Pittsburg State University - Pittsburg, Kansas
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News and information from Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas.

Friday, October 13, 2006

PSU honors alumni at Homecoming

Pittsburg State University will honor five alumni during PSU Homecoming activities on Saturday, Oct. 21. The award is presented by the PSU Alumni Association in recognition of professional and civic achievements. Beginning this year, the Outstanding Alumni Award is named in honor of Dr. Kenneth K. Bateman, longtime director of the Alumni Association, who retired in 2004.

The Outstanding Alumni will be honored Friday, Oct. 20, during the annual Crimson and Gold Dinner in the Overman Student Center. A public reception in honor of the award winners will be held at 5 p.m. in the Student Center.

On Saturday, the honorees will ride in the annual Homecoming parade, which begins at 9 a.m. in downtown Pittsburg. They will then be recognized on the football field at half-time of the football game in Carnie Smith Stadium.

Following are the 2006 Outstanding Alumni along with brief biographical sketches:

Donna L. Dutcher
Donna L. Dutcher is a Pro Se Law Clerk, working with the magistrate judges of the United States District Court in the Central District of California. Her work includes reviewing pleadings, participating in in-court proceedings and settlement conferences, performing research, and drafting legal opinions and bench memoranda for both civil and criminal cases.

Dutcher earned a bachelor's degree in sociology from Pittsburg State University in 1993, graduating summa cum laude. She earned a juris doctorate from Harvard Law School in 1999.

Her professional career includes service as a litigation associate with the Katten Muchin Rosenman firm of Los Angeles, Calif. She also served as a litigation associate for Browne, Woods and George LLP in Beverly Hills, Calif. While in law school, she was a summer clerk for Arthur Benson & Associates, a plaintiff civil rights firm in Kansas City. Before entering law school, she served as a research assistant for the Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies at the University of Kansas, where she conducted research and applied psychology.

Dutcher is a member of the California Bar Association and the Los Angeles County Bar Association. She is a volunteer attorney for the Adoptions Project, assisting low-income families in adopting children with special needs. She is a member of the Phi Delta Phi and Alpha Kappa Delta national honor societies.

At PSU, Dutcher was a Top 10 Senior within the College of Arts and Sciences. She was a PSU Honors College member and received departmental academic honors. She received the PSU Presidential Award in military science, as well as numerous scholarships including the George N. Spiva scholarship. Today she is a member of the Pittsburg State University Centennial Commission and is a life member of the PSU Alumni Association.

Dutcher lives in Los Angeles.

Robert Dale Gardner
Robert Dale Gardner is a senior engineer at Raytheon Aircraft Corporation, a Wichita, Kan., company that designs and manufactures piston aircraft and business jets. Through the aircraft division, Gardner works to design and develop new technology for various aircraft projects.

Gardner earned a bachelor's degree in technology from Pittsburg State University in 1984.

His professional engineering career spans 21 years, and has included the development and oversight of several long-term missile and aircraft projects. His projects have included the redesign of portions of the Hawker 800 Business Jet, the integration of a new flight data recorder for the 1900D Commuter Turboprop, the conception and airframe design of the Super MQM-Target Drone, the design and development of the first Mach 2.5 Target Drone for the U.S. government (now in production), and support of the systems and airframe design of the JPATS Air Force Trainer.

Gardner is a senior member of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. In 2006, he received the Six Sigma Gold Award Status, the Raytheon "Ace" Award for customer support, and Federal Aviation Administration certification. He is Raytheon's campus recruitment manager at PSU, and was nominated last year for the Dean of Technology's advisory council. Since 2004, he has coordinated Raytheon’s support of PSU’s entry into the annual Moon Buggy Contest.

Gardner and his wife, Mitzi, live in Douglass, Kan. They have two children, Amanda, 14, and John Robert,11.

Jeffrey J. Quirin
Jeffrey J. Quirin is an associate professor for the School of Accountancy at Wichita State University in Wichita, Kan. In addition to research and service, his teaching responsibilities include financial accounting, financial and managerial accounting for executive MBA students, and financial accounting research for accounting graduate students. Employed at WSU since 2000, he was granted tenure and promoted to his current position in 2004. In 2006, he was named the W. Frank Barton Distinguished Chair in Business.

Quirin earned a bachelor's degree in accounting from Pittsburg State University in 1994, and a master's degree in accounting from PSU in 1995. He earned a doctorate in accounting from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1998.

Quirin's professional career also includes service as an assistant professor in the Department of Accounting at Kansas State University. He served as an accounting graduate assistant at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, as well as at PSU.

He serves as treasurer for the Parsons Education Foundation, and is secretary and treasurer of the Parsons Country Club Association. He is a member of the Institute of Management Accountants, as well as the American Accounting Association.

Quirin was the holder of the Grant Thornton, LLP Faculty Fellowship from 2003-2006, until he was promoted to his current position this year. Since 2001, he has been nominated annually for the WSU Academy for Effective Teaching Award, and since 2002, he has been nominated annually for the WSU Board of Trustees Excellence in Teaching Award.

In 2004, he received the WSU Barton School of Business Researcher/Writer of the Year Award, as well as the Undergraduate Instructor of the Year Award. He has also been nominated for the WSU Young Faculty Scholar Award and the WSU Excellence in Research Award on multiple occasions.

Quirin and his wife, Dianna (MS ’06), live in Parsons, Kan. They have three children, Dalton, 13, Danica, 12, and Jayce, 1.

Fredrick Lewis Strasser
Frederick Lewis Strasser is the director for the Intermountain Medical Center construction project in Salt Lake City, Utah. As the largest contract ever awarded to a single general contractor in Utah's history, the project includes five major hospitals connected by enclosed bridges and corridors. At a cost of $300 million, the center will be 1.3 million square feet in size when it is completed in August of 2007. As project director, Strasser oversees the training and education of 22 construction leaders, as well as the work of 1,200 employees.

Strasser earned a bachelor's degree in building design and construction from Pittsburg State University in 1976. He earned a master's degree in construction technology from PSU in 1981.

Strasser's professional career includes 27 years of service with Okland Construction Company in Salt Lake City, where he has worked on variety of construction projects in Arizona, Utah, California, Nevada and Montana. He has written multiple articles for the corporate company policy manual on construction techniques, building commissionings and project closeouts, and has been honored with employee and safety awards. In the 1970s, he served as a freeway construction field engineer for Peter Kiewit and Sons in Omaha, Neb., and as a hospital construction field engineer for Martin K. Eby, in Wichita, Kan.

Over the years, Strasser has served as the head of construction for several building projects at his hometown church, St. Mary of the Assumption, in Park City, Utah. He has completed multiple renovations of the church and its properties. He serves as treasurer of the Knights of Columbus Council 1129, and is a member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem.

Strasser was named Superintendent of the Year in 1999 by the Associated General Contractors, and received the Utah Heritage Foundation Stewardship Award in 2001. In 1998, he was named Knight of the Year by the Knights of Columbus Council 1129.

Strasser and his wife, Pamela (BA ’79), live in Park City. They have two children, Shannon, 25, and Kyle, 21.

Michael Paul Zafuta
Michael Paul Zafuta is an orthopedic surgeon working in private practice at New Century Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Pittsburg, Kan.

Zafuta earned a bachelor's degree in biology from Pittsburg State University in 1990. He earned his medical doctorate with honors at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, in 1994, and completed his orthopedic surgery residency at the University of Texas-Southwestern in Dallas, Texas, in 1999. In 2000, he was awarded a Sports Medicine Fellowship from the Steadman-Hawkins Clinic in Vail, Colo.

Zafuta's professional career includes membership with numerous medical organizations. He is a member of the American Medical Association, the Kansas Medical Society, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the Arthroscopy Association of North America, and the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine. He is the preceptor for the Missouri State Physician Assistant Program, and is the 2006 surgical section chief for Mount Carmel Medical Center.

In medical school, Zafuta became a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society, and was named Outstanding Student in Anatomy, as well as Outstanding Student in Orthopedic Surgery. He was named an Outstanding Alumni of Frontenac High School, and is vice president of the Pittsburg YMCA Board of Directors, as well as a member of the Pittsburg Elk's Lodge.

Zafuta is a volunteer physician for Frontenac High School, and a volunteer team physician for PSU and Neosho County Community College. He operates a free injury clinic for high school and junior high athletes each Saturday in the fall, as well as a free injury clinic for PSU athletes during the school year. He is a volunteer lecturer for the PSU Nursing Department and premedical club and is a life member of the PSU Alumni Association.

Zafuta and his wife, Kristen (MBA ’91), live in Pittsburg. They have two children, Hannah, 12, and Adam, 9.

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