2008 Distinguished Alumni Awards
Alumni Community Achievement Award
Maureen and Donald Green
Founder of Telecom Valley in the North Bay
Advocates for Children and Animals,
Philanthropists and Community Supporters
In 1956, Donald and Maureen Green moved from their homeland of England to start a new life in Canada. Four years later, the couple and their children moved south and eventually settled in Sonoma County. During those years, Mr. Green left the profession of engineering to become an entrepreneur. He founded three very successful telecommunications companies and was instrumental in the creation of what today is known as the North Bay’s Telecom Valley.
In addition to caring for a growing family, Mrs. Green found time to manage and sing with the San Francisco Bach Choir where she spearheaded a variety of successful classical music fundraising events throughout the Bay Area. Music has always played an important part of their lives and inspired the couple to establish the Bach Choir at Sonoma State University. Over the past ten years, they have dedicated themselves to enhancing the quality of music instruction and local performing arts venues. Mr. and Mrs. Green provided the foundational grant for the world-class Green Music Center now under construction on the Sonoma State University campus.
Known throughout the community for their philanthropy and community service, their love of children led to the creation of the Carriage Trade Group, a community organization that works closely with the California Department of Social Services to promote the adoption of children. Together they have also participated in numerous social service organizations, including the Animal Rights Movement, the National Audubon Society, the Nature Conservancy, the United Way, the Santa Rosa and Marin County Humane Societies, and many other charities that focus on the prevention of cruelty to animals.
Mrs. Green is an alumna of Sonoma State University. Mr. Green was educated at the Institution of Electrical Engineers in London, England. Both hold honorary degrees from Sonoma State University—Mr. Green an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts and Mrs. Green an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.
Distinguished Alumni Award
B.A. Psychology, 1978
School of Social Sciences
Retired Chief Executive Officer, Rural Communities
Housing Development Corporation
Through visionary leadership, technical expertise and quiet persuasion, Duane Hill has invented, built and sustained the community development movement in rural Northern California. Born and raised in Red Bluff, California, Mr. Hill has spent the last four decades in the local nonprofit sector. In 1969 he left his job at a lumber products firm to work in the Lassen-Modoc-Plumas-Tehama Community Action Agency. In that capacity he launched a career in activism and nonprofit administration by establishing a welfare-rights organization and lobbying cities and counties to create a housing authority. Despite severe opposition, Mr. Hill expanded the service menu of the community action agency to include a variety of essential services, including Tehama County’s first senior center. Recognizing that he needed to pursue higher education to better serve his community, he left Red Bluff to attend junior college in Mendocino County, and later earned his bachelor’s degree from Sonoma State University.
At that time, Mr. Hill also assumed a series of increasingly responsible positions at Mendocino County’s largest nonprofit human service agency, North Coast Opportunities. Included in these were the responsibilities of Housing Specialist, which led to the formation of a new nonprofit corporation – the Rural Housing Development Corporation. Mr. Hill recognized the overwhelming need for affordable housing in rural areas before this need came to national attention. At that time, cities were receiving substantial housing subsidies, but few resources were being distributed in rural areas. Mr. Hill assembled a board of influential volunteers and, with those individuals, embarked on a campaign of community awareness and public education that led to the strategic expansion of Rural Communities Housing Development Corporation. Under his leadership for the past 33 years, the agency grew to become the largest nonprofit affordable housing developer in rural Northern California.
Distinguished Teaching Award
B.A. Sociology, 1988
School of Social Sciences
Director, SSU Center for the Study of the Holocaust
and Genocide, and Sociology Department Chair
As an undergraduate student at Sonoma State University, Mryna Goodman was a Presidential Scholar and the recipient of the Ambrose R. Nichols, Jr. Scholarship. After completing her bachelor’s degree at SSU, she received her master’s and doctorate degrees in sociology from the University of California, Davis. She returned to Sonoma State in 1993 to teach in the Sociology and Women and Gender Studies Departments and for the Holocaust Lecture Series, which she now directs. As the Center’s director, Dr. Goodman coordinates the Holocaust Lecture Series, which attracts distinguished speakers from around the world representing disciplines that range from history to philosophy to biology to political science and others. The series has been offered for academic credit since 1983 and more than 100 students enroll each spring semester. In addition to the lecture series, Dr. Goodman plans Center programs and activities, archives media, maintains a reference collection, and oversees the Center’s grants and operational funds.
Dr. Goodman teaches an upper-division course called the Sociology of Genocide, and serves as the faculty advisor to the SSU Human Rights Club. She is also involved in the development of the Holocaust and Genocide Memorial Grove Sculpture to be installed on the University campus in 2008.
Outstanding Staff Award
B.A. Anthropology, 1985
School of Social Sciences
Access Services Manager
SSU University Library
Julie Dinkins has worked in a variety of capacities at Sonoma State University Library for more than 25 years. She started as a student assistant while earning her bachelor’s degree in anthropology, and over time has been employed in almost every capacity of library operations. Ms. Dinkins served as a manager in the public service areas at Circulation and Multi-Media departments, and as an administrative manager for numerous staff. Her contributions to the University Library, in both official and unofficial capacities are innumerable, as such taking on additional responsibilities and making the workplace a more efficient operation and pleasurable environment. From her early days in Book Mending and Technical Services through her years of involvement in helping faculty and students find and obtain research articles, she has contributed to many successful and groundbreaking projects, such as the startup of electronic document delivery and instruction to students on the “new” World Wide Web. Described by colleagues as “the perfect manager” and possessing a “wonderful down-to-earth nature,” Ms. Dinkins has earned the respect and admiration of students, faculty and co-workers.