2011 - 18th Distinguished Alumni

Back to Distinguished Alumni

Back to Alumni by Year

Photograph of recipient

Dennis Choate

College of Agriculture
BS Agronomy, Class of 1980

His desire to attend Chico State took flight while Dennis Choate spent summers working his uncle’s farm in Gridley, California. While Choate was a student at Chico State, a summer internship with Asgrow Seed Company turned into a full time job as a field representative. After 20 years and many positions with Asgrow, Choate moved over to Harris Moran Seed Company to serve in his current position as vice president. The current position allows Choate to travel to many countries, and when possible he takes his family, wife Shawn (whom he met and married while both were attending Chico State), son Bryan, and daughter Bonny (2010, Agriculture Business). Choate currently serves on the Chico State Agriculture Advisory Council.

Full Biography here

More former College of Agriculture Honorees

Photograph of recipient

Nancy Barceló

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
BA Social Work, Class of 1969

A nationally recognized professional presenter and author of numerous publications, including Chicana/Latina Studies: The Journal of Mujeres Activas, Dr. Nancy “Rusty” Barceló formally took office as president of Northern New Mexico College in Espanola, New Mexico, on July 1, 2010. Barceló has extensive experience as a teaching professional and is recognized as a respected authority on the issues of equity and diversity in higher education. She received the Distinguished Educator in Diversity Award from the University of Iowa, served as vice president and vice provost for minority affairs and diversity at the University of Washington, and served as vice president and vice provost for equity and diversity at the University of Minnesota. Barceló is also an avid bicyclist, accomplished storyteller, songwriter, and guitarist.

More former College of Behavioral and Social Sciences Honorees

Photograph of recipient

Thomas P. Villa

College of Business
BS Business Administration, Marketing,
Class of 1982

Thomas Villa has logged more than 225,000 air miles in travel for his role with Verizon Wireless, and most have been international miles as he oversees all of the company’s customer operations functions, including customer care and installations. Following graduation from Chico State, Villa received his MBA in finance from the University of San Francisco. Villa began his career in telecommunications with Pacific Bell and has worked for SureWest, AirTouch, and oversees on several cellular startups. Villa met his wife, Karyl (Knopp) through her sister Karen, a classmate of Villa’s at Chico State. The couple has two children—daughter Lauren, a junior at UC Davis, and son Paul, a high school junior who considers Chico State his first choice for fall 2012.

More former College of Business Honorees

Photograph of recipient

Steven E. Tolleson

College of Communication & Education
BA Communication Design, Graphic Design,
Class of 1980

A former member of the Board of Directors of the San Francisco chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, Steve Tolleson has lectured extensively at colleges, universities, and industry organizations. He has also served as a design juror for a number of significant competitions around the world. Tolleson Design has received numerous awards and enjoys consistent visibility from national and international media. In 1999, Princeton Architectural Press published a monograph on the Tolleson Studio titled SoakWashRinseSpin. The book has become an industry standard as it chronicles the studio’s unique problem-solving methodology as evidenced through examples of its exceptional creative work. Tolleson and wife Ruthie (1982, Nursing) reside in Novato, California, and have two children, Danielle (2009, Recreation) and Evan.

More former College of Communication and Education Honorees

Photograph of recipient

H. Kit Miyamoto

College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Construction Management
BS Civil Engineering, Class of 1989

Under the leadership of H. Kit Miyamoto, more than 10,000 projects have been successfully completed worldwide at his current position as CEO and Structural Engineer at Miyamoto International and Global Risk Miyamoto. Known for innovative engineering, Miyamoto has worked on many projects that have received industry recognition, including the Structural Engineers Association of California’s Excellence in Structural Engineering Award. Miyamoto specializes in high-performance earthquake engineering, as well as disaster mitigation, response, and reconstruction. Dr. Miyamoto continues to work on major critical projects, including as an expert consultant to the World Bank on the seismic risk mitigation project for 2,000 schools in Istanbul. in 2011, Miyamoto worked with the government of Haiti, the United Nations, and various nongovernmental organizations to conduct assessments on more than 400,000 earthquake-damaged structures and to implement strategies for the reconstruction of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Miyamoto splits his time between United States, Haiti, New Zealand, Asia, and Europe, working on seismic risk reduction projects as a part of his global earthquake and structural engineering company, Miyamoto International. He reports that he always comes back to his family on weekends and is the world’s craziest frequent flier!

More former College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Construction Management Honorees

Photograph of recipient

Patrick W. Bultema

College of Humanities & Fine Arts
BA Religious Studies, Class of 1981

Patrick Bultema is recognized as an industry and company maker. He has served as an executive, investor, board member, and advisor to tens of venture-financed startups. He was most recently a venture partner with vSpring Capital. He was previously CEO of XAware and of FrontRange Solutions, a global CRM software company. He was founder and executive chairman of Knowlix, as well as chairman/general manager of the Help Desk Institute, then a Ziff-Davis company. A noted author and speaker, Bultema is recognized as one of the leading experts in the customer management industry. He was founding executive editor of Customer Support Management Magazine, and has been an industry maker in the customer relationship management space. In addition to his degree from Chico State, Bultema holds a master's in divinity from Princeton. Bultema and his wife have seven children, including three children adopted from China. He credits his time at Chico with helping him learn to learn, understand people and communicate. A common theme in his diverse professional career has been bringing technology and customer experience together in ways that make both successful.

More former College of Humanities and Fine Arts Honorees

Photograph of recipient

William L. Carroll

College of Natural Sciences
BS Biological Sciences, Class of 1973

Dr. William Carroll, the Julie and Edward J. Minskoff Professor of Pediatrics, directs the NYU Cancer Institute and the Pediatric Hematology Oncology Program at NYU Medical Center, has extensive experience in all aspects of the care of children with cancer and blood diseases. He has a particular interest in the treatment of children with leukemia and directs clinical trials in acute lymphoblastic leukemia for the Children's Oncology Group.

Dr. Carroll is Head of the Children's Oncology Group Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Disease Committee and is responsible for developing and directing clinical research in North America for children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common childhood cancer.

As a practicing pediatric hematologist/oncologist, Dr. Carroll has treated hundreds of children with cancer. He has worked tirelessly to transfer knowledge gained in his laboratory into more effective treatments for his patients. He has consistently been named one of the Country’s best doctors in multiple national publications and professional lists.

More former College of Natural Sciences Honorees

Photograph of recipient

Glen O. Toney

Distinguished Alumni Service Award
BA Philosophy, Class of 1966

Glen O. Toney served as an executive of Applied Materials for 23 years before retiring in 2002 as group vice president of corporate affairs. Toney previously served as superintendent of schools for Palo Alto School District and for Ravenswood City School District. Toney received a BS in mathematics from San Jose State University, an MA in instructional technology and curriculum design from San Jose State, and a Doctorate of Organizational Behavior and Higher Education from the University of Southern California. Toney also holds honorary doctorates from Chico State and Santa Clara University. Truly committed to civic involvement, Toney is a former president of the Chico State Alumni Association, currently serves on the CSU Board of Trustees and the Gateway Science Museum Board of Directors, and is the recipient of numerous honors and awards.

Toney has been honored twice as a Distinguished Alumni; once in 1995 by the College of Engineering, Computer Science, & Construction Management, and again in 2011 for receiving the Distinguished Alumni Service Award.

More former Distinguished Alumni Service Award Recipients

Back to Top

Distinguished Alumni

Next Year: 2012
19th Distinguished Alumni

List of All Years

Previous Year: 2010
17th Distinguished Alumni

Distinguished Alumni by College

Behavioral & Social Sciences
Communication & Education
Engineering, Computer Science, & Construction Management
Humanities & Fine Arts
Natural Sciences
Service Award