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Alumni Accomplishments

F. King Alexander ’87, president of California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), has been named this year’s recipient of the Robert C. Maxson President of the Year Award by the California State Student Association (CSSA), the single recognized voice for more than 405,000 students in the California State University (CSU) system.  Each year, the CSSA recognizes one CSU campus president whose leadership reflects a commitment to the mission of the CSSA and who has demonstrated exceptional inclusion of students within the context of shared governance.

Alexander was named the sixth president of CSULB in November 2005 after serving as the president of Murray State University in Kentucky from 2001 to 2005. A well-respected national expert in domestic and international higher education finance and public policy, he holds a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in higher education finance and public policy and a Master of Science degree from Oxford University (England) in comparative education policy.

Carol DeFries ’72, professor and chair of humanities and social sciences at Schenectady County (N.Y.) Community College, has been awarded a SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service. This is her second award in two years; last year’s she received an SCCC Foundation Award. She has been instrumental in SUNY assessment, writing across the curriculum, the Honors Program and individual studies and dependency counseling degree programs. The SLU English major holds an M.A. in reading from The College of Saint Rose.

Jeneca Dovey '09 visited campus last spring and acquired some tips on teaching physics from faculty members. A biology major, Dovey had been teaching physics in Guinea as a Peace Corps volunteer, but was evacuated due to violence and political unrest, and was preparing to teach in Cameroon.
During her visit, she met with Karen Johnson and Brian Watson, associate professors of physics, who shared some teaching tips and provided her with some resources including text books, a small telescope, lenses, diffraction gratings, prisms, magnets, reusable heat packs, compasses and mirrors to aid in classroom demonstrations. Watson even found a physics teaching magazine from January 1983, which focused entirely on teaching physics in Cameroon.

"I'm going to be the best-prepared teacher in the entire country," Dovey remarked. She teaches grades seven through 10, with classes of about 100 students and a two-hour time block. Dovey uses activities and demonstrations to engage her students. "These kids have never had teachers who do demonstrations. I think I am really showing them that school can be fun," Dovey said.
Though large classes and a strict government-based curriculum can be challenging, Dovey said that she loves seeing students get excited about learning. "I love it and I can't wait to get back," she said. --Josh Johnson '10

The Thousand Islands Privateers professional hockey club has announced that Mike Elberty ’79 has been named general manager and head coach.  The announcement was made by team president Nicole Kirnan Hall ’01. Elberty had been a volunteer strength and conditioning coach at St. Lawrence, a role that he will retain; he has also been a professional scout and trainer. The team is a member of the developmental Federal Hockey League and plays its home games in Alexandria Bay, N.Y.

Eugene M. “Pete” Geddes ’84 has joined Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) of Bozeman, Mont., as director of development. He will develop and implement strategies to increase financial support from private sources, help form new programs, and represent PERC at special events.
PERC is the nation’s oldest and largest organization dedicated to improving environmental quality through property rights and markets. Established in 1980, PERC pioneered the approach known as “free market environmentalism.” This approached is based on the tenet that private property rights encourage stewardship of resources.

Geddes has 15 years in the think tank and environmental policy world. He holds an M.S. from the University of Montana School of Forestry. He is co-editor with John Baden of Saving a Place: Endangered Species in the 21st Century, and his writings have appeared in numerous print and online journals and newspapers. He and his wife, Julie, live in Bozeman with sons Chris, Ryan and David.

Maureen Leonard Missert '79, of Ogdensburg, N.Y., has been elected chair of her hometown’s Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center Board of Directors. She is the second woman to chair the board in its history. A member of the Claxton-Hepburn Foundation Board since 1992, she has been a member of the hospital board since 2003. Her late father, John B. Leonard '44, was a member of the board for many years. A French and sociology major, she was a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority and studied in France. As an alumna, she has been active in Reunion planning. [credit: Allan Burns]

Viggo Mortensen '80 was awarded the Knight's Cross of Dannebrog on April 16, 2010, as part of the official celebration of the 70th birthday of Queen Margarethe of Denmark. Mortensen was one of about 50 people to receive the honor.  The Order of Dannebrog is "a means of honoring and rewarding the faithful servants of the modern Danish state for meritorious civil or military service, for a particular contribution to the arts, sciences or business life or for those working for Danish interests." Mortensen's father is Danish, and he has lived there at various times. He has appeared in over 40 films and is also an accomplished musician, author and artist.

The Worcester Sharks of the American Hockey League announced last spring the promotion of Michael Mudd ’90 to president. Entering his tenth season with the organization, he oversees the overall day-to-day business operations of the franchise while managing the corporate, ticket, marketing, community relations, public relations, merchandise and broadcasting departments.  He will also continue to serve as the liaison with the NHL San Jose Sharks regarding hockey-related matters. The former professional and collegiate goaltender has served in various capacities with the Sharks, most recently as senior vice president of business and hockey administration.

Stephen J. Todd ’92 is the new is assistant superintendent for instruction with the St. Lawrence-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), headquartered in Canton, N.Y. He had been principal of Watertown (N.Y.) High School. He had spent his entire career in the Watertown City School District, starting as a social studies teacher. He worked one year as an administrative intern, followed by five years as assistant high school principal and the past two as high school principal.

The St. Lawrence County native is vice president of the Alumni Executive Council.  He took graduate courses at Cornell and completed his master of science in teaching degree at SUNY Potsdam, and earned a certificate in advanced studies in educational administration in 2003 from SUNY Oswego. In his new role, he is responsible for overseeing all BOCES instructional programs, including career and technical education, special education, professional development and school improvement for all 18 component districts in the BOCES region.
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