College of Health and Human Sciences celebrates outstanding alumni

Story by Kelsey Burket

Last year, the College of Health and Human Sciences started a new tradition of honoring special alumni at the annual CHHS Scholarship and Alumni Awards Brunch. At this event, we recognize and celebrate alumni who are the recipients of the annual CHHS Outstanding Alumna/Alumnus Award. In order to receive this award, alumni must have distinguished themselves in their field and brought honor to Colorado State University through their career achievements, community service, and volunteer efforts. On November 10, the college awarded the Outstanding Alumna/Alumnus Award to three recipients. Learn more about the award winners below.

Alena Clark with award
Alena Clark, center, with Jeff McCubbin, dean, left, and Mike Pagliassotti, department head, right.

Alena Clark (Ph.D. ’06) Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition

Alena Clark is a tenured professor in the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Northern Colorado. She is also a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified lactation counselor. She earned a B.A. in Nutrition and Dietetics at Concordia College, a Master of Public Health from the University of Minnesota and her Ph.D. in food science and nutrition from Colorado State University. She has brought honor to herself and CSU in many ways. At UNC, she has led a research program focused on maternal and child nutrition and has led efforts to develop and provide lactation stations at UNC. Over the last 10 years, She has received 16 distinct university, regional, or national awards including Outstanding Young Dietitian of the Year, Outstanding Dietetic Educator, Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year, and the UNC Women’s Resource Center Faculty Volunteer of the Year. Her personal and professional efforts have provided critical assistance to nutrition programs in Africa, and to regional and national nutrition programs.

Thad Paul (B.S. ’98) Department of Human Development and Family Studies

Thad Paul with award
Thad Paul, center, with Jeff McCubbin, dean, left, and Lise Youngblade, department head.

Thad Paul is the division manager of Children, Youth and Family for Larimer County Department of Human Services.  Paul graduated from CSU with a B.S. in human development and family studies in 1998 and has since been a tireless, supportive and effective advocate for vulnerable children and families. He has worked within Larimer County in the areas of Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice for 22 years. He leads his division to help reduce the number of children impacted by abuse and neglect through increased prevention initiatives, being responsive to the impact of trauma on children and families, maintaining exceptional safety standards for those served, and having all children live in a family setting.  Paul is a man of enormous compassion for children and families, and especially those in extremely challenging and vulnerable situations. He has chosen to dedicate his talents and expertise to serving the community and working to make this the best place for children, and their families to live in.



Rick Tucker (B.S. ’90) Department of Construction Management

Rick Tucker with award
Rick Tucker, center, with Jeff McCubbin, dean, left, and Mostafa Khattab, department head, right.

Rick Tucker is the executive vice president for Hensel Phelps based out of the Greeley, Colorado. Tucker is a graduate of Colorado State University with a B.S. in industrial construction management. He began his post-college career with Hensel Phelps where he rose through the ranks from field engineer, office engineer, project engineer, project manager, operations manager, vice president and plains district manager, and now executive vice president. Giving back is an important aspect of Tucker’s life. He previously served as the chair of CM’s Professional Advisory Development Board and he remains highly engaged in promoting the quality of the CM program. He regularly encourages and promotes the involvement of CM industry in supporting construction education at CSU.

To nominate an alum of the College of Health and Human Sciences for an award, see more info on the college website.