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Honorees

2017 Homecoming Parade Marshals 

The innovative team at the  Center for Alternative Fuels Engines and Emissions, known as CAFEE, will be the  West Virginia University Homecoming Parade grand marshals.

Dan Carder, Arvind Thiruvengadam, Greg Thompson, Marc Besch and Hemanth Kappanna will jointly serve as the grand marshals for the annual parade scheduled for Friday (Oct. 13) at 6:30 p.m. on High Street in Morgantown, according to the WVU  Alumni Association.

Carder, a Parkersburg native and director of CAFEE, led the team, which included Thiruvengadam, Thompson, Besch and Kappanna. Their research raised questions and made worldwide headlines about emissions levels from Volkswagen diesel vehicles. As the first to test and report emissions levels from U.S. diesel vehicles while on the road, the team found elevated levels of oxides of nitrogen.

As part of the WVU  Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, CAFEE works extensively on emission reduction research, including engine technologies, after-treatment evaluation and fuel technologies. CAFEE is also one of the only organizations that can perform emissions testing and certification for both heavy- and light-duty vehicles.

As a result of their findings, the team has received many accolades including  Automotive News All-Stars,  Motor Trend’s annual Power List, and Roadshow by CNET’s Disruptors of the Year. Carder also landed on the 2016 Time 100, the magazine’s annual list of the most influential people in the world.

Outstanding Alumnus/Alumna award

Dr. Antonio (Tony) S. Licata is this year’s recipient of the Outstanding Alumnus award.

As a graduate of the WVU School of Medicine in 1964, Licata has been a leader in connecting and engaging his medical school class since his graduation, heading up reunions among classmates and instilling WVU values within his family. With outstanding dedication to his alma mater, he has remained an avid supporter of the University through his service as the former President of the Medical Alumni Association, member of its Executive Council and chair of the Communications committee.

Licata is a past member of the Council of the West Virginia State Medical Association and a retired Weirton area physician. He currently serves as a member of the Emeriti Academy of Arts and Sciences.

He and his wife Ruth have three sons. His youngest son received his undergraduate degree and masters in social work at WVU. Two sons and a grandson followed his example as WVU-trained physicians.

David Jacobs Lifetime Service award

This year’s recipient of the David Jacobs Lifetime Service Award is  Clarke Ridgway.

Ridgway, a ’71 graduate of the WVU School of Pharmacy, has served many roles in his time at WVU. As externship coordinator, assistant dean for student services and most recently, coordinator of the Pharmacy School’s Alumni Association, he works tirelessly to remain a constant source of knowledge for students and alumni alike.  As a Wheeling native, he established the Ray L. Ridgway Pharmacy scholarship in memory of this father and upon retirement created the Clarke and Elayne Ridgway Student Services fund to provide travel for students to develop leadership and entrepreneurial skills at regional and national conferences.

Ridgway currently serves as the curator of the  Cook Hayman Museum located within the WVU School of Pharmacy.

John F. Nicholas Jr. Outstanding Chapter Leader award

This year’s recipients of the John F. Nicholas Jr. Outstanding Chapter Leader award are  Doc and Kari Walker of Dallas, Texas.

As WVU Alumni Association Old Gold members, the Walkers are longtime co-leaders of the  Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter of the WVU Alumni Association. As graduates of the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, they are model chapter leaders helping achieve the strategic missions of WVU and the Alumni Association at the grassroots level.

Both serve as mentors to current WVU students interning in the Texas area, and actively work with the chapter on recruiting events to bring students to WVU. Upon the leadership, the chapter has diversified their programming to include networking, community service projects and scholarship opportunities.

Doc and Kari have one son, Tyler, who plans to be a future Mountaineer. 

Margaret Buchanan Cole Young Alumnus award

This year’s recipient of the Margaret Buchanan Cole Young Alumnus award is  Dr. Lisa Costello. Costello holds three WVU degrees, a BS in Biology from  Eberly College of Arts and Sciences in 2007, and an MPH and MD from the School of Medicine in 2011.  Currently she serves as Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at WVU, Director of the Mountain State Cystic Fibrosis Adult Program and as a Pediatric Hospitalist at WVU Medicine’s Children’s Hospital.

Costello dedicates her work to utilizing technology and media to amplify advocacy and education among healthcare professionals. In her time at WVU, she helped develop a mentorship program for the National American Academy of Pediatrics, and received the 2015 Advocate for Children Award from the West Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics where she currently serves as the legislative committee chair.

In 2011, the WVU School of Medicine Alumni Association selected Costello as recipient of the President’s Young Alumnus Award.

Paul ‘Buck’ Martin Traditions award

Royce Watts is this year’s Paul ‘Buck’ Martin Traditions award honoree.

Watts, a native of Randolph County, served as associate dean for administration for the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources. As a member of WVU faculty for over 50 years, he has been recognized for his tremendous dedication to the university, the mineral resources alumni chapter of WVU and the West Virginia coal industry. In 1997, Watts was recognized as a Distinguished West Virginian by former Governor Cecil Underwood for continued efforts in education of mining professionals. 

Watts is a retired colonel in the U.S. Army and holds both a bachelor and master’s degree from WVU. In 2005, the West Virginia Coal Mining Institute endowed the former COMER museum and renamed it the  Royce J. and Caroline B. Watts Museum to honor the couple’s contributions to WVU and the state’s mining heritage.

Watts and his wife, Caroline have one son: Royce J. II (R.J.), a graduate of WVU and the Emory University School of Law.

James McCartney Community Service award

Dr. Joseph Reed, of Buckhannon, is this year’s recipient of the James McCartney Community Service award.

As a 1962 graduate of WVU’s School of Medicine, Reed has dedicated his life to the care of West Virginians. As a well-known physician in Upshur County, he is active in educating youth and adults about healthy lifestyles, and providing care for newborns in the local hospital.

He is active in his community, serving as the medical director for the Upshur County Health Department, a past member of the WVU Extension Service county and state committees and past member of the board of directors for the Buckhannon-Upshur Chamber of Commerce. In 2016, he helped start the Green Bean Weekend.

Reed is a lifetime member of both the WVU Alumni Association and the WVU School of Medicine Alumni Association. He served the Medicine Alumni Association as president and chair of the executive council.