Seven graduates of Chadron State College will be among those receiving special alumni honors during the institution’s homecoming festivities this weekend.
The list includes five recipients of the institution’s Distinguished Alumni Award and two recipients of the Distinguished Young Alumni Award. The awards, along with CSC’s Athletic Hall of Fame inductions, will be presented during a luncheon in the Student Center on Saturday, Oct. 27.
The Distinguished Alumni Award recipients are research entomologist R. Nelson Foster of Mesa, Ariz., former CSC director of information Con Marshall of Chadron, NBA team executive Larry Riley of Oakland, Calif., healthcare company CEO Susan (Woeppel) Salka of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., and retired physical therapist David “Cactus” Shumway of Centennial, Colo.
The awards are presented to graduates who have shown exceptional service to the college, their career or their community. The award for young alumni is presented to those who are under age 40 or have been graduates for less than 20 years.
R. Nelson Foster
Distinguished Alumni Award
Class of 1967
R. Nelson Foster has put his studies in biology and chemistry to good use, as he has been called upon by the federal government to manage and control insects.
Foster is an applied research entomologist who specializes in developing management and control treatments and tactics as well as equipment and protocols for major insect pest programs sponsored by the USDA.
During his career with the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, he has received numerous promotions and honors. He now serves as the assistant laboratory director and officer in charge at the Center for Plant Health Science and Technology laboratory at Phoenix, Ariz. It’s just the latest position in more than 40 years with the USDA.
During his career with the USDA, he has served as a technician, research entomologist, supervisory research entomologist, and, at times, temporary or acting center director.
Nelson has conducted hundreds of laboratory and field projects in 14 western states. He has developed hundreds of articles and presentations, and has worked with industry, universities, state departments of agriculture and other federal agencies.
His work has resulted in new tools and technologies for controlling pest insects such as the pink boll worm, boll weevil, rangeland caterpillar, black brass bugs, grasshoppers, Mormon cricket, Mediterranean fruit fly and Mexican fruit fly.
The impact of his work is reflected in the use of millions of pink boll work detection traps, mandated aircraft modifications in USDA aerial bait treatment contracts, reduced pesticide load in all rangeland treatments for rangeland grasshoppers, and the cooperative development of the most popular and economical current treatment of choice for rangeland grasshoppers.
Foster earned a Bachelor of Arts in biology from CSC and a Master of Science in zoology-entomology from Arizona State University at Tempe in 1974. The son of former CSC band and orchestra director Dr. Randolph N. Foster, the entomologist is a native of Chadron who attended Chadron Prep and Chadron High School.
Distinguished Alumni Award
Class of 1963
Con Marshall usually doesn’t need an introduction at Chadron State College events. Through his work, his name has become familiar throughout the CSC community during the past four decades.
Marshall, who grew up in the Chadron area, has worked at the college for 40 years, much of that time as the director of information and sports information director. He also has worked for the Chadron Record, Scottsbluff Star-Herald and Sidney Telegraph.
During his career, he has written hundreds of articles about the college for use by both the print and the electronic media. One of his career highlights was in 2011 when he wrote Chadron State’s centennial book.
Prior to that, he was the author of “The Best of Ross Armstrong, a Half Century at Chadron State College” in 1982, Chadron State’s 75th anniversary book in 1986, a book containing the biographies of the CSC Athletic Hall of Fame members in 2008 and Chadron’s Quasquicentennial book in 2010.
Marshall has received outstanding service awards given by the Nebraska Athletic Directors Association, the Nebraska Coaches Association in the mid-1990s, the Magic Key Award given by the Chadron Chamber of Commerce in 2003 and the Chadron High School Basketball Tradition Award in 2004.
He was named an honorary trail boss on Ag Day during Chadron’s 125th anniversary, was selected Chadron’s Citizen of the Year by the Chadron Record in 2010 and received the Lifetime Achievement Award given by the Chadron Chamber of Commerce in 2011.
The pressbox at Elliott Field at CSC was named for him in 1998. He was inducted into the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Chadron State Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009, both as a contributor.
Distinguished Alumni Award
Class of 1966
Larry Riley has established a remarkable career in basketball since his days as a player and coach for the Chadron State Eagles.
Riley serves as the director of college scouting for the NBA’s Golden State Warriors after three seasons as the team’s general manager.
As director of scouting, Riley’s main focus is on the NBA draft as well as advising with respect to trades and free agency. As general manager, he was responsible for overseeing all aspects of the team’s basketball operations, including trades, free agent acquisitions, contract negotiations, scouting, the NBA draft and several other team related matters.
Riley, 68, is entering his seventh year overall with the Warriors organization, having originally joined the team as an assistant coach for the 2006-2007 season. He was named the team’s assistant general manager in November 2008 and was promoted to general manager shortly after the 2008-2009 campaign.
Overall, Riley has more than 24 years of experience working in the NBA as a front office executive, coach or scout. Prior to Golden State, he spent six seasons with the Dallas Mavericks. He also has worked for the Vancouver Grizzlies and the Milwaukee Bucks.
Riley graduated from CSC in 1966 with honors, earning a Bachelor of Science in Education, majoring in health and physical education, and history. He was inducted to the CSC Athletic Hall of Fame in 1993. While at CSC, Riley earned nine letters in three different sports. He was a guard on the basketball team, pitched and played outfield in baseball, and was a member of the cross country team. He coached the men’s basketball team for two seasons beginning in 1976, posting a 17-6 record in each campaign.
Before entering the NBA, Riley was head coach for the Eastern New Mexico University men’s team for 10 years. He also has served as an assistant coach at Southeast Missouri State, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Brevard Community College and Mercer. He also has a master’s degree in education from Southeast Missouri State in 1970.
Riley is a native of Richmond, Ind. He has two children, Ryan, 34, and Ashlee, 27, and one granddaughter.
His twin brother, Mike Riley, also is a CSC graduate and has been a head basketball coach at South Dakota Tech and Western State, and in the Continental Basketball Association. He also has scouted for Vancouver, Utah and Golden State in the NBA.
Susan R. Salka
Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.
Distinguished Alumni Award
Class of 1985
Susan (Woeppel) Salka has become an influential business leader since her studies in accounting and economics at Chadron State College.
She is an active industry spokesperson in the healthcare and investment community, and has been one of the driving forces behind AMN Healthcare’s strategic and operational success since joining the company in 1990. Under her leadership, AMN has become known as the innovator in healthcare workforce solutions and the largest and most diversified healthcare staffing company in the nation. The company generates approximately $1 billion in annual revenue and listed in the New York Stock Exchange.
Before becoming CEO and president, Salka served in several other executive positions at AMN Healthcare, including chief financial officer, chief operating officer and senior vice president of business development. She serves on the board of directors of BIOCOM and San Diego State University’s Campanile Foundation. She has served on other public company boards, such as Beckman Coulter and Playtex Products.
Salka takes an active role helping others achieve their personal and professional goals, in promoting the value of women in leadership and in community service and support. Among her many honors, she has been recognized as San Diego’s Most Admired Public Company CEO, a Healthcare Top Influential, and was awarded the Exemplary Award for business and community leadership, presented at the most recent Women Who Mean Business awards. Just last month, she was honored as 2012 Woman of the Year by San Diego Magazine.
Salka, a native of Ericson, Neb., is a 1982 graduate of Wheeler Central High School. In addition to her Bachelor of Arts in accounting and economics from CSC, she attained a Master of Business Administration degree from San Diego State University. She resides in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., with her husband, Scott, and three children, Rebecca, Brad and Kendrick.
David “Cactus” Shumway
Distinguished Alumni Award
Class of 1972
David “Cactus” Shumway became known for his work in physical therapy after his days growing up in Chadron and graduating from Chadron State College.
Shumway, now retired, has been among the pioneers of physical therapy, serving cities near and far. The communities he’s served include The Dalles, Ore., Sidney, Neb., Casper, Wyo., Riverton, Wyo., Los Angeles, Calif., and Denver, Colo.
With a background in physical education and sports, Shumway believed the active exercise approach to rehabilitation was overlooked and under-appreciated by his profession. His philosophy was in contrast to the traditionally taught passive approach to rehabilitation which evolved from the eras of polio, the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War. He dedicated himself to developing an eclectic approach to specific and advanced techniques for patient evaluation, mobilization, manipulation, aligned and appropriate exercises. Many of these techniques are taught to therapists throughout the United States.
In 1982, Shumway completed training to become one of three physical therapists in the United States to be certified by the Norwegian Society of Manual Therapists. He helped bring the Norwegian Manual Therapy residency program to the United States, and taught more than 150 manual therapy courses throughout the United States and abroad.
At Casper, Shumway established the first private out-patient physical therapy clinic in the state. In Los Angeles, he worked as a clinical specialist in the physical therapy department for Kaiser Permanente. He established three clinics in the Denver metro area specializing in a hands-on approach to spine, orthopedics, and sports medicine patients. In addition to his administrative duties, he practiced full-time while mentoring his associates in the evaluation, treatment techniques and exercise training.
Shumway , a Chadron High School graduate, was actively involved in sports throughout high school and college. He lettered in baseball four years at CSC, was a member of the Blue Key honor society, spoke at commencement and served as a graduate assistant in the physical education department. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Education degree from CSC. He also graduated from the University of Iowa School of Physical Therapy with honors.
Distinguished Young Alumni Award
Class of 1993
Eric Fowler has become known throughout Nebraska and beyond for his stories and photographs about the state’s great outdoors.
Since 2001 Fowler has been a regional editor for NEBRASKAland magazine, the monthly publication known for its breathtaking images and features. His love of the outdoors and his work in nature photography blossomed in the Pine Ridge and elsewhere in the Panhandle, where he hunted, fished and explored.
Prior to joining NEBRASKAland Fowler spent six years as a newspaper reporter and photographer, first at the Chadron Record and then the Scottsbluff Star-Herald. He joined the staff at the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission as publications editor before moving to the magazine.
He has won several awards for his photography and writing at both newspapers and NEBRASKAland, where he covers any topic related to the outdoors, including recreation, wildlife and conservation. He also owns and operates a successful youth sports photography business.
Fowler is a 1988 graduate of Ogallala High School. His interest in photojournalism began during his freshman year at CSC, when he was given his first camera by his father, Dave, a studio photographer in Ogallala. He credits two prominent CSC journalism figures, longtime sports information director and director of information Con Marshall and journalism adviser LaVida Dickinson, for providing opportunities and encouragement early in his career. He completed many photography assignments for Marshall, and Dickinson encouraged him to complement his photography skills by exploring the writing side of journalism. He served the Eagle newspaper staff three years, including two as photo editor.
While at CSC, Fowler coordinated the annual Phonathon fundraising effort while completing an internship in the Alumni Office. He also served as in intern for the CSC Media Center, where he documented college activities and photographed the Oregon and California Gold trails from the air for professors documenting the nation’s pioneer trails.
After changing majors twice, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in industrial management with an emphasis on graphic arts and business administration.
Rapid City, S.D.
Distinguished Young Alumni Award
Class of 1994
Dr. Joseph Tuma has become a highly respected cardiologist since graduating from Chadron State College with a bachelor’s degree in the health sciences.
Tuma serves as the director of cardiac catheterization laboratories at Rapid City Regional Hospital, and is a staff cardiologist at Regional Heart Doctors. Known best for his work in cardiovascular disease and endovascular interventions, he also serves as a consultant cardiologist at hospitals in Alliance, Gordon and Spearfish, S.D.
In addition to his medical practice, he shares his knowledge in the classroom. He serves as an associate professor of biomedical engineering at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.
Prior to beginning work in Rapid City, he was a staff physician at two eastern Nebraska facilities, the Beatrice Community Health Center and the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Omaha.
Tuma earned a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 1998. From there, he completed an internship, residencies and fellowships at Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha.
Tuma earned acclaim from his mentors early in his career. A member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society, he was named the cardiology fellow of the year at Creighton in 2003-2004. He also earned the Golden Apple Award for teaching excellence in 2001-2002 and 2002-2003. He also was named the resident of the year for Creighton’s Department of Internal Medicine in 2000-2001.
Tuma’s resume includes an impressive list of collaborative research experience, which has helped further the science of cardiology. He is often called upon for speaking engagements throughout the nation and beyond. For instance, in 2010, he made two presentations and co-directed a course for the World Radial Conference in New Delhi, India.
He is a member of nine professional associations and serves on a long list of committees, including the board of directors for Rapid City Regional Hospital.
Tuma is a 1991 graduate of Rushville High School. His wife, Nicole (Schwarting), also is a Rushville native. They have three children, Ashley, 13, Michael, 8, and Payton, 7.
—Justin Haag, CSC Information Services
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