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Distinguished Alumni Awards Gala

Photo of Distinguished Alumni 2016

President Kustra with the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients


The Boise State Alumni Association Board of Directors invite you to join them in honoring our Distinguished Alumni and Alumni Service award winners. This annual Homecoming celebration honors extraordinary alumni who exemplify the loyalty, passion, and innovation found in all dedicated Broncos.

Please join us for an inspirational evening as we celebrate 50 years of creating legacies. This year, the annual Distinguished Alumni Awards theme will be a nostalgic journey back to 1967 where we’ll transform the Simplot Ballroom to an era of 60s glamor style with several surprises.

The campus community, alumni, students and the general public are invited to attend the gala but tickets must be purchased in advance. The honorees will also be honored during the Homecoming football game at half-time. The Distinguished Alumni Awards Gala is sponsored by our valued partners Liberty Mutual Insurance and Mountain America Credit Union.

About the night

Date: Friday, Nov. 3, 2017
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: Simplot Ballroom, Boise State Student Union Building
Attire: Business formal (60s flare encouraged!)

Join us!

Alumni Association members: $65
Non-members: $75
Table of eight guests: $500
Entree Choices: Parmesan Mahi Mahi with roasted red pepper cream sauce, Filet Mignon with tri-peppercorn demi glace, or Vegetarian: Mushroom Risotto.

RSVP by clicking the orange button below. Please respond by October 25, 2017.


Distinguished Alumni Award

The Distinguished Alumni Award honors those with outstanding professional and personal accomplishments within their chosen profession.

Bob Bertheau '84
Bob Bertheau ’84
BS in chemistry

Director of Winemaking at Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery

Read More About Bob Bertheau

Bob Bertheau is a wine aficionado, whose educational roots in the art of winemaking can be traced to the chemistry labs of Boise State University. As a pre-med student in his third year of studies here, Bertheau landed a job at the Ste. Chapelle tasting room in the Boise 8th Street Marketplace. You can say that this first “taste” of the industry is where he was bitten by the “wine bug,” and soon, his course of studies and subsequent career path shifted from hospitals and clinics to the vineyards and wineries of the Pacific Northwest.

After earning his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Boise State, he took his “great foundation in chemistry” and enrolled in a master’s degree program in enology at UC Davis.

“As my career has brought me back to the Pacific Northwest, I never have forgotten the start and education I received at Boise State,” Bertheau said. “It was the foundation of my career and I always look forward to coming back as often as I can. I have proudly been to all three victorious Fiesta Bowls and follow the teams and school as much as I can.”

Today Bertheau is the director of winemaking for Chateau Ste. Michelle, Washington’s oldest winery, located in Woodinville, near Seattle where he was raised. He is known for putting his own signature spin on Chateau Ste. Michelle’s legacy by crafting award-winning Chardonnay, Riesling, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. His impressive resume includes winemaking at the Hambrecht Vineyards and Wineries, Chalk Hill and Gallo of Sonoma.

In 2014 he was named one of the 20 most admired winemakers in the country by Vineyard and Winery Management magazine.

Bertheau and his wife of 33 years, Karen, live in Woodinville and have a daughter, Bonnie Rose.


Kelly Buckland '78
Kelly Buckland ’78
BA in social work

Executive Director of the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL)

Read More About Kelly Buckland

A career in the nation’s capitol advocating on behalf of people with disabilities may seem a long way from the farmlands of Rigby. But for Kelly Buckland, the journey from the Idaho countryside to Washington D.C., began at Boise State University.

“My experiences at Boise State changed my life,” he said. “I met people who became lifelong friends and experienced cultural events I had never been exposed to before.”

Following a spinal cord injury in high school that resulted in Buckland being paralyzed, he left the family farm and attended Boise State, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in social work in 1978. Employment with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare brought a move to the Magic Valley and then it was off to Drake University, where he earned his master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling.

Upon returning to Idaho, Buckland served as the founding executive director of the Living Independence Network Corporation (LINC), a nonprofit center for independent living that provides support and advocacy for people with any type of disability to live independently. Today, LINC serves more than 1,400 Idahoans, and the organization has offices in Twin Falls, Boise and Caldwell.

His career led him to the executive director position with the Idaho State Independent Living Council, where successful advocating on behalf of people with disabilities resulted in significant changes in legislation, including implementation of the Idaho Accessible Parking Law, Idahoans With Disabilities Act and Medicaid for Workers with Disabilities.

Buckland left Idaho for Washington D.C., where he currently serves as the executive director of the National Council on Independent Living. From there he inspires and coordinates efforts on behalf of thousands of people with disabilities, including work on national legislation that resulted in the reauthorized Federal Rehabilitation Act through the passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act. He is also a leader in the international efforts to spread the independent living philosophy and disability rights around the world.

Buckland’s resume is full of distinguished professional accomplishments and he credits his greatest personal achievements to the relationships he has with his wife Merle and son Rodney.


Autumn Kersey '01, '05
Autumn Kersey ’01, ’05
BA in communication and M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction

Founder and Executive Director of Treasure Valley Children’s Theater

Read More About Autumn Kersey

One look at Autumn Kersey’s professional and civic accomplishments and it’s clear she is an advocate for the betterment of society. She believes in the practice of respect, appreciation, and giving of her time and talents to her community, primarily to the empowerment of youth through theater.

“My greatest accomplishment is the development of an evolving philosophy that advises everything I do in life,” she said. “I strive to be respectful toward everyone, to follow through on commitments, to approach new challenges with courage and enthusiasm and to be the best version of myself in everything I do.”

As founder of the Treasure Valley Children’s Theater in 2012, she generously shares her experience and love of the theater with young actors, allowing them the freedom and responsibility to learn all aspects of the craft.

After earning two associate degrees in theatre and speech from the College of Southern Idaho in her hometown of Twin Falls, Kersey enrolled at Boise State University where she competed on the Boise State Talkin’ Broncos speech and debate team, earning a place on the coveted all-conference team. While studying at Boise State, she worked with the student leadership and development programs as a student employee and was hired full-time after earning her bachelor’s degree. Upon completion of her master’s degree, she was employed with Planned Parenthood of Idaho and the Idaho Business Review.

Kersey has been an active member of the Meridian Downtown Business Association, Meridian Chamber of Commerce, Boise Chamber of Commerce, Boise Young Professionals and Boise Little Theater, where she remains active and serves as a marketing coordinator.

Kersey’s achievements in the fields of business, community service, and the arts have been

consistently recognized with the following awards: Young Professional of the Year (2013), Idaho Women of the Year (2016), Meridian Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year (2016), and 100+ Ada County People Who Care Grant Recipient (2016).

Kersey and her husband, Paul, live in Boise with their two furry dogs.


Photo of Tamara Pascoe
Tamara Pascoe, MD ’90, ’99
BS in athletic training and MS in kinesiology

Family Medicine Physician, University Health Services, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Read More About Tamara Pascoe

You can say Tamara Pascoe has come full circle since her time as a student and then an athletic trainer at Boise State University. Today, Pascoe is a board-certified family medicine physician at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

“I received a great education at Boise State and I had terrific mentors who encouraged and guided me along my path,” she said. “There is no way I would be a physician today if it weren’t for my Boise State family.”

Pascoe’s medical career began at Boise State where she held the role of associate athletic trainer for 12 years. Having the honor of caring for the athletes and becoming their mentor was always the best part of her day, she said. Students, athletes, coaches, former athletic training students and assistants still seek advice from her at times, or just check in to see how things are going.

She has received other awards and special recognition, but none outshine being a part of the history and changes that have taken place right here at Boise State, she said.

Pascoe established an endowed scholarship in recognition of her two mentors at Boise State. The Craner-Wade Athletic Training Scholarship supports the education of future athletic training students.

Her position today involves caring for university students’ acute conditions as the lead clinician in the university health services walk-in clinic as well as continuing her love of athletics by serving as a team physician for the intercollegiate teams. She also works at two other local colleges, providing team physician coverage for Amherst College and is currently the supervising physician at Hampshire College, both college affiliates of UMass.

Being dedicated to caring for the wellbeing of others isn’t just reflected in her professional career, but carries over to her personal life as well.

“Being a physician and medical provider allows for numerous opportunities to accomplish pretty great things; delivering a baby, providing care that saves a life, care that gets an athlete back in the game; all those things can be incredibly meaningful,” she said. “However, I think standing up for diversity, being a good partner to my wife, being a good daughter to my parents and taking the time to let the people who changed my life know how important they are to me are the things that stand out in my life. I am not anything special, and if someone thinks I am, it’s because of all those people who stood with me throughout my life.”


Distinguished Alumni Service Award

The Distinguished Alumni Service Award honors inspirational recipients for their professional achievements and extraordinary dedication and commitment to volunteer service for the university and the Alumni Association.

Yvette Barrios '03
Yvette Barrios ’03
BSM in mechanical engineering

Future Product Marketing Program Manager at Hewlett Packard

Read More About Yvette Barrios

Overcoming obstacles is nothing new to Yvette Barrios, who grew up in a low-income Hispanic neighborhood in El Paso, Texas. As the daughter of a high school dropout, Barrios saw first-hand how education and sports could deliver its promise to a hard-working young person with dreams to go far. Despite winning two Texas individual state cross-country titles, her true passion was basketball. Standing at only five-foot, four-inches, a determined Barrios earned a full-ride basketball scholarship to Boise State, declining scholarships to Georgetown University and three other schools. She is a first-generation college graduate in her family.

After earning her bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering at Boise State, Barrios began her engineering career in Texas with Lockheed Martin, and gave birth to her son, Ty, the same year. While at Lockheed, she was selected for the Engineering Leadership Program and helped develop and test the F-35 Lightning II.

After five years in Texas, she returned to Idaho and held the positions of design engineer and supervisor for Motive Power, a company building the next generation of high-speed trains. Barrios took a position with Hewlett Packard in 2011, and at the age of 36 was among the youngest manufacturing program managers in the company at the time. Today she has advanced to the position of future product marketing manager with HP.

Despite having a busy career, Barrios selflessly makes time to mentor Boise State engineering students, student-athletes and first-generation college attendees. She’s a volunteer member of the Boise State College of Engineering Advisory Board, and the Varsity B Club, and former board member of the Boise State Alumni Association. When it comes to tackling challenges, she doesn’t back down. She knows what’s important in life and goes after her dreams.

“No matter what, keep on going, life’s too short, live with no regrets,” she said.

Barrios is a consummate alumna in her dedication to Boise State and the profession of engineering, said former College of Engineering Dean Amy Moll.

“We are lucky to have Yvette on our team,” Moll said. “She, without prompting, supports those around her. The amount of time she dedicates to Boise State, the community and students is absolutely spectacular.”


Ron Crouch, Alumni Association Board of Directors, Photo by Allison Corona
Ron Crouch ’77
BBA in accountancy

Retired Program Manager from the State of Idaho Division of Building Safety and current President of the Intercollegiate Knights Alumni Chapter

Read More About Ron Crouch

Ron Crouch bleeds blue. He’s a longtime advocate for advancing engagement of alumni and others with Boise State, including years of service to the Boise State Alumni Association and the Golden Plume Intercollegiate Knights Alumni Chapter.

“Ron’s countless hours behind the scenes of meetings, emails and personal contacts with people over the years has built and empowered the IK Chapter and Boise State Alumni Association to its current status,” said Pam Jensen Hult, IK secretary and treasurer. “Ron is a rock and pillar of the IKs and Boise State because of his service, sacrifice and loyalty.”

With a degree in accountancy from Boise State, following graduation, Crouch spent most of his career working for the state of Idaho in various positions including employment with the Idaho Department of Transportation, Public Employee Retirement System of Idaho, Idaho Tax Commission and Division of Public Safety.

Since his retirement in 2008, he’s not slowed down, having served on numerous alumni service committees and as the volunteer president of the IKs where under his leadership the chapter raised $150,000 for the IK conference room and bricks in the courtyard at the Alumni and Friends Center. Since that campaign was completed, Crouch now leads the chapter on a new campaign to establish a new legacy, the Impact Endowed Scholarship for students who attend Boise State from the foster care system.

“We wanted to find a need that is under everyone’s radar for a group that is underserved that we could be passionate about while making the most significant, immediate, and meaningful impact,” Crouch said. “We want these students coming out of foster care to have a place to call home and that’s the university and the Alumni Association.”

The current IK Chapter scholarship campaign has a goal of raising $85,000 and will include a mentor program for the students.

A Vietnam War veteran having served in the U.S. Air Force, Crouch and other IKs are active in service projects that benefit area veteran services.

“Ron represents the pinnacle of service to the school and our community,” said Drew Clippard, international student coordinator at Boise State. Crouch lives in Emmett, ID  with his wife Susan and can be found parking cars at the Alumni and Friends Center in the heat, rain and snow to raise money for scholarships, or yelling his iconic “Wooooo!” shout throughout campus.




Liberty Mutual Insurance is the proud sponsor of the Distinguished Alumni Awards Gala and is a long-standing affinity partner with the Boise State Alumni Association. Liberty Mutual has partnered with the Alumni Association to offer alumni exclusive savings on Liberty Mutual Auto and Home Insurance. Liberty Mutual offers personalized coverage, Multi-Car and Multi-Policy Discounts, 24-Hour Claims Assistance and more. Liberty Mutual is trusted countrywide for quality coverage and exceptional service.

For alumni who live in the Boise area, please call (208) 323-7755. For alumni outside of Idaho, visit the Liberty Mutual Website directly or call (800) 524-9400 (mention client #4020).



Mountain America Credit Union is a proud title sponsor of the Boise State Alumni Association. Mountain America is a full-service financial institution, founded in the 1930s. They are community focused with six branches in the Boise area and more than 80 across the mountain west. Mountain America provides a variety of personal and business financial services designed to help members achieve their financial dreams including Auto Loans, Mortgages, SBA Loans, Youth Accounts, and Retirement Planning. Becoming a member is easy – ask how you can join! Learn more at Mountain America Credit Union.

When you take advantage of your alumni membership benefit savings by choosing Liberty Mutual Insurance and Mountain America Credit Union, those dollars help fund legacy scholarships, and quality events and programs that ensure the success and enrich the experience that is Boise State University.