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2013 Washburn Alumni Awards


Distinguished Service Award

The Distinguished Service Award recognizes alumni who have made personal and professional contributions to society. Nominees should have demonstrated exemplary support to the Washburn Alumni Association and the Association community, served mankind, have had distinguished career and/or brought honor to Washburn University through their accomplishments.

Carol (Lyon) Vogel, ba ’67, Topeka

Carol VogelVogel has worked at Washburn for more than 40 years. After receiving a bachelor of arts in German, she was an instructor of German from 1969 to 1974. For the next 36 years, Vogel worked half-time as an instructor and half-time as equal opportunity director for the university. She has worked half-time as equal opportunity director since 2010. Vogel has received numerous awards, and her service to the community includes being a board member of the Brown Foundation for Educational Equity and Nonoso advisor.

Vogel on Washburn: “I think it’s safe to say that Washburn IS my career and is inseparable from my life. … I have been fortunate to have been associated with so many talented, caring and outstanding individuals on the faculty and staff. … The personal connections and friendships with my students and colleagues, as well as the fun of the classroom, have been highlights of my life.”


Lilla Day Monroe Award

The Monroe Award honors a woman who has distinguished herself as a teacher, instructor, administrator or benefactor at the university and who has served the community and/or her profession. The Monroe Award is named for suffragist, lawyer and publisher Lilla Day Monroe.

Cynthia (Schmidt) Heath, ba ’71, Chesterfield, Mo.

Cynthia HeathHeath, who also has a juris doctor degree, is the vice president for executive compensation for Emerson Electric Co. of St. Louis, a $24-billion manufacturing company. She has also worked as employee benefits counsel at Emerson, in private practice at Lewis, Rice & Fingersh, L.C., and as a social science teacher at Topeka West High School. Heath is a member of Nonoso and was a member of Delta Gamma, Student Council, spirit squad and the gymnastics team while at Washburn. Among many service endeavors, she is a trustee of the Washburn University Foundation and a member of the board of directors.

Heath on Washburn: “Washburn provided the opportunity to participate in many activities and reinforced my competitive drive, especially through gymnastics. Both the academic and athletic experiences have served me well over the years. And I met my No. 1 supporter, David Heath, at Washburn.”


Col. John Ritchie Award

The Ritchie Award honors a man who has distinguished himself as a teacher, instructor, administrator or benefactor at the university and who has served the community and/or his profession. The Ritchie Award is named for Col. John Ritchie, who donated the land on which Washburn is built.

Gary Baker, longtime professor, School of Business, Topeka

Gary BakerBaker is a professor of finance at Washburn, where he has been teaching since 1975. He also provides economic analysis for attorneys involved in personal injury and death cases. Baker, a recipient of the Jack and Betty Dicus and Ned Fleming Excellence in Teacher Awards, is involved in the Boy Scout Merit Badge program offered through Washburn and served as a pilot for the Angel Flight program, providing transportation for persons with medical needs.

Baker on Washburn: “As the number of years I have been at Washburn increases I find I enjoy students returning to campus and saying something like, ‘I remember being in your class … that was a good class, thanks.’  I also like, ‘My mom/dad was in your class a very long time ago.’ … I thought it was great fun when a senior pitched a tent in the library during finals week and slept there.”


Graduate of the Last Decade (GOLD) Award

The Graduates of the Last Decade (GOLD) Award honors alumni who demonstrate leadership in career or civic endeavors and loyalty to Washburn University.

Ingrid Bego, ba ’03, Hastings, Neb.

Ingrid BegoBego is an assistant professor of political science at Hastings College. A native of Albania, she serves as panel chairwoman of the Midwest Political Science Association and on the women and gender studies committee and international/diversity programs advisory group at Hastings College. Bego serves her community as a member of the YWCA diversity board and Multicultural Alliance of Hastings, Neb. She is a member of Pi Sigma Alpha, Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Sigma Iota.

Bego on Washburn: “Washburn is a community where everyone contributes to your experience as a student. … Washburn is the cornerstone of who I am today professionally, but also shaped me as an individual and contributing citizen. … Everyone I came in touch with at Washburn supported me in all the ways possible, inspired me to pursue my dreams and to persevere when things became hard.”

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Topeka, KS 66604 Phone: 785.670.4483