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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

July 24, 2009

Alumni Association to honor five for service to Northwest











Five distinguished members of the Northwest Missouri State University family will be honored during the Alumni Awards Banquet on Friday, Sept. 18.

The annual event, sponsored by the Northwest Alumni Association, will begin with a 6 p.m. social in the J.W. Jones Student Union Ballroom, which will be followed by dinner at 6:45 p.m. and the awards presentation at 8 p.m.

"The Alumni Awards Banquet is an evening of elegance when the association shows its appreciation to individuals who have given their time and talents to Northwest," said Steve Sutton, director of alumni relations. "It is with great pride that we host and honor these Bearcats for their exceptional professional and personal achievements, extraordinary distinction in their fields and devotion to Northwest."

For more information about the Alumni Awards Banquet, or to purchase tickets, call the Office of University Advancement at 660.562.1248 or e-mail . To register online, go to:

Tickets cost $30 per person or $200 for a table of eight. Reservations will be accepted through Friday, Sept. 11, on a first-come, first-served basis.

This year's honorees

Mary Hamilton Purdy

Purdy, a 1972 Northwest graduate, is a consultant with a distinguished military career who became a leader and symbol of women in the U.S. Navy. She will receive the 2009 Distinguished Alumni Award.

As a U.S. Navy officer, Purdy worked extensively with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, unified commands and other government agencies. While serving at the Naval Academy, Purdy was instrumental in shaping many new practices pertaining to the fair treatment of women officers and faculty. During her last assignment with the military before retiring with the rank of commander, she was a senior military fellow at the National Defense University. For the last 10 years, she has worked for Booz Allen Hamilton where she supports the Department of the Navy's Chief Information Officer in workforce planning endeavors.

Purdy, who lives in Davidson, Md., has received the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal and the Navy Commendation Medal with Three Gold Stars.

Dr. Elise Gutshall

Gutshall, an assistant professor of voice at Wayne State College, will be presented the 2009 Young Alumni Award.

Gutshall lives in Wayne, Neb., and is a 2000 Northwest graduate. After majoring in vocal music at Northwest, she continued her education and received a master's from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and a doctorate from the University of Mississippi. In 2007, she received an honorary scholarship from Rotary International to study at the New Zealand School of Music in Wellington, New Zealand. Gutshall continues to perform as a recitalist and clinician nationally and has been an alumni guest recitalist at Northwest.

Dr. Mark Corson

Corson, an associate professor of geography at Northwest, will be presented the 2009 Distinguished Faculty Award.

Corson has been a Northwest faculty member since 1998. He also is the liaison to the Military Science program (ROTC) and is the coordinator of the new interdisciplinary minor in crisis communication and response and has led multiple trips with students and faculty to Macedonia for field training and humanitarian aid. Corson was president of the Northwest Faculty Senate in 2006-2007 and has nine refereed journal articles, nine book chapters and two book reviews in major journals. In addition, he is a brigadier general in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Dr. Frances Shipley

Shipley, a 1961 Northwest graduate, will be presented the 2009 Faculty Emeritus Award.

Shipley, who lives in Maryville, returned to Northwest in 1968 as a faculty member in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences (then home economics) following several years of teaching high school in Iowa. She received a master's from Iowa State University and a doctorate from the University of Missouri-Columbia. After 40 years at Northwest, Shipley retired last year as department chair and dean of the graduate school. She was the first recipient of Northwest's Culture of Quality Award and was president of the National Council of FACS Administrators.

Dave Snider

Snider, a partnership controller at Clearwater Natural Resources, LP in Kansas City, will be presented the 2009 Turret Service Award.

Snider, who lives in Parkville, received a bachelor's degree from Northwest in 1980 and an MBA in 1983. Not only has he served on the Northwest Foundation Board of Directors for six years where he chaired the technology committee, but he also was an active member of the national Northwest Alumni Association Board of Directors for six years. In addition, he has been a member of the Kansas City Alumni Chapter since its inception and assists annually with the Fall Classic at Arrowhead.

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468