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2014 Monty Award Winners

Twelve members of the SDSU family will be recognized for significant contributions to the university and their communities.
This year's Monty Awards gala on April 26 will honor 12 distinguished alumni.
This year's Monty Awards gala on April 26 will honor 12 distinguished alumni.

The Monty Awards gala is the annual signature event of the San Diego State University Alumni Association. This year’s dinner and awards presentation honoring 12 distinguished alumni and friends of the university will be held Saturday, April 26 at the new Aztec Student Union Montezuma Hall.  

Monty Awards are bestowed by the SDSU Alumni Association. They are given to those who have made significant contributions to the university, the San Diego community or California, nationally or internationally.  

The Monty is a symbol of achievement and success presented to distinguished alumni from each of SDSU's seven academic colleges, Imperial Valley Campus and Library and Information Access. Distinguished service awards also are given to an exceptional alumni volunteer and an outstanding university employee.

Honorees for 2014 include:

College of Arts and Letters
Keith Behner

Keith Behner (’71, political science), is a land use consultant and former investment real estate broker whose experience includes city planning along with community and municipal service. A supporter of the core curriculum within SDSU’s Latin American Studies program, he is also involved in organizations that foster education, environmental sustainability and social justice.

College of Business Administration
William E. Cole, Sr.

William E. Cole, Sr. (’57, accounting; ’63, MBA), former president of William E. Cole Accountant APC, is a founder of the Beta Alpha Psi accounting student leadership group. Known for his service on corporate boards and in non-profit and community organizations, he has maintained support for SDSU as a lecturer, by starting an endowed chair honoring a former professor and by establishing the William E. Cole Director position at the Lamden School of Accountancy.

College of Education
George J. Cameron

George J. Cameron (’70, Spanish; ’76 MA, education), former superintendent of the National School District , serves as an advisory board member for the National Center for Urban School Transformation. Recognized as an innovative educator, he has been recognized with numerous awards including the Association of California School Administrators Superintendent of the Year for the San Diego and Imperial County region. 

College of Engineering
Thomas D. Franklin 

Thomas D. Franklin (’90, electrical and computer engineering), a partner with Kilpatrick Townsend, was named Lawyer of the Year by Law Week Colorado for his work in bringing a patent office to Denver and helping clients patent new innovations. He also piloted a unique effort to direct the firm’s pro bono commitment toward an educational initiative by providing intellectual property support for teams of students in SDSU’s Zahn Innovation Center.

College of Health and Human Services

Harold Douglas Harvey

Harold Douglas Harvey (’55, kinesiology), former Major League Baseball umpire, worked in the National League for 30 years and umpired seven All-Star Games and five World Series. A member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and SDSU Aztec Hall of Fame, he has served as an outspoken cancer awareness advocate educating ballplayers and students about the dangers of tobacco use. 

College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts
Thom McElroy

Thom McElroy is an artist, graphic designer, entrepreneur and co-founder of Volcom, Inc., a company that designs, markets and internationally distributes youth-oriented products including clothing, footwear and accessories. Through his support of SDSU’s Lavin Entrepreneurship Center, he shares his passion, creativity and marketing know-how with a new generation of aspiring business professionals. 

College of Sciences
Janet Vohariwatt

Janet Vohariwatt (’86, computer science) is CEO and founder of iChanneX Corporation, a company providing an online information and instant portal information system. She has led teams in establishing innovative IT solutions for customers and has developed cost-effective solutions for the healthcare market aimed at delivering an electronic medical records system serving multi-disciplined providers.

Library and Information Access
Lester I. Tenney, Ph.D.

Lester I. Tenney, Ph.D. (’67, MA business administration) is an insurance and finance professor emeritus also widely known as an international advocate for survivors of the infamous Bataan Death March during World War II. A former POW and final commander of American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor, he is an author and founder of Care Packages from Home, an organization dedicated to the support of American troops fighting abroad.

SDSU Imperial Valley
Gilbert G. Otero

Gilbert G. Otero (’78, social science) is the district attorney for Imperial County, California and will soon enter a third term as president of the California District Attorneys Association in addition to serving on the executive boards of the California Border Alliance Group and the Imperial Valley Drug Coalition. He is chair of the Imperial County Narcotics Task Force and has taught criminal justice and public administration courses at SDSU-IV.

Distinguished Alumni Service Award
Matt and Stephanie Dathe

Matt (’90, journalism) and Stephanie (’95, liberal studies) Dathe have a long history of involvement with and support for SDSU as volunteers, philanthropists and Alumni Association board members including Matt’s term as a board president. Stephanie serves as director of the Institute for Meetings and Events in SDSU’s L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality & Tourism Management and both she and Matt are previous Monty Awards event co-chairs.

Distinguished University Service Award
R.D. Williams 

R.D. Williams, (’87, MS mass communications) is director of Business Development and Contract Housing for Aztec Shops, the campus commercial auxiliary, supervising large campus construction and acquisition projects. He serves on the College Area Community Council and was a member of the SDSU Alumni Association Board of Advisors where he was instrumental in the opening of the Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center.

More information

For tickets, sponsorships and additional information, visit the Monty website or contact Jen Ranallo at 619-594-ALUM (2586) or via e-mail.

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