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Nine Idaho State University alumni honored with 2009 Professional Achievement Awards

April 8, 2009
ISU Marketing and Communications

Nine Idaho State University alumni representing seven colleges will be honored with Professional Achievement Awards at ISU commencement exercises on May 9 in Holt Arena.

They are Jackie Rivet-River, Chicago, Ill., College of Arts and Sciences – Fine Arts and Humanities; Michele Hentges, Woodland Hills, Calif., College of Arts and Sciences – Natural Sciences and Mathematics; Sharon Gardner, Yuma, Ariz., College of Arts and Sciences – Social Sciences; Miriam Hammond, Henderson, Nev., College of Business; Patricia Farmer, Pocatello, College of Education; Robert K. Wilson, Sandy, Utah, College of Engineering; Rebecca Logue, Boise, Kasiska College of Health Professions; Richard Fuchs, Twin Falls, College of Pharmacy; and John Kunze, Maple Valley, Wash., College of Technology.

Biographies of the ISU Professional Achievement Award winners follow:

• College of Arts and Sciences – Fine Arts and Humanities – Jackie Rivet-River

Rivet-River, who now resides in Chicago, Ill., earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in speech from Idaho State University in 1960. She is now a film producer and director for Peace Productions, a film company she founded in Chicago. Among the projects she has written, produced and directed are: “Where Is Dead” for Encyclopedia Britannica Educational Films, that won a Silver Hugo Award at the Chicago International Film Festival; dozens of half-hour specials for NBC and ABC television on a wide range of topics; an ABC-TV Network special “Someone is Listening: Teens From Crisis to Caring”; and an anti-nuclear film “If The World Goes Away Where Will the Children Play?”

Michele Hentges• College of Arts and Sciences – Natural Sciences and Mathematics – Michele Hentges    

Hentges graduated from ISU in 1989 with a Bachelor of Science degree in biological sciences. She is now co-owner and vice president of marketing services of ChannelWorks, based in Woodland Hills, Calif. ChannelWorks is a channel sales and marketing company focused on assisting technology companies identify, build and sustain profitable sales channels. Hentges has been with this company since 1997, one year after the company was founded. Since that time ChannelWorks has grown into a multi-million dollar company by landing and developing clients such as Cisco, Novell, Intuit, Jabra and Logitech. Hentges also worked for major computer companies such as Ingram Micro and 3Com.

Sharon Gardner• College of Arts and Sciences – Social Sciences – Sharon Gardner

Gardner earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in management and organization in 1984 and a Master of Public Administration degree in 1990 from Idaho State University. She is now vice president of human resources at Yuma Regional Medical Center in Yuma, Ariz. Previously, Gardner was director of human resources for Pocatello Regional Medical Center for many years and was actively involved in the Pocatello community through Zonta and the United Way. She was a 2009 recipient of The Athena Award, presented annually by chambers of commerce, women’s organizations and universities. In her professional life she also worked for Modern Management in Grayslake, Ill., Norton Healthcare in Louisville, Ky., and the Mayo Medical Center in Rochester, Minn.

Miriam Hammond• College of Business – Miriam Hammond

Hammond graduated from Idaho State University in 1980 with a Bachelor of Science degree in management and organization. She is now the senior vice president and chief human resource officer for MGM MIRAGE Operations, Las Vegas, Nev. Prior to joining MGM MIRAGE, Hammond, a native of Rawlins, Wyo., served in a human resources leadership capacity for several prominent health care organizations including The Universal Health System, The Cleveland Clinic, U.S. Healthcare and Intermountain Health Care. She has been involved at a board level with numerous charitable and community organizations. She was married to the late David Hammond for 41 years and had two children and four grandchildren.

Patricia Farmer• College of Education – Patricia Farmer

Farmer earned a B.A. in secondary education in 1974, a Master of Education degree in special education and psychological services in 1990, an Educational Specialist Degree in special education in 1994 and Educational Specialist Degree in school psychology in 2002 from Idaho State University.

She is now director of Student Support Services for Blackfoot School District, a position she has held since 2006. From 1991 to 2006 she was a special education regional consultant for the Idaho State Department of Education, Student Achievement and School Accountability, Idaho State University.

Farmer also was an instructor of special education at ISU for 16 years. She is involved in a wide array of professional activities.

Robert Wilson• College of Engineering – Robert K. Wilson

Wilson, of Sandy, Utah, earned an Associate of Science degree in mechanical engineering at Idaho State University in 1965 before earning Bachelor of Science (1968) and Master of Science (1970) degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Utah. Since 2004, Wilson has been project manager for the Spitzer Space Telescope project for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory based in Pasadena, Calif. The Spitzer Space Telescope is the most sensitive infrared telescope ever launched into space. Wilson has held various positions and worked on a variety of projects at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory since starting work there in 1969.  He also was president of R-Way International, Software Systems from 1978 to 2001.

Rebecca Logue• Kasiska College of Health Professions – Rebecca Logue

Logue earned a Bachelor of Science degree in dental hygiene from Idaho State University in 1987. She is president and founder of Beckmer Products, Inc., based in Meridian, which produces the Dental Remote Access Terminal, a simple foot-operated computer mouse that dental professionals use to enter patient data and findings into computer software.  Logue founded her company in 2004 after inventing the Dental R.A.T.  Logue was named one of 50 Idaho Women of the Year in 2007 by the Idaho Business Review and also was honored with the 2006 Idaho Innovator Award presented by the Idaho Office of the Stoel Rives Law Firm. She has been featured in many dental industry publications.

Richard Fuchs College of Pharmacy – Richard Fuchs

Fuchs graduated from Idaho State University in 1960 with a Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy. After graduation he and a partner opened Lost River Drug in Arco. Eventually, Fuchs relocated to Twin Falls, where he worked at Kingsbury’s Drug until he decided to open his own place, Dick’s Pharmacy, established in 1975. Fuchs has four sons that have followed his footsteps to become pharmacists. Throughout his career, Fuchs and his partners have owned Medical Office Pharmacy, Home IV Services and Medical Supply, Kwik Meds Pharmacy and Wendell Drug. He and partners also operated Sav Mor Drug in Buhl for eight years. Fuchs and his wife, Mary Lou, retired in 2002.

John Kunze

College of Technology – John Kunze    

Kunze, who currently resides in Maple Valley, Wash., earned an Associate of Science degree in aircraft maintenance, with a certificate in Airframe Mechanics and Aircraft Maintenance Technician, from Idaho State University in 1982, and a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from ISU in 1987. He now works for The Boeing Company as a service engineer, in its wing structures department, providing engineering solutions for structural problems. He was a senior specialist engineer for The Boeing Company for many years and worked at several other positions with this company. He also has held a sustaining engineer position with Aviation Partners Boeing and was a technical sales manager for Valberg Corporation.


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