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News and Events

2012 Distinguished Alumni
Posted 06/19/2013 02:03PM

2012 Distinguished Alumni



Bonnie Bissonette is the Associate Director of the Student Center for Global Education at the University of Maryland in Baltimore.  Bonnie is also the former  Associate Dean of Business and International Education at Northcentral Technical College, Wausau, Wisconsin.  There, she led the internationalization of the curriculum; designed and maintained grants, contracts and cooperative agreements to cover all international education activities’ costs; developed and managed programs and project budgets and sought new partnerships for NTC.  Previously, Bonnie was a Foreign Service Officer for the State Department in Washington DC, and a Consular Officer for the US Embassy in London.  She has been given Meritorious Honor Awards for her work for the State Department, as well as Exemplary Service Award for International Programming Initiatives for her college, and Advocate of the Year for the Association of International Educators. Bonnie attended the University of Saint Thomas as a National Merit Scholar, received her masters degree from George Washington University, Washington DC, and is presently a Higher Education doctoral candidate at the University of Minnesota. 


REBECCA FINK - Class of 1971

Becky Fink is the elected board chair of Nucleus Clinic, the only non-profit reproductive health clinic in Anoka County and the surrounding area. When the clinic was advised to close, Becky and other women in the community volunteered there for over 2 years and now the clinic is viable and growing. In 2009, Becky was appointed its Executive Director. Becky is also a trainer and advisor with the Barbara Schneider Foundation, which provides crisis intervention training to local law enforcement, hospital and EMT staff. Becky is a member of the Board of Directors for MNALL, a statewide organization protecting the rights of older women who are survivors of physical, emotional and sexual abuse. She also serves as a member of the Anoka County Attorney’s Office Community Education on Elder Abuse Committee and the Anoka County Sexual Action Team. Prior to these positions, Becky served as the Chief Operating Officer of Rise Mental Health and Housing and Homeless Services for 25 years.   The poverty, treatment and discrimination issues of women with disabilities have been a primary focus of her work.   She is a highly respected advocate for people with mental illness as well as other disability issues. Becky and her family reside in Coon Rapids, Minnesota.


SEAN LAMBERT - Class of 1977

Sean Lambert is the Board President of the San Diego/Baja region of Youth With a Mission (YWAM). Youth With a Mission is an organization that works with youth to provide many levels of support to people all over the world. Sean and his wife Janet, oversee disciple training courses at Ensenada and Tijuana campuses and are joined every year by over 5,000 volunteers at these locations.   Sean provides homes for the poor in Mexico, Brazil, Haiti, Dominican Republic and has worked tirelessly for the successful collaboration of youth volunteers impacting the infrastructure of poor areas in many countries. He has forged relationships with local governments in all these countries to provide housing and coordinate the volunteers to construct houses for those in need. In 1997 Sean founded Mission Adventures, a world-wide short term mission program for youth. The program currently involves forty different YWAM centers operating in fourteen countries and 100,000 youth have participated in the program. Sean also serves on the Board of Regents of the University of Nations, founded for people interested in getting a degree in Christian mission skills. Sean and his family reside in Chula Vista, California.


ROBERT W. MASSOF - Class of 1966

Robert W. Massof Ph.D., is the Founding Director of Lions Vision Research and Rehabilitation Center, a division of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine’s Wilmer Eye Institute and the Multiple District 22 Lions Vision Research Foundation.   A Professor of Ophthalmology and Professor of Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins, his research areas include clinical and basic vision psychophysics, physiological optics and psychometrics. Dr. Massof is a fellow of the Optical Society of America and has served on the Society’s Board of Directors. He is also a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. He has authored more than 190 published scientific papers and book chapters and holds five patents and three software copyrights on instruments he developed. He has been awarded 39 honors including the Senior Scientific Investigator Award from Research to Prevent Blindness, the American Optometric Association, Low Vision Rehabilitation Council Distinguished Service Award, and Alcon Research Institute Award. Dr. Massof attended Hamline University, Saint Paul, MN, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, and Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD.   Dr. Massof resides with his family in Baltimore, Maryland.



Christopher Mickman is the co-founder and Vice-President of Mickman Brothers Incorporated. Christopher has co-established five successful businesses under the umbrella of Mickman Brothers: Landscape Construction, Landscape Irrigation Construction, Retail Garden Center, Christmas Wreath/Fundraising Business and Golf Driving Range. As Vice-President, he worked with Government Forestry agencies and the Minnesota Balsam Bough Committee to utilize forest products in an environmentally sound manner while allowing effective harvest of evergreen boughs. Christopher has won awards such as co-winner of Minnesota Small Business Persons of the Year, and the National Forest Service Rural Community Assistance National Action Award through founding the Minnesota Department of Resources Balsam Bough Committee.   Christopher is a volunteer ski instructor for deaf and hard of hearing students, and is a board member of the Mercy Hospital Foundation. He was also chairman of the Ham Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. Christopher attended the University of Saint Thomas, the University of Minnesota and Metropolitan State University. He resides with his family in Anoka, Minnesota.


JAMES MICKMAN, M.D., F.C.C.P. - Class of 1971

Dr. James Mickman is a doctor at HealthPartners North Memorial Hospital where he has spent more than 20 years treating patients as an Internist/Pulmonary Intensivist and Sleep Disorder Specialist.  Another one of his specialties is helping terminally ill patients and their families prepare for their impending loss. Dr. Mickman is on a committee at Regents Hospital developing a support program for patients with brain cancer and their families. Dr. Mickman served in the US Navy as a Medical Corpsman starting in 1972. He volunteered with the American Refugee Committee treating refugees in Thailand for one year.   After high school and serving as a Navy Medical Corpsman, Dr. Mickman graduated from Medical School at the University of Minnesota in 1982, from his residency at Hennepin County Medical Center in Internal Medicine in 1985, followed by a fellowship in Pulmonary/Critical Care at the University of Minnesota in 1988. Dr. Mickman and his wife of 25 years and their family reside in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  


JOHN S. MICKMAN - Class of 1968

John Mickman is the President, CEO and co-founder of Mickman Brothers, a company comprised of six profit centers: Landscape Design, Landscape Irrigation Design and retail garden center, Irrigation Consulting Group, Landscape Management Division and a Christmas Wreath Manufacturing Business. John’s responsibilities involve financial planning, marketing and advertising for all profit centers, development and test marketing of new Wreath Division products, and production management of the Wreath Division. John has chaired various Minnesota Landscape Committees, has been a Board of Director of the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association, and was named Minnesota Small Businessman of the year. John worked with brother Chris on the Balsam Bough Partnership, and also received recognition from the US National Forest Service. He was given an “Award of Excellence” from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for contributions made to preserve balsam forests in Minnesota. John attended the Carlson School of Business at the University of Minnesota. He resides with his family in East Bethel, Minnesota.


DOUGLAS K. OLSON - Class of 1978

Doug Olson is a Partner Director of Development for Microsoft Expression Studio, Microsoft’s suite of creative design and media applications. Doug has over 22 years of leadership experience in building and investing in companies, as well as an extensive background in inspiring, driving and participating in the development of foundational products in the Interactive Media and Graphic Design market. Doug was the co-founder of Authorware, one of the two companies that were merged to create Macromedia. Before working for Microsoft, Doug spent many years at Adobe and Macromedia and ran the development of multiple products including Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and Premiere. He also created one of Adobe’s first remote product development centers in Arden Hills, MN. This facility has remained in operation for over 15 years. Doug is a passionate advocate for innovation and economic development in the Midwest. Doug attended the University of Minnesota at what is now the Carlson School of Business. He resides locally with his wife and two year old twins. Doug and his wife also have three adult children.


DR. PHILIP J. OSTERLUND – Class of 1984

Philip Osterlund is a Senior Advanced Engineer for General Dynamics, a company that is a market leader in business aviation, land and expeditionary combat vehicles and systems, armaments and munitions, shipbuilding and marine systems, and information systems and technology. Previously, Philip worked as a mathematician for the National Security Agency, as well as an adjunct faculty to the University of Saint Thomas Math Department, and as a Teaching Assistant/Instructor at the University of Minnesota. Philip has distinguished himself for his mathematical expertise both in teaching and industry for his adult life. He has given his time to volunteer and speak in math classes at Fridley High School and has tutored high school students from his church in math and astronomy. He is also a coach for Bible Quiz Teams at his church. Philip attended the University of Minnesota where he received his Bachelors degrees in Mathematics and Physics, and later received a Masters degree and Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University.  Philip resides with his family in Eagan, Minnesota.


GWENDOLYN PAPPAS - Class of 1988

Gwen Pappas is the Director of Public Relations for the Minnesota Orchestra. Gwen works with international media to secure press coverage for five European tours including engagements in Helsinki, Vienna, London and Edinburgh; she serves on the City of Minneapolis design/implementation team to plan the revitalization of Peavey Plaza; plans media strategy around the $50 million renovation of Orchestra Hall and 2013 grand re-opening celebrations; manages annual press campaigns to seek publicity from New York media during the Orchestra's regular tours to Carnegie Hall or Lincoln Center; successful launching of Music Director Osmo Vanska into the twin cities community; spearheading Minnesota Orchestra Centennial Season Celebrations and; building visibility and promotional campaigns for the Orchestra’s Young People’s Concert series that introduces 55,000 students to classical music annually. Gwen also volunteers at her church, at the University of Minnesota, at a local elementary school and as a leader in the 2012 PR Mentor Circle American Symphony Orchestra League supporting the work of publicists around the country who are newcomers to the symphony orchestra field. Gwen attended the University of Minnesota. She resides in Saint Paul, Minnesota.


JOHN P. SAMUELSON - Class of 1980

John P. Samuelson is a Senior Director of Program Management for Cardiac Rhythm Disease Management (CRDM) at Medtronic Inc. He is responsible for the development of products and solutions across the CRDM portfolio of product development programs. John previously worked as a General Manager for Lockheed-Martin, Eagan and Director of Engineering Operations. John is on the Board of Directors for High Tech Kids, a nonprofit that supports the Minnesota Renewable Energy Challenge and the Minnesota First Lego League. With the help of corporate sponsors and 700 volunteers, the Lego League offers high energy, fun, team-based programs and competitions that celebrate science and technology. John also helped launch the FIRST Robotics regional tournament in 2009 through his involvement in the Minnesota Planning Commission. They launched the “10,000 Lakes Regional” at William’s Arena and the “North Star Regional” at Mariucci Arena with 100 FIRST Robotics teams from across the country. John attended the University of Minnesota and Stanford University. John resides in Woodbury, Minnesota.


DAVID TEIE - Class of 1973

David Teie has been a member of the cello section of the National Symphony since 1984. He has played with the Baltimore Symphony and was Acting Principal Cellist for the San Francisco Symphony. He wrote his own cello composition “Cello Concerto” which he premiered with the Anchorage Symphony. David has played lead cello with Metallica on the S&M album and concert and wrote the string arrangements and played the cello solos on Metallica bassist, John Newsted’s debut album: “Echobrain”.   He has played with Music Director Mstislav Rostropovich, as well as with Leonard Slatkin, Conductor. In 2007 and 2008 David worked with Dr. Charles Snowdon at the University of Wisconsin to test human music theory by writing species-specific music for cotton top tamarin monkeys, and evaluating the tamarins responses. The New York Times named the study the #1 Idea of 2009. In 2011 David again worked with Dr. Snowdon to test the effectiveness of species-specific music on cats.   In 2011 a patent for the apparatus and process of composing species-specific music was approved naming David Teie as inventor. David attended the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University. He resides with his family in Washington, DC.






These champion athletes honored tonight brought statewide fame to the Fridley community. They were integral in establishing dominance in Minnesota wrestling during the 60s and 70s.  It was a Fridley Wrestling team that earned the first trophy ever won by a Fridley High School team.  Upon graduation, these five became leaders in education and business. Calvin, James, Michael and Russell were all teachers and coaches while Steve enjoyed a successful career as a certified public accountant.



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