Awards Recipients 2009

2009 Alumni Association
Award Recipients

The Alumni Achievement Award, established in 1959, is Fort Hays State University’s highest recognition of its graduates, honoring graduates who have made outstanding and unselfish contributions in service to their community, state, or nations as citizens, in chosen career fields, or through philanthropic work.

Thomas D. Arnhold
’75 BS Political Science
Hutchinson, Kansas

Thomas D. Arnhold, Hutchinson, graduated from FHSU in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science degree in political science. He went on to earn a Juris Doctor from the Washburn University Law School in 1978. He is a partner and attorney in the Hutchinson firm of Oswalt, Arnhold, Oswald and Henry. He also spent 24 years as a judge advocate in the Kansas Army National Guard, retiring as a colonel in 2007. For the last seven years of his military service he was the staff judge advocate for the 35th Infantry Division. At his military retirement, he was awarded the Legion of Merit, the highest award given to members of the military in peace time.

His legal career has encompassed a wide range, from indigent criminal clients in Kansas District Courts to cases before the Kansas Supreme Court. His military service included duty in Bosnia in 2003 and in New Orleans in 2005 during the response to hurricane Katrina.

“In my 20 years of law practice and 12 years on the District Court bench,” writes Judge James A. Patton, “I have observed many excellent lawyers. Tom rates as one of the best. Most striking are his sense of fairness and honesty and his dedication to the rule of law and the profession of law.”

In addition to his career as an attorney and military JAG officer, Arnhold has co-written two books on workers’ compensation, co-authored a book on real estate law, written another book, A Wingshooter’s Guide to Kansas, and published articles in The Army Lawyer and in The Territorial Magazine. In 2008, he began writing as a guest columnist for The Hutchinson News and also writes for Hutchinson Magazine.

While at FHSU, he was active in student government, the Political Science Club and intramural sports. In civic and professional life, Arnhold has been a youth soccer, basketball and baseball coach and has been active in many organizations, including the Hutchinson Public Library Board, on which he served as vice president, vice president of the Hutchinson Human Relations Board, Big Brothers, the Trinity Catholic High School Booster Club, Knights of Columbus, Downtown Development Board, the Arkansas River Coalition, and the FHSU Alumni Association. He has served as president of the Reno County Bar Association and is a member of the Kansas Bar Association, and the Kansas National Guard Association.

Besides the Legion of Merit, Arnhold’s 20 military decorations include the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal and the Army Commendation Medal. He and his wife, Joleen, were also named the outstanding volunteers in 1999 by Trinity Catholic High School.

The Arnholds have two children, daughter Colleen M. Connealy and son Kevin T. Arnhold.

Julie A. Ballenger, Ph.D.
’88 MS Biology
Ellerslie, Georgia

Dr. Julie A. Ballenger, Ellerslie, Ga., graduated from FHSU with a Master of Science degree in botany in 1988. She earned her B.A. in biology from Central College, Pella, Iowa, in 1983 and her Ph.D. in botany from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, in 1992. She has studied in Mexico, the Bahamas, London, Panama, Peru, Botswana, Ecuador, Belize, Australia and New Zealand. She is a professor in the Department of Biology of Columbus State University. She was also a teaching fellow at Miami University and a post-doctoral research associate at the L.H. Bailey Hortorium, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. She began at Columbus as an assistant professor of biology in 1995.

“Julie deserves this award because she has exhibited vision and motivation far beyond what one usually finds in a college professor, especially in the area of international education,” writes Dr. Eugene Fleharty, professor emeritus of biological sciences at FHSU. “Furthermore, her enthusiasm has infected her colleagues not only in biology but other disciplines as well. This has led Columbus State University to be recognized by the Georgia Board of Regents as the most internationalized campus in the entire Georgia educational system of 17 colleges and universities.”

This internationalization resulted mainly through the efforts of Ballenger and a colleague. The sciences were left out of the original program of internationalization, established at Columbus as a result of a Board of Regents request that all Georgia campuses under their direction increase the emphasis on international education. Ballenger and her colleague developed an independent international studies program, which led to tropical ecology courses in Africa, Australia and Latin America and health care courses in the Bahamas. Before long, said the vice president of academic affairs, “science was sending more students abroad than anyone else on campus.”

She is also the interim director of Oxbow Meadows, the result of a $90 million rehabilitation project that turned an old landfill into a 1,600-acre wetlands and academic center.

Her awards and honors include Educator of the Year at Columbus, an honor she won in 2003. That award is given by the student body to recognize outstanding commitment to education and student success. She also won the Faculty Development Award four times and, in 2008, she was given the Outstanding Service Award. In 2007, the Columbus State chapter of Beta Beta Beta Biology Honor Society, with Ballenger as chapter adviser, was named the nation’s best “in scholarship, dissemination of scientific information and promotion of biological research.”

She is a member of the American Society of Plant Taxonomists, Southeastern Biologists, the Georgia Academy of Science, the International Association of Botanists, the Association of Southeastern Biologists, the Botanical Society of America and the National Geographic Society. She has also been the national advisor for the local chapter of Beta Beta Beta, the national biology honor society, and was president of the local chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, the academic honor society, and also of Phi Beta Delta, the international honor society.

Ballenger, and her husband, Walter Chambers, reside in Ellerslie, Ga.

David “Mitch” M. Brown
’89 BFA Art
Palm Beach Garden, Florida

David M. “Mitch” Brown, Palm Beach, Fla., graduated from FHSU in 1989 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in interior design. He is vice president of design and showrooms for William R. Eubanks Interior Design Inc., with offices in Palm Beach, Memphis, Tenn., and New York City.

While at FHSU, he was a member of Alpha Kappa Lambda fraternity and was the mascot for two years.

His career began even before graduation, when he worked at Vitztum Decorative Center, Hays. Along with owner George Vitztum, he founded an internship program at Vitztum for fellow design students. At Lady Primrose, Dallas, Texas, he was creative director. While there, he was instrumental in the design of the reception for England’s Queen Elizabeth II during her tour of the United States. From Los Angeles, he traveled the state creating and marketing furniture for several high-end furniture manufactures and interior designers, including Michael Taylor, Cashé and Mel Lowrance. He joined Eubanks’ firm in 1998.

In addition to his design work, he is responsible for the William R. Eubanks showroom in Palm Beach, keeping it stocked with art and European antiques. It has become a destination for Palm Beach natives and for travelers from around the world.

“From my close perspective on his talent and success, I can attest that Mitch has risen to the top of the interior design world,” writes William R. Eubanks. “He is a student of and his work spans styles from all periods, including 18th-, 19th- and 20th-century classical and modern. His clients’ homes are located throughout the United States and overseas. Mitch’s stunningly beautiful and original design work has been published again and again in national and international publications.”

Those publications include Veranda, Quest (NYC), InStyle, Palm Beach Illustrated, MidSouth Magazine, Florida Design, Spectacular Homes of Tennessee, The Best of Florida Design, 100 Designers' Favorite Rooms, Spectacular Homes of Metro New York, Michaels, Visions of Design and Interiors.

“As an ambassador of your university, Mitch has disseminated throughout the world to great acclaim the fundamental tools in interior design he learned at Fort Hays State,” said Eubanks.

Retired chair and professor of the FHSU Department of Art, John C. Thorns, Jr., agrees. “It  is because of knowing Mitchell as a student, and over the years, I am aware of his tremendous professional accomplishments and his loyalty to the university.”

During his tenure at William R. Eubanks, his projects and work have reached from coast to coast in the United States and several European countries. From Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Palm Beach, and throughout the heartland, Brown has left his mark of style and hard work ethics. Throughout his career as a designer, and in the antique furnishings world, he has worked with several celebrities and public figures such as Rod Stewert, Elton John, Martha Stewart, and Lady Bird Johnson. His talent has lead him to involvement with several charities and museums such as the Norton Museum of Art, Palm Beach, the Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis, Tenn., Greystone Mansion, Los Angeles, the Crystal Charity Ball, Dallas, and the Design Industry Foundation Fights Aids, Dallas.

G. Lynn Lashbrook
’70 BS Physical Education
Gresham, Oregon

Dr. G. Lynn Lashbrook, Portland, Oregon, graduated FHSU with a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education in 1970. He went on to earn a Master of Education degree from Springfield College, Springfield, Mass., and a Doctor of Education degree from the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley. He is the president and founder of Sports Management Worldwide, a sports management online training institute.

While at FHSU he played football and was involved in the K-Club.

He served as a football coach at Northern Colorado and, after earning his doctorate, returned to FHSU for six years of teaching and coaching. He then went to the University of Missouri, Columbia, where he served as Assistant Athletic Director for five years. Graduation rate of the football team led the Big 8 during his reign. His next move was to Edwardsville, Ill., to be Athletic Director at Southern Illinois University. He next went to the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, as Athletic Director.

During his five years in Alaska, he tripled corporate sponsorship from $100,000 to $300,000 and season ticket sales went from 200 to 2,000.

After a total of 22 years in education, he became a sports agent. He saw a need for training for people who wanted to become involved in sports management, and founded Sports Management Worldwide, which has grown from a few students in the early 1990s to more than 2000 students a year, including athletes, agents and other sports industry leaders. Sports Management Worldwide, under Dr. Lashbrook’s guidance, offers a global sports faculty via online training, with students from over 100 countries. SMWW offers cutting edge sports career courses that compliment college courses.

“I have known Dr. Lynn Lashbrook for nearly 30 years as an instructor, mentor, colleague and friend,” writes Dr. John M. Zody ’81, ‘83, professor of health and human performance at FHSU.

“His record of success speaks to his contributions in every level of his chosen careers,” said Zody, citing Lashbrook’s commitment to continuing his education to the doctoral level, his steady progression in the profession of athletic director, his improvements in the programs he directed and his record of fundraising to advance the quality of programs he oversaw.

“Entering the field of private business, Lynn has created one of the largest, if not the largest, online sports management programs in the world. He is recognized as an expert in the profession.”

As an academic, he had several publications and presentations and served as a member of the National Association of College Directors of Athletics and served as president of the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics. His book Fan Etiquette offered advice to professional and collegiate sports programs on how to manage fan behavior and is used in sports business classrooms nationwide.

As president of the “Major League Baseball to Portland” campaign, he secured legislative action to subsidize a new stadium with ballplayers payroll taxes. Due to this campaign, a 25,000-seat stadium in the heart of the city was revitalized rather than torn down.

His awards include the Meritorious Service Award for Outstanding Performance and Leadership at the University of Alaska and recognition for playing an instrumental role in establishing the first NCAA athletic exchange with Russia, with the Khabarovsk Institute of Sport and Physical Culture. He was also honored as Professor of the year at the US Sports Academy.

As a businessman, he cites as among his major accomplishments recruiting 40 NFL players and servicing their careers from draft to free agency. In addition, his sports agency has over 200 agents worldwide representing hundreds of athletes globally. Lashbrook is a nationally known sports business speaker, having spoken on 5 of 7 continents in addition to hosting sports career conferences at major sporting events.

The Young Alumni Award is granted to graduates of 10- through 15-year reunion classes to recognize those early in their career for significant business or professional accomplishments, or for service to the university and the Alumni Association.

Franklin “Terry” T. Bruce
’97 BA Political Science
Hutchinson, Kansas

Terry Bruce, Pretty Prairie, graduated from FHSU in 1997 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Kansas. He is an attorney at Forker, Suter and Rose LLC, Hutchinson, and is a Kansas state senator serving on the Judiciary, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Utilities committees. He is vice chair of the Legislative Post Audit Committee and is on the Judicial Council Subcommittee on End of Life Decisions.

He was also communications director for the Kansas House majority leader for a legislative term. Before that, he spent the first three years of his legal career, from August 2000 to December 2003, as an assistant Reno County district attorney. He has been in private law practice since June 2004.

While at FHSU, he was involved in the Student Government Association, serving as a student senator and SGA president and vice president. He was secretary general of the FHSU United Nations, was a member of Pi Sigma Alpha, the political science honorary society, and Mortar Board, a national senior honor society.

“I have had the opportunity to work with Terry Bruce in the Kansas Senate for the last five years,” writes Kansas Sen. Mark Taddiken ‘72. “During that time, I have seen Sen. Bruce work diligently on numerous legislative initiatives that have statewide impact. Particularly, while acting as chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee and as a member of the Senate Utilities Committee, I have seen Sen. Bruce take an interest in rural Kansas and renewable resources.”

Taddiken cites especially the 2009 legislative session and Bruce’s sponsorship and guidance of Senate Bill 108, which helped the wind power industry in Kansas, providing access by wind equipment manufacturers to Kansas government bonds.

“As a Fort Hays State University alum myself,” said Taddiken, “it is obvious to me that Sen. Bruce has applied the leadership skills and entrepreneurial spirit instilled in him by his alma mater.”

As a legislator, he has been recognized with the Ethanol Producers Senator of the Year award and the Pro-Jobs Legislator Award from the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In the 2007 Legislature, he authored the Kansas Renewable Fuel Standards legislation that created incentives for gas stations to offer renewable fuel blends, such as ethanol and bio-diesel, in order to make them more available to the public and to encourage rural economic development.

He is a member of the FHSU Alumni Association, Cause for Paws (a volunteer, non-profit organization to raise funds for the care of stray cats and dogs), the Reno County Chamber of Commerce, the Reno County Young Professionals, the Kansas Bar Association and the Reno County Bar Association.

He is also a Red Cross volunteer and spent three weeks in disaster recovery efforts in Texas and Louisiana after hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.

He is married to Sarah and they have two sons, Garrett 14, and Isaac 14 months.

The Nita M. Landrum Award recognizes alumni or friends who have provided sustained volunteer service for the betterment of the Alumni Association and/or FHSU, especially in their home communities or at any local level.

Denis W. Miller
’73 BS Accounting
Phillipsburg, Kansas

Denis W. Miller, Phillipsburg, earned a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from FHSU in 1973. He is a partner in Mapes and Miller CPAs, Phillipsburg.

After graduating from FHSU, he worked from 1973 to 1976 as a staff accountant for Fox & Co. in Wichita while working to obtain his CPA. He went on to work for two years as controller for and oil company in Hutchinson. He was in charge of the Smith Center office of Kennedy & Coe from 1978 to 1984 then moved on to start his own practice in the basement of his mother’s house in Phillipsburg.

In 1989, he bought a Stockton practice and merged with Vick and Mapes CPAs of Norton in 1990, the firm now known as Mapes and Miller CPAs. The firm has six offices, Phillipsburg, Norton, Stockton, Quinter, WaKeeney and Hill City, with four partners (three of them FHSU alumni) and 35 employees.

“It has been my sincere privilege to know Denis as both a brother FHSU alumnus and also as a business and community development leader for the Phillips County area and the western Kansas region,” writes Jeff Hofaker ‘90, director of Phillips County Economic Development. Hofaker cites his volunteer work in the community and for economic development.

“I am, as the entire area is, very fortunate to have such an active and giving leader for our community and area,” said Hofaker. “Denis is yet another success story in leadership and community service for the alumni of Fort Hays State University.”

At FHSU, he was involved with Alpha Kappa Psi, for accounting, business and finance students; Psi Eta Sigma, an honorary for freshmen, and Phi Beta Lambda, a student business organization.

Miller is and has been a member of numerous professional and business organizations and is a past president of the Phillipsburg Chamber of Commerce and the Phillipsburg Rotary Club. He is a past board member of the Kansas Society of CPAs (KSCPA) and is also a past chair of several KSCPA committees. He also served on the State of Kansas Banking Board and head of the local economic development committee.

He is active as a member of the FHSU College of Business and Leadership Committee, is a trustee of the FHSU Foundation Executive Committee and is a member of the Foundation’s Investment Committee.

He is a life member of the FHSU Alumni Association and is a past member of the Board of Directors. His service to the university has also included serving on a committee to find a dean for the College of Business and Leadership.

He and his wife, Geraldene “Sue” Miller, are steadfast supporters of Tiger athletics and hold season tickets. He hires FHSU graduates whenever possible and sponsors the annual Student Recognition Program in Phillipsburg. He also actively recruits incoming and transfer students and serves on three local foundation boards that provide scholarships to area students and grants to local organizations.

He volunteers at the local movie theatre, a non-profit organization, and also at the Kansas Biggest Rodeo.

The Millers have two children, Heather ’98, and Michael.

The President's Award is given by the president when someone makes a substantial contribution to the university through professional and personal achievements.

Dr. Don Moses
’59 BM Music
Surprise, Arizona

Dr. Don  Moses, is Director and Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois School of Music.  He is also the Founding Director and Conductor Emeritus of the Classical Music Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria. Prior to his association with the University of Illinois, Moses also served on the faculties of Indiana University and the University of Iowa. During his tenure at Indiana University from 1964-1973, Moses conducted the University’s Chamber Singers. They performed some 250 concerts throughout the United States, including concerts in Carnegie Recital Hall in New York and the National Museum in Washington, D.C.

In 1973, Moses joined the faculty at the University of Iowa where he founded the “Kantorei”, an ensemble of some 30 singers which represented the university on tours and concerts throughout the United States.  He also conducted the University of Iowa Symphonic Choir and was Music Director and Conductor of the Opera Theatre. During 1983, Moses was the first American guest conductor of the professional Györ Philharmonic Orchestra in Györ, Hungary. The orchestra toured throughout the western part of Hungary and eastern Austria performing the works of Beethoven.

From 1976 to 2000, he was the Music Director of the Classical Music Festival, a festival which he founded in Eisenstadt, Austria. Since its inception, Moses has conducted over 100 concerts of symphonies, concerti, masses and operas in Vienna, Eisenstadt, and other Austrian cities. In 1982, the Classical Music Festival Orchestra and Chorus recorded Haydn’s Harmoniemesse in the Haydnsaal of the Esterhazy Palace, the performance hall for which Haydn wrote and performed most of his extensive repertory.  In 1991 Moses received the First Edition of the Franz Joseph Haydn Medallion produced by the City of Eisenstadt and the Government awarded him their highest honor, the “Gold Medal” for his service to the city of Eisenstadt in connection with the founding and continuation of the Classical Music Festival.  In 1993 Moses received the “Medal of Honor” from the State of Burgenland, Austria.

Moses is the author of four books, Face to Face with an Orchestra, published by Prestige Publications 1987, The Complete Conductor, published by Prentice Hall 1995 and Face to Face with Orchestra and Chorus, published by Indiana University Press 2004.  His fourth book is being published by Classical Heritage, LLC and is due for publication the last week of September, 2009.  This book, entitled The Masses of Joseph Haydn, is the first complete book on Haydn’s masses in the last 60 years and the first ever in English.  More information about this publication can be found at: