2019 NIU Alumni Association Award Winners

Eight NIU alumni, including a former Major League Baseball general manager, a pharmicutial CEO, community leaders and educators, will receive 2019 awards from the NIU Alumni Association for their outstanding achievements.

“I am thrilled with the selections made by the alumni association awards committee,” said Reggie Bustinza, executive director of the NIU Alumni Association. “These individuals exemplify all that makes us proud to be Huskies.”

At the annual awards banquet, to be held April 12 at the Barsema Alumni and Visitors Center on campus, the NIU Alumni Association will recognize the following  Huskies for exemplifying the best in their fields:

  • Ned Colletti (B.S. journalism, 1976) has been selected to receive the 2019 Distinguished Alumnus Award. Colletti spent nine seasons (2006-14) as general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, helping lead the team to five post-season appearances. He is now executive-in-residence at Pepperdine University, as well as a television baseball analyst covering the Dodgers for SportsNetLA.
  • Carmen Rossi (J.D., 2012) has been selected to receive the 2019 Outstanding Young Alumnus Award. Rossi, a lawyer and entrepreneur, is a managing partner at Chicago law firm City Lake Law, as well as the founder of Chicago Knight Life and 8 Hospitality.
  • Michael Pattrick (B.A. communication studies, 1990, M.S.Ed. adult continuing education, 1994) has been selected to receive the 2019 F.R. Geigle Service Award. Pattrick is the CEO of the Michael C. Pattrick Insurance Agency (State Farm). He has volunteered his time as a member of both the NIU Alumni Association and NIU Black Alumni Council boards, the Mombasa Relief Initiative, the Hayes Park District and more.
  • Erica O'Malley (B.S. accountancy, 1987) has been selected to receive the 2019 Achievement in Business & Industry Award.
  • Keith Liden (M.S. biological sciences, 1979) has been selected to receive the 2019 Achievement in the Sciences Award. Liden is the president and CEO of Liden & Associates, LLC, a consulting company specialising in pharmaceutical compliance, based in Fishers, Indiana.
  • Denise Bunning (M.S.Ed. special education, 1989) has been selected to receive the 2019 Achievement in Public Service. Bunning is an educator, support group leader and advocate who works to improve the lives of children with food allergies. She co-founded MOCHA (Mothers of Children Having Allergies) in 1997 to help those with life-threatening food allergies in their families.
  • Arlene Turner-Crawford (B.S. art education, 1971) has been selected to receive the 2019 Achievement in the Arts Award. Turner-Crawford is a Chicago-based artist committed to community and activism. She was also the unit head for the Carruthers Center for Inner CIty Studies at Northeastern Illinois University for a number of years until her retirement in 2009.