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University of Missouri Alumni Alliance Gives Awards for Outstanding Service


Christian Basi

March 04, 2008

The University of Missouri Alliance of Alumni Associations and Extension will honor six individuals for outstanding service to the University at its 2008 Outstanding Alumni Service Awards Dinner at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City on Tuesday, March 4, 2008. Awardees this year include Congressman Kenny Hulshof, Columbia; Representative Judy Baker, Columbia; Freda Mendez Smith, Kansas City; Representative Steven Tilley, Perryville; Representative Bob May, Rolla; and Senator Frank Barnitz, Lake Spring.

Congressman Kenny Hulshof

Outstanding Alumni Service to the University of Missouri System

First elected to Congress in 1996, Kenny Hulshof is serving his sixth term as the U.S. Representative for the 25 counties in northeastern and central Missouri that make up the ninth Congressional district. Hulshof holds a bachelor's degree in agricultural economics from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a law degree from the University of Mississippi.

After beginning his public service career serving with the Cape Girardeau County Public Defender's Office and the Cape Girardeau County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, Hulshof joined the Missouri State Attorney General's Office as a special prosecutor.

Among other honors, he is a recipient of the Lon O. Hocker Award for Trial Advocacy from the Missouri Bar Association and the Distinguished Non-Alumnus Award from the University of Missouri School of Law.

Representative Judy Baker

Outstanding Alumni Service to MU

Rep. Judy Baker was first elected in 2004 to represent part of Boone County, District 25, in the Missouri House of Representatives. Baker received a bachelor's degree in educational psychology from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She also received a master's degree in divinity from Southern Seminary and a master's of health administration from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Baker is an adjunct professor of managerial economics at Columbia College and a health care consultant and a managing partner at Cura Advantage, a health care consulting firm.

She has been recognized as an Emerging Health Care Leader by the National Council of State Legislators. She also received the Committed Statesperson Award from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and A Better Missouri for Children Award from the Missouri Parent Teacher Association.

Freda Mendez Smith

Outstanding Alumni Service to UM-Kansas City

Freda Mendez Smith has been executive producer and host of her own cable television program and a radio show highlighting the news and achievements of the Hispanic community. She received a bachelor's degree in Spanish from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Mendez Smith serves as president of the UMKC Women's Council and as a member of the Agapito Mendoza Scholarship Committee to support ethnic minority students. She has served on the UMKC Alumni Association Board and on the search committee for the chancellor in 2005, and has helped to establish a new Hispanic Advisory Council at UMKC. She is the recipient of the Bill French Alumni Service Award from UMKC.

She also is active in the community, serving MANA de Kansas City, a national Latina organization, as a board officer, president and national board member. She is the recipient of many honors for her work, including MANA's National Service Award and the Jefferson Award from the American Institute for Public Service.

Representative Steven Tilley

Outstanding Alumni Service to UM-St. Louis

Rep. Steven Tilley represents part of Perry, St. Genevieve and St. Francois counties, District 106, in the Missouri House of Representatives. Elected to the House in 2004, Tilley serves as the majority floor leader and as chair of the Ethics Committee.

He received a bachelor's degree from Southeast Missouri State University and a doctorate of optometry from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Tilley, an optometrist, is a member of the Missouri Optometric Association, which has recognized him with a Young Optometrist of the Year Award and a Distinguished Service Award. He also serves as a CHAMPS mentor and is a member of the Perryville Optimist Club and the Missouri Chamber of Commerce.

Representative Bob May

Outstanding Alumni Service to Missouri S&T

First elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 2000, Rep. Bob May represents part of Phelps County, District 149. May received a bachelor's degree in forestry from the University of Illinois.

May is a Navy veteran and retired forester who spent nearly 30 years with the U.S. Forest Service as a district ranger and forest staff officer.

He has been named an Area Volunteer Honoree by the Meramec Regional Planning Commission and the Man of the Year by Rolla's Good Life magazine and K-Day Radio. He also was named an Honorary Knight of St. Patrick in recognition of his service to Missouri S&T. May is active in the community, having served as the past president of the Rolla Optimist Club and of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of South Central Missouri.

Senator Frank Barnitz

Outstanding Alumni Service to University of Missouri Extension

Sen. Frank Barnitz was first elected to the Missouri Senate in 2005 to represent the 16th District, which includes Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Montgomery, Osage, Phelps and Pulaski counties. He previously served in the Missouri House of Representatives from 2000 until his election to the Senate.

Barnitz attended Southwest Missouri State University and is a graduate of the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources' Agriculture Leaders of Tomorrow program. He is the manager of Barnitz Farms Inc., in Lake Spring, Mo.

He serves on the University of Missouri Wurdack Farm advisory committee, and is a member of the Dent County Cattlemen's Association and the Farm Bureau. Among other honors, he is a recipient of the Farm Bureau Friend of Agriculture Award. Barnitz is a longtime supporter of Extension 4-H, agriculture and business development programs.