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2013 Alumni Achievement Awards


Carol Brown

Director, Alumni Programs

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999


Fax: 309-341-7770


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Recipients of t he 2013 Alumni Achievement Awards

Knox celebrated the 176th anniversary of its founding with the presentation of Alumni Achievement Awards at the 2013 Founders Day Convocation on Friday, February 15, in the Muelder Room, Seymour Library.

Receiving 2013 awards were Ann McConachie '71, an educator who has taught in the United States and Africa; W. Dudley McCarter '72, whose law firm in Missouri has been rated as one of the best in the country for 2013; and Lori Sundberg '95, president of Carl Sandburg College.

Receiving the 2013 Young Alumni Achievement Award was Geoff Ziegler '03, media specialist for ESPN.

2013 Recipients

Ann McConachie '71Ann McConachie '71

Citation presented by Jerry Tatar '71

Ann taught students with learning disabilities in a regular elementary school classroom setting for more than 35 years. In 2003, she retired and began to travel. After experiencing the Grand Canyon via the rocky waters of the Colorado River, and trips to China and Egypt, she asked herself, "What's next?" Fast-forward to March 2011, when Ann went on a safari in Tanzania. As a part of the trip, her tour group visited a newly established primary school called Amka Afrika (which means "Wake Up Africa" in Swahili), but this school didn't look much at all like the schools Ann had known back home. The school consisted of two dirt-floored rooms with no windows or door. There were no books, art supplies, puzzles, science equipment, maps and globes, gym equipment, or other typical school supplies.

A discussion with the owner and developer of Amka School inspired Ann to come back to the U.S. in order to form the Amka Afrika School Foundation, which, in a matter of months, not only donated furniture and supplies but also remodeled the school building, adding features like new toilets and a rainwater tank. In May 2011, she completed a month-long class at the Teaching English as a Foreign Language Institute of Chicago and in September 2011, began studying Swahili at the Swahili Institute of Chicago.

Ann spent most of 2012 teaching at the school herself-along with current Knox students Hannah Black '13 and Max Pottoff '13-and in February 2013, she'll return to continue her work with the Amka School. Ann works tirelessly to help teachers and parents embrace a sustainable teaching and parent support culture, which will secure the school's future. Sifuel, a fellow teacher, wrote a testimonial for Ann and, in closing, said, "So, Annie, you are the hope of our school."

It is my honor to present a 2013 Alumni Achievement Award to Ann McConachie for her achievements in education.

Watch her award presentation.

W. Dudley McCarter '72W. Dudley McCarter '72

Citation presented by Liz Grana '06

In 1992, Dudley helped found Behr, McCarter & Potter, a law firm in Missouri that was recently listed in U.S. News and World Report's 2013 list of Best Law Firms. Dudley himself has played an active role in his state's legal system, serving as the president of the St. Louis County Bar Association from 1986 to 1987 and as the president of the Missouri Bar Association from 1993 to 1994.

The Missouri Bar awarded him the Purcell Professional Award in 2001 for his professional and charitable work, and he is a multi-year recipient of their W. Oliver Rasch Award, for the Journal of The Missouri Bar's best article of the year. The Fellows of the St. Louis Bar Foundation recognized Dudley with the 2008 Foundation Award for his outstanding contributions to the St. Louis community and legal profession. His peers selected him to be included in The Best Lawyers in America for the last eight years. Dudley received the Geyer Award from the University of Missouri-Columbia for his services to higher education.

Additionally, Dudley is committed to serving the Missouri, St. Louis, and Knox communities. He served as chair of the board of the Children's Trust Fund of Missouri for the Prevention of Child Abuse from 2001 to 2003, and on the school board for the Parkway School District, one of the largest districts in Missouri. He is currently on the board of the St. Louis Crisis Nursery. Dudley also gives his time and resources to Knox. He helps the Admission effort by recruiting students, remains active in the St. Louis Knox Club, serves on reunion committees, and is a member of the K Club.

It is my honor to present a 2013 Alumni Achievement Award to Dudley McCarter for his achievements in law.

Watch his award presentation.

Lori Sundberg ‘95Lori Sundberg '95

Citation presented by Teresa Amott, President of Knox College

Lori's rise to a career in higher education did not follow the traditional path. After earning her cosmetology certificate from Carl Sandburg College in 1977, she worked in the field, eventually starting her own business. In 1991, while continuing to manage her business, Lori returned to Carl Sandburg to begin baccalaureate studies, and in 1993, transferred to Knox.

Until her graduation from Knox in 1995, Lori had no plans to change careers. Yet after filling in for a Carl Sandburg faculty member, she knew she was drawn to higher education. Lori went on to work in several senior administrative positions at Carl Sandburg, including vice president of academic services. Additionally, she has been an adjunct instructor at Carl Sandburg for macro and micro economics and a guest lecturer in economics at Knox teaching accounting within the business administration curriculum.

Lori has published papers and conducted presentations on market research, enrollment trends, and business management topics for local, state, and national audiences. She conducted the survey data analysis for the City of Galesburg Comprehensive Plan. Lori has been recognized as the Sandburg distinguished alumnae of the year in 2003, received Galesburg's Progressive Woman Award in 2005 and 2007, and won a professional development award in 1998 from the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations.

In addition to her professional work, Lori is immersed in community service, having served on various community and state boards and organizations, including Leadership Greater Galesburg, the Business Redevelopment Commission, the Joint Taxing Body Commission, Galesburg Business and Technology Center, GREDA, and Noon Rotary. She is a peer reviewer with the North Central Association of the Higher Learning Commission, as well as co-chair of the Student Development Committee for the Illinois Community College Council of Presidents.

Much of Lori's work has been inspired by a deep love of the Galesburg community, higher education, and the understanding that many roads lead students to pursue higher learning.

It is my honor to present a 2013 Alumni Achievement Award to Lori Sundberg for her achievements in higher education.

Watch her award presentation.

Geoff Ziegler '03Geoff Ziegler '03

Citation presented by Larry Welch, Clara A. Abbott Distinguished Professor of Chemistry

In his current job, Geoff oversees five employees in the company's Client Technology Services and Support-Media group, which provides the information technology tools enabling ESPN production personnel to create television, radio, and digital media for sports fans. In 2007, Geoff helped ESPN invent new ways to cover NASCAR races after the association took a five year hiatus from television. Geoff and his team's innovations were so groundbreaking that he received a 2008 Sports Emmy in the category of Outstanding Remote Production Technical Team. Many of the technical items the team tried for the first time during that season have since been copied by Fox and Turner Sports networks.

As a Knox student, Geoff was a leader with great communication and organization skills. He was catcher for the Prairie Fire Baseball team, serving as captain his senior year. As an extra-curricular activity, he broadcast the Prairie Fire Basketball games, back in the pre-internet-streaming-video days. He and Tim Biagini traveled to the away games and operated with the resources and the technology at their disposal. He also was a sportswriter for The Knox Student, serving as editor-in-chief his junior year. During the summer before his senior year at Knox, Geoff received a internship in the chemistry lab to do research. He did chromatography experiments from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and then worked in the evenings as a little league umpire in the Galesburg community. As a senior, Geoff worked for a local radio station broadcasting from high school football games. In many ways, Geoff gained valuable experience in broadcast journalism while at Knox, and he has applied his liberal arts background to sports media ever since and has made a name for himself while doing so.

It is my honor to present a 2013 Young Alumni Achievement Award to Geoff Ziegler for his achievements in sports communication.

Watch his award presentation.

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