Every year CAST recognizes some of its most successful younger alumni.
Since graduating from ISU in 1992, the vast majority of Dean's time has been spent in academia, with his contributions focusing on research and academic fields within horticultural science. Dean is currently at the University of Tennessee. Dean has been an instructor for 8 different courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as a committee member for 20 M.S. candidates and 6 Ph.D. candidates. Dean has been an author or co-author of 54 refereed scientific journal articles, 46 scientific abstracts, 3 book chapters, and 1 U.S. patent. He is a PI or Co-PI on sponsored projects, competitive grants, and contracts totaling over $4.5 million and serves as a member of the editorial boards of 2 international journals (Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis and Journal of Plant Nutrition).In 2009 Dean was the recipient of the T.J. Whatley Distinguished Young Scientist Award given annually by The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture in recognition of outstanding research achievement.
Through Randy’s years on the Bloomington police force, he has held numerous positions including Deputy Coroner with the McLean County Coroner’s Office. Randall was a teaching assistant at the Police Training Institute at the University of Illinois and an account representative with the Police and Firemen’s Insurance Association. Randy has served with the Bloomington Police Department since 1988. During this time he has held positions of patrol officer, emergency response unit manager, police sniper, sniper team commander, detective and now patrol sergeant. Randy has also been a lecturer in the Department of Criminal Justice Sciences at ISU and a faculty mentor for the American Criminal Justice Society in 2009-2010. Randy frequently offers his time and expertise in the classroom.
Denise has illustrated how those who are fascinated by the development of children, as well as dedicated to the welfare of exotic animals, can create an engaging, rewarding and unique career path. In her work as an animal trainer and mammal medical assistant, she has shown how children and families can be connected to animals through zoo and aquarium entertainment that is both educational and dazzling. In addition, since 2001 Denise has been a consistent presenter at professional conferences, such as the International Play Association conference (which focused on the role of play in children’s development) and the International Association for Aquatic Animal Medicine (which focuses on advances in medical treatment of exotic animals). Denise was given the special assignment to be an interactive educator for the Special Needs Pathways Program, which included global clients with special needs, both children and adults. The special needs program also includes participants from a variety of wish granting organizations such as Make-A-Wish Foundation, Sunshine Foundation, Starlight Foundation and the Dream Factory.
Paul's recognition as a top expert in concrete safety and bridge construction has expanded nationally in recent years, with current projects as far out as the east coast. He spends considerable time training construction workers and managers in the OSHA 30-hour course and HAZWOPER. Paul often contributes to the profession through technical presentations to private and public organizations. Examples from recent years have included corporate executives and regional managers at AMEC Construction, resident engineers and contractors at the Illinois Department of Transportation and AGC of Illinois, and a range of central Illinois safety professionals at a meeting of the Central Illinois Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers. Paul is also a member of ASSE, as well as Illinois Road and Transportation Builders, and the National Safety Council.
Nick is Senior Vice President and Head of SpiderLabs at Trustwave. He has more than 14 years of information security experience. In his role at Trustwave, he leads SpiderLabs, the team that has performed more than 800 computer incident response and forensic investigations globally, thousands of penetration and application security tests for clients and security research to improve Trustwave's products. Nick acts as the lead security advisor to many of Trustwaves premier clients by assisting them in making strategic decisions around various security compliance regimes. In 2004, Nick drafted an application security framework that became known as the Payment Application Best Practices (PABP). In 2008, this framework was adopted as a global standard called Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA-DSS).
A little effort can pay life-changing dividends. Preventing heart attacks, which are the leading cause of death in the industrialized world, would require a massive -and impractical- lifestyle change. So Auburn University kinesiologist John Quindry has decided to be pragmatic; he is working on how we can survive a heart attack. In a heart attack, an arterial blockage interrupts the flow of blood to the heart muscle. If the blockage persists, the heart muscle can die. But restoration of blood flow to oxygen-deprived tissue produces an inflammatory response that can also kill heart muscle. Looking at EKGs taken during and after heart attacks, Quindry discovered some hearts are more resistant to injury than others, and what makes the difference is a little bit of exercise. Exercise alters the subtle factors that are part of the day-to-day maintenance of heart cells. And that alteration can literally be the difference between life and death. John performs his research in the Cardioprotection Laboratory in the Department of Kinesiology, Auburn University where he has been since 2005.
In Darren's current role at General Electric (GE), he is responsible for top line revenue growth and driving major Quality Programs for the Factory Service Organization. His goal when starting in this position in July 2009 was to increase out-of -warranty revenue (OW) by 10% year-over-year for three years (an increase in income of approximately $15,000,000). To accomplish this he works with GE's advertising agency to develop marketing plans and campaigns that will give his group broader exposure in the marketplace in order to drive traffic in both print and digital media (local & national) to increase OW sales conversion. Darren executes marketing plans with his ad agency that includes buying key search words from Google and focusing on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies to increase organic search rankings. The three channels for revenue growth include: direct to consumers (B2C), commercial accounts agreements (i.e. Lowes, Home Depot), and dealer referrals programs. Additionally, Darren is responsible for creating programs that will improve the Quality of Service and Net Promoter Score metrics (measures of brand loyalty and customer satisfaction) to improve the overall consumer experience with General Electric.
CAST is always looking for its next Academy of Achievement honorees. If you know of anyone, or would like to nominate yourself for this distinguished honor, please fill out the CAST Academy of Achievement Application.