2007 Alumni Awardees

Alumni of the Year Award
Presented to an alumnus/alumna who has enriched the lives of others through their generous gifts of time and talent, their involvement with civic, charitable and social causes and their ability to inspire.

Alumna of the Year Award
Lt. Colonel Lillian Martin, Retired ‘51

Our Alumna of the Year Award recipient is a credit to the academic roots of NICE that is today, Lewis-Clark State College. Lt. Colonel Lillian Martin became familiar with our institution at a very early age as her father worked as a maintenance man at NICE. Lillian, like so many others, was not the product of a wealthy family and for many that meant that working one’s way through school was a necessity. Her family’s wealth was measured by what her parents could do to ground her in a value system worthy of respect.

Practicality enticed Lillian to enlist in the U.S. Army, where she embarked on a 20 year career (23 with the Army Reserve years) climbing to the ranks of Lt. Colonel. There were no “re-ups” past the 20 years available to her, but she wasn’t ready for retirement.

Lillian went job hunting and purposefully applied at LCSC when she heard of a librarian’s opening. In 1977, Lillian began her second tour of duty at the college. When Lillian left LC ranks, she did so as a proud participant in the Alumni Association, a philanthropist for many who could not have walked at graduation without the assistance of the alumni group, and a professional who was a living part of the school’s history.

Alumnus of the Year Award
Representative Mike Mitchell ‘51

Mike’s award nomination materials included these tributes: “When I came to Lewiston, Mike was the talk of the town – the newly elected distributing man who made it big in his bid to go to Boise. Mike was Lewiston’s hometown vocal presence in Boise, he was to become a vocal supporter of the LCSC and its place in the Lewis-Clark Valley. Mike grew up in the normal hill area where he delivered newspapers as a young man. He moved to California and returned to Lewiston after service in the U.S. Navy. Mike has always been a promoter who wasn’t afraid of work. He helped to found a semi-pro baseball team, honored local football players with an annual banquet and funded the Opportunity School for handicapped and disadvantaged children. This laid the groundwork for Mike’s health and welfare interest in Boise and work for good causes, including LCSC.

He served six two-year terms in the House of Representatives. He then became Governor Cecil Andrus’ Chief of Staff. He left elected office until running again successfully for the House just a few years ago for the seat now held by alumna Liz Chavez upon Mike’s retirement. In the interim he was a member of the Idaho Transportation Board. He has also been known as “Idaho’s Mr. Clean.” For a number of years he coordinated a volunteer program to keep our streets clean.

We want to recognize and thank Mike and his wife, Arlene, for their continued support of LCSC and our community. They both still find LC events at the center of their lives and consider themselves to be the distributors of the LC message in every corner of the state.

Marion Shinn Lifelong Achievement Award
This year the Alumni Association wanted to create an award that would recognize the outstanding contributions of an alumnus who has shown long-term dedication and service to the College and their community. The board chose to honor Dr. Marion Shinn for his distinguished record of service and achievement, by naming the new award in his honor.

Dr. Shinn graduated from Lewiston Normal in 1940. After graduation he taught in one room schools in Dixie and Melrose, Idaho. After serving our country in World War II he returned to Lewiston to teach at Lewiston High School. He received his Doctorate from the University of Idaho in 1972. His career at L-C began as the Dean of Vocational Education in 1965. He was instrumental in organizing the board of directors of Clearwater Economic Development Association, where he served from 1967 to 1984.

Marion was a major factor in the formation and building of the Lewis-Clark State College Alumni Association. Marion retired from L-C in 198l.

His dedication and commitment to his community is impressive, to say the least. He was a member of the Lewiston City Council beginning in 1980 and proudly served as Lewiston’s mayor from 1987-1988.

He has been a member – with 46 years of perfect attendance – of the Lewiston Orchards Kiwanis Club. He is a past president of the organization, served as Governor three times, and currently serves as secretary – a position he has held for the past 22 years. He has also member a member of the U.S. Submarine Veterans of WWII since 1976. He served as Idaho State Commander for 13 years, past Regional Director of the NW District and is the representative to the Idaho Veterans Home in Lewiston. In addition he is involved with the Retired Educators of North Central Idaho; volunteered for the Senior Nutrition Program since 1992. He and his wife have presented hundreds of travelogues to service, church and other organizations over the last 20 years.

Excellence in Education Award
Recognizes superior achievement in the field of education. The recipient serves as a role model and sets standards of excellence to which others can aspire.

Greg Rish ‘80

Greg currently teaches PE at Cedar Valley Elementary School in the Kent School District. He has been a presenter at numerous Best of the West PE Conferences. He also was the Keynote presenter at the Kennewick School District for their Focus on Instruction for elementary PE teachers. He specializes in games that are fun for kids as well as promoting physical fitness. He has PE clubs at his school that teachers all over the state are using. These clubs go anywhere from the hackey sack club to the mileage club for running. His students say they love PE and find that Mr. Rish loves them as well.

Cedar Valley students are very lucky to have Mr. Rish as their teacher. He spends literally hundreds of dollars out of his own pocket each year to ensure that his students get the best equipment and rewards. He is truly a professional teacher.

Greg fondly remembers his days at L-C – the wonderful faculty, small class sizes and Effie Burgers!

Aletha Pabst Award
Pays tribute to someone who is not an alumnus, but has made significant contributions to Lewis-Clark State College.

Mike Ripley

Mike has a passion to see LC succeed! He has served on the Warrior Athletic Association board for a number of years, helping create a WAA our athletes and fans can be proud of. Mike has also joined the LCSC Foundation as a board member and serves as the Chair of the Development Committee which is leading the $3 million fundraising endeavor for the institution. Mike has also spent years promoting LCSC by broadcasting the LCSC NAIA World Series.

Mike is an outstanding advocate and spokesperson to see great things transpire on the LCSC campus. With his enthusiasm, knowledge and contacts, he has benefited the institution in numerous ways and we are proud to recognize him with this year’s Aletha Pabst Award.

Rising Star Awards
Recognizes significant contributions by an individual in their field of endeavor, whether through professional achievement or community service. The recipient is aged 40 or under, and sets and inspirational example for future young alumni.

Young Alumna of the Year
Natalie (Munn) Holman ‘99/’00.

Natalie graduated with her Associate’s Degree in Paralegal Studies in 1999 and her Bachelor of Applied Science in 2000.

Natalie represents LCSC as a positive role model of an outstanding young alumna. She has accomplished numerous goals since attending LCSC. She has used her paralegal profession to become a productive member of the Lewiston community. Natalie is a dependable and loyal employee. She has stayed connected to LCSC as an active alumna contributing to the paralegal program, including speaking to classes of prospective paralegal students. Natalie currently balances her professional work with her marriage and motherhood.

Young Alumnus of the Year
Spencer Branting ‘97

Spencer is a highly-regarded mechanical designer. His resume includes extensive work in structural engineering and machining, inorganic and organic chemistry, and atomic force microscopy and semiconductor construction. He is also a key link in the biodiesel/alternative fuels network in the Seattle area.

Spencer’s motto is “Multiple solutions to a single problem.” Some of his accomplishments are International Science and Engineering Fair finalist, 4 times (3 awards); Patent Office (Department of Commerce) Award for creative engineering.