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The SDSU Alumni Association honors distinguished alumni on April 14. The SDSU Alumni Association honors distinguished alumni on April 14.

Montys Honor Aztec Alumni

The SDSU Alumni Association will recognize distinguished alumni and others on April 14.
By Tobin Vaughn

The SDSU Alumni Association has announced 11 winners of this year’s prestigious annual Monty Awards. 

They will be honored at an April 14 gala dinner and awards presentation at downtown San Diego’s U.S. Grant Hotel. The event emcee will be Steven Luke (’99), news reporter for San Diego’s NBC television affiliate, KNSD.

About the Montys
The Montys are a time-honored tradition at SDSU, sponsored by the SDSU Alumni Association. They were first given out in 1971 in recognition of 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 2012 include:

College of Arts and Letters

Lilly Cheng

Lilly Cheng (’84, Ph.D., teacher education) serves as managing director of the Confucius Institute in the SDSU College of Arts and Letters and as a member the Campanile Foundation Board.  Internationally recognized in her profession in terms of teaching, research and community service, her contributions to the internationalization of SDSU include three decades of building collaboration between the university and major partners in China and Taiwan.

College of Business Administration

Craig Stevens

Craig T. Stevens (’82, finance) is founding principal and chief executive officer of Mar West Real Estate with a career encompassing the commercial real estate, financial and technology industries. In addition to his involvement with the university’s Entrepreneurial Management Center, he serves on both the College of Business Administration Advisory Board and Corky McMillin Center for Real Estate Advisory Board and is head of the Orange County alumni chapter.


College of Education

Joe Fulcher Jr.

Joe Fulcher Jr. (’83, psychology, ’86 MS, school psychology, ’02 Ph.D. special education), chief student services officer for the San Diego Unified School District, has had a major impact on education and services in San Diego-area school districts over the past 25 years. His leadership as an innovative administrator positively influences school district policies and procedures affecting thousands of students and their families.


College of Engineering

Richard Kerr

Richard Kerr (’74, physics, ’83 MS, electric and computer engineering) is a noted technologist and wireless communications executive who holds seven patents in the area of wireless communication. As executive director of the Zahn Center for Engineering Innovation, he fosters collaboration among entrepreneurial SDSU students from technical fields and business fields to accelerate and incubate real ideas from concepts into functioning companies.


College of Health and Human Services

Vicki Shepard

Vicki L. Shepard (’73, social work, ’74, MSW) is senior vice president of strategic and government relations for Healthways, a global health and well-being improvement company. A former deputy assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, she has an extensive record of accomplishment in national, state and local health and human services and community service programs, as well as policy development for health care reform.

College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Scott Allison

Scott W. Allison (’86, journalism) is president and chief executive officer of Allison & Partners, one of the fastest-growing public relations and public affairs agencies in the nation. Instrumental in launching the Bay Area Regional Council, his success has led to recognition as a finalist for both the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award and the American Business Awards Communications Executive of the Year.

College of Sciences

Robert M. Kaplan

Robert M. Kaplan (’69, psychology) has a widely recognized history in high priority behavioral health areas such as tobacco-induced lung disease. Currently the director of the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research at the National Institutes of Health, he is known for his commitment to evidence-based behavioral research and broad knowledge of health services research and epidemiology.


Library and Information Access

Harold K. Brown

Harold K. Brown (’59, physical education, speech), a noted civil rights and community and economic development leader, fought racial discrimination in an effort to bring social and economic opportunity to underserved areas of San Diego. He embodies the university’s mission by using his education for the betterment of others, contributing to knowledge and seeking solutions to the world’s problems through excellence in teaching, research and service.

SDSU Imperial Valley

John Renison

John Renison (’97, MPA) is the District 1 supervisor for Imperial County, Calif. A former Calexico mayor and city council member, he is also a former director of development for SDSU’s Imperial Valley campus, where he was instrumental in raising the visibility of SDSU and in securing funding for the establishment of the university’s Brawley satellite campus.


Distinguished Alumni Service Award

Margo Kasch

Margo Kasch (’67, mathematics) has been active since her student days in many aspects of the university, particularly the SDSU Alumni Association. Involved for decades in a variety of programs, boards, enterprises and supportive roles on campus, she is known for her generous commitment of time, talent and personal resources to affect a positive influence on SDSU students, faculty and staff.


Distinguished University Service Award

Steve Fisher

Steve Fisher, SDSU’s men’s head basketball coach, has led the elevation of the Aztecs’ program to national prominence, helping to bring prestige to the university and its athletics department. As his teams have galvanized the campus, community and alumni everywhere, he has welcomed notoriety to enhance and advance important initiatives ranging from cancer screening to student scholarships.


For tickets to The Montys, sponsorship availabilities and additional information, visit or contact Jen Ranallo at 619-594-ALUM (2586) or