The Southwestern Natural Science Hall of Fame was established in order to honor alumni who have performed significant achievements in the sciences, technical industries, and medicine. The college is known for having a quality science department and for producing outstanding graduates. It is the intent of the college to honor graduates who excel in scientifically-related careers.
Michael Brooks ’62, is director of psychiatric services at Brighton Hospital, in Brighton, Michigan, which offers a full spectrum of inpatient and outpatient addiction services including treatment of the chemically dependent population with co-morbid psychiatric disorders. After graduating from Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1966 and then completing a yearlong internship, Brooks served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam, first as a battalion surgeon and then as a general medical officer.
After more than two decades working in family medicine, Brooks completed his psychiatric training at Sinai Hospital in Detroit and is board certified in psychiatry by the American Osteopathic College of Neurologist and Psychiatrist (ACN). In addition, Brooks is certified by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), is an active member of Michigan Society of Addiction Medicine while serving as a consultant to the Michigan Healthcare Professionals Recovery Corporation (MHPRC) as well as on the Physician Well-Being Committee for St Joseph Mercy Health Systems in Southeastern Michigan. Because of his knowledge on addiction and dual diagnosis, in addition to his other speaking engagements, Senators Carl Levin and Oran Hatch invited Brooks to speak at a senate news conference in Washington D.C. on The Use of Suboxone in the Treatment of Substance Abuse. Brooks is also actively involved in the education of medical students and other health professionals through the University of Michigan Medical School, the University of Detroit Mercy College of Health Professions and Wayne State University. Brooks is board certified by the American College of Osteopathic Family Practitioners with a CAQ in addiction medicine, he is a Fellow in the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine and serves on their board of trustees and is president of this organization, is a member of the American College of Neuropsychiatrists, and the American Psychiatric Association.
Angela Tran ’00 is double board-certified in internal medicine and obesity medicine. Tran graduated from Southwestern College with a bachelor of science degree in biology, and went on to medical school at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, Missouri in 2004. She then completed her residency in internal medicine at Exempla St. Joseph Hospital in Denver in 2007. She and her husband, and four-year-old daughter, Haley, now reside in Denver, where she opened her medical practice, Med-Fit Medical Weight Loss. She has practiced in primary care since 2007, and recognized that obesity was often the root cause of many chronic medical conditions that she saw in her office including diabetes and high blood pressure. With her internal medicine background she understands the medical complexities that often serve as barriers to weight loss. After seeing the many struggles her patients had with their weight, she dedicated her practice solely on weight management. At Med-Fit Medical Weight Loss, the primary focus is to teach patients and their families about healthy living through a variety of medically supervised diet and fitness programs. She and her staff of 10 are focused on helping patients improve their physical health and quality of life.
C. Clifford Conaway
C. Clifford Conaway ’60 was a toxicologist, research scientist, and college professor whose distinguished career continued until a year before his death at age 78 in 2017. Conaway spent seven years as a project toxicologist for Texaco before moving to the American Health Foundation (Institute for Cancer Prevention) in 1986. For 17 years he did cancer research focusing on basic research on mechanisms of carcinogenesis and dietary approaches to cancer chemoprevention. He was author of 41 publications at the institute before it closed in 2004. Conaway was a consultant in environmental toxicology, carcinogenesis, and risk assessment, and was project leader for health risk evaluations on emissions from hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities for the EPA. He concluded his career teaching topics related to toxicology at Pace University and at New York Medical College.
Angela Mayorga May
Angela Mayorga May ’97 received her M.D. degree from Creighton University and completed residency training in the combined internal medicine/psychiatry program at the University of Kansas. She was recipient of the Shawn Storm Memorial Award, presented to a graduating psychiatry resident who consistently demonstrates excellence in all aspects of patient-centered care. She was selected one of four chief residents in internal medicine, holding a joint appointment in the department of psychiatry. She joined the psychiatry faculty at the University of Kansas Medical Center in 2007 and holds a joint appointment as assistant professor of psychiatry and internal medicine at KU Medical Center. She also functions as residency director of the psychiatry residency program. Her principal duties are educating residents, staffing the outpatient clinic, and working as a psychiatric consultant to the solid organ transplant service.
Kenneth J. Renner, ’76 has spent his career in education and research, mostly focusing on investigating how steroid hormones affect monoaminergic transmission (dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine pathways) to alter the expression of behaviors, in particular female sexual behavior and stress responses. A faculty member at the University of South Dakota from 1994 to the present, his recent studies have examined the potential roles of organic cation transporters in mediating rapid changes in monoamine neurotransmitters in response to the stress hormone corticosterone. This raises the possibility that the corticosterone blockade of organic cation-mediated transport may contribute to rapid actions of stress hormones in the brain and affect behavioral outcomes. Dr. Renner has spent consider time optimizing and applying techniques for analysis of monoamines in his own lab and has generously shared this knowledge with other investigators. Nominated multiple times for excellence in teaching awards, Dr. Renner continues to be active in science education as a volunteer instructor for the South Dakota Governor’s camp (middle school students) and Ambassadors Camp (high school students).
James A. Anderson
James A. Anderson ’62 is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at the University of South Carolina Upstate. From 1989 to 2007 he was professor of mathematics at the school, where he chaired the Division of Mathematics and Computer Science. He was awarded the first University Annual Award for Scholarly and/or Creative Pursuits. He also had been director of academic computing and coordinator of computer sciences at Emporia State University, and for six years was a software engineer and research scientist at Jet Propulsion Laboratory. His duties there included technical responsibility for the eight ground software systems of NASA’s Galileo Space Project, which contained more than two million lines of code and involved more than two hundred personnel. His 40 publications in number theory, abstract algebra, and computer science include four books.
Ernest W. Reid
Ernest W. Reid 1916 was a chemical engineer who became a pioneer in using agricultural products to produce chemicals. He was associated with the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research in Pittsburgh when he received his doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh. During World War II, Dr. Reid helped establish the chemicals branch of the Office of Production Management (which became the War Production Board) and served as its deputy director general and head of its chemicals division. Reid left that board in 1943 to become vice president of Corn Products Refining. After organizing the chemical division and directing research and development he was named a director in 1947 and president in 1951. He was board chairman from 1956 to his retirement in 1958. Dr. Reid was awarded the medal of the Society of Chemical Industry in 1951. He died in 1966.
Brad Weigle ’72 was hired as a research scientist at the Florida Marine Research Institute in St. Petersburg even before he finished his graduate degree at the University of South Florida. His thesis, a study on the abundance and movement of bottlenose dolphins through Tampa Bay, preceded 13 years leadership of statewide manatee, dolphin, and whale studies. A pioneer in the work of Geographic Information systems, he initiated the vector mapping system for the laboratory; this became a valuable tool for storage and analysis of environmental data. Weigle transitioned into private industry and managed a national GIS contract with the USDA Forest Service. During 17 years he completed more than 300 projects. He retired in 2016 and is now mapping remote areas of Kauai as a volunteer at the National Tropical Botanical Gardens.
Arthur E. Hertzler
Arthur E. Hertzler, class of 1896, known as the “Horse and Buggy Doctor,” brought health care to Kansas which rivaled that found anywhere at the time. Having received his medical degree from Northwestern University Medical School, Dr. Hertzler continued with three years of intensive medical study in Berlin, Germany, before coming back to Kansas. His reputation for diagnosis and treatment was well known and physicians from a wide area consulted with him. Hertzler had been offered a position as Professor of Anatomy at Northwestern, but chose instead to establish the Halstead (Kans.) Hospital in 1902. During that same year, he accepted a position to teach pathology, histology, surgery, and gynecology at the University of Kansas School of Medicine, and yet still held office hours two days a week in Halstead. In 1946, after more than 50 years of 18-hour days, Hertzler retired. The legacy of this outstanding Kansas country doctor lives on through the Hertzler Research Foundation, Agnes Hertzler Memorial Clinic, Kansas Learning Center for Health, and Halstead Hospital.
K. Charles Hunter
K. Charles “Charlie” Hunter ’67 turned a fascination with invertebrate animals and love for teaching into a 42-year career on the Southwestern College faculty. He returned to the college as a sabbatical replacement in 1974 after earning his graduate degrees from the University of Oregon, but plans for a short stay changed when he fell in love with undergraduate teaching and the quality and character of SC students. During this time, he fostered undergraduate research and designed a number of courses that continue to be taught at Southwestern, including his favorite, Animal Physiology. He was the driving force behind SC’s marine biology program and for 16 summers taught students (including Moundbuilders) at the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology. Among Hunter’s awards are two NSF Research Opportunity Awards, a Fulbright Fellowship, several SGA Faculty Citations, the Kopke Teaching Award, and a United Methodist Exemplary Teaching Award.
Gerald E. Weigle II
Gerald E. “Eddie” Weigle II ’93 received undergraduate degrees in both biology/chemistry and physics from Southwestern and a master’s in electrical engineering from Kansas State University before going to work for Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. While at SwRI he worked on software for numerous NASA spacecraft missions, including Deep Impact, Cassini (Saturn), New Horizons (Pluto), and the Curiosity Rover (Mars). Weigle took on leadership of several of the project: On the Pluto project he was lead engineer for operations, and he was software project manager for the Curiosity Rover. He left SwRI in 2013 to move home to Burden, Kan., where he formed Big Head Endian LLC. This professional engineering and software firm continues to work on many of the projects Weigle had at SwRI, in addition to new work in aeronautical and astronautical engineering including flight and mission operations software.
Nathan L. Eckert
Nathan L. Eckert '01 is one of the nation’s foremost authorities in the propagation and culture of freshwater mussels. After earning his master’s degree from Missouri State University, he was hired by the Virginia Department of Game and Freshwater Fisheries to run their Aquatic Wildlife Conservation Center for the purpose of freshwater mussel restoration. In 2010 he took a position raising freshwater mussels for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Genoa (Wisc.) National Fish Hatchery. Over the first decade of his career he was responsible for the production of over 20 million juvenile mussels of 38 species, 14 of which are federally endangered. In 2014 he received the Rachel Carson Award for Scientific Excellence in recognition of his creativity and tenacity in developing new techniques for culturing freshwater mussels.
Harold E. “Gene” Miller
Harold E. “Gene” Miller ’62 was a senior principle scientist for General Mills Research Center from 1968 to 2002. During his research and development there, he was heavily involved in development of one of the company’s most popular products--Cheerios. His research resolved details of the chemical activity during processing that provides stability to oxidative rancidity in cereals. He led research that gained important cost reduction regarding vitamin and mineral use and won FDA approval to label high purity limestone as calcium. The team documented phytochemicals and micronutrients in whole grain products, providing new information to help explain positive health benefits of whole grains besides their fiber content, and he was principal researcher on a paper that compared the antioxidant activity of whole grain, ready-to-eat breakfast cereals to that of fruits and vegetables.
Esther Winkelman Overstreet
Esther Winkelman Overstreet ’28 was one of the earliest women physicians in America and was a family physician in Kansas City for 51 years until retiring in 1987. She was on staff at Research Medical Center and Baptist Medical Center, and in 1965 she was the first woman awarded Family Physician of the Year by the Kansas City Academy of General Practice. In 1992 Dr. Winkelman was recognized as one of 12 outstanding persons in the 25th anniversary edition of MD Magazine, and she received the Award of Merit from the Metropolitan Medical Society of Kansas City. Following her retirement she was considered to be the 10th most traveled person in the United States. She died in 1993 after a car accident on her way to the airport, where she was to fly to the island of Tristan da Cunha.
Harold C. Tretbar
Hal Tretbar ’52 grew up in a family of doctors. His father, brother, uncle and two cousins were doctors, and Hal graduated from the University of Kansas Medical School in 1956. He practiced at the Tucson (Ariz.) Clinic from 1965 until his retirement in 1998. Board certified in internal medicine and rheumatology, he co-founded a Section of Rheumatology at the University of Arizona Medical School, was an arthritis consultant for four hospitals, and started an arthritis clinic at the Veterans Administration Hospital where he was a weekly consultant for 25 years. In addition to being hospital chief of staff, he was board chair for 10 years, taking an HMO from concept to function. He has combined his career in medicine with varied interests that include travel and photography, and he climbed Mr. Kilimanjaro on his 65th birthday.
Mark W. Turrentine
Mark Turrentine ’79 is chief of the Division of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at IU Health, director of the Thoracic Surgery Residency Program at Indiana University School of Medicine, and surgical co-director of the IU Health Heart Transplant Program. He specializes in heart surgeries, mechanical heart support, heart and lung transplantation, and limited access surgical approaches. Since 1998, Dr. Turrentine has been involved with mission work through the Palestinian Children’s Relief Organization, Gift of Life International, and Rotary International. These groups brought children with congenital heart defects to the United States for surgeries they could not have at home. After several years of being limited to the number of children that could be sponsored, Dr. Turrentine organized and led the first Riley Heart Mission team to Amman, Jordan. The team has since participated in 18 trips to Jordan, Uganda, and China, performing over 100 life-sustaining heart surgeries.
Belinda A. Vail
Belinda Vail ’76 is David M. Hueben Endowed Professor and vice chairman of the department of Family Medicine at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. Her clinical practice includes women’s health, procedures, maternity and inpatient care. She teaches students in all four years of medical school, nurse practitioner students, and family medicine residents and has received numerous teaching awards. She served as residency director for the department for 11 years. She has been instrumental in helping the KU chapter of Women in Medicine and Science become a national model for women’s organizations at medical colleges. She has presented over 250 national and international lectures on topics including women’s health and contraception, pediatric diseases, immunizations, skin diseases, obesity, and diabetes. Dr. Vail also is medical director for Community Living Opportunities, a residential facility for developmentally disabled adults.
Ann Allegre ’72 is a physician whose emphasis on palliative care has made her a leader in that field. A graduate of the University of Kansas School of Medicine, Dr. Allegre practiced internal medicine and geriatrics in Kansas City, Kan., from 1981 to 1999, and has specialized in hospice and palliative medicine since then. She began serving as a hospice medical director in 1988. In 2007 she was awarded the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine – Project on Death in American Community Leadership in Palliative Care Award, recognizing her outstanding contributions to the advancement of the field of palliative medicine through the education and training of future leaders. She is clinical associate professor of medicine for the University of Kansas School of Medicine.
W. Brian Howard
W. Brian Howard ’82 earned a master’s degree in biology, systematics and ecology from the University of Kansas and a Ph.D. in toxicology from Utah State University in addition to his Southwestern College undergraduate degrees in business and biology. This led to a career in toxicology and environmental clean-up. A faculty member in toxicology at Xavier University of Louisiana, College of Pharmacy, until 1994, he then began work for the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality. In 1997 Dr. Howard accepted a position in San Antonio as toxicologist for the United States Air Force, advising the Air Force on environmental clean-up issues across the U.S. He separated from the Air Force and has been working for Tetra Tech since 2008 as a director, performing environmental clean-up projects for the US Air Force and health and safety evaluations of novel over-the-counter consumer products.
Ronald K. Lohrding ’63 is an expert in mathematics and the application of risk analysis, spending most of his professional career at the University of California’s Los Alamos National Laboratory. He first used risk analysis to help nuclear scientists determine the site for a nuclear reactor, a technique that became standard for analyzing nuclear technology projects. Dr. Lohrding’s work on risk-based cost-benefit techniques was then funded by the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a strategy for energy and economic development in the Rocky Mountain states. In the 1980s, Dr. Lohrding led a program for energy and minerals development for economic growth in Central America and the Caribbean. In 1991 he founded Cell Robotics, Inc., where a biological workstation was invented that uses lasers to cut and manipulate cells, chromosomes, and genes.
Gordon H. Scott ’22 was a pioneer in medical education. After completing his Ph.D. in anatomy at the University of Minnesota in 1926, Scott’s early work included assisting E.V. Cowdry with cytological studies of malaria at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research. In the department of anatomy at Washington University, he began to do research in medical physics and developed many physical methods of study for biology. One was the nation’s first electron microscope (1935-1936). Scott joined the medical faculty of Wayne State University in 1945 when the medical school occupied one building and had an enrollment of 250 students. When he retired nearly 25 years later, enrollment was well over 2,000. In its 1946 Distinguished Service Award, Wayne State cited Scott as a “creative researcher, distinguished educator, and masterful administrator….His research in histochemistry, aviation physiology, and capillary circulation brought him renown as one of the country’s finest scientists.”
Gregory K. Unruh ’77 is an anesthesiologist and tenured professor at the University of Kansas Medical Center, and most recently has been associate dean for graduate medical education and designated institutional official. A native of Sedan, Kansas, he earned his M.D. at the University of Kansas Medical Center in 1981, and has been an active lecturer and researcher, as well as teaching and practicing medicine. Unruh received the Joel V. Mangold Award for Excellence in Resident Education, and has been anesthesiology residency program director since 2009. His institutional service includes being faculty advisor to the Delp Society (a student/faculty mentoring group) for more than a decade. He also has been an active participant in the American Society of Anesthesiologists and has held multiple offices (including the presidency) in the Kansas Society of Anesthesiologists.
Robert Barrett Wimmer
Servant Leader Award 2012
Robert Barrett Wimmer was born in Westfield, New Jersey. He came to Kansas in 1949 as a student at College of Emporia and obtained a degree in 1952. He went on to obtain a Master’s degree at Emporia State University in 1954 and a PhD at Oklahoma State University in 1970. He taught at Southwestern College from 1959-1996. During his tenure, he received the Outstanding Teaching Award given by the Chamber of Commerce, four Student Government Outstanding Teacher awards, the Bertholf Outstanding Teacher award, and the Ruth and Floyd Fassnacht Outstanding Faculty award. He also generated the NSF grant to renovate the basement of Mossman Hall into biology laboratories. These facts don’t tell the full story of “Doc” Wimmer, though. His family claims Doc never worked a day in his life because he enjoyed teaching so much, and the 790 students with biology majors who graduated from SC during his tenure experienced this gift both in and out of the classroom. He wasn’t driven by monetary goals; as a natural teacher he simply loved interacting with students, telling stories rather than giving lectures. Hundreds of those students also had memorable learning experiences during Jan Term trips Doc led.
Jeffrey L. Boone
Jeffrey L. Boone ’73, M.D., M.S., is a consultant in cardiometabolic health, preventive cardiology, and stress medicine. In 2007, he was selected as one of the 160 top doctors in America by Men’s Health Magazine, and in the top 17 cardiovascular doctors for men. He is president, CEO, and medical director of the Boone Heart Institute, a Denver-based organization dedicated to the eradication of heart disease and stroke. As national co-director of the NFL Player Care Foundation Cardiovascular Program Dr. Boone works with former professional football players to eliminate heart disease and stroke in this high-risk, high-profile group. In 2009, the Boone Heart Institute initiated preventive cardiology testing with the Colorado Rockies. His approach to early detection and aggressive prevention of heart disease has been presented in 12 countries and in 47 states.
Darrel S. English
Darrel S. English ’59 earned his Ph.D. in genetics at Iowa State University then spent the next 30 years teaching a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses at Northern Arizona University. He was Mortar Board Professor of the Year there (1988), received the NAU Presidential Award for Faculty Advisor of the Year (1995), and was the student-selected Homecoming Faculty Dedicatee (1996). He was biology department director of advisement for well over 1,000 biology majors each year. Dr. English was a participant on the Genetics Disease Review and Advisory Committee for the Department of Health and Human Services, and supervised the research of many graduate and undergraduate students. In addition to his research work in cytogenetics and protein chemistry, Dr. English has numerous scholarly publications on the broader issues surrounding genetic engineering and DNA testing.
Jesse R. Gulick
Jesse R. Gulick ’44 began his distinguished science career as a scholarship student at Southwestern College, worked for the U.S. Weather Bureau, then was drafted into service as a military meteorologist during World War II. During his 4½ years in the military he attended UCLA for a year of intense meteorological study, thereby completing his Southwestern degree. After discharge from the Navy in 1945, he returned to the U.S. Weather Bureau and was a professional meteorologist in the Honolulu office until his transfer to the Kansas City office. There he worked as a district forecaster until 1960 when he was recruited to work on the NASA space program’s Project Mercury. He continued with the space program until 1978, when he retired as chief meteorologist for the Kennedy Space Center.
Kenneth I. Laws
Kenneth I. Laws ’72 turned an early fascination with computers into a career as a computer scientist. His dissertation research at the University of Southern California (for a 1980 Ph.D. in electrical engineering) developed a new method of image texture recognition, and Laws texture measures are used today as a benchmark in texture recognition studies. He then was employed by SRI International in the Artificial Intelligence Center. He also founded AIList, an online discussion board. In 1988 the National Science Foundation chose Laws as program director for Robotics and Machine Intelligence. He ran a grant program distributing almost $6 million annually. In 1990 Laws founded Computists International, a society that published an online newsletter for AI scientists. In 2002 he closed Computists International and accepted a contractor position at NASA Ames Research Center in the Intelligent Systems Division working on website and database development for an aircraft data bus system.
Douglas J. Fort
Douglas J. Fort ’86 earned master’s and doctoral degrees in toxicology from Oklahoma State University. In 2000 he co-founded Fort Environmental Laboratories (FEL) in Stillwater, Okla. This environmental toxicology laboratory and consulting firm specializes in the study of amphibians, reptiles, and fish and is the only commercial laboratory in the U.S. to use amphibians and reptilian species as indicators of environment health. FEL has played a critical role in the development and validation of numerous test methods (including short-term embryo-larval assays, EDSP amphibian metamorphosis assays, reptilian reproduction and developmental assays, and fish developmental and reproduction assays). Before founding the laboratory, Fort was vice president of the research and development division of The Stover Group. Fort has served Southwestern College as a member of the Natural Science Advisory Council and by mentoring SC students as interns in his laboratory.
Harold L. Taylor
Harold Leland Taylor ’42 served in the U.S. Navy during World War II as a research assistant at Harvard University Medical School. There he worked on blood plasma research, and his project led to methods for the production of human albumin and gamma globulin to help troops. After the war he joined the staff of the Michigan State Health Department, where for nearly a decade he was in charge of plasma fractionation and plasma research. During this time he earned his doctorate from the University of Kansas. In 1956 he became the head of the immunochemistry department for the Pitman-Moore Company, which later became part of Dow Chemical Co. Later, he was clinical project manager for the Merrell Dow Research Institute, a division of Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals. He retired in 1986 after 30 years of service at Dow. Dr. Taylor received an honorary degree doctorate from Southwestern College in 1973.
Servant Leader Award 2010
Dr. Charles Maddin began his employment with the Dowell Division of the Dow Chemical Company in 1953, and was manager of analytical laboratories until 1981. He retired from the company in 1984 as environmental manager. He has served on Southwestern College’s science advisory board for over a decade, bringing his expertise as an analytical chemist to the development of SC’s science programs. During the 1990s Maddin provided an invaluable volunteer service to the college during the remodeling of Mossman Hall when he handled the disposal of years of accumulated chemicals and supplies in Mossman Hall, preparing the former science building for renovations. Maddin has served the college as a trustee and with his wife, Dorothy, created an endowed scholarship for chemistry majors.
William A. Glass
William A. Glass ’53 held management positions ranging from scientist to associate lab director at Battelle Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) from 1963 to 1993. As chief scientist at PNNL, he was responsible for program management and a budget of more than $5 million. A physicist, his research has focused on the energy loss of energetic nuclear particles (protons, neutrons, electrons) in tissue-like material, i.e. gas state carbon, hydrogen, oxygen in tissue equivalent composition. He pioneered many of the techniques of energy loss in very thin tissue layers by using variable energy incident particles impinging on gas targets of various densities. His work with wall-less proportional counters (radiation energy deposition detectors) was also pioneering.
Lyle R. Kallenbach
Lyle R. Kallenbach ’61 completed graduate degrees in chemistry at Oklahoma University and Texas A&M University, then joined Gulf Oil Research Co. where he was a manager in the analytical research department that specialized in polymers and proprietary chemicals research. Technical firsts achieved under his direction included the utilization of mass spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and high pressure liquid chromatography to elucidate and quantify new organic structures. He joined Phillips Petroleum Co. (later ConocoPhillips) and as a senior research chemist, he continued research and specialized in catalyses where he invented and developed numerous new polymers and petrochemical processes. These are currently utilized worldwide in the chemical, polymer, and oil refining industries. He has technical publications, technical seminars, and 35 U.S. patents to his credit.
John L. Antal
John Leonard Antal ’58 was a packaging engineer for many companies throughout his distinguished career. He developed his first acrylic for Monsanto Chemical while he was still in college, then became an expert in product packaging. After an 11-year stint with Falstaff Brewing Corp.—where he designed and developed labels, cans, bottles, and metals—most of Antal’s work was done with medical and pharmaceutical products. He created an irrigation and Pedialyte bottle for Abbot Laboratories that is still used today, designed plastic products including a kidney dialysis filter unit for Baxter Travenol Laboratories, and designed the Neosporin package and the Snoopy Band-Aid with Neosporin box for Glaxo-Wellcome. After retirement he received a patent for orthopedic surgeries developed for Bristol-Meyers Squibb.
Robert G. Hamilton
Robert G. Hamilton ’80 joined The Nature Conservancy in 1982. His work is focused upon protecting remaining intact native landscapes, and restoring the natural dynamics (such as grazing and fire) needed to preserve our natural heritage. As preserve director for the 39,000 acre Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, he directs all aspects of the preserve: conservation planning, land protection, science, stewardship, and public outreach. He also directs the Conservancy’s Oklahoma Tallgrass Initiative, working with landowners to permanently protect native prairies, and to restore native biodiversity. The Tallgrass Prairie Preserve is the largest protected example of tallgrass prairie in North America, and is the most aggressive conservation effort to restore a functional tallgrass ecosystem. Bob has played a key role—designing the preserve, assisting in land acquisitions and fundraising, and developing and implementing the stewardship program.
William G. Stanley
William G. Stanley ’48 graduated from Southwestern with majors in chemistry, physics and mathematics following a college career interrupted by World War II. He earned graduate degrees in physical chemistry from Kansas State University. Stanley was employed for 33 years by the research department of the Standard Oil Co. (Ind), first in their solid propellants division as laboratory and research director in the field of the catalysis of solid propellants and the development of guidance missile systems. During this period he was awarded 17 U.S. patents in the rocket sciences. Later, as manager of information and communication systems for the research department, he served for four years as chairman of the American Petroleum Institute Subcommittee of Technical Information. He retired from AMOCO in 1984.
Roger M. Rowell
Roger M. Rowell ’61 is one of the nation’s foremost wood scientists. He completed graduate degrees at Purdue University and joined the USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, eventually taking a joint appointment with the University of Wisconsin. For 27 years he was professor in Forestry, Biological Systems Engineering, and the Engineering Research Center for Plasma Aided Manufacturing. He received multiple awards from the USDA recognizing his research and his expertise in technology transfer and in international forestry. When he retired from the Forest Products Laboratory in 2007, he was one of only four persons in the 98-year history of the Forest Products Laboratory to have achieved the position of Senior Technical Pioneering Scientist. Rowell has over 350 scientific publications, written/edited 10 books, holds 26 patents, and has lectured in over 50 countries.
David E. Smith ’73 built a reputation as a surgeon during the late 20th century as the field of surgery made the shift from decades-old techniques of “open” surgery to minimally invasive surgery. A general surgeon in Salina, Kansas, he performed the first laparoscopic gallbladder removal in North Central Kansas, the first laparoscopic hiatal hernia repair in that area, and (with a classmate) the first laparoscopic gallbladder removal in Madrid, Spain. He has served in medical leadership positions including presidencies of the Mowery Clinic and the Saline County Medical Society, and in public service as trustee for the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund, for Asbury-Salina Regional Health Center, and for Southwestern College. He served on the Science Advisory Council at Southwestern College continuously beginning in 1985.
William M. Cloud ’47 left an indelible mark on several colleges. As a triple-major undergraduate, he was involved in baseball, music, and theatre and was student body president and MasterBuilder. Following service as a fighter pilot in World War II, he returned to Southwestern to teach physics, chemistry and mathematics. He also was counselor of men, an engineer at the campus radio station, and coached the varsity baseball team. He left SC to complete his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin, where he constructed the first atomic beam source used in that university’s physics department. From 1962-1989, Cloud was professor of physics and chairman of pre-engineering studies at Eastern Illinois University. He oversaw the work of hundreds of students who ended up receiving degrees from some of the top engineering schools in the nation.
L. E. Cranston
L. Erlis Cranston ’31 spent his 41-year career as a chemical engineer at Mobil Oil Company. During his early employment he was involved in developing special fuels for allied airplanes fighting in the Battle of Britain. Following the war he moved to Mobil Oil’s New York City offices, later becoming general manager of refineries in New Jersey and in Texas. In Beaumont, he enabled Mobil Chemical Company to create new types of petrochemicals; production of these unique hydrocarbons spurred growth of large companies on the Gulf Coast. In 1968 Cranston was named president of Mobile Pipeline Company. He participated in the creation and construction of the Alaska and Colonial Pipelines and retired in 1972. He later was involved in developing tests of Triticale, a high-protein, drought-resistant wheat grain for production in underdeveloped countries.
James L. Fishback ’77 credits his Southwestern College professors as the impetus for his own career as a teaching scientist. After earning a master’s degree in biochemistry, Dr. Fishback entered the University of Kansas Medical School, where he completed a pathology residency before going on staff. Following a clinical fellowship at Duke University and several years as a researcher (including specialization in toxoplasmosis) Dr. Fishback began teaching, and eventually headed the first two years’ curriculum at the KU medical school. His interests in teaching and technology combined to significantly change the way medical students are educated, with electronic textbooks and content of all lectures delivered electronically via PowerPoint or podcasting. As a United States Air Force reserve officer, Dr. Fishback commanded about 140 persons in the medical and dental squadron.
Margaret Phillips-Randolph ’30 was a pioneer scientific researcher and practitioner in the fields of nutrition and dietetics. Dr. Phillips-Randolph accomplished important research during an era when food preparation and related knowledge often were relegated to the kitchen. Her dogged pursuit of nutrition studies led to scientific analysis and understanding of the importance of food on the human body; her work was key to better comprehension of nutrition’s effects. For more than 23 years Dr. Phillips-Randolph instructed thousands of students at eight institutions throughout the nation. A prolific author, Dr. Phillips-Randolph published scientific papers, contributed nutrition features to publications, and served as director, participant, or advisor to radio programs and in the preparation of healthful cookbooks. In 1955 failing health forced her to retire, and she died in 1959 at age 49.
Faye Perry Greene
Faye Perry Greene Jr. ’38 majored in physics and became a surgeon and internist, but his life has not been identified by his profession. Dr. Greene has a near-encyclopedic knowledge of the sciences, the arts, politics, medicine, geography, archeology, and sociology. He embraces new ideas and technology. As a doctor, he treated more than 25,000 surgical patients, defining his practice by dedication to his patients rather than by income. He accepted payments based on the patient's ability to pay, often in the form of eggs and vegetables. A community leader and humanitarian, he administered Governor John Rockefeller’s commission to establish the West Virginia Blennerhassett State Historical Park, West Virginia's first historical park. Dr. Greene also is a farmer, a rancher, a pilot, and an adventurer who avidly has taken risks throughout his life, both professionally and personally.
Keith Hege ’56 has been a pioneer in using computers to enable telescopes to see sharply through turbulent atmosphere. Hege has been affiliated with the University of Arizona, Steward Observatory, for nearly three decades, and is a member of the Center for Astronomical Adaptive Optics. His early career was primarily devoted to undergraduate teaching, first at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, then at Hollins College. A career-changing sabbatical at Steward Observatory allowed him to demonstrate skills acquired in teaching physics by implementing the first electronic readout system of the observatory’s 90” telescope. He returned to research as leader of the observatory’s speckle interferometric imaging effort from 1978 to 1992. As science director of MKS Imaging Technology, LLC, he has investigated astronomical applications of computed tomographic imaging spectroscopy.
Verlin L. Hoberecht ’51 began his career at IBM in 1960 and became involved in the development of programming methods needed to process and handle graphic information. In 1969 he became manager of the Graphic Systems Architecture Department, responsible for defining systems guidelines and the communication protocols and data stream for the IBM 3270 Display System. This was the most popular display terminal until the proliferation of the Windows-based PC. He became manager of Communications Systems Architecture shortly thereafter, and had responsibility for the definition of data stream formats and protocols needed to support communication between different classes of end users of a communications network. In 1976 he was awarded the prestigious IBM Outstanding Contribution and Invention Award for inventing the basis system networking architecture concepts.
Ray A. Waller ’59 has been one of the nation’s foremost statisticians, rising to prominence in three careers. As an educator, he has taught mathematics and statistics at all levels from junior high through graduate school. As statistician/manager of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, he was a researcher in statistical and reliability analysis for safety systems of nuclear power plants; supervisor of statisticians, economists, and system analysts; and facilitator of research interactions. Finally, as executive director of the American Statistical Association he directed a staff of about 40 to provide services to about 17,000 members. He has written or coauthored professional books and technical papers in statistics, and was elected a Fellow and recipient of the Founders Award from the American Statistical Association.
Melvin Cheatham ’55 began his practice of neurosurgery in 1967 in Ventura, California. He went on to become president of the Western Neurosurgical Society, an organization of the top neurosurgeons in the western United States and in Canada. In 1983 he was named to the clinical faculty at the University of California Medical Center in Los Angeles, rising to the rank of clinical professor of neurosurgery. There he co-edited a bestselling neurosurgery textbook. In 1985 Cheatham experienced a life changing experience that led to extensive involvement as a short-term medical missionary through the Christian relief organization Samaritan’s Purse. He now is a member of the boards of directors of Samaritan’s Purse and of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Cheatham is author of three books – Come Walk With Me; Living a Life That Counts, and Make a Difference.
Frank Newman ’53 is professor emeritus of veterinary virology and medical science at Montana State University, where he joined the faculty in 1961. Newman’s research in the enteric infections of humans and cattle led to the development of a vaccine for calf scours. His studies with anthrax and cholera contributed to the understanding of virus host-cell interaction in both of these pathogenic bacteria. Newman was director of the Regional Medical School Program at Montana State University and assistant dean at the University of Washington School of Medicine from 1974 to 1984, then developed and was director of the Montana Area Health Education Center until his retirement in 1995. In the 126-year history of the Montana Medical Association, Newman is the first person (and the only non-physician) to be given honorary membership in the Montana Medical Association.
Max Thompson ’57 was professor and research associate in biology at Southwestern College for 33 years. He taught, encouraged, and enriched the education of hundreds of Moundbuilders and helped build the biology curriculum into the college’s most popular major. Thompson’s 68 publications include a two-volume work on Birds in Kansas and Birds From North Borneo. He discovered a new duck in Argentina and helped to computerize skeletal and anatomical specimens of birds from world museums. He is namesake of three mallophaga (bird lice), one new subspecies of pitta from the Philippines, on fossil goose, and a point of land in Antarctica named “Thompson Point.” In addition to his expertise as an ornithologist, Thompson is an expert on orchids, and is a trustee of the American Orchid Society.
Allan Lundeen ’54 enjoyed a distinguished career as a chemist that spanned nearly four decades. After completing a Ph.D. at Rice University, he joined the Conoco Research Department, advancing to become director of exploratory research for Conoco Chemicals in 1969. During this time he provided technical leadership for a new process to manufacture detergent-range alcohols. Dr. Lundeen changed research areas in 1978 and became director of plastics research for Conoco. Following the company’s merger with DuPont, his group became part of the DuPont polymer products department, which led the development of a new polyethylene process. In 1987 he became the first research director of a new company, Cain Chemical, and as a senior research fellow had the opportunity to significantly improve a key polyethylene process. He retired in 1993.
Michael F. Allen
Michael F. Allen ’74 began studying ecosystem processes as a Southwestern College student, and focused his graduate research at the University of Wyoming on the ecophysiology and biochemistry of a ubiquitous natural symbiosis between plants and fungi known as mycorrhizae. He has continued his work on the relationship between mycorrhizae and its interactions with such ecological disturbances as strip mines, the Mount St. Helen’s volcano, agriculture and grasslands, and retreating glaciers. He has been on the faculty at Utah State University and at San Diego State University, and managed research programs in conservation and restoration biology, long-term ecological research, and ecosystem studies with the National Science Foundation. He became professor of plant pathology and biology and director of the Center for Conservation Biology at the University of California-Riverside in 1998.
Karen L. (Ramsdale) Nonhof ’75 has been a family practice physician whose service has focused on underserved populations. After finishing residency in 1982, she spent two years on the Chippewa reservation in Red Lake, Minn. She later became the sole doctor at the Drammond Island Clinic off the top of the eastern part of the upper peninsula of Michigan in Lake Huron. From there her family moved to southwest Kansas, where she assisted with the start-up of the Mexican-American Ministries Clinic in 1987. It now serves more than 24,000 patients per year. She has been medical director of this United Methodist Agency Clinic since its inception. In 1997 the clinic became the only rural site of the original “Healthy Steps for Young Children” which has been used nationwide as a model of preventive/educational/supportive care systems for young children.
Harlan E. Lenander ’39 received a fellowship for graduate study in magnetism at Duke University, but was recruited by the U.S. Navy for its magnetic mine protection program at the outbreak of World War II. He later directed the testing of guided missiles at the Navy’s China Lake Naval Base and then joined the technical staff at the Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque, N.M. While at Sandia, he supervised the testing of nuclear weapons on Eniwetok Atoll and later became director of development, manufacturing, and testing for Electromagnetic Components and Systems.
LeRoy A. Spitze ’39 earned a Ph. D. in chemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1942 and then worked as a physical chemist at the Owens-Corning Fiberglass Company. In 1947 he returned to Southwestern College to become a professor of chemistry, a position he held until 1955. He then accepted a professorship at San Jose State University where he authored numerous scientific papers and received research grants from NASA. He was honored in 1987 with a Recognition Award from NASA for developing a process that is used to recycle the breath of astronauts in space.
Dee F. Taylor ’40 received a fellowship in meteorology at the California Institute of Technology, and then spent the next 35 years as a professional meteorologist with the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Forest Service. He studied typhoons with the Navy’s Pacific Weather Squadron on Guam and made 25 typhoon penetrations. He later served in Washington, D.C., as commanding officer of the Navy’s Feet Weather Central, and then became director of atmospheric science for the U.S. Forest Service. During his career, he was active in research and authored more than 40 research publications.
Lloyd M. Bertholf ’21 earned his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University, and was a professor of biology for more than a quarter of a century at Western Maryland College. In 1948 he became a professor of biology and dean of the college at the University of the Pacific, later serving as president of Illinois Wesleyan University from 1958 to 1968. During his early career Dr. Bertholf researched honeybees at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He published 15 research papers in this field.
Asher D. Kantz ’43 was recruited by the government to work on the Manhattan Project, then earned a Ph.D. from Stanford University. He worked for Sandia Labs for eight years, performing experimental studies on high-energy radiation sources. In 1971 Dr. Kantz co-founded Far West Technology Inc., a nuclear physics and radiation chemistry company working with the characterization of ionizing radiation applied to the fields of medicine, health, and safety and radiation processing.
Wayne E. White ’27 received a Ph.D. from the University of Kansas, and joined the Ozark-Mahoning Company in Tulsa as director of research in 1947. He was widely known for his work in fluorine chemistry. Dr. White had more than 50 publications, 18 of which are patents. He developed methods for commercial production of stannous fluoride and sodium monofluorophoshate (MPFa fluoride). He received the American Chemical Society award for Creative Work in Fluorine Chemistry in 1979.
Sven Ebbesson ’57 graduated from Southwestern College at age 19. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland in 1964 and rose to senior scientist in the U.S. Public Health Service by the age of 31. Dr. Ebbesson authored more than 200 scientific publications and is globally recognized for his work in comparative neurology and epidemiology of Alaska Natives. He is credited with developing methods for detecting brain circuits in lower vertebrates. His “Parcellation theory” of brain development explains how brain circuits develop and change after injury.
Neil L. Frank ’53 became familiar to millions throughout the nation as director of the National Hurricane Center from 1974 to 1987. With a Ph. D. in meteorology from Florida State University, Frank’s expertise in topical meteorology has resulted in a number of international assignments with the World Meteorological Organization, an affiliate of the United Nations responsible for coordinating hurricane warnings for countries around the Caribbean. Dr. Frank has published more than 35 research papers and written numerous articles for popular publications.
Etcyl H. Blair
Etcyl H. Blair ’47 received his Ph.D. from Kansas State University before joining the Dow Chemical Co. in 1951 as a research chemist specializing in the synthesis of organophosphorus compounds. This work led to the development of several agricultural products including the insecticide Dursban. During his tenure as a researcher Dr. Blair was awarded more than 20 patents and published numerous papers. He retired from Dow as vice president and director for health and environmental sciences.
Hobart Paul Boles
Hobart Paul Boles ’39, a noted expert in entomology, received his Ph.D. from Kansas State University. His studies involved research on insects that affect stored grains, citrus pulp, raisins, and stored rice. Dr. Boles served as director of the U.S. Stored Rice Laboratory in Houston, assistant director and research entomologist at the Stored Products Insects Laboratory in Savanah, Ga., and entomologist with the U.S. Grain Marketing Research Center in Manhattan, Kan. In addition to teaching at several universities, he published 50 research papers.
Lewis G. Longsworth
Lewis G. Longsworth ’25, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, is noted for perfecting electrophoresis, a technique used to study the chemical structure of proteins. With a Ph.D. from the University of Kansas, Dr. Longsworth spent his entire career at The Rockefeller University. His work in electrophoresis, sorting out molecules by differences in their mobility, was instrumental in making modern biochemistry possible.
John Lawrence Oncley
John Lawrence Oncley ’29, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, earned a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and held professorships at Harvard University and the University of Michigan. Dr. Oncley is credited with pioneering work on blood, especially gamma globulins and lipoproteins. He co-authored a paper in 1949 that has been credited with initiating the work that led to the terms ‘good cholesterol’ and ‘bad cholesterol,’ and ‘high-density lipoprotein’ and ‘low-density lipoprotein’ used today.
R. Stephen White
R. Stephen White ’42 worked on the Manhattan Project and later received a Ph.D. for the University of California-Berkeley. In 1963 he initiated a research program in astrophysics and space physics at the University of California-Riverside, and founded the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics which he directed for 25 years. Dr. White published more than 140 paper in scientific journals. His research led to the discovery of protons in the Earth’s radiation belts and to his invention of a detector for the new field of gamma ray astronomy.
Natural Science Hall of Fame | Southwestern College