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Northwest Missouri State University


2016 Northwest Alumni Association Award Winners

Abdul Abdullah

Young Alumni Award

Abdul-Kaba Abdullah ’02  

Abdul-Kaba Abdullah ’02 has 12 years of experience in government affairs and economic development in the St. Louis region. He serves as city manager for the city of Berkeley, Missouri. Under his management in 2015, the city of Berkeley reduced operating expenses by 13 percent, balanced its budget and created a $2 million surplus in its general operating fund. The city also upgraded its bond and credit rating for the funding of a $6 million police station and successfully partnered with Boeing to begin a $200 million expansion of its facility for the Boeing Commercial 777X airliner. 

The Late Cathran Cushman

Distinguished Faculty Emeritus Award

The late Cathran Cushman

Cathran Cushman, who died in 1983 and is being honored posthumously, came to Northwest in 1967 and retired in 1976, serving as an instructor and general manager of KXCV, Northwest’s public radio station. She developed the KXCV programming vision that remains in place today and uses Northwest students as on-air announcers, news and sports anchors. “Mrs. C” was instrumental in writing grants to assist with funding for equipment and operational funds from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. She made sure KXCV was an early member of National Public Radio. 

Greg McDanel

Public Service Award

Greg McDanel ’02 

Greg McDanel ’02 has helped strengthen the bond between Northwest and the Maryville community since becoming city manager in 2012. He began his career in local government for the city of Independence, Missouri, and completed his master’s degree in public administration with an urban emphasis at the University of Missouri–Kansas City. With more than 13 years of experience in local government and six years as a manager, McDanel has obtained Credentialed Manager Candidate status from the International City Manager’s Association (ICMA). He also remains active in the Missouri City Manager’s Association (MCMA) and the Maryville Host Lions Service Club. McDanel has been selected four times as a presenter for the International Town & Gown Association Annual Conference for his collaborative work with the city of Maryville and Northwest.

Robert Moulder

Turret Service Award

Robert Moulder ’86 

Robert Moulder ’86 is a native of Kansas City, Missouri, and graduated from Northwest with a bachelor’s degree in computer science. Upon graduation, he was hired by Cerner Corporation where he spent 29 years in the engineering division. Moulder recently retired from Cerner and relocated near Springfield, Missouri. During the last 15-plus years of his Cerner career, he was active in recruiting activities for Cerner as the Northwest engineering executive sponsor. He was involved with mentoring programs, High School Computer Science Day, mock interviews, professional advisory panels, and he hired several Bearcats for Cerner. 

Jennifer Nicholson

Honorary Alumni Award

Willard "Bud" Tice 

Willard "Bud" Tice was an athletic trainer at Northwest from 1971 to 1975 before moving to West Virginia University to become its head football trainer. Tice went on to work with the Buffalo Bills professional football team, Baxter Travenol and as an assistant administrator at the Buffalo General Hospital, retiring in 2012. He received his bachelor’s degree from Indiana State University in 1968. He was later drafted into the United States Army and served from October 1968 through June 1970. After receiving an honorable discharge, Tice enrolled in graduate school at Eastern Michigan University, where he completed his master’s degree in 1971. 

Dr. Deborah Toomey

Distinguished Faculty Award

Dr. Deborah Toomey ’94, ’96  

Dr. Deborah Toomey ’94 ’96 joined Northwest’s faculty full time in 2006 and serves as assistant professor of marketing in the Melvin D. and Valorie G. Booth School of Business. Previously, Toomey worked for 10 years in Northwest’s offices of Admissions and Advisement Assistance, establishing the annual Summer Orientation Advisement and Registration (SOAR) program. Toomey is a recipient of Northwest’s Dean’s Faculty Award for Exemplary Service and the Dean’s Faculty Award for Student Support. She also is a recipient of the Tower Service Award for faculty and the Tower Service Award for academic advising.

Steven Wallach

Distinguished Alumni Award

Steven Wallach ’77

Steven Wallach ’77 has 38 years of experience in the defense, intelligence and civil communities. He serves as an independent consultant for national security activities, supporting both government and industry. Wallach’s career includes more than 32 years with the National Geospatial–Intelligence Agency (NGA) and its predecessor organizations. After retiring from federal service in 2010, Wallach became senior vice president of GeoEye, where he was responsible for oversight and guidance on NGA and national security issues. He also led its relationship with the executive branch and U.S. Congress.