2010 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients
Spirit of Francis - Dr. Richard Brostrom '84
Dr. Richard Brostrom has been selected to receive the Alumni Association's highest honor, the Spirit of Francis Award, which honors an alumnus/a who embodies and exemplifies Franciscan values in his or her personal, professional, and spiritual life.
As the Director of Public Health in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Dr. Brostrom was given the opportunity to address an urgent outbreak associated with fatal multidrug-resistant Tuberculosis in a poverty-stricken, underserved population in the Federated States of Micronesia. His work not only in the treatment of Tuberculosis and other health threats for those in the Pacific islands, but also in prevention and education for the people of the Northern Mariana Islands has been recognized internationally. Colleagues praised Dr. Brostrom for his caring and respect for patients and his tireless work with government, private sector, and non-profit agencies to treat and prevent Tuberculosis outbreaks. Additionally, Dr. Brostrom has also worked toward the prevention of cervical cancer in the Northern Mariana Islands through use of the HPV vaccine, was instrumental in supporting a non-smoking bill that was passed in Saipan, and worked to prevent the spread of the H1N1 virus during the recent outbreak.
According to a colleague who nominated him, "there is no better example of the ability of a physician to change the entire lives of patients, and the fate of a community."
Professional Development - Todd Goldsmith '92
Todd Goldsmith received the Distinguished Alumni Award for Professional Development, which honors alumni for significant and broad accomplishments in one's professional career.
Todd currently serves as the Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tulsa, OK, a position he has held since 2002. He is responsible for overseeing twelve schools with a total student enrollment of over 4,500. He also currently serves as the president of the Oklahoma Private School Accreditation Commission, the representative for the state of Oklahoma for the Council for American Private Education (CAPE), and as the president of the Oklahoma Conference of Catholic Schools Accrediting Association (OCCSAA). In 2001, he received his M.S. in Education from Oklahoma State University, where he majored in Curriculum and Supervision.
According to Sr. Rochelle Potaracke, who supervised Todd as a student teacher at Viterbo, "Todd was concerned about each student and took the time to encourage and motivate the individuals. He possessed servant leadership before that phrase was even in our vocabulary."
Service to the University - Sally (Kramer) Emerson '77, '98
Sally Emerson received the Distinguished Alumni Award for Service to the University, which honors alumni for generous and devoted service to Viterbo University.
Prior to her current position as the Alumni Relations Coordinator at Western Technical College, Sally served as the Director of Alumni Relations at Viterbo University from 1989-2006. In her 17 years of service, she was responsible for building the Alumni Association from the ground up and developing it into a successful network of over 17,000 alumni today. Sally developed alumni programs, coordinated volunteers, executed special fundraising efforts, and increased communication and engagement between alumni and the university. While at Viterbo, she also served on numerous committees, including 16 years on the Commencement committee which she also chaired for several years. In 2003, she received the Fr. J. Thomas Finucan Exemplar of Mission Award at Viterbo for her service and commitment to supporting Viterbo's mission.
According to an Alumni Board member who nominated her, "Sally was the embodiment of the Franciscan value of hospitality. Wherever she interacted with alumni - whether at board meetings, social functions or in any number of situations - she maintained an unfailingly cordial and gracious presence."