Pittsburg State honored two alumni with its Dr. Ralf J. Thomas Distinguished Service Award during the Apple Day Convocation on Thursday, March 3, in McCray Recital Hall. This is the 20th year for the award, presented by the PSU Alumni Association, which honors alumni who have demonstrated significant volunteer service to the PSU community.

This year’s honorees are Kathleen M. Sandness, MD, BS ‘83; and Dale M. Dennis, BS ‘59, MS ‘66, Spec. ‘83. Sandness is a Pittsburg physician and Dennis is the deputy commissioner of education for the State of Kansas.

Among her many acts of service, Dr. Sandness founded and continues to nurture the Pittsburg Free Clinic at Wesley House. PSU pre-med students, under the guidance of local physicians, gain valuable experience at the clinic and also participate in a rewarding act of service. In addition, Dr. Sandness is a tireless mentor for PSU pre-med students and a loyal supporter of the university and the Department of Biology.

Over decades of service to the school children of Kansas, Dale M. Dennis has become a legend as a calm and reliable voice on school finance and other important issues facing Kansas schools and Kansas educators. His participation in PSU’s Roaring River Conference for Kansas K-12 superintendents has been central to the event’s prestige and longtime success.