The Missouri Western State University Alumni Association has announced the names of its alumni awards honorees. A virtual Alumni Association Awards Banquet will be premiered on YouTube in October.
Award winners are:
Pat Modlin ’88, retired executive and current business owner: Distinguished Alumni Award.
After retiring from Cerner Corporation as vice president of engineering strategy and operations, Modlin and his wife Terri bought property in Downtown St. Joseph and started two businesses, Felix Street Gourmet and Room 108. He serves on numerous community boards and committees, including as chair with Terri of the United Way 2020 campaign.
Dr. Regan Dodd, associate professor of health and chair of the Department of Health Professions: Distinguished Faculty Award.
Dr. Dodd has been at Missouri Western since 2012. She serves as Missouri Western’s Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR) and will chair the MIAA FAR Council. She also is in charge
of the Chiefs Training Camp internship program, which attracts up to 60 students from across the country each summer.
Isaac Collins ’11, business owner: GOLD (Graduate of the Last Decade) Award.
Collins competed in the Craig School of Business franchise program in 2012 and won the opportunity to purchase a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory store in Iowa. Three years later, he sold that business and bought a Yogurtini store in Kansas City. At 31, he now owns three Yogurtini stores and is the co-founder of Superhero Yoga.
Mary Shuman, retired: Herb ’35 and Peggy Iffert Award for Outstanding Service to the University.
Shuman has been a member of the MWSU Ambassadors since 2006, served as president for three years and remains a vital member of the Ambassadors Executive Board where she has served as chair of the Scholarship Committee since 2007. She is also a charter member of the Missouri Western Arts Society.
Greg VerMulm ’89, partner and chief product officer with MarketSphere Unclaimed Property Specialists: Great Griffon Award, Craig School of Business
VerMulm served on the Alumni Board for 12 years, with two years as president, and also served on the Missouri Western Foundation Board of Directors. He is currently serving his second term on the Craig School of Business Advisory Committee, where he served two terms as Chair.
Brett Esely ’01, Missouri Western’s senior associate athletic director for external affairs: Great Griffon Award, College of Professional Studies
Esely handles the day-to-day functions related to marketing, advertising, public relations, corporate partnerships, event management, ticketing for Griffon events and outside operations for the Kansas City Chiefs Summer Training Camp hosted by Missouri Western. He also has oversight of the Sports Information Office, men’s and women’s golf programs and the Griffon Cheer Squad.
Lee Murdock ’10, knowledge manager, KU Health System: Great Griffon Award, School of Nursing & Health Professions
Murdock helped implement Heartland Health’s first telehealth solution while working as a CHL RN. Lee is now part of the KU Health System as a Knowledge Manager – a brand new role at KU and in the Healthcare IT field.
Jordan (Jay) Alford ’20: Clifford Hughes ’55 Award
Alford was a highly engaged student before graduation. She was a Resident Assistant in Scanlon Hall, a Student Ambassador, Program Assistant for the Center for Student Involvement as well as a Co-Producer and Hostess of the Griffon Newscast. She was a captain of the Mystics Dance Team and later founded the Missouri Western Dance Company. She also held a number of leadership positions across campus.
Merle Phillips ’20: Graduating Student of the Year
Phillips engaged in awarding-winning research both at Missouri Western as well as Harvard Medical School. He was also recognized multiple times with awards from the American Chemical Society. Merle served in a variety of critical leadership roles and was a frequent volunteer at outreach events.
Federica Salmaso ’20: International Student of the Year
Salmaso was involved in community service and volunteer opportunities with the tennis team. Federica graduated Magna Cum Laude and served as an officer for the Psychology Honors Program. She also served as Program Coordinator for International Student Services and organized many events.
Congratulations to all our award recipients!
Alumni Association award nominations are accepted year round. All recipients and their accomplishments are intended to reflect the values, excellence and integrity of Missouri Western State University. If you would like to nominate someone for an award, visit the Missouri Western Alumni Association webpage, missouriwestern.edu/alumni. Past recipients are also listed on the webpage.