2019 Alumni Award Recipients
Alumni Service Award
Ms. Lural Annice Baltimore
B.A. in Sociology and Latin, College of Arts & Letters, Michigan State University | M.A. in Guidance Counseling, College of Education, Michigan State University. She's a former area administrator for the Michigan Disability Determination Services, a founding member of MSU Black Alumni and a Spartan. As the first African American female regional district manager for the State of Michigan's Disability Determination Services, Lural Baltimore's career spanned 38 years. She launched several statewide programs with annual budgets upward of $63 million. Baltimore received two of her field's most prestigious national awards: the Social Security Administration's Commissioners Citation and the Social Security Administration's Associate Commissioner Citation for Outstanding Leadership. She is a recipient of the National Leadership Award from the Institute of Education Leadership. Baltimore served on the Michigan Interagency Task Force on Disability and the Michigan Council on Developmental Disabilities. She was a fellow in the Michigan Leadership Program and the Institute for Educational Leadership. In 1980, Baltimore co-founded the MSU Black Alumni Association, which now supports a number of endowment funds currently exceeding $2 million, providing annual scholarship support to 30 to 40 Spartans, and hundreds of students since inception.'The MSUBA now has nine chapters nationwide. 'Through education, we learn the fundamental skills for living and we'can obtain the necessary tools for solving life's problems. My motivation to encourage students to understand the importance of lifelong education comes from having benefited from my world-class education at Michigan State University.'
Dr. Charles H. Webb Ph.D.
B.A. in Social Science and Philosophy-Religion Teaching Certification, Spring Arbor University | M.A. in Counseling and Student Personnel, Western Michigan University | Ph.D. in Administration in Higher Education, College of Education, Michigan State University. He's president emeritus of Spring Arbor University, MSU vice president emeritus for university development and a Spartan. During his distinguished 32-year career at MSU, Dr. Charles Webb, among other responsibilities, served 12 years as MSU Alumni Association executive director, was president of the MSU Foundation for 10 years and was vice president for university development for 12 years. Under his leadership, The Campaign for MSU committed $1.439 billion, surpassing its $1.2 billion goal 15 months ahead of schedule. Webb served as president of Spring Arbor University for five years until his retirement in 2013. For nearly three years, Webb was assistant vice chancellor for development and alumni relations for the State University of New York System, comprising its 64 campuses and one million alumni. Among several MSU philanthropic endeavors, with his wife of 50 years, Webb established the Chuck and Phillipa Webb Endowment to support MSU students with disabilities pursuing education degrees. Webb has chaired fundraising initiatives for the MSU Retirees Association, showcases College of Music scholars in Grand Rapids, and is a charter member of the West Michigan Senior Alumni Club. 'Michigan State University is nurturing others through education, providing students the necessary set of tools, and then propelling them to do great things. The hallmark of any great university is the accomplishments of its alumni. I'm proud to be one of them.'
Distinguished Alumni Award
Mrs. Julie A Aigner Clark
B.A. in English Literature and Secondary Education, College of Arts & Letters, Michigan State University. She's chief executive officer and co-founder of WeeSchool, founder of Baby Einstein, two-time cancer survivor, and a Spartan. Inspired by her babies and a passion for the arts, Julie Aigner-Clark used her liberal arts education to embark on an entrepreneurial journey that began with founding Baby Einstein, a multimedia infant entertainment company-turned international brand acquired by Disney for $25 million within its first five years. She has since created the Emmy Award-winning Safe Side child safety videos and applied her own experience as a cancer survivor to publish a picture book emphasizing the importance of love for cancer-coping families. Her work developing the healthy, engaged-parenting app, WeeSchool, continues her legacy of supporting millions children and families worldwide. In 2007, Aigner-Clark and her work were recognized by President George W. Bush during his State of the Union Address. She is a recipient of the College of Arts & Letters Distinguished Alumni Award and is a devoted mentor of Spartans in Denver, East Lansing and beyond. 'I believe that every child born is a little opportunity waiting to happen. Impacting the next generation has been the theme for each my companies and something I learned the importance of during my time at Michigan State University. I am so appreciative for the education and values instilled upon me during my time at the university.'
Dr. Mark Allan Kay M.D., Ph.D.
B.S. in Physical Sciences, Lyman Briggs College, Michigan State University | Ph.D. in Developmental Genetics, Case Western Reserve University | M.D., Case Western Reserve University. He's professor of pediatrics and genetics at Stanford University School of Medicine, an internationally known pediatric gene therapy researcher, and a Spartan. Dr. Mark Kay leads the Division of Human Gene Therapy and is the Dennis Farrey Family Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Genetics at Stanford University. His research on gene therapy and genome editing led him to co-found LogicBio Therapeutics. The company's mission is to develop the next generation of genetic medicine by developing lasting cures for rare, life-threatening genetic diseases affecting children. He was a founding board member of The American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy and was its president in 2006. His laboratory has made seminal contributions in non-coding RNA biology and RNA based therapeutics. He has published more than 250 papers in leading journals including Science, Cell, Nature and the New England Journal of Medicine. Kay says his father, former MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine faculty member and Department of Pediatrics chair, inspired him to pursue a degree from Lyman Briggs, from which he is a recognized Distinguished Alumnus. 'I still remember being in Lyman Briggs and being immersed in the culture of innovation and science, which created an environment that really helped me thrive. The philosophy of science class helped me realize that as scientists, we need to educate nonscientists if we want to be leaders that make a difference in the world.'
Mr. Michael Wallace Lamach
B.S. in Engineering, College of Engineering, Michigan State University | M.B.A, Duke University. He's chairman and CEO of Ingersoll Rand, champion of sustainable business practices, and a Spartan. Michael W. Lamach became chairman and chief executive officer of Ingersoll Rand in 2010. He first joined the company in 2004 as president of its Security Technologies sector, before leading the Trane Commercial business, and then serving as president and chief operating officer. Prior to joining Ingersoll Rand, Lamach also served in various global business leadership roles for Johnson Controls. Under Lamach's leadership, Ingersoll Rand has consistently outperformed both the S&P 500 and the S&P Industrial Index. With a business strategy centered on sustainability, the company has reduced global greenhouse gas emissions from operations by 45 percent, and from products by nearly 50 percent. This year, Ingersoll Rand and leading brands Trane and Thermo King announced commitments to achieve carbon neutral operations by 2030 and to reduce emissions from products by one billion metric tons ' or one gigaton. Ingersoll Rand also has industry-leading levels of employee engagement, and was the first industrial company to join Paradigm for Parity. Together with his wife, Lamach established the Michael and Mary Lamach Engineering Scholarship Fund. The couple also hosts students during spring breaks, offers internship opportunities, and supports MSU's College of Engineering's Design Days and the MSU Abbot Society. 'I firmly believe that our students ' along with the rest of their generation ' will push us to higher levels of sustainable practices and world citizenship. There's something special about our Spartan spirit that you can't find anywhere else.'
Dr. Ellen D Williams
B.S. in Chemistry, College of Natural Science, Michigan State University | Ph.D. in Chemistry, California Institute of Technology | Honorary Ph.D. in Science, Michigan State University. She's a distinguished professor of physics at the University of Maryland, former chief scientist of BP and director of the ARPA-E, and a Spartan. An accomplished surface properties and nanotechnology researcher, Dr. Ellen Williams joined the University of Maryland in 1981 and in 1991, founded the University of Maryland Materials Research Science and Engineering Center. She has published over 200 articles, which have been cited over 8,000 times. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003 and the National Academy of Sciences in 2005. In addition, Williams has worked on impacts of science. In 2009, Williams chaired a special committee of the National Research Council to review issues related to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. In 2010, she was recruited to be chief scientist at BP. In 2014, she received Senate confirmation to lead the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy. Williams served on the International Security Advisory Board of the U.S. Department of State, and was also a member of the NAS Policy and Global Affairs Committee. 'Today's innovators are pushing the boundaries of what is possible with energy. But we as scientists must provide policymakers with options that are both technically and economically feasible. I believe it's fundamental for the future of our civilization.'
Honorary Alumni Award
Mr. Kenneth P Nobis
B.S. in General Agriculture, Western Michigan University. He's co-owner of Nobis Dairy Farms, a U.S. Army veteran and an honorary Spartan. A leader in the Michigan and national dairy industries, Ken Nobis has supported MSU's Department of Animal Science and MSU Extension teaching and research for over 40 years, with more than 60 MSU students having received training at Nobis Farms. Upon graduation from Western Michigan University and service in the U.S. Army, Nobis returned to the family-owned Nobis Dairy Farms, now home to 1,100 dairy cows. He is senior policy advisor at the Michigan Milk Producers Association, having served 12 years as president before assuming his current role. When Nobis learned from MSU the benefits milk can provide to alleviate the effects of lead poisoning in drinking water, the MMPA with Kroger Co. donated 12,000 gallons of milk for families affected by the Flint Water Crisis. Nobis serves as vice-chair of the National Milk Producers Federation and is on the board of the U.S. Dairy Export Council. In 2017, he received the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Honorary Alumnus Award, and in 2016, was given the MSU Extension Key Partner Award. 'The Spartan community's `can-do' attitude sets it apart. Working with MSU researchers and numerous students on our farm through the years has illustrated that the Spartan community is innovative and willing to build effective learning opportunities for its students.'
Dr. Shashikant Gupta Ph.D.
Dr. Gupta guides the business strategy and technology direction for Apex CoVantage. Directing the development of numerous trailblazing technologies over the years, Dr. Gupta also serves as Apex's chief technologist. His philosophy of balancing the cognitive power of the human mind with the processing power of computers has guided all of Apex's technological innovations. His passion for identifying and designing next-generation technologies led Dr. Gupta to develop software products like the award-winning ProField mobile workforce management system. A strong sense of social justice inspired his establishment of the Gupta Family Foundation, a private foundation that supports organizations helping disadvantaged people become self-reliant. Prior to founding Apex, Dr. Gupta was a consultant to the U.S. government, developing computer models to address nuclear waste-disposal issues. He holds an MBA and Ph.D. from Michigan State University.
Mrs. Margaret Kettles Gupta
Mrs. Gupta oversees Apex CoVantage global operations and drives the adoption of cutting-edge technologies throughout the organization. An enduring belief that Apex should act not just as a company, but an agent of positive social change, led Mrs. Gupta to serve on the boards of the Gupta Family Foundation and several non-profit organizations, including Wolf Trap (the only national park devoted to the performing arts), Cornerstones, and the Reston Historic Trust, in addition to her role as a trustee of Cleary University. She holds two degrees in Political Science'a BA from the University of Texas at San Antonio and an MA from the University of Michigan.
Young Alumni Award
Dr. Dhaval Govindlal Bhanusali M.D.
B.S. in Human Physiology, College of Natural Science and Honors College, Michigan State University | M.D., College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University. He's a leading dermatologist and laser surgeon in New York and Miami, faculty member of Mount Sinai, digital-health entrepreneur, and a Spartan. Dhaval Bhanusali, M.D. FAAD, is owner and dermatologist for Hudson Dermatology and Laser Surgery in New York. As a member of the MSU Medical Scholars Program, Bhanusali was admitted into medical school at the age of 17 and completed his residency at Mount Sinai, where he now serves on the faculty. He is regularly featured in media outlets, including ABC, Fox, NBC, US Weekly, the New York Times and others. In 2016, Bhanusali was featured nationally and internationally for his pro-bono work on a slashing victim's scars. Bhanusali recently launched Fast Beauty Co, the first skincare line'through Amazon's new in-house accelerator program. His pharma-tech company, Skin Medicinals, was recently featured in Business Insider for its success in lowering drug'prices and improving access to patient medication. An active entrepreneur and investor, he has founded several other companies, including Health Digital, HairStim, AIRE Health and others. 'Staying innovative and utilizing technology the right way is so important in our healthcare system today. Doctors need to think about ways they can positively impact a group beyond their local community. I want to use my talents and skills to find solutions to problems that will have a broader impact.'
Dr. Katherine Mary Niksich D.V.M.
B.S. in Biology, College of Biological Studies, University of Minnesota | M.P.H., School of Public Health University of Minnesota | D.V.M., College Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University. She and husband Carlo Riolo are co-owners of PAW Health Network, partners in revolutionizing the veterinary industry and Spartans. As co-owners and practicing veterinarians for PAW Health Network, Drs. Riolo and Niksich are redefining the veterinary industry. Together, they are developing infrastructure to ensure a balanced and healthy work environment not only for professionals in their own successful clinic, but that also supports MSU veterinary medical students and industry professionals alike. Riolo has provided after-hours and emergency veterinary care since 2006. A Michigan native, Niksich has been practicing veterinary medicine in the Wausau, Wisconsin-area since 2007. The couple share a 30-acre hobby farm and have three children together. Riolo and Niksich are investing in the MSU student experience and in their lives as future professionals. Their PAW Health Mentorship Program, a partnership with the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine and PAW Health's Fund for Student Success and Wellness, is creating a flexible framework to make a lasting impact on students and post-graduates. They have made a five-year financial pledge to support changes in the college experience. Riolo regularly travels to East Lansing, to engage students on issues including starting a clinic, running a business and general professional wellness. 'Our fire burns for those who come after us, and we yearn to create a process that supports individuals we will never meet. If it all goes according to plan, we'll have become the driving force for change in the veterinary industry. We'll become the beacon for hope.'
Mr. Michael James Pruente
B.A. in Supply Chain Management, Broad College of Business, Michigan State University. He's a leader in total talent management and workforce transformations, supply chain optimization, and a Spartan. With over 10 years industry experience, Michael Pruente, Jr. worked for Shell and ConocoPhillips before joining WG Consulting in 2015. He has led numerous transformation projects during his career for major multinational companies who see fast-changing labor markets, cost pressures, changing work habits and fluid regulations as opportunities for improving operational effectiveness and managing risk. He has led large-scale projects at Molina Healthcare, USACS, Shell Oil, BHP Billiton and ConocoPhillips. An engaged and philanthropic alumnus, Pruente has established two MSU scholarships, including the Sandra Pruente Memorial Scholarship to honor his mother, and named a team room in the new MSU Minskoff Pavilion. Pruente was Broad College of Business Young Alumni Representative and an Alumni Advisory Board member. He was MSU Alumni Club Houston president from 2012 ' 2015. He regularly provides MSU students professional development opportunities, and shares valuable industry insights. 'I got involved with Broad College of Business Alumni Board to stay connected to MSU and to have a direct impact of helping students. Being a Spartan to me is being part of a large family that will help each other.'
Dr. Carlo Alexander Riolo D.V.M.
B.S. in Veterinary Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University | D.V.M., College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University. He and wife Katherine Niksich are co-owners of PAW Health Network, partners in revolutionizing the veterinary industry and Spartans. As co-owners and practicing veterinarians for PAW Health Network, Drs. Riolo and Niksich are redefining the veterinary industry. Together, they are developing infrastructure to ensure a balanced and healthy work environment not only for professionals in their own successful clinic, but that also supports MSU veterinary medical students and industry professionals alike. Riolo has provided after-hours and emergency veterinary care since 2006. A Michigan native, Niksich has been practicing veterinary medicine in the Wausau, Wisconsin-area since 2007. The couple share a 30-acre hobby farm and have three children together. Riolo and Niksich are investing in the MSU student experience and in their lives as future professionals. Their PAW Health Mentorship Program, a partnership with the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine and PAW Health's Fund for Student Success and Wellness, is creating a flexible framework to make a lasting impact on students and post-graduates. They have made a five-year financial pledge to support changes in the college experience. Riolo regularly travels to East Lansing, to engage students on issues including starting a clinic, running a business and general professional wellness. 'Our fire burns for those who come after us, and we yearn to create a process that supports individuals we will never meet. If it all goes according to plan, we'll have become the driving force for change in the veterinary industry. We'll become the beacon for hope.'