Pittsburg State University will honor four alumni with the Kenneth K. Bateman Outstanding Alumni Award during Homecoming activities on Saturday, Oct. 18. The award is presented by the PSU Alumni Association in recognition of professional and civic achievements. The award is named in honor of Dr. Kenneth K. Bateman, a longtime director of the Alumni Association, who retired in 2004.
The alumni will be honored at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 17, during the annual Crimson and Gold Dinner in the Overman Student Center. Tickets are required for the dinner, but a public reception in honor of the award winners will be held prior to the dinner at 5 p.m. in the building's Heritage Room.
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 at halftime during the football game against Nebraska-Omaha, starting at 2 p.m.
Following are the 2008 Outstanding Alumni:
Jennifer A. Boren
Jennifer A. Boren is vice president of information technology at Ferrellgas Partners LP, an Overland Park-based Fortune 1000 company that is one of the largest propane distributors in the United States. It has approximately one million customers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
Boren earned a bachelor's degree in management from PSU in 1992.
Boren previously served as director of IT services at U.S. Central in Lenexa, and has also worked for Koch Industries in Wichita. She was director of technical services for Ferrellgas before being named vice president in April 2008.
In her new position, she oversees Ferrellgas Information Technology and the Ferrell North America Supply Division, which supports the company's retail locations. She works to integrate advanced technologies into the company's existing process.
Boren lives in Overland Park with her husband, John Boren, and her daughter, Rebecca Jenkins.
Curtis J. Crespino
Curtis J. Crespino is the interim vice chancellor for university advancement at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He oversees the university's entire fundraising operation, including annual giving, major gifts, and monitoring and reporting the university's $250 million combined endowment. He is also an acclaimed actor and vocalist in Kansas City-area musical theater.
Crespino earned a BA in communication from PSU in 1988, and followed that with an MA from PSU in 1989.
Crespino has enjoyed a 19-year career in higher education fundraising, volunteer management and special event execution, serving in numerous capacities at UMKC and Metropolitan State College of Denver. In his current job as interim vice chancellor, he manages a staff of 51 with a total budget of $4 million.
He has been named a charter honorary member of Phi Lambda Sigma, a national pharmacy leadership group, and as an honorary alumnus of the UMKC School of Pharmacy.
Crespino lives in Olathe.
Heather (Seybold) Knechtges
Heather L. (Seybold) Knechtges is the fuel filter engineer for the Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Mich. Her responsibilities include working with all fuel filtration within Ford as well as providing support to the company's plastics and materials engineers. She was designated as the subject matter expert for electrostatic dissipation for fuel systems at the vehicle level.
Knechtges graduated in 1996 with a BS in chemistry from PSU, and stayed to earn her MS in plastics engineering in 1998.
Right after earning her master's degree, Knechtges was hired by Hallmark Cards Inc. to serve as operations engineer in the advanced engineering division. She supported manufacturing on advanced projects involving injection molding and the application of plastics within consumer products. In 2000, she moved to Visteon Corp., a spin-off of Ford that produces automotive parts. There she worked her way up the ladder until being transferred to Ford in March 2006.
Knechtges has been awarded numerous specialist titles at Ford and Visteon, and has submitted several projects for patents.
Knechtges lives in Saline, Mich., with her husband, David, and two young children, Drew and Ryan.
Alan D. Marble
Alan D. Marble is president of Crowder College in Neosho, Mo. He has been with the two-year school for more than 20 years.
Marble attended Crowder College in 1973, later earning his bachelor's degree from Missouri Southern in 1979. In 1988, Marble earned a master's degree in psychology from PSU. He recently earned his Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska.
Marble has been with Crowder College since 1987, when he began a 10-year stretch as director of development and business relations. In 1997, he became dean of development and business relations, and moved to the role of dean of business and support services in 2001. In 2007, he was named president of Crowder after serving as interim president during a nationwide search.
Under Marble's leadership, Crowder College has experienced significant enrollment growth, as evidenced by the more than 3,200 full-time and part-time students who enrolled for the fall 2008 semester. Marble's job has been to preserve the school's culture while managing growing enrollment.
Marble lives in Neosho with his wife, Lori, and three children, Jessica, Dexter and Logan.
©2008 Pittsburg State University