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Eight Creighton Alumni Receive School/College Merit Awards

Eight Creighton University alumni received their school/college Alumni Merit awards at the University’s alumni weekend Sept. 21-23. Those honored included:

Melvin Beckman, MA’73: He received the Creighton University Graduate School Alumni Merit Award. Beckman of Omaha, Neb., spent the past 40 years as “a man for others,” working for the imprisoned and the oppressed. Beckman’s work with the prison system led to his appointment as the Nebraska co-coordinator of the national campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth in 2009. He also organized and serves as president of Family and Friends of Inmates. Read more and view his video.

Richard Deming, MD’80: Dr. Deming of Des Moines, Iowa, received the Creighton University School of Medicine Alumni Merit Award. Deming graduated in 1980, where he was awarded the Dr. Adolf Sachs award for graduating at the top of his class. He is currently the medical director of Mercy Cancer Center and the CyberKnife Radiosurgery Center of Iowa. Deming has been praised for his work with several oncology organizations and patient advocacy programs as has received numerous awards and honors. He continuously fights to reduce the burden on cancer patients through legislative, research and policy changes. Read more and view his video.

Georgette Magassy Dorn, Ph.D., BA’59: She received the Creighton College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Merit Award. Dorn, born in Budapest, Hungary, grew up in Spain and Argentina before she came to Creighton where she earned her bachelor’s degree in political science in 1959. Her research on Latin American history is nationally recognized. In 1969 Dorn joined the Hispanic Division of the Library of Congress where she held a number of positions. She has served as chief of the division since 1994. Read more and view her video.

Christopher J. Forst, BSPha’81: He received the 2012 School of Pharmacy and Health Professions Alumni Merit Award. Forst, from Dublin, Ohio, currently serves as the director at Supply Chain Integrity and Regulatory Operations at the American Pharmacists Association (APhA). He has held numerous leadership positions there throughout his career. Forst believes strongly in mentoring and encouraging students and has endowed a scholarship in the School of Pharmacy and Health Professions in his parents’ name. Read more and view his video.

The Honorable Robert W. Pratt, JD’72: He received the Creighton University School of Law Alumni Merit Award. He is currently the Chief Federal District Judge for the Southern District of Iowa in Des Moines. Pratt has used his education to help those most in need of legal aid. He was the first chair of the Creighton Law Alumni Advisory Board and served on the Des Moines Regional Alumni Advisory Board. Pratt and his wife established the “Service and Justice Fund” in the Creighton Law School to support special programs, including immersion trips to the Dominican Republic. Read more and view his video.

Ronald N. Quinn, BSBA’70, MBA’76: He received the Creighton College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Merit Award. Quinn currently serves as the executive vice president and secretary for Tenaska, Inc., an energy company recently ranked 25th on the Forbes list of largest privately held companies. Over the years Quinn has led Tenaska to become a corporate culture based in moral responsibility and personal accountability. Quinn has served on numerous professional and community boards and on Creighton’s Parent Council. Read more and view his video.

Anlee Kappenman Rola, DDS’77: She received the Creighton University School of Dentistry Alumni Merit Award. Rola, originally from Sioux Falls, S.D., has numerous family members in the profession. She has dedicated herself to providing quality dental care to her patients and giving better access to care for low-income families. She serves as a board member for several professional organizations and was awarded the Outstanding Dentist of the Year Award and the Fellowship Award for her public service and expertise within the South Dakota Chapter of the International College of Dentists. Read more and watch her video.

Margaret Eileen Barr Van Tasell, BSN ’68: A native of Parkville, Mo., received the Creighton University School of Nursing 2012 Alumni Merit Award. After seeing many of her patients were unable to stay in their homes to receive care, Van Tasell started her own private care nursing company, Barr Private Care, in 1992 in Kansas City. She also opened Barr Hospice and Palliative Care in 1996. She has served as president and is a current member of the Creighton School of Nursing Alumni Advisory Board, where she initiated the board’s endowed scholarship along with the annual continuing education event for nursing alumni. Read more and watch her video.