Association to present merit awards Oct. 20

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Southeast Missouri State University will present seven alumni and a faculty member with Merit Awards at the Copper Dome dinner Oct. 20 at the Show Me Center.

The Alumni Association will present the annual awards at the 6:30 p.m. dinner.

This year's winners are Dr. David Amberger, president and laboratory director for Aloha Laboratories in Honolulu, Hawaii; Dr. Edward Cleino, a retired University of Alabama educator and administrator; Gary Downing, chief executive officer of Lansinoh Laboratories; Donald Heeb, retired athletic director at Vianney High School in St. Louis; Mark Hitt, manager of the Missouri Department of Agriculture's international marketing program; Kathy Toon, a teacher of homeless students in downtown San Diego; and Lt. Gen. Clyde Vaughn, deputy director for operations for the U.S. Army National Guard.

Barry Bernhardt, director of the Golden Eagles Marching Band, will receive the Faculty Merit Award, school officials said.

Amberger, a 1980 graduate who majored in biology, is the only pathologist in Hawaii on the "Best Doctors in America" list. He founded Aloha Laboratories in 1992.

Cleino, a 1938 graduate who majored in music, taught percussion and music education at the University of Alabama from 1949 to 1987. In 1957, he began his 18-year partnership with Alabama Public Television to produce and distribute a weekly show that offered music lessons to more than 60,000 children in 200 schools.

Downing, a 1972 marketing graduate who lives in Fairfield, Conn., was vice president of sales and marketing for Oral-B Laboratories, a division of Gillette, in the 1980s. He has served on the board of directors of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association for 15 years.

Heeb, a 1957 graduate who majored in physical education, coached football and golf at Vianney High School. He won several coaching awards and was inducted into the St. Louis Football Hall of Fame.

Hitt, a 1982 graduate who majored in agribusiness, has traveled to 12 countries in North and South America, Europe and Asia during his 16 years at the Missouri Department of Agriculture. As international marketing director, he and his staff help Missouri farmers, food processors and forestry product companies expand their export sales.

Toon, a 1972 secondary education graduate, has been honored as one of 38 California Teachers of the Year. Before teaching the homeless, she taught juveniles charged with serious crimes and worked at a residential treatment where she taught emotionally disturbed persons.

Vaughn, a 1968 physical graduate, is the only Missouri National Guardsman to ever attain the rank of lieutenant general. He guides development and implementation of all program and policies affecting the National Guard in the United States.

Bernhardt, who has worked at Southeast since 1990, directs the marching band and several other student bands at the university. Bernhardt has been on the production staff of Bowl Games of America for 17 years. He has written and conducted halftime shows for the Orange and Sugar bowls as well as other bowl games.wl games.

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