As part of its Homecoming celebration, Winona State University will recognize the recipients of the 2013 Distinguished Awards.

Mary Jo Schreiber (’68) and Erik Thostenson (’95) will receive the “Distinguished Alumni Award.” Jim Eddy will be awarded the “Distinguished Faculty Award,” and Melissa Schaller (’95) will receive the “Distinguished Young Alumna Award.” James (’67) and Nancy (’66, ’70) Reynolds and Darrell Krueger will be honored with the “Distinguished Service Award.” In addition to receiving the “Heritage Award,” Charlie Zane (’64, ’66) will serve as Grand Marshal for the Homecoming Parade.

A reception and dinner for the award recipients will be held Friday, Oct. 18, on the Winona campus. Many recipients will also participate in the Homecoming parade at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, in Winona.

For more information on WSU Homecoming, visit: http://www.alumni.winona.edu.

Brief biographies of the recipients are included below:

Mary Jo Schreiber received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Winona State in 1954 and master’s degree in cardiovascular nursing from University of Alabama, Birmingham, in 1973. She also served at U.S. Army hospitals in San Antonio, Texas, and Da Nang, Vietnam. Schreiber is currently the Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President of Winter Haven Hospital in Winter Haven, Fla., where she began in 1979 as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in critical care. In 2007, she was recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center with their Magnet Award, and by the Polk County Nursing Consortium with the Excellence in Management Award. Read more about Schreiber

Erik Thostenson graduated from WSU in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in composite materials engineering and has gone on to make pioneering contributions to his field. While at WSU, Thostenson worked as a teaching assistant for the Department of Composite Materials Engineering, and earned the Society of Plastics Engineering Scholarship. After graduation, he received his master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Delaware, where he currently works as assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Specializing in carbon nanotubes and other advanced fiber reinforcements, Thostenson’s scholarly research has been cited more than 4,300 times and earned him a multitude of awards. Read more about Thostenson

Jim Eddy taught political science at Winona State for 30 years before retiring as professor emeritus.  Prior to joining WSU, the Marine Corps was a large part of Eddy’s life. Eddy served as an enlisted Marine from 1953 to 1956, and in 1965 he was commissioned a Captain of the Marine Corps Reserve until he retired as Major in 1978. He received his bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University and his Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma. Since his retirement from WSU, Eddy has remained active in the community, staying involved with the Minnesota Marine Art Museum and local Marine Corps and veteran initiatives such as Toys for Tots. He is also active with the Political Science Association and the Parks and Trail Council of Minnesota, as well as Friends of the Upper Mississippi River Refuge.  Read more about Eddy

Melissa Schaller graduated cum laude from WSU in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and special education along with several licensures. While at WSU, she served a resident assistant and with the Student Council for Exceptional Children. After graduation, Schaller received her master’s degree in special education from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. She currently works as the Director of Special Education for Intermediate School District 917 in Rosemount, Minn, and has served as president of the executive board for the Minnesota Association of School Administrators and the Minnesota Council for Exceptional Children.  Read more about Schaller

Jim and Nancy Reynolds both graduated from Winona State, Jim with a bachelor’s degree in social science in 1967, and Nancy with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 1966 and a master’s in elementary education and reading in 1970. Jim went on to receive his master’s degree in sociology from the University of North Dakota in 1969, and would begin his career as a faculty member in the sociology department at WSU the same year. He served the university in a variety of roles, including department chairperson, until his retirement in 2004. Nancy received her master’s degree in environmental education from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 1995 and taught in the Winona Area Public School system for 30 years. She also taught as an adjunct faculty member at WSU and Saint Mary’s University. Both Jim and Nancy have given their time, talent and treasure to projects that make WSU distinctive while providing educational opportunities, and have created endowed scholarships in sociology and elementary education. Read more about the Reynolds

Darrell Krueger was the 13th president of WSU, serving from 1989 to 2005. A nationally recognized leader in outcomes assessment, Krueger adopted principles and leadership concepts that would earn WSU the prestigious Franklin Covey Community Service Award. Under his watch, WSU became one of the most technologically advanced universities in the nation. Additionally, Krueger worked to transform the campus by closing streets and creating green space. He also oversaw the completion of the new library in 1999, as well as the $30 million science laboratory.  Read more about Krueger

Charlie Zane graduated from WSU with a degree in business education in 1964. Prior to college, he served in the U.S. Army, during which time he wrestled and played baseball and football. After enrolling at WSU, Zane became one of the all-time best three-sport athletes and administrators at WSU. He lettered nine times across baseball, football and wrestling. After graduation, Zane began coaching at Bay View High School but returned to WSU in 1966 to serve in diverse capacities, including union president, faculty in business education and office administration. He also served on numerous committees and task forces before retiring in 1997. Zane has remained active with WSU in retirement, serving as a special projects fundraiser and officiating local games and tournaments. He was named to the WSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009.  Read more about Zane