CSU, Alumni Association Honors Graduates and Friends Wednesday During Homecoming Week

Alumni Awards program coverCOLUMBUS --- Columbus State University’s Alumni Association will honor four distinguished graduates and two valued alumni associate friends Wednesday evening during the Annual Alumni Awards Program, part of this year’s homecoming festivities.After the recognition program, CSU will honor former Columbus Mayor Robert “Bob” Poydasheff for his community service, support of the university and his contributions to CSU, his community and his country.This year’s alumni recognition program is on Wednesday (10/22) at 6:30 p.m. in the President’s Club at the Lumpkin Center. The event, which is free and open to the public, will honor:•    For Alumni Service, Paul Holmer-Monte, a test consultant on the Clearing and Settlement System for the TSYS Merchant Segment. In 1996, he joined CSU’s Intellectual Partnership Program that began Holmer-Monte’s legacy with the university and with TSYS. In addition to his business pursuits, Holmer-Monte actively contributes to his community by serving on the Board of Directors for the Russell County Child Advocacy Center and as the leader of the Strategic Development and Facilities Committee. Holmer-Monte has served on the Alumni Board for Columbus State University since 2005, served as president of the Alumni Association from August 2012 to October 2013, and is an active Tower Society member. Holmer-Monte is currently assisting CSU to launch the Friends of Honors College Committee which aims to foster unique partnerships that include alumni, parents, and friends of the college.•    For Excellence in Alumni Achievement, Dr. Peter D. Rumm, a special project medical officer in the Division of Orthopedics and formerly the Deputy/Clinical Director of the Divisions of Surgical, Orthopedic, and Restorative Devices, Office of Device Evaluation, and Center for Devices and Radiological Health in the Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Rumm has also served as a special advisor to the assistant secretary for health and was a White House level appointee to the National Advisory Committee on Children and Terrorism while he served as a state epidemiologist, chief medical officer, and lead state health officer for Wisconsin. He has received more than 30 military and public health commendations, medals, and has served on over a dozen federal or international committees promoting preparation and awareness for dealing with health issues arising from conflict and natural disasters worldwide. Dr. Rumm graduated magna cum laude from CSU with a Bachelor of Science in 1981. Since then, he has made innumerable contributions to the field of medicine and continues to distinguish himself in the community, the country, and the world for his service.•    As outstanding Young Alumni:o    Jason (Jay) Alexander, a 2001 graduate and the current CEO and president of Alexander Electric Co. After earning a Bachelor of Business Administration from Columbus State University, Alexander assumed leadership of one of the country’s largest and most respected electrical contracting companies, which was established by his grandfather in 1948. An active supporter of the arts, charities, youth organizations, and community projects, Alexander is a committed and active community volunteer and serves on the board of directors for various organizations. Alexander has been selected as a presenter for the 2014-2015 D. Abbott Turner College of Business Executive Speaker Series based on his exemplary performance in business and his commitment to the community.o    Gina Sederstrom, a 2011 graduate who now works as a financial advisor with Merrill Lynch. After earning her bachelor’s degree in finance and a minor in marketing, she began a business career while also pursuing her passion for service and her willingness to help her community by providing invaluable financial guidance.  Sederstrom also works as both a chartered retirement planning counselor at the College for Financial Planning and a registered financial advisor for the Finance Industry Regulatory Authority. Sederstrom is an active alumna of Columbus State University and is very involved with Young Professionals, the Chamber of Commerce, and Historic Columbus.

•    For Distinguished Military Service, Col. Barry Creed (Ret.).
Creed serves as an exemplary model of selfless leadership in his community as well as his country. Before he was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army, Creed served as a police officer and a field training officer in Columbus from 1978 to 1983. During his tenure in the military, Creed contributed his management expertise through various positions within different divisions in the military, including the United States Joint Forces Command, Battalion Commander, Counterdrug Action Officer, Chief of Joint Operations Center, and Operations Officer. He recently served at the Joint Chiefs of Staff-Force Coordination Division, through which he carried out the multi-faceted roles of deputy chief, force analysis branch, and joint staff. Over the course of his career in the United States Army, Creed was awarded two Bronze Star Medals for his wartime service in Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2012, Creed was also awarded the Department of Defense’s Joint Meritorious Service Medal. Creed earned both a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice and Bachelor of Science in general studies from Columbus State University.

•    For Faculty/Staff Appreciation Award, Derek Olson, lead web developer for University Information & Technology Services department, where he designs, implements, and maintains CSU’s 150+ websites. He provides primary support and training for faculty, staff, and students in the use of CSU’s content management system, allowing departmental personnel the opportunity to edit their websites directly using a graphic user interface. He was instrumental in the ColumbusState.edu domain implementation, as well as every other major website update put into place over the past five years. He has been with CSU since 2009 and has worked as a web developer since 2003, previously employed by a web and publishing firm in Olympia, Washington.

Following the Alumni Association’s program, the university will present “Cougar Madness,” the ceremonial start to the basketball season that also serves as a pep rally of sorts for all CSU Athletics. During this event, Columbus State University will recognize the Honorable Robert S. Poydasheff, former mayor of Columbus and a retired colonel in the U.S. Army, for his “incredible array of contributions to our university, this community and the nation,” said CSU President Tim Meson. Poydasheff served as mayor of Columbus from 2003 through 2006, after serving on Columbus City Council from 1994 through 2002. It was during this time that Columbus State University began to develop its RiverPark campus downtown. Poydasheff has been a longtime supporter of CSU athletics and has been a board member of the CSU Athletic Fund for more than 30 years.

Anyone interested in attending the Alumni Recognition Awards Program and/or Cougar Madness is asked to email alumni@columbusstate.edu. Visit www.ColumbusState.edu/homecoming for a full listing of Homecoming activities during the week.


SOURCE: Jennifer Joyner, director of CSU's Office of Alumni Engagement, at 706-507-8956 or by email at jennifer.joyner@columbusstate.edu.

WRITER: John Lester, University Relations, 706-507-8725/JLester@