CC Casper College CC
Distinguished Alumni Award

These winners are nominated by their peers and chosen by the Board of Directors, Casper College Alumni Association.

Presented October 2014
Matteo Pistono
Honored in recognition of contributions to cultural, political and religious tolerance, and for global efforts to preserve sacred pilgrimage sites. Matteo Pistono graduated from Casper College in 1991, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wyoming in Anthropology and a Masters of Arts degree in Indian Philosophy from the University of London. He is the author of two books, In the Shadow of the Buddha and Fearless in Tibet and the founder of Nekorpa, a foundation working to protect sacred pilgrimage sites around the word. He is a member of the Executive Council of the International Network of Engaged Buddhists and on the boards of Rigpa Fellowship and the Conservancy for Tibetan Art and Culture.
Presented September 2013
Lee L. Swanstrom, M.D.
Lee L. Swanstrom, M.D., a surgeon, an innovator and a pioneer of medical technology, is a member of the American Board of Surgery and holds several other positions in American Surgery. He graduated from Casper College in 1976, earning subsequent degrees from University of Colorado and Creighton University Medical School. He has pioneered the technique of Natural OrificeTransluminal Surgery (NOTES), and performed the first transgastric endoscopic cholecystectomy in the U.S. He researches and teaches the technique internationally and practices at the Oregon Clinic, in addition to serving as Clinical Professor of Surgery for Oregon Health and Science University. He is a founding member of Natural Orifice Surgery Consortium for Assessment and Research. He has trained a new generation of surgeons in minimally invasive surgical techniques.
Presented September 2012
Henry Alfonso (Hank) True III
Henry Alfonso (Hank) True III is a partner/officer in the various enterprises associated with True companies. True graduated from Casper College in 1963 with an A.S. and earned his B.A in math education (1966) and his B.S. in animal science (1967) from the University of Wyoming. True was one of 50 exemplary alumni honored as part of the Casper College 50th Anniversary Celebration in 1995. True’s many accomplishments and honors include service as a director of the American Petroleum Institute (since 1987); the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Denver branch (1987-1992); the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum (since 2002); and the National Western Stock Show (since 2007). He has also chaired the College National Finals Rodeo since 2004 and served as a trustee for the University of Wyoming from 1995-2007. This honor is bestowed in recognition of and appreciation for his contributions to the fields of energy, ranching, and banking and for his extensive civic involvement and philanthropic support.
Presented October 2011
Dan and Patricia Goble

An accomplished musical couple, Patty (Boyles) and Dan Goble both attended Casper College from 1978 to 1980, majoring in music. They continued their education at the University of Northern Colorado, both earning degrees in music education. Dan completed his academic studies at the University of Texas in Austin, receiving a M.A. and a Ph.D. in music. Patty embarked on a very successful career as a professional singer and actress. Each has performed at the highest level of his and her respective professions, Patty on Broadway and Dan with world-renowned orchestras and as a highly respected jazz saxophonist. Dan is the Dean of the School of Visual and Performing Arts at Western Connecticut State University. He plays with the New York Philharmonic, the Harvey Pittel Saxophone Quartet, and many other notable groups. He has won several prestigious music awards. Patty’s credits include roles in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying; Bye, Bye Birdie; Curtains; The Woman in White; La Cage aux Folle; Kiss Me Kate; Ragtime; The Phantom of the Opera; The King and I; and South Pacific. Dan and Patty Goble each enjoy many recording credits.

Presented October 2010
Harriet M. Hageman

Harriet Hageman worked as a senior district attorney general with the Water and Natural Resources Division of the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office, and while there, worked on the seminal water law case, Nebraska v. Wyoming, which was adopted by the U. S. Supreme Court in 2001. She co-founded Hageman and Brighton, P.C. in 2001. Her particular area of expertise is water and energy law, but she also represents the “Wolf Coalition,” a group of agricultural, outdoor sports, outfitting organizations and several counties to defend the Wyoming Wolf Management Plan. She and law partner Kara Brighton are the creators of the Wyoming Conservation Alliance.

Presented October 2009
Diana Ohman

Diana Ohman graduated from Casper College in 1970 with an A.A. in elementary education and continued her study at the University of Wyoming earning a B.A. in elementary education and an M.A. in education administration. She currently serves as the Director of Department of Defense Dependent schools in Asia and the Pacific, following ten years of service as Director of DoDDS-Europe. Ms. Ohman was Wyoming Secretary of State from 1995 to 1999. In that capacity she fulfilled the responsibilities of Acting Governor, Chief Elections Officer and State Securities Commissioner. She was Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction from 1991-1994, also serving as an ex-officio member of the Wyoming Community College Commission and the Wyoming State Board of Education. She is recognized as a Casper College Distinguished Alumna in appreciation and recognition of her contribution to the field of education and for her public service to the State of Wyoming and the United States of America.
Presented October 2008
Dr. Wayne Hunter
Dr. Hunter graduated from Casper College in 1983 with an associate degree in Wildlife Management. He later obtained a bachelors of science degree from Central Missouri State University in Biology, a master’s of science in entomology from University of Missouri-Columbia, and his Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, in entomology on insect vectors. After completing several postdoctoral positions Dr. Hunter obtained a position with the USDA, Agricultural Research Service, at the U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory, Ft. Pierce, FL. His research pioneered and expanded the understanding of Hemipteran insect genomics, and the genetic basis for insect-pathogen-plant interactions. He discovered the first virus to infect fire ants, along with many other insect viruses. His use of insect viruses as delivery systems in insects has lead to the development of several applications in the management of insects which utilize gene silencing/disruption mechanisms. Dr. Hunter provided his expertise to aid the development of novel solutions to address problems in honey bees, ants, and hemipteran pests. He serves as the lead on the International Asian Citrus Psyllid Genome Consortium, and is on the steering committees for: the International Whitefly Genome Consortium, International Nasonia Genome Consortium, and an active member of the International Pea Aphid Genome Consortium, and is co-developer of the Native North American Grape Genome Database. Dr. Hunter is nationally recognized for his humanitarian work, receiving the national Equal Employment Opportunities & Civil Rights Award. He has been a foster parent for minority children and works in schools to promote science at the elementary and secondary levels of education
Presented October 2007
Dr. Raymond Jacquot
Dr. Jacquot graduated from Casper College in 1958, and continued his education at the University of Wyoming, earning a B.S. and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering. In 1969, he was awarded a Ph.D. from Purdue University in Mechanical Engineering. His teaching career spanned 41 years, teaching 41 different courses. Proving that a true engineer can do anything he puts his mind to, he began teaching electrical engineering at University of Wyoming, serving in all faculty ranks from instructor to professor, finally retiring in 2001 as Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering. Dr. Jacquot has published three major textbooks, chapters in five other books, and countless journal articles. He was selected as the President’s Outstanding Engineer for 2007 by the Wyoming Engineering Society. He is the recipient of the John P. Ellbogen Meritorious Classroom Teaching Award, as well as the Sigma Tau Outstanding Teaching Award for three separate years. The American Society for Engineering Education Rocky Mountain Section honored Ray with their 2000 Teaching Award. He was given a NSF CAUSE grant, which enabled the College of Engineering to develop two hands-on laboratories to complement classroom teaching. He is a member of numerous professional organizations. In addition to his academic accomplishments, Dr. Jacquot is a renowned mountain climber. On July 29, 1961, Ray, along with partner Herb Swedlund, made the first ascent of the Black Ice Couloir on the Grand Teton, the classic ice route in the United States, earlier attempted by Yvon Chouinard. He was among the first to climb other routes in the Tetons, Wind Rivers, Big Horns, Devils, Tower, Vedauwoo, and the Snowy Range.
Presented October 2006
Dr. Holly Nye - Dr. Nye graduated from Casper College in 1974 with an associate degree in Environmental Biology. She obtained her bachelors degree in Zoology in 1976 from Oregon State University. Following graduation, Dr. Nye served as a Surface Warfare Naval Officer from 1977-1994, retiring with the rank of Lieutenant Commander. Her service awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal, and two Navy Achievement Medals. During her military career, Dr. Nye had the opportunity to deploy to locations all over the world. Fluent in Portuguese, she also was posted to the American Consulate in Rio de Janeiro, working with the Brazilian Naval Ministry. In 1996, she entered the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a medical scholar and graduate student, and was awarded her Doctor of Philosophy in Cell and Structural Biology in 2004. At the University of Illinois, Dr. Nye developed a model system for statistical description of limb regeneration loss in Xenopus laevis (African clawed frog) and improved older tadpole limb regeneration quality by ectopic application of a developmentally regulated gene.
Presented October 2005
Steven Bealer
- Dr. Bealer graduated from Casper College in l969. He later received advanced degrees from the University of Wyoming. Following several prestigious fellowships, Dr. Bealer joined the physiology and biophysics faculty at the University of Tennessee. Today he is professor of pharmacology and toxicology at the University of Utah. His research has clarified the relationship between certain hormone receptors in nursing mothers’ brains and weight gain in infants. Dr. Bealer has also led important research into the role of the brain in regulating the body’s response to dietary sodium.
Presented October 2004
Leroy Strausner
- Dr. Strausner first arrived at Casper College as a student in the fall of 1958. That first meeting would blossom into a lifetime affair. He was elected student body president his sophomore year; later in life he would be named president of his alma mater. After completing additional degrees at the University of Northern Colorado, Dr. Strausner returned to Casper College as a psychology teacher. He was director of housing from 1967 to 1975, director of counseling from 1975 to 1985, dean of students from 1985 to 1989, and vice president for student services from 1989 to 1990. He was named interim president on July 1, 1990. In 1991, he was hired as the sixth chief executive officer for Casper College. He retired from the college in June of 2004. His caring commitment to students was a hallmark. Dr. Strausner was dedicated to the traditions and development of the college, which enjoyed unprecedented growth during his tenure as president.
Presented October 2003
Ron Franscell
- Ron is a very successful newspaper editor/publisher. His journalism career began as a Chinook editor at Casper College, and has taken him from Wyoming and the west to locations around the world. After graduating from the University of Wyoming, Ron went to work as a reporter for the Sheridan Press. He served as a reporter and editor of the Casper Star-Tribune, and later worked as a writer and editor for newspapers in New Mexico and California. In 1989 he became editor and publisher of the Gillette News Record. He is currently a senior writer for the Denver Post and an accomplished author. Ron has earned more than 50 state and national writing awards. In l995, he was honored with the prestigious Freedom of Information Award from the National Newspaper Association. For five consecutive years, he earned Wyoming’s Editorial Leadership Cup. In l999, his novel “Angel Fire” was listed among the 100 best novels of the 20th Century West.
Presented October 2002
Ellyn Cavanagh
– Dr. Cavanagh’s career has centered around neonatal nursing and care of children, particularly those in critical condition. She was a clinical nurse in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit of the University of California at LA Medical Center. She also collaborated on the development of the Infant Medical Dispatch Center and expanded the nursing program. She volunteered her services at Hospital Universitaro del Valle in Cali, Columbia, S.A. as a consultant-neonatal intensive care nurse. She was responsible for the clinical education and support of the nursing staff. In her current position as Assistant Professor of Nursing in the School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Georgetown University and as a pediatric nurse practitioner in the Division of Child Neurology she focuses on children with complex neurological and behavioral disorders. She has worked as a critical care nurse and educator at many hospitals. She has written and received many grants for her concentration on critically ill children.
Presented October 2001
Kurt Stamm
- After graduating from Casper College in l984, Stamm finished his undergraduate education at the University of Utah. Since then he has gone on to a successful acting and directing career. Stamm hooked up with Richard Maltby, who wrote and directed (among other shows) "Miss Saigon" and "Big." Stamm was Maltby's assistant director of "Fosse" which just closed a two and a half year run on Broadway. Stamm has been the director/choreographer of many productions and this fall returned to Casper College to direct "Anything Goes." He is currently directing a national tour of "Leader of the Pack."
Presented October 2000
Karen Higgins, Ph.D.
- Dr. Higgins graduated from Casper College in l968. She earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics in l972 from the University of Idaho, and a year later completed a master's degree in electrical engineering there. In l991, she earned a master's degree in business administration and in l997 she completed the Doctorate in Executive Management from the Claremont Graduate School. (Calif.). She has served as Executive Director and Director of Research and Engineering at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division in California since July of l998 with a mission to provide U.S. forces with "effective and affordable integrated warfare systems and life cycle support to ensure Battlespace Dominance."
Presented October, 1999
Nancy Curtis
- Graduated from Casper College in 1967. While at Casper College, Nancy was a Chinook newspaper editor. She is now the owner/operator of both a cattle ranch and an independent publishing company, High Plains Press. She is co-editor of Leaning into the Wind: Women Write from the Heart of the West (Houghton Mifflin, 1997), a collection of writing by contemporary women from the high plains. The book was named one of 20 notable nonfiction books of 1998 by the Christian Science Monitor.
Presented October 1998
Paul R. "Bob" Streich
- A highly decorated naval aviator. Served as Admiral Byrd's chief pilot during operation "Deep Freeze," the discovery and exploration period of the Antarctic Continent. He was honored by the Worldwide Explorer's Club as one of its 50 most noteworthy explorers of the 20th Century. His military career took him to the Pentagon, where he served the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Presented October 1997
Ben Boedeker, Ph.D.
- Received his Ph.D. from Colorado State University. Honored for his research in tropical disease in the South Pacific, and for his exemplary and pioneer work in the field of medicine. His efforts at establishing medical training protocol during the Afghan-Russian war led to the publishing of a manual which is still used today.
Presented September 1996
William J. Phillips
CC Graduation 1952 with honors, graduated UW in 1954, and went on to attend Stanford. Career dedicated to improving technologies in the fields of telecommunications and signal processing, and to improving analytic efforts related to strategic and tactical initiatives sponsored by the Department of Defense. Founder of North Star associates. He is currently director of 2 other companies that develop innovative technology in telecommunications and precision geolaction.
Presented September 1994
Roxana Boyles
(Deceased) CC Graduation 1971.
She overcame incredible odds to earn accolades in the field of diabetes research. She started her research at 14 years, and devoted her life to find a cure for diabetes. Many successes in area of pancreas/islet cell transplant research is due to her work. Unfortunately, she lost her battle with diabetes at the age of 44.
Presented September 1994
Joe Alexander
CC Graduation 1967.
Distinction in Pro-Rodeo Hall of Fame. Was college bareback riding champion, before going pro. Has 5 world championships in his specialty event. He is currently a rancher/businessman in California.
Presented September 1993
Douglas M. Crowe
CC Graduation 1969.
Ph.D. in zoology from UW in '74. Distinction in wildlife management. Served in Wyoming game and fish department, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife in Washington D.C. Assisting the Botswana (Africa) Dept. of Wildlife and National Parks in its efforts to save the African Elephant population.
Presented November 1992
F. Russell Huson
CC Graduation 1957.
Dr. Huson graduated from San Diego State U., and Berkeley. Scholar in elementary particle physics, accelerator technology,and superconductry magnets. Participated in the discovery of 2 elementary particles.
Presented November 1991
Leslie M. Lawson
CC Graduation 1967.
Litigated and won the first sexual harassment trial in the U.S., setting a national precedent. Currently a private judge for Judicial Arbiter Group Inc. in Denver.
Presented November 1990
Richard Cheney
CC Graduation 1963.
Serving as Vice-President of the United States. Served as White House Chief of Staff for President Gerald Ford. Was elected and represented Wyoming in the House of Representatives. In 1989 he was confirmed by U.S. Senate, and sworn in as U.S. Secretary of Defense.
Presented May 1989
Stephen W. Nicholas M.D.
CC Graduation 1974.
Graduated from UW and later Colorado University medical school. He studied and taught at Columbia University's medical complex, Harlem Hospital, the University of Pennsylvania, and College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia. Distinction in research and instruction in the field of pediatrics, the study of AIDS, and dedication to health care of underprivlidged children with AIDS and their families.
Presented May 1988
Charles W. Hord
CC Graduation 1957.
Received his Ph.D. from University of Colorado. He is associated with the lab for atmospheric and space physics as a research scientist and with NASA, conducting ultraviolet spectrometer experiments on earth orbiting satellites, and interplanetary space crafts such as Voyager II. Such data has led to better understanding of earth's atmosphere and solar system.
Presented May 1987
Dean Conger
CC Graduation 1945.
Recipient of outstanding national and international photographic and press awards. He has traveled worldwide with National Geographic on "life in depth" missions.
Presented May 1987
Richard A. "Dick" Tobin
(Deceased) CC Graduation 1953.
Served as member of the CC Board of Trustees, Wyoming Legislature (including presidency of the Wyoming State Senate), court commissioner, city attorney, and mayoral administrative assistant. He was also involved with many charitable organizations.
Presented May 1986
Marlan O. Scully
CC Graduation 1959.
Dr. Scully earned degrees at UW and Yale. International authority in laser physics, and quantum optics. Pioneer in field, his research involved explaining the laser from the photon point of view, using lasers to detect gravitational radiation, developing high power lasers for star wars technology and developing laser gyroscope systems.
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