Alumni Association Award Winners: A Legacy of Success and Dedication
Outstanding Young Alumni Award
Jillian J. Rothe '06
BS in Business Administration,
BS in Mechanical Engineering
Jillian Rothe has established a sterling career at Caterpillar in a short period of time, using her mechanical engineering and business administration degrees with a minor in Spanish. She's also given her time and talents to many worthwhile causes over the years.
She is currently Caterpillar's energy and transportation marketing support representative for Asia Pacific based in Singapore. Within this newly created role, she ensures that business partners have the Extended Protection Products to support their go-to-market strategies. Rothe has held increasingly responsible management roles in Peoria, Illinois; Monterrey, Mexico; Minneapolis; and Nashville.
Outside of her job duties, she has been involved in the Caterpillar Latino Connection Leadership Team, Women's Leadership Forum, Military Support Network, Asia Synergy Network, Caterpillar Young Professionals, Women's Initiative Network, Cat LAMBDA (LGBTA Group), and the Nashville Chapter of Girls on the Run. She is also a 70.3 Ironman triathlete, an independent marketing executive for Melaleuca, The Wellness Company, and is part of the Michigan Tech Technical Marketing Recruiting Team and Society of Women Engineers.
Outstanding Service Award
Marie Cleveland '82
BS in Business Administration
Marie Cleveland is a worldwide account manager for FedEx, responsible for bringing in $70 million in revenue annually. While she advanced through management positions, she received many honors from the company, including membership in the President's Club, FedEx's highest sales award; and the Five-Star Award, FedEx's highest accolade.
She's traveled the globe for FedEx, touching down in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America, making her an expert in cultural issues within international business. Prior to FedEx, Marie was involved in various positions in quality, human resources, and sales for Roadway Package System, which was purchased by FedEx in 2000.
For her alma mater, Marie is a member of President Glenn Mroz's Advancement Council, the School of Business and Economics Advisory Board, the Presidential Council of Alumnae, and the McNair Society. She also assists the University with student recruitment and hosts numerous alumni events in the Chicago area.
Marie enjoys visiting Michigan Tech as a guest speaker, sharing her many insights.
Honorary Alumni Award
George and Susan Robinson
George Robinson and his wife, Susan, have been synonymous with Michigan Tech's A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum for nearly two decades, George as curator and Susan as honorary curator. Together, they elevated it to international status.
George also taught mineralogy and conducted research in mineralogy, characterization of new mineral species, and mineral occurrences. He wrote an extensive update to E. W. Heinrich's Mineralogy of Michigan and coauthored the books Lake Superior Iron Ranges with Gene LaBerge and The A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum with Robert Rann. In 2012, a mineral discovered in the Mammoth-St. Anthony mine in Arizona was named in his honor: georgerobinsonite.
Susan is a highly regarded mineral and wildlife artist who volunteered hundreds of hours at the museum. In addition to giving artistic flair to the arrangement of mineral specimens and displays, she helped with the packing and moving of all the specimens from the old location to the new building— all ten semitrailer loads.
George and Susan's legacy will truly last forever.
Honorary Alumni Award
Professor Emeritus, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Martha Sloan's impact on people on and off campus has been monumental. She was a pioneer in many aspects of her career and has always had time to help anyone who asked.
Martha was the first woman hired as a faculty member in the Michigan Tech Department of Electrical Engineering and the first to head the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the largest professional organization in the world. Her honors include the Society of Women Engineers Distinguished Engineering Educator Award, an IEEE Centennial Medal, the Richard E. Merwin Award, and the American Society of Engineering Education Outstanding Young Electrical Engineering Educator Award.
As a role model and mentor, she has supported women faculty members and women of all walks of life across campus and around the globe. She was honored with Michigan Tech's Distinguished Service Award, receiving nominations from six departments and two colleges. It is safe to say that Martha Sloan has changed the face of Michigan Tech and engineering education.
Distinguished Alumni Award
Tom Irwin '63 '66
BS in Civil Engineering,
MS in Business Administration
Throughout his career, Tom Irwin has used his Michigan Tech degrees to the utmost. He believes luck is preparation and opportunity and "Michigan Tech excelled at the preparation, academically and in a very congenial environment."
During Tom's years as president of Hodgkiss and Douma (H&D) Construction Company of Petoskey, H&D's emphasis was highway construction, major recreation projects, developments, and aggregate production. His twenty-seven-year career at H&D began after working with Sivier Construction in Detroit, D&L Contracting in Traverse City, and Dow Chemical in Midland.
His dedication to Michigan Tech runs long and deep, as evidenced by his receiving the University's Outstanding Service Award in 1999. He served on several committees and initiatives of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, including the Executive Council, the Partnering with the Future Campaign, the Executive Committee of the Educating Graduates of Choice Campaign, the Professional Advisory Committee, and the Transportation Enterprise Program. In addition, he has been a key contact between the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the pavement industry for many years.
Tom is past president of the Michigan Road Builders Association and the Michigan Asphalt Paving Association. He has also served as director of The Bank of Northern Michigan and as a trustee of both the Charlevoix County Community Foundation and McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital. Most recently, Tom served on the steering committee for the successful Generations of Discovery Campaign for Michigan Tech.
Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 54 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.