Pittsburg State University honored three alumni with its Meritorious Achievement Award last April. This year’s recipients are John C. Dormois, M.D., a retired cardiologist from Durham, N.C.; Barron H. Harvey, Ph.D., dean of the Howard University School of Business in Washington, D.C., and Glenna J. Wallace, chief of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma and a retired English teacher and administrator at Crowder College.
The PSU Alumni Association established the Meritorious Achievement Award in 1958 as the highest award given to graduates based on career achievement. Candidates for the award have demonstrated substantial professional growth and advancement over an extended period of time. The candidates’ activities, including participation and leadership in civic and professional organizations at the local, state and national levels, are also considered by the awards committee in selecting the recipients.
In addition to a public panel discussion and a reception ceremony during which they received their awards, the recipients also spoke to a number of classes on campus.
John C. Dormois
John C. Dormois, M.D., is a retired cardiologist who is currently a student in the Duke University Divinity School.
A native of Kansas City, Kan., Dormois earned a bachelor of science degree in biology from Pittsburg State University in 1965. He graduated from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in 1969 and served a medical internship at the University of Kansas in 1969-1970. He served as a resident in internal medicine at Vanderbilt University in 1970-1971.
From 1971 until 1973, Dormois served as a medical officer for the U.S. Navy in Pensacola, Fla. After his Navy tour of duty, Dormois served a fellowship in clinical pharmacology and cardiology at Vanderbilt. In 1975, he began private practice in cardiology in Florida, which he maintained until his retirement in 2010.
In the years leading up to his retirement, Dormois became interested in end-of-life care.
“I have seen a lot of heartache and pain because that whole process was not handled well by patients, friends, relatives and pastors,” he said in a 2011 interview.
Following his retirement, Dormois took a course at Tampa General Hospital on being a chaplain and for nine months served in that role at the hospital.
“It was enlightening,” he said.
Following that experience, Dormois entered the Duke University Divinity School. Most of his classmates are headed into traditional roles in the ministry, Dormois said, but he expects to use his experience and his credentials to teach medical students about spirituality.
An avid runner and triathlon competitor, Dormois has been active in the American Heart Association.
Dormois and his wife, Joan, who is a nurse practitioner, live in Durham, N.C. They have five adult children and three grandchildren.
Barron H. Harvey
Barron H. Harvey, Ph.D., is the dean of the Howard University School of Business in Washington, D.C.
Harvey grew up in Aliquippa, Pa., and came to Kansas to play sports and attend Coffeyville Community College. He transferred to Pittsburg State University in 1967 where he worked toward a degree in business until 1970, when he transferred to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to complete his bachelor of science degree in business administration and begin graduate school. He holds a BSBA, a master’s degree in accounting and a Ph.D. in organizational behavior and management theory, all from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Harvey is a tenured member of the faculty at Howard University and has served as a full professor in the Department of Accounting for more than 20 years. During his academic career, he has held numerous other administrative positions at the university. Previously, he held faculty appointments at the University of Nebraska, University of Miami, and Georgetown University.
In 2011, Harvey received the National MBA Dean’s Roundtable also known as the Milton-Wilson Dean’s Award and received a Richard D. Irwin Fellow from Beta Gamma Sigma Faculty National Business Honor Society. That year, Harvey was also the recipient of the Washington Business Journal’s Minority Business Leader Award. During summer 2010, the Secretary of the Department of Commerce, Gary Locke, named Harvey as an inaugural member of the newly created National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE). He has twice been named “Educator of the Year” by the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) Inc. In 2009, Dean Harvey received the National Alliance of Market Developers (NAMD), H. Naylor Fitzhugh Humanitarian Award. In fall 2007, Dean Harvey became the first endowed professor in the School of Business when he was named Frank Ross/KPMG Endowed Professor in Accounting.
Harvey and his wife, Edith (BS ’72), have two children and three grandchildren. They live in Washington, D.C.
Glenna J. Wallace
Glenna J. Wallace is the chief of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma. A retired English teacher and administrator at Crowder College, Wallace earned a bachelor of arts degree, a master of arts degree and an education specialist degree, all from PSU.
Originally from the rural community of Eastside, near Miami, Okla., Wallace recalls a childhood that includes years on the west coast where the family pursued migrant farm work. She worked to put herself through high school and went to Miami Business College following graduation.
Over the years, Wallace pursued her education while at the same time serving the role of wife and mother to three. Her husband of 33 years died suddenly in 1988, just as she was completing her Ed.S.
Wallace joined the staff at Crowder College in 1968 as an English teacher. It was a relationship that would last more than 38 years until her retirement in 2006. During that time, Wallace estimates she taught more than 25,000 students.
Wallace’s roles at Crowder were varied, ranging from instructor, department chairperson and division head to interim academic dean. She directed the GED program, wrote the first Title III Grant for Crowder, directed faculty and student exchanges and was director of international travel. She taught in Australia and led groups of travelers to 70 foreign countries.
In 2006, Wallace was elected chief of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe, the first woman to hold that position. She was elected to a second four-year term in 2010. As chief, she has emphasized the importance of grant writing and since she was elected in 2006, the tribe has received funding for six administrative buildings. Currently, the tribe is building a casino and resort on Highway 60.
Wallace lives in Seneca, Mo. She has three grown children.