The Montys are a time-honored tradition at San Diego State University. The award is a symbol of achievement and success presented to distinguished alumni from each of SDSU's seven academic
colleges, Library and Information Access, and SDSU Imperial Valley Campus. In addition, distinguished service awards are given to an exceptional alumni volunteer and an outstanding university employee.
The Montys honor those who have made significant contributions to San Diego State University, the San Diego community or California, nationally or internationally.
Honorees for 2015 were:
College of Arts and Letters
R. Michael Pack
R. Michael Pack (’70, finance), president of SunCal Outdoor Advertising, is a key supporter of and advisor to the College of Arts and Letters, especially with regard to its interdisciplinary international business major. A member of the university’s Campanile Foundation Board of Directors and founder of the Pack Foundation, he is committed to providing opportunities for young people to realize their educational goals.
College of Business Administration
Andy Esparza (’81, business administration), chief human resources officer for oil services and technology company Baker Hughes, is a leader in the human resources profession. Recipient of the Associated Students 2014 Aztec Achievement Award for Outstanding Alumni, he is a member of The Campanile Foundation, serves as chair of the Alumni Engagement Committee and is a founding member of the Austin Regional SDSU Alumni Council.
College of Education
Samuel M. Ciccati, Ph.D.
Samuel M. Ciccati, Ph.D. (’61, industrial arts; ’66 MA, teacher training), retired Cuyamaca College president, has enjoyed a successful career in higher education administration and is recognized for his philanthropy and outstanding community service. Active in the local Rotary as well as the SDSU Osher Learning Institute, he has established four endowed scholarships at SDSU; three in education and one in athletics.
College of Engineering
Ziad Mansour (’82, electrical engineering; ’86, MS electrical engineering), leads the Digital Hardware group in Qualcomm CDMA Technologies division as Senior Vice President of Engineering. Holding patents in modem and low power implementation, he serves on the Dean's Advisory Board with leaders of local industry, regional non-profit organizations and alumni to help assure the highest quality education for tomorrow's engineering workforce.
College of Health and Human Services
Jean Landis, M.S.
Jean Landis, M.S. (A.B. ’41, physical education), faculty emerita, is a retired educator who for many years taught physical education at San Diego State. During World War II, she flew as a Women Airforce Service Pilot (WASP) and for her contributions to the war effort was awarded in 2010 the United States Congressional Gold Medal, one of the two highest medals awarded to civilians.
College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts
Mort Marcus (’77, television, film and new media), co-president of the television production and distribution company Debmar-Mercury, has held senior executive positions at several large television and film companies. As a member of the Los Angeles Regional SDSU Alumni Council, he focuses on the School of Theatre, Television and Film by helping identify and facilitate new ways to expand the practical experience and training provided by TTF degree programs.
College of Sciences
Jack Tempchin (’70, psychology), musician and singer-songwriter, is perhaps best known for writing the Eagles classic “Peaceful Easy Feeling” and the Johnny Rivers hit “Swayin’ to the Music (Slow Dancing).” In addition to creating some of the most-played songs of all time, he was an early manager and performer at the Backdoor, helping to place the intimate former Aztec Center performance space – and SDSU – among the region’s most revered music venues.
Library and Information Access
Edward E. Marsh
Edward E. Marsh is co-founder and director of Nationwide Title Clearing. He is a science fiction collector who compiled the acclaimed Edward E. Marsh Golden Age of Science Fiction Library that features signed first editions by numerous Golden Age writers along with other items including correspondence, original manuscripts, photographs, memorabilia, film paraphernalia, and artwork providing insights into the growth and history of modern science fiction.
Distinguished Alumni Service Award
Keith Harris (’91, economics) is a recruiting consultant for prominent Silicon Valley technology companies and for almost a decade has served as leader of the SDSU Bay Area Aztecs alumni chapter. Also a member of the Bay Area Regional Council, he focuses on expanding mentorships, internships and developing a strong regional network to help create job opportunities for SDSU students and alumni.
Distinguished University Service Award
Sandra Cook, Ph.D.
Sandra Cook, Ph.D., SDSU associate vice president for Enrollment Management, provides leadership for all aspects of enrollment management. Also responsible for admissions, she has helped recruit increasingly diverse and academically qualified students to SDSU. Her work led, in part, to SDSU’s ranking by the Education Trust as the #1 public university in the country for improving graduation rates and closing the achievement gap.