Alumni Awards Kent State University Alumni Association

Sponsored by the Kent State Alumni Association, the Alumni Awards are the university’s most prestigious honors given to alumni. Do you know a Golden Flash who through leadership, character and hard work, has made exceptional contributions in their chosen profession, community and at Kent State University? 

Nominate a Golden Flash 

2019 Alumni Award Recipients

The Kent State University Alumni Association is proud to recognize the 2019 Alumni Award recipients. All recipients were honored at a special ceremony that was held on Sept. 20, 2019. 

Distinguished Alumni Award


Matthew Likens, ’75

President and CEO, GT Medical Technologies, Inc.



Distinguished Citizen Award

Judy Isaacson Elias
Judy Isaacson Elias, ’82

Founder, Heroes to Heroes Foundation


Professional Achievement Award


Dr. David M. Jarzen, ’67, M.A. ’69

Research Associate, Cleveland Museum of Natural History




Professional ACHIEVEMENT Award

Dr. Cheryl Thompson-Stacy, ’79, M.Ed. ’82, M.B.A. ’93

President Emeritus, Lord Fairfax Community College





Kent State Advocacy Award

Sandy Zirke
Sandra E. Zirke, ’68, M.Ed. ’73, Ed.S. ’80

COO Emeritus, Neola Inc.



Outstanding New Professional Award

Connor W
Connor J. Whelan, ’16

Director of Marketing and External Engagement, Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns




Golden Flash Award

Elena Neoh, ’20

Bachelor of Business Administration, Human Resource Management Major




View past Alumni Award recipients