The MSUM Homecoming celebration will honor six alumni for extraordinary achievements in their professions. Homecoming this year will run from Tuesday, October 12, through Sunday, October 17. Scott Green ’84, Lynne Kovash ’77, Donna Larson ’66, Jerry Martin ’94, and Patsy Stinchfield ’80, have been designated Distinguished Alumni and Tara Rheault ’97, as Outstanding Young Alumna.

The Alumni Awards Banquet will be Friday, October 15 with a 6 p.m. social and 7 p.m. dinner at the Hjemkomst Center. Reservations are required by calling 477-2143. Distinguished Alumni Award winners:

Scott M. Green, Area Manager, Bank of the West

Scott Green has spent most of his life working in banks.  He started humbly in the mail room as a part-time clerk at First Bank System in 1980– four years before he graduated from MSU Moorhead with a degree in finance.  He spent 13 years with First Bank, serving in various capacities.

In 1993, Green joined Community First National Bank as an assistant vice president in the commercial lending department.  He furthered his education, graduating from the University of Wisconsin Graduate School of Banking in 1998 and, in 2001, was named the senior lender of the bank.

By the time Community First was acquired by Bank of the West in 2004, it had grown to 155 offices in twelve states.   Two years later Green was promoted to market manager for Bank of the West.  And today he oversees eight branch locations in eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota as area manager.

“When I reflect back on my years at MSU Moorhead, I recall a time in my life when I knew I had found my passion for the banking industry,” Green says.  “MSUM, with its exceptional curriculum and experienced professors, provided me the tools I needed to pursue a career that spans 30 years.  Without the tremendous opportunities afforded me through MSUM, my passion might never have been realized.”

Green was born and raised in Fargo and graduated from Fargo South High School.  He is active in the community, serving on the boards of the Vocational Training Center and the ShareHouse Foundation. He has also devoted years of service to other non-profits including Bethany Homes, Red River Zoological Society, Fargo Public Schools Foundation, and the United Way of Cass-Clay.  Scott and his wife, Judy, have two children, Benjamin and Allison, and reside in Fargo.

Lynne Kovash, Superintendent, Moorhead Public School District

Lynne Kovash was named the tenth superintendent of Moorhead Area Public Schools on July 14, 2008, after the completion of a national search.

A Moorhead High School graduate, Kovash has a strong background in education, including experiences as a teacher, assistant principal, special education administrator and district administrator.

Kovash received a bachelor’s degree in Language Arts and Secondary Education from Minnesota State University Moorhead. She then completed her master’s degree in Special Education with a license in Specific Learning Disabilities and Emotional Behavior Disorders.

“I was also on the Student Union Programming Board in the 70’s and planned homecoming in those years,” Kovash says.  “I was also a member of the Delta Zeta Sorority and I worked in the gift shop in the union.  MSUM has been a major part of my life both in the classroom and outside the classroom.”

Kovash completed classes in Education Administration through Tri-College University to obtain licenses as a K-12 principal, special education director and superintendent. She completed her doctorate in Educational Leadership through the University of North Dakota.

Kovash served as an assistant principal and coordinator of the Moorhead district’s gifted and talented program before becoming supervisor of planning and assessment.  She coordinated the district’s work in implementing the Minnesota Graduation Standards and directed the information management of the Basic Standards tests.

Besides being involved with Moorhead Rotary, Kovash is a board member of the Minnesota Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation and Trollwood Performing Arts School Coordinating Council. She also serves on the Minnesota Department of Education Local Assessment and Accountability Advisory Committee and on advisory committees for Tri-College University and Minnesota State University Moorhead.

Lynne and her husband, Dennis, reside in Moorhead and have three adult children and six grandchildren.

Donna Larson, President, Larson Design, Inc.

Donna Larson is a gifted professional who has earned the respect of her peers, over and over again.  Since the Daytime Emmy Awards debuted in 1974, lighting designer Larson has won the coveted statue eight times, with 25 nominations.

Larson was a theatre student and a member of the Straw Hat Players in its formative years under founder Delmar J. Hansen and his wife, Rhoda.  “I believe that I have always attributed a great deal of my success to the two of them and the training and education which I received from them,” she says.  I feel that Dr. Hansen and Rhoda challenged us to be the best that we could and I can’t think of anything that has benefited me more.”  As a student, Larson would act, design lights, costumes and sets, stage manage, you name it.  It was great preparation for the career path she chose to follow.

Larson left MSU Moorhead in 1966 with a double major in Speech/Theatre and English and a double minor in French and journalism. She received her MFA in theatre directing from the University of Maryland, College Park. After completing her formal education, Larson taught for a few years, then moved to New York City to work as a technical support representative for Skirpan Lighting Control.  Three years later, she was a lighting designer for the ABC Television Network and 16 years after that she formed her own design firm.

Larson’s experience includes lighting designs for Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, Oprah Winfrey, Good Morning America, World News Tonight and the Olympics on ABC.  Larson Design offers services beyond lighting including locating staff for film and TV productions, providing technical training, producing, directing and production facilities consulting.

Jerry Martin, Director, International Tax

Jerry Martin is a managing director in the international tax services group at RSM McGladrey and leads the upper Midwest region. After graduating from MSU Moorhead in 1994, he began his career with RSM McGladrey in January 1995. He worked as an income tax generalist, assisting middle-market clients in the manufacturing, wholesale distribution and service industries. In this role, he helped clients find solutions to their domestic and international income tax issues.

Martin next worked for Department 56, Inc., where he was responsible for all areas of taxation for the company. During this time, he was deeply integrated in the finance department of the company and was also involved in daily operational issues.

Martin’s past experiences have positioned him to provide expert tax advice to multinational and internationally active companies working with RSM McGladrey’s international tax group. Martin has extensive experience dealing with corporate restructuring and developing and maintaining efficient tax structures both domestically and internationally. Martin is a part of the Global Tax Strategies Group where he consults with clients on designing their foreign corporate structure. He has also dealt with intellectual-property planning to obtain desired tax and business objectives.

Martin graduated with honors and a masters’ degree in business taxation from the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota, and has served as an instructor for the Advanced International Tax course for the master’s in business taxation program at the Carlson School.  He is a lecturer on international tax topics for the Council for International Tax Education and the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants. He is also a frequent instructor for RSM McGladrey continuing professional education classes.

He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Patricia (Patsy) Kenefick Stinchfield, Director and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Infectious Disease/Immunology and Infection Prevention, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota

Patsy Stinchfield has been in the nursing profession for 34 years.  She graduated from MSU Moorhead in 1980 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.  Her time in the Fargo-Moorhead area greatly influenced her interest in pediatrics and community health matters.

After receiving her Master’s degree in Nursing from the University of Utah in 1987 and national certification as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, she began her career in Infectious Disease at the Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota in St. Paul.  She continues as a clinician in the care of children with Infectious Diseases such as HIV and other immune deficiencies and is a Director of a large section at Children’s including the specialties of Infectious Disease, Immunology, Rheumatology, and Infection Prevention.  Stinchfield notes, “One of my greatest pleasures has been directing the Children’s Immunization Project, a community collaborative funded by philanthropy that helps prevent disease through promoting vaccination.”

After dealing with such community infectious disease outbreaks such as the 1990 measles epidemic, Stinchfield’s interest focused on preventing disease through vaccination.  Because of her work on the importance of communicating the great benefits and rare risks of immunization, she was invited in 2004 by the U. S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to sit on the Center for Disease Control’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.  She was the first nurse in the nation to join the committee that makes immunization policy for the United States.  She was a voting member from 2004-2008 approving such policies as the meningococcal vaccine for incoming college freshman.  She continues to serve on this committee as a non-voting liaison member representing the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP).

Stinchfield has volunteered many hours in professional organizations such as President of the Minnesota chapter of NAPNAP and through organizations supporting children such as Girl Scouts.  Stinchfield was born and raised in St. Paul, Minn., and settled back there with her fellow MSU Moorhead classmate Dr. Randy Stinchfield whom she married in 1980 after their graduation.  They have 2 college age daughters, Megan and Shannon, who, by the way are fully vaccinated!

Outstanding Young Alumna Award

Tara R. Rheault, Project Leader, Medicinal Chemistry, GlaxoSmithKline

Tara R. Rheault began her career in chemistry at MSU Moorhead in 1993, graduating summa cum laude with a BA in chemistry in 1997. ’s interest in research was sparked during this time in the Honor’s Apprentice program, which encouraged students to become involved in academic research projects.

Moving across the river to North Dakota State University, Rheault completed her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry under the guidance of Prof. Mukund Sibi in 2002. While at NDSU, she received several national honors including a National Science Foundation Research Fellowship (1998-2001) and an American Chemical Society Research Fellowship (2001-2002).

As part of the Oncology Chemistry group GlaxoSmithKline, Rheault has been involved in lead to candidate optimization for several medicinal chemistry efforts aimed at developing targeted therapies for the treatment of cancer. Notably, Rheault was the main inventor of a novel B-Raf kinase inhibitor, GSK2118436, which is currently being evaluated in clinical trials worldwide for patients with metastatic melanoma.  She began working for GlaxoSmithKline in 2002 and has received numerous corporate awards for her research.

Rheault is the primary author on ten scientific publications including journal articles, book chapters and patents; she has co-authored nine additional scientific publications.

In 2008, Rheault joined a new therapeutic area aimed at finding treatments for muscle wasting disorders. Apart from strictly scientific activities, Rheault is also actively involved in organizing global Women in Science events and has a keen interest in global health issues and comparative effectiveness research.  She is currently enrolled in the master of public health executive program at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Rheault is originally from Fargo, N.D., and likes to return to visit her family when it is not too cold, too hot or hosting too many mosquitoes. When she is not in the lab, she enjoys spending time with her husband and son, traveling with both, gardening and painting.

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