UT Dallas - The LINK
March 2014

Awards Gala to Honor Accomplishments of Alumni and Supporters

2014 Awards Gala

Thursday, April 3
5:45 p.m. Reception, 6:30 p.m. Dinner and Program

Renaissance Dallas
Richardson Hotel
900 E. Lookout Drive
Richardson, Texas

$75/ticket, $1,000 for a
sponsored table of 10

Register online
View past award honorees

Eight dynamic individuals who once walked the campus as students and an organization that has long impacted lives at the University will be recognized for personal and professional achievements and an unyielding commitment to UT Dallas at the 12th annual Awards Gala on April 3. The gala celebrates the achievements of extraordinary alumni and community leaders with the presentation of the Distinguished Alumni Awards, the Green and Orange Award for Alumni Service, and the Gifford K. Johnson Community Leadership Award.


Gifford K. Johnson Community Leadership Award

Since 1968, the Northwood Woman’s Club (NWC) has sought to enrich the community by promoting and expanding philanthropic endeavors and civic and community programs through member efforts and strategic partnerships with other entities and corporations. NWC raises approximately $200,000 annually through charitable events and distributes these funds – along with tens of thousands of volunteer hours – to area organizations providing much-needed services to women and children. This organization awarded its first scholarship to a UT Dallas student in 1979 and established the UT Dallas NWC Endowed Scholarship seven years later, with the goal of funding two full tuition scholarships annually.


Green and Orange Award for Alumni Service


A model for lifelong learning, Helen Small BS’07, MS’10 has always valued education. After leaving college in 1939 to get married, she knew she would one day return to earn a degree. As life intervened, Small spent decades embracing a different type of schooling. She and her husband, Al, moved to the Dallas area in 1953, started a successful homebuilding business and raised three sons. Sixty-seven years later, Small returned to college to earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology at the age of 87 and a master’s degree in psychological sciences at 90, making her the second-oldest graduate in UT Dallas history.


Distinguished Alumni Award


Michelle Janssen Adams BA’87, MA’88, PhD’95 is the founder of Marketing Brainology, a consulting practice focused on translating consumer and shopper insights to marketing and corporate America. Working with PepsiCo the past 10 years – most recently as vice president of customer strategy and shopper insights – Adams was responsible for a retail theater focused on state-of-the art consumer and shopper research. Adams is an industry thought leader and Point of Purchase Advertising International (POPAI) board member. In 2012, she received POPAI’s Industry Achievement Award. She was an adjunct professor at UT Dallas and Southern Methodist University for 15 years.


Chris Jaeb BGS’86 is the founder of Common Ground Kauai, a 46-acre, sustainable resource center and demonstration environment serving the community through programs, products and services. In 2006, Jaeb also co-founded Malama Kauai, a public charity established to build self-reliant and self-sufficient communities. Prior to his focus on socially conscious organizations, Jaeb pursued various entrepreneurial ideas and launched a number of businesses. He was the creator of AudioNet, the first company to broadcast real time audio programming on the Internet, which later became Broadcast.com.


David Kelly MS’86 is the president and chief executive officer of Bluefin Robotics, a full-service provider of marine robotics and related technology to government, commercial and academic clients worldwide. Bluefin offers a complete line of autonomous underwater vehicles. Through its subsidiary, SeeByte, Bluefin furnishes autonomous control, mission planning and sensor processing software to original equipment manufacturers and customers. In addition, Bluefin provides power solutions to the underwater marketplace. Prior to Bluefin, Kelly held senior-level roles at Battelle and esoftsolutions. He also worked on defense electronic systems as an engineering manager at Raytheon and Texas Instruments.


Lynn McIntire BA’79 is a registered principal with Raymond James Financial Services Inc. and owns independent firm Cadent Capital with her husband. McIntire manages the advanced planning process and coordinates case study reviews with a team of subject area professionals, providing clients with focused financial planning solutions. Active with the Dallas Estate Planning Council and the local financial planning association, McIntire earned the professional designations Certified Financial Planner, chartered life underwriter and accredited investment fiduciary. She’s been featured on cnnfn.com, Good Morning, Texas and in Martha Stewart Kids and was named one of D Magazine’s Best Financial Planners in 2002, 2004 and 2013.

At UT Dallas, she is a member of the Development Board; School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Advisory Council; and the Legacy Society.


Kevin Ryan MBA’95 serves as chief financial officer and senior vice president at Merit Energy Co., a private firm specializing in direct investments in oil and gas assets. During his 15 years with Merit, he has run an operations division and worked in the business development group. Prior to Merit Energy, Ryan spent 14 years with an international public accounting firm. He is a certified public accountant in the state of Texas. Ryan is a member of the Naveen Jindal School of Management’s Advisory Council and serves on The University of Texas System Chancellor’s Council Executive Committee.


Michael L. Wehmeyer PhD’89 is a professor of special education, director of the Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities, and a senior scientist at the Beach Center on Disability, all at the University of Kansas. Wehmeyer has directed federally funded projects in excess of $27 million, conducting research pertaining to the education and support of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. He has authored, co-authored, edited or co-edited almost 300 peer-reviewed journal articles or chapters and 32 books, including the widely used Exceptional Lives: Special Education in Today’s Schools. Additionally, Wehmeyer has held numerous leadership roles within associations relating to his area of expertise.

To register for the gala or to learn more, visit alumni.utdallas.edu/gala or call 972-883-2586.

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