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Noted International Alumni Home » Alumni Groups » International Alumni » Noted International Alumni

Noted international alumni of Michigan State University are listed alphabetically by country on these pages. A search using your browser (Edit, Find, then enter country name) will find MSU alumni from a specific country.

New Listings: To suggest MSU alumni for posting on this web site, send requests to Include name of alumnus/ae, degrees and years granted, and reasons for listing. Thanks much for helping with recognition of worthy MSU international alumni.

MSU international alumni are eligible for any of the following Alumni Grand Awards:


Ganem, Admon . BA, '62, Marketing. Director of Personnel, Volkswagen of Brazil, Brasilia, Brazil. Awarded a Distinguished Alumni Award 1975 by the MSU Alumni Association.

Itzaina, Francisco , MBA '74, heads Rolls Royce's $700-million operations in South America. Rolls-Royce clients include Embraer, the world's fourth largest aircraft manufacturer, and Petrobras, one of the world's largest oil and gas company.

Kolata, Dr. James J. Ph.D., '69, Physics; MS, '66, Physics. Dr. James J. Kolata, Professor of Physics and Director of the Nuclear Structure Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame. Elected as a Corresponding Member of the Mexican Academy of Sciences and member on the Program Advisory Committee of the Nuclear Accelerator Center of the University of Sao Paolo, Brazil. Received the Joon S. Moon Distinguished International Alumni Award 2000 .

Raketich , Karen Stys . BA, '90, MLM-Purchasing. Principal international marketing analyst for The Timken Co., Canton, OH, has been named market development manager for Latin America in The Timken Company's North and South America Bearing Business Group.


Carter , Anson, '96, star forward for the Boston Bruins in the National Hockey League and former MSU varsity hockey player, captain and Hobey Baker Award candidate. From Canada.

Lord, Richard. BS, '53, Engineering. President, CANAFRIC. Lives in Quebec, Canada. Former MSU varsity hockey player. Awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award 1999 by the MSU Alumni Association.


Bullock, Dr. Dillman S. BS, 1902, Agriculture. Agricultural missionary, Angol, Chile. Awarded a Distinguished Alumni Award 1956 by the MSU Alumni Association.


Koo, Delia. Ph.D., MS, 1954. Outstanding educator and humanitarian, founded the Volunteer English Tutoring Program at MSU. Major donation for construction of the third-floor addition to the MSU International Center. Joon S. Moon Distinguished International Alumna Award for 2005.


Meece , Roger. BA, '71, Mathematics. Serving as U.S. Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, formerly U.S. Ambassador to Malawi and previously at Florida International University.

Costa Rica

Hutchins, Dr. Lee Milo. BS, 1913, Agriculture. Chief, Forestry Disease Research, USDA, Costa Rica.


Kartakoullis, Dr. Nicos, BS, '91, Education. Significant contributor in philanthropy, research, and professional and amateur sports in Cyprus as well as internationally. Appointed as one of the International Course Directors of the Itinerant School of Sport Management of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).


Thorp, William T. S. DVM, '35, Veterinary Medicine. Veterinarian, Guavaquit, Equador. Awarded a Distinguished Alumni Award 1960 by the MSU Alumni Association.


Dione, Dr. Josue . Ph.D., '89, Agr. Economics. Director, Sustainable Dev. Division, UN Economic Commission for Africa, Addis Abada, Ethiopia. Received the Joon S. Moon Distinguished International Alumni Award in 2003.

Dunford, Beth P. Ph.D., ‘03, Sociology; MA, '99, Sociology. Dr. Dunford heads the USAID Office of Assists and Livelihood Transition in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. As Chief, her responsibilities include managing over $250 million of emergency development assistance yearly. This assistance met over 50 percent of the food needs for over 14 million Ethiopians threatened with famine in 2003. After serving in the Peace Corps in Morocco 1992-95, Dr. Beth Dunford completed her Ph.D. studies in Sociology at MSU in 2003. She focused on issues of gender, international development, and natural resource management in Morocco, for an M.A. in 1999, and Eastern Mauritania for her Ph.D. in 2003. (Her graduate advisor in Socioilogy was David Wiley.) At MSU, she received Title VI FLAS Fellowship support to study Arabic (1996-1999) from the MSU Center for Advanced Study of International Development and Women and International Development Program and from the African Studies Center. She also won a national International Predissertation Fellowship from the Social Science Research Council.


Kornblum, John C. BA, '64, History. Formerly U.S. Ambassador to Germany, U.S. Dept. of State's leading expert on Eastern Europe, and played major roles in the Helsinki Conference and the Dayton Accords regarding the Bosnia peace plan. For his peace efforts in the Balkans, named Honorary Citizen of Sarajevo in 1997. Awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award 1998 by the MSU Alumni Association.

Weston, Thomas. MA, '69, Social Science; BA, '66, Social Science. Formerly served as Special Coordinator for Cyprus, U.S. Dept. of State; and American Consultant, U.S. Dept. of State in Germany. Retired from U.S. Foreign Service.

Hong Kong

Burns, Robert H. BA, '58, HRIM. President, Regent Internantional Hotels, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Awarded a Distinguished Alumni Award 1985 by the MSU Alumni Association.

Wong, Dr. Lawrence (Larry) . Ph.D., '70, Mechanical Engineering. President and Chief Executive Officer of the Hong Kong Jockey Club at the present time. Leads an $11.5 billion business that is Hong Kong's largest charity donor. Prior to 1996, pursued a 29-year career with Ford Motor Company, which spanned research and development, sales and marketing, and ultimately the Presidency of Ford Taiwan. Won Taiwan's Businessman of the Year Award in 1994. Received the Joon S. Moon Distinguished Alumni Award in 2002 .


Kapur, Dr. Surinder. Ph.D., 1972; MS, 1965; BS, 1964, Mechanical Engineering. Dr. Kapur is Chairman and Managing Director of Sona Koyo Steering Systems Ltd. in Haryana, India, which he founded in 1990. Sona Koyo Steering Systems Ltd won an order from General Motors India to supply 50,000 units of steering systems for a new car model starting 2007. "The new plant will have a capacity of 100,000 electronic power steering systems a year,'' Dr Kapur said, with Sona Koyo's total production capacity to rise to 900,000 steering systems a year once the new facility in Haryana goes on stream in 2007. Dr. Kapur and his company have received many prestigious awards. He is currently chairman of the Confederation of Indian Industry and numerous other national level committees. He is a member of the organizing committee for the Commonwealth Games to be held in Delhi in 2010. Awarded the Joon S. Moon Distinguished MSU International Alumni Award in 2006.

Kurien, Dr. Verghese . MS, '48, Engineering. Chariman, National Dairy Development Board, Gujarat, India. Awarded a Distinguished Alumni Award 1991 by the MSU Alumni Association.


Abdullah, Burhanuddin. MA, 1984, Economics. Born in Garut on July 1947, he finished his study in agriculture from the Padjadjaran University Bandung in 1974 and obtained a Master of Arts degree in economics from the Michigan State University, USA, in 1984. He started working for the Bank Indonesia as a staff member in the Credit Department in 1981, then in the Economic Research and Statistic Department, and afterwards as personal assistant to the governor. He was assigned as fixed-term staff in the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Washington, DC, from 1989 to 1990 and as assistant executive director from 1990 to 1993. Returning home, he was appointed as Head of the Economic Cooperation and International Trade Division until 1995, as Deputy Director for International Affairs for 1 year, and as Deputy Director of the Economic Research and Monetary Policy Department up to 1998. On August 10, 2000, he was appointed as Deputy Governor of Bank Indonesia. His last position, before his appointment as Governor of Bank Indonesia on May 17, 2003 (Presidential Decree No.61/M Year 2003 dated May 17 2003), was Coordinating Minister of Economic Affairs from June 12, 2001 to August 9, 2001. Received the Joon S. Moon Distinguished Alumni Award for 2007.

Daniels, John M. BA, '75, James Madison College. President and Director of Bali Discovery Tours, Bali, Indonesia, recognized by the government of Indonesia for his accomplishments in promoting local culture through tourism.

Heffern, John A. Charg̩ d' Affaires, U.S. Embassy Jakarta, Bahasa Indonesia РBA, 1976, James Madison College. Joined the Foreign Service in 1982. Currently a member of the Senior Foreign Service, John has focused most of his career on East Asia, with postings in Malaysia, Japan and China. His most recent Washington position was as the Executive Assistant to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs. He is currently serving as Deputy Chief of Mission in Jakarta, Indonesia. With the departure of Ambassador Pascoe from post on February 17, Heffern has assumed the position of Charg̩ d'Affairs, pending the arrival of the new Ambassador.


Kabira, Chosei . MA, '60, Communications. He was Professor, Chairman English & American Literature Department, Dean of Showa Women's University, Tokyo. She was awarded a Distinguished Alumni Award 1999 by the MSU Alumni Association.

Shimaguchi, Dr. Mitsuaki , Ph.D., '77, Marketing, MBA, '68, Marketing. Professor of marketing in the Graduate School of Business Administration at Keio University in Japan. Consultant to major Japanese corporations and serves on board of some 20 public and government organizations and published more than 20 books. Chief editor of the Japan Marketing Journal, the Journal of Marketing and Distribution and the Journal of Health and Society. Selected by several of Japan's top corporations, such as Toyota, Seiko, Suntory, Mitsubishi and Dentsu, to lead assessment tours of various countries in Asia, Africa, the United States and Europe. Participant in activities of the MSU Alumni Club of Japan. Awarded a Distinguished Alumni Award 2004 by the MSU Alumni Association.

Takenaka, Toichi, MBA, '68, Marketing. Received the Joon S. Moon Distinguished International Alumni Award in 2004. Upon returning to Japan after getting his MBA, rejoined the Takenaka Corporation, eventually becoming its president and CEO in 1980. He is a seventeenth generation descendent of the company's founder. The Takenaka Corporation is Japan's oldest architecture, engineering, and construction firm, with a rich history spanning nearly 400 years. His firm is responsible for creating a large number of Japan's most prominent architectural landmarks, including the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.


Badran, Adnan M . Ph.D., ‘63, Horticulture; MS, '61, Horticulture. Dr. Badran is a visionary Jordanian scientist, educator and administrator.

After completing his degrees, he became a senior research plant physiologist and biochemist at the United Fruit Research Laboratories. He helped to develop an environmental technique to suppress the ripening process in bananas during shipping. He has been part of several scientific studies to improve the quality of fruit that reaches markets around the world. In 1986 he became secretary-general of the Higher Council for Science and Technology in Jordan. He later served as the minister of agriculture and then minister of education for Jordan. In 1990 he became the assistant director general for science for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris and in 1993 became deputy director-general. From 1998-2005 he was the president of Philadelphia University in Amman, Jordan, which serves as a center for excellence in education, community service and cultural affairs. King Abdullah II appointed him to the position of prime minister in April 2005. He resigned from that position in November 2005. He is continuing his academic career as the chancellor of Petra University in Amman. Dr. Badran, the founding president of Yarmouk University, currently serves as senator and chairperson of the Senate Committee on Educational Science, Culture and Media and as chairperson of the Board of Arab Thought Forum. He also is the president of the Arab Academy of Science.


Moon, Joon S. (BS '60 Chem Egr) of Vancouver, Washington, received the Distinguished Alumni Award for 2006, which recognizes alumni who have attained the highest level of professional accomplishment. Moon earned his PhD in chemical engineering at the University of California-Berkley (1963). Born in South Korea, he became a U.S. citizen in 1967. In 1969, after having worked for DuPont and Celanese Corporations, he bought a small manufacturing company in Howell, Michigan. Over the next 40 years he bought and sold a number of other companies primarily in the consumer products, plastics, and swimming pool industries. Today, he owns and operates two manufacturing companies that produce household and industrial cleaning products: the Rooto Corp., based in Michigan, and Star Pacific Inc., based in California. He is a founder of North Pointe Insurance Co., based in Michigan, and the chairman of Mr. Rose Capital Inc. (a holding company). He now focuses primarily on startup capital ventures and investment management. Dr. Moon and his wife, Zaiga (BA MSU '62), are members of the John Hannah Society, having provided generous financial support to various facets of MSU. One of their more prominent gifts was the Mirdza Kuze Library Endowment Fund, named for Mrs. Moon's mother, which enabled MSU Libraries to begin a Baltic collection for Latvian, Lithuanian, and Estonian materials. Another gift in 1991 established the Joon S. Moon Distinguished International Alumni Award, which is presented each year to a recipient who demonstrates outstanding leadership in the international field. Moon has sat on the boards of several universities and corporations. In 1991 he was appointed by Governor John Engler to the Michigan International Trade Authority, which provides export assistance for small and medium-sized companies. As chairman of the MSU Foundation and of its technology committee during the nineties, Dr. Moon played an important role in shaping MSU's future. He has also served on the College of Engineering Alumni Board.

Shin, Dr. Kuk Bom. Ph.D., '72, Educational Administration. President, Korea National University of Education, Chongwongun, Korea. Awarded a Distinguished Alumni Award 1997 by the MSU Alumni Association.

Yoo, Dr. Hyun-oh. Ph.D.,'99, Communication Arts & Sciences. Repercussions of the Southeast Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s necessitated pursuit of a business career. Turned adversity into opportunity and distinguished himself as an innovative business leader at the cutting edge of the information society. Resumed work for his former employer, SK Telecom, the leading Korean mobile communications company. In 2004, he became President and CEO of SK Communications and was place in charge of the Internet portal,, often called the Yahoo of Korea. Received the Joon S. Moon Distinguished International Alumni Award for 2005 .


Baker, Dr. Christian E. BS, '53, Veterinary Medicine; DVM, '55, Veterinary Medicine. Ministry of Agriculture, Monrovia, Liberia. Awarded a Distinguished Alumni Award 1966 by the MSU Alumni Association.


Rubey, Dr. Lawrence. PhD, �95, Ag. Economics. USAID Agricultural Officer, Llongwe, Malawi.


AbMalik, Dr. Rosely , Ph.D., 1992, Lecturer, Engineering Faculty, UPM Serdang, No 3, Jln 3/3C, B B Bangi 43650 Malaysia.


Sah, Dr. Ram Pratap, Ph.D., 1991, Plant Breeding & Genetics. Dr. Ram P. Sah was appointed His Majesty's Government of Nepal on 27, October 2005 as the Executive Director of Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC). This appointment means that he is also the Administrative Head, Chairman of the Executive Board and Member Secretary of the Governing Council of Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC) in Kathmandu, Nepal.

New Zealand

Scheidies, Aaron . BS, 2004, Kinesiology. As MSU senior, carried a perfect 4.0 GPA in kinesiology and won the World Triathlon Championships in Queenstown, New Zealand, among male blind athletes. Won the world triathlon competition among blind male athletes in Cancun, Mexico, in 2003.


David-West, Dr. Tam S, BS, '61, Mathematics. MS, '62, Natural Science; Ph.D., '79, Natural Science. (Tamunoemi S. West). Professor and Chairperson, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria. Awarded a Distinguished Alumni Award 1999 by the MSU Alumni Association.

Isoun, Prof. Turner T. B.S. '63, Vet. Med.; DVM, '65, Vet. Med.; Ph.D. '70, now serves as the minister of science and technology, a cabinet post in the federal government of Nigeria. In that role, he assists in formulating new national policies, with priority given to information technology, space science, remote sensing, biotechnology and energy. Isoun will receive the Distinguished Post Doctoral Veterinary Alumnus Award 2005 from the Alumni Council of the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine. The award recognizes his principled leadership and ethical use of scientific knowledge and skills to address the socio-economic problems of humankind.

Reyes, Dr. Julie. PhD, 2001, Anthropology; MA, '87, Anthropology. Consultant and former MSU Ethics Officer in OVPRGS Sponsored Research in Abuja, Nigeria.


Mendez, Dr. Eustorgio , PhD, '76, Zoology. Retired biology professor and longtime field/laboratory scientist with famed "microbe-hunting" teams at the Gorgas Memorial Laboratory. Won the national decoration of the Order of Mamuel Amador Guerrero by President Mireya Moscoso of the Republic of Panama.


Bacigalupo, Dr. Felix Antonio . Ph.D., '52, Dairy. Professor, University of Agraria, Lima, Peru. Awarded a Distinguished Alumni Award 1965 by the MSU Alumni Association.


Burridge, Jr., Alvin L . BA, '42, Business. Vice President, Sterling Drug, Inc., Makati, Philippines. Awarded a Distinguished Alumni Award 1966 by the MSU Alumni Association.

Puerto Rico

Agosto, Miguel Hernandez . MS, '48, Forestry. President, Senate of Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico. Awarded a Distinguished Alumni Award in 1988 by the MSU Alumni Association.

Alemany-Llanell, Salvador E. BS, '50, Agriculture. Acting President, University of Puerto, Rico, Puerto Rico. Awarded a Distinguished Alumni Award 1996 by the MSU Alumni Association.


Robertson, Denny. MS, '81, Resource Development. Director, USAID Mission, Bucharest, Romania.


Elena, Dr. Lui Hah Wah . MS, '75, Education; Ph.D., '87, Education. Senior Lecturer with Physiological Studies Division, National Institute of Education, Singapore. Awarded a Distinguished Alumni Award 1995 by the MSU Alumni Association.

Helfer, Richard C. BA, '72, School of Hospitality Business. Managing Director, Raffles Hotel Pte., Ltd. Singapore. He was awarded a Distinguished Alumni Award 1998 by the MSU Alumni Association.

South Africa

Bennish, Dr. Michael M.D. BA '73, MD '77, was director of the Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies, Mtubatuba, South Africa. Received Distinguished Alumni Award 2000 from the MSU Alumni Association.


Chaikittisilpa, Anan (MS '69 Civil Engr.) of Bangkok, Thailand, received the Alumni Service Award of 2006, which is given to alumni who have demonstrated outstanding volunteer service to MSU and/or meritorious public service on a local, state, national, or international level. Chaikittisilpa established Veena International Co. Ltd., a distributor of chemical maintenance products in Thailand, in 1974. The company, of which he is the chief executive officer, has since grown by a factor of seven. He sits on numerous boards in Thailand and has an outstanding record of distinguished service in his country. Among many other positions, he served as vice president for the Standards Association of Thailand in the Ministry of Industry from 1992 to 1996. He has served Michigan State University with great loyalty and dedication. He is the founder and first president of the Thai MSU Alumni Association. He continues to be a prime mover in what has become one of MSU's largest and most active international alumni clubs. He has personally assisted some 50 MSU administrators, faculty, and staff who have visited Thailand. He has helped to set up itineraries for visits, organized contacts with Thai universities and MSU alumni in Thailand, arranged for transportation, provided contacts with important officials from the public and private sectors, and generally offered warm hospitality at a considerable personal expense. Chaikittisilpa has been tireless in routing Thai students to MSU, providing leadership in the establishment of scholarships among Thai alumni to send students to MSU, and finding worthy prospects to receive the scholarships. He helped MSU set up study abroad programs in Thailand, which include experience-based components in the public and private sectors. He is the principal point of contact for the MSU-Chulalongkorn University student exchange program and has made himself the "go to" person for problem solving. According to John Hudzik, MSU Vice President for Global Engagement and Strategic Projects, Chaikittisilpa's commitment and loyalty to MSU are "surpassed be none."

Chumsai, Areeya, BA, '93, Journalism. Miss Thailand 1994 and an English teacher of fifth-year students at Chula Chom Kiao Military Academy, named recipient of the 13th Tokyo Creation Award .

Piumsombun, Purachai. MS, '75, Criminal Justice. Deputy prime minister of Thailand and former Minister of Justice and Minister of Interior. Longtime academic researcher and professor. In 1998, he was a co-founder of the Thai Rak Thai (TRT) political party in Thailand and served as TRT secretary general from 1998 to 2002. In 2002, the Rajabhat Academic Institute named him the Outstanding Politician for Innovating the Social Order Policy. Also served as dean, vice president and president of the National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA), establishing two NIDA campuses. In 1997, he founded Shinawatra University in Thailand, a research university that has since won the 2003 Asian Energy Award for its efficiency and conservation practices. Awarded a Distinguished Alumni Award 2004 by the MSU Alumni Association.

Pongpaibool, Dr. Panom. Ph.D. '74, Higher Education; MA, '70, Educational Administration. Permanent secretary of the Ministry of Education, Thailand, was awarded a Distinguished Alumni Award 2000 by the MSU Alumni Association. In Office of the National Education Commission, directed Thailand's first-ever school-mapping project. Supervised the Thailand/BRIDGRS project supported by USAID. Rose from Secretary General of the Commission and to Ministry of Education. A strong supporter of MSU, he played a leadership role in the Thai MSU Alumni Association and helped raise scholarship funds for students from his village attending MSU.

Silpa-Anan, Dr. Surat, Ph.D. '72, Social-Philosophical Foundations. Ministry of Education. Awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award 1999 by the MSU Alumni Association.


Ertan, Tekin, MBA, '65, HRIM. Deputy Director, Bilkent University, School of Tourism & Hotel Management, East Campus, Bilkent, Turkey. C urrently vice president of the MSU Alumni Club in Turkey. Presented the Joon S. Moon Distinguished International Alumni Award for his professional accomplishments and service to MSU.

Uraz , Cevik.


Bao, Robert. MBA, '68, Marketing. Assistant Director, MSU Alumni Association, and Editor, MSU Alumni Magazine , Michigan State University, 1983 to Present. Author of several books, including "The Michigan State University Experience" (Collegiate Press, 2002).


Hrinak, Donna J. BA, '72. Formerly U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela (2000-2003), Bolivia (1998-2000), and Dominican Republic (1994-1997). Retired from U.S. Foreign Service. Awarded a Distinguished Alumni Award 2001 by the MSU Alumni Association.


Nguyet-Hong, Dr. Phung Thi. '73, Ph.D., Education. Cantho City, Vietnam. Biologist and Project Coordinator in the International Collaboration Office at Cantho University in Vietnam's Mekong Delta. Received the Medal of Education from the Ministry of Education and the Certificate of Outstanding Contributions in the Sector of Pedagogy in Vietnam. Awarded a Distinguished Alumni Award 2004 by the MSU Alumni Association.

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