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

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Pittsburg State honors three for lifetime achievement

Pittsburg State University will honor three alumni with its Meritorious Achievement Awards during commencement activities May 18-19. The PSU Alumni Association established the Meritorious Achievement Award in 1958 and it is the highest award based on career achievement presented by the Alumni Association. Candidates for the award must have demonstrated substantial professional growth and advancement over an extended period of time. The candidate’s activities, including participation and leadership in civic and professional organizations at the local, state, and national levels, are also considered by the awards committee in selecting the recipients.

This year’s recipients are Bob Gaddy, chairman and CEO of Gaddy Investment Co.; Collis Ross Geren, a professor, dean of Graduate Studies and vice provost for research at the University Arkansas; and Kenny Joe Kunstel is the business development manager for all Boeing Army programs and related activities in the Virginia Tidewater area.

Bob L. Gaddy
Bob Gaddy is the chairman and CEO of Gaddy Investment Company, which he founded in 1980. He is also president and CEO of Vestamerica, Inc., a Colorado real estate firm; managing partner of Bridgewater Estates, LLC, a real estate development company; and chairman and CEO of RG & G, Inc., an oil company.

A native of Carthage, Mo., Gaddy earned his BSBA in accounting and math from Pittsburg State University in 1963.

Gaddy joined the accounting firm of Peat, Marwick, Mitchell and Co. in Tulsa in 1963. By 1970, he had become the managing partner of Gaddy & Co. CPAs in Arkansas. By the time he sold that accounting practice in 1979, it had expanded to include offices in Arkansas, Louisiana, Honduras and the Virgin Islands.

Gaddy’s personal investments included Mexican Original Products and Pace Industries, Inc. He sold Mexican Original Products to Tyson Foods, Inc., in 1983 and assumed operational management of Pace Industries in 1984, becoming chairman and CEO of the company in 1993. In 1996, Pace Industries merged with Leggett and Platt, Inc., and Gaddy became chairman and CEO of Leggett and Platt Aluminum Group and Pace Industries, Inc.; and senior vice president and a member of the board of directors of Leggett and Platt, Inc. He retired in 2002.

Gaddy is a member of the boards of directors for the Washington Regional Medical Center Foundation, the Arvest Bank – Fayetteville, and the Fayetteville Public Education Foundation.

Gaddy and his wife, Linda, live in Fayetteville, Ark.

Collis Ross Geren
Collis Geren is a professor, dean of Graduate Studies and vice provost for research at the University of Arkansas – Fayetteville. He also has direct responsibility for the Arkansas Biotechnology (Biomass) Center, the University of Arkansas Press, the Public Policy Ph.D. Program, the Micro Electronics-Electronics Ph.D. Program and the Cell and Molecular Biology Ph.D. Program.

Geren earned a bachelor of science degree in education from Northeastern State College, where he majored in science education. He received a master of science degree in chemistry from Pittsburg State University (then Kansas State College of Pittsburg) in 1972. He received a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Oklahoma State University in 1974.

Geren began his professional career as a high school science teacher in Picher, Okla., where he taught from 1967-1970. He was a research associate at Oklahoma State and then the University of Kansas Medical Center from 1974 until 1976. Geren joined the University of Arkansas faculty in 1976, earning the rank of associate professor in 1979 and professor in 1984.

At the University of Arkansas, Geren served as vice chairman of the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department in 1986-87 and chairman from 1987 until 1991. He was named coordinator of the Arkansas Biotechnology Center in 1987, dean of the Graduate School in 1991, and vice provost for research in 2001, all titles he still holds.

Among his many awards and honors, Geren has received the NDEA Predoctoral Fellowship, the NIH Research Career Development Award and the American Men and Women of Science 1986 Distinguished Alumni Award in Teaching and Research. He is listed in “Who’s Who in the Southwest,” and “Who’s Who in Frontier Science and Technology.”

Geren and his wife, Lois, who is a 1970 PSU graduate with a BS in chemistry, live in Fayetteville, Ark.

Kenny Joe Kunstel
Kenny Joe Kunstel is the business development manager for all Boeing Army programs and related activities in the Virginia Tidewater area. He is also the coordinator for Boeing’s Army field offices. As such, he identifies business opportunities, assists in the development of business strategies and formal proposals and serves as the principal customer representative in support of four Boeing business units.

Kunstel received a bachelor of arts degree in physics from Pittsburg State University in 1965 and a master of science degree in physics from Pittsburg State University in 1967.

Kunstel joined the Army in 1967 and served as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam in 1968-69. His military career took him to posts in Fort Riley, Kan.; Fort Knox, Ky.; Fort Hood, Texas; and Fort Leavenworth, Kan. From 1982-88, Kunstel served at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., where he was first a staff officer for NATO programs and then deputy for international programs in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army. He retired from the Army in 1988 as a lieutenant colonel.

In 1988, Kunstel joined Rockwell International and from 1988 until 1996 he served as senior manager of business development and country director for Israel of the Hellfire Program. From 1996, when Rockwell was acquired by Boeing, until 2001, Kunstel served first as senior manager and then as director of business development for weapons programs. He was named the field office business development manager for Army programs in 2001.

Among his many awards and honors, Kunstel holds the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Legion of Merit, two Bronze Stars, two Meritorious Service Medals, and eight Air Medals.

Kunstel and his wife, Carol Ann, live in Williamsburg, Va.

---Pitt State---