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Aug. 9, 2016

Northwest Alumni Association to honor 7 for success, service

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Seven distinguished members of the Northwest Missouri State University family will be honored for dedicating time, talent and service to the University during the Alumni Awards Banquet this fall.

The annual event, sponsored by the Northwest Alumni Association, begins at 6 p.m., Friday, Sept. 16, with a social in the J.W. Jones Student Union Ballroom, followed by a dinner at 6:45 p.m. and the awards presentation at 8 p.m.

The banquet annually coincides with Northwest’s Family Weekend activities.

“The contributions of our awards recipients are truly inspiring as we recognize how they are giving back to their communities, excelling in their professions and supporting Northwest Missouri State University,” Bob Machovsky, Northwest’s director of alumni relations and annual giving, said. “The Alumni Awards are a Northwest tradition that celebrate Bearcats achieving greatness while showcasing what it means to be forever green.”

Tickets cost $40 per person or $300 for a table of eight. Reservations will be accepted until Friday, Sept. 3, on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or contact the Northwest Alumni Association at 660.562.1248 or

The honorees for 2016 are listed below.

Distinguished Alumni Award: Steven Wallach

Steven Wallach

Steven Wallach has more than 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 broader national security issues. He also led the company’s relationship with the executive branch and U.S. Congress.

Wallach graduated from Northwest in 1977 and holds a bachelor’s degree in Earth science. He completed a master’s degree in computer resource management at Webster University and is a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College. Wallach also participated in Harvard University’s Senior Leaders in Government program and received numerous awards. Wallach and his wife reside in Fenton, Missouri, and have two grown children.

Distinguished Faculty Award: Dr. Deborah Johnson Toomey

Deborah Johnson Toomey

Dr. Deborah Toomey 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. Toomey joined Northwest’s staff in 1997 and worked for 10 years in the offices of Admissions and Advisement Assistance, establishing the annual Summer Orientation Advisement and Registration (SOAR) program.

Toomey is a two-time recipient of Northwest’s Dean’s Faculty Award for Exemplary Service and a recipient of 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. She recently was appointed to the SSM Health St. Francis Hospital Board of Directors.

She completed her bachelor’s degree in business management and marketing in 1994 and her Master of Business Administration in 1996 at Northwest. She is married to Dr. Rick Toomey, an associate professor of chemistry in Northwest’s Department of Natural Sciences. Her son, Ryan Collier, is a 2015 graduate of Northwest’s Missouri Academy of Science, Mathematics and Computing and a yearling at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Distinguished Faculty Emeritus Award: Cathran Cushman

Cathran Cushman

Cathran Cushman, who passed away in 1983 and is being honored posthumously, came to Northwest in 1967 and retired in 1976, having served as an instructor and general manager of KXCV, Northwest’s public radio station. She developed the KXCV programming vision that remains in place today, almost 50 years later and uses Northwest students as on-air announcers, news and sports anchors.

Mrs. C, as she was known by colleagues and students, envisioned a future for broadcasting that no one else thought possible. She was instrumental in writing grants to assist with the funding for equipment and operational funds from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and she made sure KXCV was an early member of National Public Radio.

She was one of the first women to serve as a public radio station manager in the nation and coordinated the formation of the nation’s first public radio organization, the Missouri Public Radio Association, which later became Public Radio in Mid-America (PRIMA).

Turret Service Award: Robert Moulder

Robert Moulder

Robert Moulder is a native of Kansas City, Missouri, and graduated from Northwest in 1986 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, to be closer to his grandchildren. 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.

Now retired, he enjoys horseback riding and touring on motorcycles.

Honorary Alumni Award: Bud Tice

Bud Tice

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.

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.

He retired in July 2012 and resides in Omaha, Nebraska. He is married and has two grown children.

Young Alumni Award: Abdul–Kaba Abdullah

Abdul–Kaba Abdullah

Abdul–Kaba Abdullah is a 2002 graduate of Northwest with 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 reduced operating expenses by 13 percent, balanced its budget, created a $2 million surplus in its general operating fund, upgraded the city’s 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 Berkeley facility for the Boeing Commercial 777X airliner.

Abdullah is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., St. Louis Area City Managers Association, The Deaconess Foundation Community Advisory Board, a board member for North Newstead Association and a member of the Jr. Board of Jazz St. Louis. He resides in St. Louis with his wife of four years and their three children.

Public Service Award: Greg McDanel

Greg McDanel

Greg McDanel graduated from Northwest in 2002 and has helped strengthen the bond between the University 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.

Outside the office, he enjoys athletics, outdoors and spending time with his 8-year-old daughter, Taylor, who is a third grader at Northwest’s Horace Mann Laboratory School.

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