UW-Eau Claire Alumni

Lifetime Excellence Award
2014 Recipients

Dr. George Rossman and Dave Carlson will receive the Lifetime Excellence Award, which is presented to alumni who have demonstrated longtime and successful commitment to their careers and communities. Recipients have made positive and dramatic impact through dedication to service and have lived their lives as a testimony to UW-Eau Claire's motto, "Excellence."

Don PrimleyDr. George Rossman, a 1966 chemistry and mathematics graduate of UW-Eau Claire, earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology, where he currently serves as the Eleanor and John R. McMillan Professor of Mineralogy in the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences. He began his career at Caltech as an instructor in mineralogy in 1971 and continues a lifelong interest in minerals through his research in the areas of mineral spectroscopy, water and hydroxide in nominally anhydrous solids, analytical methods for OH analysis in minerals, X-ray amorphous minerals, and the effects of exposure on minerals to background levels of natural radiation.

Rossman has written and co-authored more than 300 articles in the fields of chemistry and mineralogy, has served as an associate editor of the journal American Mineralogist and currently serves on the editorial review board of Gems and Gemology. A rare form of pink tourmaline called rossmanite is named after him in honor of his many contributions to the spectroscopy of the tourmaline minerals. Rossman also has contributed to studies involving lunar rocks and minerals, including one that analyzed rocks returned to Earth by the Apollo program.

In addition to teaching at Caltech, Rossman serves on the Research Advisory Committee for the Gemological Institute of America, is a research associate in mineral sciences at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the Department of Mineral Sciences at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, is a Mineralogical Society of America Fellow and is vice president of the Mineralogical Society of Southern California.

Over the course of his career, Rossman has received numerous awards for his work, including the Dana Medal in 2001 and the Friedrich-Becke Medal in 2005. In 2004 he was the recipient of Caltech's most prestigious teaching honor, the Richard P. Feynman Prize for Excellence in Teaching, which recognizes "exceptional ability, creativity and innovation in both laboratory and classroom instruction."

Don PrimleyDave Carlson, a 1972 journalism graduate of UW-Eau Claire, began his journalism career as a reporter for the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram. In 1981 Carlson moved to WEAU-TV in Eau Claire as the host and producer of "Northland Journal." In 2000 Carlson moved to WQOW-TV in Eau Claire where he continued to host and produce his weekly outdoors show renamed "Northland Adventures."

Carlson produced more than 1,700 half-hour shows and traveled more than 1.2 million miles covering stories in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Central America. "Northland Adventures" was broadcast on 23 television stations in 12 states. Carlson announced his retirement in December 2013, and the farewell episode of "Northland Adventures" aired Dec. 29.

In 2013 Carlson was inducted into the Wisconsin Broadcasters Hall of Fame. He was named National Conservation Communicator of the Year by Trout Unlimited in 2008 and has dozens of other awards and citations honoring him as an outdoors journalist.

Carlson also is the author of three books: "A Fish Gift and Sketches from Northland Adventures"; "The Way the Stick Floats: Wandering Outdoor Trails with Dave Carlson"; and "Moose Don't Fly!"

Carlson enrolled at UW-Eau Claire in 1967 but left the university in 1969 for a two-year term of service in the U.S Marine Corps. Carlson and his wife, Sue, live in Eau Claire. They have two daughters and three granddaughters.

View the list of past recipients of this award.