished Alumni Awards also provide a rare opportunity for me to tell our alumni that the honor is all ours.”