2013 Monty Award Winners Award Ceremony set for April 20

The SDSU Alumni Association has announced the 2013 winners of its prestigious annual Monty Awards. Sixteen distinguished alumni will be honored at an April 20 gala dinner and awards presentation at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine.

This year for the first time, a team of individuals will share a single award. Seven Aztec alumni who were part of NASAs Mars Curiosity rover team will be honored by the College of Engineering.

The Monty is a symbol of achievement and success presented to distinguished alumni and friends of the university from each of SDSU's seven academic colleges and the Imperial Valley Campus. Distinguished service awards also are given to an exceptional alumni volunteer and an outstanding university employee.  First awarded in 1971, the Monty recognizes those who have made significant contributions to the university, the San Diego community or California, nationally or internationally.

Honorees for 2013 include:

Larry Banegas


Larry Banegas (87, social work, MSW), president and founder of, has served as a member of the Barona Tribal Council for the Barona Band of Mission Indians and is a former director of social services for Southern Indian Health Council.  A teacher of Kumeyaay culture and tradition, he is also a Board Member for the American Indian Recruitment Program, which serves the educational needs of Indian youth.


College of Arts and Letters
The Honorable Ronald D. Roberts - San Diego County, California District 4 Supervisor


The Honorable Ronald D. RobertsRonald D. Roberts ('65, social science), is the Fourth District supervisor for San Diego County, California. An architect and former San Diego Planning Commission chairman, he is also a former San Diego city council member considered a pioneer in working with diverse local communities and helping San Diego State University's outreach to these communities over several decades.


College of Business Administration
Catherine M. Stiefel


Catherine M. Stiefel ('92, accounting) promotes and supports higher education and educational opportunities for underserved communities. In addition to her involvement with the Barrio Logan College Institute, she also serves on the SDSU Campaign Initiative Committee, is a member of the Business Alumni Chapter and the Charles W. Lamden School of Accountancy Advisory Board in the College of Business Administration.


College of Education
Sherrill L. Amador, Ed.D.


.D.Sherrill L. Amador ('64, business administration, education), Ed.D., is a career educator who spent more than three decades as a college administrator including the position of community college president. A past president of the SDSU Alumni Association where she presided over one of the most significant expansions of lifetime membership in the organization's history, she has served on several education-related advisory boards and commissions.

College of Engineering
Mars Curiosity Rover Team


Joseph D. Brown Douglas J. ClarkJordan P. Evans
Brandon T. FlorowMark S. RyneBonnie C. Theberge
Amanda Jeremiah ThomasCourtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech


First row (l to r): Joseph D. Brown ('05, aerospace engineering), entry, descent and landing engineer; Douglas J. Clark ('85, physics), avionics systems engineer; Jordan P. Evans ('93, aerospace engineering), engineering development and operations manager. Second row (l to r): Brandon T. Florow ('05, aerospace engineering), mechanical systems engineer; Mark S. Ryne ('80, astronomy), space craft navigator; Bonnie C. Theberge ('86, electrical engineering), Mars Science Lab Test Bed group supervisor. Third row: Amanda Jeremiah Thomas ('96, aerospace engineering), NASA Deep Space Network supervisor


Team members directly contributed to aspects of design, development, testing and operation of NASA's $2.5 billion program that landed the Curiosity rover on Mars August 5, 2012, beginning an on-going mission to determine whether the Red Planet could ever have hosted microbial life. Curiosity will help scientists study the climate and geology of Mars and assist in determining the role of water on the planet while helping to prepare for human exploration.


College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts
Terry L. Atkinson


Terry L. Atkinson ('69, public administration), chief executive officer at Atkinson Management Consulting, is considered one of the premier banking figures in the business with more than 35 years of experience in the public finance arena. Known for his work on expanding municipal bond price transparency, he is an active member of The Campanile Foundation Board of Directors.

College of Sciences
Kristian L. Brown, M.D.


.Kristian L. Brown ('00, biology), M.D., Ph.D, is a surgeon at Detroit Medical Center and an adjunct assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Wayne State University College of Engineering.  A supporter of the College of Sciences' Center for the Advancement of Students in Academia (CASA), he is a coauthor of several scholarly papers whose work has garnered numerous research awards.

SDSU Imperial Valley
Margaret Hunter Calvin


Margaret Hunter Calvin ('86, history) is president and co-founder of the Imperial County Child Abuse Prevention Council. Instrumental in raising awareness of child abuse-related issues in the Imperial Valley, she has helped implement child care education courses, promoted accessible resources for at-risk communities and has been a strong advocate for re-entry women who seek education and career opportunities after starting families.

Distinguished Alumni Service Award
Edward W. Blessing


Edward W. Blessing ('60, interdisciplinary studies) is the Managing Director of Blessing Petroleum Group, LLC, a company that assists in the implementation of energy related natural resource projects. A member of The Campanile Foundation Board of Directors, he is also a past president of the Alumni Association who has been instrumental in supporting the Alumni Center Campaign, the War Memorial and the Troops to College Fund among other projects.

Distinguished University Service Award
Bryan K. Ransom


Bryan K. Ransom ('93, music education), SDSU's director of athletic bands, oversees the Marching Aztecs, Pep Band, Varsity Band, Winter Guard, Drumline and all of the SDSU instrumental ensembles. A percussionist who is entertainment coordinator for the San Diego Chargers, he also produces Super Bowl pregame, halftime, and postgame shows, Major League Baseball and International Tennis Federation events, and various NCAA Championships.