During Alumni Reunion Weekend, the Alumni Association Board of Directors presented its annual awards:
Kimberly Gordon Biddle ’87 received the Alumni Career Achievement Award, which recognizes those who excel in their fields and are successful leaders within their professions. In addition to her longstanding work as a psychology professor (most recently at California State University, Sacramento), Gordon-Biddle has distinguished herself as a researcher and advocate for minority students in higher education. Her books and research have been recognized by numerous professional associations and educational organizations.
Jennie Grimes ’02 was presented with the Community Service Award in recognition of her extraordinary volunteer leadership and service to MET UP, an organization committed to changing the landscape of metastatic cancer through direct action. Despite personal setbacks, Grimes has actively participated in MET UP and other organizations’ advocacy, fundraising, and research efforts.
Stefano Molea ’08 was recognized with the Impact Award, which honors alumni younger than 50 years with outstanding records of career achievement and potential for future success. An accomplished legal professional, Molea is a partner at a criminal defense firm in San Diego. Formally recognized for his legal contributions, he serves on the board of directors for the San Diego Criminal Defense Bar Association and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Alex Capuchino ’15 received the Hope Award, presented to a current student or a recent graduate in honor of great promise in future endeavors. After Redlands, Capuchino earned a second bachelor’s degree in nursing from Loma Linda University and is working toward becoming a certified registered nurse. He has served as co-president of the Loma Linda Association of Student Nurses and has worked with patients in pediatric, adult medical, surgical, and intensive care units.
Ashlee Buczek Romberger ’10 was presented with the Ray Whitmus Award, which recognizes a College of Arts and Sciences alumna or alumnus who has graduated in the last 10 years and demonstrates active leadership, professional achievement, and commitment to the community and University. An educator whose teaching has touched classrooms around the world, Romberger developed curriculum in the Netherlands for migrant programs throughout the European Union, implemented classroom betterment programs in Peru, and raised gender-based human rights awareness in Ethiopia with the U.S. State Department. She currently teaches at Hoopa Valley High School, located on the Hoopa Valley Reservation.
Marilyn Kerr Solter ’59 was awarded the Distinguished Service Award, which celebrates alumni who demonstrate a high level of ongoing commitment to the University. Having served on nearly every possible volunteer committee at the U of R, Solter has also been extremely active in the City of Redlands. Among her myriad involvements are the Museum of Redlands, Redlands Symphony Association, Family YWCA of Redlands, and the Redlands Adult School; in 2017, she was named Woman of the Year by the City of Redlands.
The “R” Award was presented to William Hatfield ’74 for outstanding service in the community and for actions that bring honor to the University. President of Hatfield Buick, the oldest Buick dealership in the United States, Hatfield has supported numerous causes in the Redlands community, including the YMCA of the East Valley, A.K. Smiley Library, Redlands Community Hospital, and the Lincoln Memorial Shrine Association; his University service includes the Alumni Association Board, Town & Gown Board, and the Alpha Gamma Nu fraternity.