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 2014 include:
College of Arts and Letters
J. Keith Behner
J. Keith Behner (’71, political science), is a land use consultant and former investment real estate broker whose experience includes city planning along with community and municipal service. A supporter of the core curriculum within SDSU’s Latin American Studies program, he is also involved in organizations that foster education, environmental sustainability and social justice.
College of Business Administration
William E. Cole, Sr.
William E. Cole, Sr. (’57, accounting; ’63, MBA), former president of William E. Cole Accountant APC, is a founder of the Beta Alpha Psi accounting student leadership group. Known for his service on corporate boards and in non-profit and community organizations, he has maintained support for SDSU as a lecturer, by starting an endowed chair honoring a former professor and by establishing the William E. Cole Director position at the Lamden School of Accountancy.
College of Education
George J. Cameron, Ed.D.
George J. Cameron, Ed.D. (’70, Spanish; ’76 MA, education), former superintendent of the National School District , serves as an advisory board member for the National Center for Urban School Transformation. Recognized as an innovative educator, he has been honored with numerous awards including the Association of California School Administrators Superintendent of the Year for the San Diego and Imperial County region.
College of Engineering
Thomas D. Franklin
Thomas D. Franklin (’90, electrical and computer engineering), a partner with Kilpatrick Townsend, was named Lawyer of the Year by Law Week Colorado for his work in bringing a patent office to Denver and helping clients patent new innovations. He also piloted a unique effort to direct the firm’s pro bono commitment toward an educational initiative by providing intellectual property support for teams of students in SDSU’s Zahn Innovation Center.
College of Health and Human Services
Harold Douglas Harvey
Harold Douglas Harvey, former Major League Baseball umpire, worked in the National League for 30 years and umpired seven All-Star Games and five World Series. A member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and SDSU Aztec Hall of Fame, he has served as an outspoken cancer awareness advocate educating ballplayers and students about the dangers of tobacco use.
College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts
Thom McElroy is an artist, graphic designer, entrepreneur and co-founder of Volcom, Inc., a company that designs, markets and internationally distributes youth-oriented products including clothing, footwear and accessories. Through his support of SDSU’s Lavin Entrepreneurship Center, he shares his passion, creativity and marketing know-how with a new generation of aspiring business professionals.
College of Sciences
Janet Vohariwatt (’86, computer science) is CEO and founder of iChanneX Corporation, a company providing an online information and instant portal information system. She has led teams in establishing innovative IT solutions for customers and has developed cost-effective solutions for the healthcare market aimed at delivering an electronic medical records system serving multi-disciplined providers.
Library and Information Access
Lester I. Tenney, Ph.D.
Lester I. Tenney, Ph.D. (’67, MA business administration) is an insurance and finance professor emeritus also widely known as an international advocate for survivors of the infamous Bataan Death March during World War II. A former POW and final commander of American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor, he is an author and founder of Care Packages from Home, an organization dedicated to the support of American troops fighting abroad.
SDSU Imperial Valley
Gilbert G. Otero
Gilbert G. Otero (’78, social science) is the district attorney for Imperial County, California and will soon enter a third term as president of the California District Attorneys Association in addition to serving on the executive boards of the California Border Alliance Group and the Imperial Valley Drug Coalition. He is chair of the Imperial County Narcotics Task Force and has taught criminal justice and public administration courses at SDSU-IV.
Distinguished Alumni Service Award
Matt and Stephanie Dathe
Matt (’90, journalism) and Stephanie (’95, liberal studies) Dathe have a long history of involvement with and support for SDSU as volunteers, philanthropists and Alumni Association board members including Matt’s term as a board president. Stephanie serves as an Alumni Association board member, director of the Institute for Meetings and Events in SDSU’s L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality & Tourism Management and both she and Matt are previous Monty Awards event co-chairs.
Distinguished University Service Award
R.D. Williams, (’87, MS mass communications) is Director of Business Development and Contract Housing for Aztec Shops, the campus commercial auxiliary, where he supervises large campus construction and acquisition projects. He serves on the College Area Community Council and as a member of the SDSU Alumni Association Board of Advisors was instrumental in the opening of the Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center.