Missouri University of Science and Technology awarded five honorary professional degrees during spring commencement ceremonies held Friday, May 17, and Saturday, May 18. The degrees recognize the outstanding Missouri S&T graduates for professional achievement.
The May 2013 professional degree recipients are:
William E. Acree Jr., chair and professor of chemistry at the University of North Texas (UNT), earned bachelor of science, master of science and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry from Missouri S&T in 1975, 1977 and 1981, respectively. He held positions at the University of Kansas and Kent State University before joining UNT in 1988. Acree has co-authored more than 600 peer-refereed journal articles, written five research monographs, edited a book on toxicity and drug testing and published numerous encyclopedia articles and book chapters. He is co-editor of the Journal of Chemical Thermodynamics, a senior advisor to two chemistry journals, and an editorial advisory board member on 13 chemistry and science journals. ScienceJet named a best-paper award for his contributions to chemical and solution thermodynamics. Acree lives in Argyle, Texas.
Christopher C. Curfman, president of sales and support for Caterpillar Global Mining in Oak Creek, Wis., holds a bachelor of science degree in education from Northwestern University. Curfman worked for Wallace Machinery and a Cat dealer before starting a 15-year career at Deere and Co., where he became president and general manager of equipment remarketing services. Curfman joined Caterpillar in 1994 and held leadership positions with Caterpillar of Australia Ltd. and Caterpillar’s Asia Pacific Division. In 2004, Curfman became vice president of the Global Mining Division. Curfman completed certificate programs from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and executive business programs from Louisiana State University and the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He lives in Peoria, Ill.
John F. Eash, director of F/A-18 production operations for the Boeing Co. and president of the Miner Alumni Association, earned a bachelor of science degree in aerospace engineering in 1979 and a master of science degree in engineering management in 1990, both from Missouri S&T. Eash began as a flight test engineer with McDonnell Douglas in 1980. He moved to production operations in 1991 and became production superintendent in 1995. He held management positions on several aircraft programs during the transition to Boeing and has held senior management positions with increasing responsibility since 2001. Eash is a recipient of a Boeing Presidents Award and is past president of the Boeing St. Louis Leadership Association. He lives in Weldon Spring, Mo.
Brady F. Hays, director of projects and associate vice president of Black & Veatch’s water business focused on mining and oil and gas clients, earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Missouri S&T in 1998. Since 1998, he has managed desalination and water reuse projects in the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, Chile and Canada. Hays has traveled with the Missouri S&T Engineers Without Borders chapter as a professional sponsor to help implement various water supply projects and has served on the board of the non-profit Primero Agua. Hays helped start an award-winning leadership intern program at Black & Veatch and was corporate sponsor for an annual leadership institute at Howard University. He lives in Overland Park, Kan.
Robert L. Phillips Jr., vice president for research and policy with the American Board of Family Medicine, earned a bachelor of science degree in life sciences from Missouri S&T in 1990. He was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to serve on a federal committee to redesignate medically underserved areas and served as vice chair of the U.S. Council on Graduate Medical Education. He advises federal and state governments on health education policy and is leading a study on graduate medical education accountability. A graduate of the University of Florida College of Medicine, he completed family medicine residency at the University of Missouri-Columbia. A member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science, Phillips lives in Fairfax, Va.