Richmond, Va.
Friday, July 31, 2015

VCU to Honor 11 Alumni Stars at Special Dinner

Monday, Oct. 17, 2011

Virginia Commonwealth University will honor a collection of its most accomplished alumni during its Alumni Stars awards program on Oct. 21.

The Alumni Stars program, which is sponsored by the VCU Alumni Association and the MCV Alumni Association of VCU, recognizes outstanding graduates who have made significant contributions in the areas of humanitarian and professional achievement. Honorees are selected through faculty recommendations and alumni committees from across the university. The program began in 1989.

The 2011 recipients will be recognized at a dinner and awards program on Oct. 21 at the Richmond Marriott Hotel, 500 E. Broad St. A cocktail reception begins at 6 p.m., and the seated dinner and awards program starts at 7 p.m.

The 2011 honorees include:

Edmond Bowden
  • Edmond P. Bowden, Ph.D., College of Humanities & Sciences, professor in the Department of Chemistry at North Carolina State University

“My nearly five-year graduate experience brought me into contact with incredibly inspiring individuals at VCU and in the scientific community at large and gave me the opportunity to discover my love for scientific research and education.”

Glenn A. Davis
  • Glenn A. Davis, School of Business, president/CEO of BranCore Technologies

“My involvement has allowed me to hire a number of extremely talented VCU graduates who have helped me to build a successful IT consulting company over the past 11 years.”

Tara Donovan
  • Tara Donovan, School of the Arts, renowned sculptor and MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship recipient

“I always enjoyed the sense of community in the sculpture department when I was a student at VCU and I feel like that continues in my studio to this day.”

Dale C. Kalkofen, Ed.D.
  • Dale C. Kalkofen, Ed.D., School of Education, former school principal and superintendent and current vice president of district services for New American Schools

“My approach has been to establish a shared vision among the leaders and teachers to accomplish what needs to be done to improve teaching and learning.”

Panelpha “Penny” L. Kyler, Sc.D.
  • Panelpha “Penny” L. Kyler, Sc.D., School of Allied Health Professions, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration

“The skills I learned as an occupational therapy student … have proven to be the right mix for working in today’s fast-paced health care environment.”

Debra E. Lyon, Ph.D.
  • Debra E. Lyon, Ph.D., School of Nursing, Judith Buxton Collins Distinguished Professor and chair for the VCU School of Nursing’s Department of Family and Community Health Nursing

“My research has focused on improving symptoms in women with breast cancer. This work is gratifying, because it allows me the opportunity to work with women during a critical time in their lives.”

Paul D. McWhinney
  • Paul D. McWhinney, School of Social Work, deputy commissioner for programs, Virginia Department of Social Services

“VCU was instrumental in shaping my life and world view.”

Jonathan C. Roberts
  • Jonathan C. Roberts, School of Pharmacy, executive vice president and chief operating officer for the pharmacy benefit management unit of CVS Caremark

“My goal is to enable community pharmacy to deliver services that contribute to a healthier country.”

  • Jason T. Roe, School of Engineering, president of ERNI Electronics
Jason T. Roe

“My first interaction with VCU and the School of Engineering was the one that changed me the most.”

  • Ronald L. Tankersley, D.D.S., School of Dentistry, oral and maxillofacial surgeon, adjunct professor at VCU and former president of the American Dental Association
Ronald L. Tankersley, D.D.S.

“I was fortunate that Dr. Harry Lyons was my dean in dental school and Dr. S. Elmer Bear was chair of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery during my residency. Both stressed professional ethics and professional involvement.”

  • Tadataka “Tachi” Yamada, M.D., School of Medicine, former president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Global Health Program and currently executive vice president and member of the board of directors for Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.
Tadataka “Tachi” Yamada, M.D.

“I receive great gratification from my professional efforts as they have always been directed at doing the most to relieve human suffering.”

For more information about the VCU Alumni Stars dinner and this year’s recipients, visit

About VCU and VCU Medical Center

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 226 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-seven of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University comprise VCU Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. For more, see