Cal Poly, Pomona -- May 04, 2001
Seven Honored For Professional Achievements, Community
Service As Cal Poly Pomona Recognizes Distinguished Alumni
Seven individuals representing decades of achievement were acknowledged
for contributions to their professions and communities when Cal Poly
Pomona held its 2001 Distinguished Alumni Awards Ceremony and Reception
The Distinguished Alumni Awards are given jointly by the university
and the Cal Poly Pomona Alumni Association. Established in 1961, they
are a way to honor and recognize alumni for their professional achievements
and community service as well as loyalty and support to Cal Poly Pomona.
Nominees have achieved prominence in their chosen field and brought
distinction to the university and or their community through their accomplishments.
Nominations are open and received throughout the year from all university
and alumni constituencies.
This year's honorees include:
Ronald W. Gregoire (bachelor's degree, accounting,
1971) recognized by the College of Business Administration. Current
residence: Palm Desert, Calif. After becoming a CPA in 1972, Gregoire
got involved in automotive sales operations early in his career, eventually
owning several dealerships in Pasadena and Cerritos. He is a supporter
of the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts and the South Coast Repertory
Company and one of the founders of the McCallum Theater for The Performing
Arts in Palm Desert. Gregoire currently serves on the Cal Poly Pomona
University Education Trust (UET) Board and is a longtime financial supporter
of the university. In 1996 he was inducted into College of Business
Administration's Accounting Hall of Fame.
J. David Rogers (b.s., geology, 1976) College of Science.
Pleasant Hill, Calif. Rogers started his own consulting firm, Rogers/Pacific,
in 1984. He received his master's (civil engineering) and Ph.D. (geological
and geotechnical engineering) from UC Berkeley, where he was an adjunct
member of the faculty until accepting the Hasselman Chair in geological
engineering at the University of Missouri-Rolla. Author of more than
100 articles, he is a frequent contributor to programs airing on PBS,
the Discovery and History channels, and has been honored with numerous
national awards. Rogers is a member of the College of Science Advisory
Board and Geology Cluster Group and has served on the College of Sciences
Biotechnology Building Development Advisory Committee.
Rex O. Baker (b.s., agricultural biology, 1962; master's
degree, agricultural science, 1983) College of Agriculture. Corona,
Calif. Baker is now professor emeritus after spending 25 years teaching
in the university's agricultural biology program. A highly respected
speaker/consultant on a wide range of subjects including vector ecology,
wildlife public safety and damage management issues, he is also general
partner in a Northern California pest control company. Formerly a deputy
agricultural commissioner for San Diego County, Baker returned to teach
at Cal Poly Pomona in 1976. He has served as the CSU chancellor's representative
and director of the Pesticide Regulations Pest Control Advisory Committee,
as well as being director of advisory boards for Food and Agriculture.
Eva Wassermann (b.s., hotel, restaurant & travel
management, 1986) Collins School of Hospitality Management. Chicago.
Wassermann is presently the north central region vice president of managed
development for Hilton Hotels Corporation. During her career she has
worked in hospitality consulting as well as asset management and acquisition
of hotel properties. A certified hotel administrator since 1994, Wassermann
serves on the Lodging Industry Investment Committee and was a founding
member of the Hotel Asset Manager's Association. She is also an active
member of the Collins School of Hospitality Management's Advisory Board.
Gerald J. Salontai (b.s., civil engineering, 1977)
College of Engineering. San Diego. Salontai is president, CEO and
chairman of The Kleinfelder Group, Inc., a management, engineering and
science consulting company with 54 offices throughout the western United
States. His technical specialty is in geotechnical engineering with
expertise in construction, management/testing and environmental engineering.
Active in a number of professional organizations, Salontai is a director
of the San Diego Chapter of the Consulting Engineers and Land Surveyors
of California and on the board of directors of Associated Soil and Foundation
Engineers. He has taught Civil Engineering courses at Cal Poly Pomona
and served on its Civil Engineering Industry Action Council.
Steven Bruecker (b.s., physical education, 1974) College
of Letters, Arts & Social Science. Escondido, Calif. Bruecker
currently teaches physical education at Hidden Valley Middle School
in Escondido. After receiving national recognition for his table tennis
program in 1996, he wrote the book "Table Tennis for the Education
Program" to help schools implement it into their curriculum. Bruecker
then spent the next four years lecturing on the topic throughout the
country while continuing his teaching assignment. Honored by a number
of organizations for his efforts, in 1999 he was selected National Middle
School Teacher of the Year by the American Alliance for Health, Physical
Education, Recreation and Dance.
Dolores Villaseñor (master's, education, 1980)
College of Education and Integrative Studies. Claremont, Calif.
In her 28th year as an educator, Villaseñor is one of three principals
at the Pueblo Elementary Complex in the Pomona Unified School District's
Village at Indian Hill. After initially teaching and serving as a teacher
specialist/curriculum coordinator for PUSD, she was promoted to assistant
principal at Washington Elementary School. She later spent seven years
as principal of Kellogg Polytechnic Elementary. Villaseñor is
active in several educational committees and associations including
the Association of California School Administrators and the California
Association of Bilingual Education. She works with Cal Poly Pomona's
WIN-WIN Advisory Board and recently served as a district liaison for
the university's Center for Leadership & Service Learning.