Each spring, the Alumni Association Board of Directors presents a series of awards, and this year’s recipients represent as talented and committed a set of Bulldogs as ever.
Sam Aguilar ’09 received the Ray Whitmus Award, which honors a College of Arts and Sciences graduate from the last 10 years who demonstrates active leadership, professional achievement, and commitment to the community and University. Aguilar, who has taught Spanish at Banning High School since 2012, volunteers as a football coach and AVID (college-readiness) tutor, advises the coding club, and is a member of the Positive Behavior Interventions and Support team.
Joe Bartell ’02 was awarded the Alumni Educator of the Year Award for excelling professionally in K-12 education. Bartell has served as the band director at Brea Olinda High School for 15 years and advocates for education through his leadership with the California Teachers Association, the Brea Olinda Teachers Association, and the Orange Service Center.
Alissa Crans ’99 was presented the Impact Award, given to alumni under age 50 with outstanding records of career achievement and potential for future success. Crans earned national recognition with the Hasse Prize for expository writing from the Mathematical Association of America, as well as an Alder Award for distinguished teaching.
Norm Naylor ’63 received the Community Service Award for exceptional service to his community. After completing careers in education and the Air National Guard, Naylor has performed extensive volunteer work, including service to the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserves organization, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, Zoo Knoxville, and his alma mater.
Chris Poland ’72 received the Alumni Career Achievement Award, which recognizes those who excel in their fields and are successful leaders within their professions. Poland’s 40-year career in structural and earthquake engineering included 20 years as CEO of Degenkolb Engineers, and later, chair of the board. Under his leadership, the firm tripled in size, delved into new markets, and made advances in earthquake engineering.
Renee Whitson ’73, ’74 was presented the “R” Award for outstanding service in the community and for actions that bring honor to the University. Whitson has held positions at every level of education in school districts throughout California: teacher of the deaf, psychologist, counselor, assistant principal, principal, deputy superintendent, and superintendent. She was also an adjunct faculty member at Cal State Bakersfield and works with the Tulare County Office of Education Impact program.
To submit a nomination for the 2019 awards, visit www.redlands.edu/engage or contact Christopher Alvarez at 909-748-8011.