Celebrating alumni at the top of their fields, along with those on the brink of great success, Albion College's Distinguished Alumni Award (DAA) and Young Alumni Award (YAA) honorees met on campus April 24. The first-ever combined awards ceremony gathered a wide range of alumni, faculty, staff and students reflecting on the diverse paths taken by Albion graduates.
During a panel discussion among the YAA recipients, Danni Wysocki, '10, summed up an important aspect of Albion's mission. Working in production for CSN SportsNet Chicago, Wysocki noted that she didn't even know her present job existed while she was an undergraduate. But "that's why you do a liberal arts degree—you learn different ways of doing things, so when opportunities come up, you're ready. I didn't know what my dream job was, but my dream job found me at 27, and that's really special."
DAA recipient Kathy Look, '75, was inspired to come to Albion for its strong pre-medical school preparation; she noted that medicine was how she wanted to make a living. Her history degree, however, "was about making a life. How do you make your life? By serving others; we heard that from Jon Reynolds. By seeking truth; Cynthia is doing that. It's the arts and communication, as we heard from Danni and Katie …. more than making a living, you have to inform your life. For that, I thank the school. It was the right place for me."
Congratulations to this year’s honorees!
2015 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients
Rick L. Going, ’77
Division President, Kroger Company
Starting as co-manager of a Kroger store in 1981, Going has held positions at the store, district, and division level, and served as the vice president for transition at the general office. Going spent 2007-13 as president of the Michigan Division, helping Kroger Co. reach the top of Forbes magazine’s list of companies that give back the most. Going's division distributed more than eight million meals through regional charitable organizations. In 2010 alone, Michigan store campaigns raised nearly $2 million for Michigan schools, philanthropies and nonprofit organizations. During that same period, the Michigan Division earned a Pure Michigan award, a Forgotten Harvest award, and the Michigan Food and Beverage Association Retailer of the Year Award. Going was also vice president of Detroit’s Forgotten Harvest, awhichcollects surplus food from area restaurants and retail stores. Going is one of only eight Albion Sigma Chis to receive the national “Significant Sig” award.
Katherine Y. Look, ’75
Senior Medical Director, Genetech Incorporated
San Francisco, California
At Genentech, Look serves on the team that gained FDA approval of Avastin for treatment of recurrent, persistent or metastatic cervix cancer and for platin-resistant ovary cancer. An angiogenesis inhibitor, killing cancers by preventing the formation of blood vessels that feed them, Avastin is an important new option for exceptionally challenging cancers. Look previously spent 22 years as professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Indiana University (IU) School of Medicine. During her academic career, Look received research grants totaling nearly $700,000. She has held executive positions with the national the Society of Gynecologic Oncology and the Society of Memorial Gynecologic Oncologists. Honored for excellence in teaching by the Association of Professors of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the IU School of Medicine, Look has also been recognized by Ladies Home Journal on its list of “Top Doctors for Women Coast to Coast.” At Albion, Look was a member of Alpha Lambda Delta and Phi Beta Kappa.
William R. Payne, ’75
Vice Chairman, Amway Corporation
Payne is involved in day-to-day management of the global Alticor Inc., enterprise, which includes Amway. Early in his career, Payne worked in Amway's marketing department before pursuing in marketing and sales management at Owens-Illinois, a partnership with mergers and acquisitions firm Payne-Zwiep and service as president of the Windquest Group. He returned to Amway in 2000 as executive vice president. Along with his wife, Jillane Lynas Payne, ’75, Payne is a devoted Albion graduate; he has advised the College on current downtown revitalization efforts in Albion. The Paynes have sponsored regional alumni events, and Bill arranged Alticor flight travel for former First Lady Barbara Bush’s visit to campus in 2005. At Albion College, Payne was president of Sigma Chi fraternity and served as head resident in Whitehouse Hall. He holds an M.B.A. from Bowling Green State University.
2015 Young Alumni Award Recipients
Cynthia Cardwell Fast, ’08
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Rutgers University
Piscataway, New Jersey
By studying how past experiences affect learning and perception in the brains of mice, Fast hopes to explain and correct human memory problems and anxiety-related disorders. Post-traumatic stress disorder, a pathological example of new behaviors that influence perception based on past experience, is one of many such conditions that could be treated with therapies based on Fast’s research. In four semesters at Albion, Fast presentedfive different research posters at national and regional conferences and Albion’s Isaac Symposium. At the University of California, Los Angeles, Fast received teaching and scholarship awards from the institution; she also received the Student Poster Award from the Pavlovian Society, and nomination to the New York Academy of Sciences James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award. At Albion, Fast was a member of the Equestrian Club and received the 2007 Kirsten D. Metalonis, ’99, Summer Research Fellowship, the Joseph Heston Award for Outstanding Senior Psychology Major, and the Ned S. Garvin Neuroscience Award.
Katherine L. Kirsch, ’12
Chief Marketing Officer, Sisu Global Health
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Kirsch focuses on Sisu Global Health's image and partnership development along with establishing relationships with doctors and hospital administrators in Sub-Saharan Africa. Sisu has developed the Hemafuse autotransfusion device, which can be operated without electricity by just one person. While at Albion, Kirsch traveled twice to Suriname and three times to Cameroon doing research, study and internships. As the recipient of a Fulbright teaching fellowship, Kirsch taught English at INATEK University in Kibungo, Rwanda, and managed the first published literary journal with students at the National University of Rwanda. At Albion, Kirsch received a Jenkins Award, given to the top four honors theses in the class, and a Lux Fiat Award, given to the four seniors most distinguished for leadership and service; She was also elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Kirsch was also a member of Kappa Delta, Panhellenic Council, Mortar Board, and Bitone (supporting a Ugandan orphanage), and also served as a First-Year Experience mentor.
Jonathan E. Reynolds, ’09
Associate Pastor, St. Paul's United Methodist Church
In just over two years with the 2,300-member St. Paul’s, Reynolds has created and strengthened many ministries. He gathered 90 congregants to participate in a half-marathon, raising more than $32,000 to help purchase malaria nets for use in Africa. He helps coordinate the church’s Food Basket ministry which provides over $15,000 worth of food to more than 130 families at Christmas. Reynolds leads service trips from St. Paul’s to Community Social Services (CCSS) in Detroit, and helped establish “Hands4Detroit,” which attracts 1,000 volunteers annually. Beyond his church-based work, Reynolds volunteers with Red Bird Mission trips to Appalachia and Habitat for Humanity. As a minister at St. Paul’s, He developed the church’s first regular evening worship service. He received a Church/Volunteer of the Year award from CCSS. At Albion, he was a member of Alpha Phi Omega, Pi Sigma Alpha, Service Project Appalachia, Campus Crusade, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, Chapel, Student Volunteer Bureau, Canoe Club, and the Ultimate Frisbee club team.
Danielle M. Wysocki, ’10
Senior Booker, Comcast Sportsnet Chicago
Danni Wysocki has lined up over 2,000 interviews featuring such sports stars as Mike Tyson, Dwyane Wade, and Terrell Owens, as well as other celebrities. She has also worked with CSN Chicago’s SportsTalk Live special programming, including Bears pre- and post-game reporting, the March of Dimes Sports Awards, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase, and the Crosstown Cup. She also helped cover the 2012 Ryder Cup and the 2013 Stanley Cup Final. Her work earned her a 2013 nomination for a 2013 Midwest/Chicago Emmy; she won the Emmy in 2014 for Best Live Sporting Event. At Albion, Wysocki founded a sports blog for women, thejerseychaser.com, developed under Fox Sports’ Yardbarker blog site, and was sports editor and multimedia editor for the Pleiad. She was a member of Alpha Chi Omega, Order of Omega and Alpha Phi Omega, and Best Buddies.