YAA Honoree Information and Reservation
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Zachary Koshorek, '16
Hometown: Houghton Lake, Michigan
Campus Activities: Delta Tau Delta Fraternity, Albion Student Ambassadors, Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity, Omicron Delta Kappa, Mortar Board, Ford Institute
Why did you choose Albion?
The majority of the schools that I applied to were larger state schools and it was often difficult to communicate with them effectively. Albion, however, seemed very personal since the beginning and I even received several phone calls from my admissions counselor, which was completely different from what I experienced with other schools. It ultimately came down to feeling like an individual as opposed to a number.
What is your best Albion memory or experience?
The experience that I have had through my Fraternity and with my brothers has been such an important part of my personal growth and learning at Albion. From events such as Anchorsplash to holding leadership positions in the house, I can't imagine my college experience without being involved in Delt.
What are your future plans?
After I graduate, I would like to find employment at an accounting firm and earn my CPA. Further down the road, I want to return to school and earn my MBA as well as a Master's or Ph.D.
How have financial aid and scholarships helped you?
The opportunity of attending a school like Albion would not be available to me without financial aid and scholarships. Albion has presented me with opportunities that would have been unavailable elsewhere.
How would you finish this sentence: "Because you give to Albion, I'm able to…
…attend an institution that has helped me grow both personally and professionally, that has introduced me to people that have made a significant impact on my life, and that has prepared me more for the future than any other experience has so far.
DAA Winner: Josh A. Cassada, ’95
The sky’s the limit for all Albion alumni, but in Josh Cassada’s case, that might not be quite high enough. He has spent much of the past decade flying combat and rescue missions, training pilots, and testing out new wings for the U.S. Navy.
Then two years ago, at the ripe old age of 37, Cassada began helping the Navy purchase planes, directing nearly $28 billion in contracts with Boeing. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing production of the P-8A (anti-submarine) and KC-46 (refueling) aircraft, airborne early warning and control systems, and unmanned aerial vehicles. Cassada currently serves as a test pilot for the P-8A, evaluating each one for the government prior to purchase and delivery.
A standout physics student at Albion, Cassada earned recognition as an exemplary graduate teaching assistant. While completing his doctorate, he was a research assistant at the Collider Detector Facility within the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and also served briefly as a postdoctoral fellow there. Wanting an even bigger challenge, Cassada joined the U.S. Navy, becoming a patrol plane commander and pilot. He and his 10-member crew assisted with tsunami relief, did stand-alone counternarcotic operations, and flew 23 combat missions, including ground support and reconnaissance for Operations Iraqi Freedom, Joint Guardian, and Deliberate Force. Cassada also trained military test pilots at the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School in Patuxent River, Maryland.
In 2011, Cassada was recognized as the Defense Contract Management Agency Northwest Field Grade Officer of the Year. He has received several military medals, including combat medals from the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. Cassada holds two graduate degrees in physics from the University of Rochester. He and his wife, Megan, are the parents of Quinn and Graham, and live in Seattle.
DAA Winner: April DuVal, ’65
This past July, April DuVal retired as executive director of the Jefferson County, Kentucky, Council on Developmental Disabilities (CDD). During her 43-year tenure there, April provided leadership for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, helped develop educational, vocational, and residential programs for persons with intellectual disabilities and established the Parent Outreach and Citizen Advocacy programs in Louisville.
Even more admirably, while April helped change society's view and treatment of the developmentally disabled, she served hundreds of clients with individual, personal care. "Almost every parent who is active in the CDD could tell a story about how April personally helped them through a trying time," says Natalie Semaria, a "CCD parent" for nearly 40 years. Semaria further notes that April has been "the guardian and/or payee for several disabled adults who have no one else to stand up for them. She personally accompanied me to Guardian Court, understanding that it was a difficult step for me. April has retired from her leadership role but I know that she will never “retire” from caring for disabled people and acting as an advocate.
DuVal was among the first in her field to recognize the potential for computers to transform learning and employment for people with disabilities. She won grants from Apple to establish an enabling technology center and is a past president of the National Alliance of Technology Access. She has taught classes for the School of Social Work at Spalding University. She is also a past president of the Kentucky Association on Mental Retardation.
April has received numerous awards, including the University of Louisville Outstanding Social Work Field Supervisor, the Louisville Courier Journal Phenomenal Woman Award, and the Kentucky Colonel Award, presented by Governor John Y. Brown. She has been honored officially by the mayor of Louisville, the 3rd Kentucky Congressional District, the Kentucky House of Representatives, and the Kentucky Senate.
Childhood friend and Albion classmate Sharon Thorne Vydick, '65, notes that April was also their sixth-grade class president and organizer of their 50-year high school reunion. "She's been my friend for life," said Vydick, who notes that she and classmate Teresa Trostmiller, '65, regularly enjoy being with their friend. "April is very driven and that's gotten her where she is. She is a friendly, happy, smiley person and that's why everyone loves her."
"April and I benefitted from the Kresges and Putnams, the people who love Albion and support it in very tangible ways," says April's sister, Marcia Lile, '67. "It's great that Albion acknowledges people like April, who never made a lot of money, but who also loved Albion and were also impacted in the same way. When we were students in the 1960s, Albion brought us speakers like Martin Luther King, Jr., who encouraged us to act in daring ways. Those were inspiring times and April's life is a response to that."
After graduating Phi Beta Kapp with honors from Albion, April earned her MSW from the University of Michgian. In 1994 she was inducted into Albion's Athletic Hall of Fame for her prowess on the field hockey team. She has two children and six grandchildren and lives in Louisville.