Emporia State University names four as 2012 Distinguished Alumni

January 29, 2012

Emporia State University will recognize four of its graduates with Distinguished Alumni Awards during Homecoming activities this fall.

The 2012 ESU Distinguished Alumni are:

  • Dale E. Cushinberry (BSE 1970, MS 1972), Topeka.
  • Norma L. Hafenstein, Ph.D., (BSE 1979), Denver, Colo.
  • Floyd B. Hoelting, Ed.D. (BA 1968, MS 1968), Austin, Tex.
  • Dianne H. B. Welsh, Ph.D. (MS 1984), Greensboro, N.C.

“This year’s class of Distinguished Alumni personifies excellence,” said Tyler Curtis, ESU alumni relations director. “Our students, faculty, staff and alumni are all extremely proud of this year’s honorees.”

About the honorees

Dale Cushinberry retired as principal of Topeka’s Highland Park High School in 2010, capping off a career of nearly 40 years in education. He worked as a K-12 grade teacher, counselor and administrator in the Topeka school system and served seven years at Washburn University as a professor and administrator.

Cushinberry earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, a master’s degree in school counseling, and school administration certification from ESU. During his undergraduate days, Cushinberry played on the Hornets basketball team; he was named an All-American in 1968 and 1969. He has served of the ESU Foundation board of trustees and the ESU Alumni Association board of directors and is also a member of the Athletic Hall of Honor.

Former Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius appointed Cushinberry to the Kansas Supreme Court Nominating Commission, an eleven-person panel that assists in filling vacant Supreme and Appellant court judge positions.

Norma Hafenstein is a faculty member of the Morgridge College of Education at the University of Denver.  She is the founder and director of DU’s Ricks Center for Gifted Children, a private school serving 250 gifted students preschool through eighth grade. Hafenstein is also the founder and director of the university’s Institute for the Development of Gifted Education, which provides graduate education, research, curriculum development and outreach in gifted education.  The Institute has hosted three national conferences on gifted education and published twelve integrated curriculum units and six monographs. 

A native of Alma, Kan., Hafenstein was active in A Cappella Choir and Chi Omega sorority while earning her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from The Teachers College at ESU. During her professional career, Hafenstein has been recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Colorado Association for Gifted and Talented.

Floyd Hoelting has more than 40 years of experience in higher education administration. He is the Executive Director of the Division of Housing and Food Service at the University of Texas at Austin, where he manages $1.7 billion in assets, an $84 million annual budget, 1,200 staff providing housing, food services and student development for 8,000 students in 14 residence halls and seven dining venues, and 750 apartments for graduates and students with dependents.

A sought-after speaker and mentor, Hoelting has conducted workshops and consulted for university staff and administrators on over 400 campuses across the country.

Hoelting earned a bachelor’s degree in social sciences and a master’s degree in educational administration from ESU. He has served as an ESU Alumni Association board member. A native of Olpe, Kan., Hoelting’s family was recognized as a Hornet Heritage Family in 2008.

Dianne H. B. Welsh is a recognized scholar in international entrepreneurship, franchising and family business. She earned a master’s degree in psychology from ESU.

Welsh has owned four successful businesses, and is president of Family Business First International, Inc., a worldwide strategic planning firm focusing on succession planning in the public and private sectors, entrepreneurial leadership, and employee reward systems.

Welsh is the Charles A. Hayes Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro’s Bryan School of Business and Economics. At UNCG, she designed a cross-disciplinary entrepreneurship program that encompasses 40 courses in 20 departments, which won the U.S. Association for Small Business, and Entrepreneurship Best Emerging Program Award in 2012, and the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers Excellence across the Curriculum Award in 2011. She is also co-editor of the first comprehensive volumes on global franchising in emerging and industrialized markets.

About the Distinguished Alumni Award

The Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest honor that can be granted to an Emporia State University graduate. The ESU Alumni Association awards the recognition each fall during Homecoming, recognizing the outstanding professional accomplishments of ESU’s finest graduates. Since the inception of the award program in 1960, only 215 alumni have received the award.



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