Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

Muskegon Community College Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients


Kathy Moore2023 Distinguished Alumni Award
Kathy Moore, Class of 1991
Kathy Moore has served the citizens of Muskegon County for over 30 years.  As the Administrative Health Officer and Public Health Director for Muskegon County, she is empowered by the Michigan Public Health Code to implement and enforce rules and regulations to prevent disease, promote health and protect the environment. After graduating from Muskegon Community College, she earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Grand Valley State University.  Her professional development achievements include Public Health Leadership Scholars Program, Six Sigma Lean Black Belt in Government, and others. Kathy was elected to the Muskegon Community College Board of Trustees in 2014 and currently serves as Treasurer.

2022 Distinguished Alumni Award
Asaline Scott, Class of 1990
Asaline Scott, whose long career in banking has been matched by her generous community advocacy, is a Muskegon Heights, MI, native. After graduating from Muskegon Heights High School, Scott declined a scholarship to the University of Michigan to attend MCC as a working, non-traditional student while she and her late husband, John Arthur Scott, raised their family. Scott earned an associate degree from MCC in 1990, a Bachelor of Arts from Grand Valley State University’s Seidman College of Business in 1994, and an MBA in Organizational Change and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion from Western Michigan University’s Haworth College of Business in 2000, when she graduated with three of her children.

Roy Portenga2021 Distinguished Alumni Award
Roy J. Portenga, Class of 1973
Inducted into the State Bar of Michigan Worker’s Compensation Section Hall of Fame, local attorney Roy J. Portenga has dedicated his life to serving others by choosing to represent the injured and disabled during hard times in their lives. A past president of both the Muskegon Bar Association and the MCC Alumni Association, he serves on the MCC Board of Trustees and served on the Foundation for MCC Board of Directors.


2020 Distinguished Alumni Award – No Award Issued


Tracy Lyn Lamb Image2019 Distinguished Alumni Award
Tracy Lyn Lamb, Class of 1983
The award-winning executive director of NEWS, an organization providing domestic violence and sexual abuse services in California’s Napa Valley, Tracy Lyn Lamb began her career as a crime victim advocate and program manager in the Sonoma County (CA) District Attorney’s Office. Her advocacy includes securing a $625,000 grant to fund housing for domestic violence survivors.

Dr. Pamela Brown2018 Distinguished Alumni Award
Dr. Pamela Smith, Class of 1972
Following a successful career spanning four decades and three states while working in higher education, retail and health care management, and leading community organizations, Dr. Pamela Smith returned to the Muskegon area, where she remains active serving on a wide gamut of college and community groups.

Terri Lynn Tchorzynski2017 Distinguished Alumni Award
Terri Lynn Tchorzynski, Class of 1999
Honored by First Lady Michelle Obama in the White House as the nation’s 2017 School Counselor of the Year, she transformed her Calhoun Area Career Center students’ approach to post-secondary education. At MCC, she was all-conference in basketball and softball and was the 1999 Muskegon Community College Athlete of the Year.

S-Pletcher_cropped2016 Distinguished Alumni Award
Dr. Sarah N. Pletcher, Class of 1997
A telemedicine trailblazer, Dr. Pletcher founded the Center for Telehealth and Connected Care for the Dartmouth-Hitchcock health system serving 19 million patients in New England. A faculty member at Dartmouth University’s prestigious Geisel School of Medicine, she established the Center for Rural Emergency Services and Trauma, a network of 20 rural hospitals supporting emergency and trauma care.

An image of MCC Distinguished Alumnus Darnell Earley2015 Distinguished Alumni Award
Darnell Earley, 
Class of 1975
In a career dedicated to public administration, Darnell Earley has served as city manager of Flint and Saginaw and emergency manager of Detroit Public Schools. As past president, he led over 9,000 International City/County Management Association members representing 30 nations. He was a Muskegon County administrative assistant and Equal Employment Officer.

Preston Pulliams2014 Distinguished Alumni Award
Preston Pulliams, Class of 1966
The former president of Oregon’s largest community college and vice chancellor of the State University of New York’s system of 30 community colleges, Dr. Preston Pulliams championed affordable higher education and promoted community service during a 40-year career that included serving his hometown as Muskegon Community College’s Dean of Students.

Diana Osborn2013 Distinguished Alumni Award

Diana R. Osborn, Class of 1973
In her 45-year career at Muskegon Community College, Diana Osborn championed higher education. The one-time student worker rose through the ranks to Executive Vice President of Administration, where she spearheaded major campus additions. In retirement, she was elected to the MCC Board of Trustees and served as the President of the Foundation for Muskegon Community College board.

Kolenic_Tony_color2012 Distinguished Alumni Award
Anthony J. Kolenic Jr., Class of 1973
Anthony Kolenic has been recognized as a Michigan Super-Lawyer for six consecutive years. For the past 18 years, he has been ranked one of the Best Lawyers in America by Employee Benefits Law. An advocate and supporter of education at all levels, he has taught at MCC since the 1980s.


David_Wells2011 Distinguished Alumni Award
David Wells, Class of 1971
Attorney David Wells has extensive experience as an arbitrator, mediator, fair employment practices investigator, medical school inspector, and foundation director. He has had leadership roles in more than 25 church, community, state and national organizations and is among an elite group performing on-site accreditation evaluations of Osteopathic medical schools.

Swartzlander2010 Distinguished Alumni Award
Dr. Glenn Swartzlander, Class of 1963
Popular pediatrician Glenn Swartzlander supported his alma mater and the MCC Nursing Program for years by regularly accepting students into his practice for their clinical experience in pediatrics. The long-standing member of the MCC Nursing Program Advisory Board shares his insights to better prepare MCC nursing students for their profession.

Jones2009 Distinguished Alumni Award
David L. Jones, Class of 1988

An educational consultant, published author, and national motivational speaker, David Jones founded Project SMART (Saving Males at Risk Training) in Houston, Texas to help troubled youth. A member of numerous boards and councils, he has received the Phi Delta Kappa Outstanding Educator Award and hosts a local community affairs television series.

Dulyeacmyk2008 Distinguished Alumni Award
Sergeant Major Joel Dulyea, Class of 1975
A vocal music major at MCC, Joel Thomas Dulyea started his career as a tenor soloist in the U.S. Army Band. He progressed to become Concert Coordinator for the Concert Band and Soldiers’ Chorus. He has performed with the Boston Pops Orchestra and Cincinnati Pops Orchestra and has received two Meritorious Service Medals and five Army Commendation Medals.

RichardHKraft2007 Distinguished Alumni Award
Richard R. Kraft, Class of 1949
Richard Kraft, who earned a degree in civil engineering, started his own firm in Flint, Michigan, and enjoyed a successful 55-year career. A loyal philanthropist and avid supporter of MCC, he and his sister, Susan Kraft Mateer, endowed a scholarship to help Muskegon-area students prepare for their careers at MCC.

R-Christophe2006 Distinguished Alumni Award
Robert Christophe, Class of 1981
Known as Robbie Williams at MCC, he gained national accolades as a playwright, director and producer of films and television programs. He served on the Philadelphia and Maryland Councils for the Arts. Honored as educator of youth at risk, he co-founded Red Road Productions, an arts-in-education company, helping California schools.

Novo2005 Distinguished Alumni Award
Paul Novoselick, Class of 1973
The late Paul Novoselick’s love of writing blossomed as a Muskegon Chronicle columnist, where his focus on business, labor, and rights of the disabled earned him community respect. He founded the Disabilities Center for Independent Living. He received the Multiple Sclerosis Advocate of the Year Award and Outstanding Citizen Award.

Andersen2004 Distinguished Alumni Award
Elmer L. Andersen, Class of 1928
One of MCC’s first graduates, Elmer Anderson was a business owner, newspaper publisher, and served 10 years as a state senator in Minnesota. He was elected to a two-year term as Governor of Minnesota. A renowned philanthropist, he never forgot his roots and endowed a scholarship for MCC journalism students.

Elizabeth Haller2003 Distinguished Alumni Award
Elizabeth Haller, Class of 1990
Elizabeth Haller, inspired by a literature class taken at MCC, has successfully combined her many interests in journalism, young adult literature, and British literature into her career as a university English professor. Her academic specialties include the novels of Charlotte Bronte and her professional interests include 19th Century gender studies.

Bruce2002 Distinguished Alumni Award
Billie Bruce, Class of 1980
Community activist Billie Bruce has made a lifetime commitment to education, community service and volunteerism. She is a member of the NAACP, Urban League, Black Women’s Political Caucus, and many other civic organizations. She has served on many community boards and is a passionate proponent of anti-drug programs for children.

Jackson2001 Distinguished Alumni Award
Dorothy Gill-Jackson, Class of 1967
Dorothy Gill-Jackson’s legacy of outstanding citizenship epitomized her lifelong career at Muskegon Heights Schools. She was a teacher, coach, athletic director, mentor and role model. A member of numerous professional and community organizations, she was recognized by the Michigan Women’s Basketball Coaches Association for reaching 300 career victories in 1997.

Harrison2000 Distinguished Alumni Award
Susan Harrison, Class of 1970
An award-winning writer, community activist, and inspirational speaker, Susan Harrison is well known as a Muskegon Chronicle columnist, organizer of writing workshops for students, mentor of journalism programs, tutor, and volunteer for many area charitable organizations. Among her many awards was the 2000 Women of Accomplishment Award.

Bettye_Clark-Cannon1999 Distinguished Alumni Award
Bettye Clark Cannon, Class of 1938
Philanthropist Bettye Clark Cannon has improved the quality of life in West Michigan through her charitable contributions and undying efforts to create beauty in the Greater Muskegon area. Her civic efforts have included the planting of flowers in public places, renovating heritage homes and funding local art galleries.

McCrea-BW1998 Distinguished Alumni Award
Ralph McCrea, Class of 1950

Economics major and IBM marketing whiz Ralph McCrea was instrumental in creating the Muskegon High School Class of 1946 Scholarship Fund to help students from that school attend MCC. Since its inception in 1986, the fund has helped countless students achieve their higher education goals.


Andersen1998 Distinguished Alumni Award
Elmer Andersen, Class of 1928

One of MCC’s first graduates, Elmer Anderson was a business owner, newspaper publisher, and served 10 years as a state senator in Minnesota. He was elected to a two-year term as Governor of Minnesota. A renowned philanthropist, he never forgot his roots and endowed a scholarship for MCC journalism students.