Alumni Alliance to honor outstanding alumni

fsThe University of Missouri Alliance of Alumni Associations and Extension will honor six individuals for service to the university at its 2009 Outstanding Alumni Service Awards dinner April 21 in Jefferson City, Mo.

Outstanding Alumni Service to the University of Missouri System: U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill
Sen. McCaskill received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a law degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law.

She has served the state of Missouri since graduating from the university, first in the Missouri Court of Appeals, then as an assistant prosecutor in Kansas City. Following more than a decade of service to the state legislature, Sen. McCaskill went on to become the first female prosecutor in Jackson County. She was sworn in as Missouri Auditor in 1999, a position she held until 2006 when she became the first woman from Missouri elected to the United States Senate.

Sen. McCaskill has been extremely supportive of the University of Missouri System during her tenure in the General Assembly and as state auditor. In addition, she was particularly supportive of UMKC while serving as an assistant prosecutor in Kansas City. As a U.S. senator, she has represented the interests of the university and the state of Missouri in Washington, D.C.

Outstanding Alumni Service to the University of Missouri-Columbia: Rep. Bryan Pratt
Rep. Pratt received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a law degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law, where he served as associate managing editor of the Missouri Law Review and was awarded Order of the Coif and Order of the Barristers.

First elected to the House in 2002, Rep. Pratt serves as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and speaker pro tem. As a member of the House, he has focused on tax relief, eminent domain, immigration and economic development.

Rep. Pratt received the prestigious Henry S. Geyer Award from the Missouri Legislative Network of the Mizzou Alumni Association, which recognizes public officials and citizens who have made a positive contribution to higher education in Missouri.

He is also a member of the Missouri and the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Associations and the University of Missouri Alumni Association.

Outstanding Alumni Service to the University of Missouri-Kansas City: Dr. Reaner Shannon
Dr. Shannon has been involved with UMKC for more than three decades; first as a student, receiving a master’s degree and a doctorate of education, than as an educator and advocate for minority students interested in the School of Medicine.

In myriad other ways Dr. Shannon’s service and generosity have helped strengthen the connections between the UMKC School of Medicine and gifted minority students. For example, she was involved with several outreach programs within the School of Medicine, including the Summer Scholars and Saturday Academy programs, which help expose academically gifted minority students and disadvantaged high school students to careers in the health care industry.

Under her leadership, the Summer Scholars program helped eighty-one underrepresented students gain admission to UMKC’s prestigious six-year medicine program.

Though she retired from the university is 2008, Dr. Shannon continues to tirelessly promote the importance of education for the next generation of students by participating in various community service activities, such as youth reading programs. Thanks to her efforts, countless young people have been able to pursue their dream of a career in health care.

Outstanding Alumni Service to the University of Missouri-St. Louis: Rep. Rick Stream
Rep. Stream received an associate degree from Meramec Community College and a bachelor’s degree in business administration and an M.B.A. from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Throughout his time in Jefferson City, Rep. Stream has demonstrated his continued support of the university, and the St. Louis campus in particular.

First elected to the Missouri House in 2006, he currently serves as vice chair on the House Budget Committee. Rep. Stream has also been named Outstanding Legislator by his peers.

Prior to serving the Missouri House of Representatives, Stream worked as a budget/project manager for the Department of Defense, Army Aviation and Logistics Commands, and as a United States Naval Officer. He also served on the Kirkwood School Board for more than a decade and as president of the board for two years.

Outstanding Alumni Service to the Missouri University of Science and Technology: Darlene Ramsay
Darlene Ramsay earned a bachelor’s degree in metallurgical engineering from Missouri S&T, formerly the University of Missouri-Rolla. Prior to her position as director of advancement services, Ramsey served as a research specialist at Missouri S&T’s center for materials research.

She has previously held positions as a business instructor, quality assurance manager and a metallurgical engineer. At her current position, Ramsay is responsible for annual giving, alumni records and prospect research within Missouri S&T’s university advancement department.

Ramsay is a past president of the Miner Alumni Association and has served on the Missouri S&T board of trustees. She is currently a member of the University of Missouri System’s Alumni Alliance and the Order of the Golden Shillelagh. Additionally, she serves as co-chair of the scholarship committee of the Women’s Auxiliary to the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers and recruitment and panhellenic advisor for Chi Omega sorority.

Ramsay was honored as “Advisor of the Year” by the Order of the Omega and is also a member of Missouri S&T’s speakers’ bureau.

Outstanding Alumni Service to the Missouri Extension: Sam Hawkins
Mr. Hawkins has chaired the University of Missouri Extension State Council since 2004. As chair, he oversees the eleven-member state council, which provides support and advocacy at all of levels of government for Extension programs at the University of Missouri and Lincoln University. State council members play a vital role in our state, acting as liaisons among the more than two thousand county Extension members, university administrators and the citizens of Missouri.

Prior to his position as council chair, Mr. Hawkins chaired the Shelby County Extension Council and the Northeast Regional Extension Council. He also served as co-chair of the MU Extensions County Council Leadership Development Committee and as a member of the MU Extension Business Development Advisory Board.

Mr. Hawkins is the owner of Hawkins and Milner, LLC, a golf cart and lawn mower sales company. He has been an active member of the University of Missouri Alumni Alliance for more than a decade. Friends of Mr. Hawkins say he is best known for his “unflagging zeal” for the University of Missouri Extension’s land-grant mission and his ability to educate legislators, county commissioners and other influential citizens about the value and importance of Extension’s work across the state of Missouri.

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