University of Louisville names Fellows and Alumnus of the Year




    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The University of Louisville Alumni Association has announced the recipients of the Wilson Wyatt Alumni Awards, bestowed on prominent graduates who have earned distinction in their careers and been exemplary ambassadors for the university. Ernie Allen has been named 2016 Alumnus of the Year as have 12 Alumni Fellows representing each UofL school or college.

    “We are incredibly excited to honor this year’s group of Alumni Fellows, whose individual and collective accomplishments have had an incredible impact in their respective fields,” said Josh Hawkins, chief operating officer of the Alumni Association. “Specifically, we wanted to honor Allen as he is an alumnus who leveraged both his undergraduate Arts & Sciences degree and professional law degree to become a global expert.”

    Allen’s international work in child abduction, sexual exploitation and violence, human trafficking and modern slavery has been lauded. He was called one of America’s foremost social entrepreneurs by President George W. Bush and named Executive of the Year by NonProfit Times.

    He was a founder of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and served as its President and CEO for 23 years. During his tenure, more than 180,000 missing children were recovered and U.S. Marshals located 100,000 fugitive sex offenders. To extend the effort globally he founded the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children and served as its President and CEO. He built a global missing children’s network involving 23 nations, trained law enforcement in 121 countries and worked with parliaments in 100 countries to enact new laws.

    He graduated from the University of Louisville with a bachelor’s in international studies in 1968 and a law degree in 1972. Allen served as chief administrative officer of Jefferson County and director of Public Health and Safety for the city of Louisville. For 10 years he was director of the Louisville-Jefferson County Crime Commission.

    Allen and the Alumni Fellows will be recognized at an event 6 p.m., Oct. 20, at the Galt House Hotel. Attendees may register here.

    Winners of the 2016 alumni fellows’ awards are:

    • Roman D. Oben, College of Arts and Sciences, 1995 — played football at UofL where he earned his bachelor’s degree in economics. He played in the NFL from 1996-2008, including helping the Tampa Bay Buccaneers capture their first Super Bowl title in 2002. Oben went on to a media career covering NFL for major news networks. He is now the NFL’s Senior Director of Youth & High School Football Development.


      • Donna S. Engleman, School of Nursing, 1988 — is chief of Allegations of the Regulatory Misconduct Branch at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Devices and Radiological Health in Silver Spring, Md. She has initiated numerous patient safety initiatives, published multiple articles on adverse event reporting and designed and instituted risk prioritization criteria currently utilized at the FDA.  


      • Nancy S. Niederman, Brandeis School of Law, 1980 — is retired and serves as outside counsel for Lionsgate Entertainment and STX Entertainment, providing legal services on feature film productions. For 20 years prior, she was a senior legal executive at Twentieth Century Fox overseeing some of the studio’s biggest franchises. She also worked at MGM/UA as a senior vice president.


      • Matthew R. Groenewold, School of Public Health & Information Sciences, 2008 — earned his doctoral degree in epidemiology, from UofL in 2008. He earned his master’s degree in public health in epidemiology and a certificate in clinical investigation in 2002. He is an epidemiologist and a lieutenant commander in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. He is also a response leader on CDC’s newly formed Global Rapid Response Team.


    • Beverly J. Keepers, College of Education and Human Development, 2005 – graduated with a master’s degree English in 1975. She earned her doctorate in education leadership and organizational development in 2004, as well as a superintendent of schools, P-12. She recently retired as dean of the College of Education at Spalding University after a long school administration career in Jefferson County Public Schools.



    • Christine Roalofs, School of Dentistry, 1994 — opened Just Kids Pediatric Dental Center in Alaska which now has a staff of 13. Since 2001, she has served the dental needs of remote Native American villages. She is a diplomate of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and serves as the President of the Alaska Pediatric Dental Society.


    • Ella Victoria Turner, School of Medicine, 1973 — graduated from UofL with a doctorate in microbiology and immunology. She’s the director of clinical histocompatibility at Laboratory Consultants of Florida presently providing services to Franciscan Alliance Hospital in Indianapolis. She founded and served as director of the Histocompatibility Laboratory at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.


    • James E. Turner, School of Medicine, 1976 — graduated from UofL with his doctorate in microbiology and immunology in 1972. He received his medical degree in 1976. Turner is the founder of Mid-south Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center in Bartlett, Tenn. He is also a clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Tennessee Department of Dermatology in Memphis. A retired captain in the U.S. Naval Reserve Medical Corp, he served in Desert Storm in 1991.


    • Marilyn S. Taylor, School of Music Education, 1985 — graduated from UofL with a bachelor’s degree in music education and her master’s degree in vocal performance. She received her doctoral degree in vocal performance at Indiana University in 2005. She is chair of the voice department at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. She has performed in numerous national and international operas.


    • Marcelo Mitchell Matamoros, Kent School of Social Work, 1975 – graduated from UofL with a master’s in social work. He is a clinical social worker and owner of the Dallas Family Therapy Center and has worked with small communities across the south to address mental health issues.


    • Randall J. Bufford, College of Business, 1981 — founded Trilogy Health Services, LLC in 1997 and serves as its CEO and president. Trilogy is an owner, operator and developer of more than 100 senior healthcare campuses throughout the Midwest and Kentucky. 


    • Larry W. Combs, School of Engineering, 1997graduated from UofL with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. He earned his MBA from Sullivan University in 2000. He serves as senior vice president and general manager of Jack Daniel’s Global Supply Chain for Brown-Forman Corporation. He has worked with UofL’s INSPIRE program, which offers under-represented students an introduction to engineering.


    For more information or photos, contact Courtney Spiegel by email or call 502-852-0093.


    Niki King
    Niki King Jones is positive she has the best job at the University of Louisville, serving the communication needs of the departments of fine arts and theatre, the School of Music, University Libraries and Alumni – all the fun, creative stuff. Before coming to UofL in 2015, Niki held communication positions in both private and nonprofit sectors in Louisville, Ky., including at Heaven Hill Distilleries and the Jewish Community of Louisville. For 10 years prior, she was a reporter at various newspapers across the country, most recently The Courier-Journal. Niki graduated from the University of Memphis with a BA in journalism and has a masters degree in community and leadership development from the University of Kentucky.