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Five to Receive Awards
from UW-Eau Claire Alumni Association

RELEASED: April 30, 2007

EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Alumni Association will present awards to five UW-Eau Claire alumni and friends of the university at a May 19 luncheon and ceremony in conjunction with spring commencement.

"It's an honor to recognize these remarkable individuals who have used their talents to achieve so much and who also recognize the importance of using those skills to give back to society," said John Bachmeier, UW-Eau Claire director of alumni relations. "The university is proud to be represented by such outstanding citizens."

Dr. William Klish
Dr. William Klish

Dr. William Klish will receive the Lifetime Excellence Award, which is presented to UW-Eau Claire alumni who have demonstrated longtime and successful commitment to their careers and communities. These individuals have made a positive and dramatic impact through enthusiastic dedication to service and living their lives as a testimony to UW-Eau Claire's motto, "Excellence."

Klish received bachelor of science degrees in chemistry and biology from UW-Eau Claire in 1963 and a medical degree from what is now known as UW School of Medicine and Public Health in 1967. Currently he is director of the Center for Childhood Obesity at Texas Children's Hospital, which he helped establish; chief of the Prader-Willi Clinic at Texas Children's Hospital; and professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine.

Klish helped standardize the field of pediatric gastroenterology by developing a credentialing board and then became the first person to be credentialed in pediatric gastroenterology by the American Board of Pediatrics.

In 2000, Klish received the Shwachman Award from the North American Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. This is the highest honor bestowed by the society and recognizes leadership and academic accomplishment.

Klish also received a lifetime achievement award, the Murray Davidson Award, from the American Academy of Pediatrics and in 2004 chaired the Texas Statewide Obesity Taskforce, which drafted a strategic plan for obesity prevention to reduce the prevalence of obesity in Texas. He has also chaired the Committee on Nutrition for the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Elizabeth Flores
Elizabeth Flores

Elizabeth Flores will receive the Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award, which recognizes distinguished service to the community, state or nation in a manner that brings credit to the recipients and UW-Eau Claire.

Flores graduated from UW-Eau Claire in 1995 with a bachelor of science degree in Spanish and a minor in journalism. After graduating she interned at the St. Paul Pioneer Press and worked briefly at the St. Cloud Times. She then became a staff photographer at the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram. From there, she joined the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as a staff photographer for seven years. Currently she is a staff photographer for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

In 2006 Flores' work won a McClatchy President's Award. The highest journalism honor conferred by The McClatchy Company, the third largest newspaper company in the United States. She has also earned awards from the Wisconsin News Photographer Association, including the Wisconsin Newspaper Association Photographer of the Year Award in 2003.

In addition to working as a photojournalist, Flores is a volunteer for Sagrado Corazon de Jesus Catholic Church in Minneapolis. As a volunteer, she has helped mentor a young-adult group and publish a newspaper titled "Aqui Ecuador."

Diane Postler-Slattery
Diane Postler-Slattery

Diane Postler-Slattery will receive the President's Award, which recognizes outstanding professional or personal achievements or service to UW-Eau Claire.

Postler-Slattery graduated from UW-Eau Claire with a bachelor of science degree in nursing in 1981 and with a master's degree in nursing administration in 1988. She went on to earn a doctoral degree in 1995 from UW-Madison.

Postler-Slattery is president and chief operating officer of Aspirus Wausau Hospital. She has held numerous positions at the hospital, starting in 1983 as a staff nurse. She has also served as director of the special care unit, director of educational services, director of human resources and vice president of nursing.

In 2004 Postler-Slattery was named a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and Nurse Leader of the Year by the Wisconsin Organization of Nurse Executives. She also was honored in 2006 and was one of three women named Women of Vision for the Wausau area.

Roger Knauf and Yoshikazu Usui will be awarded the Honorary Alumnus Award, which is presented to nonalumni who have demonstrated great love of and service to UW-Eau Claire.

Roger Knauf
Roger Knauf

Knauf is a nationally recognized expert in the field of consumer receivables and debt recovery. He has successfully started four asset recovery companies. One of the companies, Fourscore Resource Capital, is a national leader in acquiring, managing and collecting debt. The company has a history of more than $10 billion in acquisitions.

Knauf is a charter member of the Debt Buyers Association, serving on the board since 2000 and as president in 2004 and 2005.

Knauf has coached high school basketball for 20 years and is a longtime supporter of the UW-Eau Claire men's basketball program.

Yoshikazu Usui
Yoshikazu Usui

Usui has been a collaborator with UW-Eau Claire's teacher education program, both as a professor of social studies in the education division of Fukushima University in Japan and as president of Fukushima University.

Usui was instrumental in establishing a partnership between the teacher education programs at UW-Eau Claire and Fukushima University. He has served as a leader in securing and implementing grants from the Japan Ministry of Education that supported cross-cultural studies of teacher education between faculty members at both universities.

"Usui is truly a visionary leader who knows the value of collaborations and reaching out to different communities and cultures to build strong coalitions," wrote Katherine Rhoades, dean of the UW-Eau Claire College of Education and Human Sciences, in a letter to the nominating committee of the UW-Eau Claire Alumni Association.

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Excellence. Our Measure. Our Motto. Our Goal.