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Northwest Missouri State University

2013 Northwest Alumni Association Award Winners


Al Cade

Distinguished Alumni Award

Dr. Al Cade '83, '85  

Dr. Al Cade was appointed interim dean of the School of Education at Missouri Southern State University in 2012. Dr. Cade previously served as assistant dean of the School of Education and Chair of the Teacher Education Department. Dr. Cade has also held positions in collegiate teaching, coaching and administration at Northwest, Missouri Southern and Minnesota State University-Mankato. He began his professional life as an educator as an instructor and has continuously been promoted throughout his twenty-plus years at Missouri Southern. In addition, he has served on various committees at the national, state, local and campus levels. Dr. Cade also spearheaded the development of a diversity committee on the Missouri Southern campus which now sponsors the Martin Luther King Day of Service.  Dr. Cade was twice nominated for the CASE Professor of the Year Award. He was inducted into the Northwest Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003. Following his collegiate athletic career at Northwest, Cade signed a free-agent contract with Tampa Bay and had a stint in the Canadian Professional football league. Those who submitted nominations for the award describe him as a leader and role model in all that he does as well as a person who exemplifies professionalism, dignity and faith to those around him. He lives in Joplin. 

 Keaton Guess

Young Alumni Award

Keaton Guess

Keaton Guess '08 is a senior account manager at Yahoo! While at Northwest, Guess was president of Tau Kappa Epsilon's Delta Nu Chapter leading the fraternity to win the national organizations Top TEKE Award, involved in Blue Key, Mortar Board, Cardinal Key, Order of Omega and very active in St. Jude's Up Til Dawn. He was an assistant coach for the Maryville High School men's soccer team, on the executive staff for X-106 and a print ad designer for the Northwest Missourian. During his summers Guess spent his time working at Wonderland Camp. A camp for special needs children and adults. He lives in New York, NY.

 Aaron Johnson

Distinguished Faculty Award

Dr. Aaron Johnson

Dr. Aaron Johnson is an associate professor in the Department of Natural Sciences. He began his career at Northwest in 2007 and specializes in economic and structural geology. Dr. Johnson serves as the director of the Honors Program and chairperson for the Distinguished Lecture Series Committee. Beginning in fall, 2013, he will act as Geology Discipline Coordinator. Dr. Johnson is National Vice President for the Central Region of Sigma Gamma Epsilon, the national earth science honorary society, and he acts as Associate Editor for the Journal of Geoscience Education. He helps to organize Girl Scout Science Saturday to provide hands-on science activities for girls ages 5-18 and also serves on the Nodaway County Fair Board. Johnson lives in Maryville.

 Cindy Pickerel

Honorary Alumni Award

Cindy Pickerel

Cindy Pickerel was very active in the St. Joseph Alumni and Friends Chapter before moving to Colorado. Since moving, she and her husband, Mark, have stepped up to assist in getting the Colorado Alumni and Friends Chapter more active. Cindy could always be found wearing her green wig on Bearcat football game days. She retired in 2012 from the St. Joseph School District as a Spanish teacher and department chair. She and Mark live in Broomfield, Colorado, where she spends her time hiking and snow-shoeing the mountain trails, cycling, baking, antiquing for treasures to fill their new home, and spending time with her daughter and granddaughter.

 Al Sergel

Distinguished Faculty Emeritus Award

Al Sergel '91

Al Sergel retired in 2004 after 37 years of full time teaching, serving the last 23 years as the Director of Bands at Northwest Missouri State University. During his tenure at Northwest the Band program grew in numbers and reputation. He was the co-founder of the Four State Honor Music Festival that helped recruit students to Northwest’s Music Department. He came out of retirement in 2012 to return to Northwest as an adjunct professor to direct the Bearcat Marching Band.  He resides in Kansas City.

 Wayne Woolsey

Turret Service Award

Dr. Wayne Woolsey '70, '71 

Dr. Wayne Woolsey ’70, ’71 spent 32 years in education as a special education teacher, coach, elementary, middle school and high school principal and assistant superintendent before retiring. Following retirement, he was a faculty member at Northwest and taught numerous outreach classes. He served as the northwest regional facilitator for the Missouri Leadership Academy for nine years. During that time, he assisted with training nearly 3000 active and aspiring principals. He also served on the Re-Inventing Secondary Education Committee at Northwest. He is instrumental in organizing golf tournaments that raise scholarship dollars for Northwest students. Woolsey resides in Excelsior Springs.

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