SSU Distinguished Alumni Range From Semiconductor
Engineer and Zoologist to Medical Educator
In recognition of their outstanding professional achievements and personal
contributions to their community, three alumni have been selected to receive
Sonoma State University Alumni Association's 2004 Distinguished Alumni Award.
Sonoma State University and the Alumni Association will honor these outstanding
graduates, whose occupations range from a medical educator to a zoologist
and a semiconductor engineer, during Distinguished Alumni Day, October
Highlights of the day will include a luncheon with President Ruben Arminana,
a dedication to these alumni at SSU's Alumni Grove and Brick Path, and
visits to classrooms and campus centers. The day culminates with the
Distinguished Alumni Awards Dinner.
The awards dinner includes a 5:30 p.m. reception and a 6:30 p.m. dinner
at the Doubletree Hotel in Rohnert Park. The cost for the event is $50
for Alumni Association members, SSU faculty and staff and $55 for non-members.
Tables of eight can be reserved for $1,000. Dress is business attire.
Those who wish to attend should RSVP by Oct. 10 at (707) 664-2426.
This year's Distinguished
FORD, M.A. MANAGEMENT, 1979. Ford began his career in thesemiconductor
industry in Southern California. He worked as a corporate facility director
for more than 20 years, and in that capacity applied industrial engineering,
construction and project management techniques to the design, planning
and management of facilities for corporations such as Honeywell, General
Dynamics and Sony Corporation of America and, locally, OCLI and Tegal/Motorola.
He designed environments to increase productivity and organizational
effectiveness by making the facilities more responsive to user needs.
In 1993, he became a principal of The Fifth Resource, Inc., a Cotati firm
committed to assisting businesses grow in Sonoma and Napa counties. The
company promotes sustainable economic development through good business
practices, employment advocacy, and utilizing engineering tools to develop
business and facilities plans.
Ford earned a B.S. in industrial engineering from California State Polytechnic
University, Pomona, in 1972. Realizing the need to humanize his engineering
training, he completed a master's degree in management at Sonoma State
University in 1979. He has been an active community volunteer and supports
As board chair and advocate for the partnership between the Rancho Adobe
Fire District and Sonoma State University, he was instrumental in the
development of a FEMA grant for more than $300,000 to replace breathing
apparatus and other necessary equipment. Ford served as president of the
Sonoma State University Alumni Association from 2000 to 2001 and is currently
the chair of the Association's campus enhancement committee. He conceived
and dedicated the Alumni Grove, Alumni Amphitheater and Alumni Brick Path
on the SSU campus.
D. GAFFIN, TEACHING CREDENTIAL, 1982. As an introductory zoology course
instructor to over 1,700 students per year at the University of Oklahoma,
Dr. Gaffin's course was consistently rated as one of the most challenging
and enjoyable on campus.
His teaching experience began at his alma mater Oregon State University,
where he earned a Ph.D. in Zoology and Neurophysiology in 1994. As an
instructor in a large-enrollment anatomy and physiology course, Gaffin
was one of the first instructors to use computer technology in the classroom.
He wrote grants for computers, electronic equipment and software to modernize
the human anatomy and physiology teaching laboratories - a significant
accomplishment when placed in the context of his temporary hire, non-tenure
The publishing company McGraw-Hill invited Dr. Gaffin to focus groups,
and his thoughtful contributions led to him co-authoring a biology textbook
entitled "Life." A related project called Active Art sprang from the textbook.
Active Art allows instructors to decompose a textbook's art to its core
elements, making it easier to use PowerPoint to tell a complex story.
Active Art started with "Life," but McGraw-Hill now ties it to each of
its major science textbooks.
In addition to his Ph.D., Dr. Gaffin holds a teaching credential from
Sonoma State University, and a B.S. from the University of California
at Berkeley. He currently holds the position of Dean of University College
at the University of Oklahoma.
KLEIN, B.A. PSYCHOLOGY, 1982 AND B.A. SOCIOLOGY, 1982. Klein serves
as the Associate Dean for Student Services and Administrative Operations
at Yale University. In addition, he contributes to medical education and
practice by serving as a co-principal investigator for a funded project
called "Medical School Participation in Ambulatory Care and School-Based
Health Centers," awarded by the New York State Department of Health.
Throughout his career, Klein has advanced developing strong links between
education and community involvement through research, special projects,
curricular innovations, policy change, and practice implementation.
In addition to his master's degree in public health, and his doctorate
in sociomedical sciences, Klein was selected for additional training as
a Harvard Macy Scholar at the prestigious Harvard Macy Institute Program
for Physician Educators in 2002 and received the honor of a fellowship
in Medical Informatics through the National Library of Medicine.
Before accepting the position at Yale University, he was Associate Dean
for Primary Care and Associate Director, Center for Primary Care Education
at New York Medical College. In these positions he was involved in medical
education and developed interdisciplinary programs that broadened the
views of medical students and health professionals. He taught courses
on clinical skills, community and preventive medicine, and health care
in the United States.
Throughout his career, Klein has worked to enhance the medical education
for primary care physicians and to improve medical practice. Klein received
a Ph.D. from Columbia University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
in 2000, a M.P.H. from Yale University, School of Medicine in 1986, and
a B.A. from Sonoma State University in 1982.
The Distinguished Alumni Awards was established in 1987 to recognize outstanding
graduates and former students, and is the highest honor bestowed on SSU
alumni by the Alumni Association.
For more information contact the Sonoma State University Alumni Relations
Office at (707) 664-2426.
NOTE: Digital photos of the alumni are available upon request.