The University of Missouri–St. Louis Alumni Association celebrated six distinguished UMSL alumni at the university’s Founders Dinner Sept. 24.
Traditionally recognizing alumni whose extraordinary careers and significant roles in community service set them apart from their peers, this year’s high honors went to Judy L. Burns, Cassandra F. Kaufman, Julie Nash, Matthew D. Shank, Andrew J. Theising and Evelyn Bailey Moore.
UMSL Chancellor Tom George, who presented the awards before a large crowd gathered at the Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis in Clayton, Mo., described them as “six individuals who have excelled in their fields and made us all proud.” The recipients of the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award and Outstanding Young Alumni Award include:
Judy L. Burns, BS accounting 1979, who co-founded Patriot Machines with her husband in 1991. Since then, the company has grown into a leading supplier of commercial and defense aerospace products, garnering numerous awards. So has Burns herself. In 2008 she was honored with the Missouri First Lady Award for business and innovation. At UMSL, she serves on the Leadership Council for the College of Business Administration and as a mentor to students. She is an excellent role model for women interested in business and technology fields. Burns is also a board member for the Boys and Girls Club in St. Charles, Mo., where her company is based.
Cassandra F. Kaufman, MSW 2005, deputy director of the St. Louis Mental Health Board. Kaufman draws on extensive experience in nonprofit management and leadership in health and human services in her current role, where she oversees strategic community investments, partnerships and initiatives. A member of the community advisory board for UMSL’s School of Social Work, she has been a tremendous support to the school since earning her graduate degree a decade ago. She has also distinguished herself in the social service community, lending her expertise in both regional and national capacities. Prior to her tenure with the St. Louis Mental Health Board, Kaufman served as vice president for community investment at the United Way of Greater St. Louis, where her leadership impacted several major projects and high-profile campaigns – including the United Way of America Financial Sustainability Partnership National Steering Committee.
Julie Nash, MSN 2005, manager of the Trauma and Acute Care Surgery Program at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Nash is a leader in trauma care, improving access to and delivery of trauma care throughout the region and the state. She has impacted the profession on a national level as well. Currently president of the Society of Trauma Nurses, Nash is also an active participant in the Trauma Centers Association of America. She is a trauma program manager course instructor around the country with the American Trauma Society. Here in St. Louis, her employees describe her as an integral resource and exemplary manager who has led them through five successful reviews by the American College of Surgeons and multiple projects at the hospital.
Matthew D. Shank, PhD psychology 1988, MA 1986, president of Marymount University in Arlington, Va. Since taking the helm at Marymount in 2011, Shank has strengthened the identity and advancement of the university. A focus on intellectual curiosity, service to others and a global perspective has developed at Marymount under his direction. Building on his education at UMSL, he has impacted not only Marymount but the field of marketing and many students and programs throughout his career. From excelling in the classroom to implementing real-world applications, his work has inspired communities to work together toward goals that reach beyond any one individual, campus or region. Previously, Shank was dean of the School of Business Administration at the University of Dayton. There, he oversaw a $12 million budget, improved the school with the creation of new centers and concentrations and established an ambassador program benefiting students and the local business community.
Andrew J. Theising, PhD political science 1997, MA 1996, BA 1990, who has dedicated his career to higher education and regional collaboration. Theising’s inspiration came from his experience at UMSL. One of the first students to graduate from the Pierre Laclede Honors College, he went on to earn his master’s degree and PhD from his alma mater as well. Through his scholarship, service and teaching at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, he has spearheaded multi-university efforts and major partnerships tackling regional challenges. He is also a nationally recognized expert on East St. Louis, Ill. Theising not only studies urban issues in depth – he works tirelessly to apply that research in the community and work toward solutions. One example is his leadership of the SIUE East St. Louis Center, which serves some 300,000 meals each year to children in need. This fall, Theising’s son is following in his father’s footsteps at UMSL, where he is a first-year honors college student.
Evelyn Bailey Moore, BS electrical engineering 2003, who received the Outstanding Young Alumni Award. Within just a few years after earning her college degree, Moore was making tremendous contributions at work and in the St. Louis region. Joining the Boeing Company in 2004, she rose rapidly within the organization and now manages its efforts on the United States Air Force F-15 Eagle Passive/Active Warning and Survivability System. She assumed this role at the age of 31, making her the youngest female engineering manager at Boeing as well as its only African American female K-Level Manager for a technical team. Moore was the recipient of a 2013 UMSL Women’s Trailblazer Award. Moore has also been recognized for her leadership with the Center for Women in Transition, a nonprofit organization that helps women be productive citizens after serving time in prison.
In the decades since its founding in 1963, UMSL has been a conduit of education and opportunity for more than 92,000 alumni. For more information about the UMSL Alumni Association, see umslalumni.org.