The Dr. Kenneth K. Bateman Outstanding Alumni Award was presented to four Pittsburg State alumni. A reception and a ceremony were held in the Wilkinson Alumni Center on Friday, Oct. 18. The award is presented to outstanding alumni who have graduated at least ten years ago. This year’s recipients were Matt Frankenbery, Rebecca Light, Amy Trowbridge-Yates, and Kimberly Young. The recipients participated in homecoming festivities and events on campus.
“It’s a hard decision to make but it’s one of the best honors we’re able to give out through the alumni association,” said Director of Alumni and Consultant Relations Jon Bartlow.
The Dr. Kenneth K. Bateman Outstanding Alumni Award is presented to two to four alumni out of thousands of nominations.
“I was very surprised; I was not expecting it at all,” said Rebecca Light, who was one of the four recipients. “Usually in my job, we don’t work with the public, so being in the public and winning an award is kind of a little uncomfortable at times, but very humbling and a wonderful experience.”
Light is the Founder and CEO of SilverCreek Medical Reimbursement Solutions. Light graduated in 1994 with a master’s degree in finance and began working at the local hospital before she started her own company in 2006.
“When I took that job, I hadn’t intended to stay in health care, but I fell in love with it,” Light said. “I just started SilverCreek thinking I could help some local physicians and business (take) off organically, and we’ve had (a) 20% annual growth since then.”
Amy Trowbridge-Yates was another alumnus that received the award. Trowbridge-Yates is a Senior Creative Writer at Hallmark, where she writes cards and gift products.
“My advice would be for anyone is just to stick to what they’re passionate about,” Trowbridge-Yates said. “I was passionate about creative writing, which doesn’t always have a lot of career paths to make a living and I still stuck with it and now I’m super happy in the job I’ve done. I’m really grateful that I never swayed in what I was passionate about.”
The third recipient was Matt Frankenberry, who started his own company, Duct-Tape Learning, LLC. and now works at Pitsco Education, Inc. as a curriculum specialist.
The award was also presented to Kimberly Young, who is the Vice President of Bio Science Development for the Kansas City Area Development Council and the President of the KC Animal Health Corridor.
“What we look for are individuals who have done very well, not only with their career, but individuals who have been involved with their communities that they’re living in as well,” Bartlow said. “We’re looking for hardworking people who do good things.”
The alumni who were honored participated in homecoming and activities on campus.
“It’s incredible,” Trowbridge-Yates said. “I love all the new buildings (and) I love all the transformations. I feel like Pittsburg, the city and the college, has really grown in culture and diversity, and I’m really proud to be an alumnus.”