2019 CHS Alumni Awards


Alumni Achievement Award

by the College of Human Sciences

Retia Scott Walker

Ph.D. Education ’82
Lexington, Ky.

Retia Scott Walker has had a distinguished career as an academic leader and successful administrator. Walker retired in 2005 but continues to take on interim leadership and consulting positions with universities to solve problems, secure grants to implement new programs, and enhance academic programs. “She is recruited by universities for her unique expertise and years of leadership experience, as well as her passion for elevating higher education.

Throughout her 50-year career, Walker mentored those around her and served as a strong advocate for increasing the role of females in leadership. Whether as the dean and professor in the College of Human Environmental Sciences at the University of Kentucky or as the vice chancellor for academic and student support and associate dean of the College of Agricultural and Consumer Sciences at Southern University, Walker has brought a professional and steady presence to every program she touches.

Walker was also a leader at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, where she served as chair of the Department of Human Ecology, executive assistant to the president, and interim provost and vice president for academic outreach and public services.

She is also an accomplished researcher who has gathered more than $3.5 million in grants. Walker’s research focuses on older African Americans, rural elders, older women, and inter-generational issues. Her significant contributions to both research and academic programs will benefit generations to come.

Walker is an ISU Alumni Association annual member.


Alumni Achievement Award

by the College of Human Sciences

Margaret A. Fitzgerald

Ph.D. Human Development and Family Studies ’97
Fargo, N.D.

Margaret A. Fitzgerald is a trusted and respected leader who is invested in the people she leads. As dean of the College of Human Sciences and Education at North Dakota State University, Fitzgerald has increased research productivity while navigating difficult budget cuts. She is continually moving her college forward and is highly respected across campus.

Fitzgerald is an advocate for her students and has already made a large impact. By reconnecting with alumni and friends of the college to raise funds for scholarships, faculty research, and other initiatives, Fitzgerald has improved opportunities for students and enhanced the college’s profile.

Fitzgerald is a member of both the board and the cabinet of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (GP-IDEA). In this position, she uses her thoughtful listening skills and level-headed leadership to help students advance their career opportunities. Fitzgerald is an excellent leader and contributor to the greater good.


Virgil S. Lagomarcino Laureate Award

by the College of Human Sciences

Larry H. Ebbers

BS ’62, M.S. ’68 Agricultural Education
Ph.D. Education ’71
Ames, Iowa

Larry H. Ebbers has had a profound effect on higher education across Iowa over his 50- year career. He has supported countless students and programs in order to help people flourish in their educational pursuits.

Ebbers has been engaged and passionate about improving opportunities for minorities and women in community college leadership. In 1989, he established the Leadership Institute for a New Century to improve leadership opportunities for minorities and women in community colleges and the Community College Leadership Initiative Consortium to provide leadership development for upper-level community college administrators. In 2016, the Iowa Association of Community College Trustees bestowed their Honorary Trustee Award to Ebbers and renamed the award in his honor. It is now called the Larry H. Ebbers Award.

Ebbers worked tirelessly to develop nationally-rated learning communities at Iowa State that have served more than 62,000 students since they were established. He was enthusiastic about the importance of having a space for students with similar academic goals to connect with one another. He co-authored a book that discusses multiple approaches and tactics for creating powerful learning communities. Whether it was through the classroom or through educational programs, Ebbers has spent his whole career improving people’s educational experiences.

His students have created the Larry and Barbara Ebbers Graduate Student Fund to support graduate students in their academic endeavors. In honor of his work in student affairs, a residential house in Geoffrey Hall has been named after him.

He is an ISU Alumni Association life member as well as member of the Cyclone Club and the Order of the Knoll President’s Circle and Campanile Society.


Outstanding Young Professional Award

by the College of Human Sciences

Susana Hernández

Ph.D. Education ’13
Fresno, Calif.

Susana Hernández has become an esteemed and active leader in her community in a short amount of time. As an associate professor and chair of the Department of Educational Leadership at California State University (CSU) Fresno, she leads her department of pre-tenured faculty and part-time instructors with a positive attitude and a clear vision.

Hernández is an accomplished researcher whose scholarship focuses on Latinx educational opportunities, immigration, and critical policy analysis. Her research is not only meaningful and timely, but her accessible approach helps raise awareness among people beyond academia. She has been featured in a number of impactful journals, and she is a co-author of the highly anticipated textbook Supporting Pathways for Undocumented Students in Higher Education.

Hernández also serves her community by sharing her time and expertise with multiple programs on the CSU Fresno campus, including the Joyce M. Huggins Early Education Center.

Her service has a strong impact on the people around her and shows her dedication to improving her community. She was awarded the CSU Provost’s Promising New Faculty Award in 2016


Outstanding Young Alumni Award

by the Alumni Association

Annice Enyonam Kwawu Fisher

M.Ed. ’06
Chicago, Ill.

Dr. Annice Fisher is the founder of Developing Capacity Coaching and The BEE FREE Woman, which is working on the cutting edge of blending social justice, adaptive leadership, and adult development to reveal the authentic leader within and help teams thrive.

The central mission of both are informed and empowered by the knowledge and experience Fisher gained not only through her own educational journey, but through her past work as a strategic advisor and doctoral resident with Harlem Children’s Zone, her time as a White House Graduate Fellow working with the Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, and her award-winning work in housing and residential education at both the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Arizona.

A graduate of Iowa State’s master’s program in higher education administration who also holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Doctor of Educational Leadership from Harvard Graduate School of Education, Fisher was recently appointed adjunct faculty member to design the personal leadership and coaching strands of American University’s first doctoral program in Educational Leadership and Policy. Fisher is also the recipient of the inaugural Titan Grant from Google and Envolve Entrepreneurship to fund a pilot coaching community for women of color social entrepreneurs. Fisher is the former national co-chair for the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators’ African American Knowledge Community and the past Vice Chair of the City of Durham (North Carolina) Human Relations Commission.

Fisher is a past recipient of the ISU College of Human Sciences’ Outstanding Young Professional Award, the National Consortium Student Retention & Data Exchange’s Director’s Award, and the University of Arizona’s Outstanding New Professional Impact Award.


Outstanding Young Alumni Award

by the Alumni Association

Lindsey Marie Litchfield Shirley

Family and Consumer Sciences Education ’01
Ph.D. Family and Consumer Sciences Education ’07
Corvallis, Ore.

Lindsey Shirley serves as associate provost for university outreach and engagement and associate director of the extension service at Oregon State University. She has been committed throughout her career to sharing innovations in teaching and learning that have been implemented into secondary, post-secondary, and extension learning environments around the world. Her latest project is the Oregon Outdoor Economy Initiative, which is working to convene public agencies, businesses, nonprofit organizations, funding organizations, and the university to plan and implement programming that engages Oregonians of all ages – but particularly youth and underserved populations – with the outdoors. Working closely with the governor’s office, Shirley serves as a key member of the Oregon Outdoor Initiative Leadership Team.

As a professor, Shirley has found herself exploring innovative strategies for the higher education community to respond to the growing outdoor recreation economy. This investigation and partnership with the outdoor industry led her to develop the first-of-itskind bachelor of science degree in outdoor product design and development at Utah State University.

Shirley’s publication resume includes six refereed journal articles and three books. She is a frequent writer and speaker on innovations in teaching and learning for secondary, post-secondary and Extension audiences who has received such honors as the ISU College of Human Sciences Outstanding Young Professional Award, the Family and Consumer Sciences Education Association’s Goodheart-Willcox Educator of the Year Award, and the Utah State University College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences Teacher of the Year Award.

In addition to her two ISU degrees, Shirley earned a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota in 2002. She and her husband, Brian (’01 forestry), are ISU Alumni Association life members.


Alumni Medal

by the Alumni Association

Julie Kent Larson

M.S. Higher Education ’84
Ames, Iowa

Julie Larson first stepped foot on the Iowa State campus as a YMCA employee in 1978 and began graduate studies on campus in 1980. The rest, as they say, is history. Larson knows the qualifications of the Alumni Medal very well; she spent decades administering the award as a member of the ISU Alumni Association staff. She retired in July 2018 after 34 years of service to the organization.

Larson served the Association in a variety of roles, including director of career and student programs, director of outreach and events, chief of staff, and director of development. She was a trusted friend to countless alumni and an inspiring mentor to students. Among the many legacies she left is the Student Alumni Leadership Council. The program, which today encompasses such important student programs as Senior Class Council, Homecoming Central, and Cyclone Alley, has served as a critical leadership development experience for countless Iowa State alumni who were in turn inspired to give back to Iowa State in unique and important ways.

Throughout her career at Iowa State, Larson received such honors as “Cy’s Favorite Alum,” the Carroll Ringgenberg P&S Award, the Faculty-Staff Inspiration Award, and ISU Student Activities’ “Outstanding Advisor.” She is a graduate of Leadership Ames and ISU’s 12+ Leadership Supervisory Series. In addition to her ISU master’s degree, she holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Colorado.

In retirement, Larson has remained intimately involved with Alumni Association as a volunteer. She has also maintained her strong support of the university as a donor, volunteer, and advocate. Larson and her husband, John (’77 leisure services), are ISU Alumni Association life members and sustaining life donors, as well as members of the Cyclone Club and the Order of the Knoll President’s Circle.