News Release
University Affairs Office
1801 E. Cotati Avenue
Rohnert Park, CA 94928-3609
(707) 664-2057
    October 5, 2004    
    Contact: Kate McClintock, Alumni Association, (707) 664-2693


SSU Distinguished Alumni Range From Semiconductor
Engineer and Zoologist to Medical Educator

In recognition of their outstanding professional achievements and personal contributions to their community, three alumni have been selected to receive Sonoma State University Alumni Association's 2004 Distinguished Alumni Award.

Sonoma State University and the Alumni Association will honor these outstanding graduates, whose occupations range from a medical educator to a zoologist and a semiconductor engineer, during Distinguished Alumni Day, October 14.

Highlights of the day will include a luncheon with President Ruben Arminana, a dedication to these alumni at SSU's Alumni Grove and Brick Path, and visits to classrooms and campus centers. The day culminates with the Distinguished Alumni Awards Dinner.

The awards dinner includes a 5:30 p.m. reception and a 6:30 p.m. dinner at the Doubletree Hotel in Rohnert Park. The cost for the event is $50 for Alumni Association members, SSU faculty and staff and $55 for non-members. Tables of eight can be reserved for $1,000. Dress is business attire. Those who wish to attend should RSVP by Oct. 10 at (707) 664-2426.

This year's Distinguished Alumni are:

. Ford began his career in thesemiconductor industry in Southern California. He worked as a corporate facility director for more than 20 years, and in that capacity applied industrial engineering, construction and project management techniques to the design, planning and management of facilities for corporations such as Honeywell, General Dynamics and Sony Corporation of America and, locally, OCLI and Tegal/Motorola.

He designed environments to increase productivity and organizational effectiveness by making the facilities more responsive to user needs. In 1993, he became a principal of The Fifth Resource, Inc., a Cotati firm committed to assisting businesses grow in Sonoma and Napa counties. The company promotes sustainable economic development through good business practices, employment advocacy, and utilizing engineering tools to develop business and facilities plans.

Ford earned a B.S. in industrial engineering from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, in 1972. Realizing the need to humanize his engineering training, he completed a master's degree in management at Sonoma State University in 1979. He has been an active community volunteer and supports many causes.

As board chair and advocate for the partnership between the Rancho Adobe Fire District and Sonoma State University, he was instrumental in the development of a FEMA grant for more than $300,000 to replace breathing apparatus and other necessary equipment. Ford served as president of the Sonoma State University Alumni Association from 2000 to 2001 and is currently the chair of the Association's campus enhancement committee. He conceived and dedicated the Alumni Grove, Alumni Amphitheater and Alumni Brick Path on the SSU campus.

. As an introductory zoology course instructor to over 1,700 students per year at the University of Oklahoma, Dr. Gaffin's course was consistently rated as one of the most challenging and enjoyable on campus.

His teaching experience began at his alma mater Oregon State University, where he earned a Ph.D. in Zoology and Neurophysiology in 1994. As an instructor in a large-enrollment anatomy and physiology course, Gaffin was one of the first instructors to use computer technology in the classroom.

He wrote grants for computers, electronic equipment and software to modernize the human anatomy and physiology teaching laboratories - a significant accomplishment when placed in the context of his temporary hire, non-tenure track, position.

The publishing company McGraw-Hill invited Dr. Gaffin to focus groups, and his thoughtful contributions led to him co-authoring a biology textbook entitled "Life." A related project called Active Art sprang from the textbook. Active Art allows instructors to decompose a textbook's art to its core elements, making it easier to use PowerPoint to tell a complex story. Active Art started with "Life," but McGraw-Hill now ties it to each of its major science textbooks.

In addition to his Ph.D., Dr. Gaffin holds a teaching credential from Sonoma State University, and a B.S. from the University of California at Berkeley. He currently holds the position of Dean of University College at the University of Oklahoma.

. Klein serves as the Associate Dean for Student Services and Administrative Operations at Yale University. In addition, he contributes to medical education and practice by serving as a co-principal investigator for a funded project called "Medical School Participation in Ambulatory Care and School-Based Health Centers," awarded by the New York State Department of Health.

Throughout his career, Klein has advanced developing strong links between education and community involvement through research, special projects, curricular innovations, policy change, and practice implementation.

In addition to his master's degree in public health, and his doctorate in sociomedical sciences, Klein was selected for additional training as a Harvard Macy Scholar at the prestigious Harvard Macy Institute Program for Physician Educators in 2002 and received the honor of a fellowship in Medical Informatics through the National Library of Medicine.

Before accepting the position at Yale University, he was Associate Dean for Primary Care and Associate Director, Center for Primary Care Education at New York Medical College. In these positions he was involved in medical education and developed interdisciplinary programs that broadened the views of medical students and health professionals. He taught courses on clinical skills, community and preventive medicine, and health care in the United States.

Throughout his career, Klein has worked to enhance the medical education for primary care physicians and to improve medical practice. Klein received a Ph.D. from Columbia University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in 2000, a M.P.H. from Yale University, School of Medicine in 1986, and a B.A. from Sonoma State University in 1982.

The Distinguished Alumni Awards was established in 1987 to recognize outstanding graduates and former students, and is the highest honor bestowed on SSU alumni by the Alumni Association.

For more information contact the Sonoma State University Alumni Relations Office at (707) 664-2426.

NOTE: Digital photos of the alumni are available upon request.


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Last Modified: 10/05/2004