MCW/Marquette Medical Alumni Association Awards

Each year, the MCW/Marquette Medical Alumni Association selects alumni for its highest honors to acknowledge their contributions to improving health through medicine, science and other means.

Make Your Nominations for the 2021 Awards!

Awards Criteria
Distinguished Service

Distinguished Service

This award is presented to an individual or individuals who have demonstrated outstanding service to their profession, the Medical College of Wisconsin/Marquette Medical Alumni Association and MCW.
Graduate School Alumnus or Alumna of the Year

Graduate School Alumnus or Alumna of the Year

The graduate alumnus/alumna selected for this award has achieved success in his/her profession that has led to recognition by their peers. This could be in the area of teaching, academic medicine, research and/or through leadership in professional societies at the state or national level. Other criteria could be used as the aforementioned are only examples. Volunteer work and financial support of the Medical College are not criteria for this award.
Honorary Alumnus or Alumna

Honorary Alumnus or Alumna

This award is presented to non-alumni whose commitment to MCW is unwavering and whose continued support of the college’s education, research, patient care and community engagement efforts are pervasive and demonstrable.



This award is presented to an alumnus/alumna who throughout his/her career has demonstrated a significant humanitarian commitment in medical practice and/or volunteer activities.
Medical School Alumnus or Alumna of the Year

Medical School Alumnus or Alumna of the Year

The medical school alumnus/alumna selected for this award has achieved success in his/her profession that has led to recognition by their peers. This could be in the area of clinical teaching, academic medicine, research and/or through leadership in professional societies at the state or national level. Other criteria could be used as the aforementioned are only examples. Volunteer work and financial support of the Medical College are not criteria for this award.

2021 Alumni Award Nomination Form

In the space below, please tell us why you wish to nominate this individual for the award. If you know of someone (spouse, partner, colleague, etc.) who can provide additional information regarding nominee's accomplishments, please include their name (and contact information if you know it) as well.

2020 Award Recipients

Allen W. Cowley, Jr., PhD, was named Honorary Alumnus of the Year.

Dr. Cowley has been a member of the MCW community for almost 40 years. In 2019, he stepped down as Chair of Physiology and the James J. Smith & Catherine Welsch Smith Professor of Physiology. His leadership in the department continues as the Harry & Gertrude Hack Term Professor. His research has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health since 1971, during which time he has mentored more than 50 fellows and students in his laboratory, resulting in over 325 publications in peer-reviewed journals.

Dr. Cowley is an international leader in cardiovascular research. He has made seminal observations that have advanced our understanding of hypertension. As President of the American Physiological Society, he was responsible for the launching of the Journal of Physiological Genomics in 1999 in a determined effort to unite the genomic and physiological sciences in the identification of functional relevance of genomic research.

The Department of Physiology has long been a national leader in graduate education. Under Dr. Cowley’s leadership, our graduates have become very successful scientists in universities, pharmaceutical companies and government.

Marlene D. Melzer-Lange, MD ’75, GME ’78, was named the Medical School Alumnus/Alumna of the Year.

For more than 40 years, Dr. Melzer-Lange has treated the urgent healthcare needs of youths as a pediatric emergency medicine specialist and faculty member at MCW. Since 2001, she has served as medical director of Project Ujima, a collaborative community effort led by MCW and Children’s Wisconsin to end firearm and assault violence among children and adolescents in Milwaukee.

Dr. Melzer-Lange’s success has been attributed to her exceptional ability to build partnerships by understanding the culture and challenges faced by community leaders and linking nontraditional partners to address a critical community need. Project Ujima is the longest standing hospital-based violence prevention program and is seen nationally as the "gold-standard" in violence prevention programming. Project Ujima is one of six founding members of the National Network of Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Programs.

Dr. Melzer-Lange has always been an advocate for the underserved in our local community but with a national reach. In her many roles as physician, innovator, leader and mentor, her mission always has been to be a champion for others.

Neil R. Guenther, MD ’83, GME ’86 ’88, received the Distinguished Service Award.

Dr. Guenther is an anesthesiologist and joined the Alumni Association Board in 2013. Dr. Guenther is the Alumni Association’s longest-serving president – having served two one-year terms and stepping in to do so at a time of transition. He led the Alumni Association Board with vision and purpose. During his term as president, ENGAGE, our exclusive online alumni platform, was launched, as was the monthly alumni e-newsletter. Additionally, the Alumni Association strategic goals were identified during his term with a vision to serve as a proactive and relevant resource to our alumni, fostering a lifetime connection to MCW and to the alumni community in support of the institution’s mission.

Steven E. Larson, MD ’75, GME ’78, FEL ’80, received the Humanitarian of the Year Award.

Dr. Larson is an infectious disease specialist who served communities in California and has worked extensively in the area of HIV care on a global scale. In addition, he has volunteered in southeast Asia to assist refugees – delivering babies, treating tuberculosis patients, teaching residents about infectious disease. Dr. Larson served the 40,000-plus members of the California Medical Association as their president in 2015 and 2016.

Jeffery D. Molkentin, PhD ’94, was named the Graduate School Alumnus/Alumna of the Year.

In 1997, Dr. Molkentin joined faculty of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. He is currently the director of the division of molecular cardiovascular biology, executive director of the Heart Institute and professor of pediatrics. His laboratory's research centers on understanding the molecular mechanisms of heart and skeletal muscle disease.

In 2008, Dr. Molkentin became the fourth Ohio resident ever appointed as an investigator by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, one of the top honors in the U.S. scientific community and an ongoing source of research funding. He has made international contributions to stem cell therapy for the heart.

In addition, Dr. Molkentin has mentored more than 30 trainees who have successfully launched scientific careers and built their own laboratories. 

Past Recipients

Distinguished Service

2018 Paul E. Hankwitz, MD '74, GME '78
2017 Gerald J. Dorff, MD '64, FEL '70
2016 John T. Bjork, MD '71, Fel '76
2015 Donald J. McDonald, MD '83, GME '87
2014 Steven C. Bergin, MD '74, GME '78
2014 Thomas G. Wittmann, MD '84, GME '87
2013 James L. Algiers, MD '53, GME '63
2012 Victoria A. Vollrath, MD '77, GME '80
2011 Ronald J. Darling, MD '62, GME '67
2010 Jane L. Neumann, MD '70, GME '73
2009 Cynthia A. Bauer, MD '74, GME '75
2008 Thomas J. Russell, MD '62
2007 Thomas M. Kidder, MD '68, GME '73
2006 Anthony P. Ziebert, MD '60, GME '63, FEL '64
2005 Robert S. Pavlic, MD '54
2004 Kathleen M. Hargarten, MD '82, GME '85
2003 Roger P. Johnson, MD '67, GME '73, MS '65
2002 Donald P. Schlueter, MD '59, GME '63
2002 Gilbert S. Wadina, MD '61
2001 Donald E. Chisholm, MD '56, GME '64
2001 David S. Haskell, MD '67, GME '72
2000 John R. Litzow, MD '59, GME '63, FEL '65
2000 Robert J. Toohill, MD '60
1999 John J. Frederick, MD '51, GME '58
1999 Michael H. Keelan, Jr., MD '60, GME '66, FEL '68
1998 William B. Frymark, MD '46, GME '54
1998 Michael T. Jaekels, MD '55
1997 William C. Curtis, MD '47
1997 William G. Weber, MD '60
1996 Robert O. Buss, MD '66, GME '68
1996 Robert H. Herzog
1995 Walter E. Gager, MD '63, GME '67
1995 Rita M. Marino, MD '58
1994 Donald J. Heyrman, MD '56
1994John P. Kampine, MD '61, PhD '65
1993 Kathryn C. Bemmann, MD '56
1993 James M. Cerletty, MD '58, FEL '64
1992 George J. Korkos, MD '59
1992 William J. Listwan, MD '68, GME '74
1992 Sanbo S. Sakaguchi, MD '43

Graduate School Alumnus/Alumna of the Year
2019 Page S. Morahan, PhD '69
2017 Cecilia J. Hillard, PhD '83
2016 Michael F. Nolan, PhD '75
2015 Joseph J. Carroll, PhD '02
2014 Sarah K. England, PhD '93
2013 Lawrence G. Pan, PhD '83
2012 Daniel J. McDermott, PhD '69
Honorary Alumnus/Alumna
2019 Richard N. Katschke
2017 Alonzo P. Walker, MD
2016 John R. Raymond, Sr., MD
2015 William A. Schultz
2014 Edward J. Zore
2013 James W. Heald
2012 Linda T. Mellowes
2011 J. Frank Wilson, MD
2010 Virginia K. Bolger
2009 John M. Cary
2008 James E. Youker, MD
2007 Thomas R. Hefty
2006 Stephen H. Marcus
2005 Vera Wilson
2004 Janice L. Lennon
2003 Lorry Uihlein
2002 P. Michael Mahoney
2001 Lloyd B. (Ted) Smith
2000 Melodie Wilson Oldenburg
1999 William L. Randall
1998 Jon P. McGlocklin
1997 Michael J. Cudahy
1996 Jack F. Hanus
1996 Lesley A. Mack
1995 T. Michael Bolger, JD
1991 Gerald A. Kerrigan, MD
1990 Reverend John P. Raynor, SJ
1989 John R. Petersen, MD, GME '60
1989 Richard O. Schultz, MD
1988 Jacob Lemann, Jr., MD
1986 Drs. June M. and George F. Unger
1984 Leonard W. Cronkhite, Jr., MD
1982 Edward A. Bachhuber, MD
1980 Edward J. Lennon, MD, GME '58
1979 Stavri G. Joseph
1978 Joseph F. Kuzma, MD
1976 Bessie Casey
1969 Walter P. Blount, MD
1969 Louis Quarles
2019 Marc H. Erickson, MD '89
2018 Sister Alegria, MD '78
2017 Donald A. Hackbarth, MD '77, GME '82
2016 Anne T. Martinelli, MD '01
2015 Frank T. Pilney, MD '59
2015 John P. Zimmermann, MD '70
2014 Laurel M. Bear, MD '84, GME '87
2013 Gloria M. Halverson, MD '73
2012 Clifford H. Starr, MD '56, GME '63, MS '63
2011 Sister Mary V. Annel, MD '71
2010 Thomas P. Chisholm, MD '59
2009 Wendelin W. Schaefer, MD '64
2008 Carol A. Ritter, MD '83
2007 Theodore G. MacKinney, MD '85
2007 Julianne R. Newcomer, MD '87, GME '97
2006 Stuart E. Adair, MD '64
2005 Brother Jerry J. Galloway, MD '65, GME '70
2005 George R. Schneider, MD '70
Medical School Alumnus/Alumna of the Year
2019 Beth Erickson Wittmann, MD '84, GME '88
2018 Robert P. Nirschl, MD '58
2017 William M. Valenti, MD '72
2016 Karen J. Marcdante, MD '80, GME '83
2016 Paul S. Pagel, MD '86, GME '90, FEL '93, PhD '94
2015 Joseph E. Kerschner, MD '90, FEL '98
2014 Jerry R. Youkey, MD '74
2013 Philip E. Stieg, MD '83
2012 David R. Holmes, Jr., MD '71
2011 Steven P. Shelov, MD '71
2010 Gen. C. Bruce Green, MD '78
2009 Richard J. Kitz, MD '54
2008 Mary M. Horowitz, MD '80, GME '89, MS '91
2007 Janis M. Orlowski, MD '82
2006 Ritsuko Komaki, MD, GME '77, FEL '78
2005 James T. Casper, MD '70, GME '72
2004 Joseph D. Zuckerman, MD '78
2003 Thomas M. Krummel, MD '77
2002 George J. Reul, MD '62, GME '69
2001 Joseph E. Geenen, MD '60, GME '65, FEL '67
2000 Maria Bustillo, MD '75
1999 Donald R. Laub, MD '60
1998 John P. Kampine, MD '61, PhD '65
1997 Thomas L. Garthwaite, MD, GME '79
1996 Michael J. Dunn, MD '62
1995 Raymond C. Zastrow, MD '55
1994 Walter J. Hogan, MD '58, FEL '64
1993 Jack A. Klieger, MD '41
1992 Eugene E. Bleck, MD '47
1991 Timothy T. Flaherty, MD '59
1990 Edward J. Lennon, MD, GME '58
1989 William V. Dolan, MD '74
1988 Michael J. Krentz, MD '73
1987 James B. Perry, MD '56
1986 John J. Czajka, MD '56, GME '61
1985 Marvin Wagner, MD '44, MS '51
1984 Sister Antonia M. Guerrieri, MM, MD '34
1983 Norman H. Engbring, MD '51
1982 Leo R. Weinshel, MD '37, GME '48, MS '53
1981 Francis X. Paletta, MD '39
1980 Bruce J. Brewer, MD '40
1979 Steve L. Chojnacki, MD '37
1978 Reverend James R. (Luke) Tupper, MD '58
1977 Anthony V. Pisciotta, MD '44
1976 Derward Lepley, Jr., MD '49
1975 Bruno J. Peters, MD '38
1974 Robert J. Schweitzer, MD '46
1973 John S. Hirschboeck, MD '37, MS '41
1972 John G. Walsh, MD '38
1970 Frederick J. Hofmeister, MD '35
1967 Joseph M. King, MD '21