Eight outstanding graduates of Cleveland State University will be honored for their service, leadership and career achievements at the 19th annual Distinguished Alumni Awards Dinner. This yearís honorees are: Gary S. Adams (George B. Davis Award), Christopher S. Ronayne (Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs), Robert L. Norton (Nance College of Business Administration), Dr. Andrius Kazlauskas (College of Science), Andrew F. Puzder (College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences), Craig A. Black (Fenn College of Engineering), Carol G. Emerling (Cleveland-Marshall College of Law), and Father Kevin M. Conroy (College of Education and Human Services).
The awards ceremony will be held Friday, June 5 at 6 p.m. at the InterContinental Hotel and Conference Center, 9801 Carnegie Ave. Tickets are $65 each; tables are available. Proceeds benefit the Alumni Associationís Student Leadership Scholarship fund and alumni programs. For reservations, call 216.687.2078 or visit www.csuohio.edu/alumni. Photos of the honorees are available from Cleveland Stateís Department of University Marketing at 216.687.2290.
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Recognizes a graduateís generous dedication to the growth and advancement of Cleveland State University. Alumnus Davis, for whom the award is named, received a BBA in 1941 and an MBA in 1981.
Gary S. Adams earned a JD from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1983. The Hudson resident began his career with the Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers Association in 1975 and has served as president since 1987.
An active life member of the Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association, he served as a trustee and is now serving as president. He also chairs the law school's Development Council. Adams received the Law Alumni Association Presidentís Award in 2006.
Christopher S. Ronayne earned a master of urban planning, design and development degree in 1996 from the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs. The Cleveland resident is president of University Circle, Inc. In four years, he has launched initiatives to build homes, revitalize Euclid Avenue, and bring visitors to the Circle.
Ronayne formerly served as the City of Cleveland planning director, chief development officer, and chief of staff. He is a member of the Levin College's Visiting Committee, has guest lectured in urban affairs classes, and participates in the College's mentoring program.
Robert L. Norton earned a bachelor of business administration degree from the Nance College of Business in 1973. The Medina resident is the president, chairman and CEO of GCA Services Group of Cleveland. Prior to joining GCA in 2006, he was the chairman and CEO of Floral Transworld Delivery Inc. (FTD) in Chicago. The avid motorcyclist is also the owner of Century Harley Davidson in Medina.
Since 1992, he has served on the Nance College of Business Administration Visiting Committee. He is a member of the University's Campaign for Cleveland Steering Committee.
Dr. Andrius Kazlauskas earned a bachelorís degree in chemistry and biology in 1981 and a Ph.D. in chemistry in 1986, both from the College of Science. The Boston-area resident is a senior scientist and associate professor of ophthalmology at the Schepens Eye Research Institute at Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Kazlauskas completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and has held academic appointments at the National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine and the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. He has made hundreds of presentations, and has been published more than 120 times in such prestigious scientific journals as Science and the New England Journal of Medicine. Currently, he is the principal investigator on three federal and four foundation grants, including a Lew R. Wasserman Merit Award from the Research to Prevent Blindness Foundation.
Andrew F. Puzder earned a bachelorís degree in history from the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences in 1975 and a JD from Washington University School of Law in 1978. The Santa Barbara, Calif. resident is the chief executive officer of CKE Restaurants, Inc. (Hardeeís and Carlís Jr.). He joined the firm in 1997 and has held several top management positions.
Prior to joining CKE, he was executive vice president and general counsel for Fidelity National Financial, Inc., and chief executive officer of the Santa Barbara Restaurant Group, Inc. Puzder has shared his business expertise as a keynote speaker at the CSU Executive Forum.
Craig A. Black earned a bachelorís degree in 1975 and a masterís degree in 1976, both in electrical engineering from the Fenn College of Engineering. He lives in Sewickley, Pa.
Black is the senior vice president of technology for the electrical sector of the Eaton Corporation. He joined the firm in 2001 and has held several top management positions. He formerly held leadership roles at Ingersoll-Rand Company and Allen-Bradley Company/Rockwell International Corporation.
As a CSU student, Black participated in the Co-Operative Education program. After graduation, he taught electrical engineering at CSU as a visiting instructor. He has served on the Engineering College's Visiting Committee since 2002.
Carol G. Emerling earned a JD from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1955. She lives in Santa Monica, Calif. and is retired.
Her distinguished career includes service as regional director of both the Cleveland and Los Angeles offices of the Federal Trade Commission, corporate secretary of Wyeth (formerly American Home Products Corp.) for 19 years, chairman of the board of the Global Health Council, the largest health alliance in the world, and attorney-in-charge of the Legal Aid Defenderís Office in Cleveland.
A pioneer in the field of law, Emerling helped found the Law Review and was its first female editor. She also was the first woman to head a public defenderís office and the first woman to head a Federal Trade Commission regional office. A life member and past president of the Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association, she has served as a member of the law school's National Advisory Council since 2001.
Father Kevin M. Conroy earned a Ph.D. in urban education from the College of Education and Human Services in 2006. A missionary priest in the Maryknoll order, he lives in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where he does humanitarian work.
Through Maryknollís Little Sprouts program, he has helped some 320 HIV-positive orphans. He also developed counseling tools in the Khmer language to help vulnerable groups of Cambodian children.
In partnership with CSU, Fr. Conroy developed a masterís degree program in clinical psychology/counseling at the Royal University of Phnom Penh.
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