2017 Alumni Award Recipients

Alumni association to recognize outstanding alumni, friends at annual awards banquet

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. — Lake Superior State University invites the community to help celebrate three distinguished alumni and outstanding friends of the institution during its annual Alumni Awards Banquet, part of Great Lake State Weekend, Oct. 13-14.

The banquet begins at 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 13, in the Walker Cisler Center. Tickets are available by calling 906-635-2831, or run a Web search on “GLSW 2017” to read more about weekend events and buy tickets online. Reservations must be made by October 10.

“Two of our award recipients are from the local community and one has made a name for himself in supporting professional athletes. Each of them is an excellent example of an LSSU success story,” said Susan Fitzpatrick, director of LSSU Alumni Relations. “We invite everyone to join us in recognizing their accomplishments and celebrating their connection with LSSU.”

Following is a look at the recipients and the awards they will be receiving.

2017 Alumni Award Recipients

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David B. Jahn, a 1990 graduate of LSSU’s MBA program, is the recipient of this year’s Outstanding Alumnus Award. Jahn is the president and chief executive officer of Chippewa County War Memorial Hospital, a facility with more than 950 employees and 60 physicians.

Born and raised in Manistique, Mich., Jahn pursued his educational goals within the confines of the Upper Peninsula.

“LSSU has played a major role in my education and my professional life. If it weren’t for LSSU and its off-campus MBA program, I probably would have never been able to advance my education since my undergrad at Michigan Tech,” says Jahn. “I went right into the workforce, got married and started to have a family. The LSSU program allowed me to go to class on the weekends for more than two years, and obtain an MBA that has really helped me along my career path.”

Prior to becoming CEO of War Memorial, Jahn was vice president of marketing for MHA Insurance, Lansing, from 2004 to 2005. From 1982 -2004 he was chief executive officer and chief financial officer for Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital in Manistique. His first job out of college was as a staff accountant for Marquette General Hospital.

Jahn has led a financial turnaround for War Memorial, which went from losing more than $1 million annually to making more than a $3 million profit in 2008. He has also moved major capital projects such as a $5 million expansion and renovation of the emergency department; a $7.7 million addition to the radiology department; a $6 million 30,000 square-foot rehabilitation department; a $10 million 40,000 square-foot medical office building; a $4 million skywalk/new entrance; and the addition of an inpatient behavioral health unit.

“We are currently working on a project to renovate one of our buildings into a Simulation Center that would be jointly used by LSSU and WMH,” says Jahn. “This would be a great addition to both organizations and it would aid in attracting more nursing students to LSSU which in turn would mean more qualified nurses to potentially work for WMH. I am hopeful that we can get this completed soon.”

Jahn is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives; a board member of the Lake Superior State University Foundation; board member of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association, as well as of the MHHA Foundation. He is vice chairman of the Michigan Center for Rural Health board; board member for the Upper Peninsula Health Plan and the Upper Peninsula Health Care network. He is also a board member for the Medical Protective Hospital Advisory Committee and for Central Savings Bank. He is an avid and skilled golfer, often supporting and playing in charitable events for causes like the United Way and Laker Athletics.

Jahn has been married 35 years to his wife Judy. They have four children: Dennis 41; Denise 39, Heidi 34; and Ashley 32. They also have four grandchildren.

The Outstanding Alumnus Award, established in 1968, is the highest honor that the association presents. It recognizes recipients for their personal and professional accomplishments and their involvement with LSSU, highlighting the significant achievements of alumni who serve as leaders in our region, state and nations.

Galen Rashard “Rick” Duncan, vice president of professional development for the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, has been selected to receive the 2017 Kenneth J. Shouldice Alumni Achievement Award. The award is named for the school’s first chancellor and president, who is considered to be the “father of Lake Superior State University.”

Duncan was a four-year letter winner for Laker basketball from 1990-94, playing the guard/forward position. His senior year he started all 24 games, scored 118 points, had 92 rebounds, 36 assists and 28 steals. In 1992 he scored a career-high 13 points against Aquinas College and he was named to the GLIAC All-Defensive Team for the 1993-94 season.

After finishing his bachelor’s degrees from LSSU in 1994, Duncan began pursuing his masters in social work from Wayne State University, which he completed in 1997. That same year he earned a graduate certificate in alcohol and drug abuse studies from WSU. Duncan completed a Ph.D. in health psychology from Walden University in Minneapolis in 2006.

“This is an incredible honor. My basketball teammates, coaches and professors fostered an educational process that was second to none,” says Duncan. “I was completely prepared for my advanced degrees as well as the world thanks to LSSU. I will always have fond memories of the Soo and its community as a whole. I walked into LSSU as boy and left as a man.”

When Duncan graduated from LSSU in 1994 he completed two bachelor’s degrees — one in business administration–marketing, the other in human services — with minors in counseling and substance abuse counseling, all while competing on the Laker men’s basketball team. He has put both of these degrees to good work, along with his graduate degrees and time management skills, in his various positions with the National Football League and the National Basketball Association.

Duncan started with the Kings in late September, transitioning from Detroit to Sacramento in one short week. Prior to the move, he had been with the Lions for ten years, since 2007. In the ever-changing and challenging field of developing players in the NFL, Duncan helped Lions’ players establish housing, financial education, internships, counseling connections, professional development opportunities and career transition options. He assisted Football Operations with logistics and planning and interviewed all draft-eligible rookies, providing character evaluations for team managers.

In his new role with the Kings, Rick is responsible for implementation of the Kings Academy program, a developmental, player-centric curriculum aligning multi-faceted organizational philosophies and ideals to help athletes mature into well-rounded professionals. Under his oversight, Kings Academy will augment on-court progress with access to practical material and experiences that help balance on-court priorities and personal responsibilities with opportunities to become impactful contributors in the community.

The Southfield, Mich., native began working with professional athletes shortly after he finished his master’s degree, working as a player program coordinator for Palace Sports and Entertainment – the Detroit Pistons for about 18 months. From there he went to the St. John Health System School Based Health Care Centers in Detroit, where he worked as a psychiatric social worker. Overlapping with that, he was a treating clinician for the National Football League Program for Abuse of Substances.

He served in several other roles in the Detroit area concurrently. He was a faculty advisor and adjunct professor for the Wayne State University School of Social Work; a counselor and mentor for the National Basketball Players Association; a counselor for Wayne State University Counseling and Psychological Services; a psychologist for the National Basketball Association Rookie Transition Program; a consulting therapist for the University of Detroit Mercy and also for the Wayne State University Athletic Department.

Galen and his wife Monica have two children – Geordon, 17, and Mikayla, 15.

Finally, the Alumni Association is presenting Michael P. O’Toole with its 2017 Paul Ripley Young Alumnus Award for achieving exceptional personal and professional success early in his profession. The award is named after Lake State’s first alumni director, who was also in charge of placement and college relations, and taught journalism classes.

The 2003 pre-dental/biology graduate has channeled a passion for dentistry into an ongoing career that has improved the lives of patients all over his home province of Ontario, Canada. He presently has an orthodontics practice in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., with partner Kent Floreani.

“Lake Superior State University was the start to a long post-secondary education and provided a huge advantage,” says O’Toole. “LSSU is an ideal-sized university where you can work hard and shine a little brighter.”

As a student at LSSU, O’Toole received a Board of Trustees scholarship earmarked for students from Ontario, an LSSU Faculty Association scholarship, and one of only two undergraduate research grants given at the time. He was recognized for the highest overall grade point average in general chemistry – O’Toole’s minor – and graduated summa cum laude. He was a member of the Alpha Chi national college honor society and a member of LSSU’s Honor Council.

“The ability to form personal relationships with great, enthusiastic professors such as Dr. Marshall Werner was priceless, especially when my future career path often depended on their kind words and guidance,” says O’Toole. “I am most proud of my LSSU degree because it kick-started a wonderful educational and career path that continues to this day.”

O’Toole earned a doctorate of dental services (DDS) from Nova Scotia’s Dalhousie University in 2007. He completed a dental residency at Toronto Sick Children’s Hospital 2007-08 while earning a Masters in Science in Orthodontics from the University of Toronto.

Prior to opening his Sault Ste. Marie practice in 2011, O’Toole worked one year with Bloorview Children’s Rehabilitation Center, two years with Sunnyside Dental Center, two years with the Regional Academy of Dental Hygiene, and four years with the Sioux Lookout Dental Zone in remote communities of northwestern Ontario.

Outside of professional practice, O’Toole researched the role of the dental community in the diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea and explored interdisciplinary approaches to the seamless delivery of dental care.

Professional recognition includes a Nova Scotia Dental Association biomaterials award, a United Dental lab award, and the Quintessence award for proficiency. He is an active member of the Sault Ste. Marie Dental Society, the University of Toronto Orthodontic Study Club, and professional associations including the Canadian Association of Orthodontists (CDA), Ontario Association of Orthodontists (OAO), Great Lakes Association of Orthodontists (GLAO), American Association of Orthodontists (AOA), Canadian Dental Association, and Ontario Dental Association.

O’Toole enjoys martial arts in his spare time, and has been a volunteer instructor of Kuk Sool Won at the Family Martial Arts Center in Sault Ste. Marie 1997-2003 and 2011 to the present. He is twice (2000, 2002) men’s black belt grand champion in the Detroit regional martial arts tournament and earned a second-degree black belt in Kuk Sool Won in 2003. He also enjoys fly-fishing, cross-country skiing, and glamping, a style of camping with amenities and resort-style services not usually associated with traditional camping.

O’Toole lives in the Sault with his wife, Melissa, who is a practicing general dentist at Family Dentistry on Bay Street. Both love the outdoors, staying fit, and keeping up with three children, Elizabeth, 4, Catherine, 2, and Liam, 1.

CONTACT: John Shibley, 906-635-2314, ()