Distinguished Alumni 2009

Past award recipient bios as they appeared in that year's event program (*deceased)

Craig A. Black, ‘75 BSEE/’76 MSEE

Craig A. Black earned a bachelor’s degree in 1975 and a master’s degree in 1976, both in electrical engineering from the Fenn College of Engineering. He lives in Sewickley, Pa. 

Black is the senior vice president of technology for the electrical sector of the Eaton Corporation. He joined the firm in 2001 and has held several top management positions. He formerly held leadership roles at Ingersoll-Rand Company and Allen-Bradley Company/Rockwell International Corporation.

As a CSU student, Black participated in the Co-Operative Education program. After graduation, he taught electrical engineering at CSU as a visiting instructor. He has served on the Engineering College's Visiting Committee since 2002.

Father Kevin M. Conroy, ‘06 Ph.D.

Father Kevin M. Conroy earned a Ph.D. in urban education from the College of Education and Human Services in 2006. A missionary priest in the Maryknoll order, he lives in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where he does humanitarian work.

Through Maryknoll’s Little Sprouts program, he has helped some 320 HIV-positive orphans. He also developed counseling tools in the Khmer language to help vulnerable groups of Cambodian children.

In partnership with CSU, Fr. Conroy developed a master’s degree program in clinical psychology/counseling at the Royal University of Phnom Penh.

Carol G. Emerling, ‘55 JD

Carol G. Emerling earned a JD from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1955. She lives in Santa Monica, Calif. and is retired.

Her distinguished career includes service as regional director of both the Cleveland and Los Angeles offices of the Federal Trade Commission, corporate secretary of Wyeth (formerly American Home Products Corp.) for 19 years, chairman of the board of the Global Health Council, the largest health alliance in the world, and attorney-in-charge of the Legal Aid Defender’s Office in Cleveland.

A pioneer in the field of law, Emerling helped found the Law Review and was its first female editor. She also was the first woman to head a public defender’s office and the first woman to head a Federal Trade Commission regional office. A life member and past president of the Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association, she has served as a member of the law school's National Advisory Council since 2001.

Andrius Kazlauskas, ‘81 BS/’86 Ph.D.

Dr. Andrius Kazlauskas earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and biology in 1981 and a Ph.D. in chemistry in 1986, both from the College of Science. The Boston-area resident is a senior scientist and associate professor of ophthalmology at the Schepens Eye Research Institute at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Kazlauskas completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and has held academic appointments at the National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine and the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. He has made hundreds of presentations, and has been published more than 120 times in such prestigious scientific journals as Science and the New England Journal of Medicine. Currently, he is the principal investigator on three federal and four foundation grants, including a Lew R. Wasserman Merit Award from the Research to Prevent Blindness Foundation.

Robert L. Norton, ‘73 BBA

Robert L. Norton earned a bachelor of business administration degree from the Nance College of Business in 1973. The Medina resident is the president, chairman and CEO of GCA Services Group of Cleveland. Prior to joining GCA in 2006, he was the chairman and CEO of Floral Transworld Delivery Inc. (FTD) in Chicago. The avid motorcyclist is also the owner of Century Harley Davidson in Medina.

Since 1992, he has served on the Nance College of Business Administration Visiting Committee. He is a member of the University's Campaign for Cleveland Steering Committee.

Andrew F. Puzder, ‘75 BA

Andrew F. Puzder earned a bachelor’s degree in history from the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences in 1975 and a JD from Washington University School of Law in 1978. The Santa Barbara, Calif. resident is the chief executive officer of CKE Restaurants, Inc. (Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr.). He joined the firm in 1997 and has held several top management positions.

Prior to joining CKE, he was executive vice president and general counsel for Fidelity National Financial, Inc., and chief executive officer of the Santa Barbara Restaurant Group, Inc. Puzder has shared his business expertise as a keynote speaker at the CSU Executive Forum.

Christopher S. Ronayne, ‘97 MUPDD

Christopher S. Ronayne earned a master of urban planning, design and development degree in 1996 from the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs. The Cleveland resident is president of University Circle, Inc. In four years, he has launched initiatives to build homes, revitalize Euclid Avenue, and bring visitors to the Circle.

Ronayne formerly served as the City of Cleveland planning director, chief development officer, and chief of staff. He is a member of the Levin College's Visiting Committee, has guest lectured in urban affairs classes, and participates in the College's mentoring program.

GEORGE B. DAVIS AWARD: Gary S. Adams, ‘83 JD

Gary S. Adams earned a JD from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1983. The Hudson resident began his career with the Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers Association in 1975 and has served as president since 1987.

An active life member of the Cleveland-Marshall Law Alumni Association, he served as a trustee and is now serving as president. He also chairs the law school's Development Council. Adams received the Law Alumni Association President’s Award in 2006.